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Bestselling dietsIn the USA, 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse (detox cleanse) is back in force, and The 20/20 Diet (power foods, unprocessed, cycle diet) has also been topping the charts most of the month. Gluten-free diets such as Grain Brain and Wheat Belly, as well as GF plus dairy free plus sugar-free Zero Belly Diet and Eat. Nourish. Glow. are popular.

In the UK, Deliciously Ella (vegan, free-from) continues to sell well, and Eat. Nourish. Glow (gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free) has risen back up the charts. The Fast Diet (intermittent fasting) has risen in popularity again, although not at the heights that it was last year when this seemed to be pretty much the only way to go.

The positions in the bestselling charts are according to a snapshot of book sales from Amazon. The number in brackets next to the top titles is the ranking in all books – e.g. Eat. Nourish. Glow. is the no. 69 top selling book in the USA and the no. 4 selling book and no. 90 selling Kindle in the UK on Amazon at the time of writing.

USA bestselling diets March 2015

USA Health, Fitness & Dieting* Special diets Diseases & Physical Ailments*
1 10-Day Sugar Detox – Kindle (k34) – 4 plans for sugar detox Thug Kitchen (19) – Vegan cookbook Grain BrainGluten-free, no processed carbs or sugars
2 The 20/20 Diet (20) –
Power foods, unprocessed, cycle diet
Inspiralized  (42) – Spiralized vegetables and fruits cookbook Whole – KindleWhole foods, vegan
3 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse (29) – High-liquid cleanse diet Wheat Belly – AudioGluten-free, low carb diet book The Autoimmune SolutionRemove food toxins and inflammatory foods, e.g. sugar, caffeine, gluten, dairy
4 The Zero Belly Diet  (34) – Whole foods, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, unprocessed Eat. Nourish. Glow. (69) – Gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free Grain Brain – KindleGluten-free, no processed carbs or sugars
5 Wheat Belly – AudioGluten-free, low carb diet book The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (71) – Vegetarian recipe book Taking Charge of Your Fertility ­– Unprocessed foods, no caffeine or alcohol

*only books with food recommendations included

UK diet best sellers March 2015

UK Diets & Healthy Eating
1 Deliciously Ella (3) – Sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free natural plant-based recipe book
2 Eat. Nourish. Glow. (4) – Gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free
3 The Fast Diet – Kindle (k56) – Intermittent fasting
4 Eat. Nourish. Glow. Kindle (k90) – Gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free
5 The Art of Eating Well (16) – No sugar, no grain cookbook
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Effortless Healing by Dr. Joseph MercolaEffortless Healing (2015) is a low-starch, unprocessed diet.

  • Minimal to no consumption of grains and sugars, including complex carbs.
  • Consume fruit in moderation – limit fructose.
  • Eat raw organic vegetables, healthful fats, and grass-fed/pastured organic proteins; drink plenty of water.
  • Intermittent fasting – eat in an 8-10 hour period each day

Below on this page is a description of the food recommendations in the diet. General guidelines,  what to eatfoods to limit, and foods to avoid. There’s a lot more in the book – food guidelines are only part of the total guidelines, related to five of the 9 Healing Principles.

Use this page as a cheat sheet alongside the book. Send this page to friends, family, and anyone else who you want to understand what you’re eating on this diet.

Get a copy of Effortless Healing for exercise/movement/posture guidelines (Healing Principle 4), sun exposure guidelines (Healing Principle 5), sleep guidelines (Healing Principle 7), going barefoot/touch/laughter/breathing correctly/staying grounded (Healing Principle 8), how to set and meet goals and address emotional roadblocks, daily meal and activity suggestions, and more.

The reasoning behind Effortless Healing

The book says that your body was designed to be healthy without requiring a drug. Give it what it needs to thrive, and it will typically regenerate itself without any outside interventions. This innate restorative tendency is what the author calls “Effortless Healing.”

Effortless Healing diet plan – what to eat and foods to avoid

General guidelines  |  What to eat  |  Foods to limit  |  Foods to avoid

General guidelines

  • Drink a glass of water when you notice yourself feeling thirsty or hungry. If you’re still hungry after 10 minutes or so, you’ll know that cue is truly for food
  • Practice intermittent fasting (Healing Principle 4)
    • Don’t do this if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or have chronic excessive stress that results in severe adrenal exhaustion
    • Eat only during an 8-10 hour window each day to help you burn fat and improve health in many ways
    • Break into this slowly – start by not eating anything for 3 hours before you go to bed, then go as long as you comfortably can without eating breakfast, gradually extending that time later each day until you can completely skip breakfast. When you do eat, minimize carbs and exchange them for green leafy vegetables and high-quality fats as listed below
    • Some people find that skipping dinner works for them than skipping breakfast
    • For Advanced Effortless Healing, work out while in a fasted state. On the days that you work out while fasting, eat a recovery meal 30 minutes after your workout – high quality whey protein is ideal. Once you are fat-adapted, you can cycle between feast and famine modes. Then you can try eating healthy fresh fruits (not juices) before you exercise, and your body will use the sugar as fuel instead of storing it as fat
    • Once you are no longer overweight and have normal blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, you can start “feasting” (eating all day) again – listen to your body and adjust your food pattern if you start having health issues again
  • Transition from burning carbs to burning fats (Healing Principle 4)
    • Transition gradually at a pace that works for you – eat less carbs and more fats
    • Shifting to fat-burning mode typically takes several weeks, though it can take longer. Once you have made the shift, your appetite will normalize and your desire for sweets and junk food will radically decrease
    • If you have sugar cravings or a lack of energy or hypoglycemic tendencies (headaches, weakness, tremors, or irritability), use some coconut oil as a source of energy – options include: mix 1 tbsp of coconut oil with one tablespoon of raw almond butter and spread the mixture on celery sticks for a snack; blend coconut oil into a glass of kefir or fresh green vegetable juice; stir a tablespoon of coconut into the soup you have for lunch; you can eat coconut oil on its own during the time you’re fasting
  • Incorporate fermented foods into your daily diet, such as yogurt or kefir made with raw milk, natto, and fermented vegetables – if you choose not to, you can take a high-quality probiotic (Healing Principle 6)
  • Chew your food to make it easier to digest (Healing Principle 6)
    • Eat in a relaxed, nondistracted environment (not on the run or while working or watching TV)
    • Take smaller bites of food (they’re easier to chew)
    • Chew slowly and steadily
    • Chew until your mouthful of food is liquefied or has lost all its texture
    • Finish chewing and swallow completely before you take another bite of food
    • Wait to drink fluids until you’ve swallowed
  • Mercola’s version of the food pyramid
    • Eat plentiful: Healthful fats and Veggies – raw organic vegetables; healthy fats including coconuts, avocados, olive oil, butter, and raw nuts
    • Eat: Protein – raw organic dairy; safe fish such as wild Alaskan salmon; grass-fed organic meat and poultry
    • Minimize: Fruits – consume fruits in moderation; limit fructose to below 25 grams a day including 15 grams from whole fruit
    • Minimal to no consumption: Grains and Sugars – includes complex carbs such as bread, ceral, pasta, potatoes, corn, rice, and grain products

Foods to eat in Effortless Healing

  • Beverages
    • Pure water (Healing Principle 1) – e.g. filtered tap water (not bottled water)
      • Invest in a water filtration system – e.g. a reverse osmosis filter, water distiller, or carbon filter (see the book for the pros and cons of each and what to keep in mind)
      • To make your water more interesting, fizz it up using a SodaStream or similar machine to carbonate beverages at home
      • You can also add fresh lime or lemon wedges, slices of cucumber, peeled ginger root, natural peppermint extract or crushed mint leaves, whole herbal tea extracts, safe natural sweeteners like stevia or lo han (monk fruit)
      • If you’re over 65 (when your thirst mechanism doesn’t work as well) or if you don’t recognize thirst, you should drink several glasses of water daily, whether or not you feel thirsty
    • Home-made vegetable juice / green juice (don’t add any fruits, except lemon or lime, due to their sugar content)
    • Tea and coffee
      • Choose organic
      • Tea is the better choice for many, but coffee can also be a healthy option
      • Herbal teas e.g. hibiscus, tulsi / holy basil
      • Chamomile tea to help you sleep
    • Structured water
      • H3O2 instead of H2O
      • Found in raw or juiced fresh vegetables, spring water, chilled water, vortexed water
    • Vegetables – nonstarchy (Healing Principle 2)
      • This is the food group that should take up most of your plate – primarily nonstarchy vegetables
      • Fresh, minimally processed, high-quality vegetables, ideally locally grown and organic. If you can’t get organic, any vegetable is better than no vegetable – wash them thoroughly (preferably soak in water and vinegar for 30 minutes) and remove peels and cores where possible to minimize your exposure to pesticides
      • Consume a majority of them raw. Aim for at least 30% (and up to 50% or more) of your vegetables raw
        • Salads
        • Juicing – Dr. Mercola typically consumes from a pint to a quart of green juice most days. Avoid using juice as a complete meal unless you’re undergoing a special fasting or detoxification program. Limit fruits, preferably to lemons or limes. Guidelines to juicing are in the book and at http://juicing.mercola.com/.
        • Fermenting (Healing Principle 6) (fermented sauerkraut, kimchee, etc. – sample recipe in the book) for natural probiotics – if you’re not used to eating fermented vegetables, start slowly, and try using them in salads instead of vinegar. Make sure the fermented food is unpasteurized – preferably make it yourself
        • Sprouting – grow your own sprouts
      • The greener or darker the vegetable, the more nutritious it will typically be
      • Highly recommended vegetables and herbs – asparagus, avocado, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, chicory, Chinese cabbage/napa cabbage, chives, collard greens, cucumbers, dandelion greens, endive, escarole, fennel, green cabbage, red cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce (romaine, red leaf, green leaf), mustard greens, onions, parsley, peppers (red, green, yellow, and hot), Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, spinach, sprouts, zucchini
    • High-quality fats (Healing Principle 4)
      • Olives and olive oil (unheated)
      • Coconuts and coconut oil (best oil for cooking)
      • Butter – definitely organic, and pastured and raw if possible
      • Raw nuts, especially those low in protein, such as macadamias and pecans; also almonds, walnuts, and other nuts
      • Nut and seed flour/meal – e.g. almond meal
      • Nut and seed butter/paste – e.g. tahini
      • Organic pastured egg – the less you cook them, the better, as many nutrients in yolks are susceptible to heat damage – soft-boiled and poached are your best options
      • Avocados, avocado oil (unheated)
      • Walnut oil (unheated)
    • Dairy foods
      • Raw pastured full fat organic dairy is best – if you can’t get pastured, get organic plain whole milk
      • Fermented dairy foods (Healing Principle 6) – live, unpasteurized, unsweetened, nothing-added yogurt, kefir
      • Cheese e.g. feta (no other examples in the book)
      • Pastured cream
    • Fish (smaller, unfarmed – less contaminated)
      • Anchovies, croaker, haddock, herring, Alaskan salmon, wild Pacific salmon, sardines, summer flounder
      • Krill oil
    • Meat and protein
      • Grass-fed, organic meat and poultry
      • Poultry – e.g. pastured chicken
      • Meat – e.g. grass-fed beef, buffalo
    • Legumes
      • Fermented soy (Healing Principle 6) – miso, natto, soy sauce (traditionally made, organic, gluten-free – preferably tamari), tempeh
    • Non-grain carbohydrate seeds
      • Buckwheat
    • Other ingredients
      • Vinegar (e.g. balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar)

Foods to limit with Effortless Healing

  • Beverages
    • Tap water / chlorinated water – the book explains what can be found in tap water and why filtering it is best
    • Bottled water from plastic bottles
    • Coconut water – best used when you’re doing endurance exercises or in environments where you are sweating more than a quart of water per day
  • Vegetables to eat sparingly due to high carbohydrate levels
    • Beets, carrots, eggplant, jicama, winter squashes (e.g. acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, spaghetti squash)
  • Fresh fruit
    • Keep your total fructose consumption to below 25 grams per day, primiarily from fruit. If you drink beverages other than water and eat processed food, it would be wise to limit your fructose from fruit to 15 grams or less, as you’re virtually guaranteed to consume “hidden” fructose in these types of products.
  • Sweeteners
    • Sugar alcohols – e.g. xylitol, glucitol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, glycerol, lactitol
    • Dextrose/glucose
    • Lo han kuo (aks lo han guo, lo han, monk fruit)
    • Stevia – whole leaf extract in liquid or powdered form

