The Body For Life Diet with Printable Meal Plan

    Everything you need to know about the Body For Life Diet Program, including the history, program rules and a 7 Day Body for Life Meal Plan.

    The Body For Life Weight Loss program was created by Bill Phillips as a 12 week diet and exercise plan. The Body For Life program had great results by those people who followed it, and I lost weight on it as well!

    If you’ve read my weight loss story here, you’ll know I’ve tried ALL the diets over the last 20+ years. And although I never reached my ultimate weight goal until last year, I did lose some weight on some diets, like Body For Life, and Bright Line Eating.

    Back in the late 90’s, it seemed like EVERYONE was following the Body for Life Diet plan. It gained a lot of popularity really fast, and I was convinced I was going to win some money with their 12 week challenge! Although I never won the big money, I’m honestly STILL a fan of the simplicity, and effectiveness of the plan. I still tend to eat similar to recommendations from Body for life and even have some of the original recipes in my current healthy meal plans.

    In fact, here’s my stack of Body For Life books I still own!

    Body for life by Bill Phillips

    Main Rules in the Body for Life diet include:

    In a nutshell, the Body for Life guidelines are:

    1. Eat 6 small meals per day (every 2-3 hours)
    2. A portion of carbohydrate and portion of protein at each meal.
    3. A portion of vegetables at two of the meals.
    4. No refined white flour, but whole wheat is OK.
    5. 1 cheat day per week!
    6. Keep portions to the size of your clenched fist or palm of your hand.
    7. Drink 80 ounces of water each day.

    Scroll to the bottom to go into depth about the program, but if you’re here for the printable meal plan, grab it here!!

    Body for life 7 day printable meal plan
    7 Day Body for Life Meal Plan

    The 7 Day Healthy Meal Plan

    Each day, there should be six mini meals, with a serving of carbs and proteins at each meal. Below are 7 days of ideas for the program:

    Day 1 – Sunday

    • Meal 1 Scrambled eggs and oatmeal
    • Meal 2 Protein Shake
    • Meal 3 Green salad with chicken and black beans
    • Meal 4 Berries and Yogurt
    • Meal 5 Tilapia and Sweet Potato with Broccoli
    • Meal 6 Protein Ice cream with strawberries

    Day 2 – Monday

    • Meal 1 Breakfast burrito with eggs and whole wheat tortilla.
    • Meal 2 Protein Shake
    • Meal 3 Grilled chicken and rice with cucumber
    • Meal 4 Yogurt and Cottage Cheese
    • Meal 5 Salmon with russet potato and asparagus
    • Meal 6 1 ounce almonds

    Day 3 -Tuesday

    • Meal 1 Scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast.
    • Meal 2 Protein Shake
    • Meal 3 Grilled chicken with sweet potato fries and broccoli
    • Meal 4 Cottage cheese and bananas
    • Meal 5 Chocolate protein pudding
    • Meal 6 Steak with green salad and brown rice

    Day 4 – Wednesday

    • Meal 1 Body for Life Low calorie pancakes
    • Meal 2 Protein Shake
    • Meal 3 Can of tuna with whole wheat tortilla
    • Meal 4 Greek yogurt and Berries
    • Meal 5 Whole wheat pasta noodles with meatballs and tomato sauce.
    • Meal 6 Cottage cheese with tomatoes, black beans, and taco seasoning

    Day -5 – Thursday

    • Meal 1 Hard boiled egg salad sandwich
    • Meal 2 Protein Shake
    • Meal 3 Brown rice and chicken
    • Meal 4 Yogurt and cottage cheese
    • Meal 5 Protein bar
    • Meal 6 Chicken fajitas with whole wheat tortilla, chicken, peppers, and onions.

    Day -6 – Friday

    • Meal 1 Egg white omelet with oatmeal
    • Meal 2 Protein Shake
    • Meal 3 Grilled chicken soup with barley
    • Meal 4 Apple and Cottage cheese
    • Meal 5 Lean Pork, brown rice and asparagus
    • Meal 6 Body for Life Cheesecake

    Day -7 -Saturday: FREE DAY

    I love the FREE DAY in the Body for Life program!

    The History of Body for Life

    Body for Life (BFL) is a weight loss and fitness program that has been around since 1996 and became popular with the bestselling book entitled “Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength” by Bill Phillips in 1999. The fact this program is still going strong today is a testament to its effectiveness.

