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The #1 Weight Loss Diet to Lose Fat (For GOOD!)

by Jeremy Ethier - March 2, 2024

In this article, I share a game-changing weight loss diet that I guarantee will work for you.

Why is it that only about 10% of us are able to lose fat and keep it off for good?

Well, most of what people learn about dieting is wrong, and just sets you up for failure. 

But after over 10 years of studying the science, working with top dietitians, and testing on thousands of clients, I want to share a game-changing weight loss diet that I guarantee will work for you. 

But pay attention, because every detail in this weight loss diet matters. 

Eat Protein Every Meal 

First off, you need to understand that any weight loss diet, regardless of what you call it, has a simple goal: to get you into a calorie deficit. That's where you’re eating fewer calories than you burn everyday.

But rather than cutting out foods for your weight loss diet, the first step is actually the opposite, eat more

Not just any food though, I’m talking about protein.

One study published back in 2005 had participants change nothing else aside from eat twice as much protein as they usually do.

You’d expect since they were eating more they’d gain weight, right?

Well, the opposite happened.

After bumping up their protein intake, the participants ended up eating 440 fewer calories everyday without them even realizing it.

And after sticking to their higher protein diet for 12 weeks, they lost almost 10 lbs (8.14lbs) of fat! 

Now as for why this happened, part of it is because protein is extremely filling. Try to eat 400 calories worth of chicken breast compared to a bowl of cereal and you’ll be shocked with just how long you stay full for.

Weight loss diet satiety of protein versus cereal

But the real power of protein is that when you’re sticking to a weight loss diet (i.e., in a calorie deficit), your body can choose to burn off either fat or muscle for energy.

Eating enough protein, ideally at least 0.8g per lb of your bodyweight per day, sends a powerful signal to your body to keep your muscle and burn off your fat for energy. 

This is why high protein diets not only lead to more fat loss during the diet, but have also been shown to be more effective at preventing fat re-gain after the diet is over.

Now, this doesn’t mean your weight loss diet needs to look like this:

  • Breakfast: Chicken breast
  • Lunch: Chicken breast
  • Dinner: Chicken breast

You have plenty of other options. For example, here’s what 30 grams of different protein sources looks like. Try to pick any 1 of these to have with each of your meals. 

Weight loss diet different protein sources

Eat Carbs 

So we’re going to continue the theme of eating more in your weight loss diet, but now with carbs.

Back when I was attempting one of my first diets ever, I went on bodybuilding.com and saw a post from a ripped bodybuilder sharing his diet. He explained how he cut out all his carbs and basically ate just meat and veggies. 

So the next day I gave it a shot.

I cut out bread, rice, candy, ketchup — anything that contained some form of carbs. By day 3 of this insufferable weight loss diet, I felt like complete crap. Super low energy and my gym performance sucked. Now after about a week, I actually ended up losing about 5 lbs. But I was confused because I didn’t look or feel any better.

Well, this is why. 

When you cut out carbs, initially, you’ll lose a ton of weight. But this is because carbs pull in water to your muscles. So almost all of that initial weight loss is from water loss, not fat. 

And the reason why cutting out carbs often leads to low energy is because they’re your main source of energy, especially during high intensity exercise. 

Now eventually your body does adapt to this and learns to use other sources for energy.

But the research is clear, as long as you are in a calorie deficit and eating enough protein, you’ll lose fat regardless of if you’re eating a ton of carbs or none at all.

So for me personally, I’m half Filipino and grew up eating rice with almost every meal. So cutting them out completely just didn’t make sense, and you should have seen the look on my mom’s face when I told her I wouldn’t be eating rice for dinner. 

That said, the calories from carbs can add up fast.

If you’re currently overeating then you probably will need to cut back on some of your carbs or at least choose less processed carbs that can keep you fuller for less calories.

A good strategy I personally use in my weight loss diet plan is saving most of my carbs for before and after my workout for when I need the most energy, and then add them into my other meals depending on if I have the room for it.

Fats In Moderation 

So far we’ve talked about protein and carbs, but there is 1 more food group we’ve yet to cover: fats. 

Now, fats are special because carbs and protein contain only 4 calories per gram. Fats, on the other hand, contain more than double this at 9 calories per gram. 

This is what makes them so easy to overeat.

Now aside from the obvious fats like desserts, cupcakes, or oily fries, the real problems are often the hidden fats that pack on the calories without us even noticing. 

For example, here’s what 200 calories of salad dressing, mayo, cooking oil, cream, and butter actually look like. 

I could easily scoop out a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter when I’m feeling a bit peckish, and that could completely throw off my calorie intake for the day. 

Weight loss diet be wary of fat intake peanut butter

But just like with carbs, you shouldn’t completely cut out your fats in your weight loss diet.

