Better version of "My Plate": ‘s eating guidelines for clients. |

I’ve always been told that weight loss is a numbers game — that the only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you burn each day. But is that really true?

When we started designing the ‘s eating guidelines for clients, we knew that we wanted to provide simple, practical information for people who were trying to make healthier food choices. But we also knew that we wanted to create something that would make each of our clients feel good about themselves, and make each of them feel like they had personal authority over their health. So, without trying to mimic , we came up with a simpler way to describe ‘s eating guidelines to our clients.

Eating healthy can be challenging. Our eating guidelines for clients, in particular, are often not met. When I work with my clients, I like to show them a two-dimensional line graph that looks something like the one on the right. This line graph represents the recommended daily intake of food groups that should be consumed according to the new “Eat for a Better Life” eating guidelines.

The USDA has replaced the Food Pyramid with MyPlate, a new image depicting a purportedly “balanced diet.”

But are MyPlate’s suggestions intended to benefit the individual or the food industry as a whole?

Dr. John Berardi addresses MyPlate’s flaws and proposes The Plates as a replacement.

These straightforward visuals demonstrate our recommendations, which are based on nutritional science, our own research, and the success of thousands of real-world customers.


The USDA replaced the famous Food Pyramid with a new design a few months ago. They pulled the food out of the pyramid and…placed it on a plate in a daring and exciting move (please notice the sarcasm).

The new graphic is as follows:


Some people like the new design because it’s relevant — after all, most of us place our food on plates before eating it — and because it’s a wonderful teaching tool for making our own plates at mealtime.

Naturally, not everyone is content. The most vocal opponents criticize the content, claiming that nothing has changed in terms of culinary options since the 1990s. (In a moment, we’ll go into some more critique.)

However, before generally applauding or criticizing the plate, let us briefly discuss two points:

  • What was the purpose of making the plate in the first place?
  • What exactly is it intended to achieve?

What is the purpose of MyPlate?

Is MyPlate intended to reflect everyone’s optimal eating strategy? Is it a step up from the way Americans eat now? Is it a weight-loss plan or a diet for optimum health?

To get answers to these concerns, I went to, the official website for the MyPlate initiative. The picture is designed, according to their website:

“…to encourage Americans to eat healthily rather than to alter consumer behavior…”

With MyPlate, it doesn’t seem like they’re not aiming too high. They’re just “reminding Americans to eat healthily.”

Of course, this assumes that Americans are already healthy eaters. Obesity and food expenditure patterns show that this is not the case. It also suggests that the USDA understands how to eat well. That’s something I’m not sure about either. (In a moment, we’ll get into the science of that portion.)

Finally, it suggests that the term “healthily” has a meaning. I don’t believe so. The word seems to be so nebulous that it may signify anything to anybody. Do you want to shed some pounds? That can’t be good for you. Do you want to gain muscle? Isn’t it also good for you? How about lowering your cholesterol? Healthy. How can you fight type 2 diabetes? Healthy. But, can a single set of guidelines achieve all of those healthy goals at the same time? Most likely not.

Let’s not engage into a semantics argument; instead, let’s speak about accountability. Here’s what Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack had to say about it:

“We are not advising people what to eat; rather, we are providing a guidance… We’re not saying they can’t have a cookie or a dessert. That isn’t what this is all about.”

I understand the idea of a guide. But, considering North America’s rapidly increasing obesity rates, shouldn’t someone be urging people to eat fewer cookies? Tom, are you telling the truth?

For the time being, putting aside all other complaints, why can’t our most visible government food agency sack up and urge people to consume less empty-calorie food? I believe it has something to do with the USDA’s contradictory purpose.

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For whom does the USDA work?

It’s no secret that the USDA must strike a balance between various interests.

Sure, they’re attempting to promote the concept of healthy eating throughout the United States. We’d be foolish to overlook their second mission: to protect the food industry’s “health.”

This is where conspiracy theorists go insane. Some individuals get uneasy when the words “food” and “profit” are used together. I implore you to adopt a kinder attitude. The food business will cease to exist if it is not lucrative. If the food industry goes out of business, a large percentage of the world’s 6.7 billion people would be hungry.

So slamming “large companies” isn’t going to help us. It is the USDA’s vital, though onerous, duty to ensure that both our people and our food businesses are “healthy.” Any suggestion, whether for consumers or business, is certain to irritate someone.

When people’s health and business’s health are at odds.

I understand how tough the USDA’s job is. Trying to make everyone happy and healthy is a difficult task, particularly when the suggestions that would make individuals healthier conflict with those that would make industry healthier.

One of the most significant healthy-eating messages, for example, seems to contradict a basic healthy-business message: purchase more food.

So, how does the USDA’s new MyPlate approach this conflict? They do a fantastic job with it. In fact, bravely. People are told to “eat less” and “avoid excessive amounts.” I’m sure there was a lot of backlash and anger in the business as a result.

