ATB BB Series 3: The diet that finally worked...

Thank you for all your wonderful comments on the second post of the series. I can understand your sense of urgency regarding the diet & food plans. I too would have felt the same way if I were in your place.

I stumbled on this lifestyle, quite by accident. Although now it seems it couldn't have been a co-incidence.

Before I let you in about the diet (bear with me for a few minutes more), please note that this is not a short-term way of eating. If you want to lose weight & stay at that weight, effortlessly, you need to eat like this for the rest of your life. 

Yes, you read that right. For the rest of your life. This is not a short term magic formula. The diet works on restricting insulin production in your body, therefore carbohydate restriction. The moment you go back to eating regular roti - sabzi, you will be in deep trouble.

And this diet is best suited for non-vegetarians. There are not too many high quality protein sources that are also vegetarian, other than tofu or soya chunks. Dal does have some protein, but if you google it you will see that it has more carbohydrates per gram than protein, and you can only eat like a half a bowl max of it daily. I avoid it, tbh. I eat it like one bowl once a fortnight.

Vegetarians can try this diet, but it will be a bit monotonous & difficult to come up with new foods to eat. So think about it deeply before you begin.

Before you begin, a word of medical caution: if you are pregnant or are currently taking medications to control cholesterol, blood pressure, fluid retention, or blood sugar, do not begin this regimen without a physician’s guidance.

Okay, with the statutory warnings done, let me introduce you to the diet. This is famous by many, many names actually. And has been around since the 70s. It is the only diet *proven* by science to be effective in weight loss. In a year long study done by Stanford University in 2008, this was the only diet that caused the maximum weight loss which was sustained over a year. 

You can watch the video of study here:

This is the "Low - Carbohydrate" diet. This diet is also known as

1. Atkins diet
2. HFLC diet: High Fat Low Carb
3. Wheat Belly Diet
4. Protein Power diet
5. Paleo Diet

Although truth be told, while my diet does have food pattern similar to Atkins (Induction phase only), Protein Power, Paleo or HFLC diet, it is essentially "The Wheat Belly" diet. I will share later why I chose to follow  WheatBelly above the rest in another post.

This book Wheat Belly is available on flipkart & my suggestion is if you plan to follow this diet, please buy it and read it. You can also refer to the blog by the author (who is a cardiologist btw) here:

Yes, you heard that right. No grains. No wheat, corn, rice, millet, bajra, jowar, maida and no dals as well! For the rest of my life. This is not a month long initiative. This is a life time deal.

This is the diet I followed in the last four months:

  • All wheat-based products (all breads, all breakfast cereals, noodles, pasta, bagels, muffins, pancakes, waffles, donuts, pretzels, crackers), oat products (oatmeal, oat bran), corn and cornstarch-based products (sauces or gravies thickened with cornstarch, prepared or processed foods containing cornstarch, cornmeal products like chips, tacos, tortillas), sugary soft drinks, candies. I even avoid other grains like rice, bajra, jowar, millet et al. No grains. 
  • Avoid processed foods containing wheat, such as Chinese sauces like soy sauce, powdered instant Soup mixes, salad dressings, taco seasoning–examine ALL labels and avoid any food with mention of grains / sugar. (It’s not a bad idea to avoid foods with labels! Cucumbers and spinach, for instance, generally don’t come with labels.)
  • Anything that has sugar - whether it is regular white sugar, brown sugar, jaggery, honey, sugarcane. That means no chocolates, cakes, pastries, sweets, fruit juices. But this strict sugar avoidance is important only if you are looking to lose weight. No dry fruits as well, like rasins, apricots & dates. 

Enjoy unlimited:
  • Vegetables-except potatoes, sweet potatoes & beets; rest you can eat fresh or frozen, never canned
  • Raw nuts and seeds-raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamians; dry-roasted peanuts (not roasted in oil); pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, and chia seeds
  • Healthy oils-olive, flaxseed, coconut, avocado, walnut, peanut, sesame, ghee. 
  • Meats-red meats, pork, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs.
  • Teas & coffee (all without sugar), water, unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk or coconut water
  • Cheeses. 
  • Avocado or guacamole; hummus; unsweetened condiments, e.g., mayonnaise, mustard, oil-based salad dressings; ketchup without high-fructose corn syrup; pesto, tapenades; olives
  • Full fat milk, curd, malai, ghee, paneer. 
  • Water: drink till you float!