Just have them in moderation or try to make swaps like using skim milk instead of full cream, spray oil instead of cooking oil, choosing less fatty cuts of meat, or using a lower-calorie salad dressing.

That said, there are some high fat foods that I can’t live without. Like donuts.

We have amazing donut recipes in our Built With Science cookbook but still, sometimes you just need the real thing. And that brings me to the next tip for your diet. 

Balanced Plate Concept 

Alright, so you need to include protein and carbs in your weight loss diet, but what should your meals actually look like? 

Well, let’s start off with what not to do. 

This 2021 study had subjects follow a strict weight loss diet plan that I’ll put a screenshot of here.

The goal was to put them in a caloric deficit, and they weren’t allowed to substitute any of the foods that they were given. 

After 10 weeks, the results were great. 

On average the participants lost 7 lbs of fat. 

But here’s the catch.

As soon as the diet was over, most of them quickly regained the fat they lost. 

You see, strict meal plans don’t actually teach you the proper habits of sustaining fat loss in the long run

That’s why I love what’s known as the balanced plate concept.

Implementing The Balanced Plate Concept In Your Weight Loss Diet

Instead of rigidly planning out meals, most of your meals in your weight loss diet plan should look something like this:

  • Fill ¼ of your plate with a protein source like the ones I showed earlier
  • Next, to keep you full, fill ½ of your plate with vegetables and/or fruits
  • Lastly, balance out the last ¼ of the plate with either carbs and/or fats

Here’s also some great options from each food category that you can reference to start building your balanced plate for your weight loss diet plan.

Weight loss diet balanced plate food list

For example, for breakfast, maybe it’s eggs (protein), whole grain bread (carbohydrate), with apples and orange (fruit) on the side. 

Or for lunch, maybe it’s extra lean ground beef (protein) with steamed broccoli and carrots (vegetables) with a side of hummus (fats).

Using this approach also stops you from being “that guy” when you eat out with friends at a restaurant. 

Instead of feeling restricted, you can just order food that fits within the idea of having a balanced plate.

Most Supplements Are Overrated 

So far we’ve talked a lot about food but one of the first things people look for to shortcut their fat loss journey are adding supplements to their weight loss diet plan.

And I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of supplement ads of ripped guys and girls making all kinds of crazy promises.

Well, while these companies have mastered the art of using marketing and sales to take advantage of people who don’t know any better, their products are a bunch of BS.

For example, fat burners are pretty much just glorified caffeine pills that spike your heart rate up to burn a small amount of extra calories. 

Now while there are a few supplements that can help you fill in the gaps from your diet, such as Omega-3, zinc, and Vitamin D, there is one supplement that’s probably the single best fat loss tool you can invest in.

Illustrating its power is a study from the British Journal of Nutrition that had a group of subjects first complete a 4-week weight loss diet. After the diet, they split the subjects into 2 groups.

One group added a 30g protein shake into their day whereas the other group did not. 

The protein shake group was able to better prevent fat-regain after the diet was over, and also maintained a smaller waist circumference than those who weren’t given the protein shake.

So if you’re someone who struggles to eat enough protein, then make protein powder your best friend.

As for which one is best, the highest quality and most regulated type of protein is called Whey Isolate.

I do sell my own brand of Whey Isolate, which I’ll admit is more on the pricey side because of the top quality and 29 grams of protein you get per scoop.

But regardless of if you get it from me or somewhere else, I highly recommend making the investment.

Don’t Skip Meals

Now what’s just as important as how you balance your plate is how often you eat. 

I used to think skipping meals was a great idea. If I didn’t eat or just snacked throughout the day, I wouldn’t be getting many calories in and that would surely lead to a caloric deficit by the end of the day. 

But this quickly became a nasty cycle. I’d end up feeling like crap by the end of the day, and as soon as I ate something, my stomach would just become a bottomless pit that never got satisfied. 

You should avoid ever getting to a point where you’re feeling dizzy, have low blood sugar, and want to eat everything in sight. 

That said, there is a popular weight loss diet called intermittent fasting where you don’t eat your first meal until typically after 12 or 2 pm. I’ve personally used this in the past and it worked well.

Not because it’s magic but because it can make sticking to a calorie deficit easier by fitting all your meals into a smaller time window. 

But nowadays I prefer a more regular schedule of eating at least 3 or 4 main meals per day spaced out by around 3-4 hours from each other. Then I’ll add in 1-2 snacks or fruit between my meals when I find I’m the most hungry. 

  • 9:30 am: Breakfast (Meal 1)
  • 11 am: Workout
  • 1 pm: Lunch (Meal 2)
  • 3 pm: Snack
  • 6 pm: Dinner (Meal 3)
  • 8 pm: Dessert/snack

Just note that your body will need time to adjust if you change your eating schedule. But if done properly you should feel improved levels of energy throughout your whole day.

