Been asked about this a few times, so thought I’d add it here.  The rough guidelines to my entire weight lost thing boiled down to 5 (+1) simple rules from Tim Ferris’s 4-hr body.  Obviously it’s more complex than this for “optimum weight loss”, and tons more info, and each person different, etc… but still, these are the general guidelines I based my own diet regimen around:

RULE #1: AVOID “WHITE” CARBOHYDRATES.

Rough Idea – this is the “carb” thing.  Avoid anything that is or can be white (bread, rice, potatoes, etc).  The one exception is cauliflower.

RULE #2: EAT THE SAME FEW MEALS OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Rough Idea – if you eat the same set meals you know the calories and serving portions.  Start with a set list of meals and expand over time.

RULE #3: DON’T DRINK CALORIES.

Rough Idea – Drink unsweetened tea,  unsweetened coffee (no more than 2TB cream), & water. This helps you feel more full (and the obvious water is good for you).  Limit diet drinks to no more than 16oz, and moderate drinking of red wine is fine.  Avoid milk, normal sodas, beer, white wine, juices etc.

RULE #4: DON’T EAT FRUIT.

Rough Idea – fruit is heavy on fructose which is the easiest for the body to covert to fat.  Exceptions are avocado and tomato, but these also should be in moderation.

RULE #5: TAKE ONE DAY OFF PER WEEK.

Rough Idea – Rule 5 ignores rules 1-4.  Eat everything and anything.  Doing this helps keep your metabolic rate up, as well as gives you an outlet for all those foods you don’t eat during the week.  Write down instead of eating your craves and then go crazy on your day off.

I’d also add bonus that Tim talks about but isn’t a “strict” rule of his:

RULE #6 – BE AWARE OF YOUR WIEGHT/MEASUREMENTS

Rough Idea – By weighing (and tracking) your weight/measurements you get a better long term idea of how you are doing.  Loosing lots of weight one week can boost your confidence where not loosing or even gaining some can lower it.  Having a chart of your progress, with trend lines (lots of apps out there help do this) will help show that you are indeed making progress.  And if you can automate that process of tracking everything all the better (I use a Withings scale to do it for me)

And that’s it.  I recommend if you are really serious to read his book, or at least the first few chapters that deal with weight loss, but that’s it in a very tight nutshell.  I try to stick to eggs & spinach each morning I’m not cheating.   I also do a few other things that probably length the time it’s taking to loose the weight… but to each his/her own.

Good luck everyone!