- Eat absolutely no fruit, bread, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables or dairy products other than cheese, cream or butter. Do not eat nuts or seeds in the first two weeks. Foods that combine protein and carbohydrates, such as chickpeas, kidney beans and other legumes, are not permitted at this time.
From this rule, we learn by implication - all carbohydrates are not created equal, and thus are not to be treated in a similar manner as you continue along to the long-term and maintain your weight. In baby steps, you'll be given opportunity to re-introduce many, many carbohydrate-rich foods, but for now, you're at square one and starting to learn how to eat well.
It is in this minimum two weeks period you eat those foods which are nutrient powerhouses - meats, poultry, eggs, fish, non-starchy vegetables, non-traditional fruits, good fats/oils and some dairy.
While critics focus on the limitations imposed on low-carbers - no sweets or starches in the first two weeks - often insinuating this is all one is allowed for the long-term, that's not the case.
This is a two-week period to "eat clean" from a limited selection of foods, designed to break you from the habits of old, establish good eating patterns, get back to basics that provide essential nutrients and lay the foundation of what your base diet will be later, when you are allowed to include more carbohydrate from a wide variety of foods.
By excluding bread, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables, most dairy products, nuts, seeds and legumes, this rule takes the focus off what many people consider highlights of their meals - starch; it resets emphasis on those things - protein, fat, nutrient-dense non-starchy vegetables and low-GL fruits - that in the long-term that will now be the foundation of your meal-planning well into maintenance.
Once you have a firm grip on this basic rule, and are eating in a pattern that no longer requires some sort of bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc. as a staple of your meals, you're on your way to understanding how these items may be re-introduced later as a complement in your habitual diet if you choose to include one or more of them.
Where before a meal may have been centered around your big bowl of pasta with maybe a small meatball or sausage, a crusty loaf of italian bread and perhaps croutons on your salad, over the long-term, as you mainatin your weight, your meals - if you learn from the rules of induction - are bulit upong your solid foundation of healthful eating - non-starchy vegeteables, quality protein, good fats and, by then, any additional foods you like and can tolerate well as a complement to your meal instead of the focus of the meal.
This rule fosters breaking the mindset that you need carbohydrate-rich foods to provide the majority of calories in each meal and at the end of each day - you don't - and by following this rule and waiting until the time is right to increase carbohydrate, you will be better able to assess what carbs you can and cannot tolerate in your meals as you progress - you'll better appreciate also how to portion your meals with these items "on your plate" in later in maintenance.
These foods, we often believe are staples will no longer be the main attractions in your meals when you're maintaining, but can still be a part of your diet in the long-term.
Trust the good doctor on this one and just don't eat anything that resembles bread, pasta, grains, etc. - no matter how low-carb they're promoted as.
During the first two weeks (minimum) avoid any and all processed products if you can.
Keep it simple.
Appreciate how good real food tastes.
Take your time.
Plan along the way.
Try new foods that are allowed.
Focus on the delicious food that is allowed.
Enjoy your meals!
It's worth it in the long-term!