When a client asks me for a meal plan, or template diet – I am usually very hesitant to just write them up a quick plan and hand it to them. It often never works, and can be hard for them to follow.
Would the said plan work if I wrote one up and they followed it to a T? No doubt.
However, I first ask the client – “where are you starting/what are you eating/how much are you currently consuming?” Often times it is met with a blank stare and a shrug of the shoulders.
My goal when it comes to helping people with nutrition isn’t to flip their diet 180 degrees and have them eating all new foods at once.
We need to start from the foods you currently enjoy, and work backwards from there.
Which foods are contributing to the most calories?
Which foods do you struggle with self control around?
Which foods do you force feed yourself because someone or some thing told you they were necessary for your goals?
When it comes to the human body, and especially diet, everyone is different.
You might eat super “clean” but just be eating too much.
You might eat well balanced and appropriate meals, but snack mindlessly on foods that you don’t even think about.
You might consume your weight in liquid calories alone.
Who knows unless you know first?
So where do we start?
The first thing I like to do is find one meal that is well balanced, and can easily fit within any diet plan. From there, I keep it simple.
Eat that meal, everyday. Be consistent. Don’t change it up, just eat it everyday.
From there we can build.
Does that meal supply a good amount of protein? Nutrients? Etc.
Can we add more protein to that meal without changing the actual meal?
Can we swap out one ingredient that doesn’t really contribute to the taste and enjoyment and quickly cut out 200 calories?
It all depends on where you start, and the process ahead.
Why can’t we change everything?!?
Because massive change is stressful, and hard to stick to. Why do you think all these “detoxes” and “cleanses” are 7-14 days long? Because no body can stick to them longer than that without hating life.
Yes, they bring about great change over those few days, but then what? How many people do you know who are “cleansing” or “re-booting their metabolism” for the 3rd, 4th or 5th time?
Because they didn’t really work the first time, and they likely won’t work this time.
The Keep It Simple Plan
Find out how much you currently eat, and how does that effect your body composition, goals, weight, etc.
Try to consistently hit that calorie number every single day. If this means having the same breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday – so be it. You need to learn about your body and how it responds.
From here, we can start tweaking little things that don’t change the calories all that much. Change a veggie, change a topping, change a side dish, eat 1/4 cup less of this, 2 oz. less of that – and BOOM you have cut out 300 calories without completely changing your meals.
Little changes lead to big results.
Then we build, and build, and build off of that and before you know it (months or years later) you feel like you are diversifying and trying new things all the time.