Okay, It's Warm Out There...

Okay, its warm out there. At least, for some people. (again, being in the Northeast is great and all but yesterday was cold and rainy and today it’s 65 and sunny… you just never know).

ANYWAY - As it gets warmer, people start DOING ALL THE THINGS, am I right?!  BBQ’s, pool parties, weddings, beach days, picnics - in other words.. All the social gatherings.

If you are anything like me, and I know a lot of you are (sorry), this means more anxiety when it comes to tracking and nailing my numbers but still *trying* to have a social life. The stress of wanting to go out, to hang out, to eat out - seems more real when it’s warm outside. So what can we do? What can we do this summer to ensure its fun, packed with good memories, good food and good conversation, but also be able to stick to some sort of plan/set of numbers and not derail completely?

My clients have all heard (read) me say the following: PLAN PLAN PLAN. When we plan ahead for the BBQ, the beach day, the vacation - we will set ourselves up for success: GUILT FREE. There are a few things that I suggest doing when it comes to social situations and the flexible dieting life.

When you don’t know what the food is going to be: it will be crucial to eat strategically BEFORE whatever event it is. Typically - I make sure to get enough protein in, paired with low fat food and all the veggies. This will mean I can actually EAT during the day by choosing nutrient dense foods, but also make sure I have some wiggle room when it comes to my carbs and fats for whatever event I am going to.

When you don’t want to bring your scale out in front of people (or your MFP): lol, because sometimes that’s just not ideal. I get it. Luckily, you can guestimate. IT’S OKAY TO GUESTIMATE. Imma say it again: ITS OKAY TO GUESTIMATE. Sometimes we just need to do the palm’s worth of lean protein, two handfuls of veggies, and an eyeballed amount of good carbs. That is 100% okay, and you can always go BACK into MFP and enter it later. Sometimes I snap a quick photo of what I am eating (pretending like I am going to Instagram it, duh ;)) and then I remember what I ate and can enter it after the fact.

Look, I get it, so many of us trackers want to be *perfect*... but that’s just not going to be the case every single day. This is a totally okay and FLEXIBLE thing to practice!!!! (Remember that Mindfulness project we had a few months back???)

When you are going out to dinner at a restaurant: and are stressed about what you are going to eat. I am going to tell you how much information is in My Fitness Pal. SO MANY restaurant menus are in there, but, if its not.. Don’t be afraid to look at the  restaurant menu ahead of time, and then find a comparable option within MFP. If the spot you are going to has a Half Chicken with seasonal veggies and mashed potatoes - find that same type of meal in a restaurant that IS in My Fitness Pal. It may be slightly off, but then you have the data in there to work with!

And since I am on the My Fitness Pal topic…

When you know what you potentially will be eating: go into My Fitness Pal, put the food and drinks in, and then work backwards. Meaning if its a dinner gathering: enter your estimated food in! Enter it in and then plan the REST of your day from there. Work backwards. Then you know what you can eat and you’ve successfully planned ahead - taking the *thinking* (macro tetris) out of it!!! Put the legwork in ahead of time, it’s worth it.

When you are worried about alcohol: plan for it. Or, re: my last blog post - TAKE that alchoholiday. If you are worried about people saying something about you NOT drinking, bring something that you can put in your cup (I love that seltzer and cranberry game, hold the vodka pls) and no one will know the difference. Otherwise, understand that the alcohol will yield calories, and it may mean that you will be over calories, or under on macros, depending on what you plan for.

Which leads me to my last point:

This is your journey, no one else’s.
If you want to not drink, then you are allowed to not drink.
If you want to bring your phone out and track the meal, you’re allowed to do so.
If you want to whip out your travel scale, you are also allowed to do that.
You are allowed to enjoy yourself, you are allowed to stick to your plan, and you are allowed to enjoy your summer!!!!

Author: Kelsey Kiel, Black Iron Nutrition Coach, @kelskiel