How to create your own meal plan

In the grand scheme of things, a well-constructed meal plan is probably 20% of the total weight loss equation. It tells you how to eat, what to eat, and when to eat. Once you have the nutrition in place, all you have to worry about is the emotional eating, and sleep.

A meal plan tells you whether you’re on track or not. A meal plan saves you from having to count calories. A meal plan saves you from having to think about what you eat. You make the decision once, and it’s done. No need to further deliberate. 

A poorly constructed, or nonexistent meal plan leads to confusion and frustration when the scale doesn’t respond, while a properly constructed meal plan gives you stable, consistent progress and a firm grip on why things are not working.

This meal plan was responsible for me dropping 20lbs of fat, from 22% bodyfat to 15% bodyfat. 

Here is my meal plan: 

* feel free to copy my meal plan, but adjust the calories according to your needs. I am 5’7” 175lbs and I am able to lose weight off of this. My maintenance is 2700 calories and I do about 1-2hours of exercise a day. I’m otherwise sedentary.

A Proper Meal Plan

Since a well constructed meal plan ideally lasts your entire life, it must be sustainable. The biggest mistake people make is being too strict on themselves. They overestimate their own willpower.

  1. Sustainable for life (Whole-foods based, convenient, tasty, variety, filling) 
  2. Correct number of calories (300-400 below maintenance)
  3. Meals are timed to prevent hunger 
  4. Meals are sized to prevent hunger

Steps to creating your own customized Meal Plan

  1. List 6 meals you like to eat. 2 meal options for breakfast, 2 for lunch, and 2 for dinner. 
  1. Modify the meals so they include enough weight-loss encouraging foods
Weight Loss Food (100g)Calories
eggwhite RAW52
fage fat free greek yogurt53
cooked shrimp119
Tilapia cooked129
top sir loin TIP steak150
raw 93% ground turkey150
baked pork tenderloin164
chicken breast cooked165
Potato (raw)75
sweet potato (raw)86
Brussel sprouts (raw)43
Carrots (raw)41
pumpkin (canned)41
green beans31
bok choy13
Listed above are the best foods for weight loss. The more foods from this list you incorporate, the less hungry you will be. Most vegetables are low in calories. Be careful about corn, peas, potatoes, and carrots. Those are higher in calories.

Conversely, here is a list of no-no foods that are very easy to get hungry from. These foods are great to eat for gaining weight, but counterproductive to weight loss. Minimize, or ideally eliminate these from your meal plan entirely. If you include them, you must account for them in the meal plan. And you must weigh them using a food scale before eating.

Weight Gain Food (100g)Calories
chia seed486
flax seed534
black sesame530
raw bacon458
macadamia nuts718
protein powder326
peanut butter588
cooking oil900
*note that most of these foods are HIGH fat foods!
  1. Adjust the calories for each of the meals according to your needs

* the devil is in the details. As a rule of thumb, I usually count vegetables as 100cals or 200cals. 100cals of vegetables is approximately 1lbs of raw vegetables (no you didn’t read that wrong. 1lb, or 450 grams). However, If I’m only eating spinach, lettuce, or some kind of leafy vegetables, I’ll count it as 10-20calories since leafy vegetables are VERY low in calories.

* if you don’t already have a visible six pack, you can get away with not counting green vegetables. They’re so low in calories it won’t make a huge difference. It will make the meal plan easier to make

* Notice I didn’t include any cooking oils since that’s a no-no food. However if I were to add it, please believe I would write it out in my meal plan. Remember, cooking oil is the highest calorie food on the planet!

    4. Select the most suitable meal timing for your lifestyle

  • Your last meal should be timed about 4-5hours before you go to bed. Being too full or too hungry will prevent you from falling asleep. Sleep is 40% of the weight loss equation (food 40%, movement 20%), and what time you sleep is largely dictated by when you eat. If you eat at 2am, for example, that will have a big impact on your sleep. I recommend most people to follow an eating schedule similar to this one listed above. Similar calorie meals spread 3-5 hours apart is perfect.

Lose Weight Forever: The Pyramid of Habits

Being Consistent = Habits

In my many years of experience losing weight, I’ve come to realize that permanent results come from consistency.

There are only two known ways to be consistent. The first is through willpower, which means you force yourself to eat less, do keto, or count calories, or run 3 miles a day. This lasts only as long as one’s motivation to keep losing the weight lasts 

(example: [Biggest Loser contestants] after vs before: 

The second, and the only long-term sustainable method, is through habits. This lasts forever, if done properly. Instead of focusing solely on food and exercise, you invest your willpower into implementing a permanent lifestyle change, one step at a time.