Foods to avoid with Effortless Healing

  • Processed foods, fast food
  •  Beverages
    • Sweet and artificial beverages (Healing Principle 1)
    • Soda – reduce your intake to zero gradually, over a few weeks, lowering the amount you drink by a small amount every day until you stop – aim for a 5-10% reduction every day.
    • Sports drinks
    • Artificially flavored / sweetened waters; “functional waters”
    • Diet soda
    • Fruit juices, especially commercial
    • Sweetened beverages – e.g. iced tea, lemonade, etc.
  • Sugars and artificial sweeteners (Healing Principle 9)
    • Processed sugars including sugar, brown sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup HFCS, turbinado sugar, etc.
    • Natural sugars including agave, brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, date sugar, fruit juice, honey (you can have raw local honey, but no more than a teaspoon or two a day), maple syrup, molasses, sorghum, sucanat
    • Artificial sweeteners, including acesulfame K / acesulfame potassium, aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda), Truvia (which contains other ingredients in addition to just stevia, principally erythritol)
  • Vegetables to avoid
    • Corn
    • Potatoes
  • Oils
    • Vegetable oils (Healing Principle 9)
    • Corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil
    • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats; margarine; shortening
    • Processed foods, most of which contain these oils
  • Dairy
    • Conventional yogurt (Healing Principle 9) – made from cows raised on confined animal feedlot operations (CAFOs) who don’t have access to grass, their natural diet, and are given a lot of antibiotics and other substances
    • Low-fat and nonfat dairy
  • Fish
    • Large and farmed fish (Healing Principle 9)
    • Halibut, largemouth bass, marlin, pike, Atlantic salmon (which is typically farmed), farmed salmon, sea bass, swordfish, tuna, white croaker
  • Legumes
    • Unfermented soy (Healing Principle 9)
    • Edamame, soy burgers, soy milk, textured soy protein, tofu
    • It’s unclear whether other legumes (dried beans, chickpeas, lentils etc.) should be eaten – but they’re not shown on the food pyramid on page 64 so it’s assumed they should be avoided
  • Grains
    • Grains and foods made from grains, especially those containing gluten (Healing Principle 9)
    • Grains – including barley, millet, oats, rice (brown and white), rye, spelt, sprouted grains, wheat
    • Foods made from grains – e.g. bread, cereals, pasta, baked goods
  • Other ingredients
    • Carrageenan

Caffeine and alcohol are not mentioned in the book; it’s not clear whether they can be part of the healing plan but assumed not

Health benefits claimed in Effortless Healing

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks for: acid reflux / heartburn / GERD, acne, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, angina, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, autism (ASD), autoimmune diseases, bloating, cancer, chronic health conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), colds, congestive heart failure, constipation, coughs, Crohn’s disease, dementia, depression, diabetes, prediabetes, diarrhea, digestive issues, eczema, fatigue, fibromyalgia, flu/influenza, food allergies, food cravings, gas, hay fever, headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hot flashes, hypertension, inflammation, insomnia, insulin resistance, kidney disease, leptin resistance, Lou Gehrig’s disease/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), lupus, migraines, multiple sclerosis, nausea, night sweats, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, overweight/obesity, pain, painful periods, post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD, premature aging, psoriasis, rashes, rheumatoid arthritis, seizures, skin conditions, sleep apnea, sugar cravings, tooth cavities, urinary tract infections (UTIs)

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, not endorsing it.

Get a copy of Effortless Healing for exercise/movement/posture guidelines (Healing Principle 4), sun exposure guidelines (Healing Principle 5), sleep guidelines (Healing Principle 7), going barefoot/touch/laughter/breathing correctly/staying grounded (Healing Principle 8), how to set and meet goals and address emotional roadblocks, daily meal and activity suggestions, and more.

Buy now from Amazon

The Effortless Healing website is http://www.effortlesshealing.com; Dr. Mercola’s website is http://www.mercola.com/. He’s on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/doctor.health, and Twitter at https://twitter.com/mercola.

How has this diet helped you? Please add a comment or question below.

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Bestselling dietsIn the USA, the not-yet-released Effortless Healing and the resurging 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse have been among the most popular books for some weeks; The Food Babe Way (detox) and The Zero Belly Diet (whole foods, free-from) have also been selling well but their popularity is starting to dip. Cookbooks related to dieting/healthy eating are selling well – vegan, low calorie real foods, and vegetable.

In the UK, Deliciously Ella (vegan, free-from) and Davina’s 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free (sugar-free, unprocessed) have stayed at the top of the charts since the beginning of the year. The Hairy Dieters books (low calorie, low fat) remain popular.

The positions in the bestselling charts are according to a snapshot of book sales from Amazon. The number in brackets next to the top titles is the ranking in all books – e.g. Effortless Healing is the no. 17 top selling book and Good Calories, Bad Calories (on a fire sale) is and the no. 32 Kindle book in the USA on Amazon at the time of writing.

USA bestselling diets February 2015

USA Health, Fitness & Dieting* Special diets Diseases & Physical Ailments*
1 Good Calories, Bad Calories – Kindle (k32) – No refined carbohydrates Thug Kitchen (26) – Vegan cookbook Grain Brain (88) – Gluten-free, no processed carbs or sugars
2 Effortless Healing (17) – (not yet released) High fat, fermented foods diet The Skinnytaste Cookbook  (55) – Low calorie real foods cookbook The Autoimmune SolutionRemove food toxins and inflammatory foods, e.g. sugar, caffeine, gluten, dairy
3 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse (19) – High-liquid cleanse diet Inspiralized  (57) – Spiralized vegetables and fruits cookbook The Paleo ApproachPaleo
4 The Food Babe Way  (23) – Remove food toxins Trim Healthy Mama  (72) – Whole foods, high-carb vs. low-carb meals The Great Cholesterol MythUnprocessed foods
5 The 20/20 Diet (25) –
Power foods, unprocessed, cycle diet
Cook Your Butt Off!  (75) – Fat- burning foods Taking Charge of Your Fertility ­– Unprocessed foods, no caffeine or alcohol

*only books with food recommendations included

UK diet best sellers February 2015

UK Diets & Healthy Eating
1 Deliciously Ella (1) – Sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free natural plant-based recipe book
2 Davina’s 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free (5) – Sugar-free, low-GI, unprocessed
3 The Art of Eating Well (6) – No sugar, no grain cookbook
4 The Hairy Dieters (14) – Low fat and low sugar
5 The Hairy Dieters: Good Eating (24) – Low fat and low sugar
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The Food Babe Way by Vani Hari (2015): Food list

The Food Babe Way by Vani HariThe Food Babe Way (2015) is a 21-day program to remove toxic chemicals from your diet to improve your health and lose weight.

  • Eat real organic foods, mostly raw, and limit animal proteins.
  • Start every day with warm lemon water and a green drink.
  • Avoid foods containing chemicals, fast food, sugar, and white flour; limit alcohol.

Below on this page is a description of the food recommendations in the diet. There’s a lot more in the book.

Use this page as a cheat sheet alongside the book. Send this page to friends, family, and anyone else who you want to understand what you’re eating on this diet.

Get a copy of The Food Babe Way for common chemicals and additives and why they’re bad for your health, how to follow these recommendations at lower cost, meal plans, recipes, snack ideas, and more.

The reasoning behind The Food Babe Way

This book argues that artificial chemicals and additives found in many manufactured and food service foods lead to health issues. There are around 10,000 of these. Although they may be classed as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA, they are often untested – and many are banned in other parts of the world. Some of these chemicals are obesogens, chemicals that trigger our bodies to store fat even though we might be restricting calories.

The Food Babe Way diet plan – what to eat and foods to avoid

The book takes you through 21 days of changes, leading you to guidelines for long-term healthy eating.

Week 1  |  Week 2  |  Week 3  |  General guidelines

Week 1 of The Food Babe Way

The goal of week 1 is to clean up your body, getting rid of the toxins and antinutrients you’ve been putting into your body

(1) Add warm lemon water  (2) Add green drinks  (3) Stop drinking with your meals  (4) drink clean water  (5) cut back on dairy foods (6) cut soda  (7) avoid/update alcohol

  • Follow the Week 1 meal plan in the 21-Day Food Babe Way Eating Plan (pages 282-283 of the book)
  • Starting from day 1 – warm lemon water
    • Drink a cup of warm lemon water with cayenne pepper as soon as you get up in the morning (recipe and instructions on pp. 82-83 of the book)
    • Drink at least 12 ounces, followed by another 8 ounces of water, before you eat or drink anything else
    • Drink it through a glass straw so your teeth aren’t exposed to the acid
    • Alternately, you could have apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water
  • Starting from day 2 – green drinks
    • Drink a green drink every day – a smoothie or juice made mostly from kale, spinach, and other leafy vegetables. Recipes are on pages 291-295 of the book
    • Enjoy juices as a snack, not a meal. Use it like a supplement – within 20 minutes before a complete meal
    • Use a wide range of vegetables, not the same ones each day. Recommended vegetables which are nutrient-dense (highest nutrient density first): mustard greens/turnip greens/collard greens, kale, watercress, bok choy/baby bok choy, spinach, broccoli rabe, chinese cabbage/napa cabbage, brussels sprouts, swiss chard, arugula
    • Add some fruit – this adds some sweetness and cuts down on bitterness that might come from the greens, as well as providing additional fiber
    • Limit sweet fruits and vegetables – e.g. apples, pears, watermelon, carrots – to a maximum of one piece per serving
    • Suggested serving size – 12 ounces
    • Suggested timing – 10 minutes after your lemon water
    • Drink it on an empty stomach
    • Drink it immediately after making it – within 15 minutes – unless you have a slow masticating juicer or twin-gear (can keep up to 36 hours in an airtight container filled to the top with no air gap), or Norwalk press juicer (can store up to 72 hours); be sure to refrigerate
    • Swish the juice or smoothie around in your mouth or move your jaw up and down for a couple of seconds before swallowing it to release saliva, which helps with digestion
    • You can blend your own smoothies – recommended blender brands include Vitamix, Blendtec, NutriBullet, and Ninja
    • You can juice greens for concentrated nutrition – recommended juicer brands include Breville Slow Juicer, Hurom Slow Juicer, Omega Slow Juicer (these first three are masticating juicers that grind the vegetables against a filter, rather than working as a centrifuge – one of the book author’s favorites), Green Star Juicer (masticating juicer), Norwalk Juicer (juicer with a vortex triturating head for complete cutting and grinding and a hydraulic press that extracts the nutrients from the pulp provided by the triturator), Breville Juicer (stainless steel centrifuge juicer that spins vegetables until they separate into juice and pulp), and Jack LaLanne Juicer (a centrifuge juicer made of white plastic, which is cheaper but may be harder to clean). Be sure to clean your juicer thoroughly
    • Alternatively, you could have a shot (1 ounce) of wheatgrass – you can buy premixed wheatgrass juice or wheatgrass powder, which you can blend with water or any type of organic fruit or vegetable juice
    • You can use certain store-bought juices. Fresh raw organic juices (best) include Blue Print, Evolution Fresh (some), Juice Press, Luna’s Living Kitchen, Organic Avenue, Suja juice, Suja Elements, TurmericALIVE, Viva Raw. 100% organic not from concentrate (better, but not best) include 365 Everyday Value, Bolthouse Farms, Lakewood, Odwalla (some), Trader Joe’s (some), Uncle Matt’s Organic
  • Starting from day 3 – stop drinking with your meals
    • Don’t drink at the same time that you’re eating your meals. Chew well enough that your body produces saliva to help you swallow food
    • Best time to drink – drink water or other liquids 20 minutes before meals
    • Next-best time to drink – at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour after your meal
    • If you must drink with your meal, sip on a warm beverage such as herbal tea or warm water with lemon or ginger tea
  • Starting from day 4 – be aware of what’s in your water
  • Starting from day 5 – ease back on dairy foods
    • Eat dairy in limited quantities and use it as a condiment
    • Consider raw milk
    • Introduce goat cheese into your diet
    • Use non-dairy milks, which you can make yourself – e.g. almond milk, brazil nut milk, cashew milk, hazelnut milk, macadamia nut milk, pecan milk, pistachio milk, walnut milk, flax seed milk, hemp seed milk, sesame seed milk, sunflower seed milk. If you purchase nut or seed milks, look for brands that don’t contain carrageenan – the book author recommends Natural Value organic coconut milk, So Delicious culinary coconut milk (regular and light versions), Native Forest coconut milk, Thai Kitchen organic coconut milk, Pacific Hemp Original, Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value almond milk, Tree of Life almond milk
    • If you want dairy milk, choose organic
  • Starting from day 6 – avoid soda
    • Avoid sodas – regular and diet
    • If you can’t go cold turkey, try cutting back by ¼ in the first week, ½ in the second week, ¾ in the third week, then quit for good
    • Use soda alternatives such as: GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha, sparkling water, water/sparkling water with fruit, fruit juice, or cucumbers, Zukay probiotic drinks, 100% raw coconut water, cold brewed organic tea
  • Starting from day 7 – avoid alcohol / change what alcohol you drink
    • Avoid alcohol if you want to lose weight and feel great
    • If you do choose to have alcohol, have limited amounts and pay attention to alcohol consumption. Beer, wine, and distilled liquor may contain additives, which should be avoided. Better choices are additive-free mainstream beers (see http://foodbabe.com/cleanbeer), German beers, certified organic beers, craft and microbrew beers (independently owned); organic and sulfite-free wines; organic liqueurs

Week 2 of The Food Babe Way

The goal of week 2 is to learn to support your body with the nutrition it needs – good proteins, raw fruits and vegetables, beneficial fats, fiber-rich grains, and some superhero foods; as well as getting away from fast food and refined sugar.

