In step 3 of the 2-week experiment we will outline how to successfully carry out the experiment. This post consists of two parts:
- Prepare for the experiment: Set a starting date, team up, get rid of crappy foods, get inspired and go shopping!
- Carry out the experiment: Bring your own food, use coconut oil, take it a little easy, stress less and sleep more
In case you haven’t already read the other posts in this series do check out the links below:
- Introduction to the 2-week experiment: Why you should do it and its process
- Step #1: Evaluate how you’re currently doing
- Step #2: What and how to eat during the experiment and how to avoid possible adverse effects
- Step #4: It’s done and I love it. What’s next? Optimize of course!
Now, let’s look at how to make the experiment a certain success!
Prepare for the experiment: Set a starting date, team up, get rid of crappy foods, get inspired and go shopping!
Preparation is essential in order to successfully carry out the experiment. Luckily, the preparations are few and easy to do. I recommend the following the actions:
1. Set a sensible start date
You want to think carefully about this as if you have lots of parties and travelling coming up it will be hard to carry out the experiment. I recommend starting the experiment when you know you will be home for a few weeks and you can be in control of what foods you can eat. For many people it’s difficult to say “no” to drinks & foods if going to parties, or dinners. Maybe it’s better for those of you who feel like that to first clear your calendar and then when you have nothing major going on for two weeks; start! Additionally, I recommend that you avoid starting during particularly stressful times as changing how you eat can be frustrating in the first few days as outlined in the step 2 under section “Possible adverse effects”.
2. Team up with your partner, roommate, or friend
Most things in life are easier if you do them with someone. I recommending teaming up, especially if you are living with your partner. Exactly how to go about teaming up will depend on your relationship. However, the important thing is that you’re both doing the experiment and working together. Doing this doesn’t only increase motivation, it also increases the learning part of the experiment as you can share information about how you feel throughout the experiment. If you currently don’t have a partner try teaming up with a friend or two.
3. Throw out unhealthy foods
Get rid of all crappy foods you have in your house. Use the five eating rules to guide you. The most important things to get rid of are products like vegetable oils, margarine, ready-made sauces & dressings, grains, legumes, pasta, bread, cookies, chips, sodas, juices and other sugary stuff that will tempt you during the 2-week experiment.
4. Get inspired! Identify delicious foods and recipes and create a list of meals you can’t wait to eat
One of the great things about eating the way outlined in this series is that there is a wide variety of delicious foods and recipes you can choose from. Having a list of meals you know you can cook that match your taste, the time you have available for food preparation and your budget, will make life easy for you. I recommend checking out the following websites for delicious meal examples.
You might not be able to eat all of the meals listed on these pages during the experiment however so be patient; two weeks isn’t a long time. Here are some of my favorite meals that you can eat during experiment:
- Egg & bacon (<20 min)
- Scrambled eggs with ruccola and cheese (<20 min)
- Veggie & bacon omelet (<20 min)
- Avocado and ham breakfast salad (<20 min)
- Avocado, bacon and cheese platter (<20 min)
- Yoghurt & full cream smoothie with a few berries (<20 min)
- Veggie smoothie with cream. Try different stuff and see what you like (<20 min)
- Salmon sushi delight! Buy a quality piece of salmon filet, cut into sushi like pieces and enjoy (<20 min)
- Ham & cheese with vegetables (<20 min)
- Salad, for example with tomatoes, celery, ruccola (or other green leafy vegetable), and any other vegetable you like with cheese, bacon, and lots of olive oil (<20 min)
- A variety of creamy soups, you can also put these on a thermos and bring with you wherever you’re going!
- Leftovers from yesterday’s dinner. This is my favorite option as it makes my life very easy and because I love my dinners! (<20 min)
- Any of the breakfasts above (<20 min)
- Salmon sushi delight with add-ons: Serve for example with shrimp avocados (mash avocado, add some finely chopped onion, a bit of lemon juice, creme fraiche or sour crème, and shrimps.) Delicious and something I learned from my stepmom! (<20 min)
- Steak with sauce (béarnaise, creamed mushroom sauce), butter-baked veggies topped with lots of cheese
- Pork filet wrapped in bacon and baked in oven. Served with oven baked broccoli in cream/creme fraiche topped with cheese
- Taco, using cabbage as the “taco shells” and making the taco flavor from cumin (<20 min)
- Chicken curry from chicken, peppers, onion, garlic, cream/creme fraiche and spices. Served with a cucumber salad and yoghurt.
