Meal plans. Loved by many, loathed by many. Personally for me I LOVE THEM and it keeps me on track during the week when I have a busy schedule of client meetings and then running around after a child and 2 crazy cats. I know how to plan food - it's what I do for a living so I find it easy. It's not all fancy pants recipes but having a plan keeps me on track and makes meal times quick. But what if you have an eating disorder, or are super busy, maybe a bit confused around what to eat or just simply fed up because your current nutrition isn't supporting you?
You need a plan!
Not all meal plans need to go into great detail. But what they do need to do is help you find a way to hit your goals whilst also supporting your physical and mental health, and educating you in whichever way will suit you long term based on your lifestyle. Mapping out what and when to eat can have a huge impact and positively affect healthy weight maintenance, muscle building, energy levels and helps a lot with those who tend to binge. Meal plans should not be rigid or restrictive as flexibility helps with the natural flow of life. Hectic work schedules, family life and social factors all come into play and these should never be seen as something which "tripped you up" or “set you back”. These things are indeed your life so learning to fit your nutritional needs into that is important.
A good plan is one which will get you off to the right start and build upon your personal skills and learning along the way until you find your natural rhythm, reach your goals and understand how to maintain them.
A meal plan is also great for those who prefer to avoid calorie counting as once you have your food organised according to your goal and have stuck to it for a few weeks, you start to be good at understanding what works for you. Remember, meal plans are not some magic trick that will solve all your problems. They work best with a coach to help you understand WHY they are working and that is where the beauty lies - in education and empowerment. So there you have it. Meal plans are a tool to help you get started and in my experience of working with hundreds of people on their nutrition and eating habits, they do work when used correctly.