Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why I give out meal plans

As a dietitian, I was trained to give people the tools to plan their own diets rather than giving meal plans. Giving out meal plans isn't always the most effective way to go about helping people reach their nutrition goals, nor is it a good way to create permanent changes.

That being said, I see from food logs and 24 hour recalls that people no longer know how to eat. It is not surprising, with the media publishing headlines from studies without including background and with websites recommending low calorie diets as the norm. Information is everywhere and nobody knows how to interpret it.

The number one thing I see with my clients (women in particular), is that they aren't eating enough. Most of them start the day being "good" and consuming a very low calorie diet, followed by a large evening meal and insatiable hunger and cravings in the latter part of the day. With my meal plans, people are surprised by how much they are eating, without gaining weight, and by eating more frequently, they have fewer cravings, feel more satisfied, and are less bloated.

I often provide a meal plan, tweak it with the client a couple of times and then in future sessions, we work together on creating a meal plan of their own. As time goes on, I have them forward plans they've created themselves, and then they are free to go! They also have a couple of dietitian approved meal plans for the times that media reports, magazine cleanses and their own self doubt start to creep back in.

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