Bill Phillips, a one time supplement company owner and magazine publisher, wrote Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength in the mid 1990s. Phillips, a long time bodybuilder who published a bodybuilding magazine and owned a supplement company, wanted to bring a bodybuilding program to the masses.
The eating program recommends eating six small meals a day, consisting of a balance between lean proteins, and “good” carbs throughout the day. This is done to rev up your metabolism by eating throughout the day, and also curbs hunger by never being without food. The exercise portion involves working out six days a week alternating between high intensity cardio and weight lifting. The focus of his exercise regimen is high intensity, Phillips recommends interval training over long distance running, and short reps at high intensity for weight training.
Most controversial to this diet are the dramatic before and after photos of the participants who have entered Phillips’ weight loss challenge. They show what many believe to be impossible transformations in an alleged 12 week period.
- Solid Plan: At the end of the day the program recommends a simple philosophy; eat right and exercise. There’s no doubt that working out six days a week and eating a balanced diet of lean healthy foods will make you leaner and healthier.
- False Expectations: The real trap with this diet is the false expectations it might invoke with some of its users. My assertion is not that the before and after pictures are fake, but that it’s likely the people who took them were at one time in great shape before in their life. Muscle memory is a very real thing, and it’s much easier for someone who was once in shape to get back in shape, then it is for someone who never was in shape to get there.
While Phillips has his heart in the right place, he seems to encourage all or nothing mentality to weight loss. All in all though, this is a very solid and sensible approach to weight loss…if a bit regimented.