Why do you create weekly food plans?
Do you actually want to create them from a place of fulfillment and desire? Or, does it feel like the only option to eat healthy and have control with food?
If it’s the latter, I want to invite you to question whether a food plan is actually necessary to make healthy food decisions and get the results you want.
In this episode, I’m breaking down what food plan reliance specifically looks like and how it may be showing up for you now.
In my coaching practice, my clients learn to eat healthy without ever relying on a food plan. It’s no longer necessary for them to create complete control with food, because they learn how to create control with food internally, rather than relying on a food plan to force control externally.
This is the key to breaking up with your food plan reliance for good, so you can have an experience of healthy eating that feels freeing and fulfilling to you.
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week. I’m so happy you are here now, before we get into today’s episode, I wanted to offer a brief message for those of you who are wanting to solve for your food struggles and create more ease with healthy eating this summer. So something I notice in the summertime in terms of mindset is there’s either this tendency to go all in with a health transformation, or there’s the opposite where there’s a tendency to kind of throw in the towel because you want to relax and enjoy your summer, which is fair, right?
So enjoying your summer should be a non-negotiable in my opinion, but I want to point out and offer here that the transformation with food that you want to make exists in the middle of those two extremes. So you do not have to exert all of your energy to make the changes, and you don’t have to give up enjoyment of your summer or enjoyment with food.
In fact, it is necessary that you’re not putting all of your energy into changing the way you eat, and it’s necessary that you enjoy food and enjoy that process. So if you are not focused on prioritizing those things, then the changes you make will not be sustainable. So I want to offer for those of you who find this helpful, that you can make a complete transformation with food this summer and become a naturally healthy eater without putting every ounce of your time, effort and energy towards it.
And it’s necessary to achieve this while you enjoy your summer as well. It’s that balance. And that’s really what this entire podcast and my practice is all about. It’s creating an experience of healthy eating that meets you, where you are and fits into the life you want to have, not the other way around. So you’re not compromising the things you will love in your life to change the way you eat.
All right? And that being said, I also have had a few of you reach out wondering if the summer is the best time for coaching in my practice, because similar to what I just mentioned, you don’t know if it’s the best mix when you want to be enjoying yourself on vacation during the summer months. And here’s what I tell each person that asks me this. I want to collectively answer this question on the podcast.
Any time of the year, where you think healthy eating will be the least accessible to you is always the best time to begin coaching and making these changes permanently. It is the best time to learn how to become a naturally healthy eater, because the best case scenario is you learning these skills. When the circumstances feel the least ideal to you. So for example, it may not feel ideal to change your eating habits this summer, because you want to enjoy the foods you eat on vacation.
The difference here is instead of waiting for that right time that you think will happen with this approach, you will be learning to eat healthy and get the results with your body that you want while enjoying food. And while enjoying your vacations. If you do this, then you blow your own mind with what is possible. You create a level of stability and self trust with food and your body that is unshakeable.
So I’m hoping this makes sense for those of you who are in that mindset. But that’s to say, if you want to begin making these changes this summer, and that does call to you, I highly recommend applying for coaching because it could be a perfect fit. The purpose of coaching and healthy eating is to partner with your desires, your wants, and your needs right now. All right, moving on. I want to talk about food plan reliance today.
So this is something that I see a lot with my clients and women. I serve in my practice. And it’s something that no one is really talking about or questioning. So I wanted to touch on it with you today. It certainly is not something I realized within myself in the past. So I’m going to talk about what food plan reliance is, why we do it and how this may be showing up for you now, because what you want is to have control with food naturally, meaning you want healthy eating to feel easy, simple, and always accessible to you.
You don’t want to have to put more time or energy into eating decisions to get the results with your body that you want, right? You want the bare minimum to be required of you. And I find that this is liberating for you to declare. So if you haven’t officially declared this truth with yourself, yet, I invite you to do that right now.
It is safe to realize that you want to change your results with food and body doing only the bare minimum that is required from you, right? Why wouldn’t you . We live in a society that puts working harder on a pedestal, but that just takes more energy than is required for the results you want. That is not how we create change here. In my practice, we teach you to create the changes with food and body that you want with the least amount of energy and effort possible, because this is of course, what all of us truly want.
When we use the least amount of energy that is necessary for healthy eating. We leave energy on the table for other things in life that matter to us, such as our families, our jobs, our hobbies, our passions, et cetera. So long story short, we don’t want to add extra steps for healthy eating, where they’re not necessary.
And what I see is that the concept of having a food plan or maybe a meal plan, a diet regimen is often seen as a non-negotiable like, it’s just the truth of the universe. That to have control with eating decisions, you have to plan every single thing you’ll eat ahead of time. Now we are not saying that having a food plan or meal plan is morally wrong.
