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The Best Life Diet by Bob Greene - Phases & Food

Updated on July 17, 2011

You may have heard Oprah rave about Bob Greene's Best Life Diet.  You may have seen products with the Best Life Seal of Approval on your grocery store shelves.  But what exactly is the Best Life Diet, and what should you know about it before you commit to the program?

Best Life Diet Phase 1

Starting a new diet plan is always difficult, and as with most phase-based diets, the first phase is always the most restrictive. In Phase 1 of Bob Greene's Best Life Diet, you begin to change your habits regarding food choices and portions.  There are only six foods to avoid completely:

  1. Soda pop
  2. Trans fats
  3. Fried foods
  4. White bread
  5. Alcohol
  6. High-fat dairy products

You also rev up your metabolism by increasing your activity by one or two levels, based on self-evaluation of your current level on Bob's activity scale.  Other "rules" for Phase 1 include having a glass of water with every meal, taking a daily multivitamin, and not eating for 2 hours before bed.

You should not weigh yourself during Phase 1.  Note your weight when you begin the Best Life Diet, but after that, you should stay away from the scale for a full four weeks before checking those numbers.  This may be difficult, but it helps take the emphasis off of number obsession, and places it back on making healthy, long-term changes to your lifestyle.

Best Life Diet Phase 2

The second phase of the Best Life Diet helps you begin to re-introduce the concept of healthy indulgence.

This part of the process focuses on getting in touch with your hunger and figuring out how to satisfy your appetite and your cravings without over-eating. As mentioned in my hub on how to curb cravings, studies show that people who plan a sweet treat into their day ahead of time are less likely to binge or over-indulge. Bob Greene obviously took advantage of that knowledge when planning Phase 2 of this diet.

Depending on your calorie allotment (usually between 1500 to 2500 calories a day), you get a certain number of "anything goes" calories, which you can spend on any food--even those that were forbidden in Phase 1.

In Phase 2, you may weigh yourself weekly, but try not to put too much stock in the numbers you see. This is meant to be a gradual process, not a crash diet-type shock to your body. After four weeks, if you've met your weight loss goal at this point, you move on to Phase 3. If not, it's recommended that you up your activity level and keep a food journal to see where you might be straying from the plan.

Best Life Diet Phase 3

Phase 3 of the Best Life Diet is the maintenance phase--basically, the rest of your life! You should weigh yourself no more than once a week, but no less than once a month, to make sure you are not fixating too much on numbers, but that your weight isn't creeping back up without you noticing.

During Phase 3, you continue cutting out starchy foods and saturated fats, while increasing your intake of fiber, minerals, and vitamins in your diet. Concentrate on eating lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. You're encouraged to challenge yourself in your exercise routine, both to maintain your weight and to help keep your body healthy as you age.

Is "The Best Life Diet" Best for You?

If you've read any of my other diet reviews, you know that I tend to be hard on most weight loss programs, but as diets go, this actually is a pretty good one.  The emphasis is on lifestyle changes, rather than quick results, and on portion control rather than calorie counting.  If you are serious about long term, healthy weight loss, you need to make gradual changes in many areas, including more nutritious, more satisfying foods, and moderate, regular activity.  Bob Greene's Best Life Diet has these goals at its heart.  If you're ready to commit to permanent, healthy change, this book is well worth the read.


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    • kazeemjames01 profile image


      11 years ago

      Hi maddie, nice and informative hub. Cheers

    • Nevada Logan profile image

      Nevada Logan 

      11 years ago from USA

      This sounds like a very easy lifestyle to live by. I like the phasing of different things too. I cut off soda and lost about 10 lbs. just from doing that. I couldn't believe how much soda made the pounds stay on. Great writing!

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      12 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thanks for the comments. I'll have to check into it further.

    • RiaMorrison profile image

      Ria Bridges 

      12 years ago from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

      I've seen a lot of diet plans like this, and to me, they all seem like common sense. Cut out crap, put in more food stuff, do more exercise, but don't overwhelm yourself or it could end up going badly. The worst thing to realise (at least on my part) is that people need this "common sense" handed to them in a package, a plan where someone else tells them how to do what 90% of them already know they should be doing.

      I'm not above that kind of thinking, mind you. I could stand to lose weight, eat better, and do more exercise. I'm hardly the picture of health over here. But I don't feel that I need a diet plan to help me lose that weight. I just need to get better at doing what I already know I need to do.

      A good Hub! I like the breakdown and overview style of how this diet plan goes.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 

      12 years ago

      Excellent article as usual...Sounds like a sound and easy approach to a new eating life style...


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