Something that counting macros (having a food budget) helps us to do, is to determine what we really want to eat and what we don’t. It’s the exact same concept as a financial budget. Any program you do to change your body for the better or to become healthier will require you PLAN and utilize some self-control. No method or program will allow you to indulge in all the things at all the social events. If you’re a social butterfly and you choose to indulge at every social event, and eat all the servings of every dish at the potluck. Yes, that will harm your progress. But, here’s the good news: counting macros is the only plan that doesn’t eliminate a food group entirely or restrict what you eat. You can have anything you want! You only need to factor it into your numbers. And it truly can be done at social gatherings. It may not look perfect, but remember, we don’t want to be perfect. We want to be CONSISTENT.
Step number one is to go in with a PLAN. Get in the habit of planning, and be okay with guesstimating your food. You don’t have to bring your food scale, it’s okay to eyeball things and do the best you can. Again, we can’t be perfect 100% of the time, that’s not life. We can only control what we can control. You don’t need to be restrictive! Find things that are a bit more straightforward and trackable (there are always options – just don’t go for the casserole!) and guesstimate it in. It’s important to practice doing this for the sake of long term sustainability!
Choose when it’s worth it to stray from numbers or indulge. For example, pie isn’t worth it to me. I think pie crust is the worst. It goes with chicken pot pie, it doesn’t go with dessert (unpopular opinion, I know!) I’d rather go home and have a bagel with cookie butter on it, or some cookies and creme hersheys. However, if it’s an event with lemon cream cheese cake, donuts or sushi, I am absolutely participating and may stray from my numbers. BUT, that will be after hitting that 7/7 consistently for as long as possible leading up to the event! And I will get back to my 7/7 after the event.
Separate food from fun. You don’t have to eat X, Y or Z in order to have fun. You are free to eat anything! Incorporate what’s truly worth it, but say “no” to things that don’t genuinely bring you joy. This same concept definitely applies for drinking alcohol as well. No one cares what you’re drinking or eating. And if they do, it’s probably because they feel self-conscious over their own choices. You are responsible for your body. Own that control and don’t feel guilty for what you’re not eating. Which brings up the following point.
You will never regret saying “no” to something the morning after, but you may regret saying “yes” to too many things. There is nothing worse than waking up feeling sick, anxious and depressed over our food choices and the body we’re living in. The ability to practice being selective will allow you to enter fall feeling good and fitter than you were at the start of summer.
As I mentioned previously, staying on budget with macros is similar to the benefits that we see when we choose to stay on budget financially. Read more about that HERE. The more we choose not to buy, the more wiggle room we have in our budget down the road. The more consistently you hit your numbers, the more food you will be able to eat. It’s important to be consistent so that us coaches can closely look at your hunger levels and overall biofeedback to ensure that you’re getting plenty of food and feeling nice and satisfied. This equates to more freedom with food by staying focused and nurturing your metabolism, making events more enjoyable! But if you aren’t consistent, it can be very tricky for us as coaches to evaluate whether or not your body is getting enough. Without consistency, your metabolism also won’t get that metabolic repair that we are trying so hard to encourage. Be consistent so we can feed you!
Be mindful about events and travel that you have planned. Don’t cut when you have a vacation or frequent events looming on the horizon. This will force you to have to cut more food out. Be strategic about your timing and think LONG term.
Remember this…we only have seven days in the week to work with. The weekends account for 30% of the week. That’s a huge portion of our week! I frequently tell my clients, “there just aren’t enough days in the week.” It’s so true! We have to make every day count and be intentional when progress is important to us. So go to events and travel, but remember the same habits that you do in your own home. As we like to say, macros are macros whether we follow them or not. We can use the data to our advantage and enjoy social events all at the same time!