2 Week Diet Review (Brian Flatt)

Brian Flatt has made quite a name for himself in the fitness industry by teaching people how to rapidly lose weight. His latest program is called the 2 Week Diet, and claims to help you lose as much as 8-16 pounds within two weeks. Is this possible and should you attempt it? I’ll try to help you answer that question regarding what is right for you. But let me first start this review by summarizing some of the program components:

2 Week Diet Program Components

Launch Handbook

This book is the basic introduction to how this diet works, but it also gives you a pretty good overview of weight loss in general. Flatt explains, for example, that many diets fail because they simply don’t deliver results quickly enough and people lose interest/motivation (that’s part of the rationale for a more rapid approach). He also shares the role that calories, macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, etc.), hormones, and several other factors play in gaining or losing weight. Someone who is new to diet or nutrition would be able to get a very solid introduction to the basics by reading this book. But the author goes into a lot more detail about how and why this specific approach is so effective even with limited time.

One note: Flatt promotes some supplements in this program at times provides links to specific brands. I’m sure the ones he recommends are fine, but I would advise you to shop around and see if there are better deals out there.   The most important “supplements” he mentions are yohimbine, caffeine, and nicotine (nicotine in particular may surprise you, but read the book and you’ll see why he listed it as an option), and all three are easy to purchase online.

Diet Handbook

The 2 Week Diet is broken down into three phases. The first phase involves lowering your carbohydrate intake to switch your body into “fat burning” mode (using fat instead of glucose for fuel). The second phase is an intermittent fast to ramp up your fat loss, and the third phase is a low calorie and low carbohydrate phase designed to get the most out of the metabolic environment you’ve created with the previous phases.   It isn’t that complicated and it is all spelled out in the book in terms that most will be able to understand/follow.

Activity Handbook

This book is an exercise guide you can use while following this diet. The exercise component is primarily consists of short, intense full-body workouts that you can complete with very basic equipment in only 20-30 minutes. A gym membership would be ideal here, but even if you have some dumbbells and barbells (free weights) you should be able to complete the routines. There’s a limit to how much training you can do when calories/carbohydrates are limited and this program was designed with that in mind.

Motivation Handbook

This book has some practical suggestions for keeping motivated to stay on the diet. This is important because losing momentum/motivation is probably the #1 reason people don’t get the results they want when attempting to follow a diet program. I think you’d find some of his suggestions there to be helpful.

2 Week Diet: Review

Rapid weight loss strategies are a bit controversial in the fitness industry. These approaches, often called “crash diets,” get kind of a bad rap because we’ve all been told that slow weight loss is better. But considering the current obesity epidemic, I’m inclined to say that any kind of weight loss (provided that it is done safely) is a good thing. There are also advantages to losing weight quickly that I have discussed before on this blog:

Time: There can be situations in which a “slow and steady” approach to losing weight just does not fit an individual’s schedule. Someone may want to drop a few pounds quickly to fit into an outfit for a social event. Competitive athletes may need to make weight for an event. There can be several reasons why one would consider trying to lose weight quickly.

Motivation: As I mentioned, one of the main reasons people give up on diets is they just get tired of counting calories without seeing significant changes on the scale. “Crash diets” can help with this because the dieter learns that he/she can achieve results within a relatively short period of time.

Focus: Some people start making lifestyle changes with too many different (even opposing) goals in mind. I’ve lost count of the number of guys to tell me they want to lose fat and build muscle.   New trainees can often gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, but focusing all your energy and effort into a singular goal (fat loss in this case) will produce quicker results.

Momentum: Rapidly losing weight can be kind of a “jump start” for those who want to see long-term changes in their bodies. Starting off by dropping a few pounds quickly may give you some much-needed motivation for transitioning into a more long-term lifestyle change.

There’s obviously a limit to the amount of weight/fat you can lose in just two weeks. But Flatt has put together some proven strategies for losing fat as quickly as possible (reducing calories/carbohydrates, intermittent fasting, etc). I think the 2 Week Diet is a worthwhile (and cost effective) investment for those who want to focus on losing as much weight as possible within a limited time frame.

You can CLICK HERE to order the 2 Week Diet or to learn more.

Alternative Program: Do you have an extra week?  Brian Flatt’s 3 Week Diet is also an excellent diet plan that will give you fast results.  An extra week would mean even more fat loss.

Remember to check with your doctor before trying any diet and/or exercise plan.

Note: This program I have reviewed has no connection with “Dr. Oz.”  I think he has something out with a similar name but it has nothing to do with Brian Flatt’s products.

Garage Gym: Training at Home

Introduction: Why I Left Commercial Gyms (For Now)

My wife and I moved to a new city about three months ago. We had spent the previous three years training at a nearby commercial gym that we really loved. We anticipated finding a similar gym near our new home and started looking not long after the move.