  • Fruit-No more than one serving once a week  (one serving is a level handful), preferably in this order (best first): berries of all varieties, citrus, apples, nectarines, peaches, melons only. Minimize bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and grapes and only in the smallest of quantities (since they are like candy in sugar content)
  • Legumes/beans (rajma, chole, channa) only half a cup a day.; peas; organic soy
  • Dark chocolates only -70-85% cocoa or greater; no more than 40 grams (approximately 2 inches square) once a week
  • Pulses - dals: one bowl once a week. 
  • "Gluten-free" foods made with rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, or potato starch. This means that bhujiya, namkeen, chaat is all no!
  • Fried foods like samosas, vadas - But you can eat onion, gobi & paneer pakodas btw. Vegetable pakodas, once in a fortnight is absolutely fine. Just make sure you use only besan batter & don't add any wheat / corn starch to it.
  • Fast foods - like samosas, rolls, frankies, sandwhiches. 
  • Hydrogenated “trans” fats
  • Cured meats–hot dogs, sausages, bacon, bologna, pepperoni “fixed” with sodium nitrite
  • High-fructose corn syrup containing foods; honey; agave syrup; sucrose
  • Processed rice, rice flour or potato products-rice crackers, rice cereals, pretzels, white breads, breakfast cereals, potato chips
  • Fat-free or low-fat salad dressings
Please start this diet when you have 2-3 days off as the body takes a few days to adjust & you may experience flu like symptoms (Atkins flu)

So there you have it. The list of foods I eat & don't eat. I shall share the rules of this diet in the next post as well as what to order in restaurants, what alcohols are okay and a lot of other information.

Questions?? Keep them coming! 


  1. Wow. I really appreciate when I see genuine results and mehnat... I am reading the BB series since the start now and I'm loving th e new you so much. even I'm struggling with losing weight since 2yrs now :(

    1. Hey Eve! Trust me, once u start eating like this for a week it doesn't take that much mehanat. I was just so happy to be able to eat eggs, cheese, butter that I actually enjoyed it. Pehle, there is a bit of craving.. But it goes away soon. :).. Thank you so much for all the appreciation :)

  2. Tanzzz .... awesome post and needs to be bookmarked .. gonna share this with my mom who keeps on looking for new diets for her :D
    will order the book soon :D :D thank you soooo much once again for the series dear

    1. Thanks Rashmi! I hope your mom finds it effective :)

  3. The first oh moment was because I'm a vegetarian. I read the entire thing. I don't know how much of this I can actually do! You are really doing a fab job Tanveer, sticking to a strict diet like this, kudos!

    1. Ikya, I will be putting up a sort of vegetarian version of this as well in the coming weeks. The weight loss is little slow on that - but it can be done. Do take a look if it suits you!

  4. I am posting this for the third time.....please delete any duplicates
    This does sound better than atkins where rungs are to be followed
    And the question is cultured Matlab ...cottage ,mozarella ????
    In India ..even mozarella is processed :(

    1. :D.. I didn't get the other two comments so I'm keeping this.

      Atkins was crazy tbh, I thght all that carb counting all the time at all the phases wld just drive me mad. I cannot indulge in such strong portion control & carb counting. Plus Atkins sees a lot of relapse in the later stages to older eating habits because grains are re-introduced. Grains, particularly, Wheat because of the gladin & gluten proteins makes us put on weight.

      About the cheese, I'm sorry that was an error. Cheese of all kind is okay - paneer, cheedar, blue, mozarella - all okay. Processed or unprocessed. The only place I ate unprocessed cheeses was in Swiss :P

  5. This was one of the best researched post i've seen so far in diet control. Way to go Tanveer, more than anything i wish i had enough will power for all these control diets :) :)
    Once again... excellent...
    On a different note, i rarely comment but i do read your posts and love it. please keep ATB learning curve coming... I LOVE the series !!

  6. great post tanveer, i have put on a lil bit. so i think i would avoid rice/roti etc. i will get the book as well, thank you so much for sharing these valued info.

  7. Hi.. after reading the items to be eliminated, i was shocked to see how much of processed food gradually creeped into our daily intake..

    SO a big No-No to all wheaties.. I associate bread with sick days.. coz we had bread only when someone was sick, but now we have bread for bfast.. I think our diet when we are kids is the bestest..

    Thanks Tanveer.. Somethings which we already know have importance only if someone else tells them..

    btw I have been those silent lurkers who read your posts and go away.. But now this series made me talk openly.. Keep 'em coming.. :)

    1. Thanks Anjali! You are right, wheat is everywhr along with sugar. No wonder we keep putting on weight :P

  8. Thanks a ton for writing such a wonderful post.. ams ure all of us will beneit from this. Indeed the diet you mentioned is not difficult to follow.

