Body By God
Body By God is a 40 day program of diet and exercise. The promise is that if you follow Ben Lerner's plan for the recommended 40 days, you'll get fit and healthy.
Your workouts are broken down into a Basic Schedule and an Accelerated Schedule depending on your fitness level and goals. You're also instructed to eat "Food by God" instead of "Food by Man", avoiding processed foods, most sugars and saturated fats. Whenever you are tempted by poor choices you are instructed to remember you are "eating for three." 1. for me, 2. for the people around me, 3. for God. The final section of the book includes suggestions on how to reduce stress.
Chicken or Turkey breast from organic free-range birds, fish and eggs. Brown or jasmine rice. Whole-wheat bread, fruit and vegetables. Water consumption is encouraged with the suggestion that you should only drink what you would bathe in.
Calorie counting isn't important on this diet but when and what types of food you eat are. In the morning you are told to eat High to Moderate Carbohydrates, Low Proteins and Low Fats. In the afternoon you should eat Moderate to Low Carbohydrates, Low to Moderate Proteins and Low to Moderate Fats. Finally in the evening you should eat Low to Zero Carbohydrates, Moderate to High Porteins and Moderate Fats.
You are encouraged not to mix proteins and carbohydrates because they "don't digest well together."
How it Works
Even if you didn't follow the diet strictly, you would probably still lose weight with the exercise. The cardio exercises help you burn fat, while the weight training builds muscle and increases your metabolism. With a higher metabolism, you burn more fat.
The recommendation that you avoid processed food is also generally a good idea because processing tends to add unhealthy amounts of salt, fat and sugar.
Pros and Cons
Calorie counting is not a part of this diet, but if you eat the amounts recommended in the examples the result is a very low calorie diet.
Unfortunately mixed in with some good advice is junk science. Statements like, "Proteins and Carbohydrates don't digest well together" simply don't stand up to scientific scrutiny.
Ben Lerner also states that "white foods" leave you vulnerable to intestinal illnesses, toxicity and colon cancer without a shred of medical evidence.
Finally Lerner claims that "Soy products (soy milk, soy supplements, etc.) are refined and thus no longer considered Food by God" but then in the NEXT SENTENCE suggests almond milk and rice milk are good substitutes. He never explains why milk made from SOY is bad while milk from ALMONDS (which is also refined) is good.
The workout program is reasonable, and it's one of the few books that shows proper form for each exercise. The only problem is that working out six days a week may be a daunting task for someone who's never engaged in a fitness program before. It may take more serious dedication than the casual dieter is willing to provide.
The Bottom Line
Body By God uses the Bible as justification to give out nutritional advice that is questionable or downright wrong. The workout section includes several well described and illustrated examples, but those descriptions alone don't justify the price of the book.
We cannot recommend Body By God.
CAUTION: You should NEVER attempt any diet without the supervision of a Medical Doctor or licensed Nutritionist.
General Reference Links
American Heart Association
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institutes of Health
United States Department of Agriculture