Beyond the 120 Year Diet is a diet book authored by Roy Walford and published in 2000. It has received mixed reviews, predominantly positive, although there is some concern that Walford’s method of severe calorie counting will weaken your body prematurely. The premise of the book, as you can tell by the title, is that by following Walford’s diet recommendations you will be able to live to 120 and beyond. Skeptics point out that the author himself died in 2004 at the age of 79.
Regardless of the controversy surrounding this book, it is generally regarded as an effective diet plan. The diet is based on severely limiting the consumption of calories, with the intention of maintaining a weight from 10 to 25 percent lower than your natural, or “set” weight (the weight which your body naturally maintains when you are eating and exercising normally). Most people on this diet can expect to consume between 1,000 and 1,500 calories per day, depending on their body type. Since this diet plan is very limiting, it can be difficult to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function at a healthy level, so Walford helps to build effective menu plans for use on a daily basis. If you’re considering trying the Beyond the 120 Year Diet, you should take a look at this sample menu plan and speak to a doctor first to see if such a diet would be reasonable for you.
The following menu plan is what you can expect on a daily basis with the Beyond the 120 Year Diet.
- One omelet, made with 1 egg and 2 egg whites; 1 cup of nonfat milk; and 1 slice of tomato.
- 1 slice of mixed-grain bread.
- Fruit salad, made with 1 and 1/3 cups strawberries; 3/4 cup cantaloupe; 1/3 cup of your fruit of choice; and 1 small kiwi.
- A light dressing of almonds, Brazil nuts, flax meal, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, nutmeg, water, and yogurt (a little over 1 cup of dressing total).
- 1 slice of whole-wheat toast.
- 1 cup mixed onions and peas.
- 1 medium-sized baked sweet potato.
- 3 ounces salmon, served with 6 ounces of tomato sauce.
- Optionally, add 1 glass of red wine.
As you can see, the Beyond the 120 Year Diet is very strict, with a great deal of dedication required and little room for modification. The food servings are skimpy (as you could expect with any low-calorie diet) and many other experts would call this sort of severe calorie restriction unhealthy. Walford does suggest that anyone who takes up the Beyond the 120 Year Diet ease slowly into the program so they won’t feel suddenly overcome by hunger – the above menu is one that would be expected 6 months to a year into the diet.
If you think the Beyond the 120 Year Diet might be right for you, do consult a physician before making any extreme dietary changes. Low-calorie diets are an effective way to lose weight, but the health benefits are debatable and will ultimately depend on your body.