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.