One of my frequently asked questions is "do you do meal plans?"
And in today's #MondayMoan I want to address a few of the reasons why I DON'T provide meal plans for my clients. Not only are meal plans a FAQ, meal plans are something people expect I do with most of my time!
So why don't I provide meal plans like most nutritionists??
Well first of all, developing a good quality meal plan that really suits a client takes a long time- and time is money, right? A good meal plan has to factor in likes and dislikes, time available, cooking ability, cooking equipment, money available, family members and lots more. It is quite labour intensive to find out all this from a client!
But also, clients tend to not stick to a meal plan, so all that time and effort is often for nought! That means they are a waste of my time and a waste of my client's money. Nobody is winning with meal plans.
Next, it is important to mention that a meal plan will never understand or account for our hunger and cravings. As someone who encourages intuitive eating, I feel that meal plans take the focus away from what our body tells us and instead forces us to rely of someone else or a computer (who doesn't live in our body!) to tell us how we should nourish ourselves. Eating without regard for how we feel will never truly satisfy us. And a meal plan will never account for the occasions that pop up day to day that may heed a deviation from the meal plan- a co-workers birthday, a visit with a friend, a day out, a late evening at work. All these situations crop up, but cannot be considered by the meal plan and therefore often leave dieters feeling like they have failed for having to deviate from their plan. But these situations are normal, and sometimes enjoyable parts of living- the unexpected! We should enjoy eating, not be worried by every meal.
Meal plans also create the "good/bad" mentality- where you either follow the meal plan and are "good" or mess up a bit, or even quit, and are deemed "bad". That way of thinking about food isn't helpful or healthy and it is just setting you up for failure. You will never be able to 100% stick to a meal plan forever, therefore you will always fail!
What's more, is that a meal plan is just telling you what to eat when, but it doesn't actually provide any education about nutrition or health. That means you have to keep on coming back for another meal plan or diet when the last one fails or ends! It is the cycle that keeps the diet industry booming and keeps us all self-conscious about our weight and health. Diets like Slimming World and Weight Watchers work on this premise also- they change the points/syns system every so often so that people come back or buy back in to membership to find out the new rules. It isn't because they have new information- it is to make more money.
So for me, it feels dishonest to sell something when I know it will never work.
When I know it isn't educating you.
When I know it won't make you healthier.
When I know it might mess up your relationship with food.
That's why I provide an alternative! I teach you how to feed yourself, without telling you what to eat. I help you break free from diets and navigate nutrition in a positive way. There is no failing, there is just learning. And I think that is a much better approach.
If you are interested in finding out more, I offer a free discovery call for all new clients, which you can book at www.littleonutrition.com/services.
If you have any questions, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be more than happy to help.
Lots of love,
Little O x