Review: I F Weight Loss Diet

Review: I F Weight Loss Diet

I F weight loss has become a tremendously popular over the last handful of years.  In fact, it has become one of the trendiest eating strategies. That said, there have been dozens – if not hundreds – of highly popular fads and strategies in the name of shedding extra pounds. Popularity can’t be the top test of whether or not something is appropriate for you.  Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a much closer look at what it’s all about and whether or not it has the potential to be safe and effective for you.

Let’s look more closely at what an I F weight loss diet is all about.

What is an I F Weight Loss Diet?

An I F weight loss diet stands for intermittent fasting.  This means that it alternates between periods of eating normally and brief periods in which no food or calorie-containing beverages are consumed. This isn’t a single type of program.  Instead, it is a way of eating that can be interpreted in many different ways.

There are lots of different types of I F weight loss diet programs.  While some restrict hours of the day, others restrict days of the week.  Some are more extreme, requiring several consecutive days of eating very little or nothing at all.  Typically speaking, those are not considered to be the main form of intermittent fasting strategy.

Which Types of Intermittent Fasting Are Most Popular?

There are a handful of I F weight loss diet that are popular at the moment.  The majority involve eating food only during a limited window of the day.  Often, it requires a ratio of something similar to 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours in which eating is permitted per day.  That said, others are more or less restrictive than that ratio.

Moreover, while some I F weight loss diets allow you to eat virtually anything during your permitted window of time, others require you to stick to a certain calorie limit, macronutrient ratio or other types of eating restriction.

Some people find this method very helpful and can lose weight efficiently when using it.  It is important to point out that it is not safe for everyone.  Many very common medical conditions can make this type of eating strategy inappropriate and unsafe. Therefore, it’s extremely wise to speak with your doctor before assuming that I F weight loss is right for you.

Review: Dukan Diet

Review: Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet is a weight loss strategy based on increased protein consumption as well as following four stages of food and lifestyle changes. It became exceptionally popular when many A-list celebrities started following it, including Kate Middleton when she was preparing for her wedding to Prince William.

What Does the Dukan Diet Involve?

When following the Dukan Diet, there are certain foods that are allowed at various times. It can be quite restrictive, but the claim is that during the first two to seven days, someone who follows it very closely will lose between 4.4 and 6.6 pounds. That number is based on the diet’s own claims and dieter feedback but has not been backed by scientific study.

The diet itself is laid out in an official book, which has sold well over 7 million copies. Moreover, there is also an official website which offers dieters additional support. By repeating the strategy and stages of the Dukan Diet, the idea is that a dieter will be able to keep up a rate of 2 to 4 pounds of weight loss each week. A central component of this diet also requires you to cut back on your carbohydrates, particularly in the earlier stages.

Flexibility in Your Strategy

The company behind the diet allows dieters to either choose to make their own foods based on the rules, to purchase pre-packaged foods designed to make it easier to stay within the restrictions, or to do both. That said, there is no requirement that dieters purchase the pre-packaged foods. There is a preference for learning to cook your own foods for the various phases, while using the packaged options more to keep up with the diet when you’re too busy to make your own meals.

What Are the Dukan Diet Phases?

The phases of the Dukan Diet include:

Phase 1 – Attack

During this phase, you can eat as much protein as you want, choosing from 68 possible animal-based protein sources. The book claims this phase of the diet will boost the rate of weight loss while decreasing the amount of water held by the body’s tissues. For this phase, dieters will also need to drink between 6 and 8 cups of water per day and take 1.5 tablespoons of fiber – preferably oat bran fiber – to help reduce calorie absorption and shrink the appetite. This phase lasts for about a week (though this changes depending on the goal weight) and involves the introduction of exercise, usually in the morning.

Phase 2 – Cruise

Throughout this phase, the dieter is supposed to lose one pound per three days. There is still a requirement for the same types of protein, but some veggies become allowed. Dieters can select from 32 different options. There are still no fatty veggies or starchy ones allowed. This phase requires the same amount of water, with 2 tablespoons of oat bran fiber each day.

