Hey ladies, it’s truth time! How many of you have spent money on meal plans? I’m talking about the ones where everything is laid out for you: portions, calories, macros, types of food, timing of food, etc, etc. Come on, we’ve all done it, so don’t be embarassed! The real question here is, how many of you actually followed them? Like REALLY followed them through. TO. THE. ‘T’.
Yeah, that’s what I thought…..(And hey, if you are in fact one of the few who can follow a plan, kudos to you my friend!) But the fact is most of us CANNOT follow a plan given to us by someone else. A plan that doesn’t take into consideration your likes, dislikes, lifestyle, schedule, digestion, family situation, budget, etc.
Most likely you were online in the evening, prowling through some websites feeling frustrated with your body and your life. Maybe they were offering you freedom from having to make decisions. They’re simple, they’re effective, they’re geared towards weight loss. SOLD! I agree, it sounds super tempting! Who doesn’t want a weekly plan laid out for you so you don’t have to think about what to make for all your meals?? AND it will help you shed a few pounds in the process!
BUT….here’s the problem with that: It gets old, it’s too rigid, it doesn’t allow for flexibility, it makes you feel confined, it’s just not sustainable OR practical, AND it teaches you nothing except how to follow someone else’s rules!
And guess what happens when you go off the plan?? You call yourself a failure. You think there’s something wrong with you. Maybe it’s lack of willpower, perhaps you’re ‘addicted to food’, you’re weak, a ‘bad person’. Ring any bells?? Can I just say “Been there, done that!”.
Well no more! Here’s what I suggest: scrap the meal plans! Toss them into the trash, stop looking for the perfect one that will magically solve everything, and instead look to yourself for the solution. YOU are the best nutritionist for yourself. Only you know what your body truly needs, wants, and feels.
In order to improve your health and wellness take a look at your daily food choices and preferences. Instead of making drastic unsustainable changes, look first to where you can make simple swaps and adjustments. If you can understand the basics of nutrition, suddenly your meal ideas are endless! You can still eat all your favourite dishes, you can still fulfill a craving, and you can actually eat what you WANT instead of what some stranger on the internet is telling you to eat! I don’t know about you, but this sounds like something I could do for the rest of my life! And after dieting and cycling through a million plans, the first thing I ask myself now is “Can I do this forever?” And if the answer is a hard NO, I move on. It’s as simple as that.
SO…What ARE the basics of nutrition?
- Make sure you have a carbohydrate, a protein, and a fat at each meal. This can look drastically different for everyone, so this is where you need to tune in and listen to your body.
- You want to focus on whole foods. So that means nothing overly processed. Don’t eat out of boxes and wrappers all the time.
- Focus on fibre rich foods – fruits, veggies, nuts/seeds, grains
- Keep sugar to a minimum
- Stay away from processed and inflammatory oils such as soy, canola, safflower, sunflower, etc.
- Eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full – simple yet SO hard to do!
Let me give you an example of what this would look like on a practical level. Let’s say you normally grab a muffin and low fat latte with sugar for breakfast on your way to work. How could we take that meal and make it a bit healthier without completely putting you off and overcomplicating things? What if you found a recipe for homemade muffins that are high in protein and fibre. You could make them on the weekend and have individual servings ready to go for Monday to Friday. Then on your way to work you grab a full fat latte instead and skip the sugar. By making these simple swaps you increase the fibre, protein, and fat, while significantly reducing the sugar. This helps boosts your energy, keeps you full for longer, and doesn’t give you a big blood sugar crash later! WIN WIN!
Even the basics can seem overwhelming to some, so although we need to start taking control and following our intuition when it comes to food, sometimes we still need a little guidance. This is where a nutritionist with a balanced and holistic mindset can come in handy.
Go ahead and give this a try and let me know how it goes! Ditch those meal plans ladies! I know you can do it 🙂
In Wellness, Krista
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