Have you been through different diet plans that cut out carbs, make you go through times of not eating, or make you howl at the moon? (Yea.. look it up, it’s real).
How about you’ve been scrolling the internet now for the past 15 minutes looking for the perfect diet plan for you to follow.
Maybe you WANT to eat carbs, or you WANT to eat breakfast, but all these plans say you can’t if you want to lose fat.
Maybe you are a shift worker or a busy parent, but you still want to find a way to find some sort of “routine” to follow.
First things first, without a plan, you aren’t going to have anything.
This whole fly by the seat of your pants probably has not worked thus far for you.. So you must come to terms with you having a plan.
BUT, the beauty is, it is YOUR plan.
There is no ONE meal plan I am going to give you through this article.
There is no ONE diet I am going to tell you to follow. Rather, I am going to give you the tools to come up your own plan.
A plan that takes into consideration YOUR life, and YOUR goals, and YOUR time responsibilities, etc.
To my knowledge, there is not a resource like this on the internet.
I hope it brings you value, I hope it gets you thinking, and I hope by the end you will have YOUR own plan you can take with you and put into action.
Because remember, failing to plan is just planning to fail (I SO hate using phrases like that.. but damn is it true).
Let’s jump in.
What Every Diet Plan MUST Have
So before we get into actual components of making the plan, we must understand the goal behind the plan.
What is the plan going to accomplish? Fat loss with YOU and YOUR schedule / preferences in mind yes..
But, HOW do we do that? How does ANY diet plan do that? No matter if it’s keto, fasting, plant based, carnivore, you name it.
They all MUST have one thing in common.. Because without this foundational piece, everything else won’t matter in the slightest.
THE ONE THING THAT YOUR PLAN MUST HAVE IS BEING IN A CALORIE DEFICIT.
This is something that is non negotiable. You can’t argue this. You can’t exercise enough to make this not true.
Your diet plan MUST have this. Without it, you will NOT lose any fat.
Now, HOW you do that, is a totally individualized story. Truthfully, that is the beautiful part about nutrition coaching to me, is finding that piece of the puzzle for every individual.
This is where we get into the actual components of making the diet plan.
So like the article on how to program design for strength training I wrote , get out that piece of paper and pen, and be ready to take notes.
No seriously, I would do that, because as you go through this article, section by section you will be coming up with a part of your plan.
By the end, you should have written down all components to then piece together to make a plan.
So happy note taking, let’s continue.
So, piggy backing off the last section, it is only right we start this section off by talking about calories.
Now that we know you HAVE to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat no matter what else your plan entails, this then brings the question, well how many calories should you eat?
This also entails it probably would be a good idea to start counting calories to find out how many calories you are eating, to ensure you are in a calorie deficit.
If you want a full guide on how to lose fat through calorie counting, click HERE for a full free guide on that.
In the short term, I will answer this question of how many calories you should be eating to lose fat.
This is truly dependent on the individual. Your diet history, your current weight, your lifestyle, are all things that can come into play when deciding this.
That being said, below is a GREAT place to start when it comes to how many calories to eat.
Goal Bodyweight x 12 = Daily Calorie Amount For Fat Loss
I have an entire video covering exactly how many calories you should eat on my YouTube channel, you can watch that HERE.
One thing I will say is, it is much less about getting the EXACT number.
You may find that you need 1400 to lose fat, or you can do 2000 and still lose fat.
Either way, the whole point here is, get a number, and just get started.
The more you look for the “perfect” plan, the more you will procrastinate, the more you won’t do anything at all, and the more you stay right where you are at.
Go read the guide on how to lose fat through calorie counting, get your calorie amount, start tracking, and start seeing results.
Also, one last thing, I promise.
Give it time. Please.
Don’t do it for 6 hours and say “Wow I haven’t lost 20 lbs yet this is stupid I’m doing keto”.
Give yourself 21, 30, 60 days. Be consistent over that time period.
