Best Way to Lose 15 Pounds in 20 to 30 Days – [Detail Guide]

The Diet which I am going to share with you can give you fast results. Depending on your weight when you start out and your metabolism, you might expect to lose up to 10 to 15 pounds the first 17 to 20 days. Of course, the further you are from your ideal weight, the more you’ll lose initially.

Let’s not kid each other: When you start a diet, you want to see results right away, in how you look and in how you feel. That’s because our society is geared toward to the immediate; we want things and we want them now. The same is true of weight loss. We get impatient when the pounds don’t come off fast enough to meet our expectations. It seems much easier to give up than to go on.

Let’s not kid each other: When you start a diet, you want to see results right away, in how you look and in how you feel. That’s because our society is geared toward the immediate; we want things and we want them now. The same is true of weight loss. We get impatient when the pounds don’t come off fast enough to meet our expectations. It seems much easier to give up than to go on.

Note: The weight-reduction portion of this diet is limited to just 17 days at a time so that you aren’t demoralized by the thought of endless months of dieting.

Nor are you apt to plateau like you often do on other diets. The 17 Day Diet keeps your body and metabolism guessing. I call this “body confusion.” With each 17 Day Cycle, you’re changing your calorie count and the foods you eat. By varying these things, you prevent your body from adapting. The scale is less likely to get stuck. The added bonus: You’ll never get bored. And it’s fun watching those pounds melt off. So the confusion is good!

At the end of 17 days, you’ll go on to a second 17-day Cycle, then a third, and finally enter the weight-stabilization Cycle of the diet in which you get to eat a greater variety of foods, including your favorite foods within reason. (I don’t want you to get too chummy with the all-you-can-eat buffets again.)

Burn Fat

Burn Fat

Here’s the part in which I talk about how the Seventeen Day Diet works. Don’t worry. I won’t lapse into any mind-numbing “doctor speak.” You know, medical terms that sound scarier than the disease, like cephalalgia (headache) or pneumonitis (lung inflammation). Most people have no idea what their doctors are saying. They could be giving them the latest medical research or the recipe for chocolate cheesecake in Latin. They couldn’t tell.

What Do You Get to Eat on this Diet?

First let me say, nutrition is too confusing, even for doctors. Everything is either good or bad for you. And that can change from moment to moment each time a new bit of research is unveiled. Broccoli may double your life span this week, but next week it might be the end of you.

Several years ago, blueberries became the fruit of choice, being touted as the answer for everything from rejuvenating your brain to inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Now they’re being added to cosmetics. If they can prevent your brain from aging, why not put them in a skin cream? Maybe blueberries can stop wrinkles too.

I think you have to be living under a rock not to know that lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and small amounts of grains are naturally good for you. This Seventeen Day Diet is based on those foods. That’s one reason why the diet isn’t a fad; it’s based on really healthy foods, the stuff we should all be eating anyway, but aren’t.

With these wonderful foods, we get the body to store the good (health-building nutrients) and expel the bad (fat and toxins) by retraining your digestive system and your metabolism.

Enjoy Plenty of Protein

The Seventeen Day Diet is generous in protein. But I don’t mean 27 eggs and 18 strips of bacon washed down with the drippings. I mean lean foods such as chicken, fish, lean meats, and other protein-rich foods. Protein is a powerful fat torcher—for six reasons:

  1. Digesting protein takes more energy (calories) than digesting carbs or fat does; thus, your body burns a few extra calories after eating protein.
  2. Including ample protein in your diet spurs one of your body’s fat-burning mechanisms: the production of the hormone glucagon. Glucagon signals your body to move dietary fat into your bloodstream and use it for energy rather than just store it.
  3. Consuming enough protein helps you preserve lean muscle mass that might otherwise be sacrificed on a rapid weight loss diet. Of course, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest.
  4. Eating protein helps keep your blood sugar on an even keel, so you don’t get the shakes or drops in energy.
  5. Having enough protein in your diet boosts your metabolism, and it does this by stepping up the action of your thyroid gland. (One of the main duties of the thyroid is to regulate metabolism.)
  6. Including protein with meals helps tame your appetite so that you don’t stuff yourself.

