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Six week body makeover

Definition

The Six Week Body Makeover is designed for rapid weight loss over a relatively short period of time. It promises that dieters can lose thirty pounds and completely reshape their body in only six weeks by following a plan of dieting and exercise designed to boost metabolism.

Origins

The Six Week Body Makeover was designed by Michael Thurmond. Thurmond says that growing up Los Angeles, California, he was an obese child who ate for emotional reasons. His parents put him on a medically supervised diet when he was eleven, but although the diet even included special drugs, he still did not lose weight. When he was a teenager he began lifting weights and became more muscular, but he still could not lose the fat he wanted to.

Thurmond joined the military in his late teens and met a bodybuilder while stationed on an aircraft carrier on its way to Vietnam. By training with this bodybuilder he learned many of the techniques he provides in his exercise program. Thurmond says he also spent time experimenting with his diet and learning about food while assigned to kitchen duty.

Thurmond began competitive bodybuilding after he left the military. His own troubles with obesity and weight loss inspired him to begin helping others to lose weight and get in shape. He introduced the Six Week Body Makeover in San Francisco in 1985. It was the culmination of the work Thurmond had been doing with dieters on an individual basis for many years. It grew in popularity and Thurmond was on the cover of the San Francisco Chronicle, and he appeared on several television talk shows.

In 2000, Thurmond and Provida Life Sciences produced an infomercial to sell the Six Week Body Makeover on television. As of 2007, Thurmond also makes regular appearances on the Home Shopping Network, and his weight loss programs have been featured on the television show ‘Extreme Makeover,’ which airs on the ABC network.

Description

The Six Week Body Makeover is intended to help people lose a large amount of weight rapidly. It uses a variety of diet and exercise techniques to raise metabolism and burn calories. The plan promises that the dieter's body will change shape drastically in only six weeks.

When dieters order the Six Week Body Makeover, they receive a package of dieting materials that includes the ‘Body Blueprinting System,’ a video guide to introduce the plan, an exercise video and ‘sculpting bands,’ a guide to dining out, a recipe guide and menu planner, and an audio cassette library. In addition to these materials, people who use this program receive 24-hour support through an on-line forum.

The first step of the plan is body type identification using the plan's Body Type Blueprinting System. This is done through a questionnaire consisting of 48 questions. Based on the answers to these questions dieters find out their body type. The body types are divided based on metabolism and how the body reacts to food. Once dieters determined their body type, they then use the provided guidelines to develop a meal plan based on body type. The planned meals are supposed to be low in calories and high in protein and complex carbohydrates. Individuals are supposed to eat small amounts frequently. Thurmond says that lean protein and natural carbohydrates are slow-burning, clean foods that are good for keeping metabolism high.

A prominent feature of the Six Week Body Makeover diet is the frequency of meals. Dieters make a plan that involves eating almost every time they are hungry. Thurmond says this makes the body think that plenty of food is available so it will stop storing fat. He also says that frequent eating speeds up a dieter's metabolism, so that he or she will burn calories more quickly. The number of calories consumed through out day is

KEY TERMS

Dietary supplement—A product, such asa vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid, or enzyme, that is intended to be consumed in addition to an individual's diet with the expectation that it will improve health.

Mineral—An inorganic substance found in the earth that is necessary in small quantities for the body to maintain a health. Examples: zinc, copper, iron.

Obese—More than 20% over the individual's ideal weight for their height and age or having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater.

Vitamin—A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to remain healthy but that the body cannot manufacture for itself and must acquire through diet.

low, but they are spread evenly between five or six meals. This may help dieters to not feel hungry while on the diet.

For both men and women, the diet requires that all body types consume no dairy products during the six weeks while on this diet. This means that dieters may not drink milk, eat cheese, butter, yogurt, or ice cream for weeks. Many of these foods contain high levels of calcium, which can be difficult to get from other sources. Dieters should consider taking calcium supplements during this diet to prevent calcium deficiency. The Six Week Body Makeover also eliminates caffeine, sugars, and fat from the diet.

The Six Week Body Makeover recommends that dieters drink large quantities of water. Dieters are told to drink 12 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Thurmond says that proper hydration is vital to many of the body's functions, and that water promotes weight loss and general good health. He also says that drinking the amount of water described in the diet will make a dieter's skin practically wrinkle-free.

Thurmond claims that the foods prescribed in his diet will make dieters look and feel younger. For example, fish are one of the foods included in the plan. Thurmond claims that fish can slow the aging process as well as improve the look of the dieter's skin.