(8) Avoid fast food  (9)  Avoid added sugars  (10)  Eat meat and proteins responsibly  (11) Eat raw more than half the time  (12) Cut out processed carbs  (13) Balance healthy fats  (14) Supplement with 10 Superhero foods

  • Follow the Week 2 meal plan in the 21-Day Food Babe Way Eating Plan (pages 283-285 of the book)
  • Starting from day 8 – give up fast food
    • Avoid food and beverages from fast food restaurants – e.g. Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, Papa John’s, Little Caesars, California Pizza Kitchen, Mellow Mushroom
    • Instead, make your own food from scratch and carry healthy foods with you in case you feel hungry, or eat from fresh salad bars
  • Starting from day 9 – avoid added sugar
    • Avoid added sugars (and foods that contain them): agave nectar, barley malt, beet sugar, brown sugar, buttered syrup, caramel, carob syrup, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, dextran, dextrose, diastase, diastatic malt , ethyl maltol, fructose, glucose, glucose solids, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, malitol, mannitol, raw sugar, refiner’s syrup, sorbitol, sorghum syrup, sucrose, turbinado sugar, yellow sugar
    • Avoid artificial sugars (and foods that contain them): aspartame, erythritol, saccharin, sucralose, etc., as well as processed stevia (e.g. Truvia, Stevia in the Raw, Pure Via)
    • It’s okay to eat naturally occurring sugar from fruits and vegetables, coconut palm sugar, honey, maple syrup, and also unprocessed stevia (fresh or dried stevia leaves, or 100% pure stevia; there are also instructions in the book on how to make your own liquid stevia extract)
    • See the book p.158 for natural options to satisfy your sweet tooth
  • Starting from day 10 – eat meat and proteins responsibly
    • Eat a diet mostly from plant-based foods – limit the amount of meat you have, preferably eating it as a condiment. The book author eats around 8 ounces of meat once every week or two weeks
    • Choose meat that’s raised under humane conditions, not pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics, and grown locally. If you can’t find that, choose USDA organic meat, milk, and eggs. Boycott factory farm meat
    • Look for these labels: American Grass-Fed Certified (dairy, beef, lamb, and goat); American Humane Certified (dairy, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, bison, lamb, goat, pork); Animal Welfare Approved (dairy, eggs, chicken, goose, duck, turkey, beef, bison, lamb, goat, pork, rabbit); Certified Humane (dairy, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, lamb, goat, pork); Certified Organic (dairy, eggs, chicken, goose, duck, turkey, beef, bison, lamb, goat, pork), Global Animal Partnership (chicken, turkey, beef, pork)
    • Avoid factory-farmed fish and shellfish
    • Be careful about which protein powders you consume, as many contain GMOs, artificial and refined sugars, heavy metals, or destroy vitamins. Look for protein powders that are free of pesticides, GMOs, and chemicals – e.g. Nutiva hemp protein powder and Tera’s Whey organic whey
    • Avoid fake meat and eggs / meat replacements, including fake beef, fake chicken, veggie burgers which are loaded with chemicals and possibly GMOs. Recommended veggie burgers are Hilary’s Eat Well burgers and Sunshine Burgers
  • Starting from day 11 – eat raw more than half the time
    • Eat raw, organic, natural, non-meat foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that are uncooked, as more than half of your food intake (aim for 60%)
    • Start by adding one or two raw foods to your diet – today – e.g. adding a fresh piece of fruit to your daily green juice at breakfast, or including ingredients like tomatoes, dark leaf lettuce, sprouts, onions, and cucumbers to your sandwiches
    • Move from there to having one or two raw vegetable salads dairy – at lunch and dinner, for example
    • Experiment with different types of salad greens, such as dandelions. Choose dark-colored salad greens
    • Combine raw food with cooked foods – eat raw foods (e.g. salad, berries) along with your cooked foods
    • Snack on raw, cut-up organic veggies – e.g. carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers. Or have a piece of fresh fruit or a cup of fresh berries
  • Starting from day 12 – cut out processed carbohydrates
    • Cut out starchy white carbs – white rice, white flour, white pastas, white flower products
    • Watch out for brown breads – even those marked 100% whole wheat may contain a lot of additives and chemicals
    • Eat bread only a few times a week, with some exceptions when traveling. Choose organic breads; sprouted grains; ancient grains such as spelt, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and sorghum; healthier gluten-free breads. See the book for brands (p.184)
    • Choose alternative pastas, such as zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash noodles, bean pastas, soba buckwheat noodles, sprouted grain pastas, ancient grain pastas
    • Try intact grains – barley, brown rice, buckwheat, farro, millet, oats, and quinoa – containing 100% of the original kernel, including the bran, germ, and endosperm
  • Starting from day 13 – balance your healthy fats
    • Reduce/avoid oils high in omega-6: canola oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grape-seed oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil
    • Avoid trans fats – may be found in pancake mix, packaged cookies, ready-made frosting, microwave pizzas, microwave popcorn, ready-to-bake garlic bread, pot pies, commercially baked pastries, fast foods (especially fried). Also check ingredients for “partially hydrogenated” oils, and check with restaurants what oil they fry foods in
    • Avoid non-organic butters and butter blends with phrases on the labels like “with olive oil” – check the ingredient list
    • Choose organic butter, preferably grass-fed, or try ghee
    • Choose 100% coconut oil, coconut manna, olive oil, red palm oil (if sustainably harvested), sesame oil, hemp oil
    • Enjoy high-quality nut butters as a source of dietary fat – avoid conventional peanut butter, choose raw almond butter instead
  • Starting from day 14 – supplement with superhero foods
    • Add these foods to your diet, at least one each day – tips on how to incorporate them are included in the book
    • Fermented foods, e.g. kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kombucha, live active yogurt (grass-fed organic)
    • Raw cacao and raw cacao nibs
    • Goji berries
    • Chia seeds
    • Spirulina
    • Hempseeds
    • Maca
    • Golden berries (also known as Cape gooseberries or Incan berries)
    • Quinoa
    • Sprouts – from almost any seed, whole bean, most whole grains. Never use tomato seeds or tomato sprouts, as these are poisonous

Week 3 of The Food Babe Way

The goal of week 3 is to gain lifestyle habits that will complete your transformation.

(15) Recognize GMOs  (16) Dine out mindfully  (17) Clean out your kitchen  (18) Change your grocery store  (19) Cook at home  (20) Fast every day  (21) Travel organically

  • Follow the Week 3 meal plan in the 21-Day Food Babe Way Eating Plan (pages 285-286 of the book)
  • Starting from day 15 – recognize GMOs and avoid them where possible
    • Look out for high-risk ingredients and foods
    • GMO crops may include: alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, Hawaiian papaya, sugar beets, yellow squash, zucchini
    • Possible GMO ingredients include: aspartame, baking powder, canola oil, caramel color, cellulose, citric acid, cobalamin (vitamin b12), colorose, condensed milk, confectioners’ sugar, corn flour, corn masa, cornmeal, corn oil, cornstarch, corn sugar, cottonseed oil, cyclodextrin, dextrin, dextrose, diacetyl, diglyceride, equal, erythritol, food starch, fructose, glucose, glutamate, glutamic acid, glycerides, glycerin, glycerol, glycerol monooleate, glycine, hemicellulose, high-fructose corn syrup HFCS, hydrogenated starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, inositol, inverse syrup, inversol, invert sugar, isoflavones, lactic acid, lecithin, leucine, lysine, malitol, malt, malt extract, maltodextrin, maltose, malt syrup, mannitol, methylcellulose, milk powder, milo starch, modified food starch, modified starch, mono- and diglycerides, MSG, nutrasweet, oleic acid, phenylalanine, phytic acid, protein isolate, shoyu, sorbitol, soy flour, soy isolates, soy lecithin, soy milk, soy oil, soy protein, soy protein isolate, soy sauce, starch, stearic acid, sugar (unless specified as cane sugar), tamari, tempeh, teriyaki marinade, textured vegetable protein, threonine, tocopherols (vitamin e), tofu, trehalose, triglyceride, vegetable fat, vegetable oil, vitamin b12, vitamin e, whey, whey powder, xanthan gum
    • Buy USDA-certified organic food, or food with the Non-GMO Project verification label (nongmoproject.org)
    • Check fruit and vegetable label numbers – any 5-digit number beginning with an 8 is a GMO, although such labeling is optional and not in wide use
    • Eat less processed food and cook your meals from scratch, and shop locally at farmers’ markets and co-ops
  • Starting from day 16 – dine out mindfully
    • Watch out for foods from popular restaurant chains – the book gives examples of chemicals contained in some of these foods (p.228)
    • Make dining out a special occasion
    • Eat ½ a grapefruit before dining out, and drink a large glass of water about 20 minutes before going out to eat
    • Order a salad as your first course with a dressing and/or cheese on the side
    • Quiz your server about what’s in the food, and communicate your allergies or food sensitivities
    • Order organic proteins
    • Order off the menu
    • Tips for eating at various types of ethnic restaurants are in the book (p.234)
  • Starting from day 17- do a kitchen cleanout
    • Clear out your pantry and refrigerator, shelf by shelf. Look at the ingredients list for all foods and cross-reference to the Sickening 15
    • Restock with healthy foods
    • Keep it that way!
  • Starting from day 18 – change your grocery store to a natural-foods store
    • Change your supermarket to a grocery store that specializes in natural, organic, chemical-free foods
    • Buy mainly whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, beans, sustainable meats, and grains
    • For produce, check out the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists at http://www.ewg.org and shop for the produce with the least pesticide
    • Buy these foods organic if you can:
      • Dairy (milk, cheese , yogurt, ice cream , etc.)
      • Meat (look for 100% grass-fed, antibiotic-free, and growth hormone–free, fed an organic and non-GMO diet)
      • Corn, soybeans, zucchini, yellow squash, canola, sugar beets, papaya, and cottonseed oil. All of these are high-risk GMO crops. Remember to check the ingredient list on all packaged goods for these foods
      • The following fruits and vegetables: All leafy greens (kale, arugula, collards, spinach, cilantro, parsley, dandelion, chard, etc.), all berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), sweet bell peppers, apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches
      • Eggs (stick to pasture eggs and chickens fed an organic diet)
      • Tea and coffee
      • Dried herbs and spices (nonorganic herbs and spices are irradiated, reducing medicinal quality)
      • Chocolate
    • Buy organic foods online
    • Buy local at farmers’ markets and CSAs
    • Grow your own
  • Starting from day 19 – cook at home
    • Start slowly and keep cooking simple
    • Avoid microwave ovens
  • Starting from day 20 – fast every day
    • Avoid food for 12 continuous hours each day, to help detox
    • Keep a regular, established dinnertime, e.g. between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. every day. Do not eat anything after dinner is over. Go to sleep around the same time each night. Upon waking, drink your lemon water (see Day 1). Then it’s time to break your fast. Have breakfast no earlier than twelve hours after the last morsel passed your lips. Don’t skip breakfast
  • Starting from day 21 – travel organically
    • Before you travel, check that you’ll be able to obtain suitable foods
    • Bring food for the airplane trip, snacks, and superfoods

General guidelines for The Food Babe Way / 21-Day Food Babe Way Eating Plan

What to eat  |  Foods to limit  |  Foods to avoid

General foods to eat in The Food Babe Way

The pantry list for the book is at http://foodbabe.com/pantry-list.

These foods are listed in the guidelines for each day of the diet, the 21-Day Food Babe Way Eating Plan, and the pantry.

