Last month I was working from home one day and turned on the TV for some background noise. Flipping through the channels. I stopped on Dr. Oz talking to Chef Alton Brown.

An avid Food Network fan, I had no idea that Alton Brown, star of The Next Iron Chef and Good Eats, had struggled with weight loss a few years ago. When he decided to get serious about losing weight, he came up with 4 lists of food to guide his eating.

List 1 – Eat Every Day:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Carrots
  • Green tea
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits

List 2 – Eat at Least 3 Times a Week:

  • Yogurt
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potato
  • Avocado
  • Oily fish
  • Tofu

List 3 – Eat No More than 1 Time a Week:

  • Red meat
  • White starch
  • Desserts
  • Alcohol

List 4 – Never Ever Eat

  • Soda
  • Processed meals
  • Canned soups
  • “Diet” anything

For an explanation on why these foods are on these lists, take a look at the complete article on the Dr. Oz website.

While I don’t think I can follow this diet exactly…or let me say I’m not willing to follow it exactly, I DO plan to use it as a guide in my future food choices.

I already like everything on list 1 & 2 other than tofu, and I’m willing to experiment with tofu to find ways to cook it that are tasty.

On the daily food list…I could easily eat oatmeal, nuts, green tea and fruit every day. I also love spinach, though it will get old pretty quickly so I’ll need to find some other options for variety. I like carrots, but get bored with raw ones, so I’ll need to think about this one too if I’m going to eat them every day.

I definitely plan to try Alton’s tip to eat a handful of nuts 15 minutes before a big meal to help you cut your appetite.

I don’t eat a lot of desserts, don’t drink very often (though I’m probably at about 2-3 beers a week lately) and I can easily handle the red meat restriction.

As far as off-limit items, I really could stop drinking Diet Cokes and not miss it at all. And I never drink any other soda unless it’s in the rare cocktail. I hardly ever eat processed meals or canned soups, and will gladly give up diet food. So List 4 is also doable. Well, almost doable. NEVER eating these items might be hard. Especially when you are eating in other people’s homes.

Limiting myself to 1 white starch a week will be the hardest thing from all 4 lists.

That said, I’m going to give it a try.

Following Alton’s advice, I’m going to just focus on eating more of the good stuff and not worry so much about the bad stuff. After all, I only eat so much in a day, so if I get in everything on list 1 every day (or almost every day), that will cover a lot of what I eat.

What would be the hardest thing for you to follow on these lists?