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The C25 Two week test

Dr. Phil Maffetone

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Before you start the test, ask yourself about the signs and symptoms

of carbohydrate intolerance.


Following is a list of some common complaints of people with CI.

Many occur immediately following a carbohydrate meal, and others

are constant. While keeping in mind that these signs and symptoms

may also be related to other causes, ask yourself if you have any of

these problems:


• Physical fatigue. Whether you call it fatigue or exhaustion,

the most common feature of CI is that it wears people

out. Some are tired just in the morning or afternoon;

others are exhausted all day.


• Mental fatigue. Sometimes the fatigue of CI is physical,

but often it’s mental (as opposed to psychological); the

inability to concentrate is the most evident symptom.

Loss of creativity, poor memory, and failing or poor

grades in school often accompany CI, as do various forms

of “learning disabilities.” This is much more pronounced

immediately after a meal, or if a meal is delayed or

missed. The worker who returns to his or her job site after

lunch, only to be unable to concentrate due to mental

fatigue, is a very common example. Some actually fall

asleep at their desk after lunch.


• Blood-sugar problems. The blood sugar may be normal

until a carbohydrate meal is consumed, or if meals are

not eaten on a regular schedule. Periods of erratic blood

sugar, including abnormal hypoglycemia, accompanied

by many of the symptoms listed here, are not normal.

Feeling jittery, agitated and moody is common with CI,

and is relieved almost immediately once food is eaten.

Dizziness is also common, as is the craving for sweets,

chocolate or caffeine. These symptoms are not necessarily

associated with abnormal blood-sugar levels, but may

be related to neurological stress, possibly due to the

changes in blood sugar and insulin.


• Intestinal bloating. Foods that produce the most intestinal

gas are complex carbohydrates, specifically starches,

such as wheat products and potatoes, and other nonstarch

carbohydrates such as sugar. People with CI often

suffer from excessive gas production. Antacids, or other

remedies for symptomatic relief, are not very successful

in dealing with the problem. The gas tends to build and

is worse later in the day and at night.


• Sleepiness. Many people with CI get sleepy immediately

after meals containing more than their limit of carbohydrates.

This is typically a pasta meal, or even a meat

meal that includes bread, potatoes or dessert.

• Increased body fat. For most people, too much weight is

too much fat. In males, an increase in abdominal fat is

more evident and an early sign of CI (I call this the “carbo

belly”). In females, it’s more prominent in the upper body

compared to the thighs and legs. In the face, “chipmunk

cheeks” may be a telltale sign.


• Increased triglycerides. High triglycerides in the blood

are often seen in people with CI. These triglycerides are

the direct result of dietary carbohydrates being converted

by insulin into fat. In my experience, fasting triglyceride

levels over 100 mg/dl may be an indication of a carbohydrate-

intolerance problem (even though 100 is in the socalled

normal range).


• High blood pressure. Most people with hypertension

have CI. There is often a direct relationship between

insulin levels and blood pressure — as average insulin

levels elevate, so does blood pressure. For some, regardless

of whether the blood pressure is elevated, sodium

sensitivity is common and eating too much sodium causes

water retention along with elevated blood pressure.


• Depression. Because carbohydrates can be a natural

“downer,” depression is common among people who have

CI. Carbohydrates do this by adversely affecting levels of

neurotransmitters made in the brain, producing feelings of

depression. Many people have been taught that sugar is

stimulating, but actually the opposite can be true. Some

people have a short, initial burst of energy after eating

sugar, but it does not last. This is a significant consideration

for children or adults trying to function optimally at

school, home or work.


In addition to the signs and symptoms listed above, carbohydrates,

especially sugar, can be addicting. Some people have trouble

accepting that notion as there are no clear scientific studies to demonstrate

the claim. Many professionals have struggled trying to help

patients who could not reduce or eliminate sugar despite its

unhealthy hold on them.


Write down the problems that you have from this list, along with any and

all other complaints you have. This may take you a few days as many

people are so used to certain problems they can’t recall them all at

once. This is very important because after the test, you will review

these complaints to see which ones have improved.

