Mike's Book Reviews

A Week in the Zone


Barry Sears, PH. D.

Subtitle:   7 Days That Will Change Your Life Forever

Click here. Classification: Nonfiction

What it's about:   A Week in the Zone  first gives a quick overview of the basics of Dr. Sears' "Zone" method of eating. His method is designed to control glucose, insulin, and other such active compounds in the body. Yet still providing a pleasing, filling "diet" that can therefore be followed indefinitely. If he has a mantra, I'd say it's "Food Is A Drug." Which it is.

The majority of the book concentrates on the practical day-to-day aspects of "The Zone" dietary approach -- food choices, preparation, portion sizes, etc.

Discussion of the book's contents:   If you've read the author's earlier book, "The Anti-Aging Zone" (now out of print), much of the basic information will be familiar. I think this book is actually better than his earlier ones, since the information is more concentrated and practical in nature.

His main scientific point is that your body is healthiest when fed the ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrate that it needs. This book discusses practical issues such as estimating the balance of the P:F:C (protein, fat, carbohydrates) in a meal. No need to weigh out various foods, he gives instructions such as including a piece of meat "the size of the palm of your hand." I liked that.

He also agrees with the current interest in "Calorie Restriction" -- "CR".   CR (or CRAN or CRON -- for Calorie Restriction with Adequate Nutrition / Optimum Nutrition) has been much in the news lately. He comments: "Calorie Restriction is the only scientifically proven method to reverse aging." His dietary approach is inherently low-calorie, and he explains why.

He promises that his easy-to-follow dietary approach will help you lose excess body fat, reduce the chances of getting the chronic diseases of aging -- cancer, hypertension, etc. -- and live a longer and healthier life. In general, I believe he's right.

My evaluation of A Week in the Zone:   I read his book a year or more ago, and tried his recommendations. They certainly worked for me. I could eat less, feel better, and not be hungry. His idea of "give the body what it needs -- if you don't it'll still want more food" seems to be correct. Eat an unbalanced diet and you're continually craving more food. Eat a balanced meal and you're satisfied. I still follow his recommendations. They work!

To give you a better feel for its contents, here are the book's chapter titles:
We all want to feel better and live longer.
Dr. Sears's simple methods of eating, shown in this book, let us feel satisfied
with the amount of food we eat, while helping us lose weight and improve our "healthspan."

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The above book is great at the practical details of how to eat better and be healthier. To see my review of an earlier book discussing the basis behind the "Calorie Restriction = living longer" movement -- Dr. Walford's "Beyond The 120-Year Diet"  -- you can click here .

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(C) Copyright 2002, 2003 by M. O'Gara -- all rights reserved.