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The Truth About Meal Plans

Why Meal Plans Fail

It is not really possible for 2 days to go by without someone asking me WHAT should I be eating, or Do you make meal plans?”

After “internally” rolling my eyes, and a few moments of silence, my typical answer is

“It’s good that you want to improve HOW you eat. I have found that before giving meal plans, it’s best for me to see how you have been eating, and determine what are the best steps to take in conjunction with your lifestyle and goals.”

The questioner’s face…blank.

Unless you are extremely disciplined, or an elite level athlete training for a specific event, meal plans typically don’t work.

Here’s why.

Chances are that your current eating patterns are a result of a few bad habits built up overtime that you have not been aware of.

Assigning a meal plan might work in the extreme short term, but will fail quick.

Will power will not defeat lifelong habits.

So rather than do a sudden overhaul of your lifestyle, the focus should be on assessing what you do now, getting educated on nutrition as a whole, and progressively introduce and eliminate habits for the long term.

Start asking yourself what you can do to improve your current eating patterns.

Add 2 more cups of water per day?

Eat one less bag of chips everyday?

Switch from Coke to Coke 0 (not that flattering)?

Start there, and create the momentum from the small victories.

No this is not the most magical, drop 10 pounds in a week method, but a guaranteed life long accomplishment.

In a time where there is an eternal waterfall of information on dieting, losing weight, and muscle gain, most advice is based on trends with shaky research, and lack of a long term agenda for change.

Yes, there are some meal plans that will absolutely work and knock off those inches and pounds you want..but think about this:

Is your ultimate heath journey supposed to be filled with following a meal plan for the rest of your life?

I don’t think so.

In the words of Dr. John Berardi, the purpose of a meal plan is to get you off of meal plans (Let that sink for a second).

The key is to be educated on the good and bad, stay persistent through the good and bad, and maintain your focus through the good and bad.

Meal plans are ok for a select few.

But for the majority of people who live regular lifestyles, the effect of meal plans are fleeting.

Perform a nutritional self assessment, find the not so good, ponder changes, and take consistent action.