Wednesday, May 4, 2011
So What is the Engine 2 Diet, Anyway?
There are two ways to do The Engine 2 Diet:
Fire Cadet program, which eliminates foods gradually each week:
Week 1 - Dairy and Processed Foods
Week 2 - Dairy, Processed Foods,
Meat and Eggs
Week 3 - Dairy, Processed Foods,
Meat, Eggs and Oil
Week 4 - All of the above
Or the Firefighter program, which eliminates all the foods listed above for the entire 28-day period.
Giving up alcohol and caffeine is suggested, and participants are advised to watch their sodium and sugar intake very closely.
Along with the eating program, there's a no-excuses strength training routine that doesn't require any equipment except a chair, and your choice of cardio training. Each week calls for 2 days of strength training and 3 of cardio.
So why do it?
Losing weight isn’t always a healthy prospect but this plan has medical proof behind it. On top of that, it’s a plant-based program and I’m all for that. Most importantly, this is about finding a way to eat healthy, tasty food without spending my life in the kitchen. And it’s about getting fit without spending all my precious spare time in the gym. I'm looking to the Engine 2 Diet to help me blend healthy habits into my day-to-day life.
Let's see some proof
The Engine 2 Diet is Rip Esselstyn's plant-based eating and exercise program that's based on his father, Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., MD's research. Dr. Esselstyn researched patients with serious heart disease from the Cleveland Clinic's cardiology department, working with 18 people who had incurred 49 coronary events over the previous eight years. He placed them on a plant-based eating plan very similar to Engine 2. After 12 years all but one patient suffered no further cornary events, and the one who did had strayed from the prescribed diet. On top of that, their overall cholesterol dropped below 150 mg/dl (heart disease is exceedingly rare among people with total cholesterol levels under 150).
John McDougal, MD has been treating people with a variety of illnesses with the plant-based diet recommended in E2 and he and other physicians have cured most Type 2 diabetics and, in many cases, have greatly reduced insulin needs even for Type 1 patients. Dr. Esselstyn himself reverses and even cures advanced heart disease with this diet.1
Rip, a firefigher at a firehouse known as Engine 2 in Austin, Texas, decided to put the plant-based diet to the test with his co-workers and volunteers from around the Austin area. For 28 days the participants ate a plant-based diet and in that short time got some incredible results. The group's overall average cholesterol level went from 181 mg/dl to 142 mg/dl and they saw a total mean weight loss of 10 pounds. The average weight loss for men was 15 pounds; for women it was 8.5 pounds.
There's more evidence of the diet's success in the book, but for now this is enough for me. Let's see what happens!
1 The Engine 2 Diet intro by T. Colin Campbell, PhD