- Don't be stupid.
- Eat real food, not food products.
- Avoid chemical-laden foods, artificial sweeteners, reduced fat foods that substitute god-knows-what, etc.
- Especially, no HFCS. None, nada.
- No prepared foods, except on dining out occasions, and in those cases be cautious.
- Some packaged stuff is OK-- bread, crackers, condiments-- as long as they conform to the above rules.
- Shortcut foods are OK as long as they're made of food, e.g. frozen pre-grilled chicken breasts, egg whites in a carton.
- Eat mostly vegetables, fruits, lean meats, dairy, and some rice/grains.
- Try to keep it at around 1000 calories/day, with the expectation of actually hitting 1200/day.
I think I'm good with 1. 2 is a slam dunk-- I've been eating fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese, chicken, yogurt, rice. My sweetener of choice has been agave nectar. 3 and 4 I've absolutely met. For 5 and 6, every meal has been something I prepared at home, and the worst prepared food sin has been buying a package of marinated tofu. I've eaten some wheat thins as well, though I looked into making my own. I think I've lived up to 7-- pre-cooked chicken breasts and bacon bits, and a carton of egg whites made it into the menu. 8 overlaps with 2.
And 9, the controversial one? I've average 1009 calories, with a low of 930 and a high of 1059. I haven't been completely neurotic about measuring everything, and if I had to guess I'd say I'm underestimating a little bit. That's kind of OK, though-- an extra quarter cup of blueberries is only 20 calories. In reality, I've probably been between 950-1100.
Overall grade: A+, with a tiny ding for the tofu.
I don't feel the least bit deprived. At least at home I'm eating way better than I have been-- even simple home-cooked stuff is better than the packaged crap I've been eating out of habit/laziness. Really... when your evening snack is a wine-poached pear, how bad can life be?