I've said it before and I'll said again. I'm a big fan of keeping things simple. Whether it be equipment for training, methodologies for programming or tips for staying the course with your nutritional plan the simpler the better. If you can picture someone you know who exemplifies health most likely they apply this strategy with to their own training and eating plan. In terms of the nutritional side of things here are two quick analogies to help keep you on track this weekend and beyond when it comes to your meal planning.
Your caloric budget - The three words used for this analogy all have a specific purpose. The first word 'your' means it is unique to you. I didn't say 'The caloric budget' or 'A caloric budget'. It has a specific and personal identifier; your. The second word 'caloric' means this has to do with energy. No mention of what type, how much or any other descriptor. And lastly we have the term 'budget'. Another way of thinking of a budget is like an allowance.
If we substitute two of the words the title becomes 'Your energy allowance'. As kids we may or may not have received an allowance but we sure as heck knew what an allowance was. If your friends were going to the movies and you hadn't earned your allowance you had to find an alternate strategy or you couldn't go. Simple as that. As adults we having income from our jobs and expenses for our day to day life. If we want to take a cruise, buy an new sports car or indulge in some other way we should take a look if this fits in our budget. If it doesn't we opt out or find another strategy.
Use this same analogy with your nutritional plan. First of all we need to know what is within our nutritional means and what isn't. If we don't know this then we are going to blow our budget for sure. Secondly we need to remember no two people have the same caloric budget. Michael Phelps may consume over 12,000 calories a day but his budget and mine are vastly different and therefore I cannot afford this nutritional investment. However if I know I am going to be in a situation where I may blow the budget or be tempted to I can prepare ahead of time by getting in an extra workout or adjusting my meals accordingly.
Fill 'er up - The second analogy has to with fueling your car. You will probably have more than one car over the course of your life however you will have only one body. Usually the more special the car the more care we put into it as well. We use higher octane fuel, better oil, more frequent servicing, rotate the tires and take it in for detailing. Whatever value we place on a vehicle we should place that much and then some into maintaining our bodies.
Lastly, regarding fueling your car we know to do this when the needle nears empty. If the tank is full and we go away for 3 weeks we don't come and go fill up the car. We replace the fuel as it used. Consider the starches we eat similar to the gas we put in the car. Starches include cereals, breads, pastas, rices and grains. If we have burned some fuel we can replace it with starch (and other nutrients as well). If we haven't burned any fuel then we can rely on protein, vegetables, fruit and water for our nutritional intake. I'm not dismissing the importance of omega-3, fibre and other essential nutrients I'm just keeping it simple here.
There you have it. A couple of quick analogies based upon budgets and cars. When you are about to indulge ask yourself if you can afford this treat and secondly when you want to have some fuel (starch) ask yourself if you've taken the car (yourself) out of the garage and burned some fuel (done something physical and strenuous)? Remembering these two quick tips will help you stay the course, realize your goal and have an abundant life.
Have a great weekend.
ps...sprints 8 AM Sat Apple Bowl...all welcome