If you’re looking to lose weight fast, but effectively, and without jeopardising your health and metabolism, the 2+1 diet might just be for you.
It’s one of the easiest diets ever to lose weight fast – no kilojoule counting! Simply eat 2 plant foods for every 1 animal food, ensure you keep to a healthy portion size and you could lose up to 4kg in two weeks.
Why 2+1 helps you to lose weight fast
It’s based on scientific research
A plant-based diet is an easy way to give your health a boost, lose weight and feel great. Based on extensive nutrition research, the 2+1 diet is all about shifting the balance and putting plant-based foods first. It’s not about giving up meat, fish and dairy products – it’s about making plants the power players.
You’ll eat more super-nutritious vegetables and wholegrains. Less sugar, salt and fat. It’s this simple shift toward more plant foods that’s the key to reducing the kilojoules you eat. And here’s the best bit:
- You’ll be eating more food, but fewer kilojoules.
- So you’ll never be hungry while you lose weight.
There are real health benefits
The 2+1 diet is all about shifting away from foods usually kilojoule-loaded, such as meat, dairy and other animal foods, and replacing them with less kilojoule-heavy plant foods like veggies, grains, pulses and certain nuts. Plant foods have the added bonus of being packed with super-nutrients and fibre, to keep you feeling full and to help manage your digestion. Plant foods are the best way to get all the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals you need to boost your immune system.
It’s so easy!
Put plant foods first, filling up at least two-thirds of your plate with them. Smaller portions of fish, lean meats, eggs or dairy should make up no more than one-third of your plate – and stick to a maximum of 80g meat per portion. This means you’ll naturally be eating healthier portion sizes.
Try our 14-day plan
To get the most from your 2+1 diet, we’d recommend you follow a 14-day plan using the meal- and snack ideas we provide you. This will really help you get into the swing of plant-based eating.
If you’re following the plan, keeping active, and also watching your alcohol intake, you could lose up to 4kg over the next two weeks – and, don’t forget, you won’t be hungry, because plant foods are more filling.
If you want to have the same breakfast every day, that’s fine, but try to vary your lunches and suppers. There’s no need to get in a rut or bored on the 2+1 diet, because there’s so much to choose from.
After the two weeks…
You’ll be a pro at plant-powering your meals. You’ll be confident about making healthy, plant-based swaps, and serving up a plate with two-thirds veggies will be second nature.
You can just keep going if you’ve still got more weight to lose, because the 2+1 diet is so healthy. If you’ve reached your goal weight, then you can still follow the 2+1 principles, but not be quite so strict – if you want to treat yourself to a naughty dessert, a biscuit, or even a takeaway, that’s fine, as long as you’re sticking to the 2+1 ratio most of the time.
Start right here
Plan your snacks
Yes, you can eat between meals, but ditch the high-kilojoule cakes, chips and biscuits. Stick to two snacks per day. Ideally one mid-morning and the other mid-afternoon – this will help keep your blood sugar stable and help you control mealtime portions.
When you’re really craving that choccy biscuit, try a slice of fruit bread or a hot cross bun, R27,99 for a pack of 6, with no butter.
Or try 35g wholegrain cereal like Woolworths Wholegrain Breakfast Flakes, R35,99 for 350g, with soya milk.
Slice of cake with your afternoon tea? No! Reach out for a small dried-fruit bar, or four soft dried apricots. We like Rude Health The Beetroot Snack Bar, R26, because it’s packed with veggies too.
You really want a bag of chips or handful of nuts, but calm those munchies with these healthier options:
- A handful of plain popcorn
- 50g unsalted nuts and toasted seeds
- 25g hummus and cruditès
Always eat a healthy breakfast
You can eat the same breakfast each day if you prefer, or mix it up with these options …
- Bran flakes or muesli with soya milk and berries
- Porridge made with almond milk and topped with chopped dried apricots and almonds, or grated apple and cinnamon
- Wholegrain toast and natural peanut butter
- Smoothie made with soya milk, banana, strawberries and sunflower seeds
- Melon and mixed berries, with toasted oats and seeds sprinkled over the top
- Poached egg with wilted spinach and mushrooms
- Veggie grill – veg sausage, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and a dry-fried egg
Yes, you can drink, but…
Alcohol is a surefire way to rocket up your kilojoule intake and send your willpower plummeting. Aim for at least three alcohol-free days each week and, if you do drink, stick to two or three units in a day – that’s roughly one glass (175ml) of wine, two bottles (330ml each) of beer, or two shots (25ml each) of a spirit with a diet mixer.
Don’t forget: dairy counts as animal food, so switch to plant-based versions where possible – you’ll soon get used to the taste!
Ready to start?
- Click here: The 2+1 diet lunch ideas here, plus your two-week menu with recipes
- Click here: The 2+1 diet dinner ideas here, plus your two-week menu with recipes
- Click here: A typical day’s eating plan here with swaps and tweaks, plus a delicious dessert recipe
A freelance writer and editor, with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. With a passion for health and fitness, Tammy loves nothing more than researching the latest wellness trends. And if she’s not running around after her sweet four-year old daughter, you’ll find Tammy on her bike, in the gym or exploring the great outdoors – followed by a good coffee, of course!