I get this question a lot, “Do I get a meal plan or can you just give me a meal plan?”.
My answer is always, no (in a nice way).
We’ve been taught that meal plans are the way to go and are a part of every fitness regimen.
“If you want to lose weight, you need a meal plan.”
But what if I told you that meal plans might do more harm than good?
I remember when I first started my health and fitness journey, the first thing I looked for what a workout plan and a meal plan. Once I found that, then I would be good, right?
I remember when I got the plan and looked at the food I instantly thought, “This is all I can eat?!”
Eat this exact thing, in this exact amount, at this exact time.
But then I told myself, “Well if this is what people do to lose weight than it must be the only way”.
A few weeks into it, maybe even one, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stick to the same food everyday or every other day. So I thought of myself as a failure because I couldn’t follow through.
So I kept trying and trying and trying. I tried the meal plans, counting calories, measuring my food and whatever it took to lose the weight, but got tired, bored and burnt out from it all.
I was so sick of meal prepping, cooking, restricting myself and chicken! (there’s usually a lot of chicken)
What I didn’t know was the what, how and why behind nutrition. I was following a cookie cutter plan that didn’t align with my lifestyle.
Sure you may have the best intention of following a meal plan, but what happens when life gets in the way.
How will you know how to make the right decisions for yourself if you don’t understand what your body needs and why?
No matter how motivated you are to reach your goals, you will always plateau or fall off track if you don’t understand how to create a balance.
Not to mention the fact that we all hate rules, so subconsciously you might be rebelling the plan all together not even knowing it at times.
Most people don’t know that meal plans are meant to be for short term goals but how could we know that since society tells us otherwise.
If you follow the same exact meal plan for months or years, you’ll first fall into a plateau because your body has already adapted to that style of eating, the amount of calories, etc.
You could also run into eating disorders or metabolic disorders.
Think about it this way, athletes, body builders, etc. don’t follow the same eating pattern or plan year round. They have different phases they go through.
Let’s take a bikini competitor for example, most of the time she has her nutrition dialed in but has quite a bit of flexibility. However, when it comes time to a competition, she’ll start a prep phase which will be (in general) 12 weeks of a strict workout and meal plan.
Unfortunately, this is the type of meal plan we see a lot and are conditioned to think that this must be the way of eating in order to lose weight.
If you’re someone who’s just trying to lose 20-30 lbs and live a balanced lifestyle, girl, you do not need to be eating this way.
It’s not SUSTAINABLE!
All you need to do is think about what you’re already eating and how you can make it a little better than what it is. SMALL change equal BIG results.
I always tell my clients, start with where you’re at and either subtract, add or substitute.
If you’re ready to throw out the diets and meal plans and are ready to learn how to tailor nutrition around your lifestyle, click HERE to apply for FIT180 and we’ll see if we’re a good fit to work together.