Unfortunately our search for a new gym was not altogether successful. We did find a really good one that was just a few minutes from the house we rent. The facilities looked great and it seemed like a place were we’d really enjoy working out. But there was a problem: the price. It was a lot more expensive than our former gym. To make matters worse, the manager would not negotiate with me at all. I offered to pay him several months in advance in cash if he would offer me a discount (and waive some of the ridiculous sign-up fees). It seemed like a no-brainer to me: he would make money even if we never set foot in the place again. But he wouldn’t budge.

I did a little more research and it looked like I’d run into similar issues at other local gyms.

Garage/Home Gym: Advantages

That’s when I decided to do something I’ve thought about for years: build a garage gym. I’ll explain how I’m going about it, but first let me share the advantages of training at home.

Money: Needless to say, there are start-up costs involved with having a gym in your home or garage. But basic equipment isn’t terribly expensive, and it shouldn’t take long for it to pay for itself. Once you have your weights/equipment set up you never have to pay any kind of gym fee again if you don’t want to. As I mentioned before, this was my main motivation for setting up a garage gym: money is tight right now and I just couldn’t see paying over a thousand dollars a year (plus registration fees) just so my wife and I could have a decent place to train.

Maximize Your Rent/Mortgage: This is another aspect of the money issue, but it’s kind of a category to itself. Here’s what I mean when I talk about making the most of your rental/mortgage: our house has a small garage, and I have a big car. My vehicle would probably fit, but just barely. I just park it in the driveway (which is covered by a shelter). I might as well put a gym in there and make use of the space I’m already paying for. It’s something to consider, especially if you have a garage, basement, or other space that isn’t being used for anything.

No Line, No Waiting: One of the biggest disadvantages of a commercial gym is sharing equipment with other people. This can be especially annoying if you end up working out during “peak” hours (like 5-7 p.m.). I’ve found that other gym patrons are usually considerate and try not to monopolize a piece of equipment for too long (usually, but not always). That still doesn’t change the fact that you inevitably end up waiting for someone else to finish training if you use a commercial gym.

Your Gym, Your Equipment: Another issue I’ve had with some commercial gyms is the equipment. Barbells that have been used hundreds of times start to get warped and beat up. They aren’t cheap, so gym owners don’t always replace them quickly enough for my taste.   You may end up with only one or two good barbells in your gym (and as mentioned before, they may be in use when you come in to train). Obviously you don’t have this problem with your own garage gym–your barbell should last a lot longer and you can replace it whenever you decide it has seen better days.

Here’s something else to consider: you can buy/use equipment that you may not find in a typical commercial gym. I plan, for example, to buy a trap bar eventually. I don’t think any gym I’ve ever been a member of a gym that had one. I’m looking forward to training with it and even teaching my wife how to use it.

Privacy: Sometimes my wife would feel self-conscious about working out with men around.   My training has been delayed or slowed more than once because someone wanted to talk to me. I actually enjoy talking to people in the gym, but some people have a way of completely monopolizing your time to the point of interfering with your next set. Neither of these issues are a problem now that we train at home.

Convenience: Last but not least is the convenience issue. We’ve both enjoyed just walking into the garage when we want to work out.

Building Your Garage Gym: Recommendations

Craigslist is Your Friend: Get on Craiglist and search for terms like “weight set,” “Olympic weights,” etc. You may be surprised at what you find: people are always selling exercise equipment and you can save a lot of money if you’re patient.   I bought a power rack, bench, Olympic barbell, and 160 lb. of weights for around 400 bucks (pictured below–with some extra plates I picked up at Walmart). Is this a top-of-the-line squat rack? Nope. But it is more than adequate for us.

Stick with the Basics: I’d recommend starting with a power rack. I would have considered buying something like this Body-Solid Pro Power Rack if I hadn’t found such a good deal on Craigslist. The nice thing about a rack is the versatility: you can use it for squats, bench press, rack pulls, pull-ups, and the list goes on. Add an Olympic barbell, a good bench, and some weights and you’re good to go. You could buy this whole set (rack, bench and weights) for the sake of convenience if you have the money.

If your budget is really tight you may want to start with a “half rack” or even some adjustable squat stands instead of a full power rack.

Think of Inexpensive Additions: Trying to duplicate what you’d find in a commercial gym will get costly. But there are a lot of things you can buy that don’t really cost much. As I mentioned earlier, I plan to buy this trap bar. I also plan to buy more plates and maybe even some heavier kettlebells. But some things are even less expensive: an ab wheel and an exercise ball are both extremely effective ways to train your “core” (abdominal and oblique muscles) that hardly cost anything.

Keep Adding Over Time: We’ll keep building our gym according to our budget. The simple things we have go a long way, so there’s really no rush.

Update (Video)

Here’s a quick video tour I made with my iPhone.

Closing Thoughts

Just so you know, I have nothing against commercial gyms: they’ve been responsible for the muscle and strength I have today. But I’ve decided to go a different direction and I thought I’d share some advice and observations for those who are considering doing the same.