The Lean Diet Explained

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The lean diet, also known as the lean lifestyle, has become one of the most popular fad diets in recent years. The idea behind this diet is simple – reduce the number of calories you consume by eating primarily low-fat, low-calorie foods and exercising regularly to burn off the excess calories you take in from that food. It sounds easy enough – in fact, it almost seems too easy at first glance.

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What is the Lean Diet?

The Lean Diet - healthy fats

The lean diet is a lifestyle of eating high-quality protein and healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, fish, avocado, avocados, and eggs. The lean diet recommends steering clear of carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and refined sugars that can increase the likelihood of health problems like diabetes and heart disease. This type of diet requires you to eat more often than a traditional three-square-meals-per-day approach to make sure your body stays fueled throughout the day.

While some people turn to meal replacement shakes or other meal replacements, there are many dangers associated with these products that may cause long-term damage to your health. The lean diet doesn’t replace any meals; instead, it simply allows you to pick healthier alternatives so that you’re not sacrificing taste while still being mindful of what goes into your body each day.

Weight loss is one of the most important goals associated with adopting new eating methods, but do so in a sustainable way. That means allowing yourself to reach an ideal weight while also maintaining good habits—not just cutting calories but adding nutrients into every meal through whole foods instead of processed powders or liquid meals.

Benefits of the Lean Diet

Get Fit Fast? Lose Weight Quickly? Help with Muscle Building and Energy Levels? These are just a few questions about why someone would want to go on the lean diet. The answers to those questions lie in knowing how the lean diet works. A lean diet is also known as a crash or rapid weight loss diet.

The Lean Diet - carbs

You will be cutting out almost all forms of sugar (including simple carbs like white bread, rice, pasta, etc.) and fats (no vegetable oils) while focusing mainly on getting your daily intake of carbohydrates from complex carbs like whole grains and vegetables.

While it can seem tempting to follow that low-fat label on some foods, you should read labels carefully before purchasing them because fat free doesn’t always mean carb free—many low-fat products are full of refined carbohydrates instead. That can make you crave more calories later in the day, leading to overeating and increased body fat.

The Lean Diet - refined carbs

The lean diet is excellent for those trying to lose weight quickly. It allows for little to no room for cheat meals or treats, and it does not allow you to under-consume calories throughout your day. This diet can produce dramatic results in a short amount of time, making it perfect for a summer body or beach trip fast! You may even find that going on a lean diet helps you maintain a healthy weight long after your diet has ended.

What Does It All Mean?

Losing fat is a fairly straightforward concept. If you’re eating less calories than needed, your body will start to use up its energy stores—first by burning off your glycogen stores in your muscles and liver, then by breaking down muscle tissue itself. But when it comes to replacing that lean tissue, things get complicated.

The lean dieting approach focuses on creating an environment within our bodies that favors building new muscle and minimizes fat storage by keeping insulin levels low—because insulin triggers increased glucose storage and increase protein storage and fat storage.

The Lean Diet - beach body

People interested in adding or maintaining lean mass while losing fat usually fall into two camps: athletes looking for performance gains (or just avoiding losses) and those looking to optimize their figures before hitting the beach. In both cases, staying away from carbs at night—when we naturally produce more insulin anyway—is extremely important for optimizing results.

In short, athletes who want to lose weight should focus on moderate amounts of carbohydrates during training sessions followed by very small amounts of high-quality protein and monounsaturated fats (such as fish oil). This type of program helps maintain performance while still promoting safe weight loss over time. The Lean Diet is also good for non-athletes looking to maximize muscle definition.

Bodybuilders are already familiar with many of these principles but can benefit from fine-tuning their diets. If you’re in that camp, skip sugary breakfasts or sports drinks and load up on vegetables first thing in the morning. That way, your meals are more likely to be low-carb for maximum insulin suppression throughout your day. It’s important to make sure you’re consuming enough lean proteins.

For instance, chicken breast or tuna—which is typically 80 percent water—since proteins tend not only to help you feel full but also aid muscle recovery post-workout thanks to their essential amino acids like tryptophan.

Sample Meal Plan

A common misconception of going on a diet is that people will consume fewer calories, but in reality, going on a lean diet requires you to change your mindset about food. The first step is creating a meal plan that fits your lifestyle and schedule. Creating an organized list of foods makes it easy to identify how many calories are consumed throughout each day.

Instead of consuming breakfast every morning at 8 AM and eating dinner at 7 PM, create designated time periods for different meals—and try not to eat unless you’re physically hungry. Start with three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) because eating more frequently can sometimes hinder weight loss.

Track everything that goes into your mouth so you know exactly how many calories and protein is being consumed at any given moment. This may be difficult at first, but it becomes second nature over time. Consistency is key when trying to shed pounds quickly; all progress can be destroyed if one bad habit creeps back in! Here is the Lean Diet sample meal plan for a day to try out:


Broccoli and Feta Omelet

The Lean Diet - Broccoli and Feta Omelet


Cooking spray

1 cup chopped broccoli

2 large eggs, whisked

2 tablespoons Feta cheese, crumbled

¼ teaspoon dried dill


Lentil Soup with Kale and Sausage

The Lean Diet - Lentil soup


6 ounces smoked sausage, sliced in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

1 tablespoon or so olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonal

1 rib celery, sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 cups water

1 cup dried lentils [brown or green], rinsed

1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasonings

2 bay leaves

5 cups torn kale leaves only

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Taco Salad

The Lean Diet - taco salad


1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef (mince)

2 teaspoons taco seasoning

1/2 bell pepper, strips, or diced

2 tablespoons salsa

2 cups loosely packed lettuce (romaine)

1 cup diced tomato

1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheese

2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

Large Wholewheat tortilla wrap (optional)

This is a sample meal plan, but feel free to tweak it to make it more suitable for your needs. Take notes of your daily intake and measurements so you can see how well your body is adapting to a lean diet. Note that measuring portions can be difficult if you’re trying to lose weight, but try avoiding super-sized meals; instead of eating two servings at one sitting, divide food into single-serving containers or bowls.


The Lean diet has become increasingly popular over recent years, thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow and other celebrities who use it. But what is it? It’s a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that also advises cutting out sugar, alcohol, and processed foods. Proponents say it reduces bloating, curbs cravings, and helps you lose weight fast.

The Lean Diet - bloating

Some research backs these claims, but others have found that lean diets can actually pack on more pounds than traditional healthy ones (they lack nutrients). If you want to try lean—and assuming your doctor says it’s okay—be sure to keep an eye on portion sizes, as they may be smaller than what you’re used to.

You should favor healthier protein sources like beans and fish. Also, be wary of superfood supplements; many of them don’t provide any extra benefits beyond eating whole food sources naturally rich in those nutrients.

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