1. Nutrink

    Hi Caitlin, Great article very informative article, and yes if you just try to include more of fruits and vegetables in your main diet, you will be including almost all of these essential ingredients of health.

    1. shelby

      technically, fruits are a huge no no if you are on a strict diet. Bananas are the #1 worst fruit for you and a lot of fruits hold so much sugar…
      also, some veggies like squash, zucchini, asparagus and many more are very starchy and should be avoided, again if you’re on a strict diet.

  2. Eva U

    You mention paying attention to macro intake in the wrap up paragraph but I don’t see any links to help you calculate them. I have been following the bodybuilder.com macronutrient calculator, but wanted to see if there are other more accurate calculators out there. I am looking to build lean muscle and lose pesky leg and arm fat.

  3. Sarah

    What about vegan. And I don’t eat tofu or any soy products . I’m finding that I’m constantly hungry or gassy.

    1. Alyson McDonald

      Sarah, if you are eating a vegan diet you can modify anything on this list to support the vegan lifestyle, and you can definitely do so without eating soy or tofu if you want!

  4. Lachelle

    In one of the previous comments, you said that quinoa was great and that trainer Lindsey tries to stay away from soy…

    Which catagory does quinoa fall into?

    Why does trainer Lindsey stay away from soy?

  5. A Stephens

    I’ve never even heard of half of this stuff …. -__-

  6. ROS76

    I’m surprised nuts and beans aren’t on this list. Are they bad?

    1. Caitlin Peterson

      No they aren’t bad. Nuts and beans are great! We don’t include everything on this list, just a lot of good options!

  7. Teresa ronk

    I’m gonna try to eat healthy I have to have surgery been putting it off for 7yrs on back i have a tumor on bottom of spine and a very bad tare and 4 ruptured disc I want to lose a 100lb before surgery and then another 50 after surgery I can sit and do few exercise but I have to walk with cane r walker the tumor has arms and there wrapping around stuff not sure what yet till another MRI but I’m falling alot so walking out which before I got so bad that still was out I’d walk then spend 2 days in bed with bad pain i use to exercise gymnastics and even taught but stopped it all after got married I wished I’d never stop i just want my life back

    1. Caitlin Peterson

      I’m sorry to hear that Teresa, I wish the best for you! Yes, eating healthy really is the way to go! If you want meal plans for you that are designed to help you lose weight, you should try Lindsey’s Free 15 Day Fit Body Challenge. It also provides workouts but you could tailor it to you and just follow the meal options. They are delicious! http://www.idealfit.com/15-day-fit-body-challenge.list?widget_id=306689

  8. Bubbling

    My activity level has decreased due to knee problems. So cardio has been almost none. What can I do?

    1. Caitlin Peterson

      Hi, in a case like this, we definitely recommend talking to your doctor or physical therapist to see which exercises are good for you.

  9. Julie

    I have been wanting to lose about 18lbs and tone up. However, due to my health I am on a super restrictive diet called the IC diet. I really wanted to try to protein meal replacement shake but can’t because it has stevia in it. Do you know of any that don’t have stevia (or any artificial sweetners or aguave), soy, or cocoa in them? I have had a really difficult time finding anything, If there aren’t any, what else could I do to substitute for that?

    1. Caitlin Peterson

      Hi Julie, so we don’t use Stevia, we actually use Sucralose. Unfortunately I’m not sure of any protein supplements out there that don’t contain ony of those ingredients. I’m so sorry about that. However, you could look to whole foods to get your needed amount of protein. Foods like egg whites, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, fish, chicken, and other lean meats all have good protein content. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

  10. Amy

    Meals are organized differently based on when you exercise. Is there a specific time when the meal should be eaten before or after the exercise?

  11. Amy

    This is great! Also I was planning on starting the 15 day challenge this Wednesday so it will end before my birthday, company and traveling. I’m afraid these things will sabotage my challenge. Is it unwise to do this? I found the eating plan for the challenge on line and will hopefully have my protein powder

    1. Caitlin Peterson

      Hi Amy, I would say go for it! To get the complete challenge you should sign up using this link so that you can also get the exercise programs. http://www.idealfit.com/idealfit-challenges.list Traveling, birthdays, etc. don’t have to sabotage your success as long as you are committed to a healthier lifestyle! Go for it! I believe in you!