The Pyramid of Habits

The pyramid is the most stable structure in geometry. We utilize this as the scaffolding to build our foundation of permanent weight loss. Here’s how this works:

Let’s say you start off 250lbs. Your first goal is just to establish the habit of weighing yourself every morning. Do that for 30 days until it becomes a habit. At first, this will take willpower, but eventually this will crystalize into a habit and you will do it without even trying.

Then you reallocate willpower to build habit #2, for example implementing a night time exercise routine. During this period of building habit #2, if you mess up or lose momentum, you will still have habit #1 in place. Even if you go a full week without doing your nighttime exercise routine, you will still weigh yourself every morning. 

This is the power of the pyramid of habits. Instead of the traditional dieting approach of either “on diet” or “off diet” black and white, you will create save points in your journey. If you do mess up, the lower level of the pyramid will catch you, and give you a platform to progress from. This way, you will never drop back down to zero. Once you establish habit #1 of weighing yourself every day, you will have it for life, and thereby permanently change your lifestyle to be healthy. Then on top of that, establish habit #2, habit #3, higher and higher towards your desired level of strictness. The higher you go in the pyramid, the leaner you get. And each level of pyramid crystallized as a habit once enough time goes by, and every habit only grows stronger with time.

Below is my personal pyramid of habits. I am only 4 levels deep, and here is my physique throughout all stages of my pyramid building.

In properly building habits, the selection of habits is crucial. For most people, weighing themselves everyday seems to be an excellent base habit. 

The habits on higher up in the pyramid that are subject to individual needs. Some people need to fix their sleep, some people need to find a purpose in their life, some people need to start exercising, etc. You know yourself the best, and you must figure this out for yourself.

How to figure out what your habits should be on the pyramid? To be the lean, here is the perfect scenario:


Why Binge Eating Happens and How to Stop It

Why does someone resort to binge eating? Binge Eating. What a strange phenomenon. You eat until you feel immense discomfort, and continue to eat after that. You deliberately seek out the pain, feeling as if you’re possessed and you can’t stop eating. 

After you’re done eating, you feel psychological guilt, physical pain, and digestive distress.

Although there are many personal triggers for our binge eating, the they all come from the following 2 sources: 

  1. Fear of missing out!
  • The thought process goes, “starting tomorrow I will go on my diet. Starting tomorrow I won’t be able to eat this tasty food any more. Let me eat as much as I can now before the suffering begins!”. Binge eating is caused by a perceived scarcity of food. You think tomorrow and onwards will only be suffering, so let’s get as much joy as we can now. (This is False. Tomorrow and onwards it will be nothing but happiness in the form of achievement)
  1. Eating to quell discomfort: stress, anger, sorrow, lack of fulfillment in life, boredom
  • Tasty food makes you feel good after eating. That’s why we prefer to eat tastier food, because it gives us pleasure. Bland food does not give us pleasure. And it is when we are in most pain, that we seek pleasure the most. This can create the negative cycle of emotional eating: 
  •   Lack of fulfillment in life
  • You have to find fulfillment in life. Find a daily routine. Something you can do everyday that you feel good about. 
  •  Lack of a healthy outlet to release negative emotions.
  • When you feel stressed, or frustrated against a situation or person (most commonly a person), you must confront the problem and find a solution. Eating is not the solution. Recognize this and stop it.

— must be pushed out of comfort zone 

  1. The distillation of choices/elimination of choices. Throw your food away [picture].  When there are no other choices, there is no fear of missing out. You will miss out, period. This is not forever though. Once you develop the power to resist eating the junk, you can reintroduce those choices back. 

When I first started losing weight, the immense pain of being fat and feeling rejected by society made me swear to never eat junk food again. For me, that created a mental block against junk food. I no longer viewed burgers, pizzas, sushi, fries, etc as food. I viewed them as inanimate objects, like grass, or rocks, or plastic. 

Having many choices requires you to exercise the responsibility to make the correct ones.

The only reason we’re fat is because we have an abundance of food, and which allows us to make poor choices. For example, in the famine-ridden rural parts of North Korea, you won’t find any fat people. 

Decide, ahead of time, what you will eat. This means you are free from the many devious choices around you. Your decisions go from, “should I eat A, B, C, D, E, F …etc”, to “do i eat?”.

Create a meal plan. Eat the same thing everyday. 


[Intuitive Eating] How to Heal Your Relationship with Food.

You hear it all the time. “I want to cure my relationship with food”. What exactly does that mean?

The answer is to eat based on hunger rather than cravings.

