4 Reasons Why I Do NOT Give My Clients Meal Plans
We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
I do NOT give my clients meal plans. I have multiple reasons WHY but I’m going to discuss the 4 I feel are most important and why.
No Meal Plan? How will I succeed?
If you haven’t worked with me before, then you’re probably thinking: ‘Well, how the hell am I going to lose weight if I don’t know what to eat for all of my meals and snacks?’
Let me just answer that loosely: Because everyone knows how to lose weight short-term. Eat less, and exercise more…OR is it the answer?
The problem is nobody knows what to do when they get to the promised land! What happens AFTER the meal plans are done with and you reach your goal? How do you maintain?
I Don’t Do the DIET MENTALITY
Of course this eat less move more diet mentality works BUT for how long and at what cost?
Body Image Issues
Unhealthy Relationship with Food
Messed Up Hormones
Feeling Lost Without a Plan
All of these issues can come from restrictive diets and meal plans. We seem to rely on them way too much and they honestly don’t work which brings me to my first reason as to WHY I do NOT give out meal plans.
Meal Plans Do NOT Work
I hear this all the time: “I know what to do but I have a hard time following this on my own. Can you just give me a meal plan? I just need to know exactly when and what I should be eating!”
If you’ve said (or thought) those words before, let me assure you that a specific meal plan is likely the opposite of what you truly need. Sometimes, when I have a client who insists that this is what they want, I will give them such meal plan. 99% of the time, when we meet again, they’ve stopped following the plan…OR they never started using it anyway.
It’s not you, it’s the process.
Meal plans don’t address the real reason behind why you aren’t at your goal- whatever that may be.
Whether that’s finding your happy weight, making peace with food or something else, meal plans aren’t the answer. They are a seemingly quick fix that cannot address the emotional connection behind food- aka, the reason why most of us eat what we do and how much of it.
Meal Plans Are Too Strict
Meal plans sometimes set VERY strict guidelines, telling you to eat this much of this exact thing at this exact time. You might be able to follow that for a short period of time, but then life usually comes in. Stressors come roaring back and you forgo said meal plan for a relaxing night out with friends. Or, you don’t have time to fix said meal and end up ordering take-out that definitely wasn’t part of your plan.
All of this is OK, none of these decisions should feel like failure. However, in a typical meal plan set-up, they do( I call that DIET MENTALITY feelings). Meal plans don’t teach you how to eat or expose why you choose the things that you do. Instead, they give you parameters to follow and when you stop following them, you feel like a failure.
Meal Plans Don’t Teach You Anything
Sure, they teach you what to eat, when to eat it, how much to eat and all the macros…BUT that’s all they teach you.
Meal plans don’t teach anything but how to follow a meal plan. That’s not what I want for my clients (or for you!). If you are paying to see a nutrition professional, you should learn sustainable ways to eat for life. You should be given the opportunity to really identify the whys behind your eating patterns and be given the tools to feel empowered around your eating choices going forward.
This is the biggest step towards not only reaching whatever goal you have in mind, but feeling freedom from traditional diets and programs. A meal plan only traps you further in this mindset, without a path out.
Meal Plans Make Eating Feel Like Punishment
I was about one rice cake away from going insane! Meal plans sometimes give a revolving list of the same things: egg whites, spinach, brown rice, chicken, tuna, salad and maybe a piece of fruit or a rice cake. Wash, lather, rinse and repeat for however long said meal plan is good for…or however long it takes you to crave something different and fall off the “wagon”
I know I don’t want to be eating those same foods day after day, do you? If gets a little boring and then you start to hate those foods.
If you’ve ever followed a similar plan and then quit, my guess is that your next meal was something completely opposite in both nutritional value and taste- pizza, pasta, dessert, or fried food usually being first choices.
This type of following the diet vs. cheating, categorizes foods into ‘good’ foods and ‘cheat’ foods; making eating any other foods feel like punishment
Eventually, you get so turned off ( or pissed off) by the process of following vs. cheating that you quit altogether. You decide that ‘eating healthy’ is miserable and go back to your previous habits. Then, you miss out on the opportunity to evaluate your current relationship with food and work towards a a more enjoyable, lasting, peaceful place.
This is exactly why I hate meal plans.
What Does Work…
So if meal plans aren’t the answer, then what is?
Listening to Your Body
Eating When You’re Hungry
I’d say those would be the top two.
The REAL answer kind of depends on the individual. It’s not a one size fits all approach. I know this is the most frustrating answer to most things, but it’s the truth. Everyone is different when it comes to their path to health and what works for them and their lifestyle.
Bringing awareness to your current food choices and habits is the first big step in discovering your path. As I tell my clients…All the tools you need are within you, you just might require a bit of guidance and education to bring them out.
This is something a meal plan will not teach you!!
Latest posts by Melanie Sobocinski (see all)
- Why Your Metabolism and Hormones May be a Little Slow - November 5, 2020
- My Before and After Story - September 11, 2020
- 7 Changes That Happen When You Don’t Eat Enough - July 16, 2020