The Two Day Diet is a new weight loss plan that is designed to help you get slim and healthy and, according to the authors will drastically reduce your chances of contracting breast cancer. Although this is obviously aimed at women the diet also may help men stay healthy too as it can improve non-gender specific health issues.
The two authors maintain there are numerous health benefits for everyone with this weight loss plan and despite the title, which sounds like this is probably going to be yet another crash diet it looks better than the average fad regime.
And with all proceeds from the book going to a cancer charity, at least this diet is not yet another get rich quick scheme like OMG in Six Days and similar.
What is the Two Day Diet?
The Two Day Diet is an ongoing eating plan that enables you to eat normally for five days a week and just restrict your carbohydrate intake for two consecutive days.
Although we believe that eating sensibly all the time is the best option, the obesity epidemic shows that most people do not follow this advice so the Two Day Diet Plan may help if you are struggling with your health and weight and need some kind of structure to your eating habits.
The Two Day Diet plan is similar to the idea of intermittent fasting but is much easier to keep to. Intermittent fasting is popular right now and the original 5:2 diet as devised by Dr Michael Moseley allows you to eat what you like for five days a week and basically starve for two days, keeping to an extremely restricted calorie count of 500 on the fasting days. Although this has met with some success, most people fail because it is simply too difficult to follow.
The Two Day Diet is a more gentle version that is much easier to live with and does not need you to count calories or starve yourself. You can eat normally but sensibly for five days a week, but on two days a week, you follow the diet and drastically limit your carbohydrate intake. On non-diet days, you are encouraged to follow a Mediterranean diet and eat healthily.
The Two-day diet Plan was written and devised by Professor Tony Howell and Dr Michelle Harvie.
Tony Howell is the Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Manchester. He has specialised in treating breast cancer for over thirty years and is now focused on providing preventative solutions to this disease by lifestyle and pharmaceutical measures. He is the research director of cancer charity Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention and has written over 600 scientific papers on the prevention and cure of the disease.
Dr Michelle Harvie is an award-winning dietician who has also specialised in finding the optimum diet and exercise strategies for the prevention of breast cancer and obesity. All proceeds of the book are going to Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention.
You can find out more by visiting the official Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention: http://www.genesisuk.org/
What Do You Eat on Your “Diet Days?”
The two diet days should be carried out on consecutive days and you should avoid carbohydrates as much as possible, eating mainly protein, fruit, and vegetables.
The Two-Day diet book provides recipe suggestions. Black pepper salmon with olives and tomatoes, chicken escalope with paprika and herbs, Stuffed tarragon chicken with bacon and roasted veg are examples of the sort of meals encouraged on diet days. There are 1000 recipes and meal planners to help you and the book also includes plenty of nutritional and health information about exercise and lifestyle and the sort of results you can expect.
The Two Day Diet is not a quick fix extreme diet. It is more of a lifestyle changer that you may be able to live with.
The Effects of Obesity on Breast Cancer
The UK has an extremely high incidence of breast cancer compared with the rest of Europe and it is no coincidence that British women are on average the fattest in Europe as well. The two conditions are linked because being overweight can be a contributory factor to breast cancer.
The hormone oestrogen is the most common cause of the disease in women over 50 and fat is known to increase oestrogen levels. Many women in their late 40s and 50s also take HRT at this time and the combination of these factors accelerates this risk.
Nearly 50,000 women in Britain are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and it is a growing problem.
Research Behind The Two Day Diet
Dr Michelle Harvie in collaboration with Breast Cancer Campaign, World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) were the first to establish a link between breast cancer and obesity and found that losing modest amounts of weight – perhaps 10lbs or so, could lower the risk by around 25%. Added to this the benefits of intermittent diets and fasting have also been investigated and shown to have some added advantages to health over regular weight loss.
According to the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore, intermittent fasting lowers insulin growth hormone so helps prevent against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and age related conditions. Losing weight successfully and especially fat will reduce your chances of contracted type 2 diabetes – considered to be at almost epidemic levels and reducing cholesterol lowers the risk of heart disease.
Dr Harvie has trialled a few variations of “intermittent” diets but this new Two Day Diet gives you much more choice of foods on diet days and prevents you from feeling too hungry either.
The whole point of this diet is to help you lose weight, find a healthier way of living, and although the driving force has been to reduce breast cancer, looking good and feeling fit is all part of the same package.
Radio 4 Presenter Jenni Murray is a Fan of the Diet
The Two Day Diet Plan is attracting a lot of positive attention. BBC Radio 4 Presenter Jenni Murray who was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago has found that the Two Day Diet Plan has helped with her own weight issues. After a lifetime of struggling with her weight, she reports that the flexibility of the two-day plan is helping her lose weight and keep it off.
The strange thing is that research cannot prove exactly why intermittent dieting works better than a regular calorie controlled diet but the “feast or famine” way of living is certainly something that our ancestors did so perhaps the human body is programmed that way?
In trials that have matched the results of the Two Day Diet with a 1000 calorie controlled diet, it appears that the Two Day Diet works better. Insulin levels were reduced and women lost on average 15% more weight than the standard calorie controlled dieters.
So What Does This Mean?
The Two Day Diet plan looks convincing. It comes backed with some reputable research and anything that helps reduce the risk of breast cancer is certainly good. If you are overweight and have already tried everything then it may be worth a try. The diet is good for your health and does not require that you count calories. Many people find it easy to follow because it allows for flexibility and a wide choice of food and according to some followers, hunger pangs are kept to a minimum.
Don’t be fooled though. Although this is billed as the Two Day diet, you will have to make changes to your lifestyle and diet in order for this to work. The advice to follow a Mediterranean diet will not be easy if you do not find time to cook and it will be expensive for some people. Some of the ingredients will be pricey and making the meals on the diet days may be time consuming. It is no good eating lots of pub meals or going out to restaurants on the five days of the week you are not dieting either.
Many people find it easier to simply reduce calories such as with Weight Watchers because that diet allows you to choose from a variety of instant meals as well as natural ingredients.
The Two Day diet aimed at women may not suit those of us in full time jobs who cook for the family. Whereas other diet plans for example, allow you to simply cook the family meal and use an instant meal alternative for yourself on certain occasions, the Two Day Diet may not be as easy. The problem with the Two Day Diet is that unless the whole family are on it then time constraints and finances may make it difficult.
How Did It Come to This?
How did we ever get to this state where we had to think about food in this way?
The food industry and the amount of cheap fattening food available has not helped but unless we make changes and take some responsibility this problem is not going to go away. In the UK and USA, being overweight has become “normal” and today people who are not fat seem to be in a minority.
Dieting two days a week may help you lose weight but it is still a set regime that will have to be planned in advance and it may not be as easy as simply changing your family’s eating habits and reducing your own portion sizes.
Perhaps considering your food and cooking healthy meals from scratch for you and the family is the way to go? Taking exercise on a regular basis – will speed your metabolism and help you burn off calories fast, and some health supplements will help support healthy weight loss. Taking vitamin c or antioxidant rich supplements will help you lose weight may improve your immunity to disease.
Slimming to reduce breast cancer may only be part of the story. Although the disease is linked to weight, plenty of skinny people have been diagnosed with breast cancer and at an early age than the normal demographic, so it is no guarantee that this diet will necessarily stop you from contracting the disease.
Despite this, all medical opinion is that having a healthy BMI reduces the risk of many types of illness so if you find that you can live with the Two Day Diet Plan, it may be worth a try.