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497: What’s The Best Diet For You with Ted Ryce

Are you having trouble choosing the best diet for you? Are you stuck between all the “nutrition camps” out there? Keto, Paleo, Intermittent Fasting, Vegan, Low Carb… the list goes on!

After all, it isn’t just about picking a good diet. It’s also about sticking to the diet in the long run and losing fat.

In this episode, Ted uses his wealth of knowledge and the latest scientific evidence to explain the key nutrition principles of a good diet, do’s and don’ts of counting calories, how to control your appetite, and the importance of food quality.

He explains how to bring awareness while eating, how to stop emotional eating, and the link between nutrition and fat loss. All of that to help you pick a diet that fits your body and lifestyle so you can finally create the lean body that you’ve always wanted. Listen Now!


You’ll learn:

  • How to choose the right diet for you
  • Popular diets around the world
  • The key nutrition principles for success
  • Meeting people where they’re at
  • Eating with awareness
  • The Dos and Don’ts of counting calories
  • Why food quality is important to your health
  • The importance of controlling your appetite
  • What’s emotional eating
  • How Hyper-palatable affect hunger and weight loss
  • The benefits of protein
  • Is nutrition more important than exercise
  • The importance of habits and lifestyle to a good life
  • The big key in the nutrition & fat loss
  • And much more…


Related Episodes:  

467: How To Leave Toxic Diet Culture Behind And Focus On Optimal Health and a Balanced Life with Danny Lennon

445: The Most Effective Diet For Weight Loss with Ted Ryce

495: The Only 7 Science-Based Weight Loss Strategies You Need To Know with Ted Ryce


Do You Need Help Creating A Lean Energetic Body Without Losing Your Social Life Or Following Time-Consuming Workouts & Restrictive Diets?

We help successful entrepreneurs, executives, and other high-performers to burn fat, transform their bodies, and increase their energy while enjoying life.

If you’re ready, sign up for my new LIVE event, “Unstoppable After 40 Blueprint” where I teach you the super simple 4-step process our successful clients are using to getting lean on autopilot.

Click here to sign up for this LIVE workshop Now!

P.S. This is a LIVE workshop on April 13th at 2 pm Eastern time. We have 15 guest seats only. There will be no replay for this event.


Podcast Transcription: What’s The Best Diet For You with Ted Ryce  

Ted Ryce: People always want to know, what diet do I follow? What nutrition approach do I believe in? And when I speak to potential coaching clients, they’re always asking me, “Well, what specific foods do I have to eat?” So, if you’ve ever wondered what my views are on nutrition, how I personally approach it, and what you can learn from my 21 plus years of experience in the health, fitness business, as well as coaching hundreds of people, well, that’s what we’re going to get into today.

What’s up, my friend?  My name is Ted Ryce. And I want to welcome you back to the Legendary Life podcast. I’m a health expert. And what we do on this podcast is we break down science-based information on how to lose fat, prevent disease, and live a longer, healthier, legendary life. So, if that’s what you’re into, what I want you to do is click that subscribe button wherever you listen to podcasts.

So back to this idea about how to choose the right diet for you. And to answer the questions that I get some times about, hey, Ted, what do you…? What do you do? Are you paleo? Do you do intermittent fasting? Do you eat all organic? And I think the answer for those of you who are new to this podcast are going to surprise you. Now all my coaching clients know, because they’ve actually worked with me.

But I get all these questions. What do you think of intermittent fasting? Someone asked me that not too long ago. I’ve even written an article on it. What do you think of this? What do you think of that? Should I buy all my food organic? In fact, one of my clients today, a one-on-one client, entrepreneur, former bodybuilder and extreme sport athlete and very successful in many areas of his life, very knowledgeable about health and fitness, but still working with me because guess what, he doesn’t look the way he wants.

And he was talking to me like, “Hey…” I have him on a higher carb diet, and he’s just not liking it. He feels he’s given up all the healthy fats that he’s used to eating. So, I said, “No problem, Peter. Let’s just change it around. I don’t care,” right? And I didn’t say I don’t care. But I don’t have any attachment to whether you do a higher carb or lower carb or a moderate carb and moderate fat or low fat. I don’t have any attachment to that.

