In my last blog post I mentioned that I have written a short e-book on creating the diet that is right for you. I thought it would be a good idea to give you all a little taste of what the book is about! So here is the first section of the book. I hope you like it! If you want to read more you can buy your online copy in my store or at the end of this post.
Many of my clients when they first sign on with me ask me for a meal plan. In the profession of being a personal trainer, this is fairly common practice. In school they gave us multiple lessons and courses on nutrition, and how we can guide clients to better health through nutrition.
With that said, most of us are not registered nutritionist, and even fewer are actually registered dieticians. This means that it is technically out of our scope of practice to provide nutritional recommendations and prescriptions, as we do not (typically) have enough formal training to give specific recommendations for the various ages, stages, and health statuses of our clients.
This is partially why I do not give out specific meal plans. I have in the past. I actually put together a fairly detailed vegetarian meal plan for one of my clients. She was very eager, and so was I, so I took a number of hours to research complete proteins, easy recipes, and made a beautifully designed powerpoint so that the meals would be easy to flip through.
Although this client did appreciate it and actually still makes one of the recipes to this day, she was unable to follow it for the prescribed time. This is not her fault, and this leads me to my second reason for why I steer clear of meal plans. Life happens and a meal plan cannot account for that.
You can google meal plan PDF’s and get access to all kinds of great meal plans. Although some will provide variety over 3 or 4 weeks, some simply build you a 1-week plan and ask you to follow that until you reach your goal or for eternity. Well then Christmas rolls around and you walk into grandma’s house, hardly equipped to make good choices while you’re there. Chances are the meal plan has been so restrictive or plain that the variety of food that grandma has prepared for the holiday feast is overwhelming and you consume far too much of it.
You’re not alone. During the holiday season it was amazing to see how clients who were training hard, and had amazing nutrition up that point were so threatened by the impending holiday parties and that treats that abound. This is where meal plans fail us - they give you a checklist of foods you can eat, with hardly any context and no information to help you make choices outside of the meal plan.
Finally, my last reason for not creating meal plans is because it only further contributes to the harmful diet culture that already runs rampant.
As someone who was raised in a dieting home I was introduced to healthy vs. unhealthy; good food vs. bad food; cheat days vs. perfect dieting. Because diets were so prevalent in society, I simply assumed it was normal as time went on. My first memory of dieting was when I was very young. My parents put a Weight Watchers pamphlet on the fridge (yes, we were a magnets, cute pictures, and recent grades on the fridge family). I remember wondering what weight watchers was, and so I asked my parents. They told me it was a program to help get Mommy and Daddy into shape and lose weight.
The next few months of my life I heard little bits and pieces of the points system, and regular weigh-ins. I can remember my mom talking about drinking lots of water and visiting the bathroom before weigh ins to “sneak off those last 1-2lbs.” I started to understand foods based on the number of points they were alloted by the WW system.
I do not blame my parent’s for dieting. They grew up in the jogging and fat-free era, and it was engrained in their minds. They could not have known that by changing my perspective from “ mom and dad are perfect” to “ Mom and Dad think they need to lose weight, so if they need to, then I must need to as well”.
And so began my unhealthy relatiionship with food. I saw it as good and bad. I gave food a place and time when it was acceptable. I made whole foods the foods that you only eat when you’re being good and healthy, and sweets, and a fast food the foods that you have when you want to treat yourself.
Well let me tell you, the older you get, the more stress you have in your life and the more times you tell yourself “I deserve a treat”.
Although I understand how meal plans can provide people with the structure they need, I also cannot bring myself to give these to clients because I do not want them to have a file filled with healthy “good” foods that will only make harmful, unhealthy foods more tempting.
There is also a great deal of research on how when we tell ourselves we can’t have something, it only makes us want it more. Think of Eve and the forbidden fruit - we have been hardwired to desire the forbidden fruit since the dawn of time.
Now that I have covered my reasons for not dishing out plans of eggs, protein shakes, and chicken and broccoli, I will share with you what I share with all of my clients.
The rest of the e-book helps you to actually find the "You" Diet. If you would like to find out how, you can purchase the book below. Let me know what you think and use the hashtag #TheMeDiet on instagram, facebook, and twitter to show me how you're finding the diet that fits You best!
Find the 'You' Diet
"Find the 'You' Diet" is an e-book I have been wanting to share for months. This quick read shares my own stories, as well as clients stories that all talk about the struggles of diet culture. You'll find that there are certain trends in eating behaviours based on how you were raised and how food was talked about. You'll also receive a sample food journal in this e-book, but it is not your typical food journal.
I hope you all enjoy this quick e-book and are able to Find the You DIet!
Do Something Good For Your Body Today
Riri's Discoveries blog documents Riri's most recent research, her travel adventures, and her personal fitness journey.