How To Design Your Own Meal Plan (Part 3 of 3)
We made it!
Today is the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to writing your own meal plans - knowing what to do when things aren't working.
This one is a little harder to explain, because without getting a full idea as to what is happening for you - one or more of the solutions could apply.
But I figured, it would be handy for you to know some of the solutions anyway so you can attempt to figure things out on your own.
If you missed part 1 you can check it out here - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/how-to-create-a-meal-plan-part-1-of-3
Part 2 can be found here - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/how-to-design-your-own-meal-plan-part-2-of-3
So this post today is about what to do when things aren't working.
You have written your plan, and you've been following it for a couple of weeks, but your not seeing progress OR (even worse) you're body is responding the opposite of what you thought it would.
So what do you do??
Before you throw in the towel completely and proclaim that things will never work for you... it could be as simple as one or two tweaks... and you could have your major breakthrough moment!
Solution One - need to drop calories slightly more. I am always super hesitant to recommend less calories, but especially if you have a history of doing very restrictive diets you may have a sluggish metabolism you need to build up.
Don't go crazy... reduce down by another 100 - 200 per day and see how your body responds.
Eventually, you want to then start building your calories up in conjunction with exercise so you increase your metabolism. That way if you do have a weekend away and eat a lot of food, your body can cope with the higher rate of calories!
Solution Two - you need to increase calories slightly. This is the hard part... solution one and solution two can apply and without knowing your full history, what exercise you are doing etc. it can be tricky to know which way you should go. That's why coaching can be a short cut to success.... I can take a look at everything that is going on for you and recommend the best option. It saves you time, and stress!
With option two, again don't go crazy. Add an extra 100 - 200 calories (from whole foods not junk foods, oils etc) and see how your body responds.
Solution Three - your portions, measurements or weights are out. If you are doing things by eye it can be REALLY easy to over or under estimate. Especially if you are all new to this. It's best not to guess and to weigh and measure everything in the beginning. Yes, it takes time... but your results and health are worth that time. If you aren't seeing changes initially sometimes you have to dig a bit deeper.
Solution Four - you are relying on too many processed foods and substitutes. I get it, these foods are convenient. But sometimes to see results you have to challenge yourself. I can whip up a basic chilli or a tofu, rice and greens meal from scratch in like 15-20 mins (with enough left over for a few days). Once you get the hang of recipes it does become SO MUCH EASIER! I have a bunch of simple ones in my Transition & 28 Day Shred recipe books and programs to help you get started.
If you're not seeing progress maybe you need to cut back on these convenience items for a bit.
Solution Five - you're cheating. You wrote out your plan, but you find yourself saying 'oh this once won't hurt'... 'nobodies looking'... and suddenly a one off treat turns into something every day.
Your body is always looking. Whatever you eat will become part of you. So choose wisely.
Ask yourself why you are sabotaging yourself?
Give yourself one or two free meals per week where you can have whatever you feel like. Having planned free meals, is much better than just having treats 'just cause' that end up happening every day.
If you are serious about your results, you need to be a bit strict on yourself until you get there. If you keep making excuses and thinking one won't hurt... you will never get there.
Okay so there are heaps more I could go into about why your meal plan might not be working. But I won't go through all these in detail. There are just too many and without knowing what you are doing... it's hard to give definitive advice. But it's just nice to know so you can be aware...
- Wrong type of exercise
- Not enough exercise
- Too much exercise
- Not sleeping enough
- Not drinking enough water
- Too much stress in your life
- Hormones are out of whack
- Gut microbiome issues
- Not enough micronutrients
- Wrong macro split for your body
- Sluggish metabolism
- PLUS MORE
As you can see there are just so many things that could be potential handbrakes to you seeing progress. That's why, if you aren't seeing the progress you want it is always handy to work with a professional who has the skills to help you work through and overcome these problems.
If you are interested in getting some private coaching to fast track your results and take the guess work out of it for you... you can check that out here >> https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/products/private-coaching-4-weeks
Otherwise, just be patient, just work through the process for yourself. Play investigator and try problem solve why things aren't quite working for you. Trust me, you will have a break through and you will see progress. It just might take some time.
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