1. Eat protein at every meal, including breakfast.
2. Eliminate wheat- and flour-based products for the time being. And yes, that definitely includes bread and pasta.
3. Eat unprocessed foods. Ninety percent of what you eat should be a combination of (in this order of importance) raw vegetables, steamed vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and maybe a few fruits if necessary.
4. Reduce starch to one portion a day, and don’t eat that portion during your evening meal. Best choices are beans, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal.
5. Don’t overdo fruit: one a day maximum, and only the low-sugar, high-fiber variety. Apples, pears, plums and berries all are good choices. For now, fruit should be eaten alone or with something light, like low fat nuts. Lose the fruit juice completely.
6. Reduce or eliminate dairy for the time being, especially cow’s milk. Exceptions: reasonable amounts of low sugar, fat free yogurt.
7. Lose the booze. Despite what the “studies” say, you lose no health benefits by giving up alcohol (including wine). There is nothing essential in alcohol that you can’t get in fruits and vegetables without all the bad side effects that go along with it.
8. Stop using vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower and corn. The supermarket kind is highly refined, and it oxidizes easily when heated, contributing to arterial plaque. Use olive oil instead, and apply it to food after the food is cooked when possible.
9. Watch which types of fat you’re eating. The amount of fat you eat is probably less important than the kind of fat you eat. The worst are fried foods, margarine and foods that contain hydrogenized or partially hydrogenized oils. The best is omega-3, found in fish and flaxseed oil.
10. Obsessively drink water: At least 8 ounces for every 20 pounds of bodyweight you’re now carrying around, each day. Every day. No excuses.