Bill Phillips Weighs In On Eating Right For Life
By Mike Falcon, Spotlight Health
With medical adviser Stephen A. Shoop, M.D.
With renewed resolve, millions of American's are once again chanting their
annual January "D"-word mantra, restricting their calories in a tortuous attempt
to shed pounds. But fitness guru Bill Phillips says their faith is misplaced.
"I don't believe in diets," states Phillips, who has helped millions of readers
lose weight and get fit through his best-selling Body for Life books.
"The premise of dieting is that you'll find a certain plan or certain metabolic
'trick' that will allow you to succeed in this war against food. The trouble
with this is that food is not your enemy. You cannot win a fight with food or
banish it, because you will always need it."
In his newest book, Eating for Life, Phillips details why diets don't
work, establishes a simple eating plan, and provides klutz-proof recipes for
appealing, nutritious meals.
The facts support Phillips' anti-diet philosophy.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, over 95% of people who begin a weight-loss
diet each year regain their pre-diet weight or put on more pounds. Despite
the availability of more fitness clubs, exercise programs, special diet foods,
and information than ever before, one can only wonder why Americans aren't achieving
Phillips says the only thing dieting is good for is to sustain a growing $40-billion
That's really bad news for Americans because:
- Almost two-thirds of US adults, about 130 million people, are overweight,
according to data from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination
- The number of obese individuals, those who are overweight and carry unusually large and
dangerous amounts of body fat, has risen to 30.9% in 2000, according to the
same survey. That's more than double the 13.3% seen in 1960.
- In 1991, only four states saw obese people making up 15% of the population, and none had more than 16%.
In 2000, every state except Colorado has obesity rates of more than 15%, with
22 having rates of 20% or more.
These statistics combined with the legions of people who diet without sustainable
weight loss forecast pitiful success in improving our waistlines or our health.
"I'm not a big fan of the saying, 'where there's a will, there's a way,'" Phillips
observes. "The tenacity of dieters who come back again and again to diets that
are supposed to work and help them lose weight, but do not, is proof that where
there is will, the right way may or may not surface."
If we're not going to diet, how can we lose weight and become more fit?
"It's a lifestyle," states Phillips, who languished 30 pounds overweight for
years before developing his Body for Life program. "If you can't live the lifestyle,
it's just not going to be sustained. Theory is great, but if you can't comfortably
live the program, it just remains theory."
Phillips' "lifestyle" is not a landscape of scarily small salads adorned with
an eensy-teensy slice of some esoteric tropical fruit. Quite the contrary,
the fundamental dynamic underlying Phillips' lifestyle is diametrically opposed
to starvation-style dieting.
According to Phillips, any healthy nutritional program must embrace two concepts:
the enjoyment inherent in eating and eating often.
While more frequent eating is counterintuitive to a person trying to lose
weight, Phillips says it is a critical component of an interdependent four-step
program he calls FACTs. These include:
Foods - Phillips emphasizes that fats, carbohydrates, protein, and water
all need to be consumed in a successful lifestyle plan. "We have yet to see
the end result of diets where people are, in essence, given a life sentence
without certain foods," Phillips says, "but we know that the vast majority of
people on these diets cannot sustain the programs, and feel emotionally and
physically miserable as well."
Amounts - Americans have actually been conditioned to demand large amounts
of unhealthy, fattening foods because of our pervasive dieting and fast food
culture, notes Phillips. "Eating smaller, balanced, easy-to-prepare foods more
often is one of the best ways to steer clear of the fast-food feeding frenzy
that occurs when you've neglected a meal and are ravenous enough to throw caution
to the winds."
Combinations - Phillips has reduced meal plans to a protein source and
a carbohydrate food at each small meal, accompanied by vegetable at least twice
a day. "There's a lot more to nutrition than simply cutting out one component,
like carbohydrates," Phillips says.
Times - Phillips suggests five or six small meals a day in order to
deter hunger and, more importantly, burn fat. This concept is supported by research
at Georgia State University and a study published in the European Journal
of Clinical Nutrition. "These are not snacks, but small balanced meals that
really satisfy," he emphasizes.
Proof in the Pudding
Since many people just don't know how to quickly prepare attractive, satisfying,
healthy fare, Phillips has detailed 240 pages of simple, easy-to-prepare recipes.
"They have to be truly satisfying on a number of levels if we're really going
to make a lifestyle change," Phillips explains. "Most importantly, they have
to be 'doable' by people just like you and me because examples that stay examples
-- rather than becoming a part of someone's lifestyle -- are valueless if they
haven't closed the gap between dream and reality."
Part of the lifestyle challenge is that many yo-yo dieters simply never learned
to cook well, notes Phillips. Consequently, he spent two years creating and
refining the recipes in this book so that "people who don't know how to really
feed themselves or who don't normally cook could see appealing nutritious foods
and then easily prepare them in a limited amount of time."
Towards that end, here are some of Phillips' tasty and satisfying substitutions
for those foods we usually can't live without:
- A gravy-drenched turkey meatloaf and potatoes dinner that keeps "bad" fats
- A mouth-watering, thick and creamy malted milk shake that uses real malt
-- taboo in some diet plans.
- A low-fat strawberry cheesecake that looks and tastes amazingly like the
full-fat version we've been craving since January 1st.
- A protein-rich butterscotch pudding that proves that preparation ease, satisfying
taste, and good nutritional values are entirely compatible.
"What I wanted was for people to realize that a successful, satisfying, nutritious
way to eat is something anyone can accomplish," Phillips says. "I didn't want
them to rely on 'faith' or 'will.' I wanted them to have a plan that details
just what you do and shows how easy it is to do just that. I wanted to show
them precisely how to succeed."
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Created: 1/10/2004  - Donnica Moore, M.D.