Why Meal Plans are a waste of time

 

TIME TO READ: 4 minutes

WORD COUNT: 1300

KEY POINTS:

  • Most people hate having to think about fitness.

  • Meal plans can save energy.

  • Unfortunately Meal plans expect far too much in such a short space of time.

 

Fitness is so confusing

 

Where the hell do you start with fitness?

Literally millions of different lifestyle Vloggers,

Facebook pages,

Diets recommended by Mary down the road.

Personal trainer recommendations,

Snapchatters,

Instagrammers,

TV shows,

Magazines,

Recipe books,

…...and blogs just like this one.

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If you actually find people who provide useful information. 

Next you need to choose the diet!

You could go with

Weight watchers

Slimming world

Paleo

IIFYM

Ketogenic diet

Lean in 15

Intermittent fasting

Calorie counting

Celebrity reality star diet

5:2 diet

Your favourite bloggers diet.

The cabbage diet

The juice only diet.

 

Information overload

Who are you supposed to listen to in situations like this?

If you’re like Most people, you do one of the following: 

  1. You try your own thing that has worked in the past

  2. You try out a diet that a friend has recommended.

  3. You bite the bullet and pay for a personal trainer.

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So you bite the bullet and buy the latest cook book or latest diet.

You can imagine any diet under the sun.

They all have the same layout.

They’ll tell you why their diet is so effective and how it has helped so many people.

This will then be followed up with exact templates to follow with food laid out to the gram of what to eat.

 

Why do you follow a meal plan?

People pay a lot of money of money for these products and diet plans. We are talking billions each year.

That’s because it feels nice being told exactly what to do. It saves energy and helps avoid overthinking.

This is our whole lives, we grow up with parents telling us exactly what to do, then told what to do in school to then be told what to do by our bosses.

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Meal Plans remove the need for thinking.

 

“Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth”.- Mike Tyson

There is absolutely zero doubt that it can be extremely valuable knowing exactly what to do.

With meal plans, you wake up in the morning, you know exactly what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Being clear what to do can be liberating. But exact plans can backfire in a big way.

Meal plans are like the quote above. They work perfectly until you get punched in the mouth.

Or as it relates to health and fitness. Meal plans are great, until life happens

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Here’s are the 5 major reasons that meal plans can be completely useless.


 

1) There is no long term plan

 

Meal plans are usually very difficult.

They are usually very bland, cost a fortune or require a degree in culinary arts to be able to follow.

That is why most meal plans tend to be very short term focused.

Because of the short term nature, meal plans usually go one of two ways:

  1. Any roadblock results in you falling off the wagon and quitting

  2. You persevere, hate your life but manage to lose weight.

On the 2nd point. If you manage to lose weight.

Then what?

A lot of meal plans will offer some sort of “maintenance plan”. This requires you to use the meal plan you bought, for the rest of your life.

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Lets take a guess at how many people actually follow these “maintenance” plans?

What mostly happens after a meal plan finishes?.

Old habits return.

Not right away.

It may happen slowly.

Alcohol may return.

The occasional snack may re-enter the house.

Pre cooking foods might become too much of a chore.

The next thing you know.

Your waist has returned to exactly where it was, possibly worse than before you started


 

2) They Don’t account for real life

 

Most people start their meal plans in January, which is fine.

But what happens when there’s a lunch on with a close friend leaving work??

Or what if your child’s birthday party is coming up and you need to bring 20 kids to get fed in McDonalds?

What if you’re meant to go food shopping after work but you’re too tired?

Will you never again, eat the same food as the rest of the family?  

Meal Plans take absolutely no consideration of your life’s circumstances into account.

While dream about looking like the person we follow, life tends to be happening at the same time.

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3) You are either completely on them or completely off them

 

“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship”- Benjamin Franklin

 

When it comes to willpower and discipline.

Most people tend to be all or nothing.

This usually involves completely cutting out junk altogether

Removing all alcohol.

Preparing meals religiously.

Exercising 5x per week.

Unfortunately this motivation doesn’t last.

Eventually you realise that depriving yourself so much, can make even the leg of a chair seem appetizing.

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There’s biscuits in work that you end up eating.

You’re so tired after work that you decide to get curry for your dinner.

And everybody knows the dreaded excuses we come up with when diets get too difficult.

“Ah it’s okay, its just a treat, back on track tomorrow”.

Unfortunately, getting back on the horse is always so much more challenging.

Instead small stumbles become an almighty fall.

All those little mistakes turn into a monumental slip in the diet, Steven Gerard would be proud of.

 

4) You Don’t learn anything from meal plans

What do meal plans actually teach you? Usually they teach what to eat on a diet.

That’s it.

You can bend for a while and stick with these big changes.

But how much of our lives are built around food?

People have date nights.

Traditional meals that they eat.

Food favourites.

To overhaul this, means to change your whole life.

And most people do not like change

They just can’t handle it.

So what happens when you’re not on the meal plan?  

What do you do?

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5) They force you to eat foods you might hate

Most people have some weird idea that you are not meant to like fitness.

That it is just for the select few weirdos, who have that extra discipline.

People then decide to create these weird excuses for not exercising.

No time.

No money.

Too lazy.

Can’t train because of the kids

This association between fitness being hard usually spills over into food.

Basically, the idea that if it tastes disgusting, then it must be good for you.

The idea that disciplining yourself is the only way.

“No Pain, No gain”.

“If it tastes good, then spit it out!”

Your new meal plan has a lot of new foods.

The problem is, you hate porridge and you can’t stand turkey.

What are you supposed to do?

You can suck it up

This may work.

Most people realise though meal plans just don’t work out.

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Meal Plan are built to make you fail

Meal plans are nothing more than a guide.

Everybody is completely different.

To tell one person to eat porridge for the rest of their life may work wonders.

But to tell another, may be a form of torture.

Meal plans fundamentally don’t work because they expect too much too soon.

With such a drastic change, can come drastic results.

But change usually happens slowly.

And because of that, you need to return to something after the meal plan.

Usually you return back to old ways.