The Superbowl weekend is upon us and from the texts, messages and check ins I am getting from clients this week it is something on everyone’s Macro mind. For some of you this is your first week really trying hard to hit your calorie goals, fill you plates with healthy options and be a Rockstar. This Sunday is your first real step out into the world while trying to adhere to a nutrition plan.
For those of you that have been tracking macros for a bit or are more familiar with Flexible Dieting I hope that you are feeling less anxious and stressed out and more in control about your choices and your plan. Here are some thoughts on how regardless of where you are with your nutrition plan you might actually win the Superbowl.
1.Go in with the right mindset. Don’t go into the situation thinking about food being “good” or “bad”. Sure, there are foods that are better options to help you reach your goals but these foods do not have morality. Food is food. Make your food decisions based on the outcome. For example, “I am choosing to eat these wings but they could leave me feeling bloated and nauseous and sluggish tomorrow” Or, “I am choosing to eat pizza because it is going to taste amazing and eating a few slices here and there is going to help me feel more motivated tomorrow.”
Choose to eat the wings or choose to skip the wings but own the decision and don’t moralize it. You are an adult and free to choose to eat whatever you want.
2. It’s not about the food. Superbowl parties and other gatherings with friends and family are not solely about the food. There are lots of other reasons why you are at the party or hosting the party. Focus on the people that are around you, the excitement on the TV, the kids that are developing friendships and the energy in the room. Make eye contact with the people you are talking to, take in the moment and enjoy the opportunity to be a part of the group.
3. Plan to eat the food. You have been hitting your numbers all week, getting your workouts in and drinking all the water. You know that you will go into next week feeling a lot more motivated if you plan to eat some of the foods that you really love. Figure out what those foods are and put them into your food log on Saturday. Maybe it’s half dozen wings or 2 slices of pizza or a brownie. Whatever it is… log it. Then, plan the rest of your Sunday around this choice. You will have to make a few adjustments with other meals and snacks and that is okay. In fact, that is exactly the plan. You are teaching yourself that you really can eat anything; just not everything.
4. Plan to skip on the food. You might be a few weeks into a cut or just starting out and feeling like sticking with your plan is going to serve you best. Great. Eat your planned food ahead of the party and go back to the second tip -it’s not just about the food.
5. Bring your own food. Make an appetizer or a dish to share where you know the ingredients and you can log it and just keep it a part of the regularly scheduled program. This option is particularly favorable to me because you also get to be an ambassador for healthy food options and it will give you an opportunity to brag to your friends about the healthy foods you put into a recipe and it still tastes delicious.
6. Bank calories. We know that most of the foods being served are going to be high in protein, so you want to fill up on protein and veggies during the day, and then make the best choices you can based on what’s being served, and what you have left to eat for the day. It may not be ideal, but by banking calories, you’re greatly reducing the risk of any real damage being done. And it’s just one meal, after all.
You can also estimate portion sizes using your hands. This will keep you close enough to stay on track.
- Protein: 1 fist-sized portion = ~4 oz
- Carbs: 1 palm-sized portion = ~2 oz
- Fat: 1 thumb-sized portion = ~1 oz
7. Don’t Miss Twice. This is one of my favorite quotes from an article by James Clear. People “fail” on their nutrition plan because as soon as they think they mess up they just keep messing up. Instead, if you eat pizza you didn’t plan for or drink more wine than you really should have; let it go and move on. Don’t go home and binge on tons of ice cream because well, you already messed up. Or don’t get up the next morning and start down a slippery slope of not great choices. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start over again. It only has to “ruin everything” if you let it.
Whatever option you choose, I applaud you. You are stopping to think about your nutrition and your health and you want to make the best decisions possible. That is commendable for sure. Making decisions about your health and nutrition can be so confusing; especially with all the mixed messages and contradicting information that is out there. I have two things that I want clients to go into Sunday focused on; the long game and their personal goals. Remember that one meal or one afternoon is not going to make or break your progress. Make decisions that are going to teach you something and help you be successful way past this challenge or weight loss plan. Your goals are super important and they are yours to own. It doesn’t matter what other people think about the food choices you are making. Stay with your plan because you owe it to yourself to do so.
A good nutrition plan is going to complement your life, not control it. Enjoy the party and know that you are 100% winning because you made a plan, stuck with it and will get up the next day and keep doing the next right things.