Diets Debunked: The E2M Diet - Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC

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Diets Debunked: The E2M Diet

Find out if the “Eager to Motivate” Diet Fits the Bill for Your Health Needs

Key Takeaways:

  • The E2M diet, or “eager to motivate” diet, is an 8-week paid subscription that offers meal plans, exercise routines, and regular support.
  • This is a weight-loss targeted diet that can be customized to various health conditions, like diabetes, and appears to be safe for many as it doesn’t significantly cut calories or promote “extreme” dieting. 
  • This diet appears to mimic a non-restrictive, whole-food diet, which is known to offer digestive, cognitive, and metabolic benefits.
  • However, much about this protocol is unknown without purchasing a subscription, so there is no direct evidence of clinical or scientific benefit.
  • Adopting a non-restrictive whole-food diet, like Paleo or Mediterranean that practices moderation, getting an exercise regimen, and seeking out support is a free and great way to reap the benefits of this program.

With so many new diet trends popping up online daily, you’ve probably noticed by now that some are a bit more transparent (and easier to digest) than others. The E2M diet is more of a comprehensive weight-loss protocol that is mostly hidden behind a paid subscription. 

This 8-week protocol involves everything from no-carb to high-carb, and pilates to HIIT. Their ability to accommodate everyone and seemingly non-restrive approach to weight loss is a large part of their appeal.

While our researchers didn’t take the plunge and purchase a subscription, I did put them to the test to find out everything we could about the E2M diet, if it’s worth it, and how its philosophy can work for you. 

From what we gathered, this program certainly has both its pros and cons, but there are some basic takeaways that can help you meet your health goals. Trying out whole-foods healthy eating, practicing moderation, getting some regular exercise, and seeking out motivation when you need it is the formula to getting this “diet” right.

This article is part of our ‘Diets Debunked’ series — for more like this, be sure to check out the conclusion where you can get the dirt on other trending diets. But for more on the “eager to motivate” diet, read on.

Principles of The E2M Diet

The E2M diet stands for “eager to motivate”, and is aptly named as its design inspires a whole-body approach to addressing your health goals (1). It has a relaxed approach toward dieting in that it doesn’t restrict calories or carbohydrates and can be easily modified to suit a vegetarian, vegan, or other food-restricted diet [1]. 

While our researchers did their best to get the inside scoop on what this diet protocol entails, unfortunately, without a paid membership, the information is scarce. What we did find is that this plan mainly focuses on consuming nutritious vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and high-quality meats and seafood. It limits highly processed foods, sugars, and alcohol.

Some common examples of what healthy meals entail are:

  • Up to 4 servings of cheese, yogurt, butter, and cream
  • 1 fist-sized serving of blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and/or peaches
  • Up to 6 tablespoons of almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts
  • Unlimited non-starchy vegetables (asparagus, artichoke, tomato, onion, mushrooms)
  • Whole grain, low-carb bread or crackers

Created by veteran Jeff Witherspoon, this 8-week virtual plan at $40 per week consists of weekly meal plans and meal ideas, food lists, exercise protocols, access to personal trainers, and continuous motivational support. Their most popular workouts include Zumba, HIIT, cardio kickboxing, step aerobics, spin, yoga, and mat pilates [2]. In addition, no supplements need to be purchased for their protocol [1]. 

E2M Core Principles

Lastly, this diet embodies 3 core principles:

  1. Be honest: This applies to both habits that could be impacting your health goals, or how achievable your overall goals are. Learn to trust the process.
  2. Be realistic: Understand that not every health goal can be completed in just 2-3 weeks, and results often take the full eight weeks (or longer).
  3. Be kind: Remember that healing is a process and journey. You may not hit every milestone exactly when you want to, but your health is a journey and will look different for everyone.

These values are pretty undisputable in their importance and effectiveness for bringing about better health. Setting expectations and having guiding principles are essential for staying motivated, and as you’ll see below, you don’t need a subscription to benefit.  

“Eager to Motivate” Diet Goals

The major underlying goal of the E2M diet appears to provide a non-restrictive, relaxed, and guided approach toward diet and exercise that can benefit everyone’s weight loss journey. Aside from the need to purchase a subscription, the protocol does appear to make a significant effort to be rather inclusive and can be modified to anyone’s lifestyle: from breastfeeding mothers to type 1 diabetics. 

The primary proposed benefit of the “eager to motivate” diet is weight loss — and those seeking to lose weight appear to be the primary audience (observed through numerous “before and after” weight-loss pictures on their Facebook group) [1]. 