And that confuses people, because all you want to know is like, well, I don’t understand. Just tell me what to follow. But I just don’t simply fall into a single diet camp. And I’ve done a lot of different approaches over the years, tried a lot of different things. And what I do now is going to be different than what I do in the future, and I’m still going to be healthy, my blood work still going to be good. And I’m still going to be following more or less the same principles, but what I actually eat is going to look different.

For example, when I was in Thailand, guess what? They eat a lot of carbs out there, noodles and rice. If you need any proof to yourself, that carbs don’t inherently make you fat. Well then look no further than Asia. They eat a lot of carbs, they eat lower protein, lower carb, lower fat and high carb. They keep their portion sizes pretty small. And as a result, they’re quite thin people.

So there’s not a lot of beef out there in Southeast Asia; there’s pork, there’s chicken. There are all sorts of different things: fish, all sorts of different parts of animals that most people would never eat, including the ridiculous Western folks who consider themselves paleo.

But then I was in Colombia, and there was a lot of meat, and the meat was so delicious, ate myself a lot of Churrasco. a lot of solomillo limpio, which is clean sirloin. But I have been following the same principles. And also arepas. And they have kind of the opposite in terms of Asia, it’s much higher fat, much higher in protein. And I would, I guess, say lower in carbs, too, although some of the dishes can just be high in everything. And as a result, guess what, there’s more of an obesity issue in Meta Gene, Colombia. I mean, not to American proportions, but there are some big people out there.

So, what I’m trying to tell you is, there’s…And then they’re thin people there too, healthy weight people. And they’re eating very different things. And this is one of the big things that I’ve learned, not just from studying nutrition, but actually going into different cultures and seeing how they live.

Because I didn’t just stay at the Four Seasons for a week or two on vacation. I lived in these places for months, and I ate at the local places, I always do. I still go to the Western restaurants, hang out with the tourists – sometimes. But I mean, think about all the diversity, right?

There are hundreds of countries, there’s different body types. People prefer different things. Thai people love noodles, they love them, and Colombians love arepas and meat. And some people have a lot of money to spend on their nutrition; others don’t. Some people, they will never eat, like any processed food. And some people eat a lot of it. And some of us have a lot more time than others.

So, you’re starting to get the picture here. So what I’m trying to tell you is the best coaches that I know, they don’t fit into any of the diet camps, they may practice one. But what they ultimately do is they focus on principles. And the thing is, if we look at a lot of the most popular diets, they have the same principles in common. And we’re going to talk about that. Because I mean, it’s just so crazy.

There are healthy people all around the world, and they eat very differently. The Kitavans in the South Pacific, for example, eat traditional diets that are low in fat, but very high in vegetables and carbs. The Maasai in Western Africa, eat animal products, very high in fat and don’t eat a lot of vegetables. And if they find some honeycomb, they’ll eat it until there’s nothing left.

So, there’s these big differences in diets. But what is the commonality here is that these people are healthy. And what I’m trying to get at is that the human body is just incredible. It can adapt to a bunch of different dietary conditions. I was in Southeast Asia, eating a very different way, then went to South America, eating very differently from what I was eating in Southeast Asia.

And then here I am in America, again, eating quite differently, and it’s less tasty here in Vero Beach, Florida. It was much more tasty in Colombia and Southeast Asia, but we’re talking about nutrition and health here. The taste? We’ll talk about that some other time.

And what I’ll tell you is what I’ve noticed, being a coach is that you’ve got to be a bit agnostic, when it comes to nutrition. Unless, by the way, you’re one of those people, one of those coaches who you just do one thing. So there’s a ton of keto people out there, ton of paleo people out there, for example. In fact, it’s a cult. There’s plenty of people, if you want to join that, then do that. There’s plenty of people. I’m not the person to do that with.

