I have women ask me everyday what I eat to get the results I’ve gotten and am continuing to get. It’s frustrating because I can’t answer this question. Well, I could but it wouldn’t be right.
See, if someone saw my progress pictures or heard that I was carb cycling and they asked, “well what did you eat to have lost those 5 pounds or to have gotten those abs?” and I laid out exactly what I ate, day by day and meal by meal, and they were to follow it, there’s a pretty good chance they wouldn’t get the same results.
So as much as I want to be able to answer that question, I have to give them an answer they don’t want to hear, which is basically saying, I can’t tell you, it’s a secret. But the thing is that it’s not a secret, it’s just what works for me. And here’s the deal… I’ve tried plenty of things that don’t work for me because it’s really a matter of trial and error.
I remember one time I followed an exact meal plan that I got from Oxygen maybe, and I definitely did NOT get the results or look like the model in the photo next to the meal plan. So I don’t want to lead someone in the wrong direction by saying, “even though I don’t know you, anything about your body, your goals, your workout program or what you even look like, if you eat this, this and this you will look like that.”
So I know when you ask models and athletes what they eat to look like they do, they probably tell you the same pain in the ass answer I do, that their meal plan works for them, and then don’t give an answer. It’s not that we want to keep these things a secret, but as professionals, we know our meal plan is meant to fit us. That said…
Here are my top ten reasons you should hire a coach for your meal plan…
10. It will keep you honest. You spent the money. You are far less likely to waste it by not following the plan you paid good money for. Free ones come and go and nothing is lost if you fall off track in 3 days.
9. Accountability. Your coach should be checking in with you a couple days, weeks and months after your set up. They should be emailing you to find out how you feel, how you are doing with the plan and for progress photos to hold you accountable.
8. The meal plan will be in line with your goals. My clients solely focused on fat loss have a significantly different meal plan than my clients who want to build muscle. My goal is to build muscle. If you wanted to lose fat and you followed my meal plan it may be way too much food for you!
7. The meal plan is based around your daily schedule. When I create a meal plan for my clients I ask them what they do for work, if they have access to a fridge, can bring food with them, etc. I need to know how many meals will be eaten out of the home, when they workout, and how much time they have to cook. My clients who are in sales eat out a lot and I have to factor that in, whereas my stay at home moms can cook more of their meals and may be able to eat more frequently.
6. The meal plan will fit YOUR caloric needs. When a meal plan is created for an individual their BMR should be taken into consideration. So let’s say if, including activity, you burn 2500 calories a day, but you want to lose major body fat, then we know the meal plan should be somewhere around 2000 calories a day. But what if your friend burned 2100 calories a day and you started following her meal plan of only 1600 calories a day? You’d be starving!
5. The meal plan should be based on your dietary restrictions. I always ask my clients if they are Paleo, vegetarian, are lactose intolerant, hate fish etc. If you found some model’s meal plan I know you know that you would need to omit the cottage cheese if you were lactose intolerant, but do you know what you would replace it with? Are you just going to switch to Paleo because a model you think is pretty follows Paleo? What if that’s a pain for you? Then what? (See reason #10.)
4. A meal plan should meet you where YOU are. In the beginning of major fat loss stages, a lot of fruit isn’t necessarily the best choice. But if you workout a ton and are pretty satisfied with your body fat% then maybe fruit is a great option for snacking. But if you follow a generic plan which has a lot of fruit, you are probably going to be frustrated with your results, or lack thereof.
3. A coach will have compassion and give you the kick you need. I have clients email in on a pretty regular basis about how they got totally derailed on the weekends. Us coaches have tips and tricks up our sleeves to help give you the kick in the butt you need to push yourself to do better and stay on track. But it’s also our job to have the compassion to remind you that you also need to be a real person, enjoy treats in moderation and be happy.
2. It’s easy to get bored and get off track. If you find a meal plan online or in a magazine and it’s for one or two weeks, and you follow it, what do you think is going to happen after a month or so? Personally I cannot fathom eating chicken with salsa and broccoli at every single lunch for four weeks straight, much less longer than that. I know exactly what would happen.. I’d give up. You need someone that can help you mix it up but stay within your macros and calories.
1. It is so easy to binge when you are not getting enough of the right things or feeling restricted on a meal plan. One of my favorite authors in the fitness industry has a book out with a meal plan. I see women on message boards talking non-stop about following this meal plan, but it is SOOOOO restrictive. How can one rely on so few calories and never have any treats or cheats? What happens when one is so restricted like this? They cave and binge and eat a bunch of bad stuff and it’s so sad because they feel like failures. I wish this would stop happening once and for all. YOU NEED TO BE ON A MEAL PLAN THAT IS BUILT FOR YOUR BODY. One that includes treats and cheats and sometimes foods, or whatever you want to call it!
I need to be able to eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch once a week or two. I need to be able to enjoy margaritas or Bud Lights or wine with my friends on the weekends. This is LIFE people.. you only get one! You cannot possibly go through it never enjoying food or drinks and constantly restricting yourself. If your treats are built into your plan you will not derail your weight loss/ fat loss/ muscle building/ strength building goals. They will keep you on track, and if built in at the right times, can even help you!
I honestly don’t think there’s anything more I can say other than get yourself a coach who will develop a meal plan that is right for YOU.
And I just so happen to be an amazing meal plan writing NASM Certified Weight Loss specialist and coach with 3+ years of experience, some amazing transformations under my belt who can write a meal plan for anyone, anywhere!
Have you ever tried to follow a generic meal plan?
If so, how did that work out for you?
Do you have questions about if this will work for you?
Leave me a comment below.. I’d love to hear from you!