- Grilled chicken from the store with fried vegetables, onions, garlic, creamed
- Aubergine lasagna which replaces the pasta from the original lasagna with aubergine
- “Neck cotlets”, quickly friend in pan, put in oven for about an hour, with any form of lightly fried vegetables with crème fraiche and some water
- Cream with any kind of berries
- Any kind of cheese and cheese platters
- Coffee with lots of cream
- Macadamia nuts
- Sour cream dip with vegetables such as carrot, celery, etc
- Mackerel, sardines, salmon or other fish with lots of omega-3. If you chose the canned option beware of food additives, especially wheat and sugar (often in names such as fructose, high-fructose corn sirup, dextrose etc.).
- All the deserts above
Use the above links and my personal meal-favorites as inspiration and make a list of meals and snacks that you and your family can’t wait to eat! Update the list whenever you have a good idea or hear about something healthy & delicious.
5. Go shopping! Buy foods that match the five eating rules and that fit with the meals you’ve decided to make
When you have a list of meals that inspire you, life becomes easy. The only other three actions I’d recommend you do are:
- Agree on what will be the dinner tomorrow by using your meal list
- Create a shopping list for that dinner that also includes items for breakfast, lunches, deserts, and snacks
- Go shopping!
The above are very simple tasks and when carried out making dinner is easy. The challenge for people isn’t making food, it’s knowing what to make (although I a friend of mine barely knows how to boil eggs….don’t worry I won’t mention names!). Having all the stuff you need to cook delicious & healthy meals in your house makes implementing the two-week experiment a million times easier so; go shopping! If you have to go to places you normally wouldn’t go to get things like coconut oil just do it. It’s worth it.
Carry out the experiment: Bring your own food, use coconut oil, take it a little easy, stress less and sleep more
In order to successfully carry out the experiment, I recommend that you follow the four tips below. If you do these six things you will definitely make your life a little easier during these two weeks:
1. Bring your own food to work
Some people complain that “it’s so hard to control what I eat for lunch because I’m not home”. Although I can understand the frustration it’s very easy to solve. I recommend two approaches:
- Make enough food for dinner and bring leftovers for work as your lunch.
- Prepare a separate lunch the day before or in the morning and bring it to work. If you chose this approach I recommend making a lunch that takes less than 20 minutes to prepare.
2. Use lots of coconut oil in your food
As you remember from the “Possible adverse effects” section, one of the main reasons why many people have issues during the first few days of changing their diet is because our bodies haven’t yet adapted to using fat (ketones) as the main source of energy instead of carbs (glucose). Eating lots of coconut oil will help the body produce the energy it required for you to feel fine during this transition. Some people prefer to use coconut oil in cooking or in salads whilst others eat a table-spoon for every meal. Do whatever floats your boat.
3. Don’t exercise too hard for the first 5-10 days if you have low energy levels
Keep in mind that your body is trying to adapt to a different way of eating. Take care of yourself and make your workouts a little easier during the days when your energy levels are lower than normal. If you’re one of the lucky ones who don’t feel any negative effects during the transition period; by all means, do whatever exercise you want.
4. Stress less and get more sleep
Try your best to reduce the amounts of stressful events in your life during the experiment and, aim for around 8 hours of sleep (the exact amount depends on the individual). The reason stress and sleep is important is that your digestion, hunger, emotions etc. are not only influenced by what you eat but by the state you’re in. If you eat perfectly but don’t sleep and stress all the time, eating healthy might not give you the effects you’re hoping for.
By following the above recommendations, completing the two-week eating experiment should be a walk in the park for most people. However, some people have strong addictions to certain foods, especially sugar, and might therefore have a tough time until the withdrawals have stopped. If you’re addicted to sugar (many people are) I can’t really do much to help you with the annoying withdrawal feelings. You’ll just have to go through a few crappy days before feeling better when you’re on the other side!
That’s if for step-3! Let me briefly summarize this post for you:
Prepare for the experiment
- Set a sensible start date
- Team up with your partner, roommate, or friend
- Throw out unhealthy foods
- Get inspired! Identify delicious foods and recipes and create a list of meals you can’t wait to eat
- Go shopping! Buy foods that match the five eating rules and fit with the meals you’ve decided to make
Carry out the experiment
- Bring your own food to work
- Use lots of coconut oil in your food
- Don’t exercise too hard for the first 5-10 days if you have low energy levels
- Stress less and get more sleep
In the next and final step of the 2-week experiment series we will address what to do once you’ve completed the experiment: start optimizing learn how to identify what foods are ideal for you.
For this post I’d like to mention one of the most inspirational, kind, and helpful individuals in the health community. His name is Jimmy More and his podcast “LivinLaVidaLowCarb” is one of the best out there. Jimmy is a vivid self-experimenter and a truly honest one at that. His journey to health is especially relevant f has been through ups and downs during his journey and whenever I try to help someone lose a massive amount of fat I make sure they check out Jimmy. Whether you’re skinny or overweight, do check out his blog and podcast!
For this post I borrowed the following pictures: