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Body for Life
Body For Life is a challenging 12-week diet and exercise program that promises more energy and strength and less body fat. The program emphasizes eating six small meals, six days a week. It also includes strength training for 45 minutes, three days a week, alternating with aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes, three days a week. The seventh day is considered a free day, where dieters are free to eat anything they want and take a day off from the exercise regimen. The Body For Life program was developed by Bill Phillips, a personal trainer and author of the best-selling book, Body-For-Life.
The Body For Life diet requires eating six small meals a day, drawn from a list of authorized healthy foods. The diet consists of about 40 to 50 percent protein, 40 to 50 percent carbohydrates, and less than 10 percent fat. Each meal contains a fist-sized portion of lean protein (such as chicken breast, fish, egg whites, or low-fat cottage cheese), a fist-sized portion of carbohydrates (like brown rice, potatoes, or pasta), and two portions of vegetables (such as broccoli, asparagus, or lettuce). You must drink 10 glasses of water daily. The diet also recommends dietary supplements and nutritional shakes produced by EAS (a company Phillips founded). A sample menu might feature a ham omelet with whole wheat toast for breakfast; an apple and cheese for a snack; a taco with ground beef, onions and tomatoes for lunch, a nutrition shake for a snack; pepper steak with vegetables for dinner; and a fortified fudgecicle for dessert.
Most experts agree that weight loss from this diet is due to portion control, low- fat and low-calorie foods, and exercise. Calories are reduced from the fist-sized portions of food. The authorized foods tend to be lower in fat and calories than the standard American diet. And the strenuous exercise regimen also burns calories. However, some health experts are concerned about the high protein and low fat content of the diet. The traditional weight loss diet is 20 to 25 percent protein, 60 percent carbohydrates, and 20 to 25 percent fat. There's concern that the diet (with 40 to 50 percent protein) may promote kidney problems.
The Body-for-Life book also contains dramatic before and after photos of people on the program going from flab to fit. "I don't think there's anything special about my DNA," states Phillips. "I think it's a myth that you have to have a certain type of genetics to get in shape."
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