Why nutrition education is better than meal plans

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Many dietitians get asked by clients to create a meal plan for them to help them reach their goals. There are both benefits and drawbacks with this, and as a dietitian I have a different philosophy. While a meal plan is convenient, it is more a short term benefit than long term.

You have probably heard the expression:

“Give a man fish, and he will eat for a day.

Teach a man how to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.”

The meal plan is the fish. It tells you precisely what to eat today. The benefit of a meal plan is that it can be used as good examples and make things visible to you. However, in the long run you do not want to be dependent on someone making meal plans for you.

This is why I like to teach my clients nutrition specific to your needs. I want you to learn to the point where you can make your own decisions and be self sufficient. In the end, I hope that you learn so much that you do not need me anymore! Of course, not even a dietitian knows everything there is, but my goal here is for you to become self sufficient.

If we are lucky we get some very basic nutrition education in school, but many do not get anything at all. As we grow older our bodies change and we may have medical problems that can be helped by specific nutrition, we may want help managing our weight, or just sort out what are actual nutrition facts and not false information and internet fads. How do you read a nutrition label? How much fiber do I need? How do I improve my bowel movements? What are good plant based proteins? Is intermittent fasting something for me? Is low carb better for weight loss? If you search Google for these questions there are many different answers to the same question. Many from sources who are not scientifically sound.

We make many decisions each day about what food products to purchase and how to cook them. When you look at a recipe, I want you to be able to determine if it fits your needs. Having the right knowledge to feel confident in making these decisions for yourself is one of my goals.

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