What I do is I apply principles to people and help them optimize what they’re already doing. You know what I try to do? I try to help people change their nutrition as little as possible. And then I help them to lose fat. And then I help them optimize like, “Okay, well, what are the low hanging fruit?” Because some people, for example, they’re hating vegetables. Okay, so what are some things that we could do instead?

And people get mad at me sometimes. I had a nutritionist get mad at me for promoting a dry greens powder. And what I said is, I don’t force people to…

Look, it’s so funny, this is not to go off too much on it on a tangent here. But as many of you know, I’m working with my dad, he’s done some physical therapy, he was in an inpatient physical therapy rehab program.

And I went there one day to see what they were doing and also to talk to the physical therapist. And the physical therapist handed my dad a sheet, “Okay, here are all these 50 exercises that you should do every week.” And it was like, you know, touch your fingers together. It was all these exercises. And I just laughed and said, “Okay, so you gave him a sheet of 50 things he’s never going to do.”

Because what we have to do is meet people where they are. And that would be the first principle that I would say, is that you’ve got to meet people where they are. You can’t just say, “Hey, listen, now look, you don’t eat vegetables, you hate them. All you’re going to eat is you’re going to eat 10 servings of vegetables now. That’s what you’re going to do every day. Oh, you’ve never worked out before. Well, guess what, you’re going to do it six days a week.”

So that’s the thing. And if you’re one of these people who are hearing all the extreme views, and like, oh, I should eat shots of ginger in the morning, and then drink a vegetable juice and eat grass-fed meat flown in from the mountains of Colorado, and Himalayan sea salt. You don’t have to do that. What you have to do is improve from where you are.

So we need to meet ourselves where we’re at. Does that make sense? Makes sense to me. In fact, it works. Once we get moving in a direction, then we can work on taking two or three steps at a time. But at first, it’s one step at a time, depending on where the person is.

That is my number one nutrition philosophy. You have to meet people where they are. You can’t say, oh, you follow a high carb diet. Well, guess what, we got to do a low carb diet now. Oh, you have a high fat diet? Well, guess what, we’re going to get rid of all your healthy fats. And we’re just going to eat high carbs now.

Because a big part of something that’s completely overlooked in all the diet wars and all the exchanges are that you need to feel good about what you’re doing. And if you think carbs are going to make you fat, even if it’s been proven to you over and over again, that it’s just not true, but you’re doing it. And I have a belief that if you’re not congruent, if you’re not sold on the idea of what you’re doing, you’re not going to be doing it for long, and you’re not going to get great results. We sabotage ourselves.

And the same thing…It doesn’t have to be switching dietary philosophies. It could be, guess what, okay, so you eat basically all your foods out of a box, guess what, now you’re going to prepare all your meals, that’s too many steps away.

Someone’s not going to go from microwaving meals and eating processed packaged foods, to cooking all their meals overnight, just because they should. We’ve got to meet ourselves where we are, and we’ve got to build from there.

And I’ll tell you another thing. One of the next principles is you’ve got to raise your awareness about nutrition, you’ve got to develop the awareness about what you’re eating. Personally, what I do with my coaching clients, I have them use My Fitness Pal, and I have them track what they eat. But you could just write it down. Because a lot of people think they’re eating a certain way, but they’re eating a completely different way.

I’ll give you an example. You can ask someone, “Hey, how much time do you spend on social media?” “Oh, not that long. I just go on there a couple minutes a couple times a day.” “Okay, cool. How many minutes do you think you spent?” “I’ll probably say around maybe 30 minutes maximum. Maybe sometimes more, but about 30 minutes.” Then what you do is you go into their phone, look at how long they’ve been on social media apps, and it’s hours of time, hours of time!

We have this lack of awareness about what we do. This is another key nutrition principle. Develop awareness about what you’re doing. track it, write it down. Use an app like Lose It or My Fitness Pal to help you gain awareness about what you’re doing. Paying attention to what you do has actually been proven to be a key factor in whether you’ll lose fat, get lean or improve your health. So, if that’s what you’re interested in, develop awareness.

