Yesterday I wrote about long term goals, and one of the things I mentioned was how I used a long term vision to lose 20 kgs a few years ago.

But a vision without a plan is just a nice dream, so here is the diet I followed. It was provided by my doctor, who also took blood samples (everything was fine) and ran regular checks on my health. It worked out of the box for me, but YMMV so maybe go check with your doctor if you’re not sure. The “diet” is not a list of dishes, but the amount and type of ingredients you have to use, so it will only be as boring or as exciting as you make it.

Notes, tips & tricks:

  • This is a pretty extreme diet, and you’re going to need discipline to follow it. Motivation will work for a couple of days, but when that is gone you’ll need to resort to other methods. This worked for me: whenever I felt hungry, I told myself “this is your body screaming that this is working and it’s a very good sign”. I ended up looking forward to that feeling, and enjoying it (though it eventually went away, once I got used to my new life as a starving artist :P).
  • Don’t skip any meal. Eating 5 times a day will make you less hungry.
  • Even more important than what’s on the list is what is not on the list. Do not eat or drink anything that’s not listed here (unless you’re 100% sure it’s an equivalent replacement, like whole grain oatmeal instead of bread). The list is there for a reason, and there are no processed foods, sauces, animal fats, sweets, ice cream or cake for a reason 😬. Specifically for drinks, anything with sugar on it (including alcoholic drinks) is a big nope. Coffee and tea are fine, as long as they don’t have any sugar or milk. The jury is out on diet sodas, but my personal experience is that you can drink a shitload of Coke Zero without it having any effect on your weight (although generally speaking, drinking a shitload of anything that’s not water is probably not a good idea, in the great scheme of things).
  • Exercise helps, but weight is lost on the kitchen, not on the field (unless you are an ultra marathon runner, in which case you are probably not reading this).
  • Food weight is for raw edible ingredients (i.e: peeled bananas, uncooked rice, etc…)
  • GET A KITCHEN SCALE. Once you get used to weighing your food, you’ll be able to do it by eye, but until then don’t trust yourself (we greatly underestimate how much food we eat, that’s why weighing food and counting calories is an essential tool for weight loss).
  • Daily oil allowance: 20 grams (2 tablespoons)
    • good substitutes for oil on your salad:
      • low fat soy sauce
      • lemon juice
  • Spices are not included on the list, and are a superb way of making your food less depressing. But sauces are strictly forbidden (go ahead and check the label on your ketchup bottle, and you’ll know why).
    • Home made pumpkin spice is great for your breakfast, specially if you replace your bread by oatmeal.
    • Cinnamon is a nice replacement for sugar (which you’ll see is completely absent from the diet : )
  • Don’t sabotage yourself by stepping on your bathroom scale every day. Weigh yourself once per week, right after waking up.
  • It’s ok to have a cheat meal every week or two (though I’d recommend you not to do that during the first weeks, until your body gets used to the diet). You want to lose weight, not your mind. It will also improve your success rate because a pizza slice won’t mean you have failed. But again, don’t fool yourself: a cheat meal should be an exception, not a rule.
  • Make life easy for yourself by having your food almost ready to eat, so you can eat when you’re hungry and prevent cravings:
    • Cut your fruit and vegetables in pieces and store them in the fridge, ready to eat, cook, or toss in your salad.
    • Cook your beans / rice / grains and store them on the fridge.
    • If you have access to a sous vide machine, cook chicken breast in batches and keep it vacuum sealed on the fridge (pro tip: you can buy vacuum sealed food and cook it in its own container to save time). You can quickly reheat it for hot meals, or use it directly on cold meals & salads.


  • 200 ml skimmed milk
  • 20 grams white or whole grain bread

Morning Snack

  • FRUIT, choose one of:
    • 300 grams of watermelon, cantaloupe or grapefruit
    • 150 grams of apricot, plums, strawberries, tangerine, orange or pineapple
    • 120 grams of apple, peach or pear
    • 75 grams of cherries, custard apple, bananas, loquat or grapes


  • VEGETABLES, choose one of:
    • 300 grams of chard, eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, chicory, asparagus, spinach, lettuce, cucumber, pepper or tomato
    • 200 grams of scallions / chives / shallots, green beans, turnips, leeks
    • 100 grams of artichokes, onions, brussel sprouts, beetroot or carrots
  • PROTEINS, choose one of:
    • 100 grams of lean meat, unskinned chicken, turkey breast, rabbit, beef or ox (lean)
    • 130 grams of blue or white fish
    • 2 eggs (once per week)
  • CARBS, choose one of:
    • 120 grams of peas or fresh beans
    • 100 grams of potatoes
    • 40 grams of chickpeas, beans, lentils or bread
    • 30 grams of rice, pasta, toasted bread, tapioca or semolina
  • FRUIT, like Morning Snack

Afternoon Snack

  • FRUIT, like Morning Snack


  • VEGETABLES, like Lunch
  • PROTEINS, like Lunch
  • CARBS, like Lunch
  • FRUIT, like Morning Snack

Before going to bed

  • 200ml skimmed milk

Some recipes that you can prepare with these boring ingredients

  • Chicken salad with pseudo-thai dressing (lime juice, fish sauce, hot peppers, ginger and garlic).
  • Vegetable salad with soy sauce and shichimi togarashi.
  • Poke bowl with raw salmon (marinate it in a mixture of soy sauce, powdered ginger & powdered lemongrass). For me, this is the perfect comfort food for summer, and you can add all kinds of greens and fruits to it to make it interesting (because healthy food does not have to be boring or sad). Seaweed is not on the list of allowed ingredients, but unless you drown your salad in it, it’s ok and it’s a very tasty ingredient. Ditto for katsuobushi.