Dr. Philip Maffetone
I developed the Two Week Test in the early 1980s to help people get back their intuition and instincts about eating. This is the first step to getting off the vicious diet cycle which is perpetuated so much this time of year.
Many people eat too much dietary carbohydrate - beyond what their bodies can tolerate.
The Two Week Test is a simple method for understanding and correcting this
First note if you have any of the following problems, and write them down:
- Physical or mental fatigue
- Blood-sugar handling problems
- Intestinal bloating
- Sleepiness after meals
- Increased fat storage and weight
- Increased triglycerides
- Increased blood pressure
- Poor sleep
In addition, if you are concerned about your weight, weigh yourself before starting the test. After the test, you will ask yourself again how you feel regarding these complaints, and also check your weight on the scale.
During the Two-Week Test you will significantly decrease your intake of carbohydrates. It is important that you do not go hungry. Eat as much as you want but stick strictly to the recommended foods. Before you start the test, make sure you have enough of the foods you"ll be eating during the test. Go shopping and stock up on these items. In addition, go through your cabinets and refrigerator and get rid of any sweets in your house, or you"ll be tempted.
As for the test itself, you merely want to eat using the following guidelines for a period of no less than two weeks.
Foods to avoid:
- Bread, rolls, pasta, pancakes, cereal, muffins, chips, crackers and rice cakes.
- All sweets
- All products containing sugar such as ketchup, honey, etc. (read labels!).
- Fruits and fruit juice.
- Highly processed meats such cold cuts, which often contain sugar.
- Potatoes, corn, rice and beans.
- Milk, half-and-half and yogurt.
- So-called healthy snacks, including all energy bars, shakes and drinks.
- All soda, including diet.
Foods to eat:
- All cooked or raw vegetables (except potatoes and corn).
- Whole eggs, unprocessed cheese, cream.
- All unprocessed meats including beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, fish and shellfish.
- Tomato, V-8 or other vegetable juices such as carrot juice.
- Nuts, seeds, nut butters.
- Oils, vinegar, mayonnaise, salsa and mustard (check labels for added sugars).
- Sea salt (unless you are sodium sensitive).
- Water! At least six to ten, 8-ounce glasses each day.
- Dry wine, coffee and tea if you normally consume them.
After the Two-Week Test
Re-evaluate your list of complaints. If you feel better now than you did before the test, or
if you lost weight, chances are you were previously eating too much carbohydrate and
would benefit by lowering your intake. Any weight loss during the test is not due to
reduced calories, as many people eat more calories than usual during this two-week
period. It"s due to the increased fat-burning resulting from reduced insulin production.While there may be some water loss, especially if you are sodium sensitive, there is realfat loss.
If your blood pressure has been high, and especially if you are on medication, ask your health-care professional to check it several times during the test. Sometimes blood pressure drops significantly and your medication may need to be adjusted, which should be done by your health-care professional.
If the Two-Week Test improved your signs and symptoms, the next step is to determine how much carbohydrate you can tolerate, without a return of these problems. This is done in the following manner.
Begin adding small amounts of carbohydrates to your diet with every other meal
or snack. This may be an apple for a snack, or some brown rice with dinner. Begin with fruits, lentils, rice and honey, and afterwards try bread, potatoes and others. Whatever you add, make sure it"s not a refined carbohydrate: no foods containing sugar, no refined-flour products (like white bread, rolls or pasta), brown rice instead of white, etc. Don"t add a carbohydrate to back-to-back meals, as insulin production is partly influenced by your previous meal.
With each addition of carbohydrate, watch for any of the symptoms you had previously that were eliminated by the test. Look especially for symptoms that develop immediately after eating, such as intestinal bloating, sleepiness or feelings of depression. If your
hunger or cravings disappeared during the two weeks and now have returned, you"ve
probably eaten too many carbohydrates. If you lost 8 pounds during the test, and gained back 5 pounds after adding some carbohydrates for a week or two, you"ve probably eaten too many carbohydrates.
A more detailed version of the Two-Week Test is discussed in my book,
In Fitness and In Health.