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Body for Life Diet

What it is: Bill Phillips’ “Body for Life” diet is a 12-week program that combines vigorous exercise with eating frequent, small meals. Dieters engage in aerobic exercise at least three days a week and engage in regular weight training. Based on the bestselling book of the same name, the Body for Life Diet promises that you will not only lose weight, you will gain an incredible figure.

How it works: The Body for Life diet comes with an authorized list of recommended foods. Because many are low-calorie options, even though you eat frequently, you are consuming fewer calories than you typically would. The idea is that healthy eating, paired with a regular exercise regimen, will result in burning more calories than you are consuming. Additionally, muscle building from weight training will increase your metabolic rate, helping you to burn more calories at rest.

What you do: The basic tenets of the diet are as follows:

  • Eat six moderate-sized meals per day including a fist-sized portion of protein, the same size portion of carbohydrates and two servings of vegetables
  • Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  • Nutritional supplements (vitamins) and healthy oils (flaxseed, for example) are recommended

The authorized foods list includes items like lean beef, fish, salmon, sweet potatoes, oatmeal and almost all fruits and vegetables. Dieters also must exercise frequently. The Body for Life Diet requires 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three days per week, alternating with 45 minutes of weight training three days per week.

Benefits: Eating many meals will help make your metabolism more efficient. But don’t expect to look like a Greek god or goddess after only 12 weeks - achieving a chiseled form will require advanced training beyond Body for Life, doctors caution.

The Down Side:
Experts warn that the amount of exercise Body for Life requires may be too much for beginners. While fitness experts think it would be great to see people working this hard, they note that fewer than 15% of Americans complete the minimum exercise recommendation per day. Others caution that someone with less-than-perfect kidney function may have trouble with a diet that consists of 40-50% protein.

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