I think the #1 most requested service I get is that of meal plans. Y’all KNOW that nutrition can make or break your goals!
This is TOTALLY accurate of how I approach said meal plans….
(Plus- I tend to distrust male health “pros” with less muscle than myself. But whatev).
So the whole objective of a meal plan is to have a simplified layout of what to eat to get results, so that there’s no guesswork, no question- you just eat what you’re told. It’s pretty straight-forward and effective.
Now, in a perfect world, I would have everyone practicing “flexible dieting,” because there is no set, exact meal plan that is guaranteed to work for you, or me, or anyone. Ideally, we would all never overeat, always crave healthy things, and when we do splurge, there’s no guilt about it- we enjoy it and move on. Such is not the case and I speak from experience! All these things I’m STILL trying to figure out and practice on my own, and I share what I learn.
So back to set meal plans: WHY in the world are coaches and nutritionists giving out boring, bland, horrid food- the SAME food, to all their clients?! I hear about it ALL the time! Super low carbs or fats, and really low calories. It is highly irresponsible for a fitness professional to set clients up with such extremes, for they are 99% going to relapse into their old ways and gain their weight back, plus some.Now look- I’m not a RD or a nutritionist. I don’t know everything- but I do know a lot. I know very well what’s healthy for my body and what’s not. But the BEST approach I ever heard was from a podcast and book written by RD’s who stressed that people must take baby steps towards cleaning up their diet- not just jumping into this “clean eating only” mentality, which includes NOTHING of what they are used to eating. How long is that going to last?
I’ve designed a LOT of client meal plans in recent years. And believe me when I say they are customized to that person. If you don’t have the first clue about basic nutrition and you eat a typical American diet, then we start very simple! You eat oreos every night.. well guess what, in your meal plan, I might actually PUT oreos in your meal plan! I’d plan lots of other healthy foods around that throughout the day, and then slowly wean you from so much junk. The minute you pull out all the “bad food,” the more they’re gonna miss it.
Conversely, if someone is already in decent shape and eating pretty well, I know they can handle a cleaner diet- not to say there’s never wiggle room for a few cheats here and there =)
Meal plans are based around macronutrient percentages that I work out, but also taking into consideration activity level, and preferences. If you do well with lower carbs, and higher fats, then by all means, let’s do what you feel good on! Maybe you’re a vegetarian or have some other dietary restriction, then it is my JOB to create something you can be successful on!
I tell my clients that feedback is super helpful.. Okay you don’t like one of the meals I wrote up for you- I’m not going to tell you to suck it up and eat it for a month straight. Adjustments can and must be made, because when clients are dissatisfied, there is no motivation to continue.
Bottom line: be wise, moderate, and realistic when it comes to your health and nutrition!