At SHAPE ReClaimed, we are frequently asked about which foods are approved and which are not on the SHAPE Program. It’s impossible to keep the list in the Program Guidebook perfectly up-to-date. This article will be updated and maintained regularly so you can use it as a guide and reference as you shop and plan your meals.
Each of the items on the SHAPE-approved extras list was tested for efficacy on the SHAPE Program. If it’s on the SHAPE-approved list, it means that it didn’t negatively affect the majority of people.
During this trial-and-error process, we also found several foods that stalled progress, caused inflammatory responses or just didn’t work for the majority of people. If something is not approved, there is a reason for it.
Why can’t I have…?
On your SHAPE Program journey, you might ask, “Why can’t I eat (insert food)? It’s healthy and it doesn’t affect me.” Or, “I ate (insert food) and I’m still losing weight. What’s the big deal?” The answer is that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for others. Also, just because a non-approved food doesn’t seem to affect you doesn’t mean it’s not impacting your progress. The truth is, you’ll never know if you would have done even better if you had followed these guidelines. While you might not have a reaction (weight gain, joint stiffness, brain fog, etc.), it may eventually backfire and significantly slow your progress.
Some practitioners may allow their patients to consume items that are not approved. Our official stance will always be that these items are not approved, so if they are approved for you, please do not recommend them to others who are also on the program. Just because you can eat it without negative effects does not mean that it won’t derail other people’s progress.
The SHAPE Program has proven successful and should be followed closely if you want to have the greatest chance of long-term success. You will add more foods in Phase II and after reaching your goal.
Here is a list of SHAPE-Approved extras. If something is not listed here or in your Program Guidebook, it is NOT APPROVED.
- Coffee/tea – In moderation. Herbal tea is best, as caffeine can be dehydrating.
- Cranberry juice – Unsweetened, 4 oz. cranberry to 28 oz. water. 8 oz. diluted juice
- per day.
- Milk – One tablespoon of cow, almond, coconut or rice milk per day.
- Pellegrino® – Unflavored and unsweetened.
- Bragg Liquid Aminos®
- Coconut aminos
- Horseradish – No added sugar or oil.
- Hot sauce – No added sugar or oil.
- Primal Kitchen Foods® Ketchup
- Tamari soy sauce
- Vinegar – Balsamic and apple cider vinegar are best.
- Broth, stock – Chicken, beef, turkey or vegetable; no added sugar or oil.
- Cooking spray – Olive, avocado or coconut for cooking. Non-aerosol is best.
- Lemon/lime – Juice of 1 whole per day.
- Nutritional yeast – Not baker’s yeast; used for flavor or as a cheese-like substitute.
- Arrowroot powder – Thickener for sauces and soups. Use in place of flour or cornstarch.
- Celtic Sea Salt® – Most mineral-dense salt. Coarse grind is best, add after cooking.
- Flavor extracts – Vanilla, almond, orange, lemon, coconut, peppermint, etc.
- Spices – All types, fresh or dried, no added sugar or oil.
- Xanthan gum – Thickener and emulsifier.
- Stevia, plain liquid or powder – No erythritol, glycerin or maltodextrin.
- Xylitol – Use in moderation; may cause stomach cramping or loose bowels. Birch and non-GMO corn sources are best.
- Epic gum
- Ice Chips® – Xylitol candy.
- Spry® mints – Most other brands of mints and gum contain glycerin.
The following items have been shown to negatively affect progress with the SHAPE Program. They are not approved.
- Alcohol – Can inhibit detoxification and negatively impact blood sugar.
- Carbonated drinks – Dehydrating and often contain non-approved sweeteners.
- Coffee substitutes – Often contain barley and other grains.
- Diet soda – Often contain artificial sweeteners.
- Kombucha/probiotic drinks* – Most have added sugar and/or non-approved fruits.
- Liquid smoke – Often contains artificial flavor and sugar.
- Regular soy sauce – Contains wheat. Tamari is a wheat-free alternative.
- Worcestershire sauce – Often contains sugar.
- Canned fruit – Nutrient-poor and often contains added sugar.
- Cocoa/cacao powder – Baking cocoa and hot cocoa mix.
- Coconut – Flakes, flour or sugar. Flavor extract is fine.
- Dried fruit – Sugar is too concentrated.
- Greens powder* – Should never be used as a replacement for vegetables.
- Gum and some mints – Most contain glycerin, glycerol or other sweeteners.
- Konjac root fiber – Also known as glucomannan or Miracle Noodles®.
- Non-dairy yogurt* – Most have added sugar and/or starch and not enough protein.
- Oikos Triple Zero yogurt – Flavors and sweeteners could not be confirmed safe and non-toxic; caused many to stall.
- Olives – Too much fat for Phase I: FasTrac Cleanse.
- Popcorn – Corn is a grain, not a vegetable; high in carbohydrates.
- Pork/bacon/sausage – Shown to slow progress significantly.
- Protein bars of any kind – Too processed, often contain non-approved sweeteners.
- Protein powder* – If allowed, whey, beef and pea protein are preferred.
- Turkey bacon – Often contains added sugar.
- Artificial sweeteners – Aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame K, saccharin.
- Erythritol – Not enough definitive research to determine safety.
- Glycerin – Is a sweetener, can impact blood sugar.
- Sugar – In any and all forms.
*May be recommended on a case-by-case basis by your SHAPE practitioner.
Remember to read all labels VERY carefully. Look for added sugar, oil, artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and MSG.
When in doubt, leave it out!
Note: The 8th edition of the Program Guidebook (released May 2020) contains a list of approved and non-approved foods. This article will be updated as new foods are discussed and tested. If you do not already have a copy of the Program Guidebook, 8th Edition, please contact your SHAPE Practitioner.