Body for Life (cont.)

What You Can Eat

The good news is that with all the work Body-for-Life requires, you have to eat. Grazing, not gorging, is the key. The program requires you to eat six moderate-sized meals a day. Each meal consists of a fist-sized portion of protein -- lean mean, poultry, fish, egg whites, or cottage cheese -- and a fist-sized portion of carbohydrates such as potatoes or brown rice. You must also eat at least two portions of vegetables, and drink 10 glasses of water each day. Nutritional supplements (sold by another company that Phillips founded) and a tablespoon or two of healthy oil (such as flaxseed) round out the diet.

The diet breaks down to about 40%-50% protein, the same for carbohydrates, and very little fat. (A traditional weight-loss diet is 60% carbohydrates, 20-25% protein, and 20-25% fat.)

Body-for-Life provides this list of authorized foods to choose from:

Proteins

  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Swordfish
  • Haddock
  • Orange roughy
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Top round or top sirloin steak
  • Lean ground beef
  • Buffalo
  • Egg whites
  • Lean ham
  • Low-fat cottage cheese

Carbohydrates

  • Baked potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Yam
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Steamed brown rice
  • Steamed wild rice
  • Pasta
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Strawberries
  • Melon
  • Apple
  • Orange
  • Fat-free yogurt
  • Whole-wheat bread

Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Lettuce
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Tomato
  • Peas
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Artichoke
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Onion

How It Works

Bottom line: You eat fewer calories and you burn more calories in exercise.

The foods on Body-for-Life's authorized list tend to be lower in calories than standard American fare. By eating fist-sized portions, you're sure to consume fewer calories, even if you are eating six meals a day.

Also, the intense weight lifting will build muscle, which lifts your metabolic rate all day. By exercising strenuously six days a week, eventually you'll burn more calories around the clock.

What the Experts Say

Body-for-Life's program is effective if you follow it closely, but it may require too much exercise for most people.

"There's an element of truth and an element of science and a lot of hype to this program," says fitness expert Steven N. Blair, PED, director of research at the renowned Cooper Institute in Dallas.