Vegetables

vegetables to lose weight

If you haven’t eaten vegetables since you were 11, let’s spend a second on this “I hate vegetables” thing.

You hate all vegetables? There isn’t one you like, no matter how it’s prepared? If you eliminate all vegetables from your diet, you’re giving up some very important nutrients and really narrowing your food options. Vegetables are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Shunning them is a bad idea. Why not learn to prepare them WITH herbs and spices to satisfy your taste?

Pardon my assumption, but I think you, like thousands of other people I’ve talked to, believe that to lose weight, you have to subsist on carrot and celery sticks. But the old “carry around some celery sticks to munch on” mentality is gone forever. Aren’t you relieved?

There are hundreds of different vegetables you can eat, even if you have to hide them in soups or spaghetti sauce. And you can pretty much eat your way through a couple of bushels without gaining any weight. If you want to change your body and get leaner, stronger and healthier, you have to eat vegetables.

A March 1999 study conducted by the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts University found that the dieters who ate the widest variety of vegetables had the least amount of body fat. You need to eat vegetables if you want to get thin. Vegetables = thin. No vegetables = flabby.

Many of my patients have actually acquired a taste for fresh green leaves with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, carrots, mushrooms and all sorts of veggies.

Some of them have even turned themselves into health nuts who only dip their forks into the salad dressing to really slash caloric intake.

There are more benefits. Eat more vegetables and you will:

  • Bubble with energy all day.
  • Improve your digestion and elimination, because veggies are high in fiber. High-fiber foods control appetite and help prevent excess calories from being stored as fat.
  • Have glowing skin. Your skin loves vitamins and minerals, and you get most of those nutrients from veggies.
  • Help prevent major killers like cancer and heart disease because veggies are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants.

So yes, you heard me: eat your vegetables!

Carbs

Carbohydrates food

Carbohydrates are energy foods. Without them, you’d get fuzzy headed, cranky and very tired, and no one will want to be around you. The low-carb diet craze deemed all carbs evil and fattening. People abandoned all forms of fruit, rice, and pasta and ate mostly protein. The problem is, you can only eat so much protein and fat before you start to get nauseated by it.

Yet, not all carbs are the same. There are bad ones—stuff made mostly out of sugar or over-refined like white bread, white rice, and white pasta. Sugar and sweets are the worst. Consider this: we are eating over twelve times the amount of sugar our great-grandparents consumed. That’s roughly equivalent to 160 pounds of sugar per person per year.

Now, imagine filling up your living room or garage with 160 of those one-pound packages you buy at the grocery store. Really get a mental picture of it. Let’s say you don’t eat as much as others, and cut it in half. It’s still a hefty pile, isn’t it? You see, most people have no idea that they’re eating so much sugar. Much of it is hidden in processed, packaged foods we eat, as well as in beverages.

Depending on which Cycle you are in on the 17 Day Diet, you get to eat good carbs: fruit, vegetables, whole grains—anything that hasn’t been stripped of its nutrition.

So the type of carbs you eat is important. But so is the amount. You can go overboard on carbs, even the good kind, and this can be devastating to your natural metabolic processes. Therefore, the 17 Day Diet is low-to-moderate in carbohydrates.

Forgo High-Sugar Fruits

Fruit may seem like a friendly diet food because it’s low-fat, but here’s an example of how having too much of a good thing can sabotage your diet. Certain fruits like pineapple, watermelon and bananas are high in sugar, and they don’t promote fat loss. Too much sugar from any source can goad your body into converting more of what you eat into thigh-padding pounds.

I’m not going to ask you to shun all fruit. Just be moderate in how much you eat—two servings a day, only. On the first two Cycles of the 17 Day Diet, you’ll stick to berries, apples, oranges, and grapefruit, which are lower in sugar. By eating like this, a fruit tooth will replace the sweet one that rules your mouth.

