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Posted on 02-13-2015

Eating in the Zone

Each Zone meal must contain protein, carbohydrates and fats. First, divide your plate into three sections: On one third of the plate, put some low-fat protein that is no bigger or thicker than the palm of your hand. This would be about 4 ounces for a typical male and about three ounces for a typical female. Then, fill the other two-thirds of the plate until it is overflowing with fruits and vegetables. Add a small amount of mono-unsaturated fats. Flexibility is the key. If you choose to have several different proteins from the list at the same time, the sum total may not be any larger than the palm size portion. If you choose to have several different types of carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables); the total portion should not be larger than twice your palm size. Once you have balanced your plate with low-fat protein and favorable carbohydrates, be sure to add a small amount of mono-unsaturated fats.

The primary role of protein is to stimulate the release of glucagon, which mobilizes the release of stored carbohydrates so that your brain can use them as energy. Eating too much protein can stimulate insulin and can cause you to gain weight. Using the palm of your hand and its thickness is a good indicator of the maximum amount of protein you should consume at any meal.

Low-Fat Protein Sources

Meat and Poultry: (Low in Saturated Fat)

• Beef (Range-Fed or Game) • Canadian Bacon (Lean) • Turkey Bacon

• Ground Turkey • Turkey Breast, Deli-Style • Turkey Breast, Skinless

• Chicken Breast, Deli-Style • Chicken Breast, Skinless

Fish and Seafood: (Rich in EPA)

• Bass (Freshwater)   •Bass (Sea)   •Bluefish   • Calamari   • Catfish   • Cod   • Clams      

• Crabmeat • Haddock   • Halibut • Lobster • Mackerel •Salmon •Sardine •Scallops

• Snapper • Swordfish • Shrimp • Trout • Tuna • Tuna (Canned in Water)


• Egg Whites   • Egg Substitutes

Protein Rich Dairy:

• Cottage Cheese (Low-Fat)    • Low-Fat Cheese   • Low-Fat Yogurt


• Protein Powder Whey   • Tofu, Firm or Extra Firm

You must balance your protein intake with favorable carbohydrates. Favorable carbohydrates consist of fruits and vegetables that have a low capacity to stimulate insulin (the hormone that makes you fat). Eating excessive carbohydrates (even favorable carbohydrates) can stimulate excessive insulin. Your carbohydrate portion should be approximately twice the size of the palm of your hand.

Carbohydrate Choices

Cooked Vegetables:

• Artichoke   • Artichoke (Hearts) • Asparagus • Beans (Green or Wax) • Black Beans

• Bok Choy • Broccoli • Brussels Sprouts • Cabbage (Red or Green) • Cauliflower

• Chickpeas • Collard Greens • Eggplant • Kale • Kidney Beans • Leeks • Lentils

• Mushrooms (Boiled) • Onions, Chopped • Okra, Sliced • Sauerkraut • Squash (Yellow)

• Spinach • Swiss Chard • Tomato • Turnip, Mashed, • Turnip Greens • Zucchini

Raw Vegetables:

• Alfalfa Sprouts • Bamboo Shoots • Bean Sprouts • Green Beans • Bell Peppers

• Broccoli • Brussels Sprouts • Cabbage, Shredded • Cauliflower • Celery • Chickpeas

• Cucumber, Sliced • Endive, Chopped • Escarole, Chopped • Jalapeno Peppers

• Lettuce, Iceberg • Lettuce, Romaine Chopped • Mushrooms, Chopped

• Onions, Chopped • Radishes, Sliced • Scallions, Chopped • Shallots • Snow Peas

• Spinach • Tomato • Water Chestnuts • Watercress

Fruits (Fresh, Frozen, or Canned Light):

*To be Eaten with your Main Meal or as a Dessert

• Apple • Applesauce (No Sugar) • Apricots • Blackberries • Blueberries • Boysenberries

• Cantaloupe • Cherries • Fruit Cocktail (No Sugar) • Grapes • Grapefruit • Kiwi

• Nectarine • Orange • Peach (Fresh and Canned) • Pear • Pineapple, Cubed • Plum

• Raspberries • Strawberries • Tangerine


• Barley (Dry) • Oatmeal (Slow-Cooking)

*Avoid unfavorable carbohydrates. These include pasta, bread, bagels, cereals, potatoes, etc., select fruits (bananas, raisins, etc.), select veggies (corn, carrots).