And I use this analogy all the time. It’s like if someone…And I’m asking you this question right now: imagine someone that you cared about, they came to you. And they said, “Hey, I don’t know why, but I get paid, but I don’t have any money at the end of the month. It’s too much money at the end of the month.”

And what would you tell that person? What if they told you this? Well, I don’t feel like I’m eating... I’m sorry, giving away the punchline here. But I don’t feel like I’m spending that much. What would you tell them? You would say, hey, write everything down that you’re doing, find out how much money is coming into the bank, find out how much money is going out, look at your expenses, look at the automatic debits.

Get it all down on paper and look at it. That’s probably where you will figure out everything. Well, that’s what I help my clients do. Because the same thing is true with nutrition. Another key principle here is calories matter. It’s the big secret! Calories matter! Low carb diets work because you cut calories from carbs, low fat diets work because you cut calories from fat. Intermittent fasting works because you cut calories out either in the morning or at night or for a whole day, or depending on the intermittent fasting approach you use. Calories matter, they always matter. You don’t have to count them, but calories always count.

Another thing that matters is food quality. Food quality matters. And you see this with the Keto people. What do they eat? They’re eating cheap ground beef and sausages covered in cheese cooked in butter. It’s like, that’s a bit different than having a salad with olive oil, and avocado and some grass-fed ribeye. Do you see what I’m getting at? Food quality matters, and carbs, right?

There’s a big difference between eating potatoes, sweet potatoes, watermelon – which I love – and kiwi fruit, versus eating Ritz crackers, which actually have quite a bit of fat in them, and saltines. Quality Matters. Process food affects you differently. The other thing is you’ve got to control your appetite. It’s the thing that’s not talked about enough. And it has less to do with whether something’s a fat or a carb and more to do with the processing, in general.

In fact, if you look up something called the Satiety Index, which is something I teach in my coaching group, and I also go over in the Seven-Day Comeback Challenge. You got to learn how to manage your hunger. If you don’t know how to do that. You’re going to be struggling no matter what you do. You have to simply learn how to manage your hunger.

Let me share this with you because so many people think that they’re emotional eaters, but they’re not. It’s like, “Oh, I’m an emotional eater.” “Okay, what does that mean to you?” “Well, I’ll open up a bag of potato chips, and I’ll say, I’m only going to have a handful. But the next thing I know, I eat the whole bag.” Okay, that’s not necessarily emotionally eating. That’s like saying, I’m only going to gamble with $100….

But you know what, I don’t know where I’m going with that analogy, I’m just going to stop Sorry. I’ll just get to the point. Sometimes I suck with those analogies and metaphors. I’m trying to get better. But what I’m trying to get out is this: there is no amount of potato chips that are going to satisfy your appetite. So of course, you’re going to have the whole bag, you’re going to eat the whole bag, I would eat the whole bag.

Versus this. Here’s how you know if you’re a real emotional eater. If you have steak and broccoli, and a potato and an apple, and let’s say you had no junk food, but still had to eat more. Okay, maybe you’re emotional eating. But most people what they don’t understand is there is no amount of ice cream that’s going to satiate you, no amount of cookies that’s going to satiate you.

Because we all get triggered the same way. Now, some of us don’t get as much pleasure from food. But if you get pleasure from food, then there’s none of us who are going to be like, not wanting to eat the entire bag of potato chips, or entire bag of cookies, or entire pint of ice cream. Because those types of foods which are called hyper palatable foods, because they’re refined, they’re high in sugar and high in fat, right?

White bread by itself? Not so appetizing. Turn that into a croissant, and whoa, I could eat a whole bag. Who’s eating a whole loaf of Wonder Bread, white bread? It’s not that great. It’s good for a slice or two. But come on, but a croissant? Hmm, delicious. Same thing. Bread? Why do you think they bring you butter with the bread before dinner. So, it’s really about these hyper palatable foods and the effect that they have on your hunger levels and your brain.

