I cloned Alan Aragon to replace ChatGPT as my diet coach—here's what happened

Who's the best diet coach: ChatGPT or an AI clone of Alan Aragon?

I cloned Alan Aragon to replace ChatGPT as my diet coach—here's what happened

ChatGPT is all the rage.

A few months ago, I asked ChatGPT to help me build muscle.

I compared its answers to the latest and best evidence. I thought they were good, and rated them 4/5 or 5/5.

Since then, I discovered you can actually train large language models like ChatGPT yourself. So, I trained one on Alan Aragon's material and put it to the test.

As an added bonus, I figured it would prevent "hallucinations" (AI making stuff up).

Alan AI vs ChatGPT

I asked both AIs the same set of questions:

  • What should I eat to build muscle?
  • What's the best diet to lose fat and belly fat?
  • I lost 10 lbs in 10 week and hit a plateau. How can I lose another 10?

Here's what they said...

What should I eat to build muscle?


To build muscle, it's important to consume a balanced and nutritious diet that supports muscle growth and repair. Here are some key nutrients and food groups to include in your diet:

Protein: Protein is crucial for muscle growth and repair. Include lean sources of protein such as chicken breast, turkey, fish, tofu, legumes, Greek yogurt, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide energy for your workouts and help replenish glycogen stores in your muscles. Opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains (oats, brown rice, quinoa), sweet potatoes, fruits, and vegetables.

Healthy Fats: Include sources of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish (salmon, mackerel) to support overall health and hormone production.

Fruits and Vegetables: These provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed for optimal muscle function and recovery. Aim to have a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your meals.

Hydration: Drink enough water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration, as water plays a role in muscle function and recovery.

Caloric Surplus: To build muscle, you generally need to consume more calories than you burn. However, the exact caloric intake depends on your individual needs and goals. Consider consulting with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to determine the right calorie surplus for you.

Additionally, it's important to distribute your protein intake evenly throughout the day and consume a post-workout meal or snack that includes protein and carbohydrates to aid in muscle recovery. Combine resistance training exercises with a well-rounded diet for optimal muscle growth.

Alan AI:

To build muscle, it is important to focus on your protein intake. Protein serves as the building blocks for muscle growth and repair. Animal-derived proteins, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy, tend to be higher quality and more efficient in stimulating muscle protein synthesis. However, recent evidence suggests that a vegan diet can also yield similar gains in muscle size and strength when total daily protein intake is sufficient.

The general recommendation for protein intake to maximize muscle growth is 1.6 to 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight (or 0.7 to 1 gram per pound). For example, if your total body weight is 173 pounds, you would aim for approximately 173 grams of protein per day. This would provide you with 692 calories from protein alone.

In addition to protein, it is important to ensure you are consuming enough carbohydrates to fuel your workouts and support muscle growth. The remaining calories in your diet can be filled with carbohydrates. If athletic performance is your primary goal, you may want to calculate your carbohydrate needs first and then fill in the remaining calories with fat.

Remember, the hierarchy of importance for protein intake is as follows: 1) total daily protein amount, 2) distribution of protein throughout the day, and 3) timing of protein relative to the training bout. So, focus on meeting your protein needs and then adjust your carbohydrate and fat intake accordingly.

If you have any specific dietary restrictions or preferences, please let me know, and I can provide more tailored recommendations.

Winner: Alan AI

I like Alan's clone answer better.

It's more specific and to the point. While ChatGPT rambles on about hydration and fruits and vegetables, Alan tells you exactly how much protein you need to build muscle. It then explains how to split the rest of your calories between fats and carbs, and closes with a hierarchy of importance for protein intake.

This keeps you focused on the main things.

What's the best diet to lose fat and belly fat?


The most effective diet for reducing overall body fat, including belly fat, is one that is balanced, nutritious, and sustainable in the long term. While there isn't a single "best" diet that works for everyone, here are some general guidelines to consider:

Calorie deficit: To lose fat, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. This can be achieved through portion control, mindful eating, and tracking your calorie intake.

Balanced macronutrients: Include a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats in your diet. Carbohydrates provide energy, proteins support muscle growth and repair, and healthy fats aid in hormone production and satiety.

Whole, unprocessed foods: Focus on consuming whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. These foods are typically lower in calories, higher in fiber, and more nutrient-dense compared to processed foods.

Portion control: Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating. Use smaller plates, listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues, and avoid eating in front of screens, as these can lead to mindless eating.

Reduce added sugars and refined carbohydrates: Sugary foods and beverages, as well as refined grains like white bread and pasta, can contribute to weight gain and increased belly fat. Opt for healthier alternatives like whole fruits and whole grains.

Increase fiber intake: High-fiber foods help you feel fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating. Include sources of fiber like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts in your diet.

Regular physical activity: Combine your dietary changes with regular exercise. Incorporate both cardiovascular exercises, such as running or swimming, and strength training to build muscle mass and increase your metabolism.

Remember, sustainable weight loss takes time and patience. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian who can assess your specific needs and provide personalized guidance tailored to your individual circumstances.

Alan AI:

Ah, the eternal question of the best diet for fat and belly fat. Well, my friend, the good news is that there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to this. The key to fat loss, including belly fat, lies in creating a caloric deficit. This means consuming fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight.

Now, when it comes to the specific composition of your diet, research has shown that a wide range of carbohydrate-fat proportions can be equally effective for fat loss when protein and total calories are equated. So, whether you prefer a ketogenic diet, a high-carb/low-fat diet, or something in between, the choice is yours.