I promise you it will work. Promise. I am putting all this information out here for free, I have no reason to lie to you.
So now we Segway into our next section, protein.
By now you should have your calorie amount down, and if you read the calorie counting guide to fat loss, feel confident in counting calories.
The next most important factor in this equation is going to be protein.
Protein is SO huge for SO many different reasons.
One being that it is the most satiating macro nutrient, which just means it will fill you up the most.
Most people’s diet plans fail because they get hungry enough to eat for a small village. You can combat this, by keeping your protein intake high throughout the day.
Another reason is because protein has a high thermic effect of food. Again, that just means it can basically boost your metabolism by eating protein.
If you don’t believe me, or want to check out more on how to boost your metabolism, check out my guide on how to increase your metabolism HERE.
And no, there will be no fat burners or discount codes to buy something in there.
Lastly, it is the only macro nutrient that can build and preserve lean muscle mass.
This too can help your metabolism, but also help shape the way you look. That lean aesthetic physique you are searching for can be accomplished through being in a calorie deficit, and keeping protein intake high.
Okay so, we know protein is important now, but, again, how much do you want to have daily?
Glad you asked.
Protein Goal For The Day = .8-1.2g protein Per lb of bodyweight, or 35-45% of your total calories.
So, let’s use the example of the 150 lb individual again.
.8-1.2g of protein for a 150lb individual would be 120g-180g of protein daily.
Personally, I would just have yourself fall right in the middle. For every lb you weigh, have 1g of protein.
150lbs=150g of protein.
This is also what 40% of your total calories for the day would be, 150g.
And if you want to know how I got that, I just did .4×1500=600. There are 4 calories in every gram of protein, so I then did 600/4, which brought me to 150.
If you want the whole scoop on protein, I did a quick 12 minute podcast on it via my podcast, you can click HERE for the audio to that.
Carb & Fat Amount
Alright, to recap quickly, we so far have calories, and protein covered in your plan.
Those two things will be the most important.
If you have those two things in check, you will be golden.
To start, no carbs do not make you fat. Eating carbs after 6pm does not make you fat. Eating carbs when you wake up does not make you fat.
The only way you will gain body fat is if you are in a calorie surplus consistently over a long period of time. Notice the “consistently” and “long period of time”.
You don’t have to do a low carb diet to lose fat. If that is what you prefer, cool, go for it.
If you don’t, and you are like the guy in the picture above, as long as your calories are in check, you will be just fine eating carbs.
Though I have heard people will tell you eating fat makes you fat too.
Hell if you look far enough on the internet, people will say carbs make you fat, fat makes you fat, protein makes you fat, so just don’t eat at all.
But, then, starvation mode makes you fat, so, you’re f’ed.
It is actually funny and sad to see at the same time that people get so confused, which is one of the main reasons I am writing this article.
Moving along, fat is great for you and absolutely should be eaten.
It helps a ton with the process of your hormones, and keeping them at a healthy level.
It is also a very filling macro nutrient that keeps you full for a longer period of time than carbs will.
The truth is, these two macro nutrients, don’t spend a ton of time on them.
If you prefer a high fat, low carb diet, go for it. If you prefer a higher carb, lower fat diet, go for it.
Don’t major in the minor, if you would LIKE to know what exact numbers of what your carbs and fats should be, head HERE* to watch my YouTube video where I cover that.
If you have read this far, this is where I said you will take each section and create your own plan come into play. You should be able to create your own numbers from your own body weight from this.
BUT WAIT…. Numbers are cool and awesome, now how do you apply these numbers to your actual life?
With your schedule, your work, your kids, etc.
Don’t worry, that is what the next few sections will cover. Keep reading, and keep that pen and paper close.
Meal Timing / Meal Frequency
So, this is where it starts to get good. This is where you start to put your own twist on things.
The information and numbers above is cool, but these sections are where you put things together, and actually apply those numbers to real life.
