Summer’s almost here. So how’s that New Year’s weight loss resolution coming? If you aren’t as close to attaining your ideal physique as you’d like to be, let’s plan out a short term diet strategy to help you close the gap.

The numbers will vary, because we’re all a little different when it comes to weight loss, but if you’ve hit a sticking point you’ll probably want to cut more calories. For example, if you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day, you might try cutting between 200 to 500 calories per day for a couple weeks. That would leave you with 1,800 to 1,500 calories over 6 meals spread from early morning to just before bed. It doesn’t sound like very much, but consider the fact that you’ll be eating every 3 hours throughout the day.

If you’ve never been very good about measuring out foods, there’s an easier way to keep caloric intake in check through portion control. A can of tuna is 5 ounces. Your typical chicken breast is 3 ounces. The size of your fist is roughly a cup, which is 8 ounces. Use these visual cues to portion out your meals.

Portion Size
Meat: Between 5 to 8 ounces
Carbohydrates: Fist-sized
Healthy Fats: Not a concern for clean eaters

Nutrient Ratios as a Percentage of Calories
(alter this example to fit your needs/goals)
Protein– 40%
Carbs– 50%
Fat– 10%

Now let’s put all this information together and figure out a day’s worth of meals to get you headed in the right direction. Don’t worry about getting all the percentages and calories perfect for each and every meal. Only the daily total matters. So if you’re light on protein at breakfast, make up for it at dinner. This breakfast starts off pretty well balanced with a nice mix of fast (grapefruit) and slow burning (oatmeal) carbs.

7AM Breakfast
1 Cup Scrambled Egg Whites, Whole Grapefruit & Bowl of Oatmeal
319 Calories, 31 Grams Protein, 44 Grams Carbs & 1 Gram Fat

9AM Workout
Essential Amino Energy

10AM Snack
Gold Standard 100% Whey & Ripe Banana
241 Calories, 25 Grams Protein, 34 Grams Carbs & 1 Gram Fat

1PM Lunch
Tuna Salad with Leaf Lettuce, Bell Pepper, Red Onion & Fat-Free Mayo
216 Calories, 22 Grams Protein, 25 Grams Carbs & 4 Grams Fat

4PM Snack
100% Whey Crisp Bar & Apple
345 Calories, 26 Grams Protein, 59 Grams Carbs & 2 Grams Fat

7PM Dinner
Chicken Breast & Sweet Potato
257 Calories, 29 Grams Protein, 27 Grams Carbs & 3 Grams Fat

Before Bed Shake
Gold Standard 100% Casein
120 Calories, 24 Grams Protein, 3 Grams Carbs, 1 Gram Fat

Daily Total
1498 Calories, 157 Grams Protein, 192 Grams Carbs & 12 Grams Fat

A couple of tips to help you make the most of this program: Everyone’s physiologically unique. Even though this diet is pretty well suited to someone who weighs between 150 and 170 lbs, the speed of your metabolism, your body type, whether you’re male or female, even the way you like to train all affect how you lose weight. Keep a journal and make adjustments as needed. If you lose about a pound per week on this program, you’re making good progress.

If you start feeling tired during the day, try cycling carbohydrates higher one or two days each week. Three consecutive days of low carbs with one day of higher carb intake provides energy while increasing your metabolism, which can benefit weight loss. Taking a high-potency multivitamin with your main meals is an easy way to help cover your nutrient bases without adding any calories, and regular use of multivitamins can help you feel more energized. Check back next month for a workout to use on this diet.

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