"I am a Pediatric Intensive Care Doctor, I played Division One College soccer, I exercise every minute I can, and I am a father of two amazing teenage daughters. I take health, wellness, nutrition, sleep, and exercise very seriously.
I spend a lot of time watching my oldest daughter participate in competitive crew and she has rowed mostly at the lightweight level. This means that she must make weight just like a wrestler does before events.
I have spent most of the last three years watching these young women and men suffer through pounding weeks of intense exercise while having to “make weight” for their competitions. Additionally, I have witnessed the body image and weight issues that teenagers, especially teenage girls have and suffer from both personally and professionally.
Unfortunately, I have seen some of the most unhealthy and dangerous eating and weight loss habits watching my daughter and her teammates during a crew season. A parent has to decide when to parent, when to be firm, and when to step back.
I have failed on all accounts at various times just like any other parent. However, when I continued to watch and know that my daughter and others were being unhealthy, not performing at their peak, all to “make weight”, something had to stop.
The Dan Plan is a lifestyle.
The Dan Plan is a methodology.
The Dan Plan also educates one to understand what nutrients are important, what foods are necessary, and how to eat clean and honestly and mindfully all while achieving the highest athletic performance.
A teenager can barely get to school, exercise, do their homework, let alone eat well, especially without help.
My daughter started the Dan Plan in order to eat well, make weight, have a non-partisan coach and compete at the highest level.
Within just a couple of weeks, my daughter was functioning within 1-2 pounds of her necessary weight, feeling like she was eating well, making her own recipes, and performing at the highest level.
She made it through the Southeast Regionals of the US and then US Nationals in Lightweight rowing and her diet was consistent, healthy, and rewarding. She has continued to eat healthily, she enjoys eating and managing her diet, and she has improved on all facets of her benchmark crew times.
The Dan Plan saved her from journeying to a possible eating disorder, helped her perform, and gave her the knowledge and understanding at an early age.
Lastly, it saved her father from alienating his daughter, my greatest fear. The education my daughter received and is receiving is priceless."
-Dr. Erik Exelbert