Day 10, double digits!
We’re into the final stretch now. If your commitment is slipping, this post will help you get right back on track! You might even be eligible for a reward!
Lets get into it.
Did you know that you don’t need to be perfect?
You can actually be far from perfect and still lose fat, gain strength and build muscle.
An acceptable ratio of on track to off track is about 80:20.
If you manage this, you’ll do well. If you can do better than that, 90:10 or 95:5, you’ll do extremely well.
So don’t stress when you’re invited out for lunch, your spouse wants to order in dinner or your kid wants you to have one of the cookies they made.
You can try to plan ahead and fit these things into your daily calories whilst still hitting your protein target. It’s possible. You might have to “save up” a few extra calories, but you can certainly do it. I recommend doing this if you can.
But, sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you know you’re going over your calories and there’s not much you can do about it. On days like this, I like to remind myself that they are not the norm and remember the 80:20 rule (although I try to do better than 80:20 if I can).
I’m not getting takeouts every day, buying my lunch from McDonalds and ending every evening with a tub of ice cream, so on the rare occasions that I do do something like that, I don’t bother trying to account for it. I just do it, enjoy the treat, and get right back on track.
Instead of having to study restaurant menus ahead of time, you can just order off the menu when you’re sitting there based on how appetising it sounds!
Instead of going to a friend’s or family BBQ and skipping the bun on your burger, the pasta salad or the desserts, You can just eat and enjoy it. It’s a rarity, so why worry?
If you’re on plan 80-90% of the time, then days like this won’t prevent you from reaching your goal.
If these things are NOT rarities, then maybe you need to adopt a different approach and try to either avoid the situations, or put in some more effort to make them fit the plan.
Some people can eat one cookie and leave it at that, but others think the day is “ruined” if they eat anything “bad”, therefore they go off the rails eating a load more crap for the rest of the day (or weekend).
One cookie won’t do any damage, but a whole day of eating rubbish and not worrying about your intake could potentially erase the whole week’s calorie deficit.
Need Another Strategy to Manage Days Like This?
Sometimes you just have a string of events, or your work involves a lot of entertaining, or you’re going through a rough patch. It can be hard to stick to the 80:20 rule in these situations. If this is the case, you can adopt a different approach:
If you overeat by 500 calories one day, you can balance it out by undereating your target by 500 calories the next day. I find the easiest way to do this is to skip breakfast.
Make it an OMAD or 2MAD day when you have a social event
I do this sometimes when it’s a family BBQ (they pull out all the stops and I can’t resist). OMAD stands for One Meal A Day. I’ll let you guess what 2MAD stands for, When I know there’s a big “treat” meal coming up, sometimes I will fast until the event by not eating breakfast and/or lunch, or fast after the event and not eat dinner. This reduces the overall calories consumed on that day. It might not be enough to make up for how much I eat at the event, but it at least reduces the impact by lowering the total calorie intake on that day.
Try to estimate calories
This can be difficult, especially if you have no knoweldge around how the food was prepared or what specific foods and quantities there were. Nonetheless, you can still estimate and get some idea of what you might have eaten, which can help with your choices the rest of the day or the next day.
Look at restaurant menus in advance and try to pick high protein dishes without sauces. Steak plus veg is a goo one because you can track the weight of the steak, it’s high protein and filling, and you can just get sides of veg which you don’t really need to worry too much about the calories of.
Control where you can
If you find life throws you a lot of curveballs, then don’t add to it yourself. Stay on plan at home. Throw tempting foods out of the house. Batch cook good protein:calorie meals and keep one frozen so you always have a meal ready when you don’t feel like cooking. Having these meals in the fridge will help keep you on track too, as you won’t want to end up wasting your money and time if you have to throw them out. Planning your meals ahead of time (like the day before) and entering them into myfitnesspal can help, as you may feel an obligation to stick to the plan.
Here Are Your Actions for Today
- Have a look back at your ratio so far of on track to off track. We’re on day 10, so it’s easy to work out what your percentage is.
- If you’ve been on track every day so far, you could potentially have a treat today/tonight and remain on track in the big picture. I’m not talking about an epic binge, but something that doesn’t really fit the plan. Takeout. Dessert. Going over on your calories slightly.
- The key thing is whether you can keep it sensible and then get back on track immediately or not. If you think you’d be better served by continuing to abstain do that. If you think a small reward might keep you going, plan to have one.
This is fun right? I don’t tell my clients they’re only allowed to eat steamed cod and green beans.
If you’re letting yourself have a little treat today, let us all see in the Discord Server!
Talk again tomorrow!