This is a follow up from my previous article review The Two Day Diet. The results were so interesting I was thinking about how it could be applied to more than just losing weight and and more as a lifestyle diet to always ward off fat gains.
The two very low calorie days serve more of a purpose than just burning fat. They may even make the 5 normal days more effective. Here is a list of benefits you get by adopting a diet such as this.
- Enhances digestion – by giving your body a break from all of the food intake on the normal days
- Mental Discipline – takes a strong mentality to limit yourself on certain days
- Increase Insulin sensitivity – short term calorie restriction makes you more sensitive on the normal days (meaning food will more likely be used for energy and by muscles rather than stored as fat)
- No Plateaus – As I stated earlier, long term diets STOP working. Not the case with this diet.
- Increase in Fat Burning Hormones – this happens in the short term (1-2 days) any longer and this benefit is gone.
- Cardio is enhanced – since less food is in your system, cardio increase fat burning hormones and will likely take off even more fat.
Would if you don’t need to burn fat or you only have a little to lose? Adjustments:
- 6 normal days
- 1 low day
Muscle Gain – this one would be interesting to see. Muscle gains requires adequate calories, so there is always potential fat gain in the quest to build rock hard muscle. Since you would be eating higher calories the majority of the time, you would be feeding your muscles enough. But on the low calorie days (make sure its a rest of cardio day) you eat a very low amount to generate a lot of fat loss and make yourself more insulin sensitive on the high calorie days. Eat high calories on lifting days and use the 1-2 low days to ward off potential fat spill over and burn fat.
- 5 high days (calories at bodyweight x 14 or 15) Ex. 170X14 or 15= 2400 -2600 calories
- 2 low days (1/2 of normal day) = 1200-1300 calories
- Depending on how much you lift or how little fat you have to lose, you could easily move this to 6 high days and 1 low day.
Faster Fat Loss – I wouldn’t touch the system for faster fat loss. Two days of dieting were shown to be just as effective as 7, so why make yourself suffer if you don’t have to? Could you lose fat faster with more low days? Yes, most likely, but you don’t have to and you may even dip into the point of diminishing returns. If you are obese and really have a lot of weight to lose you could probably do 3-4 low days with 3-4 normal days. I wouldn’t push it much past this, because the negatives of dieting are not worth it.
Additional Tips – Make sure to eat a balanced diet on the normal days. Don’t do carb restricted diets or low fat diets, because even with adequate calories these diets still cause problems. You need all macronutrients for optimal health so make sure to eat balanced on your normal days. I wanted to give a few more additional tips though on how to make the low calorie days as easy and less stressful as possible.
- Wake up and drink coffee or green tea – many people wake up hungry but these two drinks definitely take the edge off
- Use volume to your advantage – Low calorie meats and high fiber vegetables should be your foundation on this day
- ex- Meal for this day – 80z chicken, 1 small onion, 1 bag of frozen broccoli florets, spices, low calories condiments (Total Calories – 320, lot of food in this meal for such a small amount of energy)
- Eat protein – filling and 30% of burned off in digestion which further increases calorie burn. It also preserves muscle
- Keep busy – this may be the best tip, but if your busy doing something time flies by and don’t even think about food.
- Make sure your hydrated – thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so if you just ate and your still hungry drink water to make sure your body isn’t sending out the wrong signals.
- Don’t drink calories – make sure you eat and enjoy your meals on this day. Drinking calories sometimes make you feel like you consumed nothing when your finished.
- The above tip applies mainly to juice and soda. You can make some very filling protein shakes with high fiber fruit and ice that will make you feel very full on low calories.
- Don’t use cooking oil.
- Eat enough salt – maintain blood pressure and keeps you from getting light headed
- Chew mint flavored gum. Gum makes your brain think its being fed and the flavor of mint sends signals to the brain that the meal is over.
- Do cardio – this applies to the “keep yourself busy” point, but cardio will definitely enhance fat loss on this day. This could be a slow jog or walk. Don’t lift on this day, because trust me muscle will not be built.
There are many more tips, but these are very effective. This should only be done 2 days a week max for most people. The only reason these days are effective is because they are sandwiched in between normal calorie days.