People often ask me if I will write them a meal plan.
My answer is: nah.
Well, my real answer is more detailed than that. In fact, it’s so detailed, that I’m about to write an entire blog post about it.
It’s true that I a lot of people come to me looking to lose weight and start a healthier lifestyle.
They’re frustrated by working on their own without seeing progress, and the need support and guidance to reach their goals in a realistic and sustainable way.
As a health counselor, I’ve learned that the clients who make the most progress toward their goals are those that are ready and willing to work. Changing your lifestyle (especially how you eat) isn’t easy– despite what all of the fitness magazine headlines tell you. If you want change, you have to work for it. Really.
If anyone promises you quick change without a lot of work, they’re probably lying to you.
You HAVE to DO something to make change.
You have to be willing to experiment.
You have to be willing to listen to your body to find what truly works for you.
Finding a ways of eating that truly works for you is the key to reaching your goals and making lasting change.
And that’s why I don’t write meal plans for my clients.
If I were to write a meal plan for you with what to eat, when to eat it, and how much to eat, you would be using me (and the meal plan) as a crutch. Following my meal plan would prevent you from listening to your body as well as you could.
Even though I’m your health counselor, I don’t know what’s best for you.
Only YOU know what’s best for you.
Following a meal plan that I create for you keeps you from figuring out what’s best for YOU.
I want you to be an intuitive eater: I want you to listen to your body and your cravings and figure out what you WANT to eat and HOW MUCH you want to eat.
Then, I want you to EAT IT.
That, in a slightly cracked nutshell, is why I don’t write meal plans for my clients.
Instead of writing a rigid meal plan, I’ll work with you to create meal guidelines.
These meal guidelines add structure, but are not rigid like a set meal plan.
- We work together to design guidelines that flow with your life– whether you cook all of your food at home or you go out to eat every night.
- You’ll know how to build your plate at each meal using healthy foods that you like to eat.
- You’ll choose foods from a framework that we design together– foods that will increase your health.
- You’ll know how to listen to your cravings and you’ll have strategies for satisfying your cravings.
And, most importantly, our meal guidelines will leave plenty of room for you to listen to your body and find what REALLY works for you.
The main differences between our meal guidelines and a set meal plan is the flexibility and the room for intuitive eating.
That being said, there are times when a set meal plan is the best route toward change. When you’re first starting a Paleo lifestyle, or if you have a medical condition that you’re looking to heal, a meal plan can be a wonderful thing.
When someone comes to me looking for a meal plan, I often refer them to the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo.
Practical Paleo is one of the best books I’ve read for those who are just starting a Paleo lifestyle, and for those who are looking to start healing medical conditions by changing what and how they eat.
The best feature of this book are the 30 day meal plans (yes, meal plans plural). Diane has designed 30 day Paleo meal plans with a variety of goals from healing your thyroid to regulating your blood sugar.
Another wonderful resource for Paleo Meal Plans are the Weekly Paleo Meal Plans put together by Emily of Holistic Squid. If you’re looking for some support finding new recipes and learning how to structure your week in terms of food, I highly recommend these meal plans.
Do you follow a meal plan? Did you design it for yourself? Or did someone else make it for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only recommend products or services I believe in and trust.