Oftentimes, people request a meal plan. That’s a tough ask, and here is why.
A meal plan specifies what to eat, when to eat it and how much of it to eat. Sounds helpful and efficient, right? Of course it does, until you work late tonight and the kids were to have been fed and at baseball practice 15 minutes ago. Now what?
Unfortunately, meal plans do not allow for much flexibility, and even more so, choice.
We are not able to stick to the original plan, and in that moment, we no longer care. All-or-nothing type of overeating thinking. If we are not able to prepare and eat the meal we had planned, and thus we default to fast food or a bag of chips or skipping the meal entirely. Is this helpful? No, not really.
Challenge any rigid constraints or unrealistic expectations of a meal plan. Instead, consider a way of planning meals that is more flexible and realistic. A method that has quick and easy meal options, and also, meals that are more thought out and labor intensive.
Up next—if a restrictive meal plan typically does not work, what does? More on “planned-overs”, next!
Gretchen Stroberg, RD, LD, CDCES