The Doctor's Diet

Dr. Travis Stork's STAT Program to Help You Lose Weight & Restore Health


By Travis Stork, MD

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The Doctor’s Diet is way more than just an eating plan: It’s a blueprint for a longer, healthier, happier life!

The Doctor’s Diet is the solution to unhealthy eating, an American epidemic with a death toll higher than that of car accidents, drug abuse, smoking, and gun violence combined. Here, Dr. Stork offers a flexible and workable diet plan that addresses this health crisis by helping you lose weight, restore your health, and ultimately add years to your life.

Because Dr. Stork understands the urgency of this weight crisis, he created a simple 14-day jump-start STAT plan so that you can begin losing weight right away. Readers will be inspired by Dr. Stork’s encouragement, and will establish healthy new eating habits with great-tasting meals, easy-to-follow recipes, and enough flexibility that anyone can follow along, from vegetarians to meat-eaters and everyone in between! This is a diet that can work for you.


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Table of Contents

Copyright Page

In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author's intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at Thank you for your support of the author's rights.


This publication is intended to provide helpful and informative material. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem or condition, nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this book. Always consult your physician or qualified health-care professional on any matters regarding your health and before adopting any suggestions in this book or drawing inferences from it.

Be sure to see your own health-care provider before starting The Doctor's Diet or initiating an exercise program, especially if you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or any other health condition.

The Doctor's Diet is not designed for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult with your obstetrician, your baby's pediatrician, or other qualified health-care professionals on the best nutrition choices during pregnancy and lactation.

The author and publisher specifically disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, that is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from the use or application of any contents of this book.

Any and all product names referenced within this book are the trademarks of their respective owners. None of these owners have sponsored, authorized, endorsed, or approved this book. Always read all information provided by the manufacturers' product labels before using their products. The author and publisher are not responsible for claims made by manufacturers. The statements made in this book have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration.



Lights flash. Sirens blare. An emergency services vehicle rushes through the streets in a life-or-death race against time. Inside the ambulance, emergency medical technicians work frantically to stabilize their patient. Screeching to a halt, the EMTs throw open the ambulance doors, grab the gurney on which their patient lies, and charge into the emergency room. There, highly trained ER doctors and nurses take over, springing into action in a tenacious fight for the patient's life. When luck is on their side, the patient pulls through. When it's not, an ER doctor is left with the heartbreaking task of having to deliver the tragic news of the patient's death to their family.

Too many times, I have been the ER doc giving this awful news. No matter how many times it happens, it never gets any easier to tell someone that the person who means more to them than anyone else in the world—their mom, their dad, their sister, their brother, their child—has passed away. I feel as if I lose a little piece of my heart every time I have to do it.

What makes it toughest is knowing that so many untimely deaths could have been prevented.

Death is inevitable, of course. No matter how hard we try, we can't avoid it. But death isn't always a tragedy. When someone who's lived a long, happy life dies peacefully at home, surrounded by family and friends, that's terribly sad, of course. But it's not a tragedy. When someone's life ends years or even decades before it should? When someone's quality of life is compromised at an early age? That's a tragedy. And that's the kind of death and disability that ER docs see every single day.

When you think about all of these unnecessary ER deaths, you may shudder as you imagine their causes—horrible trauma, grisly accidents, car crashes, even gun violence.

But when it comes to the kinds of problems we see most often in the ER, the reality is actually quite different than what most people imagine.



The majority of patients in ERs are not there because of trauma or accidents. They are there because of their diets. That's right: the biggest emergency in ERs across the United States is the food we willingly, knowingly, happily choose to eat.

Our food choices are so dangerously unhealthy that eating-related diseases send twice as many people to hospital ERs than injuries and accidents.

Unhealthy eating contributes to as many as 580,000 deaths in the United States every year. That's more than smoking, drug abuse, gun violence, and traffic accidents combined. If you eat the typical American diet, it very well may kill you.

