Why You Should AVOID Cookie Cutter Plans
Ever seen these types of quotes before?
“Hey, follow my plan – this is the only way to get that lean physique you always wanted!”
“Follow this diet that I created – it got me from 20% to 5% body fat!”
Most of us have the desire to look better naked. So it would seem perfectly logical to follow a diet plan or training programme that has been constructed for someone with a desirable physique. Like that of a celebrity. Because a lot of people run in to trouble when they have no clue how to programme for themselves and simply pick and choose from someone else.
The problem with using someone else's template is that this is what worked for THEM.
Does the plan take in to consideration stress levels? A person's food preference or social life?
From a training perspective, an individuals current mobility? Previous injuries? Muscular imbalances?
Take a a mother of three; who has to juggle work, family, bills, and be expected to go to the gym 6 days per week for 2 hours at a time just because a celebrity does it? It's not logical and is more than likely detrimental to their health, perhaps even their goal!
From a nutrition perspective, a classic example of this seen today is the diet protocol intermittent fasting.
For the purposes of ease, I will discuss the Martin Berkhan - Lean Gains approach where you fast for 16 hours of the day and consume all of your calories in an 8 hour window (for women this would be 14/10 due to a small amount of evidence suggesting long periods of fasting can affect the female hormonal system).
The main premise of IF is that during times of fasting, energy is taken and burned from stored fat (and glycogen). There is also some data to suggest that intermittent fasting can potentially reduce chronic diseases such as alzeimhers and certain cancers – although further research is still needed in this area.
On the surface this seems like a lot of benefits and everyone should get on board right?
But what if you're someone that enjoys eating at breakfast time? Or what if you need to consume 4,000 + calories a day and do not want to eat later due to the reduced feeding window? You are an individual that trains for endurance or has multiple training sessions per day? – Forget it!
Alarm bells should always ring when someone claims you can get results in a time frame such as 6 weeks or 12 weeks. The likelihood is that person who made these claims has had YEARS of training experience. Perhaps even some extra curricular supplement assistance as well.
As a nutrition coach , it is my responsibility to improve a client's health, whilst moving the individual along their path to their goal. Each individual needs to be taken on their own merit as everyone is different and has a different set of circumstances and variables.
People should always remember that It's all about context and no one diet or training programme fits all!