5 Reasons Why I Don’t Give My Clients A Meal Plan

Surprising, but makes sense...



8/13/20212 min read

Reason 1: It’s Illegal

No one should ever download or purchase a meal plan from anyone but a registered dietician. That’s someone with college degrees, a state license and a whole ton of supervised practice hours. Why? This is because they are the only ones with the correct qualifications to deal with a client with a medical issue, like an allergy, food intolerance or a medical condition that requires a change in diet. Health coaches, personal trainers, etc. are not trained to require what individuals can and cannot eat, especially if a known or unknown issue arises with what is being prescribed in a diet. If they prescribe a certain diet, like keto, high-protein, very-low calorie intake, and it causes a medical issue, they are extremely liable and at fault because they lack the knowledge in this area.

What can a health coach do then with people that have special diet considerations? If a registered dietician or other medical professional has cleared for a client to work with a health coach, then the health coach is required to follow the requirements that the MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL has prescribed the client when making dietary suggestions.

Reason 2: It’s Difficult

Meal plans dictate what is eaten at every meal. It doesn’t take into account what a client “has a taste for” or even what they like or dislike. They often do not accommodate family meal preparation, so the client is always eating something separate from the family, which increases time and money to feed more than one. This makes it super difficult to stay on track.

Reason 3: You Had No Input

You possibly didn’t get to say what your favorite meals, foods, sides, etc. were when you received it. How can you live without ________? You’ll go crazy when you have a craving for _______ and you can’t eat it but have to eat boring ________ instead. What a bummer. Wouldn’t you enjoy a meal plan that includes some of your favorite stuff?

Reason 4: It Doesn’t Plan For the Unforeseen

Monday: eat ________. Tuesday: eat _________. Etc. What about the leftovers you didn’t eat before? What about the surprise meal with your extended family? What about the luncheon at the office? What about the vacation in two weeks? Or the holiday at the end of the month? Are you expected to stick to the meal plan then?

Reason 5: It’s Boring or Too Complicated

Meal plans don’t always include your favorite seasonings and the flavor ends up too plain. Meal plans also sometimes include recipes with at least a dozen ingredients. Now you’re adding to your shopping list and expenses to take chances on a recipe you don’t know if you’ll like. What if you make it once and you’re stuck with that ingredient? For this to work, there needs to be a happy medium, including input from the client.

So What Do I Do With My Clients Instead?

We discuss any special dietary considerations so that accommodations there are no unknowns between parties. From there, I work WITH my clients to design a plan together. If the client decides they will follow a certain diet, I work with them on how to do so safely, but the decision is all theirs. Otherwise, we will design a meal plan, fully taking into account their routine, likes, dislikes, favorites (and the ways to make them healthier), portions, etc. so that the diet is customized in a way they will enjoy, yet will get them the results they want. With the final decisions being theirs, their own identity is established on the plan, but with the approval of a health coach to be sure results will still occur.

Sound good to you? Think it's something that would help you? Email me at pafenutritionandfitness@gmail.com and we'll talk!