  • General guidelines
    • Eat at least half of your diet as raw and organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds (aim for 60%)
    • Avoid food for 12 continuous hours each day, to help detox
  • Proteins
  • Produce – fruits and vegetables
    • Certified organic if possible
    • If certified organic isn’t possible – local and seasonal fruits and vegetables bought from farmers’ markets
    • Wash your produce well
    • Include these foods to detox your system from heavy metals and neutrotoxins: cilantro; cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cabbage, kale) and others with antioxidants such as dandelion; sulfur-rich foods such as onions and garlic
    • Vegetables – e.g. artichokes, arugula, avocado, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, cucumber, dandelion, eggplant, fennel, garlic, ginger, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peppers, romaine, scallions, shallots, spaghetti squash, spinach, sweet potato, tomato, yellow squash (organic), zucchini (organic)
    • Herbs – e.g. basil, bay leaves, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, stevia leaves, thyme
    • Fermented vegetables, e.g. kimchi, sauerkraut
    • Nori / dried seaweed
    • Fruits, fresh or frozen – e.g. acai, apples, bananas, mixed berries, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mango, oranges, papaya (organic), peaches, pears, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries
    • Dried fruits – e.g. currants, goji berries, golden berries, dates, dried figs, dried mango, dried plums / prunes, raisins
  • Beans/legumes
    • Dry or canned beans in BPA-free cans – e.g. black beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, red kidney beans
    • Lentils – e.g. green, yellow, sprouted
    • Fermented legumes – e.g. miso, tempeh
  • Grains
    • Flours and foods made with flour (such as breads and baked goods) – almond flour, buckwheat flour, whole oat flour, quinoa flour, rye flour, spelt flour, whole wheat flour, whole grain flour
    • Eat bread only a few times a week, with some exceptions when traveling. Choose freshly-baked organic breads without dough conditioners; sprouted grain breads and tortillas; ancient grains such as spelt, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and sorghum; healthier gluten-free breads. See the book for brands (p.184)
    • Watch out for brown breads – even those marked 100% whole wheat may contain a lot of additives and chemicals
    • Pastas – 100% buckwheat noodles/soba buckwheat noodles, sprouted grain pastas, ancient grain pastas, Tolerant Foods lentil pasta, Food for Life Ezekiel penne pasta, Food for Life Ezekiel linguine
    • Whole/ intact grains containing 100% of the original kernel, including the bran, germ, and endosperm – barley, buckwheat, farro, millet, oats, quinoa, quinoa flakes, TruRoots sprouted quinoa, brown rice, Red Himalayan rice, Black Forbidden rice, wild rice
    • Breakfast cereals and grains – Food For Life Ezekiel English muffins (cinnamon raisin), oat groats, buckwheat, steel-cut oats, gluten-free rolled oats, Nature’s Path Qi’a cereal, Food For Life Ezekiel cereal, Kaia Foods raw buckwheat granola dark, Purely Elizabeth granola, 2 Moms in the Raw cereal
    • Popcorn kernels
  • Sprouts
    • g. alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, clover sprouts, lentil sprouts, mung sprouts, radish sprouts, sunflower sprouts, and more
  • Fats, nuts, and seeds
    • Fats high in omega-3: coconut oil (extra virgin), hempseed oil, olive oil (cold-pressed), red palm fruit oil (sustainably farmed), sesame oil
    • Nuts (preferably raw) – e.g. almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, walnuts
    • Unsweetened coconut flakes / shredded coconut
    • Seeds (preferably raw) – e.g. chia seeds, flaxseeds, hempseeds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
    • Nut butters and seed butters – e.g. almond butter, sunflower butter, tahini
    • Nut flours – e.g. almond flour, coconut flour
    • Butter – grass-fed, or ghee
  • Sweeteners
    • Nonrefined sugars – dates, fruits, coconut sugar / coconut palm sugar / coconut manna, date sugar, honey (preferably raw local), maple syrup
    • Moderate amounts of pure stevia leaf powder or liquid form
  • Beverages (drink between meals, not with meals
    • Clean water – filtered, not stored in plastic bottles
    • Warm lemon water
    • Green drinks – green juice, green smoothies, wheatgrass juice
    • Sparkling water
    • Approved teas – they should not contain pesticides or natural flavors and should not have tea bags that contain plastics. The book author’s favorite digestive teas (preferably between meals) are: Numi Tea (any flavor), Yogi tea (certified organic, any flavor), Traditional Medicinals (any flavor), Rishi (any flavor), Organic India (any flavor)
    • Organic coffee
    • Acceptable store-bought juices. Fresh raw organic juices (best) include Blue Print, Evolution Fresh (some), Juice Press, Luna’s Living Kitchen, Organic Avenue, Suja juice, Suja Elements, TurmericALIVE, Viva Raw. 100% organic not from concentrate (better, but not best) include 365 Everyday Value, Bolthouse Farms, Lakewood, Odwalla (some), Trader Joe’s (some), Uncle Matt’s Organic
    • Nondairy milks (homemade or without carrageenan) – e.g. almond milk, brazil nut milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk, macadamia nut milk, pecan milk, pistachio milk, walnut milk, flax seed milk, hemp seed milk, sesame seed milk, sunflower seed milk
    • Coconut water
    • Kombucha
  • Condiments and pantry
    • Broth (MSG-free), organic ketchup, mirin, yellow mustard, stone-ground mustard, ponzu sauce, soy sauce (low-sodium and non-GMO), Himalayan sea salt, tamari, tomato paste, vinegar (e.g. apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, champagne vinegar, organic rice wine vinegar)
    • Aluminum-free baking powder, vanilla, vanilla extract
    • Olives, pickles, sun-dried tomatoes
    • Non-irradiated, organic spices – e.g. black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder, garam masala, garlic powder, mustard seeds, onion powder, nutmeg, paprika, red pepper flakes, turmeric
    • Fair trade chocolate (organic), preferably raw chocolate; raw cacao powder; cacao nibs
    • Goji berries, spirulina, maca powder, golden berries / Cape gooseberries / Incan berries
  • Packaging
    • Food in BPA-free cans or in glass jars / packaging that doesn’t leach chemicals in the food
    • BPA-free plastic for food and drink storage

General foods to limit in The Food Babe Way

  • Animal proteins
    • Animal proteins – organic, grass-fed and/or pasture-raised, antibiotic-free meat (beef, uncured bacon, etc.), poultry (chicken, turkey)
    • Dairy – grass-fed and organic, and preferably raw – e.g. goat cheese, live active yogurt (unsweetened), non-GMO cheeses
    • Organic pasture-raised eggs
    • Wild fish, e.g. salmon, preferably locally caught. Limit fish to once or twice a week, and go to http://www.seafoodwatch.org/ to choose fish with low levels of mercury
  • Alcohol
    • If you choose to consume alcohol, have limited amounts and pay attention to alcohol consumption. Beer, wine, and distilled liquor may contain additives, which should be avoided. Better choices are additive-free mainstream beers (see http://foodbabe.com/cleanbeer), German beers, certified organic beers, craft and microbrew beers (independently owned); organic and sulfite-free wines; organic liqueurs

General foods to avoid in The Food Babe Way

Items marked * are listed as “The Sickening 15” – chemicals and other food-related substances that can make you sick. The rest are listed throughout the book.

  • Protein
    • Growth hormones in meat*
    • Antibiotics in meat*
    • Factory-farmed meat, fish, and shellfish
    • Fake meats, fake eggs, processed veggie burgers
    • Carrageenan* added to foods – look for it in dairy and nut milks, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, whipping cream, ice cream, and processed deli meats, amongst other foods
  • Dairy foods
    • Non-organic milk and milk products
    • Frozen yogurt – watch out for what these contain; avoid those with processed sugars, sugar alcohols, emulsifiers, stabilizers, carrageenan, natural and artificial flavors, dyes and colorings, artificial sweeteners, growth hormones and antibiotics, and genetically engineered corn syrup / HFCS
  • Produce (fruits and vegetables)
    • Non-organic produce – pesticides*, fungicides, and herbicides on fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds
  • Grains and foods made with them
    • Refined and enriched flour*, white flour
    • Microwave popcorn (in bags that you put in the microwave)
    • Dough conditioners* in breads and baked goods – look for “dough conditioners” or specific names like azodicarbonamide (found in yoga mats), DATEM, potassium bromate, monoglycerides, and diglycerides. These are often found in fast-food products
  • Fats
    • Oils high in omega-6: canola oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grape-seed oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil
    • Trans fats* – any ingredient with “partially hydrogenated” on the ingredient label of foods such as crackers, pancake mix, packaged cookies, ready-made frosting, microwave pizzas, microwave popcorn, ready-to-bake garlic bread, pot pies, commercially baked pastries, fast foods (especially fried), pies, and other bakery items; dough; and snack foods. Don’t believe the “No Trans Fat” label on some food packages – check the ingredients list anyway. Check with restaurants what oil they fry foods in
    • Non-organic butters and butter blends with phrases on the labels like “with olive oil” – check the ingredient list
  • Sweeteners
    • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)*
    • Artificial sweeteners* – e.g. acesulfame K / Ace-K, acesulfame potassium, aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), erythritol, neotame, saccharin (Sweet’N Low), sucralose (Splenda), processed stevia (e.g. Truvia, Stevia in the Raw, Pure Via)
    • Refined sugars (and foods that contain them): agave nectar, barley malt, beet sugar, brown sugar, buttered syrup, caramel, carob syrup, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, dextran, dextrose, diastase, diastatic malt , ethyl maltol, fructose, glucose, glucose solids, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, malitol, mannitol, raw sugar, refiner’s syrup, sorbitol, sorghum syrup, sucrose, turbinado sugar, yellow sugar
  • Condiments and pantry
    • Kosher salt
    • Cornstarch
    • Irradiated spices
  • Beverages
    • Soda
    • Sports drinks
    • Coffee from developing nations, where chemical spraying is less regulated
    • Decaffeinated coffee
    • Teas – GMO, or with added flavorings, or in plastic teabags / unsafe packaging
    • Commercial fruit juices: Questionable juices – organic, but from concentrate or with additives – Honest Kids, Purity, Santa Cruz Organic; Non-organic, pasteurized juices such as Del Monte, Minute Maid, Mott’s, Naked Juice, Ocean Spray, POM Wonderful, Simply Orange, Tropicana, V8, Welch’s, Zico
  • Common genetically engineered foods like corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, cottonseed, papaya, zucchini, and squash (unless they’re organic)
  • Fast food
  • Processed foods
  • Food packaging
    • Bisphenol (BPA)* in food packaging and can linings
    • Plastic water bottles
  • Additives
    • Preservatives*
    • Artificial and natural flavors*
    • Artificial food dyes* – The worst offenders are Yellow #5 or tartrazine (E102) and Yellow #6 (E110), both of which may be contaminated with the human carcinogen benzidine. Other harmful dyes are Citrus Red #2 (E121), Red #3 (E127), Red #40 (E129), Blue #1 (E133), and Blue #2 (E132). Also, watch out for “caramel coloring,” which can be artificially derived. These artificial dyes are found in sodas, candies, and baked goods, and may be used to dye some fruit, such as cherries and fruit cocktails
    • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) – may be known as or found in ajinomoto, autolyzed yeast, calcium caseinate, calcium glutamate, anything “enzyme modified”, anything containing “enzymes”, anything “fermented”, gelatin, glutamate, glutamic acid, anything “hydrolyzed”, any “hydrolyzed protein”, magnesium glutamate, monoammonium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, natrium glutamate, protease, anything “protein”, anything “protein fortified”, sodium caseinate, soy protein, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, soy sauce, soy sauce extract, textured protein, torula yeast, vetsin, whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, umami, yeast extract, yeast food, yeast nutrient
  • Cooking methods
    • Microwave ovens
  • Heavy metals and neurotoxins* – found in pesticide-sprayed food, farmed fish, and food packaging material

Health benefits claimed in The Food Babe Way

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks for: allergies, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bloating, cancer (breast, endometrial, lung, ovarian, prostate, skin, stomach and other types), chronic fatigue syndrome, dull complexion, depression, dizziness, dementia, dermatitis, eczema, fatigue, inability to focus, food cravings, headaches, heartburn, heart disease, high blood pressure, indigestion, infertility, lower IQ, irritability, mental illness, nausea, overweight/obesity, respiratory problems, ulcers

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, not endorsing it.

Get a copy of The Food Babe Way for common chemicals and additives and why they’re bad for your health, how to follow these recommendations at lower cost, meal plans, recipes, snack ideas, and more.

Buy now from Amazon
The book author Vani Hari’s website is http://foodbabe.com – this includes her investigations and eating guides, as well as a shopping site. She’s on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thefoodbabe, Twitter at https://twitter.com/thefoodbabe, Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/foodbabe, and YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/TheFoodbabe.

How has this diet helped you? Please add a comment or question below.

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Stack of books (300x300)In the USA, The Zero Belly Diet (whole foods, free-from) has surged to the top of the charts, overtaking The 20/20 Diet by Dr. Phil, which was the bestselling book at the beginning of the month before the book was actually released. The Food Babe Way (detox) hasn’t yet been released but it’s selling well in advance. Vegan, gluten-free, and cleanse diets are all selling well.

In the UK, diet books take over the whole country in January! Deliciously Ella (vegan, free-from) and Davina’s 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free (sugar-free, unprocessed) are at the top of the charts. The Fast Diet (intermittent fasting), very popular in 2014, has risen to become a bestseller again, and The Hairy Dieters books (low calorie, low fat) are also popular again.

The positions in the bestselling charts are according to a snapshot of book sales from Amazon. The number in brackets next to the top titles is the ranking in all books – e.g. The Zero Belly Diet is the no. 2 top selling book and the no. 22 Kindle book in the USA on Amazon at the time of writing.

USA bestselling diets January 2015

USA Health, Fitness & Dieting* Special diets Diseases & Physical Ailments*
1 The Zero Belly Diet  (2) – Whole foods, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, unprocessed Thug Kitchen (9) – Vegan cookbook Grain Brain (37) – Gluten-free, no processed carbs or sugars
2 The Zero Belly Diet – Kindle  (k22) – Whole foods, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, unprocessed The Skinnytaste Cookbook  (26) – Low calorie cookbook Dash Diet Weight Loss Solution (94) – High produce, low fat, unprocessed diet book
3 The Food Babe Way  (8) – Remove food toxins Clean Slate  (35) – Detox; unprocessed foods; free-from The Autoimmune SolutionRemove food toxins and inflammatory foods, e.g. sugar, caffeine, gluten, dairy
4 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse (21) – High-liquid cleanse diet Zero & Flat Belly Diet Recipes  (36) – Knock-off recipe book Grain Brain – KindleGluten-free, no processed carbs or sugars
5 The 20/20 Diet (22) –
Power foods, unprocessed, cycle diet
Trim Healthy Mama  (68) – Whole foods, high-carb vs. low-carb meals The Paleo ApproachPaleo

*only books with food recommendations included

UK diet best sellers January 2015

UK Diets & Healthy Eating
1 Deliciously Ella (1) – Sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free natural plant-based recipe book
2 Davina’s 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free (3) – Sugar-free, low-GI, unprocessed
3 Wheat Belly – Kindle (k43) – Gluten-free, low carb diet book
4 The Fast Diet (8) – Intermittent fasting
5 The Hairy Dieters (10) – Low fat and low sugar
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The 20/20 Diet by Dr. Phil McGraw (2015): Food list

The 20 20 Diet by Dr Phil McGrawThe 20/20 Diet (2015) is a cycling diet with 3 phases per 30-day cycle.

  • Focus on 20 power foods to boost metabolism and make you feel full.
  • Eat 4 times a day, with protein, produce (vegetables or fruits), fat, and starch (carbs) with each meal.
  • Phase 1 only 20/20 foods; phase 2 introduce a few other foods, phase 3 introduce a wider range; maintenance diet plan your own meals.
  • One or two small “sensible splurges” allowed per week, with focus.
  • Avoid (except in splurges): processed foods, non-whole grains, sugar, artificial sweeteners, red meat, full-fat dairy, alcohol.

Below on this page is a description of the food recommendations in the diet. There’s a lot more in the book, and about 1/3 of it is dedicated to helping you change your habits, not covered in this post.

Use this page as a cheat sheet alongside the book. Send this page to friends, family, and anyone else who you want to understand what you’re eating on this diet.

