Why Diets and Meal Plans Suck
DIETS AND MEAL PLANS SUCK!!!
Diets and meal plans are not meant to be long term.
You may be thinking, "but I WANT a meal plan - just tell me what to eat so I don't have to figure it out!"
Unfortunately, when we try to follow a super specific program or rigid prescription, many things can - and do - go wrong.
Typically, one of three things will happen with a diet or meal plan:
1. You don't stick to it like you are supposed to (because we are human and have a life!)
2. You follow it perfectly (but it becomes too strict for too long)
3. You follow the plan for a while but don't really enjoy it so it is not sustainable long term
Let's dive into each of these a little more...
1. You don't stick to the meal plan or diet the way you are supposed to
Unless you plan to never get busy, always be prepared, pass up birthday party and dinner invites, skip vacations, and stick to a schedule all day every day - LIFE will get in the way of your "perfect" meal plan.
Paying someone to create a meal plan for your life could also cause you to rebel against it.
For example, you have one slip up on Wednesday and then say "screw it" and eat crap the rest of the week!
You begin to hate that 4oz piece of chicken, despise the process, and quit all together. You conclude that "healthy eating" sucks.
This is super unfortunate because you missed your chance to LEARN how to make healthier, more enjoyable, and lasting choices.
Learning to eat properly and make healthy choices - and indulge now and then - is a much more sustainable and enjoyable way to live!
Ok, on to scenario two...
2. You follow the plan perfectly (but it becomes too strict for too long)
Strict prescription meal plans that tell you to eat this much at this time are for body builders and competitive athletes.
They are meant to be short term. They are designed to help a person get to a specific short term goal (ex: drop 10 lbs). But what happens when that "diet" or "meal plan" is over?
You either go back to your old way of eating because you don't know what else to do or you follow a plan that was meant to be temporary for too long - which could lead to deficiencies, disordered eating habits, or other health (mental, metabolic, hormonal) consequences.
Here is what happens when you go on a restrictive diet:
The first - or maybe even second time - you may lose a lot of weight, but consequently your metabolism slows down, making it harder to lose weight down the road.
If you do lose a lot of weight on a restrictive