How To Make Cheat Foods Fit
One of the things you hear the most when it comes to macros is "you can eat all the foods you want and still lose weight!"
Which is true, in a sense. That's the thing that first drew me to macros. I can eat bread?? I can eat CHEESE?? Sign me up!
Here's the key with so-called "cheat" foods. All things in moderation! The longer you track macros, the more you'll feel comfortable with planning your day around meals you really want to eat! I want to show you guys how to do this, so let's take a situation I had last weekend for example:
One of the biggest pieces of advice I give my clients is to PLAN YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE. This leaves very little margin for error and helps you go into your day with a plan! There's nothing worse than sitting around at 7pm with 25g of protein and 2g of fat left wondering "well what do I do now??"
So, back to my example. I really wanted to go to a steakhouse with my husband for date night. Usually I'm pretty good when I go out to eat, but this particular restaurant has a mac and cheese that's to die for.. and I KNEW I would cave and screw up my macros if I didn't plan ahead.
I looked online for nutrition information for the restaurant and found a PDF on their website. (ALL chain restaurants are required to provide nutrition information by law. If it has more than 3 locations, you'll be able to find the nutrition information. I try to avoid hole in the wall restaurants, foods trucks, etc that don't have nutrition info available because I don't know exactly whats going into my body and have to guess. Otherwise known as intuitive eating, which we'll go over next week :) )
My total macros every day are 160P/225C/63F
I knew I wanted steak, mac and cheese, a salad and some bread for dinner. Here's how that nutrition broke down:
Strawberry Pecan Salad: 190Cal/4P/28C/8F
6oz Fillet: 330Cal/37P/2C/15F
Steakhouse Mac&Cheese: 610Cal/26P/43C/37F (ouch)
Honey Wheat Bread (1/2 loaf) 285Cal/10P/51C/4.5F
This entire meal totaled out to be 1415Cal/77P/124C/64F
Well, shoot. I ate ALL of my fat in ONE meal. What am I supposed to eat for breakfast and lunch? Well, let me just learn you a thing or two here.
- Breakfast was an egg white omelet with veggies and fat free cheese.
- Lunch was a chicken sandwich on a whole wheat bun with Walden Farms Honey Mustard
- Pre-Workout was non-fat Greek Vanilla yogurt
- Dessert AFTER dinner was strawberries with fat free Reddiwhip.
I actually ended up eating slightly UNDER my calories for the day by PLANNING AHEAD. This is where the term flexible dieting comes in. I had an extremely fat heavy dinner so I had a fat free lunch and breakfast to balance the day out.
I know this probably seems intimidating, but you guys can absolutely do it. It doesn't have to be an entire meal, either! Craving some french fries from McDonalds? Use their nutrition calculator online to figure out the macros and plan it into your day! I never want my clients to feel deprived or starving, so I want you to learn this skill! It is so valuable and will help macros become a sustainable lifestyle for you for years! Who needs a massive cheat weekend when you can eat at steakhouses, McDonalds or Chipotle during the week?
Here are some awesome resources for you as you start to plan different foods:
- This list includes restaurants like Longhorn Steakhouse, Ihop, California Pizza Kitchen, and more!
- This is a fast food chain. My favorite item on this list is the ice cream cone from McDonalds! (Vanilla Ice Cream Cone - 200kcal: 5F/32C/5P)
- This post has great information on what to do if there's NOT nutrition info available.
You guys got this! Happy tracking! :)