I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day!
In the last post I discussed a bit about some foods that are fakey when it comes to being healthy and how they aren’t really that much better than the crappy ones they copy or just straight up pretend to be healthy.
Today I want to discuss how to be intentional when it comes to eating healthy and maybe be a bit more specific on how to be intentional when taking a break and enjoying say…cherry pie or some ice cream.
When doing exercise, unless you’re straight up running for 60 min and then call it quits, you take breaks. During intense weight lifting you break in between heavy sets. During sprints you either walk or lightly jog or spin or pass out on the field until the next sprint is to begin. I don’t think your lifestyle should be much different. A break now and again is good, especially mentally.
So how do you have that ice cream without breaking your diet?
This is the first thing we need to get out of the way. You can’t be on a diet. That may sound weird but I’ve discussed this before. A diet is different from YOUR diet, meaning what you regularly put into your mouth. When people talk about A diet, they usually refer to something they will follow for a few months, maybe a year and then stop. It does not in anyway become a part of who you are.
Think about it. If you go to the gym everyday because you enjoy it, or go swimming or play tennis because you enjoy it then that is part of your lifestyle. If you go to the gym or play tennis or swim for 3 months and call it quits then it’s NOT a lifestyle. Watching a good TV show now and again or a good movie now and again doesn’t make you a couch potato. Watching those daily probably does.
If you’re going to change your diet then it has to be a lifestyle change and for that to happen it actually has to be something you want to do.
Lets say right now I’d like to cut some body fat. That’s not a bad thing. So I eat less calories but continue to eat foods I like such as steak and salmon and salads. In 4 months I lose the weight I want and want to maintain the weight I have. I eat the same foods I love, steak salmon and salad. Maybe come wintertime I want to gain some more muscle. I eat the same foods but in a larger quantity to let my muscle build up. The types of food I eat don’t really change during a weight loss, weight maintenance or weight gain, but the quantities do. Most of the time the quantities are the same because I’m not trying to gain or lose.
So if you’re trying to lose over a period of say 3-4 months how do we take a break. PLAN IT OUT!
Lets say you are really craving those Oreos. Instead of buying a pack and wolfing down the whole thing before you know what happened, set aside 2-3 cookies, sit down and enjoy them. Dont’ begin eating till you’re ready to indulge your taste buds. If you are eating them while still prepping or standing up, you aren’t going to enjoy a thing.
How much do you enjoy food when you’re in a hurry? Answer: You don’t. Hamburgers taste way better when I’m sitting down and done cooking them than when I’m trying to scarf one down while still cooking the others. Same with cherry pie, ice cream or any other treat.
Put the rest of whatever you’re going to indulge on away before you even begin eating. Enjoy your food.
Be aware that if you’re trying to lose weight that you should have your calories be part of an isocaloric day, meaning that will be a day in which you’re not actually trying to lose weight but trying to maintain what you have. Calculate how many calories of your indulgence will be and then figure what you normally eat that day. If the number is too high you can cut back on something else.
A good website to calculate total calories for a day is iifym.com and there are several others.
After you’ve indulged a bit and are finished eating. Be done. Be grateful and move on. To me it’s like a mini vacation. It’s planned and not spur of the moment so you know exactly what you are doing. If you don’t plan it, the whole package of oreos will be gone before you know it, you will end up regretting ever wanting to indulge and maybe give up on everything altogether because you feel you have no self control.
Last night I had a small fudgecicle. It was tasty.I allowed for the 80 calories in my treat and sat down and enjoyed every chocolate lick I got from it. Before I sat down I did the following important action:
Put the rest away!
When I was done, I had enjoyed some chocolate and moved on. That was it. Easy peasy.
This goes with things like steaks too. Steak has a lot of nutrients and is a great source of protein. A 16 oz T-bone can have around 1100 calories and 110g protein. You’d be better off eating that thing as a 4oz-6oz cut with 275-412 calories and 27.5-41.2g protein. Your body will be able to utilize the protein and the calories won’t be too much plus you still get to have steak at more than 1 meal. It’s more cost and calorie effective. Not to mention you’re body has a hard time with much more than 50g protein at a time.
And you won’t feel like a bomb went off in your stomach when you’re done.
Have some good food. A treat now and again isn’t problematic. Be intentional with how you enjoy your food. Being unintentional will only make life happen to you rather than you happening to life.