Health Castle offers “Ten signs of a fad diet”:
1. It promises massive weight loss (1 – 2 lbs per week)
Dr. Barry Sears is careful when he declares a standard weight loss on Zone diet. He considers that anything between 1 to 1,5 lbs per week is satisfactory. “It will be impossible to lose more than one to one point five pounds of fat per week. Anything over that is loss of retained water”, says Sears himself on his daily “Ask Dr. Sears” column at DrSears.com. FAD.
2. It does not suggest you that you consult with a registered dietician or nutritionist
“Any change in diet (for better or worse) will affect the metabolism of the drug(s) you are taking. Always consult with a physician before starting the Zone Diet or any other dietary plan”, says Dr. Sears in various interviews and discussion lists. Not FAD.
3. It encourages you to eliminate certain food groups (e.g. “low carb diets”, “low fat diets”)
This is untrue for the Zone diet. Dr. Sears says: “No food is forbidden in the Zone.” Zone diet considers “unfavourable” mostly high glycemic foods and foods high in saturated fats. Not FAD.
4. It offers rigid menus
Difficult-to-prepare meals, plenty of measuring and counting, rules that are easy to misinterpret, Zone subscribes to that. FAD
5. It neglects active living or lifestyle changes
The Zone diet has impressive instrumentary and regulation for dining out or for fast food. On the other hand, there’s no problem if you step out of the Zone now and then. Here are some soothing phrases from Dr. Sears himself: “The Zone diet is free of guilt” or “The Zone is just one meal away”. I’m quite UNDECIDED about this one. It is clear the man has taken some time to think about it.
6. It harshly limitates the daily calorie intake
Some dieticians claim that the Zone diet limits the daily calorie intake to somewhere around 800. I used the calculator at DrSears.com to check this (I am a 100 pound woman by the way) and my daily calorie intake resulted around 1100 kcal. I’m not pleased with it, as I don’t plan to spend my days in permanent hibernation, or lose any of my precious, hard-gained pounds… FAD.
7. It contradicts what most trusted health profesionals say
The Zone diet argues against the USDA food pyramid, which recommends grains and starches up to five servings per day. This is its most high-profile argument. The American Heart Association considers Zone “a fad diet”. FAD
8. It depends on special products, supplements and treatments
One Zone bar (or shake) is $2.50. A 45-day supply bottle of Omega Rx concentrated fish oil is $78.15. The figure for the Zone books ranges between $6 and $26 (at the Zone Labs online shop); FAD.
9. It makes miraculous claims
The Zone will help you to:
* lose up to 1.5 lbs body fat per week
* improve your insulin level (which should particulary be … “not too high not too low”)
* fight against “modern diseases” such as type II diabetes and blood vessel affections
* fight against “mental illnesses” such as depresion and alcoholism
* prevent “certain” cancers
* “restore energy”, says Dr. Sears in his book, Enter the Zone, “especially if you have CMS, PMS or even HIV infection” and…
* The Zone itself is defined as a state of well-being in which you do not experience hunger, fatigue or moodiness. Your body and mind function sharply at their “peak level”.
The Zone is a FAD diet in this respect.
10. It relies on testimonials and success stories rather than scientific proof
Dr. Sears says “Let me be a little more specific about the rewards you’ll reap from staying in the Zone” (“Enter the Zone”, p. 4). A few paragraphs later he tells the happy stories of Steve Courson (a famous National Football League player in the late 1970’s), his teammate John Corb and Dr. Chris Kyriazis, head of European Marketing for IBM. I believe these examples are not specific but unusual. Moreover, Dr. Sears’ Zone diet is mistrusted by most dieticians and nutritionists as so far he has not published any relevant, professional research to sustain his theory. FAD again.