  12. Marci Olson

    I cannot download this list. 🙁 When I click on the link or the picture, I get this: This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.
    AccessDeniedAccess Denied590A4C127A020F762W9CBwV6QL9BDZ0lWl3Tkbod+QQw2+roHYMmR2R8uoOit/N98EYR5EDoFPgN5/sJfoTv8KjUBQ4=

    It’s a fabulous list. Will you please let me know how else I might access it?

    1. Caitlin Peterson

      Hi Marci, I am sorry about that. It should be working now. So try clicking on that link again!

  13. Eva Stone

    I have the Ideal Protein shake but not the Ideal Lean. Which is better for toning up or weight loss?

    1. Caitlin Peterson

      Hi Eva, do you mean that you have the IdealShake Meal Replacement Shake, but not the IdealLean Protein? If that is the case the two are actually quite different. IdealShake is formulated specifically for weight loss and can be used to replace a meal, while the IdealLean Protein shouldn’t be used as a meal replacement, it is used to promote lean muscle growth and promote a better workout recovery.

  14. Lisa

    What r other good healthy breakfast ideas besides multi grain Cheerios.
    Thx. Lisa

  15. Sandra

    Avocado? Is it a good o bad fat? You hear a lot o comments about this good fat!

    1. Caitlin Peterson

      Hi Sandra, Avocados are definitely good fats. We love avocado over here!

  16. Rachel

    What about asparagus and varieties of squash (e.g. summer, zucchini, spaghetti, etc)? Why do those not make the cut?

    1. Kirsten Jackson

      Some types of squash can like butternut or acorn can be a little carb heavy. Asparagus, summer squash, and zucchini are great options though! You can totally add those to your list 🙂

  17. Aimee

    I can’t wait to get started. I’m supposed to start my 15 days this Monday but I’m waiting for my 30 day combo pack of ideal Lean shakes (pre-workout and post, a free fat burning pill supply and one other thing). Haven’t received it yet? If I don’t get it before Monday do I still start in Monday? I ordered it on June 7? I’m really hoping this will jump start me into healthier habits…

    1. Kirsten Jackson

      A new challenge starts every Monday. So you could always wait until you get your product and start the Monday after.

    1. Kirsten Jackson

      Quinoa is another good one! As far as edamame, I know that Trainer Lindsey tries to avoid soy for the most part.

  18. Chenell Stewart

    I have been up and down with weight loss. At 50 I want to conquer this mountain in my life.I am waiting on my order to arrive lean protein powder. I am determine to win! SO TO ALL THE WOMEN /MEN Don’t Give UP !

  19. Shelby

    What can I substitute for ground turkey? I just can’t get myself to eat it

    1. Kirsten Jackson

      Ground turkey is a great high-protein food because as far as meat goes it’s fairly low in fat.

  20. Hannah

    Valerie, have you considered growing a garden? Things you grow at home taste better and are free!

  21. Valerie

    Would love to eat healthy but sadly this doesn’t work for large middle class families. Stores make everything that is unhealthy cheaper. I feed a family of 7 and try to keep things as healthy as possible but have to make one meal per day to feed entire family. Have any suggestions to follow this for a family on a budget of around $50-75 dollars per week. That is an article that can help the American public since most people don’t cook for only one person. If you could find a way to make this work I would not only be your biggest supporter, but it would help 5 children grow to be able to share in future. I have all of them cook with me and since I make everything homemade I can control everything except for the price the good food cost.
    Kids are 17,14,13,11,10, and most in sports so need healthy but filling because they burn off almost as quickly as they consume. Thank you for your time.

    1. Maggie

      Grow a garden if you can like Hannah said or look and see if they have a bountiful basket drop off in your area.

    2. MaryJean

      I am an RN and health coach for people with chronic illnesses. Many of my clients struggle with eating healthy on a budget. One of the things we recommend is buying in bulk when in season and freezing or canning for the future.