Phase 3 – Consolidation

This is the phase that works to keep the lost weight off, offering additional dieting tips. In addition to being able to eat the same foods as the previous two phases, some new foods are also allowed, such as fruit, cheese, some starchy foods and bread. During this phase, you can have 2 meals per week that can deviate from the restrictions of the phase. Every time you lose a pound, this phase becomes 5 days longer. This is often the longest phase.

Phase 4 – Stabilization

In this phase, you can eat however you want for 6 days each week, provided you follow the portion recommendations. Once per week, you need to eat according to the Attack phase. This is the phase that is maintained for the rest of the dieter’s life in order to keep up long term results.

Does Science Back the Dukan Diet?

As of the writing of this review, there hasn’t been much quality research conducted on the Dukan Diet.  That said, there have been a few limited preliminary studies.  One study conducted in Poland tracked women following that eating strategy. It showed that they ate around 1,000 calories per day and 100 grams of protein per day.  In 8 to 10 weeks, they lost an average of 33 pounds.

Other small studies have also shown that diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates can bring about rapid weight loss over the short term.

Does the Weight Loss from the Dukan Diet Last?

There haven’t been any long-term, reputable studies on the safety or lasting effects of the Dukan Diet.  That said, this type of eating style is often considered to be controversial due to the high protein intake it requires.  This is particularly true when considering bone health and the kidneys. People with healthy kidneys likely shouldn’t be concerned. That said, individuals prone to kidney stones could experience a worsening of their risk and their symptoms with this type of diet.

It is unlikely that most people would be able to keep up this type of eating strategy over the long term. Therefore, there is a risk of rebounding weight.

Review: Mayo Clinic diet

Review: Mayo Clinic diet

The Mayo Clinic Diet is a lifestyle strategy designed to help to remove the complexity involved in trying to lose weight in a healthy way. While healthy weight loss may sound as though it’s a pretty straightforward effort, once you get started, the amount of information available can easily become overwhelming. From food groups to macronutrients and from cardio to strength training, there are many details to consider.

The goal of this strategy is to make it easier for people to live a healthy lifestyle.  The Mayo Clinic Diet is meant to provide people with confidence in knowing that the recommendations are made from experts at a reputable medical and health organization.  Through this strategy, people can avoid fads and crash diets while improving the relationship they have with what they eat and with their regular activity level.

Why Was the Mayo Clinic Diet Developed?

Interestingly, while the Mayo Clinic Diet was designed to get right to the heart of the matter and provide people with directions to lose weight while living a healthy lifestyle, the timing of the creation of the diet was not necessarily chosen by the organization. Instead, there were so many unofficial versions of the diet already circulating under that name, they decided it was time to create a legitimate, official one that people could trust.

What is the Mayo Clinic?

The Mayo Clinic, the prestigious Minnesota-based organization.  It is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing health education, research and clinical practice together.  It currently employs over 4,500 physicians and scientists in addition to 58,400 allied health staff and admin staff.

Publishing a Book for Common Sense Recommendations

The organization created a diet and published a book under its name in order to provide a common sense, practical and healthy way to eat nutritiously, get in shape and lose weight. It is highly user friendly and features a range of tips, recipes, pictures, graphics and additional support information to simplify weight management.

Replacing a Fad Diet with an Official Weight Management Strategy

According to the diet’s medical editor, Donald Hensrud, MD, the fad diet bearing the Mayo Clinic’s name had been circulating for years and they decided it was time to put things right with an actual healthy weight loss plan that people can actually use.

The unofficial, phony version of the diet involves consuming a low-carb, high-fat eating strategy. It promises that following this and eating grapefruit, which it claims to have nearly miraculous powers for fat burning, will skyrocket weight loss. The plan is followed for twelve days before there are two days off and then back on again. This is repeated ten times for what the diet claims will bring 50 to 55 pounds of weight loss.

On the other hand, the legitimate Mayo Clinic Diet provides a medically reviewed, scientifically sound long term weight loss strategy. The focus on building healthy eating and fitness habits that will be maintained for a lifetime in order to provide weight management as a lifestyle and not just over the short term. The goal isn’t to choose certain foods or food groups as being better or worse than others. Instead, it promotes overall wellness and understand how to incorporate health into a real person’s lifestyle.

What does the Mayo Clinic Diet Recommend?

