We have all been in situations where the diet we have been so focused on gets thrown out the window due to circumstances outside our control. Whether it’s because of a work function, a family member getting sick or the car breaking down, at some point in time even the best-laid plans will get thrown out the window.
For the typical person who is not working on a specific fitness-related goal, these events can be seen in a far different manner. But for those who are focused on a goal, diet is a crucial ingredient – and that’s when these situations can become a huge sources of stress, even to the point of creating the “Screw It” effect. What’s the “Screw It” effect? When an obstacle gets in the way of our planned diet and, since we are already off plan, we decide to take it to the extreme and go way, way off plan.
You’ll obviously want to avoid reaching that point at all costs. So here are a few simple things you can do to ensure you stay on track that don’t involve living in a vacuum where nothing ever goes wrong.
STEP 1: Track Your Macros
There are countless free apps that can help you calculate your protein, carbs and fats down to the gram with the press of a button. By hitting daily targets you can enter foods that will fit your daily goals from anywhere you eat.
STEP 2: How To Choose What To Eat
Food choices come down to discipline in most cases. Just about any restaurant is going to provide options for those who want to avoid the high-calorie, diet-buster burger and fries. This may not always be the popular choice when you are eating with others, but then goals are not always easy to attain. If they were, everyone would be doing it. Just because life throws you a curveball and you are in an unfamiliar situation or don’t have your planned meal is no reason to let it throw you off.
STEP 3: Plan Ahead
One way to ensure you are not in danger of going off diet is to plan ahead and bring food with you for emergency. By carrying a few high protein snacks like beef jerky, protein bars and even almonds you will be able to remain satiated for a longer period of time. These non-perishable items are easy to store almost anywhere and keep within arm’s reach for an occasion where the unpredictable happens. These may not be the absolute best meal possible, but at times when diet is not a priority they can certainly be a huge benefit to have.
STEP 4: Look At The Big Picture
Last – and probably most important – is to understand that balance is the key to everything. If you happen to indulge a bit do to circumstance, it’s not the end of the world. Balance everything out by having the next day or two be lower calorie days. Keeping the energy balance spread over two days instead of one is perfectly acceptable. Remember that making changes takes months and years of consistency. Your best chance of success is finding a plan you are able to follow for the longest amount of time, with the least amount of willpower. So choose an approach that fits your lifestyle. There are many options available that don’t require boring, bland and repetitive foods.
Think back to the last time you were forced to deviate from your plan and what happened. Learn from that situation and apply be creative with some solutions for yourself which will allow you to move forward despite less than optimal circumstances. Fat loss is hard work but it does not have to be harder than it should be.