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Related terms
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Related Terms
  • Adequate protein diet, Barry Sears, carbohydrate, diet, fat, low carbohydrate diet, protein.

  • The Zone diet is an unproven dietary regime, which has been popularized by Dr. Barry Sears through sales of his 1995 book, The Zone. Despite claims made in the book, there is little available research to support its overall benefit.
  • The Zone diet is a calorie-restricted diet that provides adequate protein, moderate levels of carbohydrates, essential fats and micronutrients spread through three meals and two snacks that approximately maintain the protein-to-carbohydrate ratio throughout the day.
  • Proponents believe that the Zone diet promotes optimal metabolic efficiency in the body by balancing the hormones insulin and glucagon. Insulin is responsible for converting, in the blood, incoming nutrients into cells. Glucagon regulates glucose in the liver. Overall, the Zone's food plan consists of a dietary intake of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat.
  • Under this diet, recommended foods include fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen), oatmeal (whole grain), protein powder (e.g. soybean isolate), chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, low-fat cottage cheese, soy food, nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, macademia, pistachios), extra virgin olive oil, natural sweeteners, such as fructose or stevia.

Theory / Evidence
  • Recent research seems to indicate that a low total caloric intake is associated with longer life expectancy. Based on animal studies, animals eating calorie-restricted diets may live 1.5 to 2 times as long as animals eating high-calorie diets. Theoretically, similar effects may occur in humans. The caloric restriction recommended by the Zone diet is below that of the average American and may be of benefit in weight loss and if maintained over decades in increasing life expectancy. On the other hand, athletes in training will likely suffer from decreased performance if restricted to the low calorie diet recommended by the Zone.
  • Despite proposed benefits, currently there are no high quality clinical trials available about the Zone diet or similar diets consisting of the recommended 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 30% protein. The Zone diet is quite complex in terms of caloric restriction, ratio of carbohydrates/protein//fat, spacing of meals, preferential intake of certain fats, and avoidance or inclusion of a few specific foods.


Author information
  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (

  1. Cheuvront SN. The zone diet and athletic performance. Sports Med. 1999;27(4):213-228.
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
  3. Sears B. The Zone Diet and athletic performance. Sports Med. 2000;29(4):289-294.

  • Before the procedure, an individual arranges an appointment with a plastic surgeon. The individual discusses cosmetic concerns with the doctor, and the doctor discusses treatment options. Based on the patient's skin and the area where the procedure will be performed, the doctor and patient choose the type and brand of filler that will be injected into the skin. If soft tissue injections are decided upon as a treatment, then the patient makes an appointment for the actual procedure.
  • Soft tissue injections are usually performed at a doctor's office. However, if the soft tissue procedure is combined with a more surgically invasive procedure, such as a facelift, the patient may have the injections performed at a hospital.
  • Collagen injections: Some patients are allergic to the collagen used in soft tissue injections. In order to screen for this allergy, the doctor injects the patient with a very small amount of collagen three to four weeks prior to the scheduled procedure. Patients who experience an allergic reaction are not able to have all of the desired areas of their body treated with the soft tissue injections.
  • The collagen used in soft tissue injections is available in several different brands. A painkiller called lidocaine is usually mixed into the collagen. However, some doctors also apply a painkiller to the surface of the skin as well. The doctor injects the collagen into several places along the undesired wrinkles or lines. The patient may feel some stinging or burning around the area. The doctor may put a pre-determined amount of collagen into each area; however, in some cases, the patient holds a hand mirror and tells the doctor when to stop injecting collagen. Some individuals have swelling, itching or reddening at the injection site for up to a week after the procedure.
  • Fat injections: This type of soft tissue injection takes fat from one part of the body and transfers small amounts of it underneath the facial skin. Typically, this fat is taken from the thighs, buttocks or stomach; this is called the donor site. The fat is removed using a very large needle attached to a liposuction machine. The fat from the donor site is then cleaned of impurities and injected into the face using a much smaller needle. The area receiving the fat that came from the donor site is called the recipient site. Both of these sites are numbed before the procedure begins. If a patient chooses sedative drugs to feel drowsy during the procedure, then they are required to arrange for a friend or family member to return them home after the procedure. The doctor typically injects more fat than what may seem necessary into the face because the body slowly absorbs its own fat after the procedure. Some swelling, redness and bruising is common at either or both the donor and injection sites.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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