cover of Mastering The Zone

Mastering The Zone

Audio Cassette
Author: Barry Sears, Sears Barry
Avg. user rating: 4.36
List price: $18.00
Discounted price: $18.00
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Barry Sears's 1995-96 bestseller, The Zone, changed the way many people look at nutrition and weight loss. Although his plan advocates eating fewer calories and exercising more, it also stresses getting more of those calories from fat and protein and fewer from carbohydrates. Here, he expands on that theory (which is still not accepted in most scientific circles) and offers recipes to help readers put his principles into practice.

Reader Reviews

"With some adjustments, it IS absolutely life changing"

Rating: 5 stars
This is certainly a program that can be made difficult. Some of the other zone books have recipes that would require you to be a math whiz or an expert chef, and have tedious measuring. This book helps and mostly makes it simple.

For me it is life changing. I have ALWAYS had late evening sugary, breaded, fatty junk food cravings like ice cream and chips an all kinds of overpriced sugar-laced worthless garbage foods. And for years I usually gave up and just ate anything I wanted. And gained lots of weight. Then I found this book. To me it is like what methadone is to a heroin addict. (for those that don't know, methadone is a drug to take the edge off of the withdraws from heroin without the euphoric high) And for those fellow sugar/carb addicts, you probably know what I mean. If you follow this plan correctly, it REALLY WILL take away those terrible binge cravings. It may take a little patience, and possibly some time, but it will work.

This is not easy unless you make it simple for yourself. Getting started is a bit difficult because it usually requires a change of eating habits, which is not easy . To make it easy for me I had to pick out about 5 or 6 recipes I could EASILY make in a short amount of time. This book has some that I like and they are simple. The zoneperfect dot com site also has a whole bunch that are easy to make as well. (and those are FREE!) For those days that I just don't want to fix anything, I have bought a whole bunch of the zone prepackaged bars and meals and other foods. At first, they were not the best in the world and a bit pricey, but I really wanted this thing to work and after a while I started to like them.

The great thing is after about 4 or 5 days I really look forward to the afternoon snack and the zone bars and everything else and it's working great. The energy is amazing. It gets easier and better the longer you follow it. And you can add some other recipes if the others get old. I DO NOT have any more late cravings or afternoon sugar binges. And that is worth almost anything to me.

I think it comes down to how bad you want it to work. After I started to read the book, I began to believe what the author was saying because it just made sense. I have tried many other diets, and this program really isn't a diet and isn't extreme like a lot of those other fad diets. This one just seemed right. When I began to visualize craving free evenings and wearing 34 pants again, I just decided to do whatever it takes to MAKE it work for me. The thought of being in a swim suit comfortably outside in a large crowd just really started to overcome all of the barriers. ALL WITHOUT the hunger pangs. Thanks to Dr. Sears, I have gone from 44 pants to 40 and am 100% confident I'll be wearing those old 34 silver tabs that I wore many years ago. (I have them out for motivation)


"Very interesting"

Rating: 4 stars
I have been doing a lot of on-line researching and reading of these reviews regarding the Zone "diet" plan. I have only spent a couple weeks in and out of the Zone (I love pasta, so I'm getting the rest of it out of the house so I can do a real "sample" after it and the temptation is gone). But during the day, at work and school, I've never felt better. It's at night I crash after eating my pasta and very little protien.

I don't know how much of the cravings for food at that point is psychological, which the Zone books never mention. They say that you control your hormones, you control your cravings. It's not as simple as that...there are lots of people who are body dismorphic and eat for reasons other than their brain pinging them because they're hungry. Perhaps I'll make my millions writing a follow-up book, but I digress...

However, after reading every review for "Enter the Zone" (which I believe is just the same as "Mastering the Zone", the latter of which I did buy, which I believe has more practical advice on how to make things work than the theory in "Enter...") I am fairly convinced that all but two of the negative reviews are from people who either didn't read the book, didn't get what was written, or they were simply stating that they didn't want to live this way. Two reviews make me wonder. One speaks to the shoddiness of his research reporting -- which I agree upon, but maybe it's glossed because the reading public can't handle reading that boring stuff. The other is about the Zone being a low-calorie diet and that being the only reason you lose weight on it, makes me wonder. It wasn't the "a calorie is a calorie is a calorie" review...sure, a calorie is a calorie, but insulin, different macronutrients and so forth are not the same, so I disagree with that reviewer. But the idea that this only works as a low-calorie diet...I'm not sure....I am eating more bulk with not a lot less calories than I was before. So I'm still willing to give it a shot.

Basically, this is a nutritional plan for a lifelong change that includes food in moderation. I also don't see in the Zone books that they are so facist that they don't recognize that "stuff happens" and people will get off the Zone with some meals, but you can always go back with the next. Unfortunately people are too often "all or nothing" fanatics who don't realize that we aren't perfect machines and sometimes our psyche requires something our body doesn't. They look at the Zone and think that if you're not fanatical, it won't happen at all. After thinking about it, the Zone is really rather stress-free and's really how much discipline to be conscious about your food and activity that should be watched out for. You mess up, you can always be conscious the next meal. And with time comes the habit, in my opinion.

I will remain skeptical, but that's me. I can't be otherwise until I've given it a shot. I used to be 350# grossly obese, and after a year of getting more active and eating in moderation before, I came down to 225#. I still have oversized love handles, and I want to tighten that up and lose the rest of the pounds, but the last year or so has been stressful and I have only been hovering and gained a couple pounds back. So we'll see if the Zone leaves me with more energy I had before and convinces ME to be more conscious of my food choice.

I would recommend, finally, not to buy more than one of the books (probably "Mastering") as they all appear to be saying the same thing. It's just not money conscious. Or if you do, buy them used. Barry Sears has turned into a marketing empire, and I think the message gets lost somewhere in there. Most of the information is on his website, as well, so buy one book and just look at the website.