In my early days of trying to get a ripped 6-pack, I would always get ton of anxiety around the holidays.
There was just so much food everywhere, and every “holiday event” involved eating.
When I went online in search of info on how to handle party situations or social eating, they all said the same shit:
- Bring your own healthy versions of popular dishes
- Don’t drink booze
- Avoid sugar
- Eat a handful of nuts before you go out to eat
Now none of this is inherently horrible advice.
(Except nuts. Fuck nuts. They do nothing but tease your stomach.)
But all these basic tips do nothing but take away from what you really want to do – eat tasty food.
No one goes to a holiday party so they can do nothing but nibble on carrot sticks and hummus while drinking sparkling water.
No one gets excited about the ass who made “Paleo sugar cookies made with zero sugar.”
You should be enjoying yourself – eating carbs until your balls fall off.
Here’s how you can realistically eat whatever you want during the holidays (or any social situation) without gaining weight and even continue to lose weight if that’s your goal.
Step #1: Only eat 1-2 meals during the day
This is the big “secret” to be able to eat out without gaining weight.
Some form of intermittent fasting should be followed.
If you only eat 1-2 meals per day and put the majority of your daily calories into those 1-2 meals, then your chances of gaining weight are small.
You get the luxury of eating all your calories in a single setting.
However, people who eat 4-6 meals per day plus snacks will go to a party with 80% of their daily calorie intake already filled up. So they’re much more likely to overeat by the end of the day.
Of course this isn’t an excuse to eat however much you want.
The probability of you overeating in 1-2 big meals are much smaller than if you ate 4-6 meals, but you still need to be mindful of how much you’re eating.
Which brings us to step #2…
Step #2: Load up on lean protein and veggies
If you eat 2000 calories per day, you could technically go to a holiday party and eat 2000 calories worth of pumpkin pie.
Problem is, 2000 calories worth of pumpkin pie is a lot of pie. It’s also not a very healthy choice.
Plus, pumpkin pie doesn’t have any protein. It’s almost exclusively carbs and fats which won’t fill you up.
I love pumpkin pie as much as the next guy but it would be smarter to eat variety of foods, particularly lean protein and veggies, if possible.
This will help fill you up on fewer calories while giving you room to eat pie later.
Step 3: The 30% Rule
70% of your meals should be lean protein, veggies, fruit, and other healthy options if possible.
And no more than 30% of your calories should consist of “unhealthy” foods.
Yes, I know it’s hard to estimate what “30%” looks like, especially if you don’t know the calorie content of the foods you’re eating.
There’s no foolproof formula here.
If anything, use the 30% Rule as more of a mental guiding image.
Which pretty much means, eat mostly healthy foods but feel free to indulge in anything else you want. Just don’t be stupid about it.
So if you ate a bunch of lean protein and veggies, then feel free to have 1-2 slices of pie plus a few cookies or whatever.
But don’t use dumbfuck logic and eat an entire pie and drink 6 beers.
In the end of the day, maybe you’ll overeat by a couple hundred calories but maybe you’ll undereat by a couple hundred.
People who use simple, common sense tend to do just fine the long run.
[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=”Nothing is perfect”]
I’m not saying every time you go out to eat, you need to make sure 70% of the food you eat is “whole” and “nutritious.”
There are going to be days where you completely throw the idea of calories and macros out the window (like Christmas day).
The goal is to minimize those days and if those days happen, it’s because they just happened naturally.
Damage Control: How to minimize damage from a day of overeating
If you do somehow binge on 5000 calories (unlikely but possible) you have 2 choices:
Choice #1 – Resume things as normal the next day
Probably not what you want to hear.
But it’ so hard to do massive damage to your physique in just one meal or even one day.
Overeating might feel like the equivalent of rolling around naked on the floors of a Walmart restroom, but I promise it’s not the end of the world.
So my recommendation is to simply resume things as normal the next day.
Don’t go crazy and do 3 hours of cardio. Don’t sit in the sauna for the whole day.
Just resume things as normal.
Chances are you will have gained a few pounds, but the majority is water weight and will disappear in a few days, assuming your diet goes back to normal.
Here’s brutal truth – If you’re fat, it’s because you have the daily habits of a fat person. It’s never due to a single event or because you just screwed up one day.
Choice #2 – Cut back calories the for the next 1-2 days even more so
I know people want the quickest possible fix to everything, so here’s choice #2 where I meet you in the middle.
No it’s not a 7-day lemon water detox.
All I want you to do is slightly reduce calories for the next 1-2 days.
This can be done by reducing your calories by an additional 25%.
So if you normally eat 2000 calories per day, you’ll eat 1500 calories the next 1-2 days to compensate for the extra calories you ate.
Summing things up
In short, if you want to go out and eat what you want, it boils down to this:
- Use some form of intermittent fasting so you get the majority of your calories in when you go out. Works best with 1 meal per day if you want to eat a lot with less restriction.
- 70% of your meal should be “healthy shit” (e.g. lean protein and veggies).
- 30% of your meal can be whatever you want.
- If you do overeat, just relax. Resume you diet as normal the following day. To minimize damage, reduce calories by an extra 25%.
- In the end, being able to got out and eat the foods you want just comes down to sensible portion control. Doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s what every motherfucker does. So stop being lazy!
What approach do you use when eating out? Let me know in the comments.
[thrive_highlight highlight=’#ffff00′ text=’dark’]For a complete step-by-step workout and diet system to build a lean and muscular body, check out my Superhero X12 course.[/thrive_highlight]