The #1 Most Sustainable & Long-Term Diet for Fit, Busy Dads

Where do I go if I don’t want to carry an app around with me everywhere to ‘track’ calories, restrict my favorite foods, or start following a new eating style that gets me weird looks at every family get together?

Seriously, what makes sustainable weight loss? Why is this so hard to come by?

Despite all of the marketing and “new ground-breaking diets,” sustainable weight loss comes down to a few things:

  • Easy to do and maintain
  • Simple to understand
  • Creates results

Popular diets usually miss one or the above. They either create results but require you to learn a lot upfront OR change your whole life upfront, or they are not sustainable because they’re not easy to do or maintain.

Even worse, they’re made for and by athletes or bodybuilders that already HAVE a lot of time, effort and motivation to commit to their fitness.

(How many of us are planning to walk on stage in a bodybuilding show? Now how many are about to cut all their carbs out in an extreme dieting attempt anyway?)

When I say easy to do or maintain, I mean FOR LIFE. That might sound ambitious, but with the right foundation of skills, this is definitely do-able. Bear with me here.

This is one area of your life where it is worth it, and important, to do this right. If you can do that, you won’t have to do it again.

So, again, a sustainable diet should be easy to do and maintain, simple to understand, and create results:

For that reason, this meal template and long-term habits below work perfectly for busy men trying to get fit:

NOTE: This is for men who would like to lose fat long-term, look and feel better, and have more energy daily. Women require different serving sizes, and athletes or physique competitors require much more specific guidelines.

The information below is content dense but will make huge differences in your fat loss efforts.

Lose Weight Simply, Sustainably & Effectively

Below, we’ll be going into HOW to eat, some SPECIFIC foods to have daily, and the LONG-TERM habits required for success.

For now, this is how you can easily build healthy, nutrient-dense and calorie controlled meals every time you eat.

(If you’re new to the concepts and terms below, don’t panic – you can build up to the steps outlined in parts until it feels natural.)

Each meal follows a simple structure, and there are a few clear guidelines, that can then be customized within the template (i.e. the specific foods you eat)


  • 2 servings of lean protein
    • To build & repair muscle and increase how full you feel
  • 2 servings of vegetables
    • To provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs for optimal function, and add a lot of low-calorie volume to your meals
  • 2 servings of smart carbs
    • To maintain your energy levels and make meals more satisfying
  • 2 servings of healthy fats
    • To support and improve hormone production as well as reproductive, immune and brain function

For a man, each of these components create a healthy meal that is tasty, easy to make, and full of nutrients (while controlling your calories!)

The next step is to define a serving. Here’s a simple image of what servings look like:


The reason we use our hands as a serving guide is because,

  • They are portable, approximate and easy to adjust.
  • An effective diet is outcome-based so we don’t need to be exact (which is impossible, anyway) we just need to be agile and track our results.

If you’d like some more detail – a palm of protein is approximately 20g of protein, a cupped handful of carbs is approximately 20g of carbs, and a thumb sized portion of fats is 7-12g of fat.

Over 3-4 meals per day you get an approximate total of 2300-3000 nutrient-dense and health supporting calories each day.

Remember, your personal results are more important than the numbers. Test for 2 weeks and adjust your carb and fat servings up or down based on what you need to do.


  • Lose more fat – Increase protein and vegetables by 1-2 servings each per day, lower starchy carbs & fat by 2-3 servings per day (of either macronutrient) OR increase exercise
  • Start building muscle – Increase protein by 1-2 servings per day, Increase vegetables by 1-2 servings per day, Increase carbs & fat by 1-2 servings per day each
  • Not feeling satisfied with meals – Increase protein by 1-2 servings per day for satiety, increase vegetables by 1 serving per meal for more low-calorie volume in meals

And if this is a lot to do at once, pick one aspect of the meal above and start implementing it today. That can be more protein, more vegetables, or smarter carb & fat choices (which I will define a little further on.)

WANT A MORE IN-DEPTH VERSION? I’ve broken this down even further on my site under the ‘Perfect Meal Template’.

Beyond the specifics, there are some overarching guidelines that will accelerate the process and can start supercharging your results.


  1. Eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods
  2. Minimize eating out
  3. Drink mostly low to no-calorie drinks
  4. Aim to get it right 90% of the time – that means you make smart choices the majority of the time, but you get some room to breathe and relax. That means dessert, drinks or your favourite meal (all without going overboard) when you like, and then getting back to the plan. It’s okay to relax and take it easy sometimes, this is part of a lifelong journey.
  5. Take it easy and pick one thing to focus on at a time! Like more protein, more vegetables, smarter carb and fat choices. Having a coach can make this much easier by specifying your highest yield activities for you and holding you accountable to them.
  6. Be patient! It sounds obvious but long-term results happen over the long-term. Trust the process, and get a coach if you need the extra accountability.

The specific foods to eat daily to lose fat

Let’s lower the barrier to entry a bit and make it as easy as possible to get started. Here are some specific examples of foods from each category to start building meals.

Lean Protein (Pick from these options) Vegetables & Fruit (Pick from these options) Smart Carbs (Pick from these options) Healthy fats (Pick from these options & Use sparingly)
  • Lean red meat
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Plain greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or coconut milk yogurt
  • Protein supplements (whey, milk or plant protein sources)
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)
  • Mixed berries
  • Oranges
  • Mixed beans
  • Quinoa
  • Whole oats
  • Raw, unsalted mixed nuts
  • Avocados
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fish oil (or algae oil)
  • Flax seeds (ground)

You are not restricted to these options, they are just some ideas to get started.

Remember, it’s okay to relax and take it easy sometimes, this is part of a lifelong journey. The skills and habits you build today will continue to pay powerful dividends for your future.

That’s how we do it.

Let me know in the comments below what you are already implementing, or what you will start!

About the author: Ridwan Mao shows busy men simple, practical steps for improving for their bodies and lives on his blog. His goal is to show you how you can start seeing results TODAY, even if you’re struggling with time, energy and motivation. Take action at

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