I believe that any weight loss system should be evaluated on how it influences your overall fitness. There many ways to lose weight; however, not all methods are created equal. For example, drugs and surgery can indeed produce quick results, yet, these shortcuts often produce unwanted side effects (including death) and other health complications.
One of the easier ways to examine any diet plan is to consider how will impact your lifespan, healthspan, and youthspan. Ideally, an eating style should increase your longevity, decrease the risk of disease or injury, and delay aging so your functional age is earlier than your chronological age.
Lifespan: I believe a healthy diet is the best productivity tool on the planet as living an extra 5, 10, or even 20 years can really impact what one can accomplish. The evidence is clear from a number of studies that a plant-based whole food diet is the one that is most likely to increase longevity as this is often a lower calorie diet. However, no one wants to add more years if it means spending most of the time being bedridden. As a result, both healthspan and youthspan are key to make a long lifespan desirable. No one has the goal of become a sick and elderly Methuselah.
Healthspan: This is the period of time that an individual is healthy and free of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Once again, the studies are clear that 30-60 minutes of daily exercise when combined with a diet rich in leafy greens, colorful fruit, fresh vegetables, and whole grains is the best way to decrease one’s risk as many of the phytonutrients within plants provide a protective effect against these diseases.
Youthspan: This is a concept I’ve been promoting the past few years. While there is no fountain of youth to make one child-like again, it is possible to delay aging with high nutrition and daily exercise so your functional age is younger than your chronological age. An individual at age 80 who continues to enjoy the same activities they did at age 50 has really won the game of life. Unsurprisingly, all the evidence suggests that a diet high in fiber and phytonutrient whole foods (fruits, veggies, and grains) is the best way to extend your youthspan.
One of the best parts of the Nutrition Coach plans is they are all systematically designed to maximize lifespan, healthspan, and youthspan at the same time. This is the main reason why I believe our lifestyle diets are the best choices for weight loss and total fitness on the planet.