Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

What is the Total Gym Diet Plan?

author image Christine Binnendyk
Based in Portland, Ore., Christine Binnendyk has written about health topics since 2001. She is the author of the book "Ageless Pilates" and her work has appeared in "SELF" magazine and "Pilates Pro." Binnendyk holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Connecticut and certifications from YogaFit, ACE, IDEA, Oregon School of Massage and the Pilates Studio of New York.
What is the Total Gym Diet Plan?
A small bowl of salad. Photo Credit: -lvinst-/iStock/Getty Images

Hollywood trainer Dan Isaacson developed the Total Gym nutrition plan, which is a feature of the Total Gym XLS training package. The nutrition plan works in tandem with Isaacson’s “Body Makeover for Total Gym” DVD, which provides the workout component to go with your diet. The Total Gym nutrition plan focuses on creating a system of daily habits that include smart diet choices and consistent workouts to create a calorie deficit. Consult with your doctor to choose an appropriate diet for you.

Video of the Day

A Quart of Water

Drink a full 8-ounce glass of water upon rising to replenish the fluids lost during sleep. About 15 minutes before each meal, drink another full glass of water. Do not drink anything during meals, as this can dilute your digestive enzymes and slow down the digestion of your meals, Isaacson claims. Drink another glass of water before and after every workout. Aim for more than a quart of water each day.

Five Small Meals

Eat five small meals every day, Isaacson recommends. If you want to lose weight, women should limit those meals to about 300 calories, while men can shoot for 400 calories per mini-meal. Your body needs fuel first thing, so break your overnight fast with breakfast within a half hour of waking up. Plan a mid-morning snack and lunch to get you through the early part of the day and a mid-afternoon snack and dinner to get you through the second half of your day. Think about your typical activities, such as workouts and business meetings, and plan your snacks and meals around them to avoid spontaneous detours for fast food.

Load Up on Veggies

Choose a protein-rich food like chicken, fish or tofu for every meal and snack to build and preserve muscle. Fill the rest of your plate with vegetables, including leafy greens and dark-colored choices. Stock your car with protein bars as an emergency snack food and stock your pantry with low-sodium vegetable juices and soups to help fill you up without adding unnecessary calories. Skip starchy foods such as pasta, bread, rice and cereals. These foods tell your body to hold on to water, and they increase your appetite.

Track Your Calories

Even when you think you have your new habits down pat, write everything down, recommends Isaacson in his book, “The Equation: A 5-Step Program for Lifelong Fitness.” Track your calories coming in as food and your calories going out as workouts. When the scale stops moving, tweak one thing at a time. Try a new workout, add a new vegetable or fruit or get another hour of sleep. Small changes will add up over time.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media