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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 May 23, 2016

The word diet often has negative connotations. It is often thought of as a period of constant hunger and fatigue to get into a swimsuit. People often also regain all the lost weight and more after stopping the diet.

A recent article reinforces this idea in Obesity that demonstrates the contestants in the Biggest Loser television series had virtually regained all their lost weight in a six-year period. This was followed by an article in the New York Times entitled, “Why You Can’t Lose Weight on a Diet.”

What Does the Word Diet Really Mean?

The word diet comes from the Greek root, which means “way of life.” This means that a diet should be followed for your lifetime, depending on your goal.

The American Heart Association diet, the American Cancer Association diet, and the American Diabetes Association diet were all designed to prevent or treat a particular condition and should be followed for life. The Mediterranean diet is to be followed for a healthy life. And of course, the Zone Diet is to be followed for a lifetime to maintain inflammation in a manageable range consistent with optimal wellness.

The Secret to Making Your Diet Work

The secret to maintaining any diet, whatever the goal, is that you can’t be hungry or fatigued. But hunger and fatigue don’t just mysteriously appear; they are symptoms that indicate that your diet is not working. Hunger and fatigue are the consequence of increased inflammation in your gut, your organs, and your brain.

There are many causes of inflammation that you will never see on social media or in academic journals because it is overwhelming. Here are just a few:

  • Excess dietary omega-6 fatty acids increases the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids.
  • Excess dietary palmitic acid increases inflammation in the hypothalamus, causing hunger.
  • Increased gut permeability caused by lack of dietary fermentable fiber that leads to increased bacterial fragments entering the blood, causing metabolic endotoxemia (the release of toxins into the blood from gut bacteria).
  • Excess dietary fat that increases the transport of bacterial fragments into the blood cause even more metabolic endotoxemia.
  • Excess consumption of dietary calories causing inflammation in the hypothalamus, increasing hunger.
  • Lack of adequate levels of dietary polyphenols to control the microbial composition of the gut and reduce oxidative stress in the body.
  • Lack of adequate levels of dietary omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and increase resolution in the gut, blood, and the brain.

You can see the word dietary appearing over and over in these various causes of inflammation.

This indicates that most of our woes in our health care system are a consequence of the diet. Unless you address each of these diet-induced causes of inflammation, you are going to have hard time maintaining optimal wellness. This is the challenge I took on when developing the Zone Diet.

The Zone Diet is Even Easier Now

First and foremost, the Zone Diet is based on calorie restriction, but without hunger and fatigue. The first generation of the Zone Diet required a person to constantly pay attention to balancing protein, carbohydrate, and fat at every meal. In addition, I took out the three things (pasta, pizza, and pastries) in the diet people really like to eat.

I guess my tough love was a little too much for busy people who needed easy short fixes resulting in long-term solutions. I could just say, “too bad,” or I could try to solve the problem with the evolution of the Zone Diet. I choose the latter approach.

This choice led to the development a new series of protein-based foods that could take the place of non-sustainable animal protein. Furthermore, these new foods were in a format that would be more convenient and more desirable than the foods people were already eating. After all, that is the only way to encourage people to make dietary changes. The resulting diet would have to create far greater appetite suppression with even greater energy compared to the first generation of the Zone  ̶  a formidable challenge to undertake, but not an impossible one to achieve.

What made it possible was the patented technology to create Zone PastaRx®. Zone PastaRx looks and tastes like the foods that in the past always made you put on body fat, but now they make you leaner.

Why? Because PastaRx is able to suppress appetite and stabilize blood sugar levels with improved hormonal control. This evolution of the Zone Diet changes the hormones in three areas of the body (gut, blood, and the brain), whereas the original Zone Diet could only change the hormones in the blood. In effect, this evolution of the Zone has three times the hormonal benefits using the foods you like to eat as a novel protein source.

What if you ate a diet consisting of Zone PastaRx with some non-starchy vegetables (for the fermentable fiber) for lifetime with the result of never being hungry or fatigued?

Furthermore, what if dozens of recipes were already tested and posted online so you don’t have to even think about variety?

I am taking a wild guess that most people could follow such a diet for a lifetime. By following this next generation of the Zone Diet, you will reduce diet-induced inflammation that is the underlying cause of the development of chronic disease, as well as the acceleration of the aging process. If you add high-doses of purified omega-3 fatty acids (OmegaRx®) and purified polyphenol extracts, you simply take those inflammation control benefits from the next generation of the Zone Diet to new higher level.

Studies Have Shown that PastaRx Reduces Insulin Resistance

The motto of Zone Labs is Evidence-based Wellness®. This simply means, “show me the data.”

In two clinical experiments using Zone PastaRx, we observed dramatic reductions in the level of insulin resistance in obese subjects using meals consisting of Zone PastaRx when compared to control groups using gluten-free pasta. Inflammation is what causes insulin resistance.  In fact, the reduction in insulin resistance in the subjects consuming Zone PastaRx was equal to that of giving insulin injections for newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic patients according to a study.

I think you can see why I believe the future for the evolution of the Zone Diet is extremely bright; because Zone Pasta makes diets work.New call-to-action


  1. Fothergill E et al. “Persistent metabolic adaption 6 years after ‘The Biggest Loser’ competition.” Obesity 24: doi: 10.1002/oby.21538 (2016).
  2. Aamodt S. “Why you can’t lose weight on a diet”. New York Times. May 6, 2016.
  3. Sears B and Perry M. “The role of fatty acids in insulin resistance.” Lipids Health Dis 14:121 (2015).
  4. Wang D et al. “Effects of intensive insulin therapy upon pancreatic β cell function in patients newly diagnosed with type II diabetes”. Int J Clin Exp Med 8:1391–1395 (2015).

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