In other words, "What's it really like? How do I work it?"
1. First, you decide which of two dieting styles is more likely to work with your particular circumstances. I tell you how to make the decision; it's easy. Your choices are 1) traditional calorie-restricted eating based on portion control, or 2) radical, carbohydrate-restricted eating, starting with a ketogenic diet and no particular calorie limitation. No other program offers this much customization.
2. If you choose the traditional program, you next learn how many calories you'll eat daily, based on your sex, weight, and activity level. There are four options: 1100, 1500, 1900, and 2300 calories.
3. With the traditional plan, you choose what you want to eat from an extensive list of readily available items on the "Food Choices & Serving Sizes" list. You eat specific amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fats, proteins (e.g., meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans), and dairy products. Follow my recipes, or make up your own. Cook or not—it's your choice. Eat twice daily or six times per day—it's your choice.
4. On the radical plan (low-carb), you eat almost unlimited amounts from a list of very-low-carb items such as meat, eggs, fish (recommended once a day, at first), and chicken. Also allowed are generous amounts of low-carb vegetables, fruits, cheese, and nuts. Olive oil and optional wine help make it Mediterranean. Later, you incrementally add small amounts of higher-carbohydrate items as long as you tolerate them from a weight standpoint.
5. You mark your food intake on a Daily Log. Also record physical activity.
6. Plan on light exercise, such as a 30 minute walk, most days of the week. It's not mandatory, however.
7. Expect to lose 3–5 pounds (1–2 kg) in the first week, then 1 to 1.5 pounds (0.5 kg) weekly thereafter.
All matters regarding your health require supervision by a personal physician or other appropriate health professional familiar with your current health status. Always consult your personal physician before making any dietary or exercise changes.