The only issue is that the “prescription” is so broad and open to interpretation that I’m not sure how effective it has been. What should you eat less of? What do you mean when you say “oversized portions”?

The new MyPlate recommendations also seem to have a hidden message, as if the USDA is urging people to “eat a little bit of everything.” Fruits, vegetables, processed grains, unprocessed grains, protein, and dairy are all included. With each and every meal

While this is a good message in terms of encouraging nutritional diversity, I’m not certain that we should aim for “some of everything” at every meal. Furthermore, the marketing abuses that follow are obvious.

President and CEO of the USA Rice Federation, Betsy Ward, issued the following statement:

“Grains make up a significant part of the diet, indicating that USDA understands the significance of grains such enhanced white rice and whole grain brown rice.”

Huh. I’m curious to see how it plays out.

The MyPlate guidelines are generally supportive of the marketing of any food. It’s great for the food business, but it’s not so great for the uninformed food consumer.

Where does MyPlate’s nutritional science come from?

Because I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I won’t exaggerate the sometimes sour relationship between the food business and the USDA. Furthermore, I am not such a know-it-all as to believe that I am privy to all of the USDA’s critical concerns.

The science, on the other hand, is something to which I have access. As a result, it’s obvious that science isn’t the only factor at play when it comes to developing MyPlate recommendations. Here are a few instances of what I’m talking about.

Dairy consumption is excessive.

The term “dairy” is still used to refer to a distinct food category. Millions of individuals, however, have difficulty digesting it (lactose intolerance), are allergic to it (milk protein allergy), or refuse to consume it due to worries about pasteurization and homogenization, as well as the presence of potentially hazardous hormones and antibiotics in dairy goods.

So why does dairy have its own category while all other protein sources, such as beans, fish, nuts, and meats, are grouped together?

It’s possible that apologists may claim that it’s due of the calcium. Why not develop a calcium-rich group that includes non-dairy sources like green leafy vegetables or other choices like fortified nondairy milks, which are sometimes more bio-available?

What happened to the water?

A nutrient is water. So, why isn’t water shown in any way on the diagram? What is the significance of the sole apparent beverage being dairy?

All of this makes me question whether the dairy lobby has more clout than the water lobby. (Just some food for thought.)

What happened to the good fats?

Where are the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils, olive oils, and other plant-based oils? The lack of healthy fats, in my view, is the most serious flaw in the current MyPlate layout.

Epidemiological studies are quite reliable. There are many advantages to eating a balanced diet that contains a modest quantity of healthy fat. Indeed, we would observe a significant reduction in the number of individuals suffering from hypertension, heart disease, and stroke if the American plate contained more monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids — and possibly less carbohydrates.

So, why aren’t good fats discussed at all?

Is it possible that the grain lobby has more clout than the avocado lobby? (Once again, food for thought.)

These are my main objections to MyPlate’s suggestions. I do, however, have a few minor quibbles.

Fruit juice vs. fresh fruit: what’s the difference?

According to the MyPlate guidelines, any fruit or 100% fruit juice belongs in the Fruit Group, and canned and dried fruits are equal to fresh fruit.

Regrettably, there are significant variations between fruit juice, dried fruit, and fresh fruit. In terms of digestion, absorption, and nutritional profile, they’re virtually unrelated foods. (For the record, fresh fruit is much superior.) So, why have they all been thrown together? Most likely because it benefits the food processing business.

What’s the difference between fresh veggies and vegetable juice?

According to the guidelines, any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice is considered part of the Vegetable Group. Exactly the same issue. Vegetable juice (particularly store-bought varieties) and vegetables are diametrically opposed, with vegetables triumphing.

Is it safe to eat a lot of carbs?

Finally, the advice for grains and fruit with every meal implies that a higher carbohydrate diet is beneficial to everyone. Contrary to popular belief, diabetes data show otherwise. Individual variations in body shape and exercise have a role as well.

For individuals who are active and have a good glucose tolerance, higher carb diets are acceptable. A higher carb diet, on the other hand, is the very worst eating plan to follow for those who don’t exercise much or who are suffering early symptoms of approaching type 2 diabetes, as a large percentage of the American population is. However, I believe that any suggestion of consuming fewer carbs would be met with opposition by the grain industry.

Is there anything MyPlate got right?

While the new MyPlate guidelines are too watered down, too generic, and too pro-food industry at the cost of consumer health, it’s essential not to dismiss them entirely.

When compared to a plate dominated by processed snacks and French fries and served with a large drink, MyPlate comes out on top. After all, half of it is made up of fruits and vegetables.

Also, as MyPlate indicates, most individuals would benefit from just eating some protein with each meal. I also appreciate the notion of using the term “protein” instead of “meats and beans” since it more accurately describes all of the dietary options that fall into that category.

Finally, previous food guidelines promoted a grain-heavy diet, and this model aims to put grain intake back in line with other food categories. It also encourages individuals to eat more whole grains rather than processed grains.