I will give you things to think about as far as making your own diet plan, and examples of things you could do with yours.
Meal timing and meal frequency can help play a role in keeping you in a calorie deficit.
They are similar, and can play a role with each other, but are not quite one in the same.
Meal timing refers to WHEN you eat, like breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner.
Meal frequency refers to how many meals or snacks a day you eat. So 2, 3, 4, 5.
Keeping things very honest, it does not matter if you have 2 meals a day, or 6 meals a day.
It doesn’t matter if you eat breakfast or skip breakfast.
If you are total calories are in check and you are in a calorie deficit, this has been proved over and over in research, you will lose fat.
Anyone else telling you otherwise is just trying to sell you something to get your money. That is the bottom line.
BUT, both of these things can play a HUGE role in keeping you full, fighting off hunger, keeping energy levels high, amongst other things.
If you are not hungry, if you have good energy, if you feel good, chances are you are going to stick to your plan.
If you stick to your plan, you will see results. So using these 2 things to your advantage can make a huge difference.
Let’s stick with the 150 lb person trying to lose fat, with their calories and protein goals.
Now I will also make up a scenario in which say this person works full time, has kids events at night, and also makes it to the gym 3-4x a week.
This make believe person, and you, are busy! You have a job, responsibilities, an incredibly busy life.
That can make it difficult to get a plan for you to follow.. This is why we are here.
Meal timing / meal frequency can help play a role in keeping you in a calorie deficit.
Say you wake up at 6am to get ready for work. You get to work by 8am, you work all day until 4 pm, maybe go straight to the gym from there. You workout from 5-6 pm. After that, you have to go home cook dinner and get to your kids soccer practice from 7-8pm.
This is a jam packed day, and being a coach, I have seen this and MUCH more from my online coaching clients .
BUT, that doesn’t mean you just say “Well I am going to be super busy, it is going to be too hard, I might as well not even try”.
Like we said earlier, failing to plan is planning to fail.
This is where you put your calorie number and protein number to work for you, and actually start to make a plan for YOU so you can stick to it.
This is where if you know you get hungry before you leave work in the afternoon, you can plan a snack.
If you know your morning is SUPER busy, and you have no time to cook, you can have a protein shake.
This section is all about using your own life, to plan things out, in a way that is going to suite YOU best.
Sample Diet Plan
I want to create a sample day plan for this made up person above, to get you thinking about your own plan.
Just through coaching hundreds of people by now, I have seen 3 meals and 2 snacks works GREAT for a lot of people in terms of their hunger, energy, keeping a deficit, etc.
I will use that concept for this plan below.
Again, THIS MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU, YOU MAY WANT TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, AND THAT IS 100% FINE.
You may not like this food or eating at this time, and that is okay. That is not the point of this example plan below. It is again, simply just getting your brain thinking about how you can structure your plan for your day.
The plan below is keeping two things in mind for that 150lb person, 1500 calories, and 150g of protein.
DIET PLAN FOR FAT LOSS
Meal 1 6am: 40g protein shake, 1cup unsweet vanilla almond milk, 1/2 tbsp olive oil dressing
Snack 9am: Greek yogurt, 1tbsp peanut butter, 1 apple
Meal 2 Noon: BAS (Big Ass Salad): 2 cups of salad (spinach, peppers, tomatoes, errythang), 1/2 tbsp of olive oil dressing, 5 oz chicken
Snack 3:30pm: 2 cheese sticks, rx bar
Meal 3 6:30pm: 5 oz turkey, 1 cup of rice, grilled veggies
So above, you are using meal timing / frequency to help shape your own plan.
You are using your calorie limit to guide food choices.
You are also using the protein goal to guide food choices.
It is much less about eating these exact foods at these exact times, but making a plan around your schedule, rather than your schedule around a plan.
Because at the end of the day, that is not sustainable, and just not going to work.
