I was nerding out in a forum I belong to the other night, mostly made up of US based personal trainers, a few English trainers too, and they were discussing the legalities around actually providing a meal plan for their clients. Vibrant discussion, of course I had to chime in.
Summary was that in many parts of the world, you cannot provide meal plans for your clients unless you are actually a registered dietitian.
My response to these guys and gals was:
"I'm a masters degree qualified dietitian and I rarely give out actual meal plans.
I find that they only work for a very short period of time. I have other tools in my tool box that I use, to great effect.
A meal plan is kind of like wearing another persons clothes - just doesn't feel right. I'll do things like recording food intake and asking the client to pick an area to work on, we'll do My Fitness Pal reviews for a week, we'll target vegetables and work on building them up, we'll do breakfast challenges where we just focus on that for a 2 week period so that the day starts well.
All of these things are what I call SLOW WINS, because they last, and get results long term.
People who are after a massive one month fat loss will not last, and they don't last.
The hardest part of my job is convincing people to hang with me for 6 months, because in that time I've reprogrammed their thinking, I've made SUSTAINABLE change, and I've also reset their metabolism into fat burning that continues to work for them.
I work with tough clients too, females who have hormonal issues, which is about as hard as it gets. I get results for them, which is as much to do with the coaching process as it is about the actual nutrition advice I give out. SORRY - super long answer - all apologies for that."
Of course people went berko over my response, they basically loved it and I picked up some clients out of that one reply - which was not my intention I actually just want to help these dudes and dudettes to get better results with THEIR clients.