Diet Meal Plans vs Habits

Nutrition is a big part of the fitness industry. It’s one of the biggest pieces when it comes to losing weight, achieving a desired body mass, achieving a higher level of performance, and just feeling better overall.


These are all benefits of a sound nutrition game. However, in a time of modernity we have more availability to processed foods and a higher propensity to over consume food that belabor our ability to cut weight. On top of that, most foods in westernized culture lack vital nutrients that help our bodies to function properly and regulate hormones.
As a result of all the this, two camps have emerged that offer a lot of good insight to creating a sound nutrition game. The first camp is meal/diet plans, and the second is habit based nutrition.
So, what’s the difference?
Meal/Diet Plans
Meal/diet plans offer a person a structured template to food intake that defines certain parameters. They ask people to follow a meal plan day in and day out, where people prep, cook, and eat a certain amount of food over a series of meals during the day.
Meal plans offer a great basis of education on what to eat and how to prepare and cook it. As well, how much to consume based on your individual needs and your goals. The problems that come with meal plans is that they don’t allow people a plan B. If you end up heading to a party or event and nothing fits on your diet plan, you are left standing at the edge of the table trying to figure out what to eat and might hit the screw it button. Also when you do hit that button, you will over consume the foods that aren’t on that plan and you feel worse about yourself, left in this ambivalent rut of why you started this thing and whether your goals even matter.
Habit Nutrition
Habit nutrition. Honestly, here at C.P. we are biased towards this approach because it has more leniency and gives people more options when it comes to nutrition. In a habit based plan, an individual focuses on behaviors, uses strategies, and takes certain actions throughout the weeks to make the changes they want.
Let me give you an example of this. The habit we are going to discuss is Eating Slowly.
Habit: Slow Eating
Ok, so eating slowly is just as it sounds. Slowing down when eating. Why? When we slow our eating down, our body can feel fullness cues more readily and let’s us know when not to overeat or over consume. Most people that want to lose weight, but are conditioned to finish everything on their plate. A behavior that we have been trained to do from a very young age. The reality is that we should listen to our bodies not our plates. Slowing down allows us to be more in tune with our bodies and sense those cues more quickly.
Two strategies that work well for this habit and behavior are putting your fork down after every 3 bites and setting a timer on your phone (15 minutes is the preferred).
The best course of action is to start with this habit slowly, pick one of the two strategies and apply it to one or two of the 7 days during any of those meals. Starting small with this always leads to a higher rate of success and better outcome for the long term.
So there are the key differences between a Meal/Diet plan vs Habit based nutrition. To be honest with you, everything works in this industry, if it didn’t it wouldn’t exist. The fact is that if you have the ability to follow structured meal plans and have the proper support system with the habits in place, then you will have great success. If you have struggled with diet plans in the past and are looking for a new approach and relationship with food, Habit nutrition might be the approach for you.
The cool fact about everything I laid out is that you get both in our upcoming Fall Program, The Empowered Woman Project. We know that people do best when they have a support system of like-minded people helping keep one another accountable. This project is great because you get a ton of great information, like a meal plan but with the support of habit focused coaches who are there to help work through the obstacles that you have in you everyday life.
For more info on this, feel free to contact us at or hit us up on FB at Core Principles strength and conditioning.
Coach Jim

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