Normal life challenges show up for everyone and cause some changes in the best of plans. Having a plan of action to fall back on when challenges do happen is what differentiates successful from the unsuccessful endeavors around health and nutrition goals.
Eating out of line of meal intentions is one of the biggest challenges that holds people back (i.e. they fall off the wagon).
Let’s say you have a perfectly balanced breakfast, maybe even a perfect lunch too. Then something happens where either you “cave in” to some sweets or get invited out to a late lunch or early dinner and end up mindlessly snacking on the chips & salsa.
There’s two major ways we recommend proceeding for the rest of the day, and neither of them are to continue eating off your intentional nutrition plan with the goal of “starting again tomorrow/Monday/next month.”
We have found that both these options work for different people. Neither is better than the other. The only “better” one is the one that you can implement.
It’s important to understand that as your nutrition coach, we provide a nutrition plan that get’s tweaked as we work together to find a plan that’s going to work best for you – sometimes those include macros and sometimes they don’t. But regardless of the plan, the plan you get is going to be built around those recommended meals providing you satiety, healthy digestion, hormone control – like intended blood sugar range, recovery, satisfaction, and more.
Some people like to take some of the macros from the next meal or two.
Pros: You get to stay on your focused nutrition plan – you might have this day fit a more standard “if it fits your macros” approach. You could feel a little more in control of your plan and feel more ownership by moving things around to fit your life.
Cons: Let’s say you eat all your carbs from the next two meals and once you get to those meals, you only have some fat and protein to eat (or flip for any macro). This is likely going to reduce the satisfaction from those later meals as well as have a negative impact on nutrition-related-hormone control. You could also experience worse sleep since you might still be hungry not be as satisfied. This might also use a significant amount of your mental, and even emotional, energy buckets. Subtracting your macros could mean spending your energy trying to catch up. The physiological impact that having a poorly balanced meal brings can impact psychological response – with increased feelings of guilt and self-shaming – so instead of just feeling physically crappy, you could feel psychologically crappy too.
Get the next meal back in-line with your plan – even if that means going over your macros for the day.
Pros: You could potentially experience a mini-surge in metabolism with the mini-refeeding session. The human body is an amazing thing. We see the increases in metabolism from a refeeding feeding during a cut. You could also get a mental break from being focused on nutrition – which depending on where you’re at in your health journey and where your goals are, could be very important for mental and emotional wellbeing.
Cons: The pros don’t happen if this is done on a continuous basis. The food consumed could have an impact on performance or bloat the next day – which isn’t a reflection of your true body, but can be frustrating for some.
One other note…
IronMVMNT is built around the foundation of nutrition not being black or white, but it’s also built on the foundation that you don’t need to have all-or-nothing, perfect nutrition. Let’s say you eat 3 meals and 2 snacks per day – that’s 35 opportunities to fuel your body in line with your goals. So even if you had 30 meals on point, and 5 off, you’d be at about 85%, which is likely way more than where you’d be if you weren’t eating with intention.
What is the way you deal when eating doesn’t go as planned? Let us know in the comments below! To hear out conversation around this, check out our podcast episode on this subject!