A healthy lifestyle can help golfers enjoy the back nine
Larry Jacobs refers to Baby Boomers as being on the back nine in life. And went it comes to nutrition and feeling good, he likens lifestyle changes and eating habits to playing a round of golf.
In short, if you want to enjoy your golf more as well as your life, shooting around par or better in your lifestyle choices will pay big dividends.
Having helped himself more than 30 years ago overcome a problematic digestive system, Jacobs discovered how the changes he made will also help people, and especially golfers, realize their ideal weight. Already he’s helped many tour professionals, whether they just needed to drop a couple of pounds or 30 pounds or more. Most importantly, though, by following his regimen, which doesn’t restrict calories, people just get healthier.
“I can show any golfer how to go from a fat storer to a fat burner in two weeks or less without dieting, counting calories or starving, guaranteed,” Jacobs said. “It’s almost impossible to restrict calories and eat less forever, which is why diets don’t work and people usually regain all or more of what they lost. My clients eat as much as they want whenever hungry, and it’s real food that you get in grocery stores and restaurants. The key is to learn to eat clean. It’s not how much you eat. It’s what you eat that matters most.”
By clean, Jacobs is talking about mostly whole foods, not processed meats and carbohydrates that are typically found in the junk diets many golfers have (hot dogs, chips, etc.) Then he has his clients add some physical activity.
“I don’t want my clients obsessing over a number on a scale, which can be demoralizing,” he said. “The best way to measure progress isn’t weight, it’s about getting smaller and fitting into smaller clothes plus how much better and more energetic you look and feel.”
The Thin for Life program had its genesis in California during the 1970s, when Jacobs began suffering severe gastrointestinal pain. After several futile treatments, he turned to a physician pioneering nutrition-oriented medicine, who discovered he was allergic to one specific food. Inspired by a dramatic health turnaround, Jacobs returned to his native Maryland, studied nutrition, its impact on health, and hung up a shingle to coach others on what he’d learned.
“While the original idea was more about wellness than weight,” he adds, “I eventually ended up working with more folks with big bellies than with bad bellies.”
Jacobs’ golf client list has included Fred Funk, Allen Doyle, Dottie Pepper and Don Trahan, who not only credits the program with losing weight and helping his golf game, but saving his life as well.
Taking his program to golfers was a natural for Jacobs.
“First, I’m a mad dog golfer myself, and I know the lengths players will go to improve their games,” said Jacobs, a volunteer Special Olympics Golf Coach who carries
a 4-handicap. “Golfers instantly know that I’m one of them. Second, there’s also a large group of Baby Boomers and seniors heading down the ‘back nine’ of life, when excess weight and the poor health that comes with it detracts from play and makes the game less enjoyable. And while golfers have been encouraged to try yoga and get stronger, nutrition has been largely overlooked.
“I make the whole thing a lot like a game of golf, where you make birdies, pars, bogeys and others throughout the day. I tell them that unlike golf, this is a game you can actually win by shooting par, under par, or a little over par – just about every day of your life. All you need is the right mindset and blueprint.”
Jacobs’ weight reduction tele-seminar is structured to run over four sessions. It consists of written materials and four separate call-in or listen-on-the-web sessions, each of which lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. During the call-in sessions – which are recorded and kept on a password-protected system – Jacobs verbally goes through the steps of the program and answers questions by email and phone.
“We break things into two-week chunks,” he explains, “and the first session is about temporarily eliminating certain foods that aren’t good for you.”
Some things, like potato chips and processed meats are obvious. But Jacobs also has a “dirty dozen” list of foods to avoid and a list of 50 or 60 foods that are good in that first two-week period.
The second session involves systematically re-introducing some of the foods and gauging the body?s reaction, while the next sessions are devoted to creating an individualized long-term plan to build healthy eating into a lifestyle.
“I also insist on some form of daily physical activity,” he added. “That’s one half. The other half is learning to eat clean.”
For more information on Larry Jacobs and to register for his golfers’ tele?seminar program, go to ThinGolfer.com.
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