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Jumpstart to Skinny by Bob Harper (2013): Food list

Jumpstart to Skinny - book by Bob Harper of The Biggest LoserJumpstart to Skinny (2013) is a crash diet to lose weight in a short period of time:

  • 3 weeks jumpstart, to be followed by The Skinny Rules.
  • Very low-calorie diet for 3 weeks only – 800 calories a day for women, 1,200 calories a day for men.
  • 40% of calories from protein, 40% from carbohydrates, 20% from fats.
  • Lots of vegetables.

Below is a description of the food recommendations in the diet. What to eat  |  Foods to avoid.  There’s a lot more in the book.

Get a copy of Jumpstart to Skinny for the exercise plan, supplementation suggestions, menus, and recipes.

Jumpstart to Skinny diet plan – food list

What to eat  |  Foods to avoid

Foods to eat in Jumpstart to Skinny

  • Meal planning
    • Eat 800 calories a day if you’re female and 1,200 calories a day if you’re male (very low-calorie diet VLCD). The recipes in the book are for 800 calorie servings, and male portions are 1.5 times the female portion.
    • Get 40% of your calories from protein, 40% from carbohydrates, and 20% from fats at each meal. Some of the recipes have fewer than 40% of calories from carbohydrates, but that’s okay because you’re eating unlimited vegetables
    • On top of that, you can eat unlimited amounts of “unlimited jumpstart veggies,” either raw or boiled or microwaved: arugula, asparagus, beet greens, bell peppers, bok choy, baby bok choy, broccoli, broccolini, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, chili peppers, chives, collard greens, cucumbers, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, escarole, fennel, green beans, green onions, jicama, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, parsley, radicchio, radishes, rapini, scallions, spinach, summer squash, tomatoes, turnip greens, watercress, zucchini
    • No grains, processed carbs, or potatoes after lunch
    • There are detailed meal plans on pages 54-74. Power breakfasts, lean lunches, and thinner dinners. Recipes for these meal plans are on pages 112-195
  • Proteins
    • Poultry – e.g. skinless chicken breast, ground turkey breast, no-salt turkey breast
    • Meat – lean beef steak, pork tenderloin or chop – remove all fat
    • Egg whites
    • Nonfat dairy – e.g. nonfat Greek yogurt
    • Fish – e.g. cod, halibut, salmon, tuna
    • Shellfish – e.g. shrimp
  • Carbohydrates
    • Eat mostly fruits and vegetables (which the author describes as “simple carbohydrates”)
    • Keep an eye on net carbs
    • Rely most heavily on green vegetables. If you’re hungry, eat veggies. If you’re bored, eat veggies. Eat as many of the “unlimited jumpstart veggies” (above) as you want
    • Other vegetables included in recipes but not listed as unlimited: avocados, onions, spaghetti squash
    • Fruits – weeks 1 and 2 only. Prefer high-fiber fruits as they tend to be lower in net carbs – favorites include apples, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, and strawberries. Other fruits included in recipes include: mango, pineapple, watermelon
    • For breakfast only: what the author calls “complex carbs” – recipes include ezekiel bread, rolled oats, quinoa, whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta
  • Fats
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Beverages
    • Drink a minimum of 80 ounces of water over the course of the day
    • You can use regular soda water or no-sugar flavored club soda
    • Coffee – espresso is the author’s “preferred delivery system,” but you could also have black coffee or tea. Don’t add any milk, cream, or artificial sweetener, or more than a very little bit of real sugar (half of one raw sugar package or cube is okay)
    • Herbal teas
  • Electrolytes
    • Eat or drink foods with electrolytes
    • Drink 8 ounces of electrolyte replacement twice a day, without any sweeteners (natural or artificial)
    • Drink water and your electrolyte replacement before, during, and after exercise
    • For potassium: lemons, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
    • For sodium: bell peppers, leaf lettuce, celery, radishes
    • For magnesium: spinach and radishes
    • For calcium: broccoli, celery, onions, apples
  • Pantry and condiments
    • Herbs including basil, bay leaves, cilantro, garlic, herbes de Provence, hot peppers, parsley, rosemary, thyme
    • Spices including black pepper, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper
    • Seeds including flaxseed
    • Nuts including cashews, walnuts
    • Unsweetened almond milk, natural unsweetened applesauce, Bragg’s liquid aminos, capers, hot sauce, lemon juice, lime juice, dijon mustard, parmesan cheese, vanilla extract, low-sodium vegetable broth, vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, red wine vinegar)

