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Art of living


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.

  • The material from which every sound producing object, tool or human voice arises is said to possess particular qualities. For instance, a gong may be created from one of several metals. Each of these metals, when struck, produces a different sound, which in turn creates a different type of healing environment. Further, each gong can produce several notes, and the notes also have particular healing qualities. Sounds are chosen on the basis of their specific healing powers. There is no commonly agreed upon classification of which sounds may heal a person. However, the sounds used in this form of therapy tend to be repeated for a long time and are not muffled.
  • The primary tool in sound healing is the instrument used to produce sound. Such instruments include gongs, metal bowls, crystal bowls, didgeridoos (a wind instrument created by Australian Aboriginals from wood eaten by termites), and Western-style instruments such as a violin. Sound healing might also be invoked by singing or chanting. In some cases, sound healing is said to occur by playing pre-recorded media created by artists or practitioners of sound music for this purpose.
  • There is no one way that a sound healing session may be conducted. Their form and duration vary. Many sound healing sessions are integrated with other complementary and alternative medicine modalities.
  • Sound healing may be practiced individually or in groups. In a group setting, a patient may sit passively and simply listen to the sounds in a session, or he may contribute to the process of creating the therapeutic environment for everyone involved. A group may gather together to help each other heal, or they may gather with the intent of healing a single person in the group. Some patients choose to orchestrate their own sound healing sessions by producing music or noise with the intent to heal on their own.

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.

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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