    3. Gloria P

      I’m not sure if you already do this or not but beans are a really cheap way to bulk up a meal. If you don’t eat a lot of beans now a great way to add them slowly into your diet is by taking meals that you already prepare with something like ground beef/turkey( tacos, sloppy joes, etc) and replace half the beef with beans. I found pinto goes good with almost anything but feel free to exparament. Not only do beans have protein but they are also high in fiber which helps fill you up faster. Buying dried beans in bulk is really cheap, but if you are new to beans I suggest starting with the canned ones. Just be sure to rinse them off cuz they are in salt water.

  22. Ashley Jones

    I am a vegetarian, what foods would you recommend? My goal is to be leaner and build muscle.

    1. Kirsten Jackson

      Active women should eat about 1g of protein per pound of body weight, that’s especially true if you want to build lean muscle. It might be more difficult to find high protein foods but it’s not impossible. Eggs, particularly egg whites, are high in protein so is cottage cheese and non-fat greek yogurt. I would definitely recommend taking a protein supplement like IdealLean Protein to help you meet your protein goals. It has zero fat/carbs/sugar so you can add more protein to your diet without adding the other stuff that you don’t need more of. If you want to learn more about protein I suggest reading this blog post: https:// idealfit-thg.eu-west-1.elasticbeanstalk.com/the-complete-guide-to-protein-for-women/

  23. Shannon D

    Multigrain Cheerios are not gluten free…

    May want to rethink that a bit before misguiding anyone with a severe gluten allergy or intolerance.

      1. Lori

        I think there are some issues with cheerios claim that they are gluten free. Be careful if you have severe reactions

        1. Amanda

          Cheerios made all of their products gluten-free a couple of months ago I believe.

          1. Alyson McDonald

            hey Amanda, they did! Which is great news!

    1. Nanci Crepeau

      I appreciate your and other’s comment regarding this point. Hopefully anyone over 10 years old has given up on Cheerios anyway when there’s other products on the market that are tastier/healthier for us.

  24. Gramy

    One more step in this diet delete those things that some of us with Colon problems have all the time. Anything that is hard to digest has to be deleted otherwise this is a good diet.

    1. Nanci Crepeau

      Can you help me on this topic? What foods are you referring to so I can cut them out of my diet?

  25. Elizabeth

    Any suggestions on nut free alternatives? I am allergic to all nuts sadly.

    1. Kirsten Jackson

      Instead of almond milk you could always go for low-fat/1% milk. Avocado or sunflower butter are both good alternatives to peanut butter or almond butter.

    2. Andrea

      I’m also allergic to nuts, and vegan, makes things only a little trickier. My favorite thing and I bake with them, put them in pesto and snack on handfuls, are pepitas. So good. I use a lot of them also sunflower and sesame seeds. Why aren’t beans listed in proteins?

  26. Michelle Massey

    Any thoughts on additional dairy alternatives? I’m allergic to dairy. I utilize all kinds of nut milks, but would love suggestions if you have them. This also makes IdealLean not possible for me. Thanks in advance for any ideas you might have 🙂

    1. Kirsten Jackson

      Yeah, any nut milk is a great alternative. Almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, they’re all great. Just make sure you get the unsweetened kind.

    2. Hannah

      There are non dairy products I’ve tried that are really good and to me tastes better than dairy. The brand of non-dairy items I recommend is Daiya. They make different cheeses, yogurt, and even a cheesecake(only a special occasion choice), I’m sure they make more, but that’s what I would suggest. Also a brand called So Delicious(coconut milk based) makes some great
      non-dairy products.

  27. Pam Trammell

    On the 15 day plan, it call for steak but I don’t see it on the grocery list.

    1. Kirsten Jackson

      This grocery list isn’t 15 Day Challenge specific. It’s a typical “fit girl” grocery list. Lean steak is great, but it’s not something you’ll see on our grocery lists every week.

    1. Kirsten Jackson

      For the most effective way to lose 20 pounds, I recommend Trainer Lindsey’s 6 Week Fit Body Challenge. It comes with the workouts and the meal plans you need to burn fat and build lean muscle. If you follow the 6 Week Challenge to a T you’ll see awesome results! Here’s a link to learn more: https://trainerlindsey.com/

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