"Authorized Foods" Help, Please

  • Help!  I'm trying to plan my meals for week 4, and I'm still confused about what is an  "Authorized  Food."  I have the BFL book, which  has a list on page 83.  That's the list I copied and have been following.  I am trying to have some variety and finding it a challenge.  

    On pages 84-89 of the BFL book, Bill Phillips expands and elaborates on the list on page 88.  For example, the only fruits listed on the list are strawberries, melon, apple, and orange.  But on page 88, in the fruit paragraph, he says, "An apple, an orange, a peach, a banana: They're all portions of carbohydrates and they're rich with nutrients, generally portable, and when you simply combine them with a portion of protein, you've got a meal." (My italics added).  I'd sworn off bananas the last 3 weeks because I thought it wasn't on the authorized list, but it is in the the book.  Likewise, only whole-wheat bread is on the list, but whole-wheat tortilla is mentioned on page 88.

    I've seen different postings from those who've completed the BFL Challenges, and it seems the message is just stick to the authorized list.  But what exactly is that?  Is it only the list on page 83, or that list combined with the explanations that follow?   Or is it some other version I haven't seen yet?  The online list includes many more foods, like nuts, natural peanut butter, high fiber cereal.  I've been saving those foods for my free days.

    Please help!



  • Clare,

    Firstly, the way to get variety on BFL is through herbs and spices that you add to your authorized food.  It might seem boring, but it works.

    Instead of getting turned about regarding what foods are authorized and which are not, try going to www.nutritiondata.com.  Take a food that you know is authorized and compare it to something that you are questioning.  Here is an example:

    Apple 1 cup


    banana 1 cup


    By looking at this information you can see that 1 cup of banana is much more dense than 1 cup of apple.  Look at the carbohydrate info!!!  51g for the banana and 17g for the apple.  The banana also has more than three times the calories of the same volume of apple.

    The list on page 83 is generally thought to be best if weight loss is your goal.  The closer you are to goal or if you don't mind slower weight loss you can add some other foods.

    By looking at the real nutrition data on the foods you eat you can find some balance for your portions.  All throughout my first challenge I used whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat tortillas for my carbs.  While I generally use the palm/fist method, I determined a little adjustment was needed for carb items.  I ended up with 1.5 ounces of dry whole wheat pasta, 2 slices of whole wheat bread or 1 whole wheat tortilla as my portions.  It is much easier with my protein.  3-4 ounces was just about right for baked chicken, turkey, lean beef or lean ham.


  • Clare,

    if it's in the book or on the list on this website I'd say go with it.  The only thing to remember is that the fruits are generally a carb.  If you eat a banana, eat half.  I believe that is the case because of the natural sugar content.  If you eat peanut butter make sure it is natural and as similar with a banana, you want to be careful with it because of fat content.  There is a thread somewhere on these forums about a "debate" on peanut butter.  I used whole wheat wraps rather than bread for almost all my challenges but this current one (#6).  I followed the book mostly because for me keeping it simple works for me.  I've never cared about variety and pretty much could eat my food without adding much to it, but that's me in a nutshell...simple.  :-) Hope this helps.

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • JamesK - I like your response.

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • Clare,

    Like James said, look at the nutritional data...I will often google the glycemic indexes of different foods to compare something.

    I just completed my 2nd challenge, Wonder Woman is on her 6th and James is starting his 2nd; going by the book works, but more importantly, find what works for you and stick with it. What works for some might not work for all.

    Best wishes for your success!

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • Wow - you guys are so quick and  helpful!  I never knew about nutritiondata.com. That is certainly very helpful. I have been eating apples every week as part of my plan and will continue!  I can see why they would be better than bananas.  I have been alternating whole wheat bread and whole wheat tortillas for variety, and I think that will continue to work for me.

    I have to say, today was my free day and also Father's Day, so we had a nice cookout for my husband.  After following the program this week, eating a hamburger on a whole wheat roll with lettuce and pickle filled me up so much!  I could only eat half of an ear of corn, and I was done.  When I think about how much I would have normally eaten, it's amazing.

    Thanks for the advice!