Why Your Diet Isn't Working & How To Fix It

Why Your Diet Isn't Working & How To Fix It


Whether you are new to working out and eating healthy or a veteran of the iron
paradise – anyone can fall into the traps that squash your diet goals. A couple
of extra pounds of fat during a “bulk” can end up to 30-40 lbs. in a year
unfortunately easily. Today, let’s dive in the best practices to get lean in 2021 –
without breaking down the muscle you’ve worked so hard to build.

Common Mistakes:
1) I don’t want to hear about a moderate strategy. I want to chase the current trend (think keto, paleo, intermittent fasting)
2) Rely on motivation too much in the beginning.
3) Not creating new habits.
How to Fix Your Diet:
For starters, you MUST be in an energy deficit. Put plainly, eat less than your body needs, and it will use fat reserves to function. It doesn’t (necessarily) matter which specific diet you choose, but physiologically you MUST be in an energy deficit to lean up. It is possible to lose fat (and build muscle) at maintenance calories – but it isn’t a quick or the most effective methods. Need some help figuring out what a good starting energy deficit is? Check out this free calculator on the Midwest Meals site to calculate your calories (and macros). We recommend selecting the “sustainable fat loss” unless you are very high in starting body fat.

Once you are in a caloric deficit, how do you stop your body from breaking down muscle instead of fat?

Well, the best thing you can do is progressive resistance exercise. Meaning, DON’T STOP WORKING OUT! Progressive resistance exercise is training with WEIGHTS. If you’d like to add in some cardio, make sure your volume is no more than 1⁄2 of the time you are spending with the weights (no more than 30 minutes per day).


Okay, we’ve talked about diet in theory, but how about food choice?

Well for starters, try to avoid as much highly processed ingredients as possible! Look for single ingredient food limits. But, don’t have an “I can’t have that food” mentality – work in a fun food here and there so you stay interested in your diet.
Weigh yourself regularly.

Try not to be too overly critical of the number on a daily (or even weekly) basis. Use it as a feedback loop so you can identify month-to-month trends!

The end goal? Unless you plan to become a competitive bodybuilder, maintaining ultra low body fat levels is not sustainable and NOT healthy. Instead, think of “beach lean” – not “diced to the gills”. Once you get to your goal weight, you can slowly increase your calories and you will be able to maintain your physique!

Written by Dan Beck. Dan is the owner and CEO of Midwest
Meals, a meal prep company based out of Eau Claire, WI with the
primary goal of helping to end the obesity epidemic. If you have
questions about this article or Midwest Meals, feel free to email
me at dan@midwestmeals.com and I’d be happy to help!

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  • Jesse Westover