Choose Fats that Burn Fat

Fat Man Smiling

Fat in the diet has been blamed for many modern lifestyle diseases: obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and hypertension. Not all fats are created equal, however. Most people know by now they should limit intake of saturated fats, found in animal foods, and avoid trans fats entirely. Processed foods are loaded with trans fats.

Polyunsaturated fats, found mostly in fish and vegetable oils, are what I call “friendly fats.” They are credited with keeping your skin supple and youthful, reducing harmful levels of cholesterol, lowering high blood pressure, contributing to the brain and eye development, and a host of other health benefits almost akin to a panacea. They also promote weight loss because they keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. This keeps you from eating too many calories.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, boost your metabolism. Adding some weekly servings of fish high in omega-3s (salmon, tuna, mackerel, or sardines), while reducing calories, helped overweight people lose more weight than reducing calories alone, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The researchers concluded that the omega-3s helped subjects burn more calories. If you don’t like fish, take 3 grams of fish oil supplements daily.

Negative Water (Beware)

The following fluids, which I call negative water, do not count toward your must-have daily allotment of water.

  • Coffee*
  • Tea*
  • Diet sodas*
  • Regular soda
  • Energy drinks Juice

Sports drinks (dilute with water—½ water and ½ sports drink if you are an athlete and use these products) Flavored waters

*Coffee and tea are allowed on the 17 Day Diet but do not count toward your 8 glasses of water.

Cycle 1: Step Up

ready to lose weight

Dropping up to 10 or 15 pounds over the next 17 days is possible, and you can see impressive results quickly if you follow the letter Cycle 1: Step up.

The trouble with most diets (besides the boring food lists and the inevitable hunger pangs) is that it’s tricky to find one that helps you shed pounds quickly without compromising the nutritional quality of your meals—and ultimately your health and vitality. This Cycle gets you on the road to lean quickly, plus keeps you full, energetic and motivated.

On this Cycle you can eat unlimited protein—including meat, poultry, eggs and fish, as well as many vegetables. But you limit your carbohydrate intake by initially cutting out white bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, chocolate, biscuits and sugary desserts and sweets. Fruit and fats are not banned, and that’s good because both will add sweetness and flavor to your diet.

Cycle 1 is called Step Up or Accelerate because its purpose is to trigger rapid weight loss in a healthy manner by mobilizing fat stores and flushing water and toxins from your system. The following are the things the Accelerate Cycle will be doing for you:

Reducing carbohydrate intake slightly so that your body taps into its storage fat.

  • Increasing protein intake so that your body goes into a fat-burning mode.
  • Correcting improper digestion—a situation that can hold you back from fat-burning.
  • Providing rapid weight loss at the start, so that you have the incentive to keep going.
  • Getting out sugar, sweets, refined carbohydrates, and other substances that cause those dreaded spikes and dips in blood sugar. Once you’ve broken the cycle, your body will simply not crave them anymore. In this Cycle, you’re removing foods that don’t work well for your body.
  • Clearing your body of possible toxins. Pollutants in the body interfere with both the thyroid gland, which helps regulate the body’s metabolism and individual cells’ energy factories (mitochondria), which convert fuel into energy.

The 1st Cycle Food List

Here’s where you’ll be getting a lot of your fat-burning power. Eat all you want of the following proteins. They’re freebies. The 17 Day Diet is purposely high in protein because it stimulates the reduction of body fat.

Fish*

  • Salmon, canned or fresh
  • Sole
  • Flounder
  • Catfish
  • Tilapia
  • Canned light tuna (in water)

*Opt for wild-caught rather than farm-raised fish, which may have received doses of antibiotics. Avoid the bigger fish such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel and albacore tuna. They are the most likely to carry metals like methyl-mercury, which is considered a toxin.

Poultry

  • Chicken breasts
  • Turkey breasts
  • Ground turkey, lean
  • Eggs (2 eggs = 1 serving)
  • Egg whites (4 egg whites = 1 serving)

Cleansing Vegetables

Eat all you want from the following list. They’re freebies too. I call these cleansing vegetables because they support detoxification in the intestines, blood and liver, and offer protective antioxidants. A few honorable mentions:

Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts supply important phytochemicals (disease-fighting substances in plants), which help the liver detoxify chemicals, drugs and pollutants.

