"The Life Plan Diet" (Book Review)
Getting lean and being healthy for a long life is pretty much everyone’s goal. The problem is, these long-term goals may not seem immediate enough to strive for now. For people who don’t have an immediate urge for long-term health, but want to do something that will make a difference now, The Life Plan Diet is a great place to start.
The Life Plan Diet was written by Dr. Life. Yes, that’s his name, Jeffry Life. Life was a physician working at a family practice when he became fed up with his own appearance and health at the age of 59, so he took on and won the Body for Life contest. He is now nearing eighty years old and looks great.
About the Book
The book opens by giving a lot of great reasons why we should get lean. Dr. Life defines lean as less than fifteen percent body fat, which he says that any man of any age should strive for. Some diet books consider fat burning to be a given goal for readers. Others give the old standby reasons of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and appearance. Life does the latter in this book, with the science in tow, but he also gives some other reasons that might also speak to the younger men who aren’t looking at the long-term consequences just yet.
The other reasons for getting lean might be snoring and other sleep problems, as well as sexual dysfunction. You know, things every man wants to avoid right now. And if you’re not sure if these things have begun to affect you yet, he gives questionnaires to help determine your situation. He goes on to explain how stress alters eating and eating alters stress, which can in turn ruin your health and your progress.
Tools for Success
Once the rationale is explained, Dr. Life describes how to measure your progress. For me, this is the key to the book, and what separates it from other books of its kind. As a strength coach and a nutritionist, I think consistent progress is critical. The only way consistent progress is assured is with reliable and easy-to-use metrics and tools to measure it. Dr. Life gives you a few ways to measure where you are, then gives you charts to track what you’ve measured.
The Diet Plan
After that we get into the diet itself. Dr. Life discusses how and why to choose the best foods. There’s also a full-blown shopping list, as well as weeks worth of meals that ramp up to the full diet. The diet includes fasting, so be prepared for that. I’m a fan of fasting myself, and I think it’s great that it’s included here. Like everything else, the reasoning is explained.
The diet consists of periods of fasting, followed about normal days of around four meals. Each meal is set to a specific macronutrient profile, and Dr. Life outlines and provides many examples to help you select foods. He focuses on low glycemic options that are high in fiber, micronutrients, and protein and can be modified pretty easily for people with special dietary needs. There are no real surprises in the diet, and that's a great thing as it sticks to what we know works.
There are only a few things I don’t love about the book. The concepts are nothing new, which isn’t bad, but as a result it might be a bit outdated at times. For example, he talks about low fat diets and the evils of saturated fat, which is losing some of its scientific backing of late. His description of the paleo diet is also a misrepresentation. All that said, none of these criticisms are damning.
All in all, I think this is a great book for people who are looking to get in shape. Even more importantly, it's a solid resource to help them stay in shape once they get there. Dr. Life is a great example himself. You’ll find this book gives you everything you need to get healthy.
The Life Plan Diet is available for $19.71 at Amazon.com.