I don't want that to happen to you! As an ER doctor and as a fellow human being who loves life with an infinite passion, I want to protect you from that fate. I don't want YOU to be the person on the gurney being rushed to the hospital with flashing lights and blaring sirens. I don't want YOU to be the patient lying in the ER with a medical team fighting desperately to save your life. I don't want YOU to be the corpse wheeled to the morgue while an ER doctor gives your shocked family the tragic news that you are gone forever because your life could not be saved.

I'm not telling you this to scare you. Quite the opposite—I'm leveling with you because I care about you. I want to empower you. I want to energize you and give you hope! As bad as this black cloud of health facts sounds, it actually has a really amazing silver lining. It doesn't have to happen to you! You don't have to be the dying ER patient with a distraught family. You can turn your diet around, and in doing so, you can revive your health and change your life.

That's right. No matter how bad your diet is, no matter how much excess weight you're carrying around, no matter how many food-related mistakes you've made in the past, you can start fresh now. You can embark on a new way of living today that will immediately begin to chip away at your risk of dying from your diet.

How? By following The Doctor's Diet.

It's that simple. Changes that you can start to make right this minute can turn your diet from a flashing-lights emergency to a health-boosting, life-saving gift that you give yourself and your family. You really can turn your life around—and The Doctor's Diet can show you how.



Change can be difficult—believe me, I understand that. It's hard to let go of a lifetime of poor eating habits and grab on to a healthy new diet. But I promise you, with The Doctor's Diet, I'm making it as easy for you as possible. I've created a program that will guide you, step by step, in the simplest way possible, to develop a healthier dietary outlook that will help you lose weight, restore your health, reduce disease risk, and pave the way for you to live a longer, happier life.

The Doctor's Diet is way more than just an eating plan—it's a blueprint for a longer, healthier, happier life. It's everything you need to know to keep yourself OUT of the ER.

But don't worry: as we travel together down the path to better health, I'm not going to ask you to eat bland, boring "diet" food. Listen, I'm a man who loves food. I absolutely cannot make a meal out of a giant bowl of raw broccoli—to tell you the truth, eating straight-up veggies like that is about as appealing to me as sitting down to a plate of swamp grass and acorns. I grew up in the Midwest, raised on bacon and eggs for breakfast, big sandwiches for lunch, and meat and potatoes for dinner. Vegetables were an afterthought, and more often than not they came from a can. My idea of a snack was a football-sized burrito or as many brownies as I could fit in my hands—and these mitts are pretty big, so that's a lot of brownies.

As I got older and started tasting food from other parts of the United States and the world, I fell in love with exciting new flavors and delicious new foods. And as I spent year after grueling year training to become a physician, I learned about the strength of the link between food and wellness. So believe me, I love good health. But I also love to eat, and I am not about to tell you (or myself) that a healthy diet has to be boring or tasteless.


Switching from low-nutrient foods (white bread, processed meats, chips, cookies, and so on) to the super-nutritious foods included in The Doctor's Diet does take some getting used to—I understand that. When you're accustomed to having a greasy burger with fries for lunch, for example, it may seem strange to sit down to a meal made up of vegetables, healthy protein, and whole grains.

Let me give you some reassurance on this. Yeah, the food in The Doctor's Diet may not be what you're used to. But believe me when I tell you you're going to love it.

I'll tell you a story. When I first started hosting The Doctors, the caterers who provided lunch for our first photo shoot brought in the usual fast-food fare. I took one look at it and realized we needed to make a change—here I was hosting a medical show about health, and the food we were eating was far from healthy. I had to speak up.

Since that time, the caterers have started serving the most delicious, healthiest food you can imagine. And I'm not the only one who loves it—the crew goes crazy over it, too. I always laugh to myself when I see these big guys—the ones who help build the sets and such—devouring a dish with salmon or chicken, quinoa, and veggies served with a spicy curry sauce. This is Doctor's Diet food, but they're not eating it because they're watching their weight—they're eating it because it tastes incredible.

I think you're going to love it as much as they do—and as much as I do.