Get a copy of The 20/20 Diet for how to address common dieting issues, how to change your behavior, pre-meal check-ins and other strategies to eat mindfully, guidelines for eating out including recommendations for meals at popular chain restaurants, the exercise program, what to do if you’re resistant to weight loss, meal options and recipes.

The reasoning behind The 20/20 Diet

Food should be used only for nutrition, not for emotional needs such as psychological, social, financial, romantic, etc. It shouldn’t be used to celebrate, or as a companion, or for entertainment, or comfort, as people who eat out of stress or emotion are 13.38 times more likely to be overweight or obese. The book discussed “right thinking” to get your mind and behavior right in order to get your body right, and it claims to overcome the “rebellion triggers” that make you break a diet (the “ugly truths”) – hunger, cravings, feelings of restriction, impracticality and expense, boredom, temptations, inconsistent results and plateaus. The 20 key foods on this diet are said to help increase your body’s thermogenesis (related to your metabolism), help you feel fuller, and have a “time-release” effect so you feel full for longer after eating them.

The 20/20 Diet plan – what to eat and foods to avoid

The plan has a cycle of phases, each cycle lasting 30 days (5 days Boost, 5 days Sustain, 20 days Attain). If you don’t reach your goal weight by the end of the 30 days, repeat the cycle. Once you’ve reached your goal weight, move to the Management phase which is a lifetime diet.

  • 20/20 Foods that help increase your body’s thermogenesis and help you feel fuller – with substitutes for common allergens
  • Phase 1 – 5-day Boost – In this phase, you build a momentum (a “boost”) to set you on a new path and keep you motivated
  • Phase 2 – 5-day Sustain – In this phase, you continue to expand on your progress by adding some new foods to the mix
  • Splurges – allowed from phase 2
  • Phase 3 – 20-day Attain – In this phase, you continue eating two of the 20/20 Foods in each of your four meals a day, and add in a wide variety of food to keep your palate from getting bored, to stop any hint of rebellion you might experience, and to give your body the essential nutrients it needs
  • Management phase – After you reach your goal weight, this is an ongoing diet plan to help you adopt lifelong habits to make healthy weight a permanent part of your life

The 20/20 Foods

These are the only foods to be eaten on the first 5 days of the cycle, and they’re to be eaten in all stages of the diet. They’re all high-response cost / high-yield nutrition foods (a concept previously mentioned in Dr. Phil’s previous weight loss book, The Ultimate Weight Solution) – foods that take time and effort to prepare and eat and also provide a lot of nutrition with few calories. The 20/20 Diet book has meal options to balance between fats, fruits, vegetable, and protein.

  • Foods with potential thermogenic properties which could help you lose weight
  • Foods that stick to your ribs, making you feel fuller and more satisfied than other foods in their same category
    • Almonds, unsalted raw or dry roasted (Fit Fat)
    • Apples (Prime Produce)
    • Chickpeas / garbanzo beans (Power Protein)
    • Dried plums / prunes (Prime Produce)
    • Greens – any kind of leafy green – e.g. arugula, baby mixed greens, bok choy, collard greens, endive, field greens, kale, radicchio, red leaf lettuce, romaine, baby spinach, watercress, etc. (Prime Produce)
    • Lentils (Power Protein)
    • Peanut butter (natural) (Fit Fat)
    • Pistachios (roasted, unsalted) (Fit Fat)
    • Raisins (Prime Produce)
    • Yogurt (nonfat, nothing added), especially Greek yogurt (Power Protein)
    • Eggs (Power Protein)
    • Cod (Power Protein)
    • Rye (Super Starch)
    • Tofu (Power Protein)
    • Whey protein, unsweetened (Power Protein)
  • Time-release combinations – the meal plans in The 20/20 Diet book balance carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats correctly in the meals, so they can create a time-release effect in your body. The book also lets you know how to create this balance in the Management Phase

Substitutes for the 20/20 foods if you have allergies

These are the suggested substitutes for 20/20 foods commonly associated with allergies, sensitivities, and food intolerances. The book says that not all of these foods have been shown in research to have the same effects on thermogenesis or satiety as the foods recommended in the plan.

If you have an allergy to all tree nuts and you are substituting seeds or seed butters, check the label to make sure they are processed in a facility that does not also process tree nuts.

  • Peanut butter
    • Substitute almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin butters
  • Walnuts or almonds
    • Substitute unsalted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
  • Rye, for gluten intolerance, gluten allergy, or if you have celiac disease
    • Substitute gluten-free whole-grain bread instead of regular rye bread
  • Dairy – if you are intolerant or allergic to dairy, including Greek yogurt
    • Substitute plant-based yogurt or milk, such as almond yogurt or rice milk
  • Whey protein
    • Substitute with powders made of brown rice, hemp seed, or pea protein
  • Eggs
    • Substitute with another protein source such as tofu or mashed chickpeas
  • Fish – if you have an allergy to fish
    • Substitute with chicken breast or other lean protein sources
  • Tofu
    • Substitute with eggs or a lean protein source such as chicken breast or chickpeas

The 20/20 Diet plan phase 1 – The 5-Day Boost

In this phase, you build a momentum (a “boost”) to set you on a new path and keep you motivated.

Foods to eat in The 20/20 Diet phase 1: 5 day boost

  • Meals and timing
    • Eat 4 meals a day, about 4 hours apart from each other. E.g. breakfast 6am, snack 10am, lunch 2pm dinner 6pm. Or breakfast 8am, lunch 12pm, snack 4pm, dinner 8pm. Or whatever works for you, as long as meals are spaced about four hours apart
  • Portion sizes
    • Portion sizes are given in the book, in the recipes for each of the meals for this phase. Men need to eat more than women, so for one meal each day, they should double the portions of ingredients. That should be the meal right before the most active time of your day
  • Choosing / planning meals
    • Meal options are in the book, with recipes. They include the foods listed below. Follow the recipes in the book rather than creating your own meal ideas in this phase
  • 20/20 foods
  • Phase 1 seasonings
    • Garlic
    • Cinnamon
    • Lemon juice
  • Beverages
    • Water – aim to drink 16 ounces of water with each meal (8 cups total)
    • Green tea
    • Only if you absolutely have to – coffee – one 8-ounce cup of plain coffee with no more than ¼ cup of skim or plant-based milk (almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk) and up to one packet or teaspoon of raw sugar (no artificial sweetener)

Foods to avoid with The 20/20 Diet phase 1: 5 day boost

  • Any foods or drinks not listed above

The 20/20 Diet plan phase 2 – The 5-Day Sustain

In this phase, you continue to expand on your progress by adding some new foods to the mix.

Foods to eat in The 20/20 Diet phase 2: 5 day sustain

  • Meals and timing – same as phase 1
    • Eat 4 meals a day, about 4 hours apart from each other. E.g. breakfast 6am, snack 10am, lunch 2pm dinner 6pm. Or breakfast 8am, lunch 12pm, snack 4pm, dinner 8pm. Or whatever works for you, as long as meals are spaced about four hours apart
  • Portion sizes – same as phase 1
    • Portion sizes are given in the book, in the recipes for each of the meals for this phase. Men need to eat more than women, so for one meal each day, they should double the portions of ingredients. That should be the meal right before the most active time of your day
  • Choosing / planning meals
    • Meal options are in the book, with recipes. They include the foods listed below. Follow the recipes in the book rather than creating your own meal ideas in this phase
  • Proteins – Dairy
    • Yogurt (nonfat, nothing added), especially Greek yogurt (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Eggs (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
  • Proteins – Meat and fish
    • Cod (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Chicken breast
    • Tuna (chunk light, canned in water)
  • Proteins – Legumes and vegetarian proteins
    • Note that canned beans are ok, but choose “no added salt” or “low sodium” varieties and rinse them well
    • Chickpeas / garbanzo beans (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Lentils (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Tofu (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Whey protein (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Black beans
  • Vegetables
    • Greens – any kind of leafy green – e.g. arugula, baby mixed greens, bok choy, collard greens, endive, field greens, kale, radicchio, red leaf lettuce, romaine, baby spinach, watercress, etc. (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
    • Carrots
    • Tomatoes
    • Mushrooms
  • Fruits
    • Apples (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
    • Dried plums / prunes (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
    • Raisins (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
    • Blueberries
    • Oranges
    • Grapes
  • Starches
  • Fats
    • Coconut oil (virgin) (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Walnuts (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Olive oil, extra virgin (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Almonds, unsalted raw or dry roasted (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Peanut butter (natural) (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Pistachios (roasted, unsalted) (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Avocado
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Cashews
  • Other
    • Mustard (yellow or Dijon) (20/20 food)
  • Beverages – assume the same as phase 1
    • Water – aim to drink 16 ounces of water with each meal (8 cups total)
    • Green tea (20/20 food)
    • Only if you absolutely have to – coffee – one 8-ounce cup of plain coffee with no more than ¼ cup of skim or plant-based milk (almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk) and up to one packet or teaspoon of raw sugar (no artificial sweetener)
  • Phase 2 seasonings
    • Garlic
    • Cinnamon
    • Lemon juice
    • Any other salt-free seasonings – e.g. balsamic vinegar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, dill, Italian herb seasoning (salt free), vegetable broth (low sodium)

Sensible splurges

  • You are allowed a sensible splurge once or twice a week
  • A reasonable splurge portion should not exceed approximately 100 calories. Here are some examples: 4-ounce glass of red or white wine; 14 potato chips; 2 store-bought chocolate chip cookies; 1-ounce bar of dark chocolate; 4 oz. gummy bears (research count); 2 bite-size candy bars; 3 vanilla wafer cookies
  • Before you indulge in a splurge, complete a 30 -second assessment. Here are the questions:
    • Is there an emotional reason why I want this splurge (sadness, stress, or boredom) and if so, is there another way I can address the emotion without turning to food?
    • Is it enough just knowing that a splurge is allowed and available to me, so I can skip it this time?
    • Would a glass of regular or sparkling water or a cup of tea help this desire pass?
    • Can I distract myself from this desire for a splurge by doing another activity (take a bath, go on a short walk, etc.)?
  • Make an honest effort to bypass the splurge if you can. Even doing so occasionally will demonstrate to you that it’s actually not that bad to go without it. However, if the answer to all 4 above questions is “no,”, then go ahead with the splurge, but ONLY if you have already exercised or will definitely be exercising later that day

Foods to avoid with The 20/20 Diet phase 2: 5 day sustain

Except for the Sensible Splurges:

  • Any foods or drinks not listed above (you’re supposed to follow the meal options in the book, which are limited to these foods)

The 20/20 Diet plan phase 3 – The 20-Day Attain

In this phase, you continue eating two of the 20/20 Foods in each of your four meals a day. You add in a wide variety of food to keep your palate from getting bored, to stop any hint of rebellion you might experience, and to give your body the essential nutrients it needs.

Foods to eat in The 20/20 Diet phase 3: 20 day attain

  • Meals and timing – same as phase 1
    • Eat 4 meals a day, about 4 hours apart from each other. E.g. breakfast 6am, snack 10am, lunch 2pm dinner 6pm. Or breakfast 8am, lunch 12pm, snack 4pm, dinner 8pm. Or whatever works for you, as long as meals are spaced about four hours apart
  • Portion sizes – same as phase 1
    • Portion sizes are given in the book, in the recipes for each of the meals for this phase. Men need to eat more than women, so for one meal each day, they should double the portions of ingredients. That should be the meal right before the most active time of your day
  • Choosing / planning meals
    • Meal options are in the book, with recipes. They include the foods listed below, and they include at least two of the 20/20 Foods with each meal. For this phase, there’s a lot more variety, and there are 80 recipes. Follow the recipes in the book rather than creating your own meal ideas, unless you’ve read the guidelines for building meals for the Maintenance Phase
  • Proteins – Dairy
    • Yogurt (nonfat, nothing added), especially Greek yogurt (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Eggs (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
  • Proteins – Meat and fish
    • Cod (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Lean poultry – chicken breast (skinless), extra lean ground turkey, turkey breast (oven roasted, skinless)
    • Other fish and shellfish / seafood – salmon, shrimp, tuna (chunk light, canned in water)
  • Proteins – Legumes and vegetarian proteins
    • Chickpeas / garbanzo beans (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Lentils (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Tofu (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Whey protein (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
    • Other legumes – black beans, cannellini beans
    • Note that canned beans are ok, but choose “no added salt” or “low sodium” varieties and rinse them well
  • Vegetables
    • Greens – any kind of leafy green– e.g. arugula, baby mixed greens, bok choy, collard greens, endive, field greens, kale, radicchio, red leaf lettuce, romaine, baby spinach, watercress, etc. (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
    • Other vegetables – bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, onions, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, zucchini
    • Herbs, e.g. dill, garlic, parsley
  • Fruits
    • Apples (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
    • Dried plums / prunes (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
    • Raisins (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
    • Other fruits (fresh or frozen unsweetened) – blueberries, grapes, mango, oranges, peaches, pineapple, strawberries
  • Starches
  • Fats
    • Coconut oil (virgin) (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Olive oil, extra virgin (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Almonds, unsalted raw or dry roasted (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Peanut butter (natural) (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Pistachios (roasted, unsalted) (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Walnuts (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
    • Avocado
    • Other nuts and seeds (unsalted, raw or dry roasted) – cashews, sunflower seeds
    • Olives
    • Pesto
  • Other
    • Mustard (yellow or Dijon) (20/20 food)
  • Beverages – assume the same as phase 1
    • Water – aim to drink 16 ounces of water with each meal (8 cups total)
    • Green tea (20/20 food)
    • Only if you absolutely have to – coffee – one 8-ounce cup of plain coffee with no more than ¼ cup of skim or plant-based milk (almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk) and up to one packet or teaspoon of raw sugar (no artificial sweetener)
  • Seasonings
    • Garlic
    • Cinnamon
    • Lemon juice
    • Any other salt-free seasonings – e.g. balsamic vinegar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, dill, Italian herb seasoning (salt free), vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • You can have sensible splurges once or twice a week, the same as on phase 2

Foods to avoid with The 20/20 Diet phase 3: 20 day attain

These foods can be eaten in small amounts on the sensible splurges – note that the book doesn’t necessarily explicitly say you shouldn’t eat them, but they’re not included in the lists of foods to eat

  • Processed foods
  • Fast food
  • White flour, non-wholegrain starches
  • Sugars (allowed in very small amounts)
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Salty foods
  • Red meat
  • Full-fat dairy
  • Fatty foods except those listed as acceptable to eat
  • Alcohol

Management Phase

After you reach your goal weight, this is an ongoing diet plan to help you adopt lifelong habits to make healthy weight a permanent part of your life, and solidify your new, healthy lifestyle.