Yes, there are some positive aspects to MyPlate.

But why mess about with vague generalities and half-measures if you’re going to deconstruct the Food Pyramid and rebuild a fresh set of healthy eating guidelines? (I can’t imagine how much work and money went into developing the MyPlate guidelines.) Why not think about something really meaningful?

The plates are being introduced.

Rather of just critiquing, we decided to make some plate-based suggestions of our own.

You’ll note that each suggestion has a few essential elements:

  • what should I eat (and drink)
  • when should you consume it
  • how much should I consume

We concluded that one plate wasn’t enough since exercise plays such an important role in daily energy expenditure and food tolerance. We’ll need two plates instead.

is a plate that may be used at any moment.

The first is a plate that says “Anytime.” The Anytime plate recommendations are for those who either don’t exercise — in which case they’d follow these recommendations exclusively — or who do exercise but consume Anytime meals for every meal outside of the post-workout period. (I’ll get to it in a minute.)


What’s on the Plate at PN Anytime?

The majority of the meal, as you can see, is made up of nutrient-dense, high-fiber, low-calorie veggies. Protein aids in hunger management, lean mass maintenance, and metabolic optimization. Healthy fats have many advantages. Water or tea are the beverages of choice.

If you’re a smaller person, pick smaller plates; if you’re a bigger person, choose larger dishes. And, rather than putting down the fork when the dish is empty, we suggest doing so when you’re 80 percent full.

We suggest avoiding starchy carbohydrates until after exercise, when the body can best use them. We also recommend eating complete (less-processed) foods wherever feasible, with a preference for local and organic options.

‘s Plate for Post-Workout

The “Post Workout” plate is the second plate we’re submitting. The Post Workout plate is recommended for individuals who engage in strenuous exercise. Only eat a Post Workout meal after you’ve done some hard activity.


What’s on the Post-Workout Plate at PN?

This plate allows us to take advantage of the metabolic reaction of the body during exercise. It contains starchy carbs and protein, both of which are beneficial at periods when glucose tolerance is enhanced (during the post-exercise period). A combination of vegetables and fruits is also recommended.

You’ll note there’s not a lot of fat in this picture. A higher-fat post-workout meal delays protein and carbohydrate digestion and absorption. As a result, we suggest eating the most of your dietary fat during Anytime meals and the majority of your daily carbs at PW meals. Keep in mind that we aren’t advising you to shun fat. Just keep the extra fat to a minimum.

Because we add a tiny side dish of starchy carbs on top of a full plate of protein and fruits/veggies, the Post Workout portion is somewhat bigger. Of course, depending on body size, smaller or bigger plates should be used.

When it comes to eating, the Post Workout plate continues to focus on complete, unprocessed foods, with local and organic options wherever feasible.

For vegetarians and vegans

Despite the fact that plant-based eaters (i.e. vegans) account for just 1-2 percent of the population, they are among the most nutritionally aware and proactive people. That’s why, with the assistance of Ryan Andrews, a long-time plant-based diner, we devised a plant-based plate.


What’s on the Plant-Based Plate at the PN

Like the Anytime meal above, a broad range of non-starchy veggies, together with a protein source and healthy fat, should dominate the plant-based eater’s plate.

To fulfill energy requirements, we suggest consuming lesser quantities of minimally processed fruit and carbohydrates. Adjust plate size and overall consumption to body size and energy requirements, as with all meals, independent of time or type. And when you’re 80 percent full, stop eating.

The ideal plate suggestions are the product of science and real-world findings.

For actual people, particularly those who exercise, we believe the Anytime and Post Workout plates are more helpful than MyPlate. These plates are founded on strong scientific evidence and, perhaps most significantly, on thousands of customers’ real-world dining experiences (and long-term success).

As it happens, he now oversees the world’s biggest body modification program. Over 10,000 men and women have benefited from PN Coaching, and our clients have lost more weight in the last five years than all 11 seasons of The Biggest Loser combined.

The guidelines mentioned above, unsurprisingly, form the basis of what we educate our customers. This strategy not only makes sense, but it also works.

Plates are available for download.

We put up a single guide that encapsulates all of our “plate” suggestions. To download it, print it out, and share it with friends, family, or clients, click here.

Better eating, moving, and living.

The realm of health and fitness may be perplexing at times. It doesn’t have to be that way, however.


It will teach you the optimal diet, exercise, and lifestyle methods that are specific to you.


Your diet is the foundation for your health, and the most important step in making healthy changes is to identify the food you eat. But how do you know what constitutes healthy eating? The Australian government’s Advisory Committee on the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies asks you to take an honest look at your diet. You can do this by using ‘s diet system.. Read more about i am the best version of myself and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a better version of myself?

I am not sure what you mean by this.

What does it mean to be the best version of yourself?

It means that you are doing your best to be the best version of yourself.

How can you become the best version of yourself as a youth in action?

The best way to become the best version of yourself as a youth is by doing your best and being confident in what you do.

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