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.
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.
Zero Balancing is different from other types of bodywork because it focuses on both body structure and energy flow at the same time.
During zero balancing, the client fully dressed. With the client seated, the practitioner first evaluates the torso. Then the patient lies in a supine position on a padded table, similar to those used for massage and physical therapy. The touch used during zero balancing is called "interface," and has been described by clients as pleasing, gentle, and relaxing.
During a session, the practitioner works on finding places where energy fields may be obstructed or otherwise disrupted. Zero balancer practitioners pay particular attention to the skeleton, which they believe holds most of the body's energy. Their practice focuses much attention on the spine, shoulder blades, pelvis, hips, sacro-iliac joints, legs and feet, as they systematically travel up the body. After treating the upper body, the practitioner usually progresses again to the lower body for a final look.
Practitioners use a technique called fulcrum, which involves using the arms and hands in a specific geometry to help access energy fields and bring the skeleton and joints into balance. Clients generally feel the touch as lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, sliding, and rotating.
One session usually takes 30-40 minutes. Practitioners typically recommend at least three sessions, followed up with regular maintenance visits every 2-4 weeks. Zero balancing sessions range from $50 to $100 each.
Certification is available for healthcare professionals who complete a combination of education and practice with the Zero Balancing Health Association (ZBHA).
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.