Avoid Distracted Eating While You Can 

Now speaking about when you eat, did you know that WHERE you eat also matters? 

This study published in 2021 analyzed the food environments of over a thousand households. It found that one of the strongest predictors of being overweight was eating meals in front of a TV. 

In addition to this, a few other studies have shown that slowing down your meal by taking more bites before swallowing, using chopsticks or eating with smaller utensils, has a powerful effect  on reducing hunger and potentially boosting fat loss. 

So just imagine how excited my asian mom was when I told her I’d now be eating rice, using her chopsticks, AND sitting at the table for dinner. 

But remember, you gotta take things in moderation.

It’s okay to eat popcorn while watching a movie or watch my YouTube videos during the occasional lunch break. It’s just not a great habit to eat every single one of your meals in front of a screen. 

Avoid All Or Nothing

Avoid all or nothing in your weight loss diet.

Guys, I know the feeling. It’s happened to me countless times. You have a binge episode or a cheat meal gone wrong and you beat yourself up over it and maybe even end up quitting altogether. But one meal or even a day off your plan won’t kill your progress. 

So give yourself permission to have your favorite treats every now and then during your weight loss diet and don’t beat yourself up if you ever end up overeating for a day or two. 

As long as you’re hitting your targets more often than not, you’ll continue making progress, even if it’s not perfect. 

Take It At Your Own Pace

That said, the weight loss diet strategies I’ve shared with you so far should help you get into a calorie deficit.

But I don’t know if you guys have ever seen the video of where average people try to keep up with a marathon runner’s pace and end up falling off after like 20 seconds.

That’s kind of what it’s like if you figure out how many calories is “optimal” for you on paper, and then immediately jump to that for your weight loss diet.

Sure, bodybuilders and hardcore fitness guys like myself have no problem losing fat fast if needed. But my next weight loss diet tip is to take it at your own pace.

You’ll make way more progress losing half a pound of fat every single week consistently rather than losing a lb or two on some weeks and then gaining it all back again on other weeks. 

Now as for how many calories is right for your body, you can head over to our custom calculator here where we’ll give you calories for faster fat loss or slower fat loss depending on what’s more realistic for you. 

Make Your Weight Loss Diet Fun

Lastly, guys, if you forget everything I’ve covered so far about what your weight loss diet should look like, but leave with this final tip in mind, I’ll be happy.

Canned tuna is cheap, high protein, and low calorie.

But I can’t stand it. And excluding it from my diet hasn’t affected my fat loss results at all. 

And on the other hand, I love certain Filipino dishes like Chicken Adobo and Kare Kare so I make an effort to fit those foods into my diet or just try to make healthier versions of them. 

Your weight loss diet doesn’t have to be boring. 

Within our Built With Science programs, we give our members access to hundreds of easy, tasty, high protein recipes that make dieting so much easier. 

And we also have a healthy junk food cookbook available on our site that you can check out here.

But honestly guys just look online and get experimenting. Create a diet you actually enjoy because that’s what you’ll be more likely to stick to in the long run.


  • Eat protein every meal in your weight loss diet. It keeps you full and prevents post-diet fat re-gain.
  • Don’t eliminate carbs, your main source of energy. Tip: save them for before or after your workouts, then add them to other meals if you have the calorie budget.
  • Incorporate the balanced plate concept for a less rigid, more sustainable weight loss diet.
  • Don’t skip your meals. It’ll leave you feeling like crap by the end of the day.
  • Practice mindful and slow eating; it’s likely to prevent you from overeating.
  • Don’t bother supplementing your weight loss diet with supplements — except protein powder (provided you’re not eating enough).
  • Eat calorie-dense fats in moderation.
  • Avoid the all-or-nothing mindset, implement the weight loss diet at your own pace, and, most importantly, have fun.

What Next?

Now while we’ve looked at how to structure your meals and what to put in them, creating a healthy fat loss diet doesn’t have to be crazy expensive. 

In fact, I created one of the cheapest weight loss diet meal plans. It includes all the concepts we’ve discussed in this video, and it only costs around $5 a day. 

So make sure to check out this article next to learn how to make the meals and to find out just how effective the meal plan was after following it for a week

Also, if you want an all-in-one program that shows you exactly how to work out and what to eat every week to get into the best shape of your life, just take our quiz below to create the best plan for you and your body:

Click the button below to take my analysis quiz to discover the best program for you:

Thanks for sticking to the end, and I’ll see ya next time!

By the way, here’s the article summed up into a YouTube video:

The #1 Diet to Lose Fat (FOR GOOD!)

The #1 Weight Loss Diet to Lose Fat (For GOOD!)