Things that are certain in life:
Death, taxes, and fearing food.
Food is social. It’s how we connect with old friends or debrief people on our life updates. If you’re trying to eat even the slightest bit healthy, you might refuse to go out with your friends simply to stick to your “clean,” at-home meals. Or–even worse–you’ll hardly eat adventurously when on vacation.
While everything should be in moderation, everything you do should also be at 110% effort. Eating that pizza while in Italy? Vacuum it up. Eating a burger on a cheat day at your favorite place? Shovel it in.
Say you’re meeting friends for lunch. Let’s take a look at a meal you’d get at Torchy’s Tacos.
Left is Torchy’s Tacos Chicken Fajita. If you look strictly at the nutrition, it has a decent amount of protein and a high amount of fat. Is this the best thing for you? No–but overall, it isn’t too bad of a meal. Notice that there tortilla is kept in the chicken fajita. Without the tortilla, your meal here would be off-balance due to the lack of carbs, thus making you more hungry and possibly over-eat later on in the day. So don’t ask for a carb-free bowl–keep the tortilla.
Another key component in this hypothetical meal is that there is no side/ no chips and queso. Torchy’s chips and queso would add another 600ish calories to your meal if you split it evenly with a friend, and would blow out your fat for the day. I’m not saying to not get it. I’m just saying to be mindful when eating socially.
Vacation is tricky. I went on a 15-day vacation to another country and didn’t track a single meal. I didn’t want to limit myself to what I could log on myfitnesspal, because that would seriously take the fun out of traveling abroad.
Since we ate out twice every day, I had two internal rules: one meal was a salad, and one meal was whatever. Here’s an example of what I’d eat in a day:
Breakfast at home would be eggs, ham, and toast. Lunch was a salmon salad with potato and olive oil. Dinner was fish and chips/fries. Both meals were filling and both meals I ate guilt-free. That day I also had some ice cream and went to bed happy.
When I got back from vacation, I didn’t put myself on a calories restriction–I just ate as I did before and made sure to be very consistent with what I consumed for the next two weeks.
At the end of the day, balance is key. Calories are calories. Some are more nutrient dense than others, but when you’re on vacation or out with friends, enjoy yourself.
I will never forget when I overheard someone at Bovine talking about how defeated they were with themselves for eating poorly all week. Colin, passing by, said over his shoulder “Life happens. But it’s your job to get back on the wagon.” And that’s probably the best way to put it. Enjoy yourself and your food. You rightfully earned to relax every once in a while. But it’s on you to get yourself back on track.
*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!