However, it's important to note that ketogenic diets may lack long-term sustainability compared to less restrictive low-carbohydrate diets. So, if you opt for a ketogenic approach, be mindful of your ability to adhere to it in the long run.

Ultimately, the best diet for fat and belly fat is the one that you can stick to consistently while maintaining a caloric deficit. Remember, consistency and adherence are key.

Winner: Alan AI

Again, Alan AI focuses on the main thing: a calorie deficit.

The second most important thing is arguably protein intake. While ChatGPT mentions having "a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats", Alan AI specifies that "research has shown that a wide range of carbohydrate-fat proportions can be equally effective for fat loss when protein and total calories are equated."

Research has shown this because protein and total calories are the two key variables here. While I would have loved to see Alan AI highlight the role of protein even more, I still consider its answer to be superior.

I lost 10 lbs in 10 week and hit a plateau. How can I lose another 10?

Chat GPT:

Congratulations on losing 10 pounds in 10 weeks! Hitting a plateau is a common occurrence during weight loss journeys. To break through the plateau and continue losing weight, here are some strategies you can try:

Evaluate your calorie intake: As you lose weight, your body requires fewer calories to function. Ensure that you're still in a calorie deficit by reevaluating your daily caloric intake. You may need to adjust your portion sizes or reduce your calorie intake slightly to resume weight loss.

Increase physical activity: If you haven't already, incorporate regular exercise into your routine. Increase the intensity or duration of your workouts to burn more calories. Consider adding strength training exercises, as they can help boost your metabolism and promote fat loss.

Watch your macros: Pay attention to your macronutrient distribution. Aim to consume a balanced diet that includes adequate protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Protein can help keep you satiated and preserve muscle mass during weight loss.

Eat mindfully: Practice mindful eating by paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Avoid distractions while eating, chew your food thoroughly, and savor each bite. Eating slowly can help you feel more satisfied with smaller portions.

Drink plenty of water: Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Sometimes, thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Drinking water before meals may also help you feel fuller and consume fewer calories.

Vary your workouts: If you've been doing the same exercises for a while, try incorporating new activities or changing your workout routine. This can help prevent your body from adapting to the same exercises, leading to more effective weight loss.

Manage stress levels: High stress levels can affect weight loss progress. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as engaging in relaxation techniques, practicing meditation or mindfulness, getting sufficient sleep, and engaging in hobbies you enjoy.

Get support: Consider joining a support group or finding an accountability partner who shares your weight loss goals. Sharing your challenges and successes with others can provide motivation and guidance.

Remember, weight loss is a gradual process, and it's essential to prioritize your overall health and well-being. Consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.

Alan AI:

Ah, the dreaded plateau. It's not uncommon to hit a weight loss plateau after making initial progress. But fear not, for there are strategies to overcome this hurdle and continue on your weight loss journey.

Firstly, it's important to understand that plateaus are a natural part of the weight loss process. They indicate that your body has adapted to the changes you've made, and it's time to reassess your approach. Plateaus can be seen as an opportunity to test the sustainability of your progress thus far.

To break through the plateau and continue losing weight, you'll need to reassess your program variables. One effective strategy is to impose caloric changes of 10 to 20 percent, depending on individual circumstances and response. Gradual adjustments are often more prudent, so starting with a 10 percent reduction in calories may be a good approach.

Additionally, shifting your focus from the number on the scale to improving exercise performance can be a powerful way to manage plateaus and psychological fatigue. By setting performance goals and tracking your progress in the gym, you can stay motivated and continue making progress even if the scale isn't moving as quickly as you'd like.

Remember, weight loss is a journey, and plateaus are just a part of that journey. Stay consistent, reassess your approach, and keep pushing forward. You've got this!

Winner: Alan AI

This one was close.

But once again, I prefer Alan AI's answer. It's more specific (10-20% caloric reduction—"starting with 10 percent").

I also prefer the tone and style. Reading its answer, I really got the feeling I was in expert hands. After all, Alan Aragon has helped thousands lose fat. You can tell.

Wrapping up: Best AI diet coach?

In my opinion, Alan AI was the better diet coach.

I was not sure what to expect. But in the end, it seems the conclusion from my previous experiment with AI coaching holds.

Indeed, when I asked ChatGPT to help me build muscle, I noted that its answers lacked nuance. They did this time too, and lacked focus.

On the other hand, Alan AI's answer were more on point. They focused on the most important variables and gave specific recommendations. That's exactly what I look for in a good coach.

No more hallucinations

AIs hallucinate when they give you confident responses not justified by the training data.

In one famous case, lawyers from New York faced sanctions for submitting to a judge legal research done with ChatGPT. Turns out, the AI made up legal citations.

This is not something I would wish on any fitness pro.

The way around this is to:

  • Train your AI on a specific set of material
  • Ask it to only refer to that material

That way, you can be sure that all the information is factually correct and evidence based. No hallucinations.

The result? World-class coaching anywhere, anytime, instantly, at a fraction of the fee of the real human coach behind it.

As a bonus, I think AIs can be better coaches because they're infinitely patient. And when trained well, are less likely to make mistakes than their human counterparts.

In the future, we'll all have an AI coach

I predict that in a few years, everyone will have their own AI coach.

Imagine having a diet coach that knows you like the like the back of their hand, never makes mistakes, and has been following you for years.

Soon enough, I think this will become a reality. In fact, my team and I have been working on an AI personal trainer for years. Picture this:

  • Personal trainers
  • Dietitians
  • Doctors

At some points, all will have their AI counterparts.

It's an exciting future we're thrilled to be part of.