If you really want to eat the way I do and lose weight, you need to understand that I didn't make all these changes in one shot. I did it slowly, over the course of a year, building upon each new concept once I had the first concept down. So, that's how I'll teach you... one concept at a time.
So, for your first week, here's the concept: If God didn't make it, don't eat it. If man messed with it, don't eat it. Eat foods that are closest to their natural state.
1. Read labels... forget about calories, sodium, etc. Only pay attention to the ingredient list. Start looking at some of your favorite packaged foods & google each ingredient, if you don't know what it is. For instance, soy lechithin is in just about everything. What is soy and how does it work in our bodies? Processed soy (soy lechithin, tvp, tofu, etc) disrupts the endocrine function, contains potent anti-thyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer, increases the body's need for certain vitamins (such as B12, vitamin D, etc), contains toxic and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines, contains MSG, contains high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and kidneys, weakens the immune system, etc). So, now that you know what processed soy is and does to your body, do you still want to eat it? My guess is, probably not. So...know what you're eating!! Start learning what ingredients are.
2. Throw away foods you can no longer (nor want to) eat anymore & replace them with foods you can eat. If it's not in your house, you're less likely to eat it.
3. Shop the outside aisles of your grocery store which contains fresh foods (produce, meats, bakery, etc); middle aisles are most often processed foods containing additives, preservatives, and colorings. Other good places to start shopping are farmer's markets, local co-ops, health food stores (such as Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, etc), local farmer's, etc.
What You Can Eat:
1. FATS: only cold-pressed virgin (or extra virgin) oils such as olive oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, etc. Use full-fat butter (not margarine) or Soy-Free Earth Balance (non-dairy butter). Full-fat salad dressings.
*FATS TO AVOID: anything that says "hydrogenated" in the ingredient list
2. GRAINS/CARBS: only 100% whole-grains (must say 100% WHOLE on the ingredient list). Examples of whole grains: whole-wheat, oats/oatmeal, spelt, millet, barley, rye, amaranth, quinoa, teff, brown rice, wild rice, etc. Eat a variety of these grains, not just whole-wheat all the time. Other carb sources: Beans, Peas & Lentils (such as black, pinto, kidney, azuki, garbanzo, lima, navy, etc. Black eyed peas, black peas, yellow peas, snow and snap peas, etc.)
*GRAINS TO AVOID: anything that says, "100% wheat, enriched wheat, whole wheat". Only if it says, "100% WHOLE WHEAT" is it the whole unprocessed grain. Avoid anything that says "enriched". *Optional: avoid anything that says "corn" in the ingredient list (such as corn, cornstarch, cornmeal, corn syrup, etc).
3. VEGETABLES: fresh or frozen are best. Organic is best.
*VEGETABLES TO AVOID: canned vegetables
4. FRUITS: fresh or frozen are best. Organic is best. Dried fruits without added sugar is ok.
*FRUITS TO AVOID: juices, dried fruits (with added sugar), canned fruit, etc
5. PROTEIN: Organic, hormone-free, grass-fed meats are best such as buffalo, venison, chicken, beef, ostrich, lamb, pork, etc. Other protein sources: Raw Nuts (such as Roasted Peanuts, Raw or Lightly-Salted w/Sea Salt walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, etc.) No-Sugar-Added Nut Butters (such as Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, Tahini, Peanut Butter, etc) Fresh-Water Fish (such as salmon, herring, cod, trout, sardines, halibut, tuna, perch, red snapper, orange roughy, tilapia, etc) Organic Eggs, Organic Full-Fat Cheese (low-fat mozzarella is ok)
*PROTEIN TO AVOID: processed meats such as hot dogs, sausage, pepperoni, bologna, salami, beef jerky, etc. Farmed Fish such as "atlantic salmon", tuna steaks, mackeral, catfish, sturgeon, swordfish & shark. Low-fat cheese, processed cheeses (such as Velveeta, American cheese, etc), non-organic eggs, anything with "hydrogenated" in the ingredient list
*Optional: I only eat meat 1-2 times a week. The rest of the time I eat nuts, nut butters, eggs and cheese as my protein sources.
6. DAIRY: Organic Whole Milk, Plain yogurt (goat milk yogurt or Greek yogurt are best), Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milks (such as rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc)
*DAIRY TO AVOID: fat-free or low-fat dairy products, processed/sugar-added yogurts (such as Yoplait, Dannon, etc), soy milk.
7. DRINKS: Organic coffee & decaf, Organic Green teas, no-sugar-added sparkling waters/mineral waters, alcohol (in moderation), low-salt vegetable juices, filtered water.
*DRINKS TO AVOID: all pop (even diet), sweetened iced teas, sweetened fruit drinks/juices, cocoas/hot chocolate/chocolate milk, etc.
8. SWEETENERS: Try to only use natural sweeteners (such as Raw honey, 100% pure maple syrup, agave nectar, stevia, Sucanat, unsulphured blackstrap molasses, brown rice syrup, etc), but limit it to 1-2 times/week! Sweeteners are the main culprit for weight gain & diabetes, even the natural ones! All-fruit jams without added sugars are ok.
*SWEETENERS TO AVOID: fat-free & low-fat products (they are almost always high in sugar!), white sugar, brown sugar, etc. Anything with any of the following words in the ingredient list: sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltose, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, barley malt, etc.
*Optional: The only sweeteners I use are agave nectar & stevia. I avoid everything else.
9. HERBS/SPICES: fresh is best, but dried is fine, too (just remember to read ingredient labels). Natural sea salt.
*HERBS/SPICES TO AVOID: table salt, anything with "citric acid" in the ingredient list, etc