The NIP diet is a meal plan designed to help you lose weight (and water) quickly and then manage that weight loss afterwards preventing rapid weight gain when the diet is over.
The meal plan has three phases: the protein pacing cut period (phase one), the stabilization period (phase two) and the exit period (phase three). Each phase lasts 10 days and is designed to help you get through the diet and exit it smoothly - in a month. With each phase, you add extra micromeal options slowly expanding the variety of what you eat helping your body to adjust to the new norm.
Phase One is a low carb phase during which your body will be forced to let go of all the water retained by the carbohydrates (the main cause of “puffiness”) and “dry” out the muscles making them appear sharper and look more prominent. During Phase One your body will rely solely on protein for energy which will make it work harder over a longer period of time. Due to slow energy release you will feel less hungry during the day and feel full a little bit longer after each micromeal. You will experience rapid and significant weight loss during that phase.
Phase Two kicks in just as your body is beginning to develop cravings and is beginning to slow down and you begin to struggle with fatigue. You now expand your eating palette by adding fruit and cheese. It’ll make the diet become a little less taxing on the body while keeping you on track.
Phase Three is an exit phase during which you will be slowly returning to your normal eating patterns. You are now adding high value items like nuts, legumes and grains to your diet to slowly re-introduce easy-access high value energy sources. Although you will not lose any weight during that stage it is crucial that you see it through to the day to allow your body to adjust. A slow exit from a diet will stop you from going on a binge preventing you from losing all the ground you just gained.
30 days later (and a size or two down) eating small portions and making better food choices should become a habit you can now continue to reinforce.
|Phase 1 Micromeal options|
|Phase 2 Micromeal options ( add to Phase 1 options )|
|Phase 3 Micromeal options ( Add to Phase 1 & 2 options)|
The NIP can be scaled up or down provided you keep the ratio of 1:1:1 in all three phases.
It’s perfect for you if:
- You need to shed weight quickly for an event or a specific date;
- You need to shed extra weight gained over the holidays;
- You need to re-train your tastebuds to make it easier to choose healthier options over junk food and sweets on a regular basis.
Caution! The NIP diet should not be used if you need to lose a lot of extra weight. This diet is designed to help you shed a few pounds (several kilos) to regain confidence and help manage your nutrition when you feel like you have fallen off the wagon and need a jump-start. If you have any medical conditions and/or take medication consult your doctor before attempting this diet.
Food suggestions, tips & substitutions
Any lean grilled lean meat is ok but chicken breast works best. Grill several portions in one go so you have always some on hand. Use food bags to freeze what you are not going to eat today or tomorrow. Leave in the fridge overnight to defrost and it’ll be ready for the following day. If you reheat the meat make sure it’s sizzling hot before eating to avoid food poisoning.
Keep some water-thin ham or salami slices. or hardboiled eggs in the fridge for emergency snacks.
Fresh (or frozen) green vegetables are in general unlimited. For example, you can have a huge lettuce cucumber salad dressed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt with your grilled meat for lunch. Great vegetable choices for phase one are: lettuce, watercress, cucumbers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, spinach. Green peppers, onions and garlic are also ok.
Fresh cucumbers can be substituted with pickles for a more budget friendly option. Check the nutritional info before you buy: carbohydrates content cannot exceed 6g. Because of the sugar used for the pickling process limit the amount to one-two pickles per micromeal.
You don’t have to stick exclusively to chicken breasts or tuna. You can have any other lean meat or fish. It is recommended that you stick with chicken breasts or leaner cuts of meat. Although the NIP doesn’t require you to cut out fat completely your fat intake should still be controlled. You want your body to rely almost completely on protein as the source of energy.
Tea and coffee without sugar are ok in any amounts but no alcohol or fruit juices of any kind are allowed.
You can use salt and oil (sunflower, coconut or olive oils) for cooking and dressing.
Have drinking water at hand. You can add lemon and/or ginger to it to make it more appealing.
Be prepared! Make sure you have all meal options ready to go and within your reach at all times. Due to the gruelling nature of this mealplan maintaining your resolve to see it through is crucial. It’s easy to give up if a food option from the list for your current phase is not available or not handy enough e.g, you need to grill the chicken but you are too hungry so you reach for a slice of bread with jam instead. This diet is all about being prepared.