Lots of people come to me, through my website and in person, and ask for advice on how to get fitter, get stronger or generally kick more ass in their daily life. However, the topic that people most frequently ask me about is how to lose weight quickly and effectively. It seems like everybody is in a hurry to be a bit slimmer or a bit leaner. I won’t lie, losing weight and staying lean in the long term is challenging. It takes planning and commitment, but it’s not impossible. Once you establish some key habits and see the benefits of your diet, it starts to get easier. Spending a fortnight really dedicating yourself to improving your diet can have a huge impact on your success.
Taking fourteen days to change how you eat and how you think about food can be a pretty daunting experience. However, I think that if these first two weeks are even moderately successful, you get such a huge boost from your momentum that it’s worth the effort. Once you establish your new eating habits, making positive choices becomes the default and you can start to focus on what to do with all your extra energy!
What I’m going to do in this article is lay down a template for how to undertake a two week weight loss diet that will kick start your weight loss and set you up for further progress. It’s a challenging diet but I’ll give you plenty of tips on how to make it as easy as you can for yourself. First of all I’ll give you an overview of what the diet looks like.
Two Week Transformation
If you’ve looked around the articles on this site before you might have an idea of what to expect here. In case you haven’t, I’ll lay down the basics before we get too specific. Here are my rules for a two week weight loss diet.
Protein: Protein is your priority while you’re doing the 2 week weight loss diet. Protein increases your metabolic rate and reduces feelings of hunger ,helping you tip your energy balance in favour of weight loss. What’s more, you need protein to gain and maintain muscle mass which is vital if you want to look better after your weight loss. Make sure you eat a decent serving of high quality protein with every meal. You can find some great sources of protein here.
Fat: You need to make sure you’re getting plenty of healthy fats from your diet. Don’t worry, eating high quality, healthy fats won’t make you gain body fat. In fact, the opposite is probably true. Like protein, good quality fat contributes to feeling satiated and can boost your metabolism. I use extra virgin olive oil on salads, eat fatty fish like mackerel and salmon and sometimes put a little coconut oil in my coffee.
Carbohydrate: Over the two weeks when you’re sticking to this weight loss diet you will need to severely restrict carbohydrate intake. This is the most effective way of reducing your appetite so you feel satiated with fewer calories, lose as much fat as possible from your abdomen and see great weight loss results as soon as possible.
So here’s what the diet looks like so far. Over two weeks you’ll eat a meal of protein, fat and vegetables roughly every four hours. You will eliminate sources of carbohydrate including all grain-based products, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams and other starchy tubers. For the diet to be as successful as possible, it’s also a good idea to avoid fruit during these crucial first two weeks, but don’t worry, you’ll get enough vitamins and minerals from all the vegetables you’ll be eating.
In terms of what to drink, my rule of thumb is “Don’t Drink Calories”. This means fruit juices, alcohol, milk, and any other calorie-containing beverages are off the menu for two weeks. The options this leaves you with are water, black coffee and teas (obviously, all without sweeteners or dairy). This is a good way of making sure that excess calories don’t sneak into your diet unnoticed.
There is one exception to the “Don’t Drink Calories” rule. If you can find a good quality protein supplement, like whey protein with minimal additives and sweetened with stevia, xylitol or erythritol, then that would make a great addition to the diet. There are lots of advantages to having a convenient (and tasty) protein supplement. They’re really useful if you work out hard and can be an invaluable way of stopping yourself from breaking the diet when your plans let you down. And speaking of planning, making sure you’re organized is one of the most important factors in the success of your fortnight diet.
This diet is incredibly rewarding but it is also pretty difficult. If you haven’t eaten like this before you might find yourself craving bread, pasta or any number of foods that could derail your fat loss. Don’t rely on your self-control or willpower! Not only will that approach set you up to fail but it’s stressful and can make you resent healthy eating.
A much better approach is to make sure you are always well nourished, don’t have easy access to anything outside of the diet and have alternatives in place for when you start to daydream about Snickers bars! In short, make a plan before you need it.
It’s a good idea to take a week or even two before you start this diet to prepare. You should clear out your house of all junk food, carbohydrates and drinks that contain calories. Eat them, give them to friends or throw them out. Just make sure they’re gone before you start these two weeks. In addition, make sure you stock up on high quality protein foods, good sources of fat and vegetables. Nuts and nut butters are great high protein snacks and are satisfying enough to help you get through a carb craving and on to your next meal. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and overeat nuts. Also, nut butters can be an unexpected source of sugar so read the ingredients before you buy.
Preparing your meals in advance is another great way to ensure consistency on this diet. Getting dinners ready in a large batch every three to four days guarantees you have something appropriate ready to eat all the time.
Here are some great examples of easy meals that can get you started planning your two week weight loss diet.
Eggs are always my favorite fat-loss breakfast, here’s why:
- Scrambled eggs with spinach and a handful of mixed nuts
- Asparagus and mushroom scrambled eggs and a handful of almonds
- ½ sweet pepper filled with scrambled eggs and pesto.
- Omelette with red pepper, onion and a smear of salsa
When you feel like you need a break from eggs I recommend one of the following:
- Romaine lettuce “wrap” with smoked salmon, avocado and a sprinkle of black pepper
- Turkey sausage with and a handful of cashew nuts
- Any leftover meat with rocket and spinach.
Lunches and Dinners
Variety is important to make sure you don’t get bored and frustrated with the diet. Try one of the following if you need a change:
- Greek Salad: Mixed leaves, tomato, red onion, olives and grilled chicken, shrimp or lamb
- Crab and Avocado Salad: Crab meat, celery, watercress and avocado seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Turkey Tabbouleh: Grilled turkey breast with cucumber, tomato, scallions, mint, parsley, garlic salt and pepper.
- Baked Fish and Veg: Large chunks of onion, peppers, courgette and aubergine tossed in olive oil and baked for 20-30 minutes with a large piece of white fish (like cod, haddock or hake) placed on top
Habits, Results and How to Move Forward
The first time I did a two week diet like this one, it changed how I looked at food. After the first few days, I stopped craving bread, potatoes or junk food. I also noticed that I had much more stable energy throughout the day. It was the first time in my life I didn’t need a nap in the afternoon!
One of the habits I developed was keeping a food diary where I recorded what I ate and drank as well as how much I slept and how my energy and mood were. The diary helped me realise how much the diet benefited me and how I could make it easier on myself. For example, I noticed that the days when I got carbohydrate cravings followed nights when I got less than 7 hours sleep. Observations like that helped me succeed so I suggest that if you’re going to try this diet you keep a food (and sleep and mood) diary as well.
You can expect to lose weight from reducing body fat while on this diet. How much you lose depends on how well you stick to the diet. You can also expect to gain confidence and a little understanding of yourself.
Once you successfully get through the two weeks you can gradually start to reintroduce carbohydrates from healthy sources like potatoes and berries. Reintroduce foods one at a time and observe how this affects your weight and energy.
Finally, if you do try this diet I wish you every success and I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.
If you’ve been successful with this diet let me know in the comments below. Share this article with a friend if you want to do the diet together.