The beauty of The 2-Day is its simplicity and the fact it only has to be done two days of the week, ideally consecutively. You don’t need to count calories or go hungry. All you need to do is stick to the recommended foods listed, making sure that you include the minimum recommended servings, but that you don’t exceed the maximum. The book contains a guide to the maximum number of servings of each type of food, to help reassure you that you aren’t eating too much. It’s important that you have enough protein and electrolytes on the restricted days, and for this reason we recommend that you have at least the minimum recommended amounts of protein foods, and that you try to have dairy, fruit and vegetables. Beyond this, only eat as much as you need and listen to your body.
On each of your two restricted days of The 2-Day Diet you can consume:
- Protein foods (i.e. chicken, fish, eggs, lean meat): a maximum of 12 servings for women and 14 for men.
- Fats (i.e. rapeseed, olive oil, nuts or avocado): a maximum of 5 servings for women and 6 servings for men.
- Dairy: 3 servings.
- Fruit: 1 serving.
- Vegetables: 5 servings.
- At least 2 litres (4 pints) of water, tea, coffee or other sugar-free or low-calorie drinks.
If you wish, you can also include:
- Sugar-free chewing gum or liquorice root (available from health food shops).
- Up to 10 sugar-free mints.
The book defines what constitutes a serving, and gives you a detailed list of all the foods you may consume and in what quantities.
Your diet for the remaining days (the five unrestricted days) should be based on eating a healthy Mediterranean-style diet. This includes food that is as whole and unprocessed as possible with lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, beans, pulses, nuts and olive oil as well as fish, poultry, low-fat dairy foods, and it can include amounts of lean, red meat – but avoid lots of pasta, pizza and red wine.
The Mediterranean diet is packed full of disease-fighting antioxidants, vitamins and flavonoids, and the benefits of eating this way are almost too numerous to list. There’s convincing evidence that it not only lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes, but it may also protect against some cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Your eating plan for these five unrestricted days contains high-protein, high-fibre foods to help you feel full and reduce your chances of overeating.
Protein foods include:
- White or oily fish and seafood.
- Chicken, turkey or duck (cooked without skin).
- Lean cuts of red meat – for example beef, pork, lamb or offal, lean game, venison, rabbit or pheasant.
- Pulses, beans, chickpeas and lentils – use these for bulking up dishes.
Limit to once during the five unrestricted days:
- Fatty cuts of red meat, poultry and game (these are high in saturated fat).
- High-fat processed meat and meat products (for example sausage and corned beef – these are high in saturated fat and salt).
- Charred and well-done meat and fish (these are limited due to some concerns about cancer risk associated with consuming charred foods).
- Battered/breaded fish (these are higher in calories and much lower in protein than uncoated fish).
- Low-fat processed meats, bacon, ham and salty fish such as kippers, smoked salmon, smoked mackerel and smoked white fish to limit your overall salt intake for the week.