It has a nutrition component, a fitness component as well as a preventive medicine component. That way, it’s not just focusing on getting the pounds off. Certainly, that’s a factor, but the aim is to do so healthfully so that it helps with overall health. Reducing weight in a healthy way is an important path to preventing many types of chronic disease and illness. This diet recommends eating according to the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Weight Pyramid, boosting physical activity, keeping up healthy lifestyle habits, defining and achieving realistic goals and keeping up motivation levels.

Overall, the Mayo Clinic Diet is based on the foundation recommendations that are already being made by doctors and other health experts.  It uses government data and solid research to back up its recommendations.  That said, what makes it different is that it applies this data in a practical way. It provides people with ways they can use that information in their real life.

Over time, people following this strategy are meant to regularly improve their choices for nutrition, exercise and overall wellness.

Review: The MIND Diet

Review: The MIND Diet

The MIND Diet is a combination of two proven and popular diets: Mediterranean Diet and DASH.  It was designed to focus specifically on the foods from those eating strategies that are known to support brain health. Initial research into this form of dieting suggests that it could have the potential to support brain wellness and reduce the risk of mental decline.

As there have yet to be any methods of fully preventing or reversing dementia or Alzheimer’s, the hope is to be able to use MIND Diet strategies to make as big of a difference based on lifestyle as possible.

Does the MIND Diet Work?

The idea behind the MIND Diet is to eat foods such as nuts, berries, and leafy greens to reduce a person’s risk of developing a progressive brain disorder. The letters in the name of this eating strategy stand for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.  It was first developed by Rush University Medical Center nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris.

The development of the MIND Diet was funded by the National Institute on Aging.  The first published version of this eating strategy was in February 2015. The research determined that eating in this way decreased the risk of Alzheimer’s development by about 35 percent among people who followed it moderately well.  That said, among those who followed it quite rigorously, there as a 53 percent drop in Alzheimer’s risk.

More research is needed to know precisely what long-term impact following the MIND Diet can have.  Still, the same research team has done more study into this eating plan and has found that its impact on preventing cognitive decline is better than both the DASH and Mediterranean Diets on their own.

Not a Dieting Plan Specifically for Weight Loss

Though the MIND Diet is considered to be very healthy, it is not necessarily a plan for weight reduction.  That said, many people who have followed this eating program have found that their weight has been easier to manage. Its focus on whole grains, vegetables – particularly dark green ones – nuts, beans, lean proteins, healthy fats such as olive oil, and other nutrient dense foods helps to avoid empty calories and foods that are less satisfying. In fact, it recommends avoiding highly sugary and processed fatty foods.

Before switching to the MIND Diet, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor. This can help you to know that it will be appropriate for you and will assist you in finding the right guidance to follow to do it properly, particularly at the start as you familiarize yourself with it.

Review: Eco-Atkins Diet

Review: Eco-Atkins Diet

The Eco-Atkins Diet is a weight loss strategy that was developed to provide vegetarians and vegans with an option that is meant to work as an alternative to the Atkins Diet. Like the meat-focused Atkins Diet, Eco-Atkins is also centered around a low carb, high protein eating strategy.

High Protein, No Meat

This vegetarian version of the Atkins Diet was first developed by researchers in Toronto, Canada, at St. Michael’s Hospital. Their goal had been to see whether or not a high protein vegetarian diet could bring about a reduction of both body weight and bad (LDL) cholesterol.

The research team came up with the Eco-Atkins Diet in order to respect the same protein to carb ratio as the original diet, while replacing the animal protein – which was high in fat – with a vegetable protein that is typically lower in fat. This protein was mainly in the form of gluten and soy.

What the Research Said

The results of the study were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, when it found that the diet brought about an average of 8.8 pounds in the first four weeks, improved blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Bad cholesterol improved by 0.6 percent, which was significant, particularly for that amount of time.

How to Follow the Eco-Atkins Diet

The Eco-Atkins Diet requires dieters to eat foods that are made up mostly of protein, healthy fats and carbs from high fiber vegetables. Around 30 percent of the daily calorie intake comes from plant proteins, about 45 percent comes from vegetable oils, and another 25 percent from carbohydrates. Foods most commonly consumed on this diet include healthy fats, beans, soy foods, seeds, nuts, fruits, no-starch gluten products, vegetables and fruits.

