Macros vs. Meal Plans

Sep 14, 2021

There’s a LOT of noise in the online nutrition coach space. It’s often hard to know what works, what doesn’t work, and which program, eating system, or coaching style is right for you.


Many women spend YEARS jumping from plan to plan, program to program. I did! I’ve been through Atkins, South Beach, Slim Fast, and so many more. Some of the programs were great and got me good results. Others, not so much.


The one thing they all had in common though is they ultimately didn’t produce long-term results. They were not sustainable.


When I first started coaching, I offered meal replacement shakes, coupled with a meal plan. I was even doing meal prep to help my clients stick to the meal plans I was writing.


Each meal, snack, and beverage was planned out so they could hit their calorie goals, right on the nose, and with ease. However, like all the other plans out there, once they got tired of eating the same foods day after day, or once they took a vacation and couldn’t access the exact same foods that were on their plan, the results stalled out.


Then they got frustrated. And then they quit.


Here are some of the basic pros/cons of meal plans:


Meal Plan Pros

  • Easy to follow
  • Everything laid out for you
  • You know what to eat every day
  • Grocery shopping is easy
  • Follow the blueprint and ‘you’re good’


Meal Plan Cons

  • Don’t offer much flexibility, what happens if you miss a meal?
  • Don’t offer much variety, what happens if you get bored?
  • Can be very restrictive, which can cause binging and weight gain.
  • Meal plans are structured, can you do this for the rest of your life?
  • Often not sustainable, who can eat sweet potatoes every day forever?
  • Not educational, you’ll lose weight but you won’t learn how to lose weight without the plan.
  • Plateaus happen fast and often because your calories aren’t adjusted based on your current needs.
  • If the plan doesn’t include enough calories or protein, you may lose muscle mass.


With macros, pretty much all of the ‘cons’ are a non-issue. With macros you have flexibility to eat whatever you want, whether you want structured planned meals or you like to have variety. With macros nothing is off the table which means the restriction-binge cycle is naturally avoided. With macros you’ll learn HOW to lose weight and you’ll have total control over your results. 


Lastly, with macros you will not experience the same plateaus or muscle loss because you’ll be eating customized macros based on your current needs and long term goals.


Macros allow you to do all the things your meal plan won’t. And that’s why I teach macros, not meal plans. I want my clients to experience all the foods, all the activities, and all the control they need to become successful and maintain their results for the long-haul.