I am sometimes asked if I write meal plans for others. And while I believe there is a time and place for structured meal plans, the truth is, for the most part, I don’t recommend them to my clients.
Now you may be wondering, “but you’re a nutritionist, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?”
Don’t get me wrong. Of course it is my goal to help others improve their health by improving their eating habits! But, I also want my clients to have lasting success through true lifestyle change! How many times have you decided to follow a meal plan, only to do really well for a couple weeks or months and then “fall off” and return to your previous eating habits?
It’s as the old saying goes: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
Meal plans, in my opinion, are like the fish – and like the fish, they don’t last forever! If you truly want to be successful in changing your eating habits and creating a relationship with food that supports your health and fits your lifestyle, you have to learn not just what to eat, but how to eat.
A meal plan won’t tell you how to be mindful while you eat. A meal plan won’t teach you how to listen to your body and eat intuitively A meal plan won’t tell you how to indulge wisely or fight cravings, nor will it teach you how to eat during the holidays or at your nephew’s birthday party or that important business dinner.
Meal plans are black and white. You’re either sticking to the plan or off it. But our lives are not black and white. Things come up, situations change. To be successful in nourishing our bodies, we need to learn to truly listen to our bodies. Moreover, we need to learn be flexible and able to adapt to ever-changing circumstances, whether that be a limited budget for food this month or an impromptu night of dinner and drinks with friends.
As Brian Wansink said, “the best diet is the one you don’t know you’re on.” Take the time and effort to create a way of eating that fits your lifestyle and goals, and supports your health, and you’ll never need to follow a meal plan again!
Interested in nutrition coaching with me? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free 15 minute consultation 🙂 I can’t wait to help you reach your goals!