That’s also not something that’s true. Even tracking macros, calorie, counting. I don’t care what the method is. Nothing can be morally wrong when it comes to healthy eating, because how you choose to eat healthy can never be a moral decision. My friends, it is a choice. You always just get to decide what works for you. And we want you to learn how to eat healthy in a way that partners, with the experience of healthy eating and your life that you want to be having.
If food planning is something that truly adds value and fulfillment to your life to do it, then that’s a good reason to keep doing it because you genuinely want to, as in, you would still want to do it, even if you were able to have complete control with food and get results with your body, without it, even without a plan. so see the difference you can food plan or meal plan if you genuinely want to.
But if your reasons for having a food plan are because you think you have to, or you should to get the results you want. This is where we can start to lovingly question that a bit. Since this means you are transferring your source of control with food, to a food plan, which is where most of us start, this is what all of us have done in the past.
So I want you to take a walk down memory lane, or maybe this is something you’re struggling with. Now. I want you to think about all of the food plans or meal plans that you’ve created in the past. So you could be in control with your eating decisions. So what normally happens is we’ll create a picture perfect meal plan like mine back in the day were literally picture perfect. They were so pretty. I would download these templates from, I think it was Pinterest.
They were amazing. And when you make this food plan, you will get motivation because we will see this data on paper and it all just lines up. So in our mind, we are seeing the results we want as possible that if we complete these food actions, if we follow through with that plan, make those food decisions. And then we just continue to do that forever.
For the rest of our lives, we will get the results we want with our body permanently, right? What could go wrong? It seems so simple and guaranteed in that moment each and every time we make a food plan, we will think this is going to be different. This meal plan I can stick with. I’ll just want it really bad and I’ll have more discipline. So it sticks until it inevitably doesn’t we go off plan because eventually you will feel as if you’re fighting against yourself each and every time, because what we actually did in that moment, when we created the food plan is we transferred control and responsibility to that plan, to have control with food and make food decisions.
Does that make sense? You, in that moment did not believe you had control with food internally yourself. So in your mind, you transferred that control with food to external things outside of you, which in this case is a food plan.
This is why we feel so motivated. When we create the food plan, we are anticipating and excited about the idea of having that level of control, because we don’t believe we actually have it. This right here is food plan, reliance, your relying on the food plan to create a sense of control, where then you feel like your results are guaranteed without the food plan. You’ll feel as if you are not standing on solid ground, because you don’t yet trust yourself with food decisions, right?
You do not actually believe you have control. Now, this is really safe. If this is coming up for you, it’s where pretty much all of us start, but just notice it. This isn’t to bash ourselves for doing it wrong. It’s to notice, oh, I’m not having an experience of healthy eating. That actually feels in my control. Just notice this.
This is why changing your eating habits will feel like it’s on a slippery slope. And it’s why you have this relationship to healthy eating. That feels like it will require more from you. If you don’t believe you have control within yourself, you will have to work harder to force that control outside of yourself. Kind of like I mentioned in the beginning, right? With wanting to make changes during the summertime, you are either ready to go all in and exert a ton of focus and energy, or you’re totally unwilling to do any of it because you want to enjoy the summertime, but then you don’t make the changes you want.
Neither of those are necessary when you learn to create control with food internally. So then you stop relying on willpower or a food plan for control. So this is why a food plan hasn’t worked for you in the past per se, but it’s not even the food plan that didn’t work.
It’s the fact that you thought the food plan would do the work for you. You believed that something external would create the control with food that you want. And then you find that the food plan doesn’t control, whether you follow it, it doesn’t control whether you emotionally eat and it doesn’t control mindless eating. Now let’s be real for a second. It’s not like any of us are logically considering these things in the moment that we make a food plan.
So that’s why I’m here, right? But I want you to check in with yourself here and notice how this could subconsciously be the mindset that is present for you. I think the best way to check in with ourselves is to ask why a food plan, what is my reason for having one? So this is something I’ll even ask my clients. Just why what’s the reason for having a food plan.
Not because there’s a specific answer that I’m looking for, but to check in because we want to see your real authentic answers for why you believe a food plan is necessary. The most common answers I see with clients starting out are because I need one to follow through because I should have one or I’m supposed to have one because it is necessary. And then sometimes they say, what do you mean?
Like, of course I need one what are you talking about? That’s always fun because it makes sense, right? If you are like, I was, you will have never questioned that you don’t need a food plan to have control with food. This is when I offer you to take a moment and consider someone who eats naturally healthy. Maybe this is someone you’ve met in real life or someone you can picture in your head.
Are they creating meticulous meal plans and micromanaging food decisions ahead of time? Probably not. So then why do you believe you need one? What makes you different? The answers I hear most often are along the lines of, because I don’t have control. I need extra measures in place to make those decisions with food because it’s easy for them, but it’s harder for me.
