Why Giving You a Meal Plan Doesn’t Cut It
This is a conversation I’ve had too often. It starts off with a casual conversation, small talk, and then the question “what do you do for a living.” As I answer I prepare myself for the bombardment of questions I’m about to get about what they should eat. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE when people, even strangers, ask me questions about nutrition and fitness. I love what I do and I could talk about it all day every day. I usually have to probe for some basic information before I give them enough knowledge where they walk away feeling informed. Without fail, one of the first questions I hear is.. “well, what do you eat?" “Uhh… how much time to you have? Because I eat a lot! For instance I had a taco salad last night, pizza on Friday, a couple mimosa’s Sunday morning, oh and I needed something sweet so I had a few m&m’s out of the office candy dish this afternoon.” Probably not what they (or you) were expecting? Well that’s kind of my niche, honesty & balance. I have not eliminated everything unhealthy in my diet, nor do I ever need to, or want to! That is exactly what I teach my clients. There is a certain balance you can achieve that results in having a lifestyle you feel good about. After years of learning and trialing different ways of eating I have found my balance. For the most part I have a healthy routine. My diet consists of higher protein and fiber whole foods and my workout routine is one that makes me feel good, usually a combination of strength training and cardio (running or biking). That said, this balance allows me to live a life where I enjoy some of the treats without fear or guilt.
Before I can even think about putting a plan together for someone I have to spend time doing a thorough assessment, usually lasting 30-45 minutes. Even then, I will go through a trial and error period with them to learn how their body responds to certain changes. It isn’t until a few weeks in I can confidently say okay, here’s what you should be eating and how you should be structuring your intake.
If anyone hands you a meal plan without spending significant time getting to know you as an individual, you should question it! This goes for generalized diet books, commercial weight loss programs and fad diets. If a true lifestyle change is what you want, your plan must take into consideration several individual factors in order to develop a plan that will work for you. Where to start, what to change first, what to keep, how quick or slow to progress, what to use as motivation, how to problem solve individual obstacles, tough love or soft encouragement, the list goes on and on. After counseling hundreds of clients, I’ve never come across two clients that ended up with the exact same plan or journey. Even if their age, gender, weight, goals and motivation levels all seemed to be very similar. Additionally, the plan could and SHOULD continue to change as you progress. Printing out the prefect meal plan, handing it to you and sending you on your way might help for about a week or so, if you’re lucky. But trust me when I say the magic usually lays in the accountability and motivation that comes with working 1-on-1 with someone who knows what they're talking about. All other routes typically come to a dead end or leads to yo-yoing (for most people). So when you're thinking about starting a journey towards a healthier you, PLEASE consider options beyond a quick fix book or fad diet.
If you feel you could benefit from a little magic, contact me and I’ll be happy to share! :)