Add Some Fat

Now that you have balanced your protein and carbohydrate, you must add some fat. Your cooking oils should include the following:

• Olive Oil • Canola Oil • Peanut Oil • Almond Oil • Sesame Oil

Fat Choices:

• Almonds, 1 Tbsp. • Slivered Almonds, 1 Tbsp. • Avocado, 1 Tbsp. • Cashews, 1 Tbsp.

• Peanuts, 1 Tbsp. • Guacamole, 1 Tbsp. • Macadamia Nuts, 1 Tbsp. • Olives, 1 Tbsp.

• Tahini, 1 Tbsp. • Peanut Butter, 1 Tbsp. • Pistachios, 1 Tbsp.

Suggested Reading:

A Week in the Zone by Dr. Barry Sears • The Anti-Aging Zone by Dr. Barry Sears

Zone-Perfect Meals in Minutes (For Diabetics) by Dr. Barry Sears

The Omega RX Zone by Dr. Barry Sears • The Formula by Gene and Joyce Daoust

Basic Zone Rules

  1. Always eat a Zone meal within one hour after waking.
  2. Try to eat five times per day; Three Zone meals and two snacks.
  3. Never let more than five hours go by without eating a Zone meal or snack regardless of whether you are hungry or not. (This keeps you in the Zone throughout the day.)
  4. Make your protein choices low-fat.
  5. Eat more fruits and vegetables (fiber rich vegetables and fruits) and ease off the bread, pasta, grains and other starches.
  6. Make your fat choices from mono-unsaturated fats.
  7. Try not to eat more than 500 calories per meal and 100 calories per snack.
  8. Drink at least eight 8- ounce glasses of water everyday. That is about one half gallon of water.
  9. If you make a mistake at a meal, don’t worry about it; just make the next meal a Zone meal.

Dining Out Rules:

  1. Never eat the rolls. Save the carbohydrates for dessert.
  2. Always choose your low-fat protein entrée from the menu first.
  3. Ask the waiter to replace the rice, potatoes, or pasta (starches or grains) with extra vegetables.
  4. While you are waiting for dinner, have a glass of red wine or a glass of water (while everyone else is munching on rolls).
  5. Look at the size of the low-fat protein entrée you ordered. If it is significantly bigger than the palm of your hand, plan to take the excess home.
  6. If you are eating favorable carbohydrates, then plan to have double the volume of carbohydrates compared to the protein portion.
  7. If you really want dessert, have some fresh fruit.

Fast Food Zone Meals:

  • Wendy’s – 12 oz of Chili
  • McDonald’s – Grilled McChicken Sandwich (Throw Away the Bun)
  • Burger King – BK Broiler without Mayonnaise (Throw Away the Bun)
  • Taco Bell – Chicken Taco Salad
  • Dairy Queen – Grilled Chicken Filet (Non-Breaded)
  • Hardee’s – Grilled Chicken (Non-Breaded)
  • Arby’s – Light Roasted Turkey (Non-Breaded)

Healthy Balanced Snacks

*Pick and Choose One Item from each Food Group below and Combine them to make a Snack Meal


¼ Cup of Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

1 oz. Part-Skim or “Lite” Mozzarella

2 ½ oz. Part-Skim or “Lite” Ricotta Cheese

1 oz. Sliced Meats (Turkey, Ham, etc.)

1 oz. Tuna Packed in Water

1 oz. Low-Fat, Part-Skim or “Soft” Cheese


½ Apple



1 Tangerine

½ Cup “Lite” Fruit Cocktail


1 Cup Strawberries

¾ Cup Blackberries

½ Orange

½ Cup Grapes


½ Nectarine

1 Peach

1 Plum

½ Cup Canned “Lite” Peaches

½ Cup Crushed Pineapple

1 Cup Raspberries

½ Cup Blueberries

½ Grapefruit


Olives (Green or Black)

Macadamia Nuts

1 Tablespoon Guacamole



Pecan Halves

Dr. Ken Feder

2310 Tamiami Trail, Suite 2121 Punta Gorda, FL. 33950 Tel. (941) 205-2225

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