What is the 3-2-1 diet?

The 3-2-1 ‘diet’ is more of a healthy eating plan actually, and is based on a theory that Becky White (nutritionist, @onesixeightfit on twitter, http://www.onesixeightfitness.com) started me on. It’s based on the fundamental rule that your breakfast should be bigger than your lunch, should be bigger than your tea. All exercise is BEFORE meals. I used to follow the weightwatchers plan, but as an athlete, had no energy to train when dieting in this way, even though weight loss wise, it did work. So I tried this, and it WORKS!!! I lost a steady 0.5 – 1lb a week amounting to an overall loss of 12lb. I Don’t ever feel hungry, like I did on WW, and I can still do high intensity training while losing weight.
This is not a diet as such, it’s a healthy living plan. I still follow this way of eating now. It was hard to reverse things at first, but now its simply a way of life. There is research evidence to back this up at the foot of the article.
Here are the rules for success:

1.     Exercise before your main meals, and eat a main meal within an hour of the exercise session ending.
2.     Your main fat burning exercise is before breakfast, exercise before breakfast as often as you can (preferably daily). If this is more than 1 hour, top up 1 hour into exercise with fruit, etc.
3.     You breakfast must be the largest fullest meal of the day. (For example, I eat 2 x oats so simple sachets, when I used to only have 1.)
4.     Lunch must be medium sized, pasta, something containing carb that is filling but not too large
5.     Tea / evening meal is your lightest meal. This does not have to be the smallest, you should fill out an evening meal with vegetables, for example. (I would have an omelette, fish and veg, stir fry, etc. Portion sizes for my tea are now MUCH smaller)
6.     No further evening meals after tea, and try not to eat 3 hours before going to sleep
7.     If you feel hungry, coffee is best for curing hunger pangs
8.     Snack healthy, fruit, nuts, seeds etc. (My current favourite is ready to eat dried dates!)
9.     Don’t use high energy sports drinks if you can help it. You won’t burn off as many calories as you are drinking!! (I just use isotonic sports drinks, they are low in fat)
10.  Avoid ‘diet’ options including aspartame. Why? Read this blog to see the reason http://melanieryding.blogspot.com/2010/11/training-fuel-aspartame-weight-loss.html

The research:

Why should you exercise before breakfast? Research shows that exercising before breakfast is the optimum fat burning time of day.  When you work out before breakfast you start out with lower blood sugar than normal. Because of the lower blood sugar, your body will release glucagon sooner and start burning fat sooner.

Don’t believe me? Read these:

Why should I make the first meal largest and the last the smallest? Adelle Davis, 1960s nutrition guru, is credited with the suggestion that people “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” Most nutrition professionals would surmise that her weight loss idea is most likely to succeed due to the caloric deficit that resulted from the change in the quality, quantity, and consistency of the diet rather than just the timing of the meals. Logic seems to suggest that eating carbs later in the day makes your body more likely to store them as fat.

Don’t believe me? Read these:

Why should I have my main meal within an hour of exercise? During this time enzymes responsible for energy production are most active and energy-storing hormones within the blood are suppressed. This means there will be less chance energy will be stored as fat. Carbs will be immediately taken up to replenish the low glycogen stores caused through exercising

Don’t believe me? Read these:
If you have any questions, please ask, by adding a comment.

You can also read my other blogs on 3-2-1 diet here:


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