Asparagus, spinach, and okra are all notable sources of glutathione, a vital compound that aids in the removal of fat-soluble toxins. (So is cooked chicken.)

Spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts contribute alpha-lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant that destroys harmful free radicals, which are byproducts of detoxification.

Onions accelerate the break down of fats in your food. As a result, your body is more apt to excrete them than to store them in fat cells.

Greens have diuretic properties (which help you lose water weight), and their ability to stabilize blood sugar prevents binge eating.

Artichokes have a range of health-promoting benefits. These veggie scores are high on the antioxidant scale, thanks to the presence of cynarin and silymarin. These two phytochemicals are thought to lower cholesterol, protect liver cells from toxins, enhance circulation, alpha-lipoic acid, and aid digestion. Both antioxidants are found in the leaves and the heart of the vegetable.

  • Artichoke
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers, green, orange, red,
  • yellow
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower

Low-Sugar Fruit—2 servings daily

Low-sugar fruits are good sources of fiber that provide bulk and digest slowly, helping you feel full. They’re also full of water, high in fiber and super low in calories which makes them ideal for weight loss.

  • Apples
  • Berries, all types
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Prickly pear cactus
  • Prunes Red grapes

Probiotic Foods—2 servings daily

Probiotics help balance your digestive system, resulting in an overall increase in the efficiency of digestion. Research shows that probiotics may also help fight obesity. If you’ve been under stress, taken antibiotics or eaten a lot of foods packaged with preservatives, these things can kill of the beneficial bugs in your system—so eating more probiotic foods is a good idea.

What if I take a medicine that interacts with grapefruit?

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice (which you do not drink on this 17 Day Diet) interacts with a few specific prescription drugs, and one is statins, taken to lower cholesterol. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may prevent the liver from sufficiently breaking down the drug, resulting in a higher dose entering the bloodstream. Most doctors know this.

This interaction was discovered back in the 1990s with research studies. A handful of these studies talked about the “usual dose” of grapefruit juice. But the usual dose was sometimes a whole quart a day! No one drinks that much grapefruit juice, even if grapefruit juice is your favorite food.

Personally, I like grapefruit. I eat it for its taste, vitamin C and fiber. Plus, I like folding the grapefruit in half and squeezing the juice into a spoon.

What I tell my patients who take statins is that they may enjoy ½ grapefruit or 1 cup of grapefruit juice (no juice on the Accelerate Cycle of the 17 Day Diet, though) in the morning.

Secondly, I instruct them to always take their statins in the evening. These measures help minimize any grapefruit-drug interaction. And they still get to squeeze their grapefruit.

Before doing these things, you should make sure to consult with your own physician.

There’s no RDA for probiotics. To maintain health, a probiotic count of 5 to 10 billion is adequate. That may sound like a lot, but consider this: a 6 oz. serving of yogurt contains around 17 billion probiotics.

  • Yogurt, any type, including Greek-style, sugar-free fruit-flavored; plain; and low-fat (6 oz. container = 1 serving)
  • Kefir: similar to a drinking-style yogurt; great for making smoothies (1 cup = 1 serving)
  • Low-fat acidophilus milk (1 cup = 1 serving)
  • Yakult (small 50-calorie bottle)
  • Breakstone Live Active cottage cheese (½ cup = 1 serving)
  • Reduced salt miso dissolved in low-fat, low-sodium broth (1 tablespoon = 1 serving)
  • Tempeh (a fermented cake of pressed soybeans) (4 oz. = I serving)
  • Sauerkraut (½ cup = 1 serving)
  • Kimchi (Korean cabbage) (½ cup = 1 serving) Find it in Asian supermarkets or natural food stores and enjoy a small amount as a side dish with meals.

Friendly Fats: 1 to 2 tablespoons daily

I don’t purposely tell anyone to eat fats unless it’s a healthy kind such as fish oil, olive oil, or flaxseed oil. These healthful fats can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, and diabetes, as well as promote joint health, prevent muscle loss and encourage fat loss and muscle toning.