    1. Exactly! It is not difficult at all! It is just a matter of not eating grains & sugar which are not good for our bodies in the first place itself!

  9. Ooooooohh!!! Am so excited to start this diet Tanveer :)
    Thnx a ton for nudging us towards a healthy n fit life <3
    God bless ! <3

    1. Thanks Ruby! I hope it helps! Please read Wheat Belly before starting :)

  10. I havent watched the video yet as its 1 hour long.will catch it at night.Just gone through the post twice..i don think this diet is for me as i can not keep myself away from roti and rice whole of my life no matter how much of cheese or oil i am allowed i need a decent proportion of carb otherwise i will miserably fail sooner or later.

    1. Anks, do what feels fine to you. Obviously not everyone may be okay with such a diet.

      I know that this diet works, it is pretty much a painless way to drop weight and in any case lots of studies have proven that grains & carbs are not needed by our bodies.

    2. Yup Tanz! I completely understand that and i have not even 1 % doubt that diet wont work..What I meant is that this will require lot of will power and carbs are my weakness and I am some one who can not have much of non veg so its not meant for me.

      It has taken me many years to make my body accept that i love fruits and veggies and i can manage without butter and cheese now getting back to something else will be really tough for me.

      May be if you share your meal plan then i might break my inertia and think about it.

  11. how ru even continuing this :D really have a lot of control...yup grains should be avoided but i cant :D :D didn't know fruits should be one serving per week!! it should be one per day no???

    1. Swati, I wld have said the same thing before I tried the diet. Trust me once you give up grains, after the first 2 weeks, I no longer even miss them at all.

      As for fruits, the problem with the fruits that we get now Swati is that they have been genetically selected for sweetness. Fruits during pre-historic times were not so sweet. But fruits these days are very high in fructose sugar that again raises insulin and causes an abnormal increase in cholesterol. Fruits are meant to be nature's candy. Eat once in a while & eat little.

    2. I am really sorry but fruit in no way increases cholesterol (I am a dietetic student), Cholesterol is produced by the body from fat in the diet mostly coming from animal products.

  12. This is a great diet but please keep in mind that you need carbs for energy. Carbohydrate gives you energy. However, the amount depends on the person.Some healthy carbs are wheat, oats, barley, quinoa etc.. The trick is to eat little bit of carbs not avoiding them.As for avoiding unhealthy foods, you are completely right but for those who can't completely avoid those yummy deliciousness. It okay to have some in moderation. Moderation is the key to have a healthy life and body.

    1. Josie, the human body is designed to use both glucose & fat for energy. In fact it preferentially likes ketones (fat) better than carbs (glucose) and may studies over & over have proven that. All organs, including the kidneys, brain & heart function better when fat is a source of energy rather than carbs. This is a big myth that has been propagated that we need carbs. And the healthiest carbs are those in veggies and not grains. Just my two cents from my own experience with this lifestyle.

  13. That's such a detailed well written post.. It would be really hard to eliminate all those things completely.. I might not do that, but still reduce the quantity of carbs slowly..
    My dieting process starts from today :D
    Hope i eliminate pimples and grow some hair :P

  14. hi!!
    do we really get that 70 percent chocolate in india. i am all excited to try this diet as i am all in love with boiled chicken and love walnuts and peanuts. but i am allergic to eggs :(

  15. Very well written - glad to know it works. I seriously need to lose weight. But i have a doubt - what do you eat the chicken and meat with, if no roti or rice or bread?

  16. Hello Tanveer, This is probably mu first comment to your post and this is my complete hpnest account. I had visited your blog long back when i was new to blog and wanted some fashion and make up blog read. I read your few blogs but didn'r pay much visit and attention. I felt a beauty blogger should keep herself attractive and good. Do not judge me, its not that i judge by looks i but the work one chooses, one should take care of your body/looks accordingly. I saw your pic earlier almost a year back and felt you don't take care of your self and your body and how one can preach about looking good. By chance i stumbled again to your blog (just checking my old bookmarks to the computer) and was SHOCKED to see this transformation in you. I visited your blog probably after a year and just looking at the difference in you and then is amazing. you had hidden this beauty for so many years then...Good advise and and i am now one of your regular followers. keep this way..yo are looking amazing amazing i tell you.. do not ever so back to that stage ...


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