Your new eating plan has been going strong for over 3 weeks - tracking, measuring, meal-prepping and feeling better and in more control than ever. You’ve lost a few pounds and all the clothes in that closet of yours, are fitting looser than they have in ages. All of a sudden, you remember the string of events you have coming up at the end of the week and a shudder of fear runs through your body - Thursday a work dinner, Friday a birthday party and Saturday an all day wedding! This is the first time you’ve encountered a series of events where you will not be in total control of every ounce of food that goes into your body. OK - maybe it’s more of a feeling of slight anxiety rather than shuddering fear, but the feeling is real!
But What If I Lose All Of My Progress?
I recently went on a spur of the moment ski trip to Vermont - a few hours drive north and I didn’t have much time to plan how I would approach my eating. By staying focused on my long term goals and employing the following tactics, I was able to be confident in my food choices...
First, what we do most of the time > what we do some of the time. The key to long lasting success on a particular eating plan is being able to keep good habits for the vast majority of the time. There are times when we need to go all in and clear our calendar to hit our goals - when we have a significant health issue, a competition we are preparing for, or after a serious rut. Ultimately every journey is not linear and has ups and downs. By being mindful of the types of foods in my eating plan (such as non dairy, gluten free, etc.), and the quantity of macronutrients in my eating plan, I tend to land close to my daily goals.
Second, focus on food quality first. Most of us already know that refined grains and processed sugar do not belong in most eating plans (do they belong in any???). So I shy away from these at all meals - rolls, buns, croissants, bagels, donuts, cereal all fall into this category. Additionally, does the breakfast buffet have a selection of fruits and berries that you normally avoid buying due to expense? Well, I like to stock up on those and enjoy them when I can.
Third, balance your macronutrients throughout the day. Did you eat a bunch of carbs for breakfast and lunch? Try to stick to a higher protein and fat dinner and maybe skip dessert that night. I have also found that it is easy to overdo it on carbs and not so easy to get enough protein, so cracking into that stash of uncured meat sticks or nuts that I always pack with me is a delicious solution.
Finally, don’t stress too much. By overthinking the situation, you may do more harm than good. I constantly remind myself that as long as I’m doing the best that I can, there will always be an end to the break from my routine. I like to use this time to remind myself why I choose to eat the way I do for the long term. This will help energize you to get right back to your good habits once you return home.
What tips do you have to stay consistent when eating away from home?
Until next time, catch me in the comments.
About Performing Nutrition: Jon is a certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and pursuing a M.S. in Nutrition at the University of Bridgeport. Performing Nutrition offers tailored programs for men and women of all sizes and backgrounds looking to lose fat, get stronger and become all around healthier.
Disclosure… Even though he is a certified health coach and studying to be a nutritionist, opinions shared here should not be a replacement for your doctor. Please consider using the links to purchase items to support this blog. Performing Nutrition is a member of Amazon associates and may receive a commission.