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Dismissing Diet and Meal Plans?

As I am browsing through my Instagram account in search for some new facts and dietary failures (yeah, they are out there), my mind often wanders off. 

It is not that my digital marketing (research) time is no longer on the top of my list. It is because there is so much info available about how to, what, when and why one should follow a caloric-restrictive diet in losing weight. Left to right, hash-tagged to the max, and adding a sponsored label to it, even I get confused. 

What is the driving force to enrol somebody online? An online channel desperate in taking one’s credit card, and start sending daily updates of what must eat to shred that unwanted airbag and expanding love handles?

I can’t phantom it. 

Let me elaborate. 

Many weight loss programmes and plans have designed standard templates what’s on the menu for your mornings, afternoon and evenings. In between, 10-minute pick-me-ups come with a must-take not to fall behind on your 3-month trajectory before another credit card swipe is inked in your next monthly statement. Often an automated message follows on what’s cooking for the weeks to come. It is planned carefully to the letter, and it comes with the amount of calories one takes in.

It comes with a link included that, when you just follow the plan, you will end up like Mr Smith who miraculously shred 10 kilos in a month by not fall off the proverbial wagon. 

The meals are engraved in our internet browser or email client. Clients must dig in a 7am for breakfast eating this and that, followed by a 10am snack. Lunch is a mix and match of macronutrient x and y, flushed away with a glass of water or protein shake. And as the day draws to an end, dinner is a well-photographed plate of highly-recommendable gastronomical delicacies, suited before hitting the sack. And the next day, clients get automatically served the same.

What may be different is that a 3pm slice of fruit is only allowed on weekdays. Not sure what this does to the body after ending a 1pm lunch, but anyway, an interesting concept arises. 

It is the same with going full out on a diet plan. Low carb, high fats, going carnivore, or perhaps taking a vegan approach is what may get your taste buds temporarily tinkling. The world of diets is filled with these solutions. We have seen the advertisements, we believe we know what we do, and we take in the expert advice wholeheartedly. You love a good steak during family get-togethers, and you want share the experiences of the week with a good meal. 

But no! As soon as it is on these blacklist, these foods are scientifically proven as ‘bad’.

It is this complexity of setting out a plan of what you must eat. And with “must”, I mean eating 3 hard-boiled eggs, organic ones straight from the farmer from quinoa-fed chickens. This is not what makes you loose a few centimeters in the long run. It makes no sense to tell me what you exactly must eat three meals a day, shuffling in some snack time, and ‘warn’ you that staying on this track is what gets you thriving.

While do send out recommendations, some recipes that may suit what you enjoy, or even give you nutritional ideas where to buy what, I am not writing out whole meal plans or stick to certain dietary paths.

I don’t know what you like (yet)

And so does the internet. We are not aware of your preferences. What’s readily available around your home, or what your cultural and family values are, are crucial topics to take into account. There are numerous aspects to consider and by going in-depth with you about this will take me forever.

You will learn nothing

All this short-term limitation of macronutrients through plans and strategies do not give you the tools to sustainably continue. I am not a drill instructor or comment every single time what you have planned for dinner. I am also not holding your hand all the time (or analyse what you’ve been eating for here and eternity).

The food suggestions may not be available where you live

If I ask an Inuit (an inhabitant of the Arctic region) to load up on fresh vegetables every single day, it is going to be tough for him/her to comply. Imagine you live in a rural region of South-East Asia, and a menu for the day includes ripe avocado with chia seeds for lunch. The phrase “Houston, we have a problem!” springs to mind.

You are on holiday

Time away from work and home chores is an essential part of anyone’s life. Unwind, relax and go with the nutritional flow is all what’s on your mind. Do you really want to go back and start searching for unsweetened almond milk and your supplements? We all know that this is not going to work.

They don’t take into account other aspects of health

Losing weight is a tad more complex than dropping your caloric intake. The benefits of moving around are one of the other criteria making weight loss through selective planning of your daily intake possible. Going all out for food only is only one side of the medal.

What makes it so hard to all these diet and meal plans is that keeping up a pre-packaged plan is not only next to impossible to maintain. It can also lead to falling back to old habits. You lose touch with what a nutritional lifestyle entails and undo all the progress you made. It would be a waste of money and time, agree?

It is essential for me to know what makes you YOU. What’s your lifestyle, your goals, what you are good at, and what experiences from the past was breeding success.

Try to find that above-mentioned in an online dietary solution. And without the feeling of someone holding you accountable, in a very supportive way, for all your actions.

How to start in keeping it simple? Only one way to find out.

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed | Michael Jordan

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