When you feel like eating, how do you know whether you’re really hungry, or simply craving something? The people who are naturally skinny don’t eat unless they are hungry. They listen entirely to their hunger cues, not their cravings.

The closer you get to this mentality towards food, the leaner you will be. Make no mistake, this is purely a mental endeavor. You must harness your mind to view food merely as a means to curb hunger, rather than a source of pleasure or excitement. 

The two different motivations to eat

The difference between physical hunger and mental cravings is that physical hunger does not discriminate. You will eat food regardless of what it is. Mental craving is picky. You want to eat a specific food. 

Thoughts run across your mind such as, “OOOO, I wonder what that tastes like!!”, or “I can’t wait to get home and enjoy ______”. 

Skinny people don’t discriminate much because they eat out of hunger. Skinny people may have a preference for what they want to eat, but they don’t view food as an exciting event like us fat folks.

How to determine whether you’re hungry or just craving food

When you’re extremely hungry and dieting, you will eat whatever is in sight. You will eat plain, unsalted boiled potatoes. An apple will be delicious. 

When you’re pondering whether you’re experiencing true hunger or cravings, ask yourself this: am I hungry enough to eat an apple? Nothing on it. Just the apple by itself. If yes, prove it! Go eat the apple. If you can’t prove it, then you probably are not hungry, just looking to get a hit of the yum yum.

Many times, the cravings come from negative emotions. When you feel stressed, tired, can’t sleep, depressed, angry, or sad, you want to escape from that painful feeling. Food is abundant and cheap. Tasty food makes you feel good after you eat it. Be aware of this insidious cycle. Be aware of precisely what your motivation is to eat. This is most of what we mean by, “knowing your body”.

Steps to Recover Your Relationship With Food

Eat the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. The meals do not need to be exactly the same, but they should be very similar

This procedure accomplishes two things:

  1. It makes food a routine. You can no longer decide. Food becomes a constant, instead of a variable.
  2. Hunger becomes your motivation to eat, instead of wanting the tasty yum yum of the food, you already know what the next meal will be. There are no surprises. There is no excitement. There is only the curbing of hunger every 3 – 4 hours.

The famous bodybuilder Lee Lebrada once cited the secret to getting in amazing shape, “eat like a dog … Dogs eat the same thing everyday. If the owner cares about them, they feed them a high quality food but they eat the same thing everyday, and they eat a measured amount of it.”


How people get to 300lbs

Standing at only 5’7”, I was previously 250lbs. When you get to that level of obesity, it’s more than just laziness, or loving food too much. There is a mental component. 

To be obese, there must be some psychological reliance on food. You don’t get to this level of fat by just liking food a lot.

In order to reverse and break this cycle, lets get to the root of the problem:


As you can see, the cycle starts with “Using food to feel good”. We all deal with negative emotions. Stress, Anger, disappointment, jealousy, regret, and fear are abundant within the human experience


Foods that Hack the System

Here’s a thought experiment. You’re hungry, and there are two plates of food. Plate 1 has boiled potatoes, while plate 2 has fries. Which one would you pick?

That’s right. Maybe 10% of you would choose the boiled potatoes. Both are made with the same ingredient: potatoes, but the fries taste infinitely better. The reason fries sell so well is they are engineered to taste much better than regular foods! Processed foods are made to taste good. How are you going to lose weight when foods taste euphorically good?


Using Foods as a Drug / Emotional Eating

Now let’s imagine that tomorrow, the only foods available in your city are: sweet potato, white potato, lean chicken breast, and salt. How many fat people do you think would be left? 

Now let’s flip it around. If somehow, companies made junk food 300% as good, how many more fat people would be walking around?

The secret to losing weight is progressively, slowly, replacing the unhealthy foods with healthy alternatives. Each small change will require willpower at first, but after you get used to it, you learn to enjoy the food and it becomes autopilot. You will however, never be able to use that food again to curb your negative feelings. Many people are not willing to lose their drug.


Face Your Demons

Do not use food to make yourself feel better. Go to the grocery store and buy healthy foods only. Eating food to make yourself feel good is a way of running away from the problem. Don’t run. Confront the problem!

As with many things in life, when you avoid a problem, it does not disappear. It will only grow larger and harder to contain. We all have problems in life we would rather not deal with right now, but not doing so makes us feel worse in the future. 


Cry Now, Laugh Later

This is the key principle that allows you to break the cycle. Confront your demons Now, as big as they may have grown. You like to eat a lot of food at night while watching movies. Stop watching movies, play games instead. You eat food to make yourself feel good about a breakup. Work on yourself and find someone better. Food does not solve your problems, it only gives your problems the opportunity to grow bigger.