As meat is excluded from Eco-Atkins, protein sources are typically soy beverages, gluten, soy burgers, tofu, and vegetarian alternative versions such as breakfast links, bacon and deli slices. Other sources include nuts, certain cereals and vegetables. There is an emphasis placed on certain vegetables over others, with a preference for viscous veggies such as eggplant, okra and other low starch options.

Fats Preferred for the Eco-Atkins Diet

The good fats preferred in this diet include olive oil, canola oil, nuts and avocado. Carbs are meant to come exclusively from cereals, vegetables and fruits. A small amount of barley and oats are permitted. However, enriched white flour based foods and sugary foods were banned, such as white rice, white bread, potatoes, and the majority of baked products such as cakes, muffins and cookies.

Despite the fact that following Eco Atkins Diet strategies does help some dieters to improve their overall nutrition, the improvements in this and in weight loss were not all that much better than other nutritionally balanced weight loss diet plans. It is primarily the cholesterol improving benefits of this diet that makes it stand out from other balanced vegan or vegetarian diets.

Which Atkins Version is Better?

A former president of the American Heart Association, University of Denver professor Robert Eckel, MD, calls both the Eco-Atkins Diet and the Atkins Diet too restrictive for the majority of people to continue following over the long term. That said, between the two, it was the vegan and vegetarian version that was labeled as better by Dr. Eckel.

Still, whether or not the Eco-Atkins Diet is for you isn’t just a matter of whether or not it is better than the original eating strategy.  There are many factors to consider as you decide if you should give this method a try.  It is a very restrictive diet and would be even tougher for someone who is not already used to a vegetarian lifestyle.

For many people, that means that the change will be only temporary as most people find it challenging to keep up a highly restrictive lifestyle change over the long term.  This risks not only dropping this healthy lifestyle but also returning to an old one that caused the weight to be gained in the first place.  Also, after feeling as though a diet such as this one has failed, it can be more difficult to start a new strategy.  The disappointment and feeling of failure can become a barrier instead of a motivation.

Beyond that, the Eco-Atkins Diet can also prove challenging to individuals who don’t have a great deal of experience in nutrition and eating a balanced diet without any meat.  This can cause a spectrum of potential nutrition problems and related symptoms.

Review: Ketogenic Diet

Review: Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet, also known as the Keto Diet, is an eating strategy for weight loss that is not dissimilar to the Atkins Diet and other very low carb diets. The goal of this plan is to achieve a state of ketosis in the body, which is a state in which the metabolism functions differently as a result of very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it results in improved fat burning when compared to many other forms of weight loss strategy.

The History of the Ketogenic Diet

One of the Keto Diet’s founders is Dr. Russell Wilder. His contribution occurred in the 1920s, when he became the first person to test diabetes patients for insulin. He was among the heads of the Mayo Clinic at the time and eventually took the top spot in the department of medicine, metabolism, and nutrition.

The purpose of the Ketogenic Diet strategy is to improve the body’s rate of fat burning by making the right food choices. This can be further enhanced by selecting foods that encourage ketone production in the liver. Ketones are energy molecules the liver produces from fat. They provide the body and the brain with fuel.

There are three main types: acetate (acetone), acetoacetate (AcAc), and beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB). Of the three, BHB isn’t actually a true form of ketone, but it still plays a central role in brain stimulation and the formation of new neural tissue, which is a function at the heart of ketosis. The main ketone is AcAc, which is typically converted into either energy or BHB.

Drawbacks of the Keto Diet

Ketosis can help to boost the rate of fat burning and many people find it to be effective as long as they maintain it efficiently. That said, the process is not without its drawbacks. Among the most noticeably struggles can include a symptom called “keto breath,” where the breath gains a very distinct odor from the way the body is functioning. The urine often changes smell as well.

