Yesterday I heard from one of my good buddies from college. He was one of the first athletes to do interval training with me on the “back 40” at McMaster University way back in 1997.

He’s currently using my TT Metabolic Resistance Training program but he emailed yesterday morning looking for a simple nutrition plan to go with it.

So I came up with this fat burning meal plan for him.

When I was done, I realized it might be the last diet article I ever need to write.

It will answer all of your questions…but if not, ask away by replying to this email.

First, the rules:

1) For fat loss, men need 1800-2200 calories while women need 1500-1800.

These are generalizations, I know, so what I recommend is using a calorie counting website or app to find out how much you are eating per day now.

Then, provided you aren’t currently gaining weight, simply subtract 10-20% of that number to get your fat loss calorie goal.

If you are gaining weight, you’ll obviously need to subtract more.

Finding the right calorie number takes a little trial and error, but shouldn’t take more than a week.

2) Choose the eating pattern that fits your daily schedule.

If you don’t get breaks at work, eat 3 larger meals. Use Chef Gui Alinat’s Eat More, Burn More for this approach.

If you like the 3 meals and 2-3 snacks route, you can use that.

If you prefer fasting for 12-24 hours like I do, use Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat.

Research suggests that meal frequency is not as important as fitness magazines make it out to be…however, for some folks, the increased frequency works best.

Again, a little trial and error on your part is required.

But it’s just a little work… for a lifetime of results!

3) When all else fails, eat more fruits and vegetables.

4) When in doubt, avoid eating foods from a bag or a box.

5) Only eat when you are truly hungry, not when you are bored.

Write down what you are feeling when you eat and snack.

Are you hungry, thirsty, tired, bored, anxious, exhausted, angry, lonely, or craving something?

Then list all the obstacles to sticking to your nutrition plan.

And then write down TWO solutions for every obstacle.

Always have more solutions than problems (a good lesson to teach our kids and share with our co-workers).

Now let’s look at this

Simple But Effective Nutrition Meal Plan for Fat Loss

NOTE: Even though I list “protein shakes” a lot here, there’s no need to use more than 2 servings per day (1 serving = 1 scoop). Protein shakes are:

a) Convenient
b) Filling
c) A better choice than most other things

But they are not magic or mandatory…just an option.

Look for a pure whey protein – giving you 20g protein per serving and less than 2g carbs. Mix it with 1 cup unsweetened almond breeze (because it has less than half the calories of a cup of milk).

For specific brands, I’ve partnered with BioTrust Protein, and it’s the kind I buy for my mom.

Now for your fat-burning meal plan.

Option #1 – Eggs (i.e. a 2-4 egg omelet with spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, onions, and even asparagus – choose a couple). Have an apple or some pineapple as “dessert.” Drink some Green Tea (or coffee is fine too) and water.

Option #2 – Protein shake + 1-2 oz almonds + piece of fruit

Mid-morning Snack

Option #1 – Almonds + piece of fruit + Green Tea + water

Option #2 – Protein shake + cut up vegetables and hummus + Green Tea + water


Option #1 – Big salad with grilled chicken or salmon

Option #2 – Grilled chicken on whole grain bread plus cut up vegetables and hummus

Option #3 – Go to a Freshii restaurant for lunch – one of my best friends, Kam Singh, owns the Freshii at the Heartland Town center in Mississauga, so I want to give him some free publicity because it really is the freshest, healthiest “fast food” option out there — if you go, tell him ol’ CB sent ya.

Mid-afternoon Snack

Option #1 – 1oz raw nuts + small piece dark chocolate

Option #2 – Banana with almond butter

Option #3 – One of the morning snacks


Option #1 – 6oz steak + all the vegetables you want (minimize eliminate starchy carbs most daysof the week)

Option #2 – Chicken or Salmon with all the vegetables you want

By the way, if you want a glass of wine at dinner, go for it (but just one glass).

However, realize that when choosing treats, you have to pick your poison…you can’t have wine, bread, a giant potato and dessert – and still expect to lose fat.

Choose one of those extras, keep it to one serving – to limit it to under 200 calories, savor it, and enjoy the rest of the meal and the company you are with.

And try not to eat too much food off your kiddo’s plates

Dessert/Evening Snack (if necessary)

Option #1 – Frozen banana (sounds lame, but seriously good) or frozen berries

Option #2 – 1 scoop chocolate protein in 1 cup plain vanilla yogurt with teaspoon almond butter

Option #3 – An apple with 1 teaspoon almond butter

I hope that helps. It’s about as simple as you can get when planning a fat loss diet.

But don’t forget to…

  • Drink 2-3 liters of water per day.
  • Get to know your condiments…spicy mustards, salsas, no-sugar added tomato sauce, all of these are better than mayo and ketchup.
  • Plan out 1-2 reward meals each week…eat what you want, but don’tgo overboard with the portions.

Finally, one of the best things you can do to create order in achaotic life is to create a series of personal philosophies/rules. They solve all of your problems without draining emotional energy. Here are my rules:

Arrow blue  The 12 Rules I Live By

Please share that link with anyone who you think would benefit. I believe it’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever written.

Your coach,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS – Never forget!

Whatever is in your way, you’re stronger than it, you’re tougher than it, and you’re better than it. You’re going to beat it. You must truly believe in yourself. You must end the “I’ll give this a try” mindset, and switch to an, “I’m going to succeed” belief.


Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at