Best Life Diet

Cheryl Zielke
green salad and crackers

Bob Greene, author of the Best Life Diet, met Oprah at a spa in Colorado. He later would become the guy behind Oprah's 90 pound weight loss and first marathon achievement. Subsequently, due to Mr. Greene's association with Oprah and his success rate with weight loss, the Best Life Diet has become a top selling diet book.

Basics of the Best Life Diet

In its book format, the Best Life Diet covers chapters on healthy food choices, beneficial physical fitness exercises, motivational tips, recipes, and more. Furthermore, this plan is not about quick weight loss or counting calories, but rather an action plan for permanent eating behavior changes meant for the long haul. With this in mind, the basics of the program include four specific parts to the plan. These are:

  • The 3 Big Questions
  • 8 Ways to Curb Your Appetite
  • 6 Foods to Avoid
  • Your Hunger Scale

The 3 Big Questions

First and foremost, according to the author, a person struggling with food issues must determine the root of the cause in order to make appropriate lifetime changes. For this reason, the following questions are important to the success on the Best Life Diet.

  1. Why am I overweight?
  2. Why do I want to lose weight?
  3. Why have I been unable to maintain my weight loss in the past?

By answering these questions and contemplating the responses, the hope is that you will be directed toward deep mindful changes in your eating habits. Think of it as a mini psychology session with yourself.

8 Ways to Curb Your Appetite

The nuts and bolts of this aspect of the program are basic nutrition principles for weight loss.

  • eat every 3 - 4 hours
  • load up on fiber rich foods and water
  • protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates are important inclusions of each meal and snack
  • delay going for seconds or the next course for 20 minutes to give the brain enough time to signal satiety level
  • avoid food environments when it is not time to eat.
  • exercise
  • figure out triggers that cause you to overeat
  • get enough sleep

6 Foods to Avoid

You may have heard this before, but the following foods are on Bob Greene's list to avoid during phase 1 and 2 of his program:

  • soft drinks
  • trans fat
  • fried foods
  • white bread
  • white pasta
  • high fat dairy products

Your Hunger Scale

This component is essential to the Best Life Diet in order to mindfully choose and eat in accordance with your body's needs. The scale is based on ten descriptions to assess level of hunger at any given time, ranging from "stuffed" at #10, to "weak and light-headed" at #1. Depending on where your hunger level falls will determine if and when you eat.

The Three Phases

Phase 1: Rev Up

It is during this 4 week period that followers begin the journey of behavior modifications. These changes involve moving more, eating three meals and one snack each day, including a breakfast meal, eliminating alcohol, drinking a glass of water with each meal, taking a multi-vitamin with omega-3 and calcium if food choices are not supplying adequate amounts, not eating two hours before bedtime, avoiding the six identified foods, and weighing yourself at the onset of the phase and after the fourth week.

Phase 2: The Switch

Advancement to this stage is followed if no weight was lost in the first phase of the program. However, if at least a pound of weight was lost during the first phase, then phase one is to be continued until no further weight loss is experienced. Again, this phase is followed for at least 4 weeks and weight loss is expected to be quite evident with at least one pound a week. Fine-tuning certain behaviors, such as eliminating those higher calorie foods you are eating, increasing exercise, keeping a food diary, preparing healthier recipes, and weighing yourself once a week is part of this stage.

Phase 3: Happily Ever After This step in the Best Life Diet eases up food restrictions and allows for a happy medium between occasional indulgences and old habits of overeating. Termed "luxury calories", foods such as dark chocolate, pizza, and a glass of wine can be consumed without guilt. However, since weight loss is determined by the number of calories in versus the number of calories used, exercise is an important criterion here. For example, Bob recommends that if you are at level one of fitness, you can add a 100 calorie treat to your day, while a fitness level of five will allow for a 300 calorie indulgence.

Other Tools

Printable shopping lists, recipes, food journal, meal plans, including Oprah's seven-day meal plan, message board, free diet profile, cardio workouts, strength training exercise suggestions, advice on nutrition and several articles pertaining to weight loss are all part of the Best Life Diet.

Pros and Cons

The Best Life Diet works because it is a healthful, life-long, instructional book about proper nutrition and exercise. Oprah's input helps too, as whatever she touches or speaks of generally turns to gold. However, the plan may not be for everyone trying to lose weight for a few reasons. First, if you are not a cook or do not have a chef to prepare your meals, it may not be as easy and simple as it seems. Similarly, the shopping list includes pricey brands, such as Cascadian Farms, Muir Glen, and 8th Continent which may not be affordable for everyone. The idea that other brand names are part of that list seems a bit unsettling as well, adding a rather strong marketing element to the program. However, whether you "buy" into it or not, the Best Life Diet is a path to a healthy lifestyle. It is wise to check with your medical practitioner before beginning any exercise or dietary regimen.

Resources

Official Best Life Diet Website

Purchase a copy of the book

Best Life Diet