Once you start to learn, “Ah, these foods will never satisfy my hunger. So, if I’m eating potato chips, and I’m wondering why I’m not getting full. Well, it’s because the food will never make you full.

Same thing with nuts, by the way. Nuts, in general are good for you. But for a lot of people, myself included, I could eat an entire bag of almonds or peanuts, and still need to eat more. So, a good nutrition approach is going to focus on teaching you how to manage your hunger.

Another good nutrition approach is it’s going to focus on protein. If you under eat protein, you’re going to have a much harder time maintaining your muscle mass, and you’re going to lose it, especially if you don’t exercise enough. How do we know this? Because there’s a lot of studies out there. A lot of studies out there showing this.

So, protein, it needs to be a focus, you’ve got to get enough. You’re going to lose muscle as you age anyway. So, you better be focusing on eating protein.

In fact, as you get older, protein becomes more important, not less. Because what happens as we get older, we developed something called anabolic resistance. So, what does that mean? It means that we’re going to have a harder time putting on muscle mass and maintaining the muscle mass that we already have, because we start losing it. So, protein is crucial for your health, for long term health.

Now, I want to say this because this has been a thing that people asked. There are some studies in animals, by the way, which shows like, oh, well, protein, especially like, there’s issues with imbalance between Methionine and glycine and protein can trigger mTOR and mTOR might have something to do with cancer.

Listen, that’s all from animal studies, and it’s not from randomized control trials. It’s not been proven in people. And I want to tell you this: the number one thing that people are suffering from right now is poor metabolic health. People are too fat, they don’t have that much muscle. Even you like, “Oh, I put on muscle so easily.” No! If you can’t see the striations in your muscles, you’ve got a lot more fat on you than you think. A lot more fat on you than you think.

I’m not saying you’re a bad person because of it. But let’s be honest here, what you’re putting on isn’t fat, isn’t all muscle. So really important, we’re suffering from falling apart, poor metabolic health, too much fat, not enough movement. I know we’re talking about nutrition here. But exercise is the probably the number one key for health, not nutrition – extremes set aside.

Because if you get too extreme with your nutrition, in other words, you put on so much fat that you can’t even move at all. But exercise, if you take an overweight person who exercises and a normal weight person who doesn’t exercise, that overweight person’s probably better off – from what we know about the studies that have been done.

So those are the big principles that I teach, and that I use for myself and for my clients. And hopefully, you’re starting to see you know what, there is no one such thing as universal best diet. The human body is adaptable, and can do well with all sorts of different food environments, and types of foods.

And it’s probably better to figure out what works for you. And what’s sustainable than to do something silly like, “Oh, well, I need to try to figure out what my genes are, my ethnic background and eat right for that, which doesn’t have a lot of evidence, and is probably very difficult to do if it’s something very different than what you do naturally.

And I’ll tell you something, most popular diets actually have a lot in common. They help you control your appetite, they help control calories, they help you get adequate amounts of protein, they focus on food quality, they raise your awareness so that you’re paying attention to the foods you eat.

So, I’ll tell you something really important, or something I think is crucial. This is really about habits and lifestyle, and what can you keep doing. And I also want to say this: sometimes that changes over time, I’ve been super strict with my diet. In my 20s, I ate all organic food, I went to Wild Oats before Whole Foods was a big thing. I was going to Wild Oats. I was part of a farm Co-op and I did all these things. And guess what, I’m healthier now. I have less pain in my body, less physical stress, less emotional stress.

And it’s because of more than just nutrition, so nutrition is crucial. But we can adapt to a lot of different things. And I brought up the eating super clean and organic because I actually had a lot of pain in my body in my 20s. Now I still suffer with a lot of the injuries that were actually caused then, in my 20s.

But what I’m trying to say is, I don’t eat super clean – if you’ve seen the ice cream cakes that I posted while I was in Colombia, and I was super ripped. I mean, I don’t eat super clean these days. I’m in a period where I’m not eating that clean. But guess what my blood work is better than when I was on that low carb diet, but 24% body fat.

