In a world of ever-changing fad diets and well-intentioned new years resolutions, it seems like there is an endless barrage of marketing geared towards selling you the latest meal plan and quick fix to weight loss success. You may have signed up for a fitness program at your local gym or joined an online app for weight loss. Things start off well, you follow the program for a few months, and maybe even lose a few kilo’s or more, but once you finish the program, the weight begins to creep back on.
So what is going wrong? Well, the biggest issue with generic meal plans is that they are not tailored to you or your health needs. For example, a well-intentioned personal trainer may give you a nutrition plan with a specific kilojoule target to induce weight loss in a wide range of people. However, it is against their code of conduct and they are not allowed to write nutrition plans unless they are a dietitian.
So not only are PT’s not legally allowed to write meal plans, due to their lack of training, these often lead to weight gain in some and inappropriate weight loss in others. Seems like a good idea right?
Lack of Personalised Support
If you are struggling to follow a meal plan or aren’t getting results using a phone app, you are not alone. Most health apps do not offer health counselling using a credentialled and appropriately trained health practitioner. This is where the advice of a trained professional offering you personalised support that a health app cannot. Your dietitian will help to identify any barriers you may be facing and help you come up with tailored solutions.
So whilst a phone app may help you stay on track initially and help you gain a better understanding of what you are eating and how it generally isn’t an ideal long term solution for weight loss…unless you plan on logging your food intake in a phone app for the rest of your life (no thanks!).
Lack of Flexibility
To achieve sustainable weight loss, it is important to still be able to enjoy a meal out with friends, or some birthday cake without feeling like you have failed. These occasions are rarely built into your generic plans, nor do they adapt these meals to suit your party, occasion or need that helps you still achieve your goal, whilst still having your cake too. A well-designed dietitian-based meal plan should include your favourite foods, allow for some alcohol or meals out and not involve hours of meal prep each week, so if this is not your plan, it is likely setting YOU up for failure.
So, if the meal plan you are following seems overly complicated, restrictive, or just plain unenjoyable, then it is time to see a dietitian.
To find out more about healthy eating, check out some of our other blogs or contact one of our friendly dietitians here.