Dr. Phil Maffetone is a Chiropractor who use to treat the 7/11 Bicycle Team. I heard him speak years ago about being a vegetarian in Colorado. He explained at that time his own experience of being a vegetarian and health he was expressing and his exercise goals were not being met- that is when he started to eat meat again. He claimed by doing that, it improved his endurance and performance as an athlete tremendously. Below is his Two Week Test for Carbohydrate Intolerance (CI) including: Rhyme and the Reason which was instrumental in his diet change.
CI is an epidemic and more more information is coming to light exactly how well ignored it has been. People comsume untolds amounts of obvious sugar as well as hidden sugars in our foods. The end result are contributing to chronic diseases. You just do not wake up one day with a chronic disease… it is repeated abuse that creates that non-desired outcome, DIS-EASE.
CI starts hidden… as when we were given a ‘treat’ for good behavior, or when manufactures wanted to give more shelf life to food products, or pump up live stock. The problem is when the body is over loaded at some point in time you end up not being fucntional and end up sick for instancem but not limited to cardiovascular disease, diabetes II (adult onset). Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia . The passing off of “it comes with age” has been accepted as the reason for not taking responsibility for what goes in your mouth. Barry Sears MD in his book ‘Mastering The Zone” state that EVERYTHING you affect you hormonally. Think about all that we eat and how if we change our attitude about food and porportions we can change the genetic expression of health.
Dr Phil Maffetone’s survey will be useful to check to see how your body handle carbohydrates. Many people do not even realize they are carbohydrate intolerant and clueless as to the the detrimental effects or solutions available.
Carbohydrate Intolerance Health Survey—Some Common Signs and Symptoms
1. Poor concentration or sleepiness after meals
2. Increased intestinal gas or bloating after meals
3. Frequently hungry
4. Increasing abdominal fat or facial fat (especially cheeks)
5. Frequently fatigued or low energy
6. Insomnia or sleep apnea
7. Waist size increasing with age
8. Fingers swollen/feeling “tight” after exercise
9. Personal or family history: diabetes, kidney or gall stones, gout, high blood pressure, high cholesterol/low HDL, high triglycerides, heart disease, stroke and breast cancer
10. Low meat, fish or egg intake
11. Frequent cravings for sweets or caffeine
12. Polycystic ovary (ovarian cysts) for women.
So, how many of the 12 above did you identify with?
What are the stages of CI?
In the early stage of CI many of the symptoms are dismissed as a nonevent and come and go and given no or little importance such as difficult to diagnose blood-sugar problems, fatigue, intestinal bloating and loss of concentration.
The intrim or middle stage you see if you are paying attention that the symptom are getting worse and can be coined as a carbohydrate-fat metabolism issue or hyperinsulinism. This causes an essclation to more diseases we come to now as ‘part of the aging process’ and include but not limited to diseases like hypertension, abnormal LDL and HDL cholesterols, elevated triglycerides, and increases BMI (body mass index which tell you your body fat percentages)- all not a positive for health.
In on going- long time intolerance the host of serious problems and dibitating disease are but not limited to: obesity, diabetes II adult onset, various cancers and cardiovacular diseases. Collectively know as Syndrome X/Metaboic Syndromes. Because of this- we see in medicine physicans of all sorts (chiropractos, acupuncturist, medical doctors and other health practitioners) practicing Functional Medicine which has expertice in addressing CI.
First- you have to not be in denial and be honest to yourself when looking at the above survey. If you are unsure- ask your Alternative & Integrative Medicine Physician, your significant other or ask your best friend. Ask who they see and who they recommend. The first step to wellness is taking ownership of you and your contributions to where you are now. The second step is reaching out to a trusted individual who can help sort the in’s and out’s and get you back on the road to health as a ‘team’. In the meanwhile to see if you have CI you can do a ‘2 Week Test’ that Dr Phil Maffetone suggest.
The Two-Week Test per Dr Phil Maffetone
This evaluation will tell you if you are carbohydrate intolerant, and if so, how to remedy it. Yet I must emphasize that this is only a test and not a permanent diet, and it will only last two weeks—you will not be eating like this forever. And most importantly, this is not a diet, or should be pursued beyond this 14-day period. Nor should you experience hunger during the Two Week Test—you can eat as much of the non-carbohydrate foods as you want, and as often as you need.
Many thousands of people have used the Two-Week Test to get healthy, fit, and significantly improve their energy levels. Others have found it to be the best way to start burning body fat and some found they were able to reduced or eliminated requited medications. Dr Maffetone state ‘Of all the clinical tools I developed and used for assessment and therapy through my career, the consistent results from the Two-Week Test surprised me the most- that is how a person can go from one extreme of poor health to vibrant health in such a short time just by simply removing a major stress factor: refined carbohydrates and excess insulin, thus allowing the body to function the way it was originally meant’.
