When you ask for a meal plan, you are doing yourself a major disservice

POSTED BY Katarina Burton | May 18, 2017 |

I am approached on daily basis by prospective clients asking whether I provide meal plans.  I do understand that change is hard, and having an example to follow, at least initially, can be useful.  So, as a matter of compromise, I do gladly offer a three to seven day meal plan,  based on my client’s taste and cultural preferences… but here is the thing, providing an ongoing meal plan is NOT in my client’s best interest, it means that my client is not taking onboard the necessary skills to take care of themselves.

From our first meeting, our goal is to empower you, my client, to start making small, meaningful and sustainable changes.  To make you an active stakeholder in your own health and care.

A meal plan does the exact opposite: it takes away your choice and independence, it does not require you to think actively and critically about your food choices, but worst of all it encourages a dependency on your therapist.  Essentially, the diet equivalent of someone else doing your homework – you’ve learnt nothing!  …so what are you paying for?  …how is that serving you?  It tells me that you are probably not ready to do the hard work it takes to make meaningful changes.

A meal plan does not cater to your social and cultural needs.  It does not teach you to eat around a busy schedule.  It does not address your stress eating.  It does not explore the source of your emotional eating.  It does not encourage you to give your old family favourites a healthy makeover.  It does not teach you about balance.  It does not empower you to set yourself up for success.  It is rigid, outdated, and you should really question the motives of people who are willing to provide meal plans instead of teaching you how to take care of yourself.

So, if you are happy to live like antisocial Billy No-Mates, if you don’t plan to go out with friends and colleagues, if you do not wish to participate in your family’s life, if you don’t mind skipping on travel, if you are happy to be chained passively to someone else’s rigid ideas – by all means ask for a meal plan.

…if, alternatively you want to improve on your current eating habits, learn the skills to nourish your body and achieve your best self come to see me.  I will certainly provide some meal and snack ideas, but more than this, together we will work on solving the puzzle that is balanced nutrition and how it fits in your life.

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”

…don’t be a passive, dependent, follower, be an active, empowered, stakeholder in your own care – learn to fish!