Next, weigh yourself before starting the test. This is the only

instance I recommend using the scale. During the test you may lose

some excess water your body is holding, but you’ll also go into a high

fat-burning state and lose body fat. I’ve seen some people lose only a

few pounds during the test, and some 20 or more pounds. This is not

a weight-loss regime, and the main purpose of weighing yourself is

to have another sign of how your body is working, especially after the



Before you start the test, make sure you have enough of the foods

you’ll be eating during the test — these are listed later in the chapter.

Go shopping and stock up on these items. This requires a little planning,

so make a list of the foods you want to eat and the meals and

snacks you want to make available. In addition, go through your cabinets

and refrigerator and get rid of any sweets in your house, or

you’ll be tempted. Remember, many people are addicted to sugar and

other carbohydrates, and for the first few days you may crave these



Planning is very important. Make sure you do not go hungry during

the test! 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. There are many foods to select from so you don’t ever need to

go hungry. Eat as much of the allowable foods as you want — there

are many of them. 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.


Plan to eat as much as you need to never be hungry. This means

planning your meals and having snacks available. Most importantly,

eat breakfast within an hour of waking.


Following the diet for less than two weeks probably will not give

you a valid result. So, if after five days, for example, you eat a bowl

of pasta or a box of cookies, you will need to start the test over.



Foods to Eat During the Test

You are allowed to 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, shellfish and others.

•  Tomato, V-8 or other vegetable juices such as carrot


•  Water.

•  Cooked or raw vegetables except potatoes and 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).


Be sure to read the ingredients for many of these foods if they are

packaged, as some form of sugar is commonly added.


Foods to Avoid During the Test

You may not eat the following foods during the Two-Week Test:


• Bread, rolls, pasta, pancakes, cereal, muffins, chips,

crackers, rice cakes and similar carbohydrate foods.

•  Sweets, including products that contain sugar such

as ketchup, honey, and many other prepared foods

(read the labels).

•  Fruits and fruit juice.

•  Highly processed meats such cold cuts, which often

contain sugar.

•  Potatoes (all types), corn, rice and beans.

•  Milk, half-and-half and yogurt.

•  So-called healthy snacks, including all energy bars

and drinks.

•  All soda, including so-called diet types.



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.


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.


Helpful Suggestions

Below are some other suggestions for eating, food preparation and

dining out which may be helpful during the Two-Week Test. You may

find these suggestions helpful after completing the test as well.


Meal Ideas


• Omelets, with any combination of vegetables, meats

and cheeses.

• Scrambled with guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

• Scrambled with a scoop of ricotta cheese and tomato


• Boiled or poached with spinach or asparagus and

hollandaise or cheese sauce.

• With bacon or other meats.

• Soufflés.



• Chef — leaf lettuce, meats, cheeses, eggs.

• Spinach — with bacon, eggs, anchovies.

• Caesar — Romaine lettuce, eggs, Parmesan cheese,


• Any salad with chicken, tuna, shrimp or other meat

or cheese.


Salad Dressings

• Extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar (balsamic, wine,

apple cider). Plain or with sea salt and spices.

• Creamy — made with heavy cream, mayonnaise,

garlic and spices.


Fish and Meats

• Pot roast cooked with onions, carrots and celery.

• Roasted chicken stuffed with a bulb of anise, celery

and carrots.

• Chili-type dish made with fresh, chopped meat and a

variety of vegetables such as diced eggplant, onions,

celery, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and spices (no


• Steak and eggs.

• Any meat with a vegetable and a mixed salad.

• Chicken parmigiana (not breaded or deep-fried) with

a mixed salad.

• Fish (not breaded or deep-fried) with any variety of

sauces and vegetables.

• Tuna melt on a bed of broccoli or asparagus.



• Plain melted butter.

• A quick cream sauce can be made by simmering

heavy cream with mustard or curry powder and

cayenne pepper, or any flavor of choice. It’s delicious

over eggs, poultry and vegetables.

• Italian-style tomato sauce helps make a quick parmigiana

out of any fish, meat or vegetables. Put this

over spaghetti squash for a pasta-like dish. Or make

lasagna with sliced grilled eggplant or zucchini

instead of pasta.



• Hard-boiled eggs.

• Slices of fresh meat and/or cheese wrapped in lettuce.





If you do cheat you must start the test from the beginning. Please keep me

informed of your progress, remember to weigh yourself before you start the test.


All the best,




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