I live The Doctor's Diet, and I eat the food I'm encouraging you to eat. I'm not about to tell you to put something on your plate that I wouldn't have on mine!


My program is designed to help you eat the foods you love, but to eat them in a healthy way that will add vibrancy to your life and help keep you out of the ER. Those big burritos I mentioned? I've put together my own burrito recipe that is about ten times healthier than those fast-food bombs I used to eat, and you know what? They're also about ten times tastier, too. Those handfuls of brownies I used to scarf down? Well, I still have a brownie now and then—total deprivation doesn't work for me, and research shows it doesn't work for most other people, either.

But I've learned that adding a dollop of mindfulness to an occasional treat makes it way more enjoyable and satisfying than a handful gobbled up thoughtlessly. That's why mindfulness—developing an awareness of what you're eating so you can fully enjoy its flavor—is one of the many new mindsets you'll learn in my program that will help you taste and savor healthy food in a whole new way.



Just as flavor is a big part of The Doctor's Diet, so is medical integrity. My most important professional role in life is being a physician. When I swore the Hippocratic oath—as every doctor does—I promised to practice medicine honestly and without harm to patients. I take that oath very seriously. You can be sure that all of my advice and recommendations are based on my full commitment to your health.

My program is not a gimmicky fad diet based on the latest pseudo-science. It is an evidence-based plan that is grounded in nutritional science. Every recommendation and guideline is backed by solid research that you can trust, and by my sacred oath as a physician. That's my promise to you.

Come along with me on this journey to optimal health and I'll do everything in my power to make sure you live a long, vibrant life. Decide now to commit to an eating plan that could very well save your life. Don't wait until you're lying in the ER, praying for a second chance. Do it now, before it's too late!



I've been thinking about writing a book of dietary advice for some time. But I didn't want it to be like all the other diet books out there—I truly want my plan to be the ultimate diet plan, one that rises head and shoulders above all the others not only because of its medical integrity, but because of its simplicity and its effectiveness. As a physician, I don't believe in gimmicky, get-slim-quick schemes. I believe in an eating plan that leads not only to weight loss, but to an exciting new level of health and vitality that you simply can't get by following crazy crash diets. The Doctor's Diet is the real deal.

This book tells you everything you need to do, step by step, meal by meal, day by day, to lose excess weight and build robust health. It is absolutely loaded with tips that you can use in your daily life—tips that require minimal effort but provide huge health benefits with one goal in mind: to motivate you to live your best, happiest, and healthiest life.

Following The Doctor's Diet is the closest thing to having me by your side throughout the day, guiding your choices, helping you on your journey to better health, a longer life, and yes—to looking better in your swimsuit.

It won't take nearly as much effort as you might think, but it will take one very important thing: commitment. So I'm asking you today, at this very moment in time, to commit to making the potentially life-saving changes in your diet and activity levels that I recommend in this book. If you commit, then I promise you the pages that follow will give you the simple tools you need to make better, life-changing choices.

One of the things I'm constantly trying to do as a physician is to convince people that the food they put in their mouths today truly will affect how well and how long they live. These days, we have the latest medical technology and access to all kinds of cutting-edge medications that are extending our lives. But too many people who live longer suffer for years at the ends of their lives because of disease-related disability. We may be living for more years, but how many of those years are filled with vibrancy?

By following The Doctor's Diet, you will be taking giant steps toward living a life that is not only longer, but better—a life filled with friends, family, fun, and laughter rather than debilitating disease, hospitals, nursing homes, and worry.

The Doctor's Diet is based on the lessons that have guided me throughout my own journey to optimal health. It is exactly what I recommend to any patient, family member, or friend looking for a way to feel better, drop extra weight, and reduce disease risk. The lessons in this book have helped me and so many others, and I look forward to them helping you as well!



I'm sure you're raring to get started on The Doctor's Diet. But before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let's talk about what you can expect.

We'll start with the actual eating plan. In a nutshell, The Doctor's Diet is a science-based diet that:

Is low in sugar, simple carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and sodium.

