Morgan is a doctoral candidate in the field of clinical nutrition and nutritional neuroscience, having received her bachelors degree from Central Washington University.
Body for Life promises to bring about massive results in 12 weeks. Unlike the majority of diet and exercise plans, Body for Life is truly a combination approach: diet and exercise receive equal time in the spotlight. Six days a week, dieters stick with the Body for life plan, eating six small meals per day, comprised of carbohydrate and protein with little fat. Dieters will also exercise six days per week, with three days devoted to strength training and three to cardiovascular exercise. The seventh day is permitted as a rest day; dieters are also allowed to use this day as a dietary ”cheat” day, wherein they are able to consume foods not typically permitted on the Body for Life plan.
Trainer Bill Phillips created the Body for Life plan, recognizing that many dieters want quick results, and that dieters who achieve these results will be more motivated to commit to the plan long-term.
The Body for Life program hits the ground running; dieters will likely fail to stick with the plan long-term, struggling to incorporate the plan’s meal structure and exercise routine without support.
The only costs to Body for Life Dieters are from groceries and the Body for Life book. Online resources are also available, including forums, tools, and sample meal plans. Body for Life also sells supplements, which are unnecessary for the majority of dieters.
The amount of time invested in the Body for Life plan is ultimately no greater than that of other diet and weight loss plans; exercise duration is less than 1 hour per session, which is very modest, although dieters unaccustomed to exercise may struggle at the onset of the routine. However, the six small meal structure may prove tricky for busy dieters.
Body for Life loses points in safety, thanks to its’ very low-fat approach; CDC recommendations for total fat intake for adults is 20-35% total Calories. Overweight dieters will likely be injured without hands-on exercise instruction.
The Body for Life plan is a fairly debated diet, thanks to its low fat intake and regimented exercise plan, which may be too strenuous for overweight participants at the beginning of a lifestyle change.
Benefits: The Body for Life program is very structured, which may appeal to some dieters. It also provides instruction in both diet and exercise, both of which are components of a healthy lifestyle.
Downsides: Although the Body for Life exercise regimen is fairly brief (each exercise session lasting less than 1 hour, dieters not accustomed to exercise may injure themselves without formal training. The diet’s relative lack of fat is also potentially problematic, with protein and carbohydrate comprising roughly 90% of total Caloric intake. Dieters may struggle with regimented diet and exercise without in-person support. Many dieters will give into binge-style eating on their “free day,” a damaging and de-motivational behavior that could be avoided with a more moderate, gradual approach.
The Bottom Line: The Body for Life plan will undoubtedly promote weight loss, but it’s an overly ambitious plan for the majority of dieters just starting out, and is nutritionally limiting.