Dec 20, 21
5 to 7 minutes
Eating outside your home is always a challenge!
Let's go on an adventure! Here are some tips to help you stay on track when you're away from home.
Here's something I hear often: " During the week, my routine is easy to follow, no complaints there, but when it comes to the weekends, it’s a completely different story!"
Not only do I hear this comment frequently, but it also resonates with 80% of my new customers when I first introduce them to their program. For those who recognize themselves in this comment, I would like to congratulate you. Not only for successfully implementing an eating routine during your work week, but also for identifying your limitations. For most people, these two aspects are not easy.
I guess the real question here is, how can you maintain your routine during the weekends and outside of your usual habits?
The key is balance. You need to understand that for most of us, it probably has been a tough week : you’ve worked hard at work, you might have done some overtime, you've also managed to even go to the gym a few times, and despite all of this you were able to follow your new eating plan.
It’s in our nature to "reward" ourselves after a big week of effort and sacrifice. It's important to note that this bad habit is not going anywhere if we continue to think about our eating structure as an additional workload or as a train that we get on and off when we feel like it.
The 80/20 logic
The 80/20 logic can be understood in different ways. In this case, I like to think that 80% of the time is spent feeding ourselves depending on our body’s needs and 20% of our time is focused on our brain’s needs. It’s important to focus on what personally feels good and not about what other people think is best for us.
One day it may be 90/10, the other one 70/30, and that’s okay. The trick is to find a balance that matches with your goals. You have to learn to manage your expectations : If you happen to cheat on the weekend there’s no need to put unnecessary pressure on yourself the following week or you could fall into a vicious cycle!
For example, I might not follow my routine on Tuesday, but I’m 100% on point on Saturday. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter, what counts is to be able to create a balanced routine.
That being said, when you consider how you organize your time, it’s more likely that you’ll have more opportunities to be tempted to indulge on Saturday rather than during the week. However, I can assure you that if you choose to view your food balance and structure as a marathon rather than a sprint, you’ll look at these opportunities differently and you’ll choose your battles better.
For instance, if you’re cooking your lunches during the week, add two more meals for the end of the week. My clients often tell me that their lunches are always ready to go for their office hours, so there’s nothing that’s stopping you to do the same for your weekend! Prepare 2 extra servings during the Friday prep. This way your meal plan is guaranteed all week long.
For most of my clients, breakfast is the easiest meal to stick to in their meal plan. With a good breakfast and a good lunch, your blood sugar will not be unbalanced. You’ll also have a better intake of fiber and micronutrients. In addition, you’ll experience less sugar cravings at the end of your day - which as we know, can lead to stepping out of your structure while being in situations outside of your usual habits, such as evenings with your friends, busier weeks or even just when you’re feeling under the weather -.
How to manage the weekends outside your usual setting.
Now, let’s talk about the ultimate challenge : taking days off to go on a trip away from home.
How can your meal plan survive this change of scenery ? Handle it in a fun and creative way in order to make it easier for you since this situation is difficult whether you’re a beginner or an expert in your fitness journey.
When I talk about letting your imagination run wild and adding fun to it, it’s a way to help you connect your eating structure to the small daily pleasures you’ll experience during your trips. Adapt yourself to your environment and explore the options you have around you to make some snacks or meals that would be similar to your current plan. You can prepare that before you leave or during the getaway.
If you don't have any control over what you’re served, compose your plate with this technique!
- Open your right hand and look at your palm.
- The palm of your hand and your thumb represent the measure of protein you should have on your plate.
- Then close it as if you were holding a handful of very fine grains. That becomes your portion of carbohydrates.
- Finally, close your fist. This is the measure for your vegetables.
This method is definitely not cutting edge technology but it can help you balance your meals and give you the feeling that you’re in control outside your house.
Keep the amount of fat to a very small amount. Most restaurant meals are cooked with a lot of oil and as a result, meals tend to be fattier or richer than the ones you cook at home.
You’re now much better equipped to face the challenges of the weekends and mainly, to approach them differently. It's all a matter of organization.
Set yourself up for success!