I have so many clients coming to me asking for a program that will "fit" with their lifestyle. I also have people telling me that they're not going to renew with me because my plan didn't fit their lifestyle. It was either too complicated, too mathematical, or not realistic for them.
Let me explain something:
Fat loss is not a lifestyle. Being in a calorie deficit is NOT a way of life. It's a short term solution to a problem; you're unhappy with your weight, or your fat:muscle ratio, or how you look, or how your pants fit, and you want to do something about it.
Only people who have a lot of weight to lose can get away with doing some cardio, some weight training, and 'eating clean' (instead of tracking macros). People who don't have a lot of fat to lose, or who want to take their fitness to the next level, cannot just 'eat clean.' Fat loss is a numbers game; you NEED to burn more calories than you consume. With that said, how will you know how much you're burning (or eating for that matter), if you don't count?
You won't see results if you don't put the work in hard and fast at the beginning. That slow, 'lifestyle' plan is great once you've actually accomplished the fat loss part, and you just want to maintain what you've done. In order to accomplish that though, you NEED to do the annoying, tedious short term work - Like counting your calories, eating out of tupperware, and making sure you don't skip your cardio sessions.
So when you tell your trainer that you want to lose fat, and they give you a program, don't look at it and say, "There's no way I can maintain this ...", I hope they say, "That's the point."
Maintenance = Lifestyle. Fat loss = Short term.