Advantages of Using the Ketogenic Diet

While on the Ketogenic Diet, the body’s main source of energy is the fat already stored on it. It is for this reason that it can sometimes lead to rapid weight loss, as the body will burn away stored fat in order to function and give you the energy you need to get through your day. That said, while this diet may be marketed mainly as a weight loss strategy, it isn’t necessarily meant exclusively for that. It can also be used by people who have mild to severe health conditions. It is also often opted for by people trying to lower their body mass index and/or achieve a healthier overall body. In fact, it was once used – and is sometimes still used – as a part of the effort to treat children suffering from epilepsy.

This has made the Keto Diet very popular over the last few years. As its effectiveness for fat burning was identified, it took off as a weight loss diet.

Among the main advantages of following this type of diet is that hunger is rarely a problem. Moreover, blood sugar levels drop and stay stead because you are consuming more proteins and fats than carbs. That said, many people struggle with certain challenges when following this diet, such as the fact that it is highly restrictive, difficult to keep up over the long term and can sometimes result in constipation due to the reduced fiber intake from cutting carbs.

Is Keto Dieting For You?

No single type of dieting is right for everyone.  There are many things to take into consideration, even when you’re looking at some of the more popular or successful strategies.  Your first step, as annoying as it might seem, is to talk to your doctor.  Yes, it is a nuisance and is possibly an expense.  However, it is one of your top ways to know if you’re choosing a weight  management strategy that will be safe for your medical and health needs.  It is also the best way for you to know if it will be possible to use this strategy to meet your goal expectations.

While talking to your doctor, discuss the specific version of the ketogenic diet that you intend to follow.  Talk about the types of foods you will be eating.  This will help you to make sure you’re keeping your nutrition where it should be.  Beyond that, be sure to remind your doctor of any medical conditions you have, medications you are taking, and even any supplements you use.  Remember that this should include medications and supplements you’re not only taking currently, but also any you already know you will be using throughout your weight management efforts.

The reason is that the way you eat and putting your body into ketosis can alter the way certain drugs are absorbed or the way they function. Moreover, this diet works in direct opposition to certain types of obesity medication, such as fat blockers.

Review: Mediterranean Diet

Review: Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is an eating strategy that has received a considerable amount of attention from the scientific community and the media.  It is praised as a heart healthy eating plan that also comes with a range of additional potential advantages such as the potential for weight loss.

This eating plan has undergone a number of different studies of different natures, sizes and purposes and many have brought about positive results.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet combines well balanced nutrition with the traditional food preparation methods used in the Mediterranean region.  These flavors have been used as a part of that culture for a long time, but interest in it as a healthy lifestyle started in the 1960s.

At that time, researchers observed that people living in the Mediterranean regions of Italy and Greece had a lower prevalence of coronary heart disease and that it caused fewer deaths than was the case in northern Europe and the United States. Studies into the regions have shown that the traditional way of eating is indeed linked with a reduced risk of factors associated with cardiovascular disease.

Eating Healthy

As a result of the research into the Mediterranean Diet, it has become one of the healthy eating plans the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends for the prevention of chronic illness and the promotion of overall health.

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) also recognizes this eating style as a sustainable healthy dietary pattern.  The United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognizes it as an intangible cultural asset.

What’s Involved in the Mediterranean Diet?

To follow the Mediterranean Diet, you will need to eat in a way similar to the traditional cuisines of peoples traditionally living along the Mediterranean Sea.  This means that there isn’t a specific strict way of eating.  After all, this diet is made up of meals eaten by people from multiple countries over time.  People don’t naturally choose only a small number of very specific dishes.

Instead, it is more of a style of eating.  The traditional Mediterranean Diet is typically high in fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and olive oil.

The primary parts of this type of eating strategy include:

  • Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats each day
  • Eating poultry, fish, eggs and beans each week
  • Eating a moderate amount of dairy products
  • Eating a limited amount of red meat

Other additional factors often valued as a part of the Mediterranean Diet are enjoying one glass of red wine on occasion, remaining physically active, and eating meals with friends and family.

Review: The Nordic Diet

Review: The Nordic Diet

The Nordic Diet is an eating strategy based on the traditional way of eating from Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Greenland. Just like the Mediterranean Diet, which is also based on the traditional foods in a specific part of the world, it was not developed with weight loss in mind.  Instead, it is meant to be healthy, balanced and delicious and can result in weight loss by correcting certain nutritional issues such as overeating or consuming too many processed foods.

