Navigate / search

THE BODY FOR LIFE DIET

THE BODY FOR LIFE DIET

The body for life diet is a high protein low-fat diet that not only helps you lose weight but will also result in getting more toned and in better shape.  The diet consists of a 12-week programme called a challenge.  The challenge is not only a diet but also a demanding exercise programme.

PROS

Weight-loss:  Combining the recommended food portions along with the exercise programme results in rapid weight-loss.

No calorie counting:  The diet recommends having five to six smaller meals a day.  These should consist of a portion (the size of the palm of your hand) of lean protein and a portion of unrefined, wholegrain carbohydrates.  The amount of daily fat recommended is only one tablespoon and it must be monosaturated fat.  It is suggested that those following the diet estimate the portion sizes rather than measuring amounts exactly.

Many resources:  There are many books by Bill Phillips who developed the diet.  There are also many resources online as well as motivational videos and material.  Many different meal plans are also available online and in the books.

Cheat days:  The diet should be followed for six days and every seventh day is a cheat day where you can eat whatever you like.  This is especially useful if you are eating out.  However, if you go on a food binge you may undo a lot of the good work done in the last six days.  On your cheat day you just don’t have to stick to certain foods or portion sizes.

In better shape:  Exercise is a big part of this diet but will result in you being more toned and in better shape.  What Bill Phillips recommends is alternate each day with forty-five minutes of weight training exercises one day and 20 minutes aerobic exercises on the other days.  Every seventh day should be a rest, your cheat day.  There are many resources where the exercises are explained in more detail.

CONS

Cost: The exercises are intense and it is recommended that they are best done in a gym with the correct equipment and where there are fitness professionals to assist you.  Of course, this is an added expense.

It’s not for everybody:  Before anyone begins the body for life diet they should speak to their doctor.  It is very rigorous, especially the exercises, and your doctor may not recommend it for you.  The high protein content is also not suitable for everyone.

It is more difficult for vegetarians:  The diet does consist of a lot of protein which vegetarians may find difficult to meet each day.  Recommended sources of protein for vegetarians are tempeh, soy, textured vegetable protein and                 seitan.  It is not impossible for vegetarians to follow this diet but it will be more difficult.

Supplements: Bill Phillips does recommend that those following the diet should also take a lot of supplements but nutritionists feel that this is unnecessary.

The body for life diet is a high protein low-fat diet that is more concerned with portions than calorie counting.  It is easy to follow as far as the food portions are concerned.  The exercises are harder to stick to if you are not used to exercising regularly.  The meals combined with the exercises however, will result in weight loss, a toned body and you will be in better shape.  The diet is not that restrictive about what you can eat and there is a cheat day every seven days.  It is a 12 week programme but to maintain a healthy weight it is recommended that you continue to follow it after the twelve weeks.  The body for life diet isn’t for everyone but those who follow it do enjoy great results.

 

    The Eat Clean Diet

    THE EAT CLEAN DIET

    Eating clean basically means eating food that has not been processed or refined and is as close to its natural form as possible.  This also means excluding foods that contain artificial ingredients, are grown using chemicals and pesticides and bred with the help of hormones or antibiotics.  The diet is very much based on the concept of “you are what you eat”.

    PROS

    Weight-loss:  By swapping processed foods with lots of additives for natural food you will begin lose weight.  This has been proven in many studies.

    You will not be hungry:  The eat clean diet recommends you eat six smaller meals a day as it is more healthy to eat little and often.  This will also prevent you from feeling hungry.

    It is not a raw food diet:  Cooked food is not completely in its natural state but as long as is fresh and unprocessed you can cook it and still stick to the diet.

    It is flexible:  It is up to you how ‘clean’ you go.  While some people choose to just cut out processed foods others also choose to only eat seasonal foods, avoiding imported goods and only buying meat produced to high animal welfare standards.

    Health benefits: Studies have proven that clean eating prevents conditions such as anaemia and osteoporosis, can reduce the risk of heart disease, having a stroke and even certain types of cancer.  You will also appear healthier as it also has benefits for your hair, skin and nails.  Those following the diet also say that they feel more healthy and less tired.

