Why I hate meal plans

Our awesome HPU team...... and Blair.... :)

Our awesome HPU team...... and Blair.... :)

I've worked with a fair few people on nutrition over the past 10 years, and one of the more common statements I hear at the start of the relationship is, "I just want a meal plan", and similar to this, "Just tell me what to eat..."

I always thought it would be amazing if we could somehow plug ourselves into a machine that could read all the relevant data from our bodies, and tell us EXACTLY what kind of exercise to do, and how much,  in order to optimise the progress towards the fitness goal.

But it's obviously not possible.

And it's not possible with food either.

In both cases, we have knowledge that has been gained over decades that give us some underlying principles to start with.  After that, we gauge the response to the stimulus of training and eating, then tweak and change things as we go.

Everyone responds to the food they eat in slightly different ways, but over months that makes for a significant difference.  Digestive ability, hunger levels, daily stress levels, work based activity level and many other things mean that we're only guessing in the first instance.

Sure it's great to know what you have to eat ahead of time, and maybe even to have it prepared ahead of time too.  But it's next to impossible to follow it strictly.  What happens if you have left overs when preparing your foods?  Will you throw them out, because there is a different meal on tomorrows plan?  What if you have to eat out for a work lunch?  It doesn't take long before this meal plan becomes a meal guide.

And that's good, because that's all it should be.  A guide can outline all the right kinds of foods, and make some recommendations for a healthy portion range to eat of those foods.  Note I said a range, not an exact amount.  Maybe after you've kept a food diary for 2 months and recorded how you respond to that food amount every day, then we can start prescribing exact amounts, but until then, you have to feel your way somewhat.

The right kind of meal plan is a guide.  You can plan and prepare food aheady of time, but don't try and set yourself arbitrary amounts.  Listen to your body, make allowances for your daily activity and training frequency/volume/intensity and make adjustments as you go.  Sure, we can include some recipes here and there, but some ready made meals can make those busy days a lot more manageable, but make sure you understand the basic principles behind what you should be eating, so that you have the freedom and flexibility to adjust on the fly as needed.


Hang Power Clean + Hang Squat Clean + Hang Power Clean
7 sets

Box Jumps
One minute at each station
3 rounds for total reps


1-2 reps at each percentage


STOH 40/25kg
Box Jumps 60/50cm
One minute at each station
3 rounds for total reps

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

Protected by WP Anti Spam