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Dr. Sears' Blog

Breaking down the latest research on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Written By: Dr. Barry Sears, Ph. D | Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Dr. Barry Sears
on February 09, 2024

The first few weeks of the New Year are often focused on the resolve to lose weight, when in actuality people should focus their goals on slowing down aging, no matter the time of year. The only regimen that clinically achieves results in slowing the aging process is calorie restriction without malnutrition. Why? It’s not simply losing weight but orchestrating the complex interplay of reducing senescent cells, reprograming your metabolism, and changing gene expression, leading to a longer and better life.  

A Timeline of Calorie Restriction  

The first recorded human experiments with calorie restriction began with the written books of Luigi Cornaro in the 16th century, as I outlined in my book The Anti-Aging Zone, published in 1999. However, the molecular mechanisms of why calorie restriction is so effective required more recent breakthroughs in metabolism and epigenetics that were confirmed with the CALERIE study that carefully controlled the diets of 225 participants over two years and then ongoing testing of their retained blood samples.    

The results of the CALERIE study have been impressive. However, the one clear take-home lesson was that reduction of insulin resistance was the most predictive blood marker correlated with the genetic changes and the decrease in senescent cells that ultimately accelerate aging.  

The Zone on Calorie Restriction  

The Zone diet is a calorie-restricted diet that was patented to reduce insulin resistance. It requires balancing macronutrients at each meal to generate the rapid hormonal changes that give rise to satiety. Only then can you follow calorie restriction for a lifetime without hunger and fatigue. It starts with having enough protein at each meal to create satiety in the brain's appetite control center. You need about 30 grams of protein (no more, but no less) at each meal to generate the same hormonal responses induced by the recent injectable weight loss drugs. However, you also must balance that protein with an adequate level of low-glycemic carbohydrates (about 40 grams) to stabilize blood glucose levels, and then add a dash of monounsaturated fat (about 15 grams). Over the years, it has been demonstrated by more than 40 research publications that the Zone diet is superior to ketogenic diets and the Mediterranean diet under controlled clinical research.   

A New Technology to Slow Down Aging 

Unfortunately, many people think the Zone diet requires too much thinking.  That’s why I developed Zone Foods to overcome that problem. The first generation of Zone Foods demonstrated dramatic reductions in insulin resistance compared to a control group, getting an equal number of calories (1). The second generation of Zone Foods offers greater variety and even more appetite suppression without thinking. This second generation will include new and improved versions of the Zone Pasta and Zone Bars, with new additions of Zone Muffins, Zone Oatmeal, Zone Granola, Zone Soups, and Zone Cookies (coming soon!). Each Zone Food contains 15 grams of protein, balanced with the appropriate level of low-glycemic carbohydrates, so any combination of two Zone Foods will provide the critical 30 grams of protein at a meal to stop hunger and maintain peak mental awareness for the next five hours. The growing variety of Zone Foods makes following the Zone diet incredibly easy. If you are never hungry, that indicates that you are reducing insulin resistance. The long-term benefit to you is slowing aging, which is only possible with lifelong use of Metabolic Engineering that starts with the Zone diet as its foundation.


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