Includes moderate amounts of lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains.

Contains generous amounts of fiber-rich vegetables, legumes, and fruits.

Is a "flexitarian" approach that allows everyone—whether you love meat or prefer to eat vegetarian, whether you have no time to cook or consider yourself a seasoned gourmet chef, whether you eat gluten-free or love Mediterranean cooking—to enjoy the food you love while losing weight and restoring robust health.

Abandons the all-or-nothing thinking that most diets embrace. I won't tell you that you "always" have to do this or "never" can do that. I'll give you the facts, offer my advice, and let you decide what's best for you. I know medicine, but you know your own body better than anyone else.

Answers your dietary questions based on current science—even if the answer to a question is "we don't know for sure." We know so much about nutrition science these days, but in a few areas, the research isn't completely clear on how certain foods affect our bodies. If the jury is still out on something, I'll be straight with you, and you can make your own choices based on what is and isn't known.

Recognizes that you have a limited amount of time in your life to spend on food preparation. My meal suggestions and recipes are simple and quick to prepare, calling for ingredients that you probably either have on hand or can easily pick up at your local grocery store.

Focuses on flavor, because life is too short to eat tasteless food!

Includes zesty herbs and spices such as ginger, chili powder, and hot sauces that have been shown in research to help incinerate body fat and ignite metabolism.

Relies on whole, natural foods prepared in ways that are filling, satisfying, and delicious.

Definitely does not rely on processed "diet" foods that are stripped of their natural ingredients and reconfigured with fake substitutions. I'd rather have you eat a small amount of real cheese, for example, than a big chunk of that horrible, chemical-filled, fat-free "cheese food" that so many diets call for.

Resets your taste buds by weaning you off junky, sugary, artificial foods and reintroducing you to the delicious, natural flavors in whole, unadulterated foods.

Advises you on smart snacking, choosing filling foods, and finding other ways to cut back on calories without feeling hungry all the time.

Gives you loads and loads of choices—because I don't like being told exactly what to eat every day, and I doubt you do, either.

Trades deprivation for moderation—because sometimes it's nice to have a treat.

Burning away excess belly fat is a major goal of The Doctor's Diet. That's not because it's unattractive—although let's face it, we all care about how we look. As a doctor, I care about belly fat because having excess fat around your middle is dangerous for your overall health.

Also known as "visceral fat," belly fat is not just a benign bulge around your waist. In fact, it's very metabolically active—which means it contributes to how your body functions every day. Belly fat can harm you by releasing fatty acids into your blood, pumping out inflammatory agents, and producing hormones that wreak havoc on your body.

What's more, belly fat puts demands on your heart because it requires a constant infusion of oxygenated blood pumped by your heart. The more fat you have stored (in your belly and throughout your body), the harder your heart has to pump. Over time, this can dangerously strain your heart. Belly fat also threatens your heart by raising LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure.

You CAN banish your belly fat! The Doctor's Diet gives you all the tools you need to burn it off and keep it off.

The good news is overweight and obese people often find that once they start to shed pounds, the fat around their belly is some of the first to disappear. Science tells us that specific foods such as yogurt, as well as calcium-rich foods, omega-3 fats in fish, and whole grains truly do trim your belly fat, thanks to their effect on hormones and metabolism. As soon as you start following The Doctor's Diet, the fat around your middle will begin burning away.


Following The Doctor's Diet can do incredible things for your long-term health, like lowering your risk of developing the kinds of chronic diseases that send people to the emergency room. As a doctor, that makes me ecstatic. But The Doctor's Diet isn't just about long-term benefits. Once you begin eating The Doctor's Diet way, you'll start noticing changes in how you feel immediately.

I know that sounds like a promise that can't be kept. You may be thinking, "Dr. Travis, how is it possible to start feeling better right away?"

Here's how: As soon as you commit to a healthier way of living, and as soon as you eat your first Doctor's Diet meal, you're going to begin feeling great about yourself.

