How to Counterbalance Your Diet for Indulgences
Written by Fritz Nugent
Last weekend, I went to a BBQ on Saturday and ate two cheeseburgers, a bratwurst, two hot dogs, a bunch of bread dipped in artichoke dip, chips and salsa, macaroni salad AND potato salad, watermelon salad, a shit-ton of cookie cake, two White Claws, a sip of mezcal, and an Aperol Spritz. This is a lot of fat, carbs, and calories – much more than I would eat on any other day of my life. This day is probably not unfamiliar to you all. Sometimes we gotta live! So when you DO indulge, having strategies that you can employ helps remove guilt and shame and allows for full enjoyment backed by confidence in knowing which actions to take for balancing indulgences.
Note: to perform some of these strategies, you MUST have a firm grasp of which foods contain carbohydrates and fats. Otherwise, you’ll be fairly lost…
Let’s say one evening I ate a bunch of birthday cake, cookies, mashed potatoes, and other sugary and starchy foods. This is primarily an overconsumption of carbohydrates. The next day, I would reduce the amount of carbohydrates that I usually eat, and would bump up the fats that day. The idea here is to eat the same amount of total calories, replacing calories from carbs with fat. A similar approach would be preemptively eating very little carbohydrates earlier that day to save room for lots later. Also, hitting a long training session before would help, too. That way, the carbohydrates consumed later on could be metabolized to aid recovery.
Let’s say I went to an Italian restaurant and ate an entire plate of fettuccine alfredo. Sure, there are carbs in the pasta, BUT most likely the alfredo sauce pushed me WAY over on my daily fat requirement. And let’s assume that I am still within my daily caloric requirements after this meal. Similar to the last strategy, eating LESS fat the next day and replacing those calories with carbohydrates is a sound strategy. A preemptive approach also works here – eat less fat throughout the day to leave you more wiggle room when eating your dinner. This is somewhat tough as you must assume or know which macronutrient you are going to be consuming in abundance at dinner. Maybe you’ve been eyeballin’ that alfredo all week…
This is the big one. My sample meal plan (on how to get HUGE) from my weekend party is a great example of this. The next day after an event like this, simply skipping breakfast and fasting until mid-afternoon can be a useful strategy. This cuts total calories for the day down by a lot, assuming that I don’t overeat when refeeding during the two meals I’ll eat that day. Let’s say I overate by 1000 calories on Saturday. On Sunday, I can under-eat by 500-1000 and be just fine. That is in fact what I did, and my scale weight on Monday morning was almost the same as the previous Monday. Also, after a day eating poorly, make sure you rehydrate because the foods we eat at parties are often full of salt and we also don’t usually drink enough water in the party setting.
I hope this helps you in some way!