Being in a committed relationship with your meal plan isn’t always as healthy as it appears. Just like any relationship, it’s important to find a diet that compliments and makes sense with your life. If you have found yourself doubting your meal plan or have considered cheating on it, it’s time to break up.

There are many methods to achieving aesthetic results, just like there are “many fish in the sea.” Understanding if you’re in the right results-getting-relationship is important if you plan on committing for the long run. It’s completely normal to have mixed feelings about your food protocol, but believe it or not, it’s possible to achieve results without the toxicity of a “diet.” We’ll explore more on that later. For now, let’s get into the juicy details to find out if you’re indeed due for a diet break up!

Question 1: Is Your Meal Plan Dictating Your Life?

Let’s stop here and clarify. When you have set goals to meet, rules and boundaries are necessary but having a meal plan that decides when you can eat, how you should eat, and where you should eat sounds a bit … controlling, doesn’t it? When your relationship with your meal plan is the only thing you focus on, it’s inevitable you’ll begin to lose relationships that actually matter – like the ones with your friends and family. How do you know if your meal plan is president of your life? Let’s say a text invite comes in to go to a movie at 9:00 PM but your last meal was at 8:00 PM. Would you still go to the movies or would you make an excuse to go to bed? If your meal plan is ruling your life, you’ll make an excuse to bail due to the possible temptation of candy and popcorn.

Question 2: Is Your Meal Plan Keeping You from Joining Society?

Food is undeniably a huge social aspect of society. We go out to wine and dine clients, celebrate birthdays or promotions, and the obvious ritual of dating. A movie without dinner would be breaking an important cliche! How do you know if your meal plan is keeping you from joining regular society? Do you get a surge of anxiety when someone mentions going out to lunch or does the thought of leaving your perfectly prepped and packed container of chicken and rice give you a sinking feeling? The internal battle runs through your mind if you should bring your tupperware, decline the invite all together, or go and pray there won’t be chips and salsa to derail you. If your meal plan is keeping you from dating or doing your job, you’ll continue to dodge the invites and pass up on opportunities to be alone with your lunch box.

Question 3: Is Your Meal Plan Demanding All Your Time & Attention?

Anytime you are wanting to shed a few pounds or make a lifestyle change, it will require a certain amount of energy to accomplish what you’re setting out to achieve, especially on the kitchen side of things. Planning = Progress. A classic age-old saying that is true and extremely important for being successful when it comes to dropping the pounds, but when you hear “abs are made in the kitchen,” how do you know if are you spending too much alone time with your kitchen? Does the thought of a vacation or spending more than a few days away from your fridge and oven cause an overwhelming sensation of panic? If you are avoiding traveling or prying your fingers from the microwave handle, it’s time to consider leaving this toxic meal-plan-life.

Question 4: Are You Cheating on Your Meal Plan or Want To?

This one is pretty straight forward. Have you been unfaithful to your meal plan? Does the smell of pizza have you suppressing naughty feelings of desire? It’s not healthy to be obsessing about all the things you can’t eat! This level of restrictiveness will lead you down an eventual path of self-sabotage and constant guilt. The answer here is simple: Whether you’ve cheated or constantly think about cheating, it’s time to end things with your meal plan.

Question 5: Do You Keep Crawling Back to Your Meal Plan?

Have you taken multiple breaks from your prescribed food plan? Are you stuck in this toxic cycle of burn-out, cheating, and trying again? The big question: Why do you keep going back and repeating the cycle? Because it’s familiar! Perhaps it’s gotten you great results in the past and you shared some good times, but it doesn’t mean that it’s right for you now. I know it’s tough to let go, but if you answered yes or have nodded agreeing to any of the above, it’s time to say goodbye to your meal plan — for good this time. Experiencing the creeping feeling that you are no longer in control of your life’s decisions is a sign to ditch your meal-plan-dependent approach and run for the hills. Don’t worry, the path to results without your ex-meal plan is still possible!

Myself and many other coaches have moved from the old-school meal plan methods to teaching goal-getters, like yourself, how to track macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein) a.k.a. IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). This ultimate flexible dieting approach allows travel, popcorn and candy, and the possibility to find love over a spaghetti dinner – without giving up on your body .
It may sound too good to be true, but with a flexible dieting approach, you learn how to write your own meal plan with the foods you love and still get killer results.

So, instead of relinquishing your right to rule your life or constantly being worried about being an unfaithful dieter, with a flexible dieting approach you can have your cake (or donut), eat it, and get long lasting results too.