Let me give you an example of this. Recently I chatted with someone who ate her first STAT Plan breakfast: a cup of blueberries, a scrambled egg, and half a cup of oatmeal sprinkled with chopped walnuts. (More on the STAT Plan soon.) It was the first time in years she'd eaten such a nutritious breakfast—usually her go-to was a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast biscuit and a sweetened coffee drink from her local drive-thru donut shop.

Even before she finished her berries, she started feeling better about herself—not because her weight had suddenly dropped or her heart disease risk disappeared, but because she realized that she had taken such a big first step on the road to good health.

Listen, one cup of berries and a bowl of oatmeal with nuts won't reverse the effects of years of breakfast biscuits. But it can be the meal that changes everything—it can be the breakfast that you look back on as the first meal of your new, healthier life.

Just knowing that you're making changes that will lead to weight loss and better health can be incredibly empowering! It can make you feel healthier even before you actually are healthier, and that's great, because the positive feeling you get in response to starting The Doctor's Diet can fuel you. It can encourage you to make the right choices at other meals, it can give you the energy to go for your daily walk, and it can give you blasts of motivation that will keep you jazzed until the pounds really do start dropping off.


Although I know your number one goal might be to lose weight, The Doctor's Diet is much more than a weight-loss plan. This plan is not just about cutting calories—heck, you can lose weight eating cookies all day, so long as you limit your calories. To really, truly boost your health—and stay out of the ER—you have to go beyond weight loss and eat foods that support every cell of your body in a healthful, life-giving way. By taking a whole-health approach, you can do way more than just lose weight and trim your waist. Sure, you want to look great. But won't it be nice to know that you'll be boosting your health while whittling away your waist?

Losing weight and eating a healthy, life-supporting diet are two of the best things you can do for your health. Don't be discouraged if you've been unsuccessful in past efforts to shed excess pounds and change your diet. The Doctor's Diet is a different kind of eating plan, one that you can stick with for the rest of your life. It's not just a diet but a new way of life and a new way of eating. The Doctor's Diet is unique because it includes many of the foods you already eat, so there's no need to learn an entirely new way of cooking and preparing meals. The recipes and meal plans don't call for crazy ingredients and unusual foods that cost a bundle online or at specialty grocery stores. Rather, familiar foods are combined in a new way, using specially designed Meal Plan Equations that optimize fat burn and weight loss. Yeah, I'll ask you to try some new foods—super-nutritious foods that can boost your health and whittle away weight—but they're all foods that you can buy at your supermarket, prepare easily, and enjoy eating for the rest of your (long) life.

Not only that, but The Doctor's Diet also gives you a personal physician: me. As you set out on your journey to better health and longer life, I'll be with you every step of the way, giving you the information, advice, encouragement, and motivation you need to succeed.

With this book in your hands, everything you need is at your fingertips.

The Doctor's Diet meals are built around unique daily Meal Plan Equations that rev up your metabolism, accelerate fat burn, and lead to high-octane weight loss. Each day, your meals and snacks are planned according to easy-to-remember Meal Plan Equations. This fantastic meal-planning tool shows you how to combine protein, certain types of carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits, and various vegetables into each meal and snack—simply, and without counting calories.

When you plan your meals according to my Meal Plan Equations, you get the right balance of nutrients—protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and everything else you need for great health, maximum fat burn, and speedy weight loss. Plus, you get delicious, satisfying meals that give you loads of energy.


The best way to figure out your healthiest goal weight is to talk with your doctor. But in general, the research suggests that it's best to aim for a body-mass index (BMI) in the low to mid 20s.


On Sale
Dec 8, 2015
Page Count
320 pages

Travis Stork, MD

About the Author

Dr. Travis Stork is an Emmy-nominated co-host of the award-winning syndicated talk show The Doctors and is a practicing board-certified emergency medicine physician. He graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and earned his MD with honors from the University of Virginia. Dr. Stork takes tremendous pride in teaching people how to avoid preventable illnesses, both on The Doctors and in his practice.

Learn more about this author