So, you’ve got to open your mind here, you’ve got to be results oriented, you’ve got to realize a lot of a lot of this is figuring out the principles that matter the most and then what you can stick to. And what I say I do for my clients, when they come in, they’re like, “Hey, what do I have to eat? What are the special foods?”

I’m like, “Look, there is a recipe for you. There’s a recipe that combines the healthy foods that you’re eating, as well as the not as healthy foods that you’re eating, in a combination that helps you lose fat, look your best feel your best and also makes you feel like you’re not giving up your life, because you don’t have to.

I’ve had clients in the past who felt like they couldn’t go out, like they had to stay home and make all their meals and they didn’t want to go hang out with their friends because they would end up eating something unhealthy.

And that’s what I help them understand. Listen, you have to learn how to navigate those situations because part of health is social interaction. And being lonely at home and eating your chicken and broccoli just so you can see your abs, ain’t a fucking life.

And more importantly, it’s not necessary. That’s what I teach in my coaching group. It’s not necessary. What do I mean? I get clients losing nearly 20 pounds in a month. I got one client... I’m working with two people. I’m working with an entrepreneur, actually, the guy mentioned at the beginning, Peter, and then I’m working with his CFO, Paul. And he was like, “Hey, how’s Paul doing?”

And I looked at his numbers, “Well, he’s down nearly 18 pounds in a month.” That’s how he’s doing.” That’s what I want to tell you; there’s a perfect recipe for you. I have another client— shout out to you, Dean—who is learning how to…I forget how much weight he’s lost, over 10 pounds in, I guess, six weeks. And he’s learning how to do the same thing where he’s able to go out and—for him, it’s more about spending time with his daughters.

I’ve got another client, Mary, she has diabetes, she had to go to the doctor to get her off her short-term insulin, which is the insulin that she takes before her meals. Because her blood sugar is improving because of all the fat she’s lost. But guess what, she ate Wendy’s hanging out with her family the other day, and had a frosty.

And I’ve got Jeff, who’s made massive – you’ve even maybe have heard Jeff when I interviewed him. Jeff was a financial adviser. Jeff’s lost, I think around 40 pounds. It’s hard to say because what happens is they lean out. Jeff’s been working with me, I think around, I guess, just over four months now. And he’s leaned out, but now he’s going back up and he’s putting on muscle, he’s never felt better, never looked better.

And he’s like, “man, you changed my life.” But guess what, he was out the beach the other day ate pizza, ate ice cream and drink beer, and got in shape doing it. And people look at that, and they don’t believe it’s possible. But I’m telling you, it’s the same thing. If you look at a guy who started with nothing, then made a six-figure business, then made a seven-figure business, then made an eight-figure business.

You look and think that he has something special that you don’t, or she, for that matter. But the truth is, what they do is they know something different, because we all have the same 24 hours in a day. But some of us are really getting a big ROI on our investment of time, and others don’t.

And a big key in the nutrition fat-loss health realm is you’ve got to know the right principles. And that’s what I’ve been sharing with you today. Because if it doesn’t work in the context of your life, if it isn’t something that you can keep up doing, then it’s just not right for you.

So, if you’re struggling with keto right now, and you like the fact that you don’t have hunger cravings, and that you’ve lost fat, but you’re like, man, it’s really tough to eat all this sausage and butter and whatever else you’re eating on keto. Well, you don’t have to. What you need to do is figure out the principles that caused keto to work for you. And switch the food’s round, find that recipe for yourself, and then you’re going to have the best of both worlds.

And that’s totally possible.

So that wraps this up. I hope you learned a lot. Remember, there is a recipe for success. If you’re not getting the results you want, it is not you, it’s not your metabolism, it’s not your age. It’s not the pre-menopause or the post-menopause or the low tea or any of those things. It is simply that what you’re doing isn’t the right thing for you. Period. Let me show you what is. Or keep searching on your own, figure it out, but never give up. Hope you enjoy this. Have a great week, and I’ll speak to you on Friday.

Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, celebrity trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 24 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and hundreads of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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