  • Olive oil
  • Flaxseed oil

Meal Planning

meal planning

It’s easy to remember what to eat during this Cycle:

  • As much as you want of specific proteins and cleansing vegetables.
  • Supplement these foods with 2 low-sugar fruits daily; 2 servings of probiotic foods such as yogurt, kefir, Yakult (small 50-calorie bottle), acidophilus milk, reduced salt miso dissolved in low-fat, low-sodium broth, sauerkraut (½ cup a serving) and 1 to 2 tablespoons of friendly fat. It’s that easy.

You do not have to count anything, except your 2 fruit daily servings, your 2 daily probiotic servings, and your fat serving.

Here is a typical day on the Accelerate Cycle:

Breakfast

  • 2 eggs or 4 egg whites, prepared without oil; or 1 serving of probiotic food such as yogurt
  • 1 fruit serving
  • 1 cup green tea

Can I take a probiotic supplement instead of eating probiotic foods?

Yes. Probiotics come in supplement form that you can buy at your pharmacy or health food store. Look for a probiotic supplement that contains 10 to 20 billion colony-forming units (CFUs), and read the label to learn how it should be stored.

Lunch

  • Liberal amounts of protein in the form of fish, poultry, or eggs plus unlimited amounts of cleansing vegetables; or 1 probiotic serving plus unlimited amounts of cleansing vegetables
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Liberal amounts of protein in the form of fish or chicken
  • Unlimited amounts of cleansing vegetables
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 2nd fruit serving
  • 2nd probiotic serving

Additional

  • 1 serving (1 to 2 tablespoons of friendly fat to use on salads, vegetables or for cooking)

17 Days Menus

Here are examples of how you can create your daily menu during the Accelerate Cycle. You may follow these exactly or create your own menus based on the above guidelines. Some days include easy-to-make recipes. You’ll find these in the Appendix.

Wake-up drink

Every morning, as soon as you rise, drink one 8-ounce cup of hot water. Squeeze half a lemon into the cup; the lemon stimulates your digestive juices. Your goal is to drink at least seven more glasses of water by the end of the day.

The rate at which you burn calories drops if you’re dehydrated. And if you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t absorb nutrients properly. “Negative waters” such as coffee or tea do not count toward your total daily fluid intake.

Consult your physician regarding the amount of your daily water intake if you have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Water requirements vary.

Day 1

Breakfast

  • 2 scrambled egg whites
  • ½ grapefruit, or other fresh fruit
  • 1 cup of green tea

Lunch

  • Large green salad topped with tuna; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive or flaxseed oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Plenty of grilled chicken with liberal amounts of any vegetables from the list, steamed or raw
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 6 oz. of sugar-free plain yogurt mixed with 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar-free jam or other probiotic serving
  • 1 serving of fruit from the list

Day 2

Breakfast

  • 6 oz. plain low-fat yogurt, mixed with 1 cup berries or other fruit (chopped) on the list. You may sweeten the mixture with 1 packet of Truvia or sugar-free fruit jam
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Super Salad (large salad with a generous bed of greens and salad vegetables of your choice—tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, celery, etc., drizzled with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or flaxseed oil and 2 tablespoons herbed vinegar or vinegar of your choice)
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Plenty of grilled or baked salmon with liberal amounts of any vegetables from the list, steamed or raw
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 6 oz. sugar-free fruit-flavored yogurt or 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, sweetened with Truvia or a tablespoon of sugar-free fruit jam
  • 1 serving of fruit

Day 3

Breakfast

  • 2 hardboiled or poached eggs
  • ½ grapefruit or other fresh fruit in season
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • 1 large bowl of Chicken-Vegetable Soup
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Plenty of roasted turkey breast or turkey tenderloin, steamed carrots and steamed asparagus
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 6 oz. plain low-fat yogurt, sweetened with Truvia or a tablespoon of sugar-free fruit jam
  • Kefir Smoothie: Mix one cup of kefir with 1 cup of frozen unsweetened berries, sugar-free fruit jam, and 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil. Blend until smooth