Foods to eat in The 20/20 Diet maintenance phase / lifelong diet

  • Meals and timing – same as phase 1
    • Eat 4 meals a day, about 4 hours apart from each other. E.g. breakfast 6am, snack 10am, lunch 2pm dinner 6pm. Or breakfast 8am, lunch 12pm, snack 4pm, dinner 8pm. Or whatever works for you, as long as meals are spaced about four hours apart
  • Portion sizes
    • These are listed below next to each type of food
  • Choosing / planning / designing meals
    • You can use all of the meals in Phases 2 and 3, as well as devising your own meals using the guidelines below – don’t select Phase 1 meals during the Management Phase as they were designed specifically for the initial part of the plan
    • First, select two 20/ 20 Foods that you would like to eat (one of which can be hot or cold green tea). Then, see where the foods you selected fit within the meal framework. Fill in the gaps – e.g. if you selected one 20/20 food which is a Power Protein and one 20/20 food which is a Fit Fat, you should also select a starch and at least one type of produce from the lists below
    • Each meal should contain these foods, from the list below:
      • 1 portion of protein
      • 1-2 portions of produce
      • 1 portion of starch
      • 1 portion of fat
    • Proteins – Dairy
      • Portion size: aim for 6 ounces yogurt, 1 large egg or ½ cup egg whites, 1 ounce natural cheese, ½ cup cottage cheese, 1 cup skim milk
      • Yogurt (nonfat, nothing added), especially Greek yogurt, if sweetened made with real sugar not artificial sweetener (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
      • Eggs or liquid egg whites (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
      • Cheese – all natural, not processed or artificial
      • Cottage cheese – low-fat or nonfat
      • Skim milk
    • Proteins – Meat and fish
      • Portion size: aim for 4 ounces raw fish and poultry
      • Cod (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
      • Lean poultry – e.g. chicken breast (skinless), ground turkey (extra lean), turkey breast (oven roasted, skinless)
      • Other fish and shellfish / seafood – e.g. catfish, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut, mahimahi, salmon, sea bass, shrimp, sole, tuna (chunk light, canned in water)
    • Proteins – Legumes and vegetarian proteins
      • Portion size: aim for ½ cup beans and lentils, 1/5 of a 14-ounce container tofu, ¼ cup whey protein
      • Note that canned beans are ok, but choose “no added salt” or “low sodium” varieties and rinse them well
      • Chickpeas / garbanzo beans (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
      • Lentils (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
      • Tofu (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
      • Whey protein (20/20 Food, Power Protein)
      • Other legumes – all types of beans e.g. black beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, red beans, etc.
    • Vegetables
      • Portion size – aim for 1 cup fresh, ¾ cup frozen vegetables, or ½ cup all-natural tomato sauce
      • Greens – any kind of leafy green – e.g. arugula, baby mixed greens, bok choy, endive, field greens, kale, radicchio, red leaf lettuce, romaine, spinach (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
      • Other vegetables – e.g. artichokes, asparagus, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, green beans, mushrooms, onions, radishes, snow peas, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, zucchini
      • Herbs, e.g. basil, cilantro, dill, garlic, ginger, parsley
      • Note that corn and potatoes are listed as starches, not vegetables
    • Fruits
      • Portion size – aim for 1 small whole, 1 cup fresh (exception: bananas: ½ cup sliced), ¾ cup frozen, ¼ cup dried
      • Apples (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
      • Dried plums / prunes (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
      • Raisins (20/20 Food, Prime Produce)
      • Other fruits (fresh or frozen unsweetened) – e.g. apricots, bananas, berries (all varieties), blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, figs (fresh or dried), grapes, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mango, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, watermelon
    • Starches
      • Portion size: aim for 1/3 – ½ cup cooked whole grains, pasta, and potatoes; 1 slice bread; ½ pita; 2 corn tortillas; 2 rye crisps
      • Rye (20/20 Food, Super Starch) – e.g. whole grain rye bread, whole grain rye crisps, whole grain rye flakes, whole grain rye pasta
      • Other whole grains, e.g. barley, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, oats (rolled, not instant), quinoa, brown rice, wild rice
      • Other whole grain products, e.g. whole grain breads, whole grain corn tortillas, whole wheat couscous, whole grain pasta, whole grain pita, whole grain cereals (e.g. spoon-sized shredded wheat), soba noodles
      • Potatoes, all varieties, skin on, and sweet potatoes
    • Fats
      • Portion size: aim for 2 teaspoons oil or pesto, ¼ fresh avocado, 2 tablespoons nuts or seeds, 1 tablespoon nut butter, 10 whole olives
      • Coconut oil (virgin) (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
      • Olive oil, extra virgin (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
      • Almonds, unsalted raw or dry roasted (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
      • Peanut butter (natural) (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
      • Pistachios (roasted, unsalted) (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
      • Walnuts (20/20 Food, Fit Fat)
      • Avocado
      • Other nuts and seeds (unsalted, raw or dry roasted), e.g. Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
      • Other nut or seed butters – e.g. almond butter, sunflower butter, etc.
      • Olives
      • Pesto
    • Other
      • Mustard (yellow or Dijon) (20/20 food)
    • Beverages – assume the same as phase 1
      • Water – aim to drink 16 ounces of water with each meal (8 cups total)
      • Green tea (20/20 food)
      • Only if you absolutely have to – coffee – one 8-ounce cup of plain coffee with no more than ¼ cup of skim or plant-based milk (almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk) and up to one packet or teaspoon of raw sugar (no artificial sweetener)
    • Seasonings
      • Garlic
      • Cinnamon
      • Lemon juice
      • Any other salt-free seasonings – e.g. cinnamon, cloves, Italian herb seasoning (salt free), nutmeg, pepper (black pepper, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper), vegetable broth (low sodium), vinegar (balsamic vinegar, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar)
    • You can have sensible splurges once or twice a week, the same as on phase 2

Foods to avoid with The 20/20 Diet maintenance phase / lifelong diet

These foods can be eaten in small amounts on the sensible splurges – note that the book doesn’t necessarily explicitly say you shouldn’t eat them, but they’re not included in the lists of foods to eat

  • Processed foods
  • Fast food
  • White flour, non-wholegrain starches
  • Sugars (allowed in very small amounts)
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Salty foods
  • Red meat
  • Full-fat dairy
  • Fatty foods except those listed as acceptable to eat
  • Alcohol

Health benefits claimed in The 20/20 Diet

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks for: some cancers, type 2 diabetes, food addiction, gallbladder disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high/unhealthy cholesterol, infertility, inflammation, insulin resistance, liver disease, low energy, mental health conditions, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, overweight/obesity, respiratory problems, sleep apnea, stroke

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, not endorsing it.

Get a copy of The 20/20 Diet for how to address common dieting issues, how to change your behavior, pre-meal check-ins and other strategies to eat mindfully, guidelines for eating out including recommendations for meals at popular chain restaurants, the exercise program, what to do if you’re resistant to weight loss, meal options and recipes.

Buy now from Amazon
The book’s webpage is http://www.drphil.com/shows/page/2020DietBook. There’s a 20/20 Diet app that you can download at iTunes and Google Play. Dr. Phil is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drphilshow, and Twitter at https://twitter.com/drphil

How has this diet helped you? Please add a comment or question below.

{ 96 comments }

New Years resolution - apple tape measureAs New Year rolls around again and we look at the results of overindulging in the holidays, a lot of people are thinking about ways to lose weight. Here are the popular diets being considered by many (taken from Amazon bestsellers list):

Overall trends  |  New diets  |  Old favorites

Detox/cleansing  |  Gluten-free  |  Paleo  |  Vegan  |  Elimination/reintroduction  |  Low calorie  |  Mediterranean

Detox/cleansing

Detoxing/cleansing diets have been popular for the past few years, especially in the new year.

10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse (2014) by JJ Smith

A detox/cleanse made up of green leafy veggies, fruit, and water; either full (green smoothies and light snacks) or modified (green smoothies and snacks and a non-smoothie meal a day).

See food list

 

 

Superfood Smoothies (200)Superfood Smoothies (2013) by Julie Morris

“100 nutrient-rich recipes using the world’s most antioxidant-, vitamin- and mineral-packed foods”


Gluten-free

Diets continue to suggest going gluten-free, even if you don’t have celiac disease

Against All Grain by Danielle WalkerAgainst All Grain (2013) cookbook by Danielle Walker

“Omitting grains, gluten, dairy, and refined sugar doesn’t correlate with omitting taste in these recipes.”

 

 

 


Grain Brain book by David Perlmutter MDGrain Brain (2013) by David Perlmutter MD

Improving brain health – eat a diet high in healthy fats, naturally raised animal proteins, vegetables; low carbohydrate and low fruit, no processed carbs or sugars

See food list

 

 


Wheat Belly - book by William Davis MD - food listWheat Belly (2011) by William Davis M.D.

Gluten-free, unprocessed foods including vegetables, meats, raw nuts and seeds; avoid processed and sugary foods

See food list


Paleo

Paleo diets area still bestsellers – a combination of avoiding common allergens and going back to your roots.

It Starts with Food by Dallas & Melissa HartwigIt Starts With Food (2012) by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig

Paleo – eat high-quality meats / animal proteins, vegetables, fruits, and fats; avoid sugars, grains, legumes, most dairy, highly processed foods

See food list

 

 


Against All Grain by Danielle WalkerAgainst All Grain (2013) cookbook by Danielle Walker

“Omitting grains, gluten, dairy, and refined sugar doesn’t correlate with omitting taste in these recipes.”

 

 

 


Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo BS NC - food listPractical Paleo (2012) by Diane Sanfilippo

Unprocessed proteins and vegetables; limited dairy and eggs for some people; no grains, no legumes, no processed foods, no refined sugars, no processed fats

See food list

 

 


Well Fed (200)Well Fed (2011) paleo recipes by Melissa Joulwan

“All of the Well Fed recipes — made with zero grains, legumes, soy, sugar, dairy, or alcohol — were created so you can enjoy your food every time.”


Vegan

Vegan diets tend to be specially popular at the beginning of the year, a type of cleanse perhaps?

Thug KitchenThug Kitchen (2014) vegan cookbook by Thug Kitchen

“In their first cookbook, they’re throwing down more than 100 recipes for their best-loved meals, snacks, and sides for beginning cooks to home chefs”

 

 

 


The Oh She Glows Cookbook (200)The Oh She Glows Cookbook (2014) by Angela Liddon

“The Oh She Glows Cookbook is packed with more than 100 delicious recipes such as go-to breakfasts, protein-packed snacks, hearty entrées, and decadent desserts”


Elimination/reintroduction

A number of diets in recent years have suggested you eliminate common foods and reintroduce them to see whether you react to them.

It Starts with Food by Dallas & Melissa HartwigIt Starts With Food (2012) by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig

Paleo – eat high-quality meats / animal proteins, vegetables, fruits, and fats; avoid sugars, grains, legumes, most dairy, highly processed foods

See food list

 

 


Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo BS NC - food listPractical Paleo (2012) by Diane Sanfilippo

Unprocessed proteins and vegetables; limited dairy and eggs for some people; no grains, no legumes, no processed foods, no refined sugars, no processed fats

See food list


Low calorie

Ever-popular, even though few new diet books suggest restricting calories.

The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina HomolkaThe Skinnytaste Cookbook (2014) by Gina Homolka

“Easy, flavorful recipes that are miraculously low-calorie and made from all-natural, easy-to-find ingredients”


Mediterranean/DASH

Popular at this time of the year when the US News releases its top-rated diets, which always have the DASH diet at the top of the list.

The DASH Diet for a Younger You (200)DASH Diet for a Younger You (2014) by Marla Heller

“Reveals five age-defying strategies designed to target the root causes of aging, including Oxid-Aging, Inflamm-Aging, and Glyc-Aging. You’ll lose weight and turn back the clock while enjoying a delicious diet of antioxidant rich superfoods, satisfying plant-based meals, and foods that promote healthy gut bacteria and decrease inflammation and cravings”


New diets

Dr Phil’s 20/20 diet  |  DASH Diet for a Younger You  |  The Food Babe Way  |  Zero Belly Diet  |  Bulletproof Diet  |  The Burn  |  Adrenal Reset Diet


The 20 20 Diet (200)Dr Phil’s 20/20 diet (2015) by Phil McGraw

Release date: January 6, 2015

“In this diet, readers will start by eating only 20 key ingredients, called the “20/20 Foods,” which theories indicate may help enhance your body’s thermogenesis and help you feel full. But that’s just the beginning. This book empowers you with cognitive, behavioral, environmental, social and nutritional tools so you can finally reach your goal, and learn lifelong healthy habits to maintain those results.”