How the Two-Week Test came to be… happened in the mid-1980s said Dr Maffetone.Getting people off sugar is trully like dealing with a drug addict. The Merck Manual, is a popular medical reference book used by health-care professionals for basics on assessment and treatment of diseases. In reference to elevated insulin levels and it claimed that reducing carbohydrates might be necessary in some patients with hyperinsulinemia. Then in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1971 there is an article labeled “Blood Sugar and Insulin” which sited the “Effect of Diet Composition on the Hyperinsulinemia of Obesity” which started to solidify some of the missing links of information needed to help people with CI. Then in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, 1976 had an article on “Composition of Weight Lost during Short-term Weight Reduction” and it proved with 10 days of restricted carbohydrate foods there was not only weight loss- but body fat was reduced significantly. Good or good?
Initially, at the 10 days period did not produce adquate results.. because it was observed that some individuals needed longer periods when Dr Maffeton put into practice this method. It was ajdusted to the ‘individual’ needs of his patients which he found very true in regards to burning body fats and two weeks produced better longer lasting results. This is a TEST not a DIET.
Dr Maffeton Two Week Test is unique to comprehend CI because, rather than conducting a blood or urine test that provided numbers that the common lay person doesn’t get, it translates to LifeStyle changes that makes one take an active and responsible role in health. Some thing that occurred per Dr Maffetone is that during that two week period one could actually feel what it was like to have a return to normal insulin levels, optimal blood sugar and, in most instances and be symptom free of CI signs and symptoms, and in two weeks, patient/client education at its best!
Interesting to note… some people will not have any CI will not feel any different in the two week test which rules out CI as the problem. The Two Week Test was a LifeStyle Strategy for individuals who were CI to take charge and quickly change their health.
The Two-Week Test to restrict calories or fat but, defers specific types of carbohydrate foods without a need to weigh and ingesting what you are allowed- your body does the rest. The goal is not to avoid, starve or go into an extreme metabolic state of fat burning (ketosis) as with some diets.
Dr Maffetone recommends the following:
Before the Test
Before you start the Two-Week Test, jot down any health problems that you might have, such as insomnia or fatigue. Keeping note of these are important because after the test, you will review these complaints to see which ones have improved and which have not.
Next, weigh yourself on day one (you will weigh yourself on the 14th day also) . During the test you may lose some excess water your body is holding, which will show on the scale, but you’ll also go into a high fat-burning state and start losing body fat (which won’t show on the scale). Weight loss varies and initially is water loss. Take note, this is not a weight-loss regime, it is a test. The main purpose of weighing yourself is to have another sign of how your body is working, especially after the test.
You must make sure you have enough of the foods you’ll be eating during the test which are listed below. Go shopping and stock up on these items so you will not go off this plan. Only have in your house the foods you need to be successful. That mean you need to go through your cabinets and refrigerator and get rid of anything that is not on your list. If you do not know what to do with them- bring them to a homeless shelter or throw them away. Be aware that if you have an addicition to sugar/carbohydrates you may experience craving these foods- this is normal. Do not go there if you want to be successful.
According to Dr Maffetone- planning what to eat and how often is important. Schedule the test during a two-week period that you are relatively unlikely to have distractions — the holidays or times when social engagements are planned can make it too easy to stray from the plan. Don’t worry about cholesterol, fat or calories, or the amount of food you’re eating. This is only a test, not the way you’ll be eating all the time. You need to follow the ‘two week test’ for two weeks! If you eat something not on the list- you start all over from day one!
Most importantly, eat breakfast within an hour of waking.
Foods to Eat During The TwoTest
You may eat as much of these foods as you like during the Two-Week Test:
– Eggs (whites and yolk), unprocessed (real) cheeses, heavy (whipping) cream, sour cream.
– Unprocessed meats including beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, fish, and shellfish
– Tomato, V-8 or other vegetable juices
– Water—drink it throughout the day in between meals
– Cooked or raw vegetables such as squash, leaf lettuce and spinach, carrots, broccoli, kale and NO potatoes or corn.
– Nuts, seeds, nut butters
– Oils, vinegar, mayonnaise, salsa, mustard and spices
– Sea salt, unless you are sodium sensitive
– All coffee and tea (if you normally drink it)
You must read the ingredients for all foods- some form of sugar/carbohydrate may be added. If you see a name you do not recognize but it has and -ol at the end then, presume it is a sugar of some sort. There are also hidden sugars in- peanut butter, mayonnaise, sour cream and even sliced meats.
