The Engine 2 diet is an eating pattern that focuses on plant-based, whole foods and eliminates processed foods, added salt, sugar, and oils. The Engine 2 diet emphasizes eating nutrient-dense foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Also, it promotes excluding refined grains and focusing on the whole, intact grains.
The Engine 2 diet promotes overall health improvement and well-being. It does not focus on quick weight loss or increased fat burning like other eating plans. Instead, this eating pattern claims to help establish long-term health benefits and protect against chronic diseases.
The Engine 2 diet is designed to prevent or even reverse diseases associated with the standard American diet, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and metabolic syndrome. In addition, this diet plan may help in weight loss and increasing lean muscle mass.
The Engine 2 diet is a low-fat, “plant strong” diet plan which emphasizes the consumption of whole foods and excludes processed foods and oils. However, this diet plan does not restrict your daily calorie consumption. This diet promotes eating vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Also, you can eat tofu, nut butter, seitan, smoothies, plant-based milk, and baked goods in limited amounts.
Animal products and refined oils must be 100% off-limits. Also, any foods with 2.5 or more grams of fat per 100 calories must be excluded. High-sugar or high-fat foods, including dried fruits, avocados, seeds, and nuts, should be limited in the Engine 2 diet. Nuts and seeds are limited to a handful (about 1 ounce) each day. In addition, you need to cut out salt, processed grains, ultra-processed foods, and refined sugars. However, molasses, maple syrup, and agave are allowed to eat on this diet plan.
In addition to making dietary modifications, the plan promotes the importance of exercising regularly and drinking plenty of water.
Pregnant women or patients with health conditions should talk to their doctors before starting the Engine 2 diet.
How to avoid possible nutritional deficiencies
The Engine 2 diet is highly restrictive and can result in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and vitamin D deficiency. To avoid possible nutritional deficiencies, pay attention to listed products when planning your meals.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: seaweed, algae, edamame, and kidney beans.
- Vitamin B-12: nutritional yeasts, fortified soy and almond milk, plant-based meats, fortified whole-grain cereals, tempeh, chlorella, nori seaweed, and cremini mushrooms.
- Iron: tofu, tempeh, natto, soybeans, lentils, peas, beans, leafy greens, potato, mushrooms, palm hearts, olives, mulberries, amaranths, spelt, oats, quinoa, and coconut milk.
- Zinc: fortified whole-grain cereals, firm tofu, lentils, oatmeal, wild rice, quinoa, shiitake mushrooms, black beans, green peas, spinach, white button mushrooms, lima beans, and asparagus.
- Vitamin D: fortified plant-based milk, mushrooms, fortified whole-grain grains, and tofu.
You may also consider taking supplements to fulfill your body with vitamins and minerals.
Tips on improving dieting experience
- Clean your kitchen of anything that contains more than 2.5 grams of fat per 100 calories.
- Refill your kitchen with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.
- Drink an adequate amount of water.
- Eat a big bowl of whole-grain cereal with fruit and non-dairy milk to start your day.
- Use internet sources to diversify your meals. You can find various recipes on internet websites, apps, and e-books to cook balanced meals.
- Pay attention to protein content in your meals. Do not replace meat with starchy food. Also, look for vitamin B12-fortified foods or supplements because typically, you receive this vitamin from animal products.
- Look for plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids because you cannot eat fish following the Engine 2 diet.
The Engine 2 diet is highly restrictive. This eating pattern is a low-fat, plant-based diet prioritizing eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. Like other plant-based diets, the Engine 2 diet is not suitable for everyone because it is not easy to switch from a typical American diet to a plant-based eating pattern.
Although the Engine 2 diet promotes health benefits and protection against chronic diseases, excluding such healthy fats as nuts, seeds, avocados, and plant oils, may contribute to the nutrients deficiency and health risks.
You may also consider trying Mediterranean or Nordic diets to improve your health. These diets are less restrictive and easier to follow.