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Meal Plans Usually Suck

Here Is What You Can Do Instead

“Do I get a meal plan????”

This is the most common question we get from people interested in improving their nutrition habits.

The answer…  No, we don’t do meal plans.

While we can’t fault you for asking, what we have found is that not only do meal plans suck, they’re usually also not sustainable.

.So, instead of prescribing you another dreaded, likely doomed eating regime…I would like you help you with what sustainable, transformable habits a look instead- but first, lets take a look at why meal plans usually fail

#1. Sticking To The Plan Is Not Only Difficult, But Unlikely

Let’s face it. Life gets in the way.

> People get busy

> You’re simply just not always able to prepare

> Your kid gets sick

> Your boss wants you to work late

> There always seems to be another holiday, party, or birthday sabotaging you

> Sometimes you just don’t feel like eating broccoli. For the 5th day in a row.

> Being told you can only eat this and not that can lead to rebelling in subtle or not so subtle ways.

Not only is this normal, its okay. It just means you may not get the results you were hoping for. However, there is good news. There is a better way.

#2. You Follow The Plan Perfectly

In fact, not only do you follow it too well, you follow it for too long. Most meal plans are meant to be temporary. They are designed to help a person reach a specific short term goal. For example, losing a few pounds before your class reunion, best friends wedding, or even cutting weight before an athletic competition. Our bodies are able to adapt to a rigid way or eating, but usually only for a short period of time. If you are too strict, for too long, you could see yourself facing down the dark hole of disordered eating habits and long lasting health (such as (mental, metabolic, hormonal, etc) consequences.

#3. You Are Able To Follow The Plan For A Little While, But Again, It Sucks…

The plan just isn’t sustainable. You don’t feel better on it, in fact you feel worse, and it doesn’t keep you sane. Maybe you do or maybe you don’t see some short term results, but you hate life.  If you never see broccoli, chicken, or rice again for as long as you live- it will be too soon.

Eventually you get so discouraged by the process that you either fall backwards or quit altogether. You decide that eating “healthy” sucks. The worst part? You miss out on your chance to learn how to make healthier not only long lasting- but get this- enjoyable.

You might be thinking that sometimes a super macro specific diet is necessary, and you’re right. Usually for a competitor, athlete, perhaps certain medical conditions or prior to a special surgery.

But most of us don’t need that level of precision to live healthy and happy lives.

Most of us do not usually eat “ounces” of things or refer to foods by the nutrients, like “Omega-3 fatty acids”. Instead we eat everyday food such as sandwiches, salads, pasta, soups, casseroles, etc.

What it comes down to is you do not have to get weird about things to eat better. You don’t need to weigh and measure every last thing, including how many pistachios you can have. What you need to do is say to yourself, how can I make what I’m already eating, a little bit BETTER. What can I tweak and adjust to make foods I already eat and enjoy a little healthier? Also, rather than looking at foods as bad or good, let’s look at the quality of the food we are consuming.

Make It Into A Game.

Lets call this game, "The Food Transformation Game”

Starting with breakfast…

Pretend your go to breakfast is a whipped cream coffee drink and a chocolate chip muffin. You pick it up in the drive-thru and slam it down on the way to work.

If this is your starting point, we won’t label it as “bad”, but recognize its no longer working for you. You’re getting heartburn from swallowing the muffin whole and you’ve just spilled your coffee on yourself changing lanes.

Now your game is to improve your breakfast just a little bit, starting with what you already have or do.

Your first move might be to switch out the muffin for egg whites on whole grain. Instead of dessert in a cup, you replace it with regular coffee and a single cream and sugar. Of course you’re still rushed ad flying around, but maybe you eat your breakfast at your desk while going through emails. Yes, you’re still distracted -but- we’re taking baby steps and this is a solid start.

Next Game Level…

You ditch the whole grain and add in some colorful fruit. Switch the cream out of your coffee for 2% milk- or if your feeling extra competitive- go straight to black coffee. You’re now eating off of a plate at your table and not out of a drive-thru bag in your car. Of course you’re probably still browsing fb or watching the news while you eat…but it’s progress!!!

Pro Level…

You’ve started going to bed a little earlier and getting up a little earlier to remove rushed and panicked from your morning routine. You’ve set aside a little time to actually ENJOY your breakfast and quiet time. You got clever and made egg cups on meal prep day in advance so you don’t have to think about it that morning, just heat it up. You switched form coffee to green tea as you’re realizing you probably don’t need all of that caffeine anyway. Protein, fruit and the colorful veggies you’ve added to your egg cups have become the stars of your meal rather than processed sugars. You eat mindfully, relaxed, watching the sun rise. Ahhhh. This is the life.

Do the same to the rest of your meals.

Meal transformation isn’t about perfection. It’s about continually and consistently progressing.

Want a success secret? Meal prep is where it's at. If you don’t have to think, just grab, it takes so much stress out of the equation. It makes meal time convenient and easy.

The real goal of a meal plan is to eventually stop using a meal plan. Fit, healthy people who have a good relationship with food don’t need other people to tell them exactly what to eat at all times.

Living a fit and healthy life doesn’t require perfection, either.

What to do next..

>>Consider what game level you are currently playing at

>>Start small and play one step or level at a time

>>Add and subtract things slowly so it doesn’t feel so drastic

>>Set yourself up for success. Have a plan in place

>>ENJOY your meals

>>Look for ways to wisely and instinctually make better choices

How would you like to gain real accountability and learn the habits that will transform how you look and feel about food?

Email me at amber@FirstCapitalGym.com to set up your free initial consultation!

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