Other purported benefits of this diet include [1]:

  • Increased energy
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Balanced blood sugar
  • A metabolic “rest” (meaning unclear)

While these health benefits sound promising, what does the science have to say?

What The Research Says

Unfortunately, without general access to the program, there are no proven benefits to this diet at this time. But just because the E2M diet is shrouded by a paid subscription, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a “bad” diet. It’s just more challenging to evaluate its health benefits — especially those that are research-backed. Aside from patient testimonials, it’s also quite difficult to assess its clinical efficacy.

So, for now, the verdict is still out on its research-backed benefits, but there are some take-home pointers from the E2M diet that are supported by the literature.

An unprocessed diet high in nutritious foods appears to be an essential part of this program (more on that below), and below are some common benefits you can reap from a whole-food diet:

  • Improved cognition [3]
  • Decreased risk of death from any cause [4]
  • Healthier weight and lower BMI [5]
  • Smaller waist circumference and lower body fat percentage [5]
  • Improved blood pressure [6]
  • Improved cholesterol [6]
  • Less need for prescription medications [6]

Exercise also offers many of the same benefits, along with improvements in hormone imbalances, immune function, cardiovascular health, mental health disorders, and digestive symptoms like constipation. 

A 2019 study 72 women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) showed that both yoga and aerobic exercise significantly improved PMS symptoms and pain intensity when practiced for 40 minutes, 3x per week for a month [7].

This goes to show, as the E2M program suggests, various types of exercise can offer health benefits when practiced regularly. Let’s see how else the main foundations of the “eager to motivate” diet can benefit you.

How The E2M Diet Can Motivate You (At No Cost)

While the “eager to motivate” diet plan lacks transparency, due to its membership-style program, there are some basic principles that this diet seems to get right. Emphasizing motivation, moderation, and a whole-foods eating plan comes with significant health benefits. 

Dive into a whole-food diet: A whole-foods diet limits the number of processed foods and sugar that you eat and emphasizes fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, olive oil, whole grains, and legumes. The Mediterranean diet is a great example of a popular, non-restrictive, whole-foods diet. Unless you are trying a more restrictive and specialized version, this is more of a healthy lifestyle than it is a short-term “diet.” Counting macros or calories tend to be overshadowed by the emphasis on eating nutritious, non-processed foods.

There are countless recipes on Pinterest, and we have plenty of articles that can help you explore whole-food, healthy eating. 

Practice moderation: For anyone who is intimately familiar with extreme dieting (keto, low-carb, or the raw meat diet), one thing I can say for certain is that extreme diets are not sustainable. And this even goes for diets that cut out foods like dairy, wheat, corn, and alcohol. While eliminating certain foods can be beneficial, strict adherence to anything for too long is not a great recipe for success. 

We like the 80/20 rule, where you stick to your preferred “diet” 80% of the time, and enjoy “off-limits” foods for 20%. While the details of how moderation is applied in the E2M diet, the overall principle is certainly something I can get behind. 

Seek the benefits of exercise: Part of what makes this plan so appealing is its consideration for healing the whole body. Their comprehensive protocol includes a workout plan with E2M personal training. The good news is that you don’t need a subscription to reap the metabolic, brain, and digestive benefits (just to name a few) of regular exercise. Three months of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to meet your weight loss goals for a short daily commitment [8]. It’s important to mention that it’s best to continue exercising once you shed the pounds and/or are symptom-free, so you will continue to receive the major health benefits of regular exercise.

Get motivated: Perhaps most importantly\, the protocol provides dietary motivation, health counseling, and virtual professional trainers. As many of us know, having someone there to hold us accountable while making dietary or lifestyle changes can make or break a new habit. Most of us will benefit by taking note and finding an “accountability partner,” even if you decide not to invest in the E2M diet. A workout and/or meal prep buddy may be just the push you need.

If you prefer to get your support virtually, there are plenty of apps, like Livestrong, that allow you to be a part of a community that is focused on their dietary goals. Unlike the E2M program, which runs in synchronous, prescheduled 8-week cycles, you can join these free communities at any time, which allows for greater flexibility. There are also plenty of free online subscriptions, workout groups, and personal trainers on YouTube that frequently offer a weekly fitness challenge that can motivate you. 

Embody their core principles: Lastly, don’t forget to embrace the fundamental values of the E2M diet listed above: be honest, be realistic, and be kind to yourself. Write down you health goals, a reasonable timeline to achieve them, and have a friend (or yourself) hold you accountable. A healthy mindset is the secret to success when it comes to motivation and long-lasting results.

