- Magnus Lygdbäck is a personal trainer and nutritionist who worked with Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck.
- He has a unique but simple approach to healthy eating that involves no restriction or food guilt.
- All 17 out of 20 meals should be “on point,” and the other three can be what you want.
- You can find more stories on the Insider homepage.
Magnus Lygdbäck is the personal trainer and nutritionist responsible for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
The Swedish coach trained Alicia Vikander for “Tomb Raider”, Gal Gadot for “Wonder Woman” and Ben Affleck for “Justice League”. He has also worked with Alexander Skarsgård, Katy Perry and Harry Styles.
Lygdbäck not only puts A-listener through their paces in the gym, but also ensures that his customers eat right for their goals. His approach to nutrition is unique and refreshingly simple.
It is known as the 17/20 system and involves no calorie tracking, no prohibited foods, and no extreme restriction.
Every four days three meals can be what you want
Lygdbäck’s nutritional philosophy is that 17 out of 20 meals should be “to the point” and the other three can be anything you want to eat.
By “to the point”, Lygdbäck means that these meals ideally consist of “a good source of protein, good fats and slow carbohydrates” [complex carbs like oats, rice, whole wheat bread, and potatoes], and vegetables.”
Magnus Lygdbäck is a Hollywood trainer and nutritionist.
And for the other three meals, “enjoy life”.
“It means you can have pasta, go out with your friends, and enjoy dessert or a glass of wine,” he said.
Lygdbäck works on four-day cycles of five meals a day (three meals and two snacks), which means that your four meals will start over every four days.
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Portion your meals into handfuls, not calories
When working with actors getting in shape for big movie projects, he uses calories and macros (protein, carbohydrates and fat), however does not believe that counting calories is necessary for most people.
For those who want to pursue, he recommends Focus on macrosThe goal is for 30-40% of total food intake to be protein and the rest a mixture of carbohydrates and fat.
However, Lygdbäck believes that a simpler approach is to use your hands as a guide to control serving size.
“For lunch and dinner, I make a handful of protein, a handful of fat or carbohydrates or a combination and two handfuls of vegetables,” he said.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but a starting point, and you can tailor it to suit your goals (fat loss or muscle gain), your body type, and your activity level.
The approach is designed for happiness and balance
While some celebrity trainers and transformation coaches tell people to drastically cut their calories and skip all of their favorite foods, Lygdbäck takes a much more sustainable approach.
“There are so many diets and so much misinformation that people don’t really know what to do,” he said. “I see too many people taking short cuts to get something they want and doing the wrong things and they’re miserable. I just think we have to work a lot more on balance and happiness, and that’s why we have I developed my system. “
It’s the system he’s been using for two decades.
“I love food, I love a good glass of wine, I think we should enjoy food as an important part of life,” said Lygdbäck. “I don’t believe in restricting food, taking it out and telling people not to eat.”
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The idea is that you cannot fail and you should never feel guilty.
“I hate it when we feel guilty after dinner,” he said. “It’s so easy to walk around and feel bad about eating good food. I want to get rid of that feeling completely.”
How strict you are is up to you
What would Lygdbäck say if someone ate four more indulgent meals in 20 instead of three?
“I wouldn’t beat myself up about the past and I would focus on the fact that I had 16 meals that got to the point, which is pretty amazing,” he said. “It happens.”
Instead of feeling the need to compensate for the next four-day cycle, just keep going.
“The system is not there to punish you, it is there to give you structure without forcing you to eat certain things or take out foods,” said Lygdbäck.