    Bill Phillips is a former competitive bodybuilder, author, and entrepreneur. He originally started the BFL program when he owned EAS: Performance Nutrition. Phillips created a challenge called the Grand Spokesperson Challenge. This challenge later morphed into what you may know today as the BFL Challenge. The BFL competition is a self-improvement contest based on the 12-week BFL program. Participants are judged on their overall physical and mental transformation.

    Many years later, the BFL program is still around and has helped two million people change their bodies and lives. Phillips even has a new book coming out soon entitled “The New Body for Life: The True Science of Fitness.”

    The BFL program was created to help participants easily understand how to build more muscle, lose fat, and gain more energy. Participants can expect weight loss of up to 25 pounds in 12 week if they adhere to the program. In a nutshell, Phillips says his program is about gaining strength, energy, and control.

    The Body for Life Diet 101

    To really break the program down, Body for Life is a 12-week exercise and nutrition program. This plan utilizes a low-fat, high-protein meal plan with the addition of strength training and aerobics. With this program, diet and exercise are of equal importance. BFL is about the balance between consuming a diet low enough in calories to lose weight while still consuming enough calories and protein to build muscle and cardiovascular strength.

    Program participants are encouraged to eat six small meals per day consisting of one portion of carbs and one portion of protein. The balance between protein and carbs is a critical component of this program. BFL contends the consumption of protein with each meal steadies insulin levels. (check out my list of protein foods I eat the most here). This helps keep energy levels steady through the day and curb the appetite. By eating more frequent, smaller meals, BFL states you will boost your metabolism and burn fat faster.

    To determine the correct portion size for carbs, BFL suggests using your clenched fist as a guideline for one serving. A protein portion is roughly the size of a palm and as thick as a deck of playing cards. This aspect of the program makes it very convenient. There is no counting calories or measuring food. You just pay attention to portion size.

    Protein sources should mostly be lean meats like chicken, turkey, fish, egg whites, and tofu. BFL participants are encouraged to consume unrefined or multi-grain carbs — foods like baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, white and brown rice, whole wheat bread, etc.

    In addition to the protein and carb recommendations, people following the BFL program should aim to eat vegetables with at least two meals per day, one tablespoon of oil high in monounsaturated fat, 10 or more glasses of water daily, and a good multivitamin. Vegetable serving can include things like lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, etc.

    The Body For Life Workout

    As I mentioned before, the exercise portion of this program is critical. Phillips believes that looking good isn’t about what your scale says in the morning. Instead, looking good is about body composition or the ratio of muscle to fat. He believes the best way to improve body composition is through a combination of strength and cardio training.

    BFL participants are instructed to complete about 45 minutes of strength training three days per week. The weight training alternates between the upper and lower body. BFL believes that weight training will build the skeletal muscle and increase metabolism over time.

    On the other three days of the week, participants are encouraged to engage in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for 20 minutes at a time. BFL suggests doing aerobic activity in the morning to raise the metabolism for the rest of the day.

    Wonder what the seventh day of the program looks like? This is the free day for both exercise and diet. BFL participants are encouraged to take a day off from exercising and eat what they want that day. Bingeing is definitely not encouraged, but indulging some of your cravings is.

    What are the benefits of the Body For Life Plan?

    In addition to losing weight, gaining strength, and looking great, the BFL program offers the following benefits:

    • Improved mental health
    • Improved overall health
    • Improved life span
    • Delay of certain diseases and conditions

    While the BFL is considered a 12-week program, this program is meant to be a lifestyle change. Phillips created a 12-week program because he felt this was the amount of time needed for participants to adapt and see remarkable changes in terms of body fat, muscle definition, and strength.

    The BFL program also has a strong mental component and focuses on forming healthy habits. Phillips encourages participants to decide to change and understand the reasons for this change. He wants participants to identify the old patterns holding them back and create new habits to help them achieve their goals. Phillips emphasizes focusing on the future vision of yourself.

    Hopefully, you now have an excellent understanding of the BFL program and what it is all about. If you have been struggling to achieve the body you want, maybe the BFL program is just what you need to fuel a change and help you achieve the body you have always dreamt of.

    Everything you need to know about the Body for Life Diet, history, program guidelines and a 7 day meal plan


    • What meal replacement shake is most like the original EAS Myoplex shake? I’m having a hard time finding one that has 42g of protein/20g of carb. I used to order the myoplex ready to drink shakes when I did Body for Life the first time and that’s what they were. What do you think of the Huel brand of powders and shakes? Love reading your stuff and thank you!

    • What brand protein shakes are used now since EAS is out of business?

      John Barton


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