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Three Real Reasons Your Meal Plans Aren't Working

Is this you:

  • Do you print out meal plans but don't follow them?

  • Cook food but end up eating out anyway?

  • Have a bin full of spoiled produce at the end of the week?

  • Plan to meal plan/ prep but never get to the planning part?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your meal plan isn't working for you.

I'm not throwing shade or shaming you. I've answered "yes" to each of these questions before.

When I started my weight loss & wellness journey seven years ago, I also went through the stress of trying to meal plan and prep consistently.

I learned many lessons the hard way before developing a consistent approach to my meal planning that fits my lifestyle.

That's why I'm passionate about helping you find solutions to your meal plan problems. Your meal planning doesn't have to be hard! Let's make it easier for you.

People always ask, "How do I lose weight and keep it off?" Next to mindset shifts, nutrition is the most critical factor in creating lasting weight loss and wellness. As a lifelong "foodie" who didn't like to cook and was an emotional eater, I understand how hard making healthy nutrition changes can be at the beginning of your journey.

I've learned a lot about practical meal plan solutions from my eight-year wellness journey and helping over 30 Incredible Embracers personalize and optimize their meal plans during the pandemic. Questions about effective meal planning are among the most common questions I receive as a physician expert in weight & wellness.

In this two-part National Nutrition Month Blog Post, I'll share:

  • Part I: The Three Real Reasons Your Meal Plans Aren't Working

  • Part II: Three Quick Solutions to Fix Your Meal Plans

In this blog post, we'll address part one.

Part I: The Three Real Reasons Your Meal Plans Aren't Working

Most people start with the question, "What meal plan should I use?"

However, it's essential to begin with the question, "Why aren't my meal plans working for my lifestyle?". If you're going to love the meal plans you create consistently, choose to start with the question, "Why aren't my meal plans working for my lifestyle?" Your why, aka motivation, is everything when it comes to creating consistency.

Throughout the years, I've found six significant barriers to consistent meal planning:

  • Time,

  • Taking care of others,

  • Taste preferences/ tradition,

  • Talent,

  • Travel, and

  • Takeout habits.

But regardless of your specific barriers to meal planning, the top 3 underlying reasons you don't consistently meal plan are perfectionism, impersonal plans, & playing yourself.

Reason One: Perfectionism

You try to perfectly follow a meal plan when you more need flexibility. Breaking news- life isn't perfect. So your meal plan has to prepare you for life's imperfections. If you don't have a b

ackup meal strategy, you can be left scrambling for what to do when life happens. How many times have you had a meal plan but found yourself ordering takeout because you didn't make something on your plan? I've been there in the past. Lesson: your meal plan strategy needs to be flexible and prepare you when things don't go as planned.

Reflection Question: Do you have flexibility built into your meal plan?

Mindset Shift: Release Perfectionism, Embrace Flexibility

Reason Two: Impersonal Plans

Someone else makes your meal plan, and you try to fit your lifestyle into their plan. Honestly, the meal plan doesn't suit your lifestyle, but you're forcing yourself to make the meal plan work. Until it doesn't. Then you feel guilty or frustrated because "meal plans don't work!"

The reality is if the plan doesn't personally solve your meal plan barriers, then it won't work. Lesson: Grown folks* like guidance but not being forced to eat like someone else.

Reflection Question: Is your meal plan personalized to fit your lifestyle?

Mindset Shift: Release Impersonal Plans, Embrace Your Personalized Plan

Reason Three: Playing Yourself

In other words, you aren't being honest about what you like and dislike. Or about how much time or energy you have to invest in your meal planning and prep. Getting a meal plan that tells you to cook healthy food isn't helpful if you don't like to cook. Or planning to prep for 8hrs on a day when you only have 2 hours isn't realistic. Rather than fight how you feel because you "should do this" or "have to do that," embrace how your genuine feelings. Lesson: Your honesty opens the pathway to finding meal plan solutions that work for your preferences.

Reflection Question: Are you being honest about your meal planning preferences?

Mindset shift: Release "I should..", Embrace "I prefer.."

Perfectionism, impersonal plans, and playing yourself are the top three root causes for meal plan inconsistency. But, the good news is once you find your reason for meal plan inconsistency, there are easy, practical solutions. We'll discuss the top 3 tomorrow in Part II: Three Quick Solutions to Fix Your Meal Plans and on @EmbraceYouMD IG Live with The PCOS Dietitian, Martha McKittrick, RD.

If you're ready to break through your meal plan problems now, check out the 6 Solutions to Fix Your Meal Plan video course & eWorkbook. The time and money-saving system are only $47. BONUS purchase by 3/10/22, and you'll get an exclusive invite to Live Q & A with Dr. Sylvia to answer your meal planning questions.

Till Next Post Remember to Always Embrace You!

Warm Regards,

Dr. Sylvia

Dr. Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie, MD is a dual-board certified obesity expert, Diplomate American

Board of Obesity Medicine, and best-selling author of Embrace You: Your Guide to Transforming Weight Loss Misconceptions Into Lifelong Wellness. Embrace You: Your Guide is's "Best Overall Weight Loss Book of 2022" &'s "Top 8 Weight Loss Books of 2022." Dr. Sylvia is a Believer, wife, mother of 2 vibrant children under 10, lifelong foodie, and former non-cook turned creative home cook who enjoys creating flavorful, filling, health-full 15-minute meals.

*Grown Folks- I do not agree with the age parameters for "grown folks." Maturity is a mindset not an age.

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