What Diet is Best For Me? - From Weight Loss to Better Health

Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD
     
Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD
Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD

When it comes to nutrition, we are all a little different. We have various fitness and health goals in mind, different food preferences, and we just aren't all built the same - there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach. But how can you tell exactly which meal plan is going to get you the most results?  

How to Choose the Right Diet?

Realistically, the best diet for you, is one that you can stick to. 

You aren't going to get results on any diet unless you can stick to it. It is consistency over time that will help you reach your goals - not perfect eating and not a few weeks of perfect eating. Simply put, if you can stay on track most of the time and be patient, you will get there, and are more likely to stay there.

Tracking you food intake on a regular basis, using a macro friendly tracking app, is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable and ensure you are being consistent. 

While a little sacrifice is needed, getting healthy, losing weight, etc. doesn't have to be painful. And you shouldn't feel forced to eat foods you just don't enjoy. Your food preferences and how certain foods make you feel is an important consideration before going on any new eating plan. If you're food is making you feel tired, bloated or just plain awful, this could be a sign this diet is a good fit.

Bottom line, if you're having a hard time trying to decide what meal plan fits you best, here are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Pick the diet that includes foods you enjoy eating
  • Stick with a diet that makes you feel good, physically and mentally
  • Choose the diet you can maintain the longest
  • Be consistent and give yourself time to be successful, no matter what diet you choose

What is the Best Diet to Lose Weight?

No matter what diet you choose, we know that weight loss is largely determined by calorie control - by eating less calories than you burn each day, you can lose body weight. And while there are new theories emerging around macros and changing the way you metabolize food - like on a keto diet - a calorie deficit is still the most widely accepted approach to weight loss backed by years of research. 

This is why the first step in any weight loss plan should be to determine how many calories you should be eating a day to lose weight. Then, opt for a plan that keeps your calories within this range.

If your weight loss diet requires a low amount of calories (less than 1600 calories per day), diets that exclude multiple food groups - like keto, paleo, and vegan, may be an easy way to eliminate more calories and promote satiating foods to control hunger. But if your calorie needs for weight loss are still relatively high (more than 2,000 calories per day), you have a little more room to work with and just about any meal plan will get you there. 

Additional considerations that may help make losing weight easier include eating a quality diet full of fiber-rich, nutrient dense foods (fruits and veggies), and lean proteins - all of which have been shown to be foods that support weight loss in various ways. 

How to lose weight fast in a nutshell: 

  • Decrease your calorie intake
  • Increase your calorie burn - exercise more

 

What is the Best Diet for Muscle Gain?

When it comes to adding some muscle mass, calories and protein needs increase! And the quality of you calories becomes much more important, since you want to add muscle weight and not body fat. 

Protein is the macro that becomes muscle, so knowing how much protein to eat each day to build muscle is key. You should strive to get about 1 gram of protein per pound of lean tissue, and most will not need more than 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight total. 

What about the other macros? 

While increasing fat intake is one way to increase your calories without having to add too much additional food volume (since fat is the most calorically dense macro - providing twice as many calories per gram compared to protein and carbs), many experts recommend sticking to a moderate fat intake and increasing your carb and protein calories overall. This is because, outside of a keto diet, fat is more likely to be stored as fat than any other macro in a calorie surplus. And because both carbs and protein support muscle building workouts and increased strength. 

To build muscle, look for a diet that includes plenty of protein and some carbs to support your fitness output, like the clean, classic and a la carte meal plans. 

How to gain weight in a nutshell: 

  • Eat slightly more calories (10% more than your maintenance)
  • Eat plenty of protein
  • Do muscle building workouts

 

What is Meal Prep, is it Right for You?

 Are you a picky eater? Or just want complete control over your meal plan? Enter meal prep.

Meal prepping is nothing more than preparing some or all of your meals in advance to guarantee you are eating your favorite foods and nailing your nutrition and macro goals every day. The catch, it requires a bit of culinary expertise and a little more work than getting on a set meal plan. But of course, if you are cooking all of your meals already, it could be a more strategic approach that saves you time and money in the long run.

Some things to consider if you are meal prepping on your own:

Opting for a meal prep delivery option like Trifecta a la carte, is one way to cut down on cooking - pre-made proteins, veggies and grains can be hand selected and portioned out and seasoned to your liking.

If you enjoy cooking, a la carte options will cut down on time but still give you enough flexibility to create any dish you choose -without having to eat the same thing every day! 

A very basic meal plan, like classic, also allows you to season and top to your liking without too much prep work. 

How to Meal Prep in a nutshell: 

  • Calculate your calorie and/or daily macro needs
  • Plan a menu that fits your nutrition goals
  • Purchase and prep your meals in advance

Trifecta’s Healthy Meal Plans

All meal plans at Trifecta are designed to help you hit your fitness goals and provide a balanced approach to healthy eating, using science based nutrition - no matter which diet you choose.   

Of course, not every meal plan options is right for everyone and each diet will give you something a little different. 

trifecta healthy meal delivery salmon brown rice

Weekly Meal Plans

All meal plans include already cooked and seasoned meals (you just heat and eat) curated by our kitchen and shipped out weekly. If you want to do minimal work when it comes to your diet and just have your food sent to your door, meal plans are perfect for you! 

When trying to decide which meal plan you like best or which diet plan will give you the best results, use this breakdown: 

Eating Clean vs Paleo

Clean eating is based on a balanced approach of whole grains, lean proteins and veggies to provide nutritious meals without any added preservatives or artificial ingredients. This meal plan is also free from dairy, gluten, and soy and is seasoned with minimal added sodium and sugar. 