    It is sustainable:  The eat clean diet is easy to sustain over a long period of time.  It is supported by many dietician and its creator prefers it to be thought of as a lifestyle change rather than a diet.  You will be eating different foods from what you are used to but you will feel just as full and may even eat more often than you are used to.

    CONS

    A lot of label reading:  It is advisable that you read the labels on the food you buy before making a purchase.  You may find it surprising how many foods that seem clean have a lot of added sugar and artificial ingredients.

    More time consuming:  Easy to cook ready-meals are processed and have lots of added ingredients for flavour.  Eating clean involves eating a lot of fresh produce which will mean more time preparing and cooking meals.

    No alcohol:  Alcohol is certainly not close to the foods natural form and has much added to it so is not considered part of clean eating.

    Conclusion: The eat clean diet is a sustainable, long-term diet.  It encourages eating food that is not processed and does not contain additives and flavourings.  A simple question to ask yourself when buying food is “How close is this to its natural form?” The eat clean diet is not very restrictive with regards to what you can eat and encourages you to eat often ensuring that you never get hungry.  It is all about what you eat rather than how much.

     

     

      The Zone Diet

      THE ZONE DIET

      The zone diet, also known as the 40/30/30 diet, recommends the amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat you should have each day in order to maintain a balanced diet. There are two forms of this diet which vary in the amount of each food they suggest you should have each day.  The more restrictive version of this diet suggests that at every meal 1/3 of your plate should be protein, 2/3 of your plate should be carbs and then you add a dash of fat.  The other version suggests that 40% of your plate should be carbs while 30% should be protein and the remaining 30% fat. This diet was originally developed by Dr Barry Sears in order to reduce diet-induced inflammation.  Dr Sears believed this inflammation led to weight gain, sickness and faster aging.  Therefore, by reducing inflammation you can lose weight, reduce your risk of chronic illness and slow down the aging process.

      PROS

      Weight-loss:  Studies done on the zone diet have shown that it does not only prevent one from gaining weight but that it leads to weight loss

      Health benefits:  This diet was developed to reduce inflammation and in turn lose fat quickly, reduce the risk of chronic disease, slow down the aging process and improve both mental and physical performance

      No food group is excluded:  This diet includes carbs, protein and fat but ensure you eat lean protein, low glycemic index carbs and monosaturated fat.  Foods that are not encouraged are those that are processed, high in sugar and starch or have refined carbs and added sugar.

      Easy to follow:  The hand-eye method and is the easiest way to start the diet.  Your five fingers remind you to eat five times a day (three large meals and two snacks) and to never go more than five hours without food.  You also use the size of your hand to determine your portion sizes or you can use your eyes to estimate portion sizes.

      The diet can be personalised: For those who like to be more vigilant when following diets there is the zone food block method.  You calculate how many grams of carbs, protein and fat you have per day, these are then converted into zone blocks.  The amount of zone blocks you should have each day depends on your weight, height and waist and hip measurements.  The amount of recommended blocks a day also differs between men and women.

      It is sustainable: There is no time limit with the zone diet and therefore, is suggested as way of life rather than a quick way to lose weight.  This does mean, however that it is sustainable and will help you maintain a healthy weight.

      Flexibility:  There are two versions to this diet so you can ease into it by starting with the 40/30/30 diet and then begin the zone diet.  It is up to you if you want to do the more restrictive diet or stay with the 40/30/30 diet.

      CONS

      Lack of evidence:  While the zone diet does claim to have many health benefits, there is little evidence to support these claims.  The one benefit it claims that has been proven is that it helps with weight-loss

      Time consuming:  The zone food block method and very complicated to follow at first but does produce the best results.  If you choose to follow the zone food block method you will need to do research either on the internet or investing in a zone diet book.  You will also need a set of scales and then have to weigh everything you put into a meal (that includes snacks) to ensure you are getting the right amount of zone food blocks.

      Eating out may be difficult:  You will probably find it hard to eat at restaurants while sticking to the zone diet as their meals will probably not be divided into the portions (or food blocks) recommended on the zone diet.

      Conclusion: One of the biggest advantages of the zone diet is that it is flexible depending on which method you choose to follow and it doesn’t exclude any food but rather makes suggestions.  The diet does claim to have health benefits, other than weight-loss but there is not enough evidence to prove these claims.