What Do You Eat on the Nordic Diet?

When you’re following the Nordic Diet, you’ll be using the following guidelines to help you make the right choices:

  • Whenever possible, choose more vegetables, fruits, seasonal and organic foods.
  • Eat more whole grains.
  • Choose foods from the wild, lakes and seas.
  • Eat less meat but choose high quality meat when you do have it.
  • Choose less sugary and less processed foods.
  • Waste less food.
  • Prepare more foods at home.

Losing Weight with the Nordic Diet

As people start using this eating strategy, they will often lose weight.  This is particularly true when it comes to the fat they carry around their middle.  This is good news not only because many people want to lose the weight around their waists the most. That said, it is also a great place to lose weight when it comes to your health.  The middle is one of the most dangerous places to carry extra fat stores, and one of the most beneficial places to lose it.

Reducing Heart Disease Risk with This Eating Strategy

Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, glucose, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and insulin levels that aren’t ideal.  These are all areas improved by the Nordic Diet among many people. Scientists believe that both weight loss and eating these types of food will help to support heart health and improve heart disease risk factors.

An Environmentally Friendly Eating Strategy

Among the Nordic Diet’s primary goals is eco-friendliness. Therefore, though it’s healthful to eat more plant-based foods than animal-based ones, it’s also great for the planet.  Moreover, since this diet encourages us to eat more local and in-season foods, it reduces the distance ingredients need to travel and, therefore, the carbon footprint your diet leaves behind. Equally, foods picked when they’re ripe and consumed close to the time they were picked, they provide higher nutrient levels.

Review: Atkins Diet

Review: Atkins Diet

At this point, there are very few people who haven’t heard of the Atkins Diet.  It was the first major fad to place low carb dieting into the spotlight.  Though it was first created in 1972, it wasn’t until over twenty years later that it truly reached its peak.

Still, even after the Atkins Diet exploded in popularity, what most people learned about it was that it required dieters to consume a low carbohydrate diet.  In fact, many people believed that it involved the attempt to eat no carbs at all.  Many myths circulated and distorted the main understanding of what this eating strategy involved.

If you’re curious about the truth behind this diet, read on and discover what it’s truly about.

What is the Atkins Diet?

The Atkins Diet, also known as Atkins 20, is a low carb, high protein, moderate fat intake eating strategy that is meant to help you to quickly lose weight without suffering from hunger or feeling deprived from the foods you love. At the time that it first came out it had a certain amount of popularity, but it went through a significant return around the turn of the millennium.

At that time, millions of people were using the strategy to try to shed the pounds, including many well known celebrities. The diet had a popular website, books and a range of other branded products. In fact, many grocery chains carried special Atkins food items that helped people to enjoy their favorites without overeating carbs.

An Evolving Eating Strategy

The Atkins Diet has shifted and changed over the years in order to keep up with the latest nutrition and health research. The original strategy was revolutionary but was found to be flawed in some of its principles. The most recent form of Atkins now focuses more on lean proteins, healthy fats and veggies that are high in fiber.

Four Phases to the Atkins Diet

This diet is broken down into four phases to be followed by the dieter. That said, no matter the phase, the main proteins and fats to consume are meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, cheese, butter and oils. At the same time, sugary and starchy carbohydrates need to be avoided. They include foods such as potatoes, bread, chips, pasta, candy and cookies.

The Atkins Diet starts off rather restrictive but works its way toward allowing a growing number of foods once the body has adapted and adjusted.

  • Phase 1 is meant to cause the body to stop burning carbs and to start burning fats instead, a process called ketosis. During that phases, weight loss typically occurs quite quickly. In this phase, dieters eat proteins, fats, and no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates, all of which must come from vegetables.
  • Phase 2 starts to introduce some new foods into the dieter’s allowable options. This is a time of gradual trial and error, allowing the dieter to determine how many carbs they can eat while continuing to lose weight.
  • Phase 3 doesn’t begin until the diet has only around 10 pounds left before reaching their weight loss goal. This teaches the dieter how to polish off the rest of the weight loss they still have left.
  • Phase 4 is the last one and is meant to be maintained over the long term. This phase is designed to make sure that once the weight has been lost, it will never come back.

