Every now and then, I will get asked if I can provide a meal plan for someone. They want to abide by a specific regimen and are likely to go all in on it. While that might be great in theory, think about the confusion that might cause when one healthy choice may be omitted. Example, someone wants to jump on board and try a Ketogenic plan. This person has an average build and is looking for something new to try. I will always ask "What has been successful for you in the past"? and of course "If I were to give you the guidelines, would they be easy to follow?" Keto may not work for someone with an average build. It would work in the short term for an overweight person. Carbs bind to water, we retain 4 ounces of water for every carbohydrate we eat. Essentially, when we stop eating carbs, we lose water weight. It's science! Once an overweight person dropped 20 pounds of water weight, I'd slowly reintroduce carbs back in their plan UNLESS they enjoy and it's sustainable. If it isn't, we move on. (Note: I'm going to get on a high horse and advise that you DO NOT go Keto and participate in Crossfit activities. As athletes, we NEED carbs for fuel and it could be a detriment over time if you refrain of using them).
You should NOT have to suffer while being on a nutrition plan, it should be the contrary. You should enjoy what you are eating. After all, we eat to live and in some cases (which can get dangerous), we live to eat. So imagine the confusion if oranges aren't listed on a particular plan yet apples are?
There are small differences between the two. Oranges contain more magnesium, calcium, potassium and Vitamin A. If someone had a Vitamin A deficiency, a clinic or a registered dietitian would likely diagnose that. I'm pretty incapable of telling what deficiencies what you may have. I could point to symptoms you may have, but I would NEVER diagnose that. It's not my job. Point being, they're both fruits and healthy for you. In the grand scheme of things, you should eat both of these without any guilt.
Back to meal plans themselves. Let's say you go on vacation. You're probably going to be miserable for a week if you eat bland salads, grilled chicken, fish, almonds and berries for every meal while you're in Italy. I'm sure you'd like some authentic pasta while you're there!? Yet you choose to be stay the course because you are on a meal plan that tells you avoid these foods. Hogwash kids!! You NEED flexibility in your meal plans. Food is meant to be enjoyed. If we get the general concepts of nutrition and how our performance works when eating specific foods, then we can incorporate foods that aren't necessarily the most vitamin friendly into our plans.
From personal experience, I'm not going to eat a whole pizza two hours before a workout. If I know that I have something big time coming up in my schedule, I go back to my daily regimen for a couple of days. When the big event is finished, it's time for a beer, pizza or something that carries less nutritional value. It's a simple as that! When I have my pizza (which I did Monday night), I enjoy it and then have my normal breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day. Win the long game. I'm not going to tell you "Avoid donuts". I encourage you to eat them if that's your jam. Just be mindful however of how you feel after and what your ultimate goal is in the long run. If you want abdominals... (ah this topic, I'll cover this in the 12 week seminar beginning April 28th 😊).
I will also say something else controversial: There is NO SUCH THING as a cheat meal! I subscribed to that notion for 16 years and drove myself bat shit crazy. Food is amazing, we all know this. However, just because you had a triple cheeseburger with fries shouldn't have you going off the deep end and running a 5K 30 minutes afterwards. Just don't, it's not the end of the World. You're given 21-30 meals to work with throughout your week. If you hit the 80% mark for the week, round of applause for you!
Develop a healthy relationship with food. That's what's most important at the end of the day. You should not be banging your head against a wall if you went off script from a plan. That's not what we as coaches preach. Consistent habits will ultimately win the long game, keep your organs and heart healthy yet also allow you to live a little.
We will be talking more about meal plans along with many other topics in our weekly seminars during our Wellness Challenge starting on April 28th! Here is the weekly seminar:
Week 1: Introduction and goal setting
Week 2: What are Macros?
Week 3: Tips on grocery shopping
Week 4: Cortisol - How to combat it?
Week 5: Sugar - What is it? What are the effects?
Week 6: Alcohol
Week 7: Vitamins, Minerals & Medications
Week 8: Eating for performance/aesthetics
Week 9: Supplements
Week 10: Let's talk about diet fads
Week 11: Gluten free - Vegan - How can we stay balanced here?
Week 12: Summary -Where do I go from here?
This is more than a nutrition challenge. We want to help you to understand nutrition and develop a healthy lifestyle that will last longer than 12 weeks. During the challenge, along with the weekly seminars, we will be doing mini challenges, and helping one another develop healthier lifestyle and eating habits. You will also be part of a private group on Facebook where participants could share ideas and encourage each other. By making small changes to your current lifestyle, you can make a big difference!
Everyone is welcome to join! Participants do not have to be members of Kingfield. So if you know someone who might be interested - sign them up as well!
To sign-up just click here!