Here’s your food list for the next 21 days. If it’s not on the list, assume it’ll make you fat. The foods are listed in descending order of the amount I eat each month. The higher it is on the list, the more I eat. I made some notes to highlight my own eating habits.
- Sparkling Water (La Croix and Topo Chico are my favorite brands)
- Tea (hot or cold, must be unsweetened though)
- Coffee (I don’t drink it, but you can. Take it black, no sugar, no milk, no cream)
I drink 3+ La Croix’s per day right now. It satisfies my taste for something different than water and is sometimes an adequate substitute for beer for me. Topo Chico is also delicious.
Meat & Seafood
- Ground beef
- Cured Meats (pepperoni slices, salami, prosciutto)
- Beef jerky
- Chicken (breasts, thighs, wings, drumsticks)
- Ribs (Pork/Beef/Lamb)
- Link Sausages
- Roasts (Pork/Beef/Lamb)
- Ground Breakfast Sausages
- Pork Loin, Chops & Steaks
- Deli meats
I eat a lot of ground beef in lettuce wrapped tacos & hamburgers as well as in casseroles, etc. Beef jerky and slice pepperonis are my go to snack foods. I’ve gotten pretty good at making buffalo chicken wings in the oven, so I’ll try to make that at least once a month, especially during football season. I order 2lbs of smoked pork ribs from a nearby bbq restaurant about once a week. I cook a roast in the slow cooker at least once a month. Since I don’t eat breakfast, you’ll notice that eggs are relatively low on the list.
- Lettuce & various leafy greens (spinach, kale, romaine, arugula, bib lettuce, etc.)
- Squash (spaghetti, butternut, etc.)
- Brussels sprouts
- Peppers (jalapenos, bell peppers, banana peppers, etc.)
- Artichoke hearts
Of note, potatoes and sweet potatoes are NOT approved. Corn and all corn byproducts (like corn tortillas, corn bread, corn chips), likewise. Too high carb. Beans like pinto beans, refried beans, black beans etc are also off the list. I get these questions often. They are too high carb and should be eat sparingly…if at all.
Roasted asparagus is a delicious and indulgent side that I use as kind of a replacement for french fries, believe it or not. They’re that good. We buy the frozen, “steam in bag” brocoli and cauliflower. I steam it in the microwave and then drain it and then sauteed it an pan with olive, salt, and pepper to give it some flavor. We buy a spaghetti squash about once a month as a veggie in our tuna casserole. My wife makes an amazing sauteed brussells sprouts and bacon.
Fruits / Nuts / Snacks
- Pork Rinds
- Kale Chips
- Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (full fat version)
- Dark Chocolate (85%+ cocoa)
These are your go to snacks to have on hand when you don’t have something better prepared.
Other than avocado, which can be consumed regularly, fruits are too high in sugar to be eaten regularly. When we’re hardcore about losing weight, my wife and I usually only keep a few apples and bananas on hand in case we need them for our son or house guests.
We sometimes have corn tortillas in the fridge as that’s the only way my wife will eat grilled fish — as part of a taco. If you’re trying to lose weight, I’d advise against the tortillas.
- Full-fat cheeses (hard cheeses are best)
- Full-fat sour cream
- Butter (avoid margarines)
I don’t eat much dairy because I’m lactose intolerant and dairy is a known to cause acne. It’s also a gateway to unapproved foods and binging. Eat it only out of necessity. I’d recommend, at most, a few cheese sticks a week and sprinkle some cheese on dishes that you think must have cheese in order to be edible. You should not be drinking milk.
Condiments / Oils/ Spices
- Coconut Milk
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Salsa / Tomato Sauces (as an ingredient, not as a dip)
- Spices (cumin, curry, pepper, salt, etc — all spices are fine)
- Olive Oil & Vinegar Salad Dressing
- Mayos & Mayo-based sauces
- Soy sauce (tamari if you’re eating gluten-free)
- Hot sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot)
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Butter / Ghee
- Beef Tallow / Animal Fat
- Lemon/Lime Juice
We use coconut milk quite a bit in casseroles and main dishes.
Not listed, but you can use BBQ sauce and ketchup sparingly. Buy the ones with the lowest amount carbs & sugar and the fewest ingredients.
Alcohol is not approved. 21 days is typically short enough that you can avoid most forced drinking situations. If you have to drink, the best drink for weight loss is a shot of tequila or vodka diluted in sparkling water with some lime juice to mask the taste. Beware, it causes blackouts so take it easy. Low carb / low cal beer is a fine alternative.
I do what I can to limit alcohol intake, but still, I’d imagine over the course of a typical 21 day stretch, I’ll drink about 5 times. As long as the drinking doesn’t result in binge eating and comfort eating after a multiple day hangover, it shouldn’t ruin your diet.