The Downside and Risks

Ultimately, the biggest risk is that you may be wasting your money on a program that offers dietary and exercise advice that you can otherwise get for free. Additionally, with this program only being 8 weeks, it’s hard to tell whether short-term results (like weight loss) are sustainable in the long run.

From what we can gather, the diet seems to ensure adequate nutrient intake, enough calories, and general dietary guidelines that are likely safe for most people and has no listed contraindications. That being said, this diet does include foods that, for some, can trigger an inflammatory response in your gut, such as dairy and wheat. If you have known food sensitivities or allergies, this plan may not be the best for you.

Because the E2M diet does cycle regularly between no carbs, low-carb, and high-carb meals, it’s highly unlikely that this comes with the risks of keto. However, even temporary low-carb diets aren’t for everyone. If you find yourself feeling tired, cranky, or have an upset stomach, it may be a sign you need to increase your carb intake. 

If carbohydrates were truly the problem, your symptoms should resolve quickly. If they don’t, there is likely another factor at play (like an unhealthy gut) that needs to be addressed. 

If you decide to take the plunge and try this diet out and notice your health symptoms are worsening, you may be eating a food that is too inflammatory for you. Try out a whole-food diet that restricts more food triggers, such as the Paleo diet to see if your symptoms resolve.  

E2M Diet: The Take-Home Lesson

While the E2M looks great on the surface with its purportedly healthy meal plans, exercise regimens, and guidance, it’s virtually impossible to know the truth and benefits of this program without purchasing a subscription. For this reason and its short 2-month duration, this is one diet we just can’t get behind quite yet. 

Thankfully, you don’t need to spend any money to reap the overall benefits of what the E2M diet promises. A whole-foods diet, like the Mediterranean or Paleo diet, an exercise regimen, and a friend or community who is willing to give you a little push are all you need. 

For help with finding the right diet for you or with any of your health goals, we have several functional medicine practitioners at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine. If you’re interested in exploring what a healthy diet can do for your whole body, check out my book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You

The Ruscio Institute has developed a range of high-quality formulations to help our patients and audience. If you’re interested in learning more about these products, please click here. Note that there are many other options available, and we encourage you to research which products may be right for you.

➕ References
  1. E2M Diet Rules, Benefits, and Results – What Diet Is It [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 4]. Available from: https://www.whatdietisit.com/e2m-diet/
  2. e2mfitness.com – 8 Week Challenge – All Natural Weight Loss [Internet]. [cited 2022 Oct 4]. Available from: https://e2mfitness.com/
  3. Jiwani R, Robbins R, Neri A, Renero J, Lopez E, Serra MC. Effect of dietary intake through whole foods on cognitive function: review of randomized controlled trials. Curr Nutr Rep. 2022 Jun;11(2):146–60. DOI: 10.1007/s13668-022-00412-5. PMID: 35334104.
  4. Boushey C, Ard J, Bazzano L, Heymsfield S, Mayer-Davis E, Sabaté J, et al. Dietary Patterns and All-Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review. Alexandria (VA): USDA Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review; 2020. (USDA nutrition evidence systematic reviews). DOI: 10.52570/NESR.DGAC2020.SR0108. PMID: 35258870.
  5. Boushey C, Ard J, Bazzano L, Heymsfield S, Mayer-Davis E, Sabaté J, et al. Dietary Patterns and Growth, Size, Body Composition, and/or Risk of Overweight or Obesity: A Systematic Review. Alexandria (VA): USDA Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review; 2020. (USDA nutrition evidence systematic reviews). DOI: 10.52570/NESR.DGAC2020.SR0101. PMID: 35129906.
  6. Campbell EK, Fidahusain M, Campbell Ii TM. Evaluation of an Eight-Week Whole-Food Plant-Based Lifestyle Modification Program. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 3;11(9). DOI: 10.3390/nu11092068. PMID: 31484341. PMCID: PMC6770132.
  7. Vaghela N, Mishra D, Sheth M, Dani VB. To compare the effects of aerobic exercise and yoga on Premenstrual syndrome. J Educ Health Promot. 2019 Oct 24;8:199. DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_50_19. PMID: 31867375. PMCID: PMC6852652.
  8. Mitropoulos A, Gumber A, Akil M, Klonizakis M. Exploring the microcirculatory effects of an exercise programme including aerobic and resistance training in people with limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis. Microvasc Res. 2019 Sep;125:103887. DOI: 10.1016/j.mvr.2019.103887. PMID: 31220505.

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