Foods to Avoid During the Test
Do NOT eat any of the following foods during the Two-Week Test:
– Bread, rolls, pasta, pancakes, cereal, muffins, chips, crackers, rice cakes and similar carbohydrate foods
– Sweets such as cake, cookies, ice-cream, candy, gum, breath mints
– Products that contain hidden sugars, common in ketchup and other prepared foods (read the labels as stated above)
– Fruits and fruit juice
– Processed meats and fish such cold cuts and smoked products which often contain sugar
– All types of potatoes, corn, rice and beans
– Milk, half-and-half, and yogurt
– So-called healthy snacks, including all energy bars and sports drinks
– All soda; this includes “enhanced” mineral water, and diet drinks
A Note on Alcohol
If you normally drink small to moderate amounts of alcohol, some forms are allowed during the test.
Alcohol allowed: dry wines, and pure distilled spirits (gin, vodka, whiskey, etc.), and those mixed with plain carbonated water, including seltzer, tomato juice or V-8.
Alcohol not allowed: Sweet wines, all beer, Champaign, alcohol containing sugar (rum, liqueurs, etc.), and those mixed with sweet ingredients such as tonic, soda or other sugary liquids. If in doubt, avoid it>
Keep it simiple…. protien and veggie is a good rule to go by, for instance I love salmon (wild) and spinach and broccoli.
After Taking the Test
You must go back to your original list and compare your end result of how you are feeling to the original list of complaints. Ask yourself- if your energy better? Are you sleeping better? Feeling less depressed? Do you feel better now than you did two weeks ago? And, if you lost weight, you probably have some degree of CI, and you’re unable to eat as much carbohydrate as you did before the test. Whatever your result is- take note that this is very individualized and results should be dicussed with a qualified health practioner or LifeStyle Health-Wellness Strategist.
The reason for any weight loss above water loss during the test is not due to reduced calories, as many people may eat more calories than usual during this two-week period. The you see increased fat-burning result if from reduced insulin which end up with real fat loss.
If you have for instance high blood pressure, and if you are on medication for high blood pressure, you need to have your health-care professional to check it several times during the test, and especially right after the test- this mandatory. The reason why is if (not necessarily) your blood pressure drops significantly, you may need your medication adjusted, or eliminated, which should only be done by your health-care provider. Reason being is because insulin levels can be reduced to normal, and high blood pressure can be lowered therefore for you… it is important you have this monitored during and after the two week test. You must let your health care provider know you are doing this test if you have a health conditions that there is a prescribed medication.
If nothing improved during the test and it was done exactly as described above—then you may not be carbohydrate intolerant. But if the Two-Week Test improved your signs and symptoms, the next step is to determine how many carbohydrates your body can tolerate, without a return of these problems. This is done by adding a single-serving size of natural unprocessed carbohydrates to every other meal or snack. The purpose is to determine if any of these carbohydrates cause the return of any of the original signs or symptoms, including weight gain. At this stage, having just completed the test, your body and brain will be more aware of even slight reactions to carbohydrate foods — basically, you’ll be more intuitive to how your body responds to food. This is done in the following manner over the next one to two weeks:
– Begin adding single-serving amounts of natural, unprocessed carbohydrates at every other meal or snack. This may be plain yogurt sweetened with a little honey for breakfast, or an apple after lunch or dinner
– For a snack, try tea with honey
– Avoid all refined carbohydrates such as sugar and refined-flour products (like white bread, cereals, rolls or pasta)
– Other suggestions include brown rice, sweet potatoes, yams, lentils and beans
Most bread, crackers, cereals and other grains are processed and should be avoided — even those stating “whole grain” or “100 percent whole wheat.” Read the ingredients carefully. If you can find real-food whole grain products, they can be used. These include sprouted breads, whole oats (they take 30 to 45 minutes to cook) and other dense products made with just ground wheat, rye or other grains. If in doubt, avoid them during this one- to two-week period.
Do not to add carbohydrates in back-to-back meals or snacks because insulin production is partly influenced by your previous meal. With the addition of carbohydrates, be aware of any symptoms you had previously that were eliminated by the test, especially for symptoms that develop immediately after eating, such as intestinal bloating, sleepiness or feelings of depression.
Most importantly, if any signs or symptoms that disappeared during or following the Two-Week Test have now returned, you’ve probably exceeded your carbohydrate limit. For example, if your hunger or cravings were greatly improved at the end of the test, and now they’ve returned, you probably added too many carbohydrates. If you lost eight pounds during the test, and gained back five pounds after adding some carbohydrates for a week or two, you’ve probably eaten too many of them. Likewise, if blood pressure rises significantly after it was reduced, it may be due to excess carbohydrate intake. If any of these situations occur, reduce the carbohydrates by half, or otherwise, experiment to see which particular foods cause symptoms and which don’t. Some people return to the Two Week Test and begin the process again.
