Although the creator of the diet is quite adamant that for best effect you should really stick to counting Food Blocks, it’s still possible to follow the basic principles of the diet without going through this complicated process.
In simple terms, the Zone diet involves cutting out most carbohydrates such as breakfast cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, noodles, bread, bagels, croissants, muffins, crisps, pastries, pies, chocolate, sweets, sugar and preserves, as these have the greatest effect on blood sugar levels and therefore insulin levels. Most fruit and vegetables, however, are allowed. Low-fat protein-rich foods such as skinless chicken, turkey and fish should be eaten with every meal. Meanwhile, eating fewer foods that contain saturates and choosing foods that are rich in monounsaturates, such as olive oil, avocado and nuts, is recommended.
To make the Zone Diet even easier to follow, the creator recommends dividing your plate into three equal sized sections and then filling one section with low-fat protein such as chicken - making sure it’s no larger or thicker than the palm of your hand - and the remaining two sections with vegetables and fruit. Adding a little olive oil, avocado or a few nuts will help to boost intakes of monounsaturates.