Let’s dissect the plan above so you can see my thought process a bit more for WHY I made these recommendations.
Again, I am here to educate you as much as I can, and hopefully get your brain thinking. If you can think through your own plan like this… You will be in a GREAT spot.
If your brain hurts already, and you might want me to help you with your plan, click HERE to fill out the form to see if me and you may be a good fit for coaching together.
Okay so meal 1, protein shake. I LOVE this for so many of clients, especially if they have a busy morning.
If you can’t cook food for time reasons, it takes about 47 seconds to make a protein shake. Take some unsweet vanilla almond milk (because it is bomb), take some protein, 1/2 tbsp of flax seed oil, and chug it on down.
It will give you protein and healthy fats to keep you full. This will make you not want to donuts or muffins or foods that tend to be higher in calories.
The snack is usually a bit later when you aren’t STARVING, but you could be a bit hungry. This can save you from getting starving, and over eating. Usually people are busy, so may not be able to eat a 3 course meal.
Perfect, greek yogurt and a piece of fruit. Both easy to travel with, high protein, and can hold you over.
Lunch, having one big ass salad a day, you saw it in the plan above, helps SO MUCH with fat loss.
It gives you a lot of food volume to fill your stomach up, with not a lot calories, to keep you in a calorie deficit. Throw some chicken on it to get your protein, and you are good to go.
It doesn’t have to be a boring lettuce and chicken salad either. Spice it up, put what you want in it… As long as it will fit your calories ;).
Second snack, same thing, easy, quick, and simple. Also provides you some carbs to fuel before your workout.
Lastly dinner, this can be prepped in advance, or made at the time, whatever your day depicts. But again, just some sort of protein, some veggies, throw some carbs in, and call it a day.
This is a GREAT thought out plan to keep you full so you don’t over eat. A great plan to ensure you are keeping your energy levels high. A great plan to work diet around your life, not the other way around.
You probably don’t have a chef or chauffeur doing things for you (If you do, you should definitely sign up for coaching with me), so things aren’t going to be “perfect”.
If you can some way find a way to be consistent, and make it work, I promise you, you will be in a great spot.
Alright so this meme is great, I laughed out loud reading it. Can you tell I like to mix actually having fun in life with dieting?
In all seriousness, I truly hoped this article helped you.
It was not a “oh, eat only this food to lose weight!”. Or “only eat at this time to see amazing results!”.
No, that is not what a “diet plan” is about.
A diet plan is about coming up with just that, a plan. A plan for YOU, and YOUR life.
Every person is an individual. With different responsibilities, different preferences, different lives for lack of a better term.
It is also about working to create a plan that works around your life, not working your life around a plan.
I referred to this a few times above, but this may be the most important concept from this article.
You trying to work your life around a plan, is not going to work long term, ever.
If you LOVE carbs, you doing keto is never going to work long term.
If you LOVE eating breakfast, intermittent fasting is never going to work long term.
Rather than trying to change your entire life to fit a diet plan, why not make the diet plan fit your life?
Because then you aren’t “dieting” anyway, you are just learning how to eat for your life.
I don’t think there is ONE plan out there you need to follow. That being said, there can be some guidelines if you will, mixed with some critical thinking on your own part, that can lead down a very good path.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. You may deviate here and there, or have something different than what was originally thought out.
THAT IS OK. The fact is that if you are taking the time to plan ahead, and put thought behind your decisions… I can almost guarantee that is a lot more that what you are currently doing, right?
To get a different result, you have to do something different. Make this article the place you start doing that, so you can stop wasting more time, and start seeing more results.
If you have a question about your plan that I may be able to help with, PLEASE feel free to drop a comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you are like yeaaaahh maybe I better have a professional handle this for me, head HERE to fill out the form to see if we might be a good fit for coaching together.
In the meantime, thank you for reading, I hope this at least sparked a thought in your head, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Talk soon. -E.