It makes sense that these thoughts are present. But it’s important to know that you do not want an experience of healthy eating that comes from this mindset where you believe you have to do more and rely on a food plan to get the results you want, because this will lead you to an approach with healthy eating, where you suffer and self punish. You can create an experience of healthy eating, where you learn how to let it be easy for you.
So for many of you having a food plan or meal plan, won’t match the experience of healthy eating you want to have, which is also why it doesn’t work. If you are using willpower to do something that you don’t want be doing, when it comes to healthy eating, of course, your willpower will run out and you guys, we need to do a quick PSA here. In case you’ve never heard this willpower runs out.
willpower runs out. We have a limited amount of emotional effort. If you are relying on willpower, discipline, commitment, those generally harsher emotions for anything it’s going to run out because here’s the thing. These emotions are not negative or bad, right? Harnessing discipline, willpower, and commitment for a project at work or training for a marathon, let’s say can be a good thing.
This can be highly valuable under the right circumstances, but here’s what makes your eating habits different.
You are an eater for life. You eat every single day to stay alive. You cannot expect yourself to harness those types of emotions or emotional energy. Each time you sit down and make a food decision, which means you need to be eating healthy in a way that doesn’t require you to force yourself to follow through. You need to find the path of least resistance for many of you in the beginning, creating a set food plan is going to be the path of resistance.
It’s not that the actions with food that are in your plan are not sustainable. The emotional energy and willpower that’s required of you to follow through with that plan is what’s not sustainable. The key is to create a method of healthy eating for yourself that doesn’t require harsh, emotional energy. I want you to consider the emotions that bring you more ease in your body that create more calm.
So maybe that’s compassion, patience, certainty, intention, empowerment, love, explore what those more grounded emotions are for you and explore what emotions feel the safest for you. Now consider that these types of emotions are enough to fuel the food decisions that you want to be taking. They’re enough to fuel the actions necessary to get the results with your body that you want long term.
When you create an experience of healthy eating from this type of energy you create control from within that doesn’t require so much from you, which then means you no longer need to rely on a food plan. You get to eat healthy in a way that you want. So this is when it gets to feel easier. Now, in terms of where you can start with this concept. I want you to ask yourself this question.
Do you want to follow a food plan? And what are your reasons? So let yourself answer authentically here, go with your gut. Answer. That first comes up. Don’t look for the right answer and be real with yourself. And then based on what I discussed here today, explore where that mindset will potentially take. You.
Does this approach with a food plan lead to the sustainable results that you want, or does it lead to you starting and stopping food plans one right after another, because it’s not something you actually want to be doing. So it requires a ton of your effort. Now here’s an alternative scenario because it’s something I also see. Maybe you are following a specific food plan meal plan or diet regimen, and it’s working. So you’re harnessing that discipline you’re following through and you’re getting results, but maybe you’re not feeling totally fulfilled.
Like, you know, it could be better your experience with food, or maybe you’re feeling downright miserable, and you’re tired of holding onto control with food. So tightly, you want to be able to lean back energetically with food and have more ease, but maybe you don’t know how that’s possible because food plan reliance has been happening for so long that releasing the rains and not having a food plan will feel like jumping off a diving board without knowing if you can swim because you don’t 100% believe that you have control with food without a plan.
Explore this. I want you to know precisely what your relationship to the concept of a food plan is. Are you relying on it to lead you towards the results you want? And if so, why exactly? What do you believe about yourself with food that causes you to trust a food plan more than yourself? Why are you maybe attached to having a food plan? Because really it’s not about whether you have a plan or not.
It’s your reasons for having one. So take a moment and just explore those reasons is having a food plan ultimately serving you and supporting you now, or is it coming from a place of fear or maybe even desperation where it’s negatively affecting your self trust. If you are relying on a food plan for control, you will continue to diminish the self trust you have with food because you’re creating more evidence that you need stricter measures outside of yourself to have control.
For example, with my clients, we don’t throw them in that pool before they feel like they can swim. If they do not want to have a food plan long term, we want the process of having control with food to feel safe. So we teach you how to remove your reliance on a food plan in whichever way is necessary for you, where it meets you, where you’re at. It’s a very individualized process. But what I recommend is using the awareness in this episode to explore where you’re at with it now, because what normally happens in my practice is clients create the results with food and body that they want without ever relying on a food plan.
So they create ultimate self trust within themselves that they have control with food because they learn how to manage their emotions and stress. So they’re not overeating. They learn how to honor their body’s needs with food.
They learn how to make food decisions based on what they actually want to be eating so they can get results without deprivation from this, they create control and the results they want without willpower and without harsh, emotional energy. Once that happens, they get to explore whether having a food plan supports the control they’ve already created, but the differences they’re no longer ever relying on that food plan for control makes sense.
All right, my friends, I hope this allowed you to see a new perspective on food planning and your relationship to it. Have a fantastic rest of your week. Take care of yourself. I truly hope you’re enjoying your summer so far. All right, I will talk to you next week.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified life and health coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.