I’m going to try and keep this one short and too the point – notice that I left out “sweet” in that sentence?
I did so because the truth sometimes isn’t sweet and meal plans most definitely aren’t sweet…
They’re plain and bland.
I decided to write this particular article in hopes that by doing so, it may help people to realize that they should make a decision to create a lifestyle based eating plan, instead of searching for a quick fix.
And because I get asked so frequently to make “meal plans” as if I’m a chef with a head full of healthy recipes.
Truth is, I’m no chef. I know my way around a good steak and can definitely make some mean dishes in the kitchen.
But the reality is that what I do is far from creating recipes, what I do is match peoples goals, lifestyles, schedules, and true needs to a nutrition plan that is based around calorie and macronutrient ratios fit to them. Along that process, I coach them on how to make it fit their schedule and lifestyle so that they can sustain this plan, feel good doing it, and continue to see great results with me.
But never have I told someone, “Meal one is 4oz of sirloin steak, ¼ cup of dry oats, and 4 ½ grilled asparagus spears”.
Those days are over people. The days of flexible dieting are here and thank god they are because science has proven it to be a much better strategy. So without further ado, lets get too it…
5 Reasons Why Your Meal-Plan Failed and Will Keep Failing
#1 – No Flexibility.
This is probably the biggest reason among them all. There is literally no wiggle room with a rigid meal plan.
Some of you reading this may stop and think, “YES! That’s what I love, take the guessing work out of it and just tell me what to do!”
Yeah I’ve thought that before too, also have heard it from many people….
But the truth is, you need to learn your body and learn what your body needs. A generic meal plan won’t teach you that.
It also gives you no flexibility.
What that meal plan wont provide you is with a plan for your social events, your work luncheons, your dinner dates, when you decide to have a glass of wine or a beer, or really any real life scenario or event that isn’t on your meal plan print out.
That’s why I teach my clients how to read labels, what macros and calories are and mean to us, how to adjust things when needed, how to be flexible, and so much more… All while getting results. (Click HERE to find out more.)
The point is, meal plans don’t give you a long term solution because there is no flexibility or wiggle room to make adjustments – which leads me right into my second point…
#2 – They’re not sustainable.
[ This ^^^ Does not equal health or being fit, nor is it cool or sustainable. Meal Prep is VERY important, don’t get me wrong… But switch it up a bit, “Bro”. ]
There is no way you can sustain a meal plan longer than a few months at max and that is assuming you’re an extremely dedicated individual with a bodybuilding or bikini show coming up, so you feel like you have no choice. ( << That isn’t true, by the way… You can get on stage with a flexible plan)
So maybe you can go a month or two without a holiday, social event, going out with friends, or whatever…
But eventually, something will come up and you will not be able to stick to your meal plan.
On top of that you will get tired and bored of eating that same old shit that you have printed out on a piece of paper.
And finally, why would anyone want to be on a diet that restricts you from friends, family birthdays, and other fun shit in life?!
That’s why your goal and the goal I set with my clients is always to promote a nutrition plan that gives great results, while allowing freedom and flexibility to enjoy life.
#3 – Promotes Failure.
Point one and two both lead to the result of this, “promoted failure”.
What do I mean by this? I mean that sooner or later you won’t be able to hit your meal plan perfectly and when you don’t hit it perfectly, that means you fail.
This is a crock of shit.
See I’ve watched so many people fall off their meal plans by the slightest bit and because of that, they feel like a failure, which can damage us way more mentally than having a few extra carbs.
Most of us fail hard when we do fail, by this I mean, “Shit, I didn’t prep my meal and I have to eat out now…. Fuck it, I’m eating a burger and ALL of the fries!”
Unfortunately this is a very similar story to so many of us out there and it doesn’t need to be. Since everything comes down to calories in vs. out, having a little something off plan is far better than going off the deep end. But people don’t grasp that concept when they follow a meal plan.
To them, if they’re off the list – they failed. And if they failed, might as well enjoy the failure. Right?
Not right, but that’s the majority of our mindsets and the reality of it leads to binge episodes. Many times I see people follow meal plans and eventually fall into a type of eating disorder from them, in fact I can honestly say I had a case of eating disorder from the same thing.
A the end of the day, a real nutrition plan should be able to work for you whether you eat at home, a restaurant, your friend’s house, or a gas station.
#4 – “Special Foods” and Meal Timing.
When you follow a meal plan, it implies that there is something special about the foods on that list and those foods are what will get you lean.
Well, science has proven this fact wrong countless times. Truth is, protein is protein and if you hate steak and want salmon… Eat the salmon!
Everything comes down to calories in vs. out and how many macronutrients your body gets on a daily basis.
This is exactly why if you want to eat out, you should be able too because you can always adjust the calories in your day to work with what your day has in store – it’s a number game really.
And as for the topic of meal timing, science proved this wrong too. Unless you’re an athlete who needs specific energy demands prior to training or performing – all’s that matters is you get in your daily calories before hitting the sheets at night.
So even though that meal plan says 6 meals a day is the way to go because it “revs up your metabolism”, you don’t need to worry about that.
4 meals, 3 meals, 1 meal, 8 meals…. All the same, assuming the calories are the same. Weight loss and metabolic rate are determined by a daily and weekly calorie intake, nothing else.
#5 – No Variety.
You need variety in your diet and a meal plan cannot truly provide that for more than a 24-hour period. So maybe breakfast is different than lunch, but tomorrow looks the same as today and the cycle continues all week.
Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with meal prepping enough to last you throughout the week and because of that you end up repeating meals. But this is also your personal preference and choices repeated, much different.
On top of that, you need to have the knowledge to know how to adjust when you decide too.
[ Protein is Protein, fish or chicken or steak or eggs. Protein is Protein, no matter what your “meal plan” says… ]
Variety is needed first of all for your sanity. Anyone in the right mind will go crazy sooner or later from eating the same thing every day with no variance. Similar meals are ok, but switching ingredients, seasonings, sauces, preparations or whatever is needed is crucial to keep enjoyment alive – you should enjoy your food.
Variety is also needed for nutrient distribution. Bodybuilders are known for building deficiencies in specific nutrients and vitamins because they skip out on colorful veggies, fruits, dairy, etc. So when it comes to health, the meal plan falls short again.
Variety is needed again when it comes to promoting a health gut flora, which is needed for better health, living, and performance which all will help aid a better body composition. Eating the same exact foods day in and day out can promote gut flora to not be diverse, which can set you up for inflammation, potential fat storage, food intolerances, autoimmune disorders, etc.
Now, don’t let that scare you into thinking you can never repeat a meal. Shit, I eat scrambled eggs probably every single day. But I switch the veggies in it up, the meat used, the oil cooked in, and the amount of eggs vs. egg whites. So the key is variance, in some way, each day if possible but mainly on a weekly basis as well.
If you’re tired of the meal plan dogma you’ve falling into, then my Coaching Program is probably exactly what you need in order to break out of the rut and get the results want.
Click HERE now to apply for a Discover Call so we can see if its the right fit.