There is no meal plan you can follow that will magically give you the lasting results you desire. I get it, understanding what to eat is starting to feel like nuclear science. Macro’s, low-carb, high-fat…eat this/ not that…nutrition is getting overwhelming.
The solution that seems to be cropping up more and more is a detailed meal plan and grocery list. They’re all over Pinterest and Facebook. Fairly frequently clients ask me for them and the answer is always no. Here’s why.
As a Registered Personal Trainer my Scope of Practice is to “design and instruct a comprehensive, individualized, safe, effective and appropriate (health & fitness) program to meet the needs of apparently healthy individuals.” With regards to nutrition it is to “provide basic nutritional information based on Canada’s Food Guide. Client requests for advanced nutritional information should be referred to a qualified nutrition professional.”
Beyond my registration as a Personal Trainer I also have University coursework in Nutrition and with a keen interest in nutrition I have significant knowledge around Nutrition – but neither qualify me to develop meal plans. Can I provide examples to clients of what a day in the life using the Canada’s Food Guide looks like? YES! But even that comes with a caveat.
You are unique.
No one on this planet has the same genetics, preferences, priorities and tastes. Your nutritional needs also vary significantly based on your metabolic needs – which factors in your resting metabolic rate, but also your output. There is way more to this than a simple mapping out of meals and snacks! No one-size-fits all meal plan that will work for everyone! So that meal plan you found on Pinterest? It may or may not work for you!
But before you get disheartened, let me tell you this: a detailed meal plan and grocery list is not the secret ingredient you’re missing. Even IF you had a meal plan developed by a Dietitian or Nutritionist that took all of the above into consideration, it still wouldn’t be the magic bullet everyone thinks it is. Because it’s not a long term solution.
There is an old parable:
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
A detailed meal plan is giving you a fish. Sure, you might know what to eat today or this week – but are you going to eat the same things every day/ week? What about when you go on vacation? Or something changes in your health and your nutritional needs shift? What then?
(enter the “Wagon” everyone seems to climb on and off of when it comes to their health)
So, what is the solution?
I want to teach you how to FISH. I want to give you the skillset to learn how to develop your own meal plan – based on nutritional science and grounded in common sense. Because only YOU know what will and will not work for your life! I want to give you a basic understanding about food, portion sizes and how to effectively find a balanced approach to eating! One that leaves room for vacations, birthdays and treats. Because life is meant to be enjoyed – and there is so much more to food than just putting gas in the tank.
My job as a coach is to give you tools, strategies and tactics to develop habits and routines that work for you and your life. If you’re ready to find an approach to nutrition that is simple, straight-forward and liveable let’s talk!