Popular Diets
The Body for Life Diet

Body for Life is a 12-week diet and exercise program, and an annual physique transformation competition...

Body for Life Pictures

Body for Life pictures in popular diets

Before and after pictures.

Bill Phillips, a competitive bodybuilder and manufacturer of nutritional supplements, founded these programs and promoted them with a best-selling book of the same name. The competition dates back to 1996. Contestants write an essay about their experience complete with before and after bathing suit pictures. Since the first prize is $1 million you may want to stuff yourself prior to taking that before picture. Unlike most diets, this program focuses on exercise. If you canít or wonít commit to a serious exercise regime, Body for Life is definitely not for you. As always check with your health-care professional before undertaking any diet or serious exercise program.

The human body readily adapts to nutritional changes. When you eat fewer calories your metabolism slows down and your body burns more muscle than fat. When the diet ends and you return to your previous calorie intake you may gain weight faster than before. Body for Life addresses this problem by adding a serious exercise component to your dieting. Their exercise program includes weight training that builds skeletal muscles and increases your metabolism. You maximize your energy expenditure and fat loss.

You exercise six days a week alternating upper-body weight training, aerobic exercise, and lower-body weight training. This schedule gives your muscles enough time to recover between sessions. As you proceed through the 12-week session you increase the exercise intensity. Because you are getting fitter, this increase should not be a problem for most people. But remember, Rome wasnít built in a day. Take into careful account your age, general physical shape, and specific health problems before stepping up the intensity.

Body for Life diet book in popular diets

Read, exercise, and diet.

The upper-body muscle exercises address the Pecs (chest), Lats (upper back), Deltoids (shoulders), Triceps (rear arms), and Biceps (front arms). The lower-body muscle exercises address the Quadriceps (front legs), Hamstrings, Calves, and Abs (torso). Different exercises require different equipment such as barbells, dumbbells, or a cable machine. A weight-training session should last no more than 45 minutes.

Acceptable aerobic exercises include walking, running, bicycling, swimming, and use some machines such as a treadmill or cross-trainer. Body for Life aerobic sessions are acceptable, most other aerobic classes are not. Limit your aerobic exercise sessions to 10 minutes duration, ideally the first thing in the morning. They recommend that your finish a session at a 10 (flat out) intensity level. Please discuss such training intensity with your health-care professional.

The program requires six moderate-sized meals a day. Each meal consists of a fist-sized portion of protein such as 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 Phillips company and a little flaxseed or other healthy oil round out the diet. This diet breaks down to about 40%-50% protein, 40%-50% carbohydrates, and very little fat. In comparison a traditional weight-loss diet is 60% carbohydrates, 20-25% protein, and 20-25% fat.

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