The exercise guidelines for the Six Week Body Makeover emphasize specific exercises for problem areas. By targeting only the areas dieters want to change dieters can see better results while actually working out less. Many of these exercises use a band, which is included with the program package, for resistance. During the weeks when dieters are on the plan, they are to do 15–18 minutes of low-intensity exercise for at least 2 days per week. The plan does not place emphasis on strength training activities such as weight lifting, rowing, or stair climbing, or fat burning, aerobic exercises such as walking or bicycling.

Function

The Six Week Body Makeover is intended to cause rapid weight loss over a fairly short period. If dieters follow the plan exactly, the Six Week Body Makeover claims that they can lose 30 lb (14 kg) 00d completely reshape their body in only six weeks. Thurmond claims that this rapid weight loss has an additional benefit of motivating people to change their lifestyle and engage in healthier activities after the diet has been completed. Established research has shown that, for most people, long-term, successful weight loss and healthy living depend on slowly establishing healthy lifestyle habits rather than making drastic short-term changes.

Benefits

There can be enormous benefits both physically and psychologically for overweight people who lose excess weight. People who are obese are at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and many other diseases and disorders. If achieved at a moderate pace through a healthy diet and regular exercise, weight loss can reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases. The weight loss promises made by the Six Week Body Makeover would not be considered moderately paced. There is a possible psychological benefit associated with rapid weight loss, but this is likely to be undone if much of the weight is regained shortly after the diet plan is over.

Precautions

Rapid weight loss can be dangerous. Anyone thinking of beginning a new diet or exercise regimen should consult a medical practitioner. Requirements of calories, fat, and nutrients can differ significantly from person to person, depending on gender, age, weight, and many other factors such as the presence of any disease or conditions. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should be especially cautious because deficiencies of vitamins or minerals can have a significant negative impact on an infant. Exercising too strenuously can cause injury. Exercise should be started at light or moderate intensity and gradually increased.

QUESTIONS TO ASK THE DOCTOR

  • How much weight can I reasonably lose per week?
  • Is this diet the best diet to meet my goals?
  • Does diet or exercise pose any special risk for me that I should be aware of?
  • Is it safe for me to cut out caffeine and dairy products from my diet?
  • Would a multivitamin or other dietary supplement be appropriate for me if I were to begin this diet?
  • Is this diet appropriate for my entire family?
  • Is it safe for me to follow this diet over a long period of time?
  • Are there any sign or symptoms that might indicate a problem while on this diet?

Because the Six Week Body Makeover eliminates dairy products from the diet, anyone considering the plan may also want to consider taking calcium supplements. Additionally, some dieters may experience certain negative side effects because the diet eliminates caffeine from the diet. People who, before beginning this diet, frequently consume caffeinated beverages such as colas or coffee may experience symptoms of caffeine withdrawal such as headache, fatigue, or muscle pain.

Risks

There are risks associated with starting any new diet plan. Often, it is difficult to get enough of some vitamins and minerals when eating a limited diet. The Six Week Body Makeover does not allow dieters to consume dairy products, so dieters may want to consult their physician about whether taking a vitamin or supplement would help them reduce the risk of calcium or other vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Injuries can occur during exercise, such as strained or sprained muscles. Proper warm-up and cool-down procedures should be followed to minimize these risks. To minimize the risk of serious injury, dieters should begin with light exercise and increase the intensity of their workout slowly over weeks or months.

Research and general acceptance

The Six Week Body Makeover has not been the subject of any significant scholarly research. Thurmond provides no scientific evidence for the ideas behind his diet. There is no evidence to support the theory that frequent eating of low-calorie meals will speed up metabolism. For most people, moderately limiting caloric intake and eating a diet low in fats and carbohydrates and high in vegetable and plant products is generally accepted as a healthy diet.

As of 2007, the United States Center for Disease Control recommended a minimum of 30minutes aday of light to moderate exercise for healthy adults. Following The Six Week Body Makeover's exercise program of 18 minutes of exercise twice per week would not meet this recommendation.

BOOKS

Bijlefeld, Marjolijn and Sharon K. Zoumbaris. Encyclopedia of Diet Fads. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003.

Icon Health Publications. Fad Diets: A Bibliography, Medical Dictionary, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References. San Diego, CA: Icon Health Publications, 2004.

Shannon, Joyce Brennfleck ed. Diet and Nutrition Source-book. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 2006.

Thurmond, Michael. 6-Day Body Makeover. New York: Warner Books, 2005.

Thurmond, Michael. The 12 Day Body Shaping Miracle. New York: Warner Wellness, 2007.

Willis, Alicia P. ed. Diet Therapy Research Trends. New York: Nova Science, 2007.

ORGANIZATIONS

American Dietetic Association. 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995. Telephone: (800) 877-1600. Website: <http://www.eatright.org>

OTHER

Six Week Body Makeover 2007. <http://www.mybodymakeover.com> (April 12, 2007).

Tish Davidson, A.M.


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