Up to this point, during your first stage, you alternated between proteins and proteins + vegetables. From now on, you do not have to alternate. You can eat all proteins and vegetables together and still have as much as you want.
Proteins and vegetables constitute a stable foundation on which you will build the second phase, as well as the final stage that will follow it. You can see why these two major food categories are so important, because for the rest of your life you can eat them without there being any limit on quantity, time of day, or combination.
Lean meats—the least fatty cuts of beef and veal, buffalo, and venison
Organ meats such as liver, tongues, and kidneys
Fish and seafood
Poultry (except duck and goose), always without the skin
Low-fat ham, sliced low-fat chicken and turkey
Nonfat dairy products
Raw and cooked vegetables
1,5 quarts of water
As well as the above base of proteins and vegetables, the second stage introduces new foods that will improve your daily eating. They can be added in the following proportions and quantities.
One Serving of Fruit per Day
I’m sure most of you believe that fruit belongs to the "as much as you want” category because it is so naturally healthy. This is partly true: fruit is a natural product and it is also one of the best-known sources of vitamin C and carotene.
Fruit in its natural state was a colorful and satisfying reward for humans. It is only through intensive farming and selection that we nowadays have the impression that fruit is easy to come by. As it is, most fruit with a high sugar content, such as pineapples, bananas, and mangos, comes to us from tropical regions and was only recently introduced into our regular diet, thanks to progress in transportation.
In fact, fruit is not the prototype of a healthy and natural food. It is the only natural food that contains what diabetes specialists call rapid-assimilation sugars. Consumed in large quantities it can be unhealthy, especially for diabetics and overweight people who tend to eat fruit outside of mealtimes.
Rationed to 1 serving of fruit per day, you are now allowed to eat all types of fruit except bananas, grapes, cherries, dried fruits, and nuts (walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, macadamias, and cashews).
How much is a serving? With fruits the size of an apple, pear, orange, grapefruit, peach, or nectarine, a serving is 1 medium-size piece of fruit. For smaller fruits, or larger ones, use a normal serving: a cup of strawberries or raspberries, half of a medium cantaloupe or a quarter of a honeydew melon, an inch-thick slice of watermelon, 2 kiwis, 2 nice apricots, 1 small mango or half a large one. You can eat all these fruits, but remember, only 1 serving per day and not per meal.
Bear in mind that the best fruits for stabilizing your weight are the following, in descending order:
Apples. I give priority to the apple, because its high pectin content helps keep you feeling full.
Strawberries and raspberries. These are low in calories and look colorful and festive.
Melon and watermelon, if you stick to the serving size, because of their high water and low calorie content.
Grapefruit, for its pulp, is rich in pectin and low in calories.
Kiwi is high in vitamin C and low in sugar content. Peaches and nectarines are full of flavor, with a luscious texture and moderate sugar content. Mango is the richest in vitamins A, C, and E, three major antioxidants.
Two Slices of 100 Percent Whole Grain Bread per Day
If you are prone to putting on weight, get into the habit of avoiding white bread. White flour is too refined, and like white and other simple sugars, it enters into the bloodstream too quickly and in too great a quantity.
One hundred percent whole grain bread tastes good and has a natural proportion of bran, which is a major ally in normal elimination.
For this Consolidation phase of the diet, you are still under strict surveillance as your body is waiting to extract calories from everything. But once you reach the third stage, you will be able to eat bread normally, as long as it is whole grain or, even better, enriched with bran or fiber. From now on, if you enjoy bread at breakfast, you may lightly spread your 2 slices of whole grain bread with some reduced-fat butter or spread. But you may also decide to eat these 2 slices of bread at some other time of the day, for a cold meat or ham sandwich at lunchtime, or in the evening with some cheese, which is the next food to be added to your list.
One Serving of Cheese per Day
What cheese are you allowed to eat, and how much?
You may eat all hard-rind cheeses, such as cheddar, Swiss cheese, Gouda and other cheeses from Holland, Tomme de Savoie (a hard French cheese from the Alps), Mimolette, Emmental. Avoid fermented cheese for now, such as blue cheese, Brie, Camembert, or goat cheese. As for how much, you should eat a 1,5-ounce (40- gram) serving. I am not usually in favor of weighing food, but since the second stage will not last too long, this is a good standard serving that satisfies most appetites. Choose whichever meal suits you best, but remember only 1 serving per day.
What about reduced-fat or diet cheeses? Many are of poor quality, so if you cannot find a good one, I would advise against eating food that has lost most of its flavor. If you enjoy soy cheeses, a 1,5-ounce portion is acceptable.
Two Servings of "Starchy” Foods per Week
Up until now you have been allowed to eat the reintroduced foods every day. Starchy foods, however, will be reintroduced gradually. After calculating how long your second stage will last, based on 5 days for every pound lost, divide this stage into two equal halves. In the first half you are allowed 1 serving of starchy foods per week; in the second, 2 servings per week. This approach avoids the risk of your starting to eat sugar-rich foods too suddenly.
Starchy foods refer to potatoes, foods made from flour, such as breads and pasta, as well as cereals such as rice and corn. In the second stage, in which prudence is the rule, all starches are not of equal value, and I list them for you here in descending order of interest.
• Pasta made of durum wheat is the starch best adapted for our particular use; whole grain varieties are also useful. Moreover, everyone likes pasta, and it is rarely associated with dieting, so it is a source of comfort for dieters who have been working so hard to lose weight. Finally, and most important, pasta has a filling and satisfying consistency. Its only drawback is that it is often cooked with butter, oil, or cream, as well as cheese, which then doubles the calorie intake.
So eat pasta, and take a healthy 8-ounce (225-gram) serving cooked (about 2 ounces of uncooked pasta), but avoid oil and opt instead for a nice sauce of fresh tomatoes, onions, and spices, with a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. If you are in a hurry, use a jarred sauce made without sugar or canned tomatoes.
• Couscous, bulgur wheat, and wheat berries have the same beneficial properties as pasta. Whole wheat couscous is also available.
• Polenta, quinoa, and millet are also whole grains, and you may eat the same quantity of them—an 8-ounce (225-gram) serving cooked.
• Lentils and other legumes like lima beans, kidney beans, white beans, butter beans, chick peas, split peas, dried peas, and dried beans of all colors also provide excellent nutrition. Unfortunately, they do take time to prepare and have a reputation for causing flatulence. But for those who like them and digest them well, they are an excellent stabilization food and very satisfying. You are allowed an 8-ounce (225- gram) serving cooked. Once again, no oil, but do serve with gram) serving cooked. Once again, no oil, but do serve with tomatoes, onions, and spices—a bay leaf works well.
• Rice and potatoes are also allowed, but, as you can see, they appear at the bottom of our list and so can only be eaten occasionally. Priority should be given to the foods listed earlier in our list. If possible, it is better to eat brown rice, without butter or oil, as it is assimilated more slowly because of its fiber. Or choose the tastier varieties such as basmati and wild rice. Each serving must not exceed 6 ounces (175 grams) of white rice or 8 ounces (225 grams) of brown rice, cooked.
As for potatoes, prepare them baked in their skin or boiled, and always without any butter or sauce. French fries or, even worse, potato chips are among the few foods that I advise you to forget about totally, not only because they are full of fat and calories, but because they are detrimental to your overall health.