Why I Don't Advocate For Meal Plans (even though they work)

Recently I’ve had a lot of people messaging me or asking me if I do meal plans. I have training in nutrition and know how to make them, but I don’t personally advocate them.

The reason being is that while yes, meal plans do work in weight loss programs, because you are forced to count calories, restrict what you’re putting into your body, and obsess over food constantly – no matter how easy they say it is when they sell it to you – once the “diet” is done and you’ve lost the weight, a lot of the time you will put it straight back on because you no longer stick to this restrictive diet.

What I do advocate for is looking after your body, healthy eating, and changing your lifestyle to suit the goals you are trying to achieve. This is in some ways more effort, but with long-term rewards. It won’t be a fast, insane change that people sell for the big bucks. Fast weight loss a lot of the time actually means fast muscle loss because after water weight that’s what you lose first. Focusing on fitness and lifestyle may mean a slower change, but that’s usually the kind that sticks.

As many of you know I struggled with weight and image my whole life. I was 20 years old, 42kg and thinking I needed to lose 4 more. Now, at 20kg heavier I’m stronger, healthier and fitter that I have ever been. Putting my health in both mind and body first was the best thing I ever did.

[ Slide through for a picture of me now ]

So, with that said, here’s a few tips that will change the way you look at food and weight loss.

1. Start by looking inside yourself. How you’re feeling each day. Ask yourself “How can I take care of myself today?” because really, we only get one body and we should be doing our best to look after it.

2. Portion control. I’m not talking about starving yourself, but you need to know when you’re full. Have water with your meal and take your time eating – don’t just wolf it down. You should stop eating when you START to feel full, not when you’re about to burst.

3. SNACKS. If you find that you’re still hungry after you’ve eaten, wait for at least an hour before deciding to have a snack. And those snacks should be something to fuel your body, not a chocolate bar or some chips. It doesn’t have to be carrot sticks or celery. There are plenty of websites out there with great options for healthy snacks that you can use.

4. In the beginning, don’t try for healthy, try for HEALTHIER. If you love pasta, use whole wheat pasta or go full green with zucchini noodles! Love chips? Try baked potatoes! A little bit of cheese is fine, maybe with some green onion, guacamole or beef mince... mmmm, delicious.... but maybe skip the full-cream sour cream and opt for a small amount of butter or olive oil. There are always modifications and swap-outs that can make your favourite meals a little more heart-friendly.

5. Exercise! It’s so important to be active to keep our bodies in great shape as we get older. Exercise, partnered with good eating habits will see a change in the way you feel almost instantly!

6. Make sure your body is fuelled up before you work out, with a protein shake or healthy snack. If you hate eating before you exercise, make sure you’ve had something 2 hours beforehand and then eat afterwards.

7. Meal prep. This is so important when you’re busy making life happen. Having something ready to go so that you’re not scrambling for something to cook later on is one way to stop the bad decisions and quick meals that usually happen when nothing is prepared. Burrito bowls are a favourite of mine! There are so many online blogs and websites that have fantastic ideas for meal prep.

8. Finally, get help. I won’t sell you a meal plan, but I can help you figure out your goals, encourage you throughout the process and give you plenty of help, support and ideas along the way.

Not everything works for everyone, and if you’re looking to lose weight quickly then there are plenty of options out there for you. But if you’re looking to make real, significant change, then start by changing your mindset, your lifestyle and setting your goals. Because that’s where real change happens.

If you want help in starting a journey into a healthier life and mindset, contact me any time on 0434 194 972 or message this page. I’m always around for advice and tips!

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