See food list


The DASH Diet for a Younger You (200)DASH Diet for a Younger You (2014) by Marla Heller

Release date: December 30, 2014

“Reveals five age-defying strategies designed to target the root causes of aging, including Oxid-Aging, Inflamm-Aging, and Glyc-Aging. You’ll lose weight and turn back the clock while enjoying a delicious diet of antioxidant rich superfoods, satisfying plant-based meals, and foods that promote healthy gut bacteria and decrease inflammation and cravings”


The Food Babe Way (200)The Food Babe Way (2015) by Vani Hara

Release date: February 10, 2015

“Cut hidden food toxins, lose weight, and get healthy in just 21 days”


Zero Belly Diet (200)Zero Belly Diet (2014) by David Zinczenko

Release date: December 30, 2014

7-day cleanse and lifetime eating guidelines; eat vegetables, fruits, lean protein, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, legumes; three meals plus smoothie plus optional snack each day; one cheat meal a week; avoid gluten, refined grains, dairy, sugar, processed foods

See food list


The Bulletproof Diet by Dave AspreyBulletproof Diet (2014) by Dave Asprey

Drink “Bulletproof Coffee” for breakfast every day; eat lots of vegetables, approved fats, some grass-fed protein; avoid sugar, gluten, corn, dairy; test to see which foods you’re sensitive to

See food list


The Burn (200)The Burn (2014) by Haylie Pomroy

Release date: December 30, 2014

“In The Burn, Haylie breaks new ground and gives anyone trying to lose weight new tools for busting through plateaus. Using targeted micronutrients to incinerate weight-loss roadblocks, Haylie will help you remove the problem”


The Adrenal Reset Diet (200)Adrenal Reset Diet (2014) by Alan Christianson NMD

Release date: December 30, 2014

“The idea that people simply eat too much is no longer supported by science.  The emerging idea is that weight gain is a survival response… A pioneering plan for optimal function of these small but powerful organs”


Old favorites

It Starts With Food  |  10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse  |  The Doctor’s Diet  |  Practical Paleo  |  Grain Brain  |  Fast Metabolism Diet  |  Trim Healthy Mama  |  Wheat Belly


It Starts with Food by Dallas & Melissa HartwigIt Starts With Food (2012) by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig

Paleo – eat high-quality meats / animal proteins, vegetables, fruits, and fats; avoid sugars, grains, legumes, most dairy, highly processed foods

See food list


10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse (2014) by JJ Smith

A detox/cleanse made up of green leafy veggies, fruit, and water; either full (green smoothies and light snacks) or modified (green smoothies and snacks and a non-smoothie meal a day).

See food list


The Doctor's Diet by Travis Stork MDThe Doctor’s Diet (2014) by Travis Stork MD

Unprocessed, moderate-portion diet in 3 stages; low in sugar, simple carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and sodium; moderate amounts of lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains; generous amounts of fiber-rich vegetables, legumes, and fruits

See food list


Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo BS NC - food listPractical Paleo (2012) by Diane Sanfilippo

Unprocessed proteins and vegetables; limited dairy and eggs for some people; no grains, no legumes, no processed foods, no refined sugars, no processed fats

See food list


Grain Brain book by David Perlmutter MDGrain Brain (2013) by David Perlmutter MD

Improving brain health – eat a diet high in healthy fats, naturally raised animal proteins, vegetables; low carbohydrate and low fruit, no processed carbs or sugars.

See food list


The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie PomroyFast Metabolism Diet (2013) by Hayley Pomroy

Diet confusion, cycling diet with a change in strategy every few days; no wheat, corn, dairy, soy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dried fruit or fruit juices, artificial sweeteners, fat-free “diet” foods

See food list


Trim Healthy Mama (200)Trim Healthy Mama (2012) by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett

“A common sense guide to satisfy your cravings and energize your life. For women of all ages and stages! Over 250 recipes, proven ways to lose weight, how to balance your hormones, how to re-fire your metabolism, make your skin glow, ignite marriage intimacy”


Wheat BellyWheat Belly - book by William Davis MD - food list (2011) by William Davis M.D.

Gluten-free, unprocessed foods including vegetables, meats, raw nuts and seeds; avoid processed and sugary foods

See food list

 

 


What diet are you planning to use to lose weight in 2015?

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Zero Belly Diet by David Zinczenko (2014): Food list

Zero Belly Diet by David ZinczenkoZero Belly Diet (2014) is a weight-loss diet which focuses on how to remove visceral fat from the belly area.

  • 7-day cleanse and lifetime eating guidelines.
  • Eat mostly plant-based foods during the day (except eggs for breakfast).
  • Eat vegetables, fruits, lean protein, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, legumes.
  • Three meals plus smoothie plus optional snack each day; one cheat meal a week.
  • Avoid gluten, refined grains, dairy, sugar, processed foods.

Below on this page is a description of the food recommendations in the diet. There’s a lot more in the book.

Use this page as a cheat sheet alongside the book. Send this page to friends, family, and anyone else who you want to understand what you’re eating on this diet.

Get a copy of Zero Belly Diet for details of why belly fat is bad for you, how what you eat affects your genes, a breakdown of different types of fat, how to measure your ABSI, recipes, and workouts.

The reasoning behind Zero Belly Diet

This book claims that certain foods short-circuit our fat genes, turning off the parts of our DNA that trigger weight gain and activating our bodies to burn, not store, fat. It says that eating the right diet can essentially take your foot off the fat-gene accelerator and dramatically reverse weight gain, in the process literally changing your genetic destiny. It argues that proper digestion quells inflammation, an often-overlooked culprit in weight gain, and that certain foods (e.g. lactose and gluten) create inflammatory responses in many people. It claims to turn off your fat-storage genes by focusing on nine power food groups that are linked directly to the emerging science of nutritional genetics (the study of how nutrients in food influence gene expression).

Zero Belly Diet plan – what to eat and foods to avoid

Portion sizes  |  7-day cleanse  |  Zero Belly Drinks  |  General  |  What to eat  |  Foods to limit  |  Foods to avoid  | Gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan

Portion sizes

This is taken from “How to Build a Zero Belly Cleanse Dinner” – we assume (although it’s not stated in the book) that the portion sizes should be the same for the rest of the diet as they are for the cleanse. Other portion sizes have been extrapolated from the recipes.

  • Protein
    • Cooked any way you want, but with only 1 teaspoon of coconut or extra-virgin olive oil
    • 5 ounces poultry – e.g. chicken breast (skinless) or lean ground turkey (at least 93% lean)
    • 5 ounces lean red meat (allowed once or twice a week in this diet) – lean ground beef (at least 90% lean, preferably grass-fed) or 5 ounces lean steak (sirloin or anything labeled round, preferably grass-fed)
    • 5 ounces fish (preferably wild-caught)
    • 2 eggs plus 1 or 2 egg whites
  • Fiber
    • 2-3 heaping cups of leafy green vegetables or other non-starchy vegetables
    • Fruits – portion size not given, but recipes generally show ½ cup fresh fruit (and it looks like you can average about 2 servings of fruit a day)
    • Grains – portion size not given, but recipes generally show ½ cup cooked grains
    • Legumes – portion size not given, but recipes generally show ¼ cup cooked legumes
    • Note that nuts and seeds are also considered fiber, as well as fat (see “fat” below)
  • Fat
    • Only add if no fat exists in the recipe already
    • ¼ avocado
    • 1 tablespoon nuts or seeds
    • 1 tablespoon of your favorite nut butter
    • Other fats – portion sizes not given, but recipes generally show about 1 teaspoon
  • Other foods
    • Starchy vegetables – portion size not given, but recipes generally show ½ cup

Seven-day cleanse (optional)

  • This can be used to kickstart the diet or after a vacation or other reason you’ve put on some weight
  • Two Zero Belly drinks as meals (breakfast and lunch), one snack, a Zero Belly cleanse dinner, and no dessert
  • For each meal, drink, or snack, check that it contains protein, fiber, and healthy fat
  • Cleanse dinners consist of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats, but no grains or fruits (meal suggestions are in the book)
  • No alcohol, no cheat meals
  • At least 8 glasses of water a day
  • Teas to speed weight loss – 3-4 cups of tea per day – green tea, oolong tea, mint tea, white tea, red tea / rooibos. Choose brewed teas over bottled to avoid extra calories and sweeteners

Zero Belly Drinks

  • These are plant-based smoothies which are designed to be creamy, filling, and packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, without the lactose and saturated fats found in commercial smoothies
  • Fruit – can be fresh or frozen. If a fruit is at the peak of its season, buy it fresh. If not, stick with frozen. (If you don’t use frozen fruit, you can add a cube or two of ice to each recipe.)
  • Milk alternatives / nondairy milk – almond milk (without carrageenan), coconut milk, hazelnut milk, hemp milk, rice milk, oat milk
  • Protein – protein powder, nuts/seed butter
  • Add liquids first, then protein and fruit to your blender. It’s easier on the blender and gets things moving faster. For a thicker, spoon-able smoothie, use less liquid than listed in the recipe. Add more for a thinner, milk-like consistency
  • If you want to take a Zero Belly drink to travel, consider making it the night before and freezing it in a blender bottle. (Look for one with a metal mixer ball, which helps re-blend the drink when you shake it.)
  • Recipes are in the book

General – after the cleanse

  • Meals each day
    • Three square meals
    • One Zero Belly drink each day
    • One additional afternoon or evening snack (if you’re still hungry)
    • Example schedule if you’re having a lunchtime workout: 7.30am breakfast, 10am Zero Belly Drink, 12pm workout, 1pm lunch, 6.30pm dinner, 7.30pm snack or Zero Belly Drink
    • Example schedule if you’re having no workout: 7.30am breakfast, 12pm lunch, 3.30pm snack or Zero Belly Drink, 6.30pm dinner, 7.30pm snack or Zero Belly Drink
    • Sit down to eat, eat without distractions (e.g. TV), and chew well
  • Weekly cheat meal
    • Once a week, have a zero-guilt cheat meal. This can be anything you want, and it can be at any time during the week
  • Three Zero Belly Questions – for each meal or snack, ask:
    • Where’s my protein?
    • Where’s my fiber? (can be from fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains)
    • Where’s my healthy fat? (at least one of these: monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, plant-based saturated fats, omeg-3 fatty acids)
  • Prep power foods for zero stress – at the beginning of each week, prep a few ingredients in bulk – frozen bananas for smoothies, brown rice and quinoa for meals, vinaigrette, lentils if you’re including them in your meal plan

Foods to eat in Zero Belly Diet (after the cleanse)

  • 9 preferred foods
    • Zero Belly Drinks
    • Eggs
    • Red fruits
    • Olive oil and other healthy fats
    • Beans, rice, oats, and other healthy fiber
    • Extra plant protein
    • Leafy greens, green tea, and bright vegetables
    • Lean meats and fish
    • Your favorite spices and flavors (ginger, cinnamon, even chocolate)
  • Vegetables – high-phytonutrient
    • Leafy greens and brightly colored vegetables – arugula, asparagus, avocado, beets, beet greens, bell peppers (especially red), carrots, chard, chicory, Chinese cabbage / napa cabbage, chives, collard greens, dandelion greens, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun greens, parsley, peppers of all types, spinach, tomatoes (especially grape tomatoes), turnip greens, watercress, zucchini
    • Others – onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, celery, cucumber, fennel, Jerusalem artichokes, mushrooms, peas, sweet corn, sweet potatoes
  • Fruits – high-phytonutrient
    • Red fruits – red apples (especially Pink Lady), blueberries, tart cherries (sour cherries), red grapes, red grapefruit, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon
    • Other fruits – e.g. bananas, lemon
  • Protein
    • Eggs (organic)
    • Lean protein
    • Shellfish – oysters, scallops, shrimp
    • Poultry – chicken (especially boneless skinless chicken breast), turkey (lean ground turkey 94% lean)
    • Fish (seawater and freshwater) – anchovies, cod, halibut, herring, mackerel, orange roughy, pike, salmon (especially wild), sardines, sunfish, trout, tuna, whitefish
    • Plant-based protein powders, with at least 15g of protein per scoop – e.g. a blend of hemp protein, rice protein, and pea protein to get a full amino acid profile – Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake, Vega Sport Performance Protein, Sunwarrior Warrior Blend
  • Fats
    • Monounsaturated fats – olives and olive oil (preferably extra virgin), nuts (including peanuts) and seeds, avocados, dark chocolate (at least 72% cacao)
    • Polyunsaturated fats – oily fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, or sardine, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pine nuts
    • Plant-based saturated fats – coconut, coconut oil (preferably virgin)
    • Omega-3 fatty acids – wild salmon, tuna, sardines, and other cold-water fish, grass-fed beef, flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds
    • Nut and seed oils – e.g. flaxseed oil, walnut oil
  • Nuts and seeds
    • Nuts (raw, unsalted) – almonds, cashews, coconuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts
    • Seeds – chia seeds, ground flax seeds (flax meal), pumpkin seeds
    • Nut butters, seed butters, ingredients should only be the nut or seed plus maybe a little salt – e.g. almond butter (Justin’s is recommended), peanut butter (Smucker’s Natural is recommended)
  • Legumes
    • Lentils – e.g. French green lentils
    • Beans – e.g. black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans
    • Chickpeas/garbanzo beans
    • Hummus (Abraham’s is recommended)
    • Peanuts, peanut butter
  • Grains
  • Herbs and spices
    • Herbs – e.g. basil, chives, oregano, parsley
    • Spices – especially yellow, black, and brown spices – bay leaf, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, horseradish, mustard seeds (especially yellow), rosemary, turmeric, thyme
    • Dark chocolate (70% or higher, Green & Black’s is recommended) is considered a spice on this diet
  • Condiments and pantry
    • Raw apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar
    • Prepared mustard (0g sugar), red curry paste, reduced-sodium soy sauce, sriracha
    • Artichoke hearts, capers, chipotle peppers, Kalamata olives, solid white albacore tuna (packed in water), sundried tomatoes, whole peeled unsalted tomatoes
    • Baking soda, unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut milk (lite is suggested), semisweet chocolate chips
    • Mirin (sweetened Japanese rice wine), sake
    • Salsa (Amy’s Organic is recommended)
    • Gluten-free crackers
  • Nutrition bars
  • Beverages
    • Water – about 8 glasses a day. Drink a glass as soon as you wake up, with every meal, Zero Belly Drink , or snack, and before you go to bed
    • Green tea (Bigelow is recommended) – unlimited amounts (with nothing added)
    • Unsweetened almond milk (without carrageenan), coconut milk, hazelnut milk, hemp milk, rice milk, oat milk

