2B Mindset vs. the Container System: What's the Difference?
The question of "what's the difference?" between the 2B Mindset and the container system comes up quite a bit in conversations with clients and prospective clients, and the easiest answer is just "They're altogether different programs." But having used the container system myself for 3.5 years and now the 2B Mindset for half a year—as well as guiding clients through using both systems—I've been able to compare and contrast them and draw some helpful observations that may help you choose between the two if you're not sure.
The first thing to know is that I don't believe these two systems are in conflict with each other. They just emphasize different things. The eating plan I currently follow actually combines them. There are some things that are allowed on the 2B Mindset that wouldn't fly when using the containers, and vice versa—but they're not mutually exclusive. It's more like a Venn diagram with a significant amount of overlap.
They both focus on minimizing processed foods in your diet in favor of real, whole foods. They both will get you eating loads of vegetables. They are both relatively high-protein, low-carb diets, but not so low-carb as to be ketogenic.
I personally believe they are both really solid programs for teaching people to eat in a way that promotes health! So it's up to you to decide which one is a better fit for you. Here are some bullet points to help:
This plan focuses on portion control but it’s really more about balancing than limiting (example: if you’re eating more protein and veggies, that’s lower in calories than a meal that has lots of fat and carbs).
This plan is good for people who like structure—who like following rules and you like everything to be neat and orderly.
This plan focuses on simple ingredients (whole foods) and getting processed food out of your diet for the most part (it does still allow whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, whole grain crackers etc.)—you’ll be making most meals at home from scratch but they can be very simple. Healthy eating doesn't have to be fancy or complicated—although this program includes some fun gourmet recipe options if you like to cook.
This plan is good for people who like flexibility. There is an underlying structure to the plan in terms of proportions (example: at breakfast, half your plate should be lean protein, like eggs, and half your plate should be fiber-filled carbs, like fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat toast) but you aren’t given exact quantities or portion sizes.
This plan works well for people who eat a lot of take-out and restaurant meals. Instead of asking you to give it up cold turkey, this plan has lots of actionable advice for finding the healthiest options on restaurant menus. It helps you get away from "all or nothing" thinking and realize that you can enjoy a dinner out with friends or family and still eat in a way that serves your health.
This plan focuses on intuitive eating and getting in touch with your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. It is built on the idea that if you are eating the right foods in the right proportions, you will be able to reach the healthiest weight for your body without depriving yourself or feeling hungry (other than normal/natural hunger at mealtimes of course).
This plan also includes a focus on behavior change. I find this piece to be really crucial for people who have tried many different weight loss plans and nothing has worked. It’s one thing to tell people what to eat… but if you already know what to eat and just can’t get yourself to follow those instructions, this plan has some really useful approaches for habits (of both action and thought) to set you up for true, long-lasting change.