Paleo is based on a more paleolithic style of eating - essentially what a caveman would eat. This plan is whole foods based and does not include any grains, beans or legumes since cavemen did not have access to these foods. It is also dairy free, gluten free and soy free, and has no artificial ingredients or added preservatives. Think lots of meat, fish and veggies with the occasional sweet potatoes. 

Clean eating is best for:

  • Anyone looking to clean up their diet - especially, if you've never dieted or are just getting started, this is the plan for you! 
  • Someone who has a lot of weight to lose. 
  • Those looking to build muscle or support their sport with proper nutrition
  • A moderate carb, moderate protein, and lean approach to dieting 
  • Those who still want to enjoy grains and pasta while maintaining calorie control. 

 

Clean Meal Plan Average Macros: 

clean meal plan macros-1

Paleo is best for:

  • Those looking to cut a lot of calories
  • Paleo lovers - this plan is strict paleo! 
  • Someone who has been on a diet for a while and needs an extra push to get past a plateau.
  • Individuals who aren't doing heavy training or exercise
  • A moderate fat, lower carb and high protein approach to dieting
  • Those who love meat and fish with lots of veggies

 

Paleo Meal Plan Average Macros: 

paleo meal plan macros-1

Paleo vs Keto

Keto is the lowest carb meal plan available, restricting carbs to less than 5% of total calories. This meal plan is also very high in fat. Because carbs are restricted so low, this plan does not include any grains, beans or starchy veggies. And in contrast to paleo, keto does have some meals with dairy and soy, but is still gluten free. By eliminating most of your carbs, keto allows you to use fat as your primary source of fuel and offers a different variety of foods for those that have a hard time on traditional diets. Think cheese, turkey bacon, organic meats and lots of non-starchy veggies. 

Keto is best for:

  • Those looking to cut a lot of calories
  • Someone with a lot of body fat to lose 
  • Individuals who aren't doing heavy training or exercise
  • A high fat, extremely low carb and moderate protein approach to dieting
  • Those who enjoy eating more rich flavors and fattier foods

Keto Meal Plan Average Macros: 

keto meal plan macros-1


Vegan vs Vegetarian

Vegan and vegetarian diets are both considered meat-free, plant based diet with a few differences between the two. Vegan diets are free from all animal products, including eggs, dairy and any animal derived ingredient. Vegetarian, on the other hand, allows for dairy and egg options. Both of these plans tend to be higher in carbs because carbohydrates come from plant based foods, and all protein is derived from plant based sources. Think rice and beans with veggies (vegan) or scrambled eggs and potatoes (vegetarian). 

Vegan is best for:

  • Strict plant based eaters - no meat and cheese on this plan! 
  • Those looking to cut a lot of calories
  • Anyone looking to increase their intake of veggies and plant based foods
  • A low fat, moderate carb and moderate protein approach to dieting

 

Vegan Meal Plan Average Macros: 

vegan meal plan macros-1

Vegetarian is best for:

  • Plant based eaters who are looking for a little more flexibility and nutrient dense proteins - dairy and eggs are a great source of protein! 
  • Those looking to maintain weight or just clean up their diet 
  • Anyone looking to increase their intake of veggies and plant based foods
  • A low fat, moderate carb and moderate protein approach to dieting

 

Vegetarian Meal Plan Average Macros: 

vegetarian meal plan macros-1

Classic

A classic style of eating is based on a minimal approach with steamed whole grains or potatoes, veggies and lean proteins. This diet has little to no added salt and seasonings and offers a consistent approach to eating - you know exactly what you are getting with little variables. And just like the other meal plans it is ready to just heat and heat!

However, these dishes are selected one meal at a time and shipped out on a reoccurring basis (if you want to change it up, you'll need to change your order each week).  

Classic is best for:

  • Picky eaters who want to season their food themselves or eat a plain diet
  • Those with multiple food allergies or intolerances
  • Those looking to cut a lot of calories or need more consistency in their diet
  • Athletes or those who need more control of their macros and nutrition 
  • A very lean, protein-rich and moderate carb approach to dieting. 

 

Meal Prep Plans

If you are looking to have even more flexibility or say in what food you get, a meal prep plan, using a la carte might be best for you. 

meal prep delivery trifecta

A La Carte

All a la carte options are pre-cooked and ready to be portioned out or tossed into your favorite recipes. They come with almost no added salt and seasoning and you pick and choose exactly what you want each week. And similar to classic, if you want to change it up, you'll need to adjust your order. This plan is perfect for anyone following a macro based diet. 

A La Carte is best for:

  • Families who need larger portions to divvy out and want to cut back on cooking time
  • Anyone who still wants to cook some of their favorite dishes or meal prep out their favorite recipes
  • Serious meal preppers - eliminate all planning, shopping and cooking time, but still mix and match your meals with more variety and tightly controlled nutrition. 
  • Picky eaters who want to season their food themselves or eat a plain diet
  • Those with multiple food allergies or intolerances
  • Those looking to lose weight or gain muscle
  • Athletes or those who need more control of their macros and nutrition 
  • A very lean, protein-rich and moderate carb approach to dieting. 

Getting Started on Your Diet

Once you've found the best diet for you, make a plan to stick to it. Stay consistent for at least a few weeks with minimal cheat meals and then reevaluate how you feel, and how well you are doing reaching your health and fitness goals. Change doesn't happen overnight and you may not get your perfect diet on the first go around. In addition, as you continue on your health journey, keep in mind your needs may change. 

If you've still got some unresolved questions, check out our FAQ page. Or reach out to our amazing customer success team. 

Need more motivation or still undecided? Check out our incredible customer before and afters and see what worked for other Trifecta customers. 

Ready to make dieting a breeze and get started on a meal plan? 

MAKE ME FOOD

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