Foods to limit with Zero Belly Diet (after the cleanse)

  • Protein
    • Lean beef (preferably grass-fed), lamb – the book says to limit red meats, but doesn’t give suggestions on acceptable amounts
  • Vegetables which cause gas
    • g. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower – especially if eaten raw
  • Omega-6 fatty acids
    • g. cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil, poppyseed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil
    • Mayonnaise
    • Sunflower seeds
  • Sweeteners
    • Brown sugar, honey – these are listed in the “starter kit” of ingredients for the recipes, although sugar is supposed to be avoided on this diet
  • Soy, soy milk
  • Alcohol
    • One drink per week for the initial 6-week program
  • Beverages
    • Coffee – limit to 1 cup per day

Foods to avoid with Zero Belly Diet

  • Processed foods
  • Saturated fat
  • Sugar
  • Refined grains
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
    • All types of dairy / milk products
    • Yogurt, even though it contains probiotics – this is often high in added sugars. If you do choose to eat yogurt, look for ‘live active cultures’ on the label
  • Red meat – there’s conflicting advice in the book; it looks like red meat is allowed on occasion
  • Canned foods, with BPA lining (BPA-free is okay)
  • Fruit juice – eat whole fruit instead
  • Foods that may give you gas
    • Sorbitol – sugar alcohol found in gum
    • Soy protein – found in nutrition bars and other foods
    • Carrageenan – found in some brands of almond milk
    • Fructose – found in naturally high amounts in dried fruit
    • Salty foods, such as canned soup
  • Vegetables low in phytonutrients
    • White root vegetables – e.g. parsnips, potatoes, turnips

What to do if you want gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan

Adapt Zero Belly to fit your needs – there aren’t any guidelines in the book but it says you should easily be able to adapt the diet

Health benefits claimed in Zero Belly Diet

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks for: Alzheimer’s, anxiety, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, Barrett’s esophagus, bloating, cancer, dementia, depression, diabetes, gas, GERD/gastroesophageal reflux disease, heart disease, high blood sugar, inflammation, liver disease, low sex drive, memory loss, overweight/obesity, psoriasis, stroke, visceral fat

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, not endorsing it.

Get a copy of Zero Belly Diet for details of why belly fat is bad for you, how what you eat affects your genes, a breakdown of different types of fat, how to measure your ABSI, recipes, and workouts.

Buy now from Amazon
The book’s website is http://www.zerobelly.com/. It’s on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/zerobellydietplan, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ZeroBellyDiet.

How has this diet helped you? Please add a comment or question below.

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Bestselling diet booksWhich diet books were bestsellers in 2014? We looked at how they did in the bestseller lists over the year – how many weeks they were on the lists and how high they were on the lists.

USA  |  UK

USA bestselling diet books 2014

#1 – Grain Brain  |  #2 – 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse  |  #3 – Wheat Belly  |  #4 – What to Expect When You’re Expecting  |  #5 – It Starts with Food  |  #6 – Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet  |  Cookbook #1 – Against All Grain  |  Cookbook #2 – Thug Kitchen  |  Cookbook #3 – Skinnytaste Cookbook

Grain Brain book by David Perlmutter MD#1 – Grain Brain (2013) by David Perlmutter

A healthy eating and weight loss diet aimed at improving brain health, which advises eating a gluten-free diet high in healthy fats, naturally raised animal proteins, vegetables, and low carbohydrate and low fruit, no processed carbs or sugars. Amazon.com #41 bestselling book in 2014, 38 weeks in New York Times bestseller list, very popular at the beginning of the year and dropping out of the top sellers by the end of October.

See food list – what to eat and foods to avoid


10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith#2 – 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse (2014) by JJ Smith

A detox/cleanse made up of green leafy veggies, fruit, and water; either full (green smoothies and light snacks) or modified (green smoothies and snacks and a non-smoothie meal a day). Amazon.com #92 bestselling book in 2014, 18 weeks in New York Times bestseller list, a top seller throughout the summer and still in the top 100 at the end of the year
See food list – what to eat and foods to avoid


Wheat Belly - book by William Davis MD - food list#3 – Wheat Belly (2011) by William Davis

A gluten-free, unprocessed food diet including vegetables, meats, raw nuts and seeds, which asks you to avoid processed and sugary foods. At least 21 weeks in Amazon.com top 100 books; 30 weeks in New York Times bestseller list, very popular through September

See food list – what to eat and foods to avoid


What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel#4 – What to Expect When You’re Expecting (1984-2004) by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

Sure, it’s not a diet book, but it tells pregnant women what to eat. Get enough “Daily Dozen” nutrients every day – protein, produce, whole grains and legumes, vitamin C, calcium, iron, fats in moderation, omega fatty acids, fluids. Amazon.com #70 bestselling book in 2014, 43 weeks in New York Times bestseller list, popular throughout the year

See food list – what to eat and foods to avoid


It Starts with Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig#5 – It Starts with Food (2012) by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig

Paleo elimination diet that suggests you see if you can eat some non-paleo foods. Eat high-quality meats / animal proteins, vegetables, fruits, and fats; avoid sugars, grains, legumes, most dairy, highly processed foods. At least 25 weeks in Amazon.com top 100 books; 16 weeks in New York Times bestseller list, most popular May-July

See food list – what to eat and foods to avoid


The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet by Mark Hyman#6 – Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet (2014) by Mark Hyman

10-day detox diet which asks you to eat unprocessed foods, no gluten, grains, dairy, or beans (basically a paleo diet); transition to plan for life. At least 15 weeks in Amazon.com top 100 books; 17 weeks in New York Times bestseller list, most popular February-July

See food list – what to eat and foods to avoid


Bestselling USA cookbooks for special diets:


Against All Grain by Danielle WalkerCookbook #1 – Against All Grain (2013) by Danielle Walker

Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free recipes which the author developed to help battle an autoimmune disease. Amazon.com #99 bestselling book in 2014; 18 weeks in New York Times bestseller list, most popular from the beginning of the year through summer


Thug KitchenCookbook #2 – Thug Kitchen (2014) by Thug Kitchen

Vegan cookbook by an LA-based trio, after a bestselling irreverent blog. Amazon.com #45 bestselling book in 2014; 10 weeks in New York Times bestseller list, released in October 2014 and a top seller through the end of the year


The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina HomolkaCookbook #3 – Skinnytaste Cookbook (2014) by Gina Homolka

Low calorie, low fat, low sugar cookbook, after a bestselling blog. Amazon.com #82 bestselling book in 2014; 11 weeks in New York Times bestseller list; released in September 2014 and a big seller through the end of the year


UK bestselling diet books 2014

#1 – The Fast Diet  |  #2 – The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life   |  #3 – The Hairy Dieters |  #4 – I Quit Sugar  |  #5 – The Hairy Dieters Good Eating  |  Recipe book #1 – River Cottage Veg Every Day!  |  Recipe book #2 – The Fast Diet Recipe Book

The Fast Diet UK#1 – The Fast Diet (2013) by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer

Intermittent fasting diet: 5 days a week eat what you want; 2 non-consecutive days limit to 500 calories a day for women, 600 calories a day for men. Amazon.co.uk #17 bestselling book in 2014, big seller in the first half of the year
See food list – what to eat and foods to avoid


The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life#2 – The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life (2013) by The Hairy Bikers – Dave Myers and Si King

Low fat and low sugar. Amazon.com #34 bestselling book in 2014, topseller in the first few months of the year


The Hairy Dieters#3 – The Hairy Dieters (2012) by The Hairy Bikers – Dave Myers and Si King

Low fat and low sugar. Amazon.com #46 bestselling book in 2014, steady sales throughout the year


I Quit Sugar#4 – I Quit Sugar (2014) by Sarah Wilson

Low fat and low sugar. At least 28 weeks in the top 100 at Amazon.co.uk, popular in the first half of the year


The Hairy Dieters Good Eating #5 – The Hairy Dieters Good Eating (2014) by The Hairy Bikers – Dave Myers and Si King

Low fat and low sugar. Amazon.com #63 bestselling book in 2014, released in October 2014 and a bestseller from then to the end of the year


Bestselling UK recipe books for special diets:

River Cottage Veg EverydayRecipe book #1 – River Cottage Veg Every Day! (2011) by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Vegetable-focused recipe book, a bestseller since it was first released in 2011


The Fast Diet Recipe BookRecipe book #2 – The Fast Diet Recipe Book (2013) by Mimi Spencer

Recipes for the fasting / low calorie days of the Fast Diet, popular at the same time as the Fast Diet in the first half of the year

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Bestselling diet booksIn the USA at the end of December, there isn’t yet the rush for diets that usually starts before January. Vegan cookbook Thug Kitchen and low-calorie The Skinnytaste Cookbook continue to be best-sellers, even after the end of the holiday gift-giving period. Paleo elimination diet book It Starts with Food has jumped back up the charts. Dr. Phil’s 20/20 Diet hasn’t yet been released but it’s doing fairly well in pre-sales.

In the UK, the sugar-free grain-free Art of Eating Well cookbook and vegetable recipe book Plenty More are topping the charts. Hairy Dieters Good Eating low-calorie cookbook is heading back up the charts. New diets (Be Body Beautiful, Super Juice Me!, Eat.Nourish.Glow., Davina’s 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free, Honestly Healthy Cleanse) are already selling in the top 100 (along with the ever-favourite juicing books for New Year cleanses), but not yet hitting the top of the charts.

The positions in the bestselling charts are according to a snapshot of book sales from Amazon. The number in brackets next to the top titles is the ranking in all books – e.g. Plenty More is the no. 55 top selling book in the USA and the no. 8 top selling book on Amazon at the time of writing.

USA bestselling diets December 2014

USA Health, Fitness & Dieting* Special diets Diseases & Physical Ailments*
1 The Skinnytaste Cookbook  (29) – Low calorie cookbook Thug Kitchen (11) – Vegan cookbook Grain BrainGluten-free, no processed carbs or sugars
2 It Starts with Food (41) – Detox, whole foods, no sugar, paleo The Skinnytaste Cookbook  (29) – Low calorie cookbook The Paleo ApproachPaleo
3 What to Expect When You’re Expecting (64) –
Whole foods, high nutrient content
Superfood Smoothies (48) – Nutrient-rich plant-based smoothies Grain Brain – KindleGluten-free, no processed carbs or sugars
4 The 20/20 Diet (77) –
Elimination diet, eat superfoods [not yet released]
Plenty More (55) – Vegetarian cookbook Taking Charge of Your Fertility ­– Unprocessed foods, no caffeine or alcohol
5 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse (80) – High-liquid cleanse diet Against All Grain (98) – Paleo recipe book Dash Diet Weight Loss SolutionHigh produce, low fat, unprocessed diet book

*only books with food recommendations included

UK diet best sellers December 2014

UK Diets & Healthy Eating Special diets
1 The Art of Eating Well (7) – No sugar, no grain cookbook Erica White’s Beat Candida CookbookAvoiding all types of sugars
2 Plenty More (8) – Vegetarian cookbook Dr Bernstein’s Diet Solution – Kindle – Low carb, unprocessed foods
3 The Hairy Dieters: Good Eating (25) – Low fat and low sugar The Multiple Sclerosis Diet BookLow-fat
4 The Skinny Nutribullet Recipe Book (27) – Smoothie recipe book, low calorie Erica White’s Beat Candida Cookbook – KindleAvoiding all types of sugars
5 Deliciously Ella (30) – Sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free natural plant-based recipe book The Book of MacrobioticsMacrobiotic
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Bestselling Diets USA

(1) The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner
(2) 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith
(3) The Suja Juice Solution by Annie Lawless and Jeff Church
(4) What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
(5) The 20/20 Diet by Dr. Phil McGraw

From The New York Times bestseller list, April 19, 2015

Bestselling Diets UK

(1) Eat. Nourish. Glow. by Amelia Freer
(2) Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward
(3) Davina's 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free by Davina McCall
(4) The Hairy Dieters by The Hairy Bikers

From Amazon.co.uk top books on 19 April 2015