Day 4

Breakfast

  • Kefir Smoothie
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Marinated Vegetable Salad or Super Salad
  • 6 oz. plain low-fat yogurt with a sliced fresh peach, or other fruit in season, for dessert
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Alternative dinner: Any of the lean proteins with plenty of cooked cleansing vegetables from the list
  • 1 cup green tea

Day 5

Breakfast

  • 2 scrambled egg whites
  • ½ grapefruit or other fresh fruit in season
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Salad of baby spinach leaves, grape tomatoes, and crumbled low-fat feta or blue cheese; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive or flaxseed oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Ground turkey patties, with side salad drizzled with 1 tablespoon of olive or flaxseed oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 1 cup of fresh berries
  • 6 oz. plain low-fat yogurt, sweetened with Truvia or a tablespoon of sugar-free fruit jam

Day 6

Breakfast

  • 6 oz. plain low-fat yogurt, mixed with 1 cup berries or other fruit (chopped) on the list. You may sweeten the mixture with 1 packet of Truvia or a tablespoon of sugar-free fruit jam.
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Lettuce Wraps or grilled chicken breast with tossed salad drizzled with 1 tablespoon of olive or flaxseed oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Sesame Fish, or any grilled or baked fish
  • Steamed cleansing vegetables
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 2nd fruit serving of your choice
  • 2nd probiotic serving of your choice

Day 7

Breakfast

  • 2 scrambled eggs, 4 scrambled egg whites or 1 scrambled egg plus 2 scrambled egg whites. Top with salsa (optional)
  • 1 apple or 1 cup fresh berries
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Taco Salad
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • A stir-fry of vegetables (broccoli, onions, julienne carrots, red pepper, etc.), and chicken strips with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with a little garlic, ginger, and lite soy sauce.
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 2nd fruit serving plus 1 probiotic serving of your choice
  • 2nd probiotic serving of your choice

Day 8

Breakfast

  • 6 oz. plain low-fat yogurt, mixed with 1 cup berries or other fruit (chopped) on the list. You may sweeten the mixture with 1 packet of Truvia or a tablespoon of sugar-free fruit jam.
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Salmon salad: 2 cups of salad vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, etc.), baked or canned salmon, drizzled with 1 tablespoon olive or flaxseed oil, mixed with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and seasonings.
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Turkey burgers (made with lean ground turkey)
  • Steamed vegetables (choose from list of cleansing vegetables)
  • Side salad drizzled with 1 tablespoon olive or flaxseed oil, mixed with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and seasonings
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 2nd fruit serving
  • 2nd probiotic serving

Day 9

Breakfast

  • Greek Egg Scramble
  • 1 fresh orange
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Salad Nicoise
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Grilled chicken breast (marinate in fat-free Italian dressing, then broil or grill)
  • Steamed vegetables (choose from list of cleansing vegetables)
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • Kefir Smoothie
  • 2nd probiotic serving

Day 10

Breakfast

  • ½ cup Breakstone LiveActive cottage cheese
  • 1 medium pear, sliced
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Balsamic Artichoke (use non-fat salad dressing as a dipping sauce)
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Oven Barbecued Chicken Breast
  • Side salad drizzled with 1 tablespoon olive or flaxseed oil, mixed with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and seasonings
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 2nd probiotic serving
  • Raw, cut-up veggies

Day 11

Breakfast

  • Yogurt Smoothie: ½ cup acidophilus milk, ½ carton sugar free fruit-flavored yogurt, and 1 cup berries (mix together in a blender)
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Super Salad
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Turkey Chili
  • Side salad drizzled with 1 tablespoon olive or flaxseed oil, mixed with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and seasonings
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 2 probiotic servings

Day 12

Breakfast

  • 2 hardboiled or poached eggs
  • ½ grapefruit or other fresh fruit in season
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Baked or grilled chicken breast
  • Tomatoes—sliced or stewed
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Baked or grilled fish, any kind from the list
  • Cleansing vegetables, as many from the list as you wish
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • Kefir Smoothie: Mix one cup of kefir with 1 cup of frozen unsweetened berries, sugar-free fruit jam, and 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil. Blend until smooth.
  • 2nd probiotic food

