Consistency is one of the most important factors to see long term success while on a fitness program, and the same applies to nutrition. However, we cannot expect to make infinite progress in a linear fashion. There will be ups and downs, and it is crucial to be prepared and make allowances for the times things do not go as planned. This can be particularly challenging if you are an individual who thrives on sticking closely to a routine. Here are a few tips that can help you avoid crashing if you happen to take a step off the tracks with your nutrition:
Plan ahead if possible. Oftentimes, we are given a heads up when there is about to be a nutritionally challenging situation. For example, we might be invited out to eat with friends or family. Fortunately, many restaurants have readily available nutrition information that can be accessed online. Making your decision ahead of time will result in a less stressful experience.
Be flexible. On the other hand, there may be times we are provided little-to-no time or information with which to plan ahead. You may have to make a decision on the fly. In such a situation, stick to the basics and do the best you can. If possible, choose an item that consists of whole foods, such as lean meats, grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Be reasonable. Sometimes, there’s just not a good choice to make no matter how you slice it. You may surpass your daily calorie limit or miss your macros, but it’s important to keep everything in proper perspective. One mishap every now and then isn’t going to negate all of the other positive steps you have made thus far. You may not feel the best the following day, but you can quickly get back on track and resume your routine. Consider, too, the cultural role that sharing a meal has in building and maintaining friendships and family ties. It likely isn’t worth limiting yourself socially just to avoid missing your macros for one day.
Whether it be a late night snack, dinner with friends, or a vacation, you can indulge without feeling like you’ve abandoned your nutrition routine. Plan ahead when possible and be flexible when you can’t. Above all, be reasonable. If you do so, you’ll have a balanced perspective even when your macros aren’t!