The 2-Day Diabetes Diet: What to Eat to Lose Weight

In the new Reader's Digest book, The 2-Day Diabetes Diet, dieting just two days a week blasts fat and balances blood sugar.

from Reader's Digest Magazine | September 2013

Travis Rathbone
Dinner: Grilled Chicken & Chili Popcorn

How It Works: A Smarter Way to Balance Blood Sugar

When Reader’s Digest editors heard about the intermittent fasting research, we knew it was huge. We decided to devise a plan that took the stunning results—that intermittent fasting helped dieters lose twice as much fat and significantly lower inflammation and insulin resistance—and translated them into a diet that would allow everyday people with real lives to put the research into practice. So we asked registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Erin Palinski-Wade to create a simple and delicious menu that incorporated the findings. She developed the book 2-Day Diabetes Diet. You don’t have to count carbs, calories, fat grams, or anything else—all you have to do is follow the special eating style in which you “Power Burn” two days a week and “Nourish” on the rest.

On Power Burn days, you’ll fill up on low-calorie, low-carbohydrate foods that include delicious soups, tasty stir-fries, and luscious homemade smoothies. You’ll put weight loss into high gear by consuming only 650 calories without hunger or cravings thanks to three satisfying meals and a snack. This shifts your metabolism into fat-burning mode, which shrinks fat cells and helps cut down on inflammation and insulin resistance. The other five days, you stoke your metabolism with 1,500 calories’ worth of Mediterranean-inspired foods that are proved to cool inflammation and reverse insulin resistance. (See next page for a sample menu.)

Try the plan free for 14 days

This plan is superior to many other common diabetes diets because it reduces inflammation as it promotes weight loss. In contrast, some strict low-carb diets require you to eliminate many foods that are beneficial for your metabolism, such as fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains. A low-carb diet also calls for many foods that may worsen inflammation, like red meat. Extremely low-calorie plans backfire over time because willpower can hold out for only so long.

Success! Our Test Team’s Results

To be absolutely sure of the effectiveness of the 2-Day Diabetes Diet, we tested it on a group of people who were diabetic, prediabetic, or at high risk for developing blood sugar problems. Their results were impressive and startling: One panelist dropped 12 pounds in three weeks, more than halving her risk of developing diabetes. Another dropped her fasting blood sugar by 30 percent over six weeks. On average, our dieters lost seven pounds in nearly three weeks. Losing just two pounds drops your diabetes risk by a whopping 16 percent, according to research published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Preview the 2-Day Diabetes Diet, FREE

“I’ve had more success on this diet than on any other weight-loss plan that I’ve tried in the past ten years,” says Annette Sweeney, 55. She lost 14 1/2 pounds as well as six inches from her waist. Echoes panelist Jeanne Plekon, who shed 16 pounds, “I figured that on the days after I’d taken in less fuel, I’d wake up feeling sluggish. But I didn’t—on the mornings after Power Burn days, I would wake up early. Trust me: The two days a week are not hard. And they work.” 

Next: What to eat on the 2-Day Diabetes Diet Plan

To learn more about the breakthrough science behind the 2-Day Diabetes Diet and to buy the book, visit

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