If you’re serious about losing weight you may be considering paying a nutritionist or fitness expert for a personalised diet plan. Now just to be clear, I have bags of respect for what nutritionists do and I’m not about to say that their plans aren’t valuable if you’re unclear on what are and what aren’t healthy food options.
But generally, if you’ve been struggling to lose weight for a while, you’re probably already very clear on what you should be eating and what you shouldn’t. So when you sign up for that plan are you paying for advice and knowledge or are you trying to buy discipline?
What you’ll get is structure, plus results if you stick to the plan. But will you stick to the plan? And what’s more, if it’s a quick fix 28 day/6 week/3 month plan what happens when you’ve got to the end of that period?
Sticking to the plan will be easy at first – you’re motivated, you’re adjusting your lifestyle to accommodate the meal prep, you’ve bought the Tupperware and you’re remembering to take your meals with you when you leave the house. But what happens when your lifestyle gets in the way? You go away for the weekend so you start a new week with no healthy food in the house. You get invited to a party on a day when you’re supposed to be avoiding alcohol and carbs, or you forget to pack the day’s food you worked so hard to prepare the night before. These sort of slips often derail the most motivated people – because the plan they are following is so geared towards perfection, any deviation feels like failure and so they revert back to their usual way of eating.
And speaking of going back to your usual way of eating, at the end of the 28 day/6 week/3 month plan when you’ve lost the weight, you’ll need to be careful about not simply going back to how you ate before. A good diet plan will re-educate you on how you should be eating for the future, but if you embark on it as a temporary project with an end date, you’re in danger of undoing all of your good work immediately afterwards.
People tend to put their life on hold when they follow a diet plan – limited nights out, no treats. But you won’t want to avoid your favourite foods or a glass or two of wine indefinitely – and the transition back to your usual lifestyle can be a challenge if you want to maintain that weight loss.
So my message? A diet plan is not a magic bullet for permanent weight loss. Long term weight loss is about changing your mindset, changing your relationship with food and working out a permanently practical way of eating. If you do pay for a plan, don’t embark on it as a project with an end date but use it to re-educate yourself for the future. And if you struggle to stick with a plan, consider working with someone like me to change what’s going on in your head before you spend any more money trying to change what’s going on on your plate.
As you may have guessed, I don’t do food plans 🙂 but I do help people to relax around food and to find a balanced, healthy and practical way of eating which doesn’t involve deprivation or perfection. For more details click here or call me on 07985 476076.