In some cases, people can tolerate simple carbohydrates, such as fresh fruits, plain yogurt and honey, but not complex carbohydrates such as sweet potato, whole grains, beans or other starches. This may be due to the difficulty in digesting starches in some people with CI. In other situations, some individuals can’t tolerate any wheat products due to a sensitivity or even allergy to gluten (discussed in the next chapter. During this post-test period, these dietary factors are often easy to determine.
After a one- to two-week period following the Two-Week Test, by experimenting with natural carbohydrates you’ll have an excellent idea about your body’s level of tolerance. You’ll better know which foods to avoid, which ones you can eat and those that must be limited. You’ll become acutely aware of how your body feels when you eat too many carbohydrates.
From time to time, you may feel the need to go through a Two-Week Test period again to check yourself, or to quickly get back on track after careless eating such as during the holidays, vacations or periods of stress.
Many people find the loss of grains in the diet leaves the digestive tract sluggish and a little constipated. After years of eating lots of carbohydrates, your intestine gets used to that type of bulk. If you become constipated during the Two-Week Test, or afterwards when a lower amount of carbohydrate in the diet is maintained, it could be due to a number of reasons:
– First, you may not be eating enough fiber. Psyllium is a high-fiber herb that is an effective promoter of intestinal function. Adding plain unsweetened psyllium to a glass of water, tomato juice or healthy smoothie can keep your system running smoothly — start with one teaspoon a day for a few days to make sure it’s tolerated, than use up to about one tablespoon a day. If you require a fiber supplement, be sure to use the ones that do not contain sugar, so read the labels. Another cause of constipation is dehydration. If you don’t drink enough water, you could be predisposed to constipation. During the Two-Week Test, you’ll need more water—up to two to three quarts or more per day—which is really a normal amount for a person of average weight.
After the test adding vegetables, legumes, such as lentils, and fruits are also great sources of fiber. If you become constipated, it may simply be that you need to eat more vegetables and fruits as tolerated. Plus, an adequate intake of natural fats, can also be helpful.
Occasionally, some people get tired during or after the Two Week Test. Most commonly it’s from not eating enough food, and/or not eating often enough. The most common problem is not eating breakfast and not eating breakfast within an hour of waking. For most, one should not go more than three to four hours without eating something healthy.
Maintaining Your Food Balance
Once you successfully finish the Two-Week Test, and add back the right amount of tolerable carbohydrate foods, you should have an excellent idea of your carbohydrate limits. Which is the amount of carbohydrate you can eat without producing abnormal signs or symptoms. This is best accomplished by asking yourself about mental and physical energy, sleepiness and bloating after meals, or any of the problems you had previous to taking the Two-Week Test. You may want to keep a diet journal so you can be more objective in your self-assessment this is integral to your success. In time, it will be second nature to you.
Once you find your level of carbohydrate tolerance, you’re on your way to balancing your whole diet. Yet another important aspect of carbohydrate foods to be more aware of is which of the many choices available in supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and elsewhere are truly healthy, and which to avoid. There’s nothing radical about the notion that refined carbohydrates are unhealthy, there are many radical diet plans that make it seem like all carbohydrates are deadly. They’re not. Finding your level of tolerance is what’s most important, then eat only “healthy’ carbohydrates in the list above.
How is the Two-Week Test Different?
Two-Week Test is different than being on a low-glycemic index diet. Today, there are a number of cookbooks and diet plans all based on a low glycemic index approach. The Two-Week Test is neither a diet that one blindly follows, nor is it a fad diet. Instead, it’s an evaluation that helps you individualize your own optimal eating plan for better health, not just for weight loss and reduced body fat. The Two-Week Test teaches you which foods are best for optimal health—everyone is different and responds differently to carbohydrates.
diet can result in weight loss for many people, understanding how to eat for overall optimal health rather following food lists is an ultimate goal for long-term success. This includes getting off the diet merry-go-round and finally being freed of sugar addiction.
Summary of the Two-Week Test:
1. Keep a diet journal of the list of all your signs and symptoms
2. Weigh yourself pre and post
3. Plan your meals and snacks and buy sufficient amount foods allowed on the test, and get rid of those that are not on the list
5. Eat as much as you need, and as often to never get hungry
6. Always eat breakfast within an hour of awaking
7. After the test, re-evaluate your signs and symptoms, including weight
8. Begin adding natural, unprocessed carbohydrates to every other meal or snack, and evaluate whether any of your previous signs or symptoms (or weight) have resurfaced.
As always before you do anything that involves your health you need to check it out with your physician. Dr Maffetone’s Two Week Test if for informational purposes and to get you to explore other options… it may or may not be for you, only you and your physician can decided.
Dr Pat B