I don’t really track calories but I do like to keep an eye on my protein intake. Aiming for 0.8g-1.0g per pound of bodyweight.
However, when having a bit of a pizza binge, including dough balls and desert I do like to keep a more watchful eye on what I’m eating throughout the day.
This is for three main reasons.
#1. I’ve noticed that when I go banzai and eat like a hungry hungry hippo it takes between 3-5 days for my abs to get back to where they were.
That’s 3-5 days of progress missed.
#2. I’ve noticed that I’m woefully low on protein on a “big eats” day unless I make a conscious effort to eat high protein foods. Adding a shake if I have to
(I’m not overly fussed on my fat/carb intake as long as total calories are within my “budget” and I’m eating some green vegetables).
#3. I don’t want to be massively over my maintenance calories, even if I’m “bulking” because I’d much rather do a lean bulk than get fat by “dirty bulking”.
Yes “dirty bulking” will help you gain size faster but then you’re going to have to be on a cut for longer. So for me, a slower lean bulk is better.
However, if you’re trying to lose weight then you can still eat pizza have some cake or a glass of wine or two if you factor it into your “calorie budget” for the day.
Normally I would recommend to lose 1lb of fat you would need to be eating 300-500 calories under your maintenance per day.
But on a “cheat day” or refeed day you can eat at maintenance. Just to give your body but mostly your mind a break from “dieting”
When I say “cheat meals” it can really be anything. But in essence it’s usually what would be termed “unhealthy” and usually has you blowing your calorie budget out the window.
The extra calories will also help keep your metabolism going instead of having your body down regulate your metabolic rate due to extended periods of low calorie intake.
So if you want to eat takeaway these are my takeaway points for eating takeaway without gaining fat.
Did I say takeaway too many times.
1. Eat a smaller breakfast and lunch containing protein and veggies. Yes. Veggies for breakfast.
Something like smoked salmon, avo and spinach.
Protein has a high satiety value meaning it will help you feel fuller for longer. As will the healthy fats in the avocado and salmon.
2. Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. This will also stop you getting “false” hunger signals.
3. Understand that if you’re going to bookend all your calories into one big cheat meal at the end of the day then you may experience a little hunger.
You’re not going to die, so you can either roll with it or snack on some veggies. Cucumber, carrots and celery may help.
4. When it comes to the “big meal” in question. Enjoy it. You’ve thought about it. You’ve planned for it. And you’ve factored it into your diet. So don’t feel guilty.
However, you may feel bloated post meal and the next day. It shouldn’t last more than 24 hours, unless you eat foods that you’re intolerant to or your body just doesn’t handle too well. Wheat and dairy being the prime culprits.
5. Give your body a chance to return to “normal” before you hit it with a cheat meal again.
You will only know what “normal” feels like by eating healthy most of the time and being mindful of how your body reacts to certain foods.
As mentioned, wheat and dairy can cause digestive problems for some. But rice, eggs and some fruits can cause problems for other people.
Again, the only way to know what works best for you is to eat mindfully. Not mindlessly.
6. The more fat you have to lose the longer you should leave it between cheat meals. Say every 7-10 days. However the leaner you are, I’m talking 10% body fat or less then you can get away with it a little more frequently.
7. I’m a big advocate of a healthy lifestyle. You will look, feel and perform better if your diet is filled with lean proteins, some fruits and lots of vegetables.
However the odd pizza, Chinese or Indian takeaway isn’t going to ruin your waistline or sabotage your progress if you’re mindful of your dietary intake the rest of the day.
Have an amazing day.
Let me know if you have any questions.