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Fuck your meal plans!!!

Fuck your meal plans!!!

Meal Plan??? No Thanks!!!

We are living in an age, unfortunately, where whatever needs to be done, we expect step by step instructions on how do to it, someone hand holding you every step of the way…

We no longer seem to want to learn how to do certain things for ourselves, especially if someone else has a hack to do it faster or better…

Nutrition, health and weight loss are key areas here where no one seems to want to learn anymore…

We buy shitty detox shakes, aloe vera diets, shake diets, skinny coffee… ALL because some celeb has said it worked for them or one of our mates has started selling it so we think we may as well give it a go… easier than learning about food and stuff right?!

This over the years in the fitness industry has led to Meal Plan after Meal Plan after Meal Plan and I have to say… Just look around… Are we a leaner, healthier nation for it?

Are we #$&#!!!

The reason for this is that they simply don’t work… not in the long term anyway and I’m going to explain to you why…

When you join a gym and you get a “meal plan” it’s a meal plan designed for the duration of the program you’ve signed up to… 4 weeks/6 weeks… whatever it is, the meal plan you get, is a calorie deficit (usually quite a drastic one), that will work over the period of time you are signed up to.

You aren’t learning anything from this process except for perhaps how much you hate eating chicken and sweet potato on repeat.

So… you do this program, follow the meal plan which is around 1000-1200 kcals per day, lose a shit tonne of weight, then what? Where do you go from there?

Quickly back into old eating habits and gaining that weight back, and then some… especially if this 6 weeks is the magical unicorn you thought it was and you stop training on completion after you’ve “achieved” your goal loss…

I will at this point, point out to you that the faster the weight loss, the result is more likely you’ve lost muscle without any additional fat loss than if you were to have eaten more reasonably in a slight, more sustainable, deficit.

The faster the weight loss also, the larger the adaptive responses will be. Adaptive responses are the physiological changes in your body that occur to adapt to various scenarios and our bodies have been doing it from day dot.

What this means is that your body recognises your fat loss (your body is always trying to keep a hold of fat) and begins to adapt to the diet you are following, that’s why, most often than not, the second time you try a diet (for example the atkins diet), that initially helped you lose a lot of weight, it just won’t have the same results, it’ll be a little less, third time round, less again, until eventually this “go-to” miracle diet will stop working and you simply won’t understand why, become annoyed at your own failure and just give up.

Your body is smarter than you are, so the faster we learn this and stop trying to treat our bodies like machines that do as we tell them, the better off we’ll be!!!

Meal plans are extremely prescriptive, telling you what to eat, how much to eat and what time to eat it?!

Sounds like a recipe for disaster… we grow up being told what to do through school, get a job being told what to do again, unless you’re in a position where you’re self-employed, but even then someone somewhere is trying to tell you what to do…

Do we really need this “telling” to encroach on something so natural and so pleasing to us human beans that we have to have a prescriptive step by step of what to eat to achieve a certain goal?!

Are we really going to follow it?! Really?! How well do you respond to authority?!

I know if anyone is like me, I listened at school but as I got older I loathed being given to do lists from any employers, especially if it was on a topic/task I didn’t particularly enjoy!!! The rebel inside me would procrastinate and avoid things I didn’t like, pretty much attune to what I’m like myself with food!!!

I believe the meal plan leads to 3 scenarios:

1 – You just don’t stick to it…

This is normal for most, life tends to have a habit of getting in the way. New foods, completely different to what you would usually opt for, nothing on there you particularly like the taste of… no thanks… not to mention the fact we’re naturally bound to rebel against anything we’ve spent money on, just to prove it “doesn’t work” because then we have an excuse as to why we say we want to lose weight but never do… It’s because nothing works… The problem here is, this rebellious attitude or just the fact it’s such an overhaul, you can’t do it all at once, could lead to weight gain, not weight loss…

2 – You stick to it perfectly…
As mentioned above, they’re designed to work short term, they’re designed to be temporary… If you’re too strict for too long, you could end up with disordered eating habits and lasting health consequences (mental, metabolic, hormonal, etc). You have to understand what it is you are doing and the reasons why so you can adopt a longer term, sustainable nutrition plan moving forwards.

3 – You follow it for a bit then get bored, it’s awful…
You try the plan for a few weeks, you’re miserable as sin because you’ve not been out with friends/family for fear of food/drink. You’ve not ate anything you actually enjoy because it’s not on your prescription. You don’t feel any better yet, still sore from all the training and you’re always hungry… You realise quite early on, if you can’t keep this up for 6 weeks, how on earth are you going to manage afterwards… might as well pack it in now… curry night anyone?

Here at RT Fitness we don’t do meal plans. We show our clients how to track their nutrition which puts the decision making back in their court…

We believe in taking control, learning and understanding more about nutrition as well as having that balance to enjoy life and get results!!!

We believe there is a time and a place for explicit, step by step instructions on what to eat… these are called athletes, body builders, models…

These people use these plans to prepare for training, competition, a photo shoot to get to where they need to be (basically those making money off their bodies being able to do certain things or look a certain way), normal people like you and I, do not need such prescriptive methods and all they will do is lead us down a frustrating path where ultimately we fail at the end and beat ourselves up over it time and time again…

So… if you aren’t one of our clients and you’re using programs/meal plans… have a think…

If your meal plan is making you feel:

Overwhelmed
anxious
guilty
regretful
bad…
or any other negative, unproductive emotion…

…and if you find that meal plans result in you:

“falling off the wagon”,
getting obsessive and compulsive about food
restricting foods and food groups, or
doing “all or nothing”, usually ending with “nothing”

…then consider trying another approach.

S x

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