Meal plans aren’t the best way to transform your diet.
Often people trying to improve their eating and nutrition think that meal plans are the answer. The only problem? …they don’t last. So, instead of looking for yet another doomed eating regimen, let’s talk about ways to transform your diet in a sustainable way.
“Do I get a meal plan?” This is the most common question we get from folks who are considering, or just started out in, our coaching programs.The answer: No, we don’t do meal plans. But we can’t blame people for asking. Meal plans have long been a staple of the fitness and nutrition industry. Clients are taught to expect them. And lots of gyms hand them out.
Unfortunately…Most of the time, they don’t work. Traditional meal plans are explicit prescriptions. Eat this exact thing, in this exact amount, at this exact time. We know, it seems easy. You’re probably thinking, “Good! I want a plan. I’m sick of trying to figure all this stuff out! Just tell me what to eat!” Unfortunately, when you try to follow rigid plans like this, lots can (and often does) go wrong.
Scenario 1: You just don’t stick to the plan. No matter how enthusiastic you are, meal plans can be tough to follow because they are so rigid. This is normal. Life can get in the way. People get busy, we’re not always prepared, kids get sick, you have to work late, it’s always someone’s birthday or a holiday, and sometimes you just don’t feel like having a protein bar at 10am. Unfortunately, that might mean you don’t get the results you hope for.
Scenario 2: You follow the plan perfectly. In fact, you follow it too well and for too long. Most meal plans are meant to be temporary. They’re designed to help a person get to a specific short-term goal, like dropping a few extra pounds before a wedding, learning to manage blood sugar, or cutting weight for an athletic competition. Our bodies can usually adapt to a rigid way of eating for a short period of time. But if you’re too strict for too long, you could wind up with disordered eating habits and lasting health (mental, metabolic, hormonal, etc) consequences.
Scenario 3: You follow the plan for a little while but it sucks. It isn’t sustainable. It doesn’t make you feel better. It doesn’t keep you sane. Maybe you see some short-term results (or not). But you hate living and eating this way. You never want to see another stupid piece of lettuce or 4 ounces of chicken. You’re not getting to eat the foods you love and you feel deprived. Eventually, you get so turned off by the process that you quit altogether. You conclude that “eating healthy” sucks. And you miss your big chance to learn how to make healthier and lasting real changes.
The real goal is to make small changes and improvements to what you already normally eat and enjoy, one small step at a time. Think about a spectrum of food quality rather than “bad” or “good” foods.
Fit, healthy people who have a good relationship with food don’t need other people to tell them exactly what to eat at all times.
If you’re interested in learning more about what our team of experts at Power Athletics can do to help you lose more weight and become a healthier version of you, contact us today! We’re proud of our expert level coaching and we have helped over a thousand people meet their health and fitness goals.
You deserve this! You’re just one click away from starting something amazing at Power Athletics.