A Less Restrictive Form of Atkins

It should be noted that there is a less rigid form of the Atkins Diet, called Atkins 40, which goes by similar strategies as the Atkins 20 version, only it is not as restrictive. For example, during the first phase, dieters can eat 40 grams of carbs instead of just 20 grams. Moreover, there aren’t any food groups that are completely excluded. There are limits to certain fats, but no rigid guidelines regarding the consumption of many proteins such as meats.

Other versions of this strategy have been created to appeal to people who are concerned with the environment or who want an option that is plant-based, such as Eco-Atkins.

No matter which version of the Atkins Diet you’re considering, it’s very important to speak with your doctor first.  This eating strategy is not appropriate for everyone and may even be dangerous for people with certain common medical conditions.  Talking to a medical professional will help you to know if this is the right option for you or if an alternative may be safer and more effective.

Review: The Engine 2 Diet

Review: The Engine 2 Diet

The Engine 2 Diet is a weight loss and cholesterol reducing strategy developed by Rip Esselstyn. Esselstyn is a former firefighter from Texas and published his diet in a book called “The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds.”

What is The Engine 2 Diet?

This is a plant-based diet which, according to its creator, is primarily focused on eliminating junk foods from an everyday diet.

The Engine 2 Diet refers to junk food as processed and refined foods as well as meat and dairy. Instead, the follower will consume only nutritious foods consisting of whole, plant-based options. The book encourages dieters to learn how to live, eat and cook in a way that is healthy overall.

Two 28-Day Plans

There are two 28 day diet plans that comprise the Engine 2 Diet. The first plan is called The Fire Cadet. That option is a more gradual approach to adopting this lifestyle. The second plan is called The Firefighter, which is far more extreme.

Dieters can choose one or the other of those two plans based on what they feel is most appropriate for their needs and expectations. At the same time, both the Fire Cadet and the Firefighter plan have identical goals. Their purpose is to take four weeks in order to eliminate junk, meat and dairy from a person’s diet. Instead, followers eat only vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.

The Fire Cadet Plan

The Fire Cadet Plan is broken down into four weeks.

  • During the first week, the dieter must eliminate all refined foods, processed foods and dairy from their diets (keeping in mind that this is the more gradual and moderate plan).
  • In week two, all meat, poultry, fish and eggs are eliminated. During week three, any extracted oils (such as conola, olive and coconut) are eliminated.
  • During week four, additional vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes are added to the diet.

This is clearly a restrictive diet, particularly at the beginning.  Though it does progressively allow for additional food types to be consumed over time as the dieter moves through the four weeks, it certainly doesn’t mean that the dieter will be returning to a more traditional way of eating by the last week.

Firefighter Plan

On the other hand, the more intense Firefighter plan (that’s right, the Fire Cadet was the gentler of the two) dives right in at week four and continues that lifestyle for four weeks.

Therefore, right from the start, dieters will need to eliminate all animal based products as well as refined and processed foods and extracted oils. These are replaced with the fruits and veggies, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts.

The main difference between this plan and the Fire Cadet Plan is that there is a gradual progression in the first plan.  This one plunges head-first into the restrictions that will be maintained over the complete 28 days.

Additional Restrictions

Moreover, the author also recommends that anyone following the diet should stop drinking any alcohol for at least the four weeks during which they are introducing themselves to the diet.  This is true regardless of which plan you start with.

Engine 2 Diet Resources

To make things easier to understand, the Engine 2 Diet book provides a full list of what can and cannot be consumed at any given time throughout the 28 days. Many people who have followed this diet have found that this additional resource is an important investment into the diet.

The reason is that it can be difficult to know what is and is not allowed when it comes to the specifics.  Even if full categories of the rules are understood, there are certain foods that can seem to be in a gray area and the dieter may need clarification.

Workout Plan

Beyond the eating strategy, the Engine 2 Diet also offers dieters an exercise plan. The plan is broken down into the four weeks so that the dieter can know what he or she should be doing as a workout at any given point throughout the 28 days.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is considered to be a vegetarian or vegan diet, but only over the short-term, making it somewhat of a fad diet as opposed to one that is necessarily geared toward the longer-term.