Foods to avoid or limit with Jumpstart to Skinny

  • Carbohydrates
    • Limit carbohydrates in processed starchy foods – e.g. breads, baked goods, pastas, crackers, potatoes
    • No grains, processed starches, or potatoes after breakfast
    • No fruits in week 3
  • Fat
    • Fatty foods
  • Salt
    • Limit salt to 1,000 milligrams a day
  • Alcohol
    • No alcohol

After you’ve finished this 3-week program, transition to The Skinny Rules, which is a lifetime plan.

Get a copy of Jumpstart to Skinny for the exercise plan, supplementation suggestions, menus, and recipes.
Buy now from Amazon
Also see the author’s website at https://bobharper.com

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

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Eva Shepard May 26, 2014, 10:25 am

    I struggle with what to eat to lose weight. I’m going to give this a try, but still confused on how much percentage to eat and get the exact amount.

    Thank you Bob

  • Dominic Napolitano September 2, 2014, 3:59 pm

    I want to do this three week program. I am 235 Pds and liked my weight at 185. I’m still unsure of the male end if this diet. Please help me understand more. Thank you

    • Penny Hammond September 3, 2014, 12:07 pm

      This is a very low calorie diet.
      Women are supposed to have 800 calories a day, and men are supposed to have 1200 calories a day.
      On top of that, you can have unlimited amounts of “unlimited jumpstart veggies,” either raw or boiled or microwaved.

      The recipes in the book have serving sizes for women – use 1 1/2 times the quantity for the male serving sizes.

  • Kathy January 13, 2015, 8:18 am

    In Bob’s jumpstart to skinny, he suggests Quinoa and peanut butter – I am allergic to both -what can I substitute?

    • Penny Hammond January 13, 2015, 11:36 am

      You could substitute quinoa with another whole grain – e.g. whole wheat couscous or millet
      Instead of peanut butter, you could have another nut or seed butter (e.g. almond butter, sunflower butter), as long as you’re not allergic to those as well.
      Hope that helps!

  • Jordan July 3, 2015, 8:52 am

    Do we count the “jumpstart veggies” in our caloric intake, or not?

    • Penny Hammond July 3, 2015, 4:01 pm

      Bob says “All of these recipes adhere to Rule 1 (40/ 40/ 20— the magic macronutrient proportions), though because many of your carbs will come from fruits and veggies, the net carbs for many of the lunch and dinner recipes are sometimes fewer than 40 percent carbs. That’s okay! Remember, I am letting you eat all the veggies you want during the day, so as long as you follow the no-complex-carbs-after-breakfast rule, you’ll be eating exactly as I want you to. And over the course of each day, the total calories will meet the needs of Rule 2 (800 calories for women, 1,200 for men).” (Part IV – Jumpstart Recipes)
      So it’s not entirely clear… if you follow the recipes and eat unlimited veggies on top of that, it looks like it would be within the total calories rule, which implies that the calories from these veggies are counted in the total.

      • Bea July 22, 2015, 1:23 pm

        I heard him on Rachel Ray yesterday. I understood him to say NOT to count the vegies in your total calorie count. Hope that helps.

  • Shirley Knauf Huckle April 1, 2017, 5:17 pm

    May you eat a lunch recipe for dinner or will that mess up the configurations?

    • Penny Hammond June 20, 2017, 7:46 pm

      That should be fine, as long as you swap it out and have a dinner recipe for lunch / make sure you’re having the expected number of calories.

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