What to Drink on the Zone Diet?

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By Martin Beans

The Zone Diet is founded on the idea of eating a balanced ratio of carbohydrate, protein and fat. By eating in the ratio of 40/30/30, meaning 40 percent carbohydrate and 30 percent each of protein and fat, the idea is that your metabolism is impacted to run at its most efficient level. The diet also emphasizes getting the right amounts of fruit, vegetables and lean sources of protein. The right combination of foods results in an increased metabolism and weight loss. Designing meals that meet these requirements can be tricky, but the program offers a range of ideas. You can also purchase cookbooks with recipes intended for the followers of the diet as well. But some people still wonder what they are allowed to drink when following the diet.

You can still drink juice and either low fat or skim milk, as long as you count the calories and grams of protein, fat and carbohydrates. But since our bodies are made mostly of water, water is the recommended drink. The health benefits of drinking enough water cannot be underestimated. Water helps to flush toxins out of the body, it keeps the cells and metabolism supplies with the water needed to work properly and it quenches thirst better than any other fluid you can ingest. The Zone Diet guidelines require that followers drink at least sixty-four ounces (or eight cups) of fluid every day. If you are one of the many people who simply don't like the taste of water, there are other options for you.

You can add a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange to your water to give it a little bit of extra flavor. Or, you can purchase bottled waters that have a slightly fruity flavoring to them so that they taste more like a seltzer than plain water. Pour them in a glass full of ice for a refreshing beverage. It's important, however, to read the labels, even for water. Since the Zone Diet guidelines require you to limit sugar and carbohydrates, you don't want to take in sugar unknowingly. Carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go and refill it whenever it gets empty. Soon enough you can change your habit of drinking soda, tea or juice, especially when you see the good results in your weight loss efforts.

If you are a coffee or tea drinker, you will need to make some changes as well. The Zone Diet guidelines instruct you to eliminate caffeine from your diet. This change can be difficult and cause withdrawal symptoms like headaches. It might be a good idea to gradually start eliminating caffeine from your diet in the weeks before you begin following the Zone Diet guidelines. Decaffeinated coffee or tea will let you still enjoy the taste of coffee or tea without the caffeine. The same is true of sodas. Regular sodas should be completely eliminated. They simply have too much sugar. Diet sodas come in enough different flavors that you should be able to find one that you like. However, you do need to switch to decaffeinated versions in order to improve your chances of success on the program.

Alcohol is one other beverage that will have to be limited or eliminated. There have been some studies that have shown that moderate alcohol consumption can actually have some positive effects on your health, particularly your heart. If you are currently drinking alcohol as part of a program to protect your cardiovascular health, you shouldn't stop without discussing it with a health professional first. However, the Zone Diet doesn't require that you totally eliminate all alcohol from your routine, just that you limit it to occasional use. There's no reason that you can't continue to enjoy an alcoholic beverage from time to time. Just keep in mind that the more beverages that you replace with water, the more good you are doing for your body and the faster you are likely to see weight loss success.

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