During the first phase, you are allowed to eat foods from the eight categories on the following list.From these categories, you can eat as much as you want or as much as suits you, with no limit and at whatever time of day you feel hungry. You may also freely combine foods from any of these categories.You can just select the foods you like, leaving the others aside, or in extreme cases, you can eat from a single category in 1 single meal or for 1 day.
The essential thing is to stick to this precisely defined list. You must also realize that succumbing to any other foods, as small as the lapse may be, will be like puncturing a balloon with a needle.
An apparently harmless lapse will be enough for you to lose all the benefits of this precious freedom of being able to eat all you want. For just a tiny gain in variety, you will be forced for the rest of that day to count your calories and restrict what you eat.
In short, the rule is simple and non-negotiable: You are allowed everything on the following list, with complete freedom. Anything that is not on the list is forbidden, so forget about it for now, knowing that in the near future you will again be eating all the foods that have been removed.
Category 1: Lean Meats
By lean meat, I mean beef, veal, lean pork, and game.
Beef: All roasts or grilled beef are allowed—namely, steaks, tenderloin, sirloin, and roast beef; you must carefully avoid all types of ribs as they are too fatty.
Veal: Recommended are veal cutlets and roast veal; veal chops are allowed as long as you trim all the fat.
Buffalo and venison are permitted.
Pork: Lean cuts are permitted, such as tenderloin, loin roast, or well-trimmed center-cut chops.
You can prepare all these meats as you like but without using any butter, oil, or cream, not even low-fat versions. However, if using a nonstick pan, you can rub the surface with a few drops of using a nonstick pan, you can rub the surface with a few drops of oil on a piece of paper towel to keep the flavor of the cooked meat without additional fat.
You can also use lean ground meat prepared as burgers or as meatballs mixed with an egg, spices, capers, or pickles, and grilled or cooked in the oven. Raw meat is allowed (if you are completely confident of the source), tartare or carpaccio style, but it must be prepared without oil. Frozen beef burgers are allowed, but make sure that the fat content does not exceed 10 percent—15 percent is too rich for the first stage. You would do better to grind some lean meat yourself in your food processor, or cook the burger until most of the fat runs off.
Category 2: Fish
There is no restriction or limitation with this family of foods. All fish are allowed: lean or fat; white or oily; fresh, frozen, dried, or smoked; or canned (but not in oil or sauce containing fat). All fatty fish and oily fish are allowed, such as sardines, mackerel, bluefish, tuna, and salmon.
All white and lean fish are also allowed, such as sole, halibut, cod, sea bass, mahi-mahi, tilapia, orange roughy, catfish, cod, sea bass, mahi-mahi, tilapia, orange roughy, catfish, perch, skate, trout, flounder, and monkfish, as well as many other lesser-known varieties.
Smoked fish is permitted, too. Smoked salmon, although greasy looking, is less fatty than a 90 percent fat-free steak. The same goes for smoked trout, tuna, eel, and haddock.
Canned fish, very handy for quick meals or picnics, is allowed if it is in brine or water, such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, or sardines. Canned sardines in tomato sauce are also permitted.
Always cook your fish without oil or butter, but moisten it with lemon juice or a little soy sauce, and sprinkle with herbs and spices. Enjoy it baked, poached, or steamed.
Category 3: Poultry
All poultry is allowed except birds with flat bills, such as farm-reared goose and duck, provided you do not eat the skin. You can leave the skin on when cooking and remove it on your plate at the last moment so that the meat does not dry out.
Chicken is the most popular poultry product and the most practical one for the first stage. Everything is allowed except the outside part of the wings, which is too fatty and cannot be separated from the skin. However, you should be aware that different parts of the chicken have different amounts of fat. The leanest part is the white breast meat, followed by the thigh, then the wing. Finally, the chicken should be as young as possible.
Turkey in all forms is allowed, as are Cornish hens and quail. If you have access to game birds such as pheasant and wild duck, which is lean, these are also permitted.
Category 4: Low-Fat Ham, with Any Rind Cut Off, Smoked
Turkey and Chicken, Dried Beef
For some time now, low-fat ham and smoked turkey or chicken has been available in supermarkets. They have a fat content between 2 and 4 percent. This is far below the fat content of lean meats and the leanest of fish. They are highly recommended and are very easy to use. They are perfect to take with you for lunch.
Category 5: Eggs
Eggs can be eaten hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached, or in an omelet, but always without any butter or oil. Unless you are sure of the source of your eggs, they should be cooked through; undercooked eggs carry the risk of salmonella. If you have access to pasteurized eggs, this will not be an issue.
If you are not allergic to eggs, do not have a high cholesterol count, and cook them without oil or butter, you may eat 2 eggs every day without running any risk during the brief first phase.
Category 6: Nonfat Dairy Products
Nonfat milk, nonfat yogurt, nonfat sour cream, nonfat cream cheese, and nonfat cottage cheese were developed to make losing weight easier. Just as the transformation of milk into cheese is responsible for the elimination of lactose, the only sugar found in milk, these fat-free dairy products contain practically nothing but protein, which is why they are so useful when we are looking for pure proteins during the first phase.
Natural and flavored yogurts are allowed without any restriction.
Nonfat fruit yogurts are allowed, but no more than 8 ounces per day. However, if you want a lightning-fast start to your first stage, you are better off avoiding them altogether and even more so if you have hit a weight plateau.
Category 7: 2 Quarts of Water per Day
As I have already told you, and at the risk of repeating myself, drinking 2 quarts of water a day is indispensable and nonnegotiable. Even if you are following the diet very carefully, if you do not thoroughly flush out your system, your weight loss will stop.
The waste from your burning of fats will accumulate and extinguish the metabolic fire.
In addition, if you do not care for cold drinks, remember that tea, herbal tea, coffee, and any other hot drink are all assimilated as herbal tea, coffee, and any other hot drink are all assimilated as water and count toward your obligatory 2 quarts of water per day.
Finally, diet drinks that do not have more than 1 calorie per 8 ounces are all allowed at every stage of the Diet.
Category 8: 2 Tablespoons of Oat Bran
The first actual weight loss phase in my program did not contain any starchy foods, cereals, or flour-based foods. The program worked fine without them, but many of the men and women who followed it eventually ended up longing for carbohydrates.
This is how oat bran gradually became a fundamental part of diet, the only carbohydrate allowed among the proteins and even within the sanctuary of the first stage.
During the first stage phase, I prescribe 2 tablespoons of oat bran per day.