10 Reasons Why I Don’t Follow a Meal Plan

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Follow a Meal Plan

I’ve been wanting to start doing “Top 10” blogs and this will kick it off!  Let’s hope I remember to keep it up.  Ideas are welcome;)


In this instance, I’m referring to following someone else’s meal plan, not a plan I made myself.  Perhaps you can think of it as following a “diet” although I hate that word because meal plans such as Clean Eating are not really diets to me (as in crash-diet quick-fix).  So here we go!

(1)  Feeding multiple people

Often times, most of us are cooking for more than 1 person be it kids, husbands, friends, whoever.  It is really hard to please multiple people on a strict meal plan, even if you just eat 1 meal a day (like dinner) together.  I find that my husband can’t stand the sound of half of the healthy meal plans I find.

(2)  Food you don’t like

That leads me to #2.  No matter how good a meal plan seems at first glance, there is probably going to be something on there that you don’t like or just isn’t your style.  That is the point of the meal plan, to be pleasing to a wide range of people.  But you are one person with specific tastes.  You are going to run into something you don’t like and if you aren’t a very good cook, will you know how to adjust or modify it for yourself?

(3)  Complicated Recipes

I’ve found that since a lot of people think that eating healthy is boring, they try to make the meals interesting and fancy.  This often leads to complicated recipes that take entirely too long and too much thinking to prepare.  When you are already trying to eat healthy, you don’t want to complicate it any more than it needs to be.

(4)  Expensive and Uncommon Ingredients

With the nutrition field buzzing with new studies left and right, there are always new fad foods, often not available at your local grocer.  Goji berries?  Chia seeds?  I’m sure they are great for me but they are expensive and hard to find.  A lot of new meal plans try to make things interesting by adding these “super foods” and that just ends up annoying me at the cost or the difficulty to purchase!

(5)  Artifical Ingredients

A lot of low calorie diets and meal plans will include things that I just won’t eat (with exceptions to Clean Eating meal plans).  Laughing Cow ice cream might be low in calories but don’t look at the ingredients list.  I’d rather have a small portion of the realy stuff, thanks.


(6)  Grocery Shopping Difficulties

Let’s assume the meal plan is for 2 weeks at a time.  Who buys 1 apple?  And one recipe out of the 2 weeks calls for 2 tablespoons chopped onion.  What do you do with the rest of the onion??  I’m not a fan of wasting food.  Also, I buy veggies and fruits in bulk at a produce outlet to save money.  Buying 1 peach isn’t going to cut it in my shopping budget.

(7)  The Leftovers Black Hole

What do you do with the leftovers?  I’ve seen a specific popular meal plan that actually had you make a recipe with 6 servings.  They had it once on the 2 week meal plan.  What happened to the other 5 servings?!  Again, not about wasting food and scaling down the recipe was next to impossible.  Not a fan.

(8)  I want what I want

Often times, emotions and cravings dictate eating.  Its not always a good thing.  Then again, there are times when I want a burger.  I’ll eat my normally scheduled dinner but still want a burger.  And you know what happens?  I eat everything in my pantry until I finally just cave and eat the burger.  I should have just had a healthy burger in the first place and saved all those calories.

(9)  Lifestyle Differences

I’m a runner.  But I’m also a weigh lifter.  I need a nice balance of protein and carbs.  Until I find a running book that promotes heaving weight lifting 2-3 times per week, I probably won’t find a meal plan that works for me.  Also, if you work out extra hard one day, then an extra little snack to refuel might be ok  but some meals plans warn about “going off plan”.  Sometimes its ok to listen to your body.

(10)  Ice Cream

And of course, the most important thing.  Find me a weight loss/low calorie meal plan that regularly schedules a custard stand visit.



Disclaimer:  These are reasons why I don’t follow any meal plans created by someone else.  Some people find high success by having it laid out for them by a professional and I think that’s great and I may be just a little jealous I could do it too.  Also, I’m not against planning your own meals.  I often find that extremely helpful to keep me on my healthy eating.  In fact, I would encourage it for anyone trying to eat healthy and lighter!

2 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why I Don’t Follow a Meal Plan

  1. Nice and concise… I want what I want too… I plan my meals day by day pretty much, as long as they are protein + veggies (+ complex carb + healthy fat depending on the meal) I'm happy!

  2. you know I was showing Luke Sparkpeople the other day and was like I don't use this for meal planning because of …. and the two of us ended up writing a suggestions comment to them that basically covers everything you listed (except the ice cream/froyo). Another reason I don't use meal plans, is I have yet to find one that works with my food allergies. I can't eat soy, artificial sweeteners have always made me sich, caffeine or fish; they all seem to use these.

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