Most people when you start working with them, just want a plan to follow;
“Just give me a plan, that’s all I need”
“I know what to do, I just need a plan I can follow”
“I don’t mind how strict it is, I’ll follow it”
These people fully intend to rigidly stick to whatever plan you might give them but the thing is life doesn’t always allow for you to follow a rigid plan.
Time after time I’ll just start working with a client and they’ll change jobs, or move house, or get ill, or have a family crisis.
Suddenly that rigid plan counts for nothing because it was written based on everything running smoothly, but life doesn’t work like that.
You might strike it really lucky and fluke a month or two when you can stick to ‘the plan’ and make great progress. But then you’ll get surprised with a meal, or a party, or a weekend away, and you’ll have no idea how to cope with this because you can’t follow the plan. This usually leads to the plan going completely going out the window, and often one almighty binge.
So now do you see why I don’t like rigid diet plans for people I work with?
But I do realise they have a place, and I know that having an example to work from can be helpful, so because of this I give the people I work with the best of both. I write what I call ‘example diet plans’, and we use this as a template and then as life happens we adapt and put strategies in place to cope.
No rigid plan, just learning how to cope with life as it happens and making the best choices they can at that time so they can cope with meals out and weekends away without ruining progress.
With my Personal Training and Online one to one clients I’ll find out the foods they like and then come up with an example plan that includes those foods but in a way that will help them achieve their goals. Then I’ll teach them how to swap in other foods and learn how to be flexible and vary their diet day to day, week to week to fit in what they like and what happens in their lives.
The beauty of this is that they learn how to eat in a way that help them get into their best ever shape, but even better stay that way. Because they understand what they should be eating and how to make good choices they have flexibility. This wouldn’t be possible if they were mindlessly following a plan.
With the Happy Balanced Life Group I obviously can’t write an individual example diet plan for every member of the group but I still want members of the group to benefit from the same approach. I’ve put together a 7 day example diet plan including a huge variety of different foods, and I’ve done the same for vegetarians to cater to difference people’s preferences. There are then 3 different calorie options to follow from these example plans.
I want members of the group to begin by following the example plan they select and then I’ll be teaching them how to swap in other foods, tweaking it to completely suit their preference and the foods they like to eat.
In exactly the same way as with my one to one clients, I want members of the group to learn and understand what a balanced approach to eating looks like for them, how to do the in a way that helps them get in shape, and of course still factoring in foods they like.
Think of a ‘diet plan’ as being a temporary fix and learning and understanding as being a long-term solution. I want any one I work with to be making sustainable, lasting changes and that’s why I use diet plans at the start but accompany this with teaching and educating!