Because of his connection with Oprah Winfrey, many, many Americans have come to recognize the name 'Bob Greene'. He's attributed for not only helping Oprah overcome her battle with her weight but for now also leading many others to also overcome barriers that in the past have kept them from achieving their goals.
With a variety of books and magazine articles lining the shelves Bob Greene is no stranger to fitness. How does his plan rack up against the rest? Is it truly something that is going to put you at an advantage when considering the best way to go about losing weight?
Bob Greene explains his diet as not being like a conventional plan where you are either following the diet or you aren't. Rather it is a lifestyle approach that will not only allow you to lose weight but then also maintain it as you continue on with the plan permanently.
This is a good approach to a diet because right away, anything that you can't foresee yourself doing for more than a week or two, assuming you want to maintain the weight you lose, isn't likely the best option. Often these types of diets are quick fixes that will leave you back in the same place in a month or two after you've lost weight but then regained it when you went back to your prior eating habits.
The Best Life
The Best Life diet is divided into three phases, which allows you to go at your own pace, and also works with you along the way to tackle bigger barriers you may have to overcome such as emotional eating.
In the first phase of the diet you will work on adopting more healthy habits and replacing your old negative ones. You'll begin drinking more water, taking a multi-vitamin and eating at least three times per day, while avoiding food right before bed.
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During this phase Bob Greene also recommends that you perform some form of aerobic exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes three days per week. If you were already exercising prior to starting the program, then he recommends you increase the number of days per week you are exercising.
This phase is meant to last for four weeks, provided you are seeing weight loss during this time. If not, it's recommended you stick with it for a little longer until weight loss starts taking place.
Then when you are ready you will move into stage two of the diet program. During this phase fried foods, soft drinks, white bread, regular pasta and high fat dairy products will also be scratched off the list of foods you are able to eat. Instead you will now replace them with whole grain products, olive oil, skim milk, vegetables and fruits.
You continue on with this stage of the plan until you are only 20 more pounds away from your goal weight, when you will move into phase three.
During phase three you will begin to re-introduce some of the foods that were previously banned during phase two but being sure to only consume them in moderation. This is the stage that is going to set you more up for a lifetime approach where you are allowed to treat yourself once in a while as long as you maintain the rest of your good habits the remainder of the time.
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The average number of calories that dieters can expect to consume on the plan is 1700, however if you do more exercise than the plan recommends then you are allowed to start adding more additional calories to your intake to make up for it.
The diet has an online website where users can go that includes a variety of recipes, community support, products to buy and further articles about how to implement the diet into your life. For this reason it is very good for someone who does need some emotional support while dieting and likes to have lots of information at their fingertips.
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How Does It Stack Up?
So how does this stack up against the rest though?
Overall this is a decent dietary approach as it does not have you eliminating any major food groups and does not place you in some starvation mode in an attempt at weight loss. One consideration on that note however is that at an average intake of 1700 calories per day, some smaller individuals may find this way too high to lose weight.
Say for instance that you are a five foot tall woman who weighs 120 pounds and wishes to get down to 110, a better intake for you will probably be around the lines of 1300 calories as your maintenance intake is likely around the 1700 calorie mark. Since you need to eat less than maintenance to lose weight, trying to diet at 1700 calories would be futile to your goals.
The other major problem with this diet is if you are very serious about body recompositioning or are training with an intense lifting program, it likely will not be of much use to you. The reason being because it doesn't give very specific recommendations in terms of how much protein, fat or carbohydrates to consume.
Furthermore, it doesn't outline pre and post workout nutrition, both of which are going to make a big difference in the results you see from your workouts.
Pre & Post Workout Nutrition:
Additionally, there isn't really a lot of recommendations in the program in terms of resistance training, but Bob Greene seems more focused on aerobic activity, which is still good however is not the best means to go about achieving a desirable weight loss.
This problem though can be easily remedied by doing some of your own research and coming up with your own lifting routine.
The foods the diet encourages are ones that should constitute a good weight loss program, being lean sources of protein, healthy fats like almonds and complex carbohydrates supplemented with fruits and vegetables.
This diet would be really great for a beginner who is just looking to get into a better nutritional program as it does walk you through stages that you move through at your own comfortable pace.
This allows you to learn about how your body is responding to the diet as you go along and discover what works for you and what doesn't. This is a good thing for a beginner to learn as it will then help them determine which type of diet will be the best for them to follow should they ever choose to move away from Bob Green's diet and onto one of their own.
So if you are looking for a diet that does not take things to extremes and uses a well rounded approach, definitely consider the Best Life Diet. While there are no magical principles behind this diet that will help with fat loss, aside from eating right and exercising, it will promote good health habits that you can then carry out during the rest of your life.
Overall Diet Rating: 3.5/5