A Diet So Simple It Hurts

Let’s try something.

For one week:

There are no carbs. There is no protein. There is no fat.

Macronutrients, for the span of seven days, do not exist. You’re left with real, whole food instead — not a collection of numbers.

For 90% of your meals, eat like this:

  • Natural. As natural as you can manage within the constraints of your budget.
  • Unprocessed. This food should not come out of a box.
  • Colorful. Don’t overload on salads, but do try and get in a good mix of fruits and veggies.
  • Nutrient-dense. Here’s looking at you, meat and starch.

For 10% of your meals, make it count. Want to eat something that isn’t natural, unprocessed, colorful, or nutrient-dense? That’s fine. But you’d better make damn well sure that it justifies being on your plate. Don’t reach for cheap, overly-processed crap — you already know what it tastes like. Find something that reminds you, with every single bite, why you decided to indulge.

After the indulgence, don’t beat yourself up. Eat less during the next meal or feel free to skip it entirely. Keep that in mind come regular meal time, too, if you find you’re not all that hungry. Guess what? You don’t have to eat. No one is forcing you. Let your stomach be your guide.

And when you do eat, do this:

  • Immediately box leftovers and put them in the fridge. You don’t need the temptation.
  • Listen to your stomach. The minute you start feeling full, stop eating. Step away from the table, have a glass of water, and get your mind off food.
  • The minute you catch yourself thinking “Oh, there’s just a little bit left, I can just finish it off,” realize what you’re doing.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no. Your friends might like to binge every time they go out, but that doesn’t mean you have to.

Cut back on snacking, too. You shouldn’t need miniature meals.

Lastly? Stop stressing. Realize that a single meal, in the context of everything you eat in a week — and in a month, and in a year — is just a drop in the bucket. One meal won’t derail you. How you approach every other meal, however, can. So why not keep it as simple, healthy, and real as possible?

Do this for one week.

And then do it for the week after. Try the week after that, too. Eat like this for an entire month, now, and realize one thing: this is the last ‘diet’ you’ll ever need.

Welcome to simplicity.


  1. Bunny says:

    You always seem to send a message when I need it the most. Today I did indulge on gluten free peanut butter cookies my sister made me for Easter. No supper tonight – I won’t miss it – back to “simple diet” tomorrow. Thanks Matt!

  2. Absie says:

    So I haven’t had any processed/added sugar in 35 days. I don’t count calories. I’m working on diminishing bread right now with little habit changes and swaps. Anyway, I’ve lost nearly 9 pounds in that time without really trying too hard. I work out too, but mostly HIIT and walking and rock climbing and a bit of independent strength training. I like vegetables and sleeping well and not being stressed out by health issues. Simplicity is really the way to go.