Day 13

Breakfast

  • Kefir Smoothie
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Tuna tossed with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a tablespoon of vinegar, served over a generous bed of lettuce
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Plenty of roast turkey or chicken
  • Tomato and onion salad, tossed with fat-free salad dressing
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 2nd fruit serving
  • 2nd probiotic serving

Day 14

Breakfast

  • 2 scrambled eggs, 4 scrambled egg whites, or 1 scrambled egg plus 2 scrambled egg whites. Top with salsa (optional)
  • 1 apple or 1 cup fresh berries
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • 1 large bowl of Chicken-Vegetable Soup
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Plenty of grilled chicken or fish
  • Generous portion of mixed steamed vegetables
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 1 medium pear or other fruit in season
  • 2nd probiotic serving of your choice

Day 15

Breakfast

  • ½ cup Breakstone LiveActive cottage cheese
  • 1 medium pear, sliced
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Plenty of broiled lean ground turkey
  • Marinated Vegetable Salad
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 2nd fruit serving of your choice
  • 2nd probiotic serving of your choice

Day 16

Breakfast

  • Spanish Omelet
  • ½ grapefruit or 1 medium orange
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Spicy Yogurt Dip and Veggies
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Plenty of roasted turkey breast or turkey tenderloin, steamed carrots and steamed asparagus
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 1-piece fresh fruit
  • 6 oz. carton yogurt

Day 17

Breakfast

  • Smoothie: 1 cup acidophilus milk and 1 cup berries (mix together in a blender)
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Super Salad
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Steamed flounder or sole with lemon pepper
  • Steamed broccoli
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 1 medium apple or other fruit in season
  • 2nd probiotic serving of your choice

Day 18

Breakfast

  • 1 Power Cookie
  • 1 fresh peach, sliced
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Chicken salad: baked or grilled chicken breast (diced), loose-leaf lettuce, 1 sliced tomato, assorted salad veggies, 2 tablespoons olive oil mixed with 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 6 oz. sugar-free fruit flavored yogurt

Dinner

  • Grilled salmon
  • Steamed veggies

Snacks

  • Protein Smoothie: 1 cup acidophilus milk or kefir blended with 1 cup frozen unsweetened berries

Day 19

• Day 2 menu

Day 20

Breakfast

  • 2 scrambled egg whites
  • ½ grapefruit, or other fresh fruit of your choice
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • 1 large bowl of Chicken-Vegetable Soup or grilled chicken breast and plenty of steamed veggies
  • 1 medium baked potato with 1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream (“Medium” means it fits in the cup of your hand.)
  • 6 oz. sugar-free fruit-flavored yogurt
  • 1 cup green tea

Dinner

  • Sirloin steak, grilled
  • Tossed salad with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup green tea

Snacks

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (or other in-season fruit) with 1 cup sugar-free fruit-flavored yogurt
  • Mediterranean spread: ½ cup garbanzo beans (pureed and mixed with 1 tablespoon olive oil) and served on cucumber slices

Your eating habits may be a lot closer to horrible than healthy right now. That means it’s time to hand out pink slips to doughnuts, pizzas, super burgers, shakes, and fries. Your stomach is about to welcome some healthier inhabitants, and I’m going to help you understand what it’s like to feel good, and understand the connection between the choices you make and how you feel. For the first 20 days that you follow this diet, you will experience entirely new energy, and you will see how quickly it can happen and how much better you can feel.

See you (hopefully less of you) in 20 days!

20 Minute WORKOUT: Get in Two Quickies

fat woman exercising

Not those kinds of quickies (although you burn calories that way too). What I had in mind are two mini aerobic workouts: 20 minutes in the morning, and 20 minutes in the afternoon or early evening. Science already tells us that exercise boosts your metabolism for a few hours afterward, so just think: you’ll nearly double the after-burn if you split it up. Aerobic exercise includes fast walking, jogging, running, exercising on cardio machines, and anything that gets your heart pumping for 20 minutes.

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