Updated: Feb 29


HEARTY - providing abundant nourishment; "a hearty meal"; "good solid food"; "ate a substantial breakfast"; "four square meals a day" satisfying, square, substantial, solid.

HEALTHY - A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition: fluid, macronutrients, micronutrients and adequate calories.


So the idea for this post came to me while I was talking to one of my personal training clients from Georgia. For the purpose of this post let's call him Ted. (Did you know that in addition to my Los Angeles, based personal training clients I also do remote training for clients anywhere in the world?)

Before contacting me Ted, had been going to the gym on his own for months. He was working out consistently 3 to 4 days per week yet his weight and body composition didn't reflect the amount of work he felt he was putting in during his sessions. He would spend over an hour and a half at the gym, training multiple times per week yet he wasn't seeing any change in his weight or belly size. This eventually led Ted, to feel completely hopeless and that's when he reached out to me for help.

Ted's situation is actually very common and something that I see all of the time as a personal trainer here in LA as well as with my remote clients. I was pretty sure that I knew the answer to Ted's, problem and that it could be found if we looked a little deeper into his diet.

(Always remember that muscles are GROWN in the gym but they are SHOWN in the kitchen)

Ted, was VERY adamant that he ate "healthy," and actually became a little defensive when I brought up the topic. Again, not my first time with this particular issue so I understood where his defensiveness and frustration was coming from.

I asked Ted, to keep a food diary over the next 5 days so we could get a better understanding of what exactly he meant when he said he "ate healthy."

Ted, begrudgingly agreed and as I suspected, this is where we found the answer to his problem.

Below is an example of a day of eating for Ted...

BREAKFAST: Eggs, Bacon, Hash Browns, Toast and Jam...

BREAKFAST: Vanilla Latte

LUNCH: Loaded Chicken Salad with Honey Glaze Dressing

MID DAY SNACK: Vegan Cookie from Lenny & Larry


DINNER: Beef Stroganoff


Once I saw the food diary my suspicions where confirmed. Ted, was eating "Hearty," but he wasn't necessarily "Healthy."

Let me explain...

Without getting too lost in the "science," weeds I can put it to you like this. You can't consume a diet that is both high in fat AND high in carbohydrates.

Moreover there are A TON of hidden sugars in that days meals (sugar is the devil) along with some food choices that just don't make much sense. For example, why did he have that protein shake after his workout? If he is lacking in protein there are a grand number of better options to choose from that come from actual real foods.

Once we found the root of the problem we were able to give Ted, an actual plan on how to attack his goals and set a reasonable time line for when we could expect him to ACTUALLY hit them.

The thing that my personal training clients always say after we've been working together is that they never had an actual workout plan before and they can't believe how much having a structure and plan has helped them see results. Well the same can be said for your meal choices. What ever "diet," you choose to adhere to MUST also come with a plan.

If you are struggling with reaching your desired weight, body composition and or fitness goals I would love to help. Please don't be shy. email me today at

"Chris Ledford, is a NASM certified personal trainer based in Los Angeles, CA where he and his wife Serein (certified health coach and nutritionist) train clients in physical fitness, health and nutrition."

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Three weeks from now, you'll thank yourself