Today I’m going to give you some tips of how you can fit maybe a few beers and a little junk into your weekend without gaining belly fat.
Note I’ve said a ‘few’ beers and a ‘little’ junk – over indulging would be way more than that – remember guys the danger is always in the dosage.
It’s key here to know that fat gain comes from being in a calorie surplus – meaning calories taken in from both liquid and food is greater than calories expended through movement, exercise and your basal metabolic rate (the calories you expend just existing based on your age, weight, sex and height).
We live in an age where you can easily track both input and output with the likes of My Fitness Pal (liquid / food) and a FitBit / Garmin / Apple watch (output) so as long as you are focusing on creating a big enough deficit you can still enjoy a few beers and a little junk on a weekend.
Lets take an example…
I sometimes enjoy a pint of Guinness on a Saturday night. Therefore I looked up the calories in a pint of the black stuff and its exactly 210.
So lets say I have 3 pints – that’s 630 calories.
Lets say I want to enjoy my favorite chocolate bar and bag of crisps with those beers…
1 x Whole nut = 275 calories
1 x Sea Salt Kettle chips = 201 calories
In total that’s 1106 calories.
Now that 1106 not so nutritious calories and its important to know that – but I believe most of us understand that already.
However – lets look at my average activity on a Saturday.
I always start the day with a live Facebook workout, which burns around 250 cals, then take a bootcamp and then spend the rest of the day being active with my kids. My average Saturday step count is between 17500 and 20k according to my FitBit stats plus my bassal metabolic rate I’ll burn an average of 2700 calories.
2700 calories burnt
– 1106 calories of junk in
Leaves a good 1594 to play with from other food.
This is plenty of calories to allow me to still have a good breakfast and lunch consisting of real, nutritious food with plenty of protein and greens.
If I ate 1200 cals of this type of food throughout the day I could still enjoy those beers and a little junk and go to bed in a calorie deficit – why? Because I’ve focused on being active throughout the day.
Most people will indulge on a Saturday night but not move enough during the day to offset it.
I recently told a client who loves to go out for a 3 course meal and a few glasses of wine with his missus on a Saturday to not feel guilty about it – simply earn it by being active throughout the day. Even if the evening meal and wine came to 2500-3000 calories this could be off set during the day through a resistance workout and by the upping of movement (a long walk or bike ride for example with the family).
You could even go a step further and use a strategic intermittent fast if you know you are going to indulge on a Saturday night. Why not skip breakfast, have a light lunch (300 cals) stay active all day and then really enjoy your evening knowing you’ve worked for it?
The same applies to the following day – remember if you have ended the day in a surplus and ended up over indulging you can still pull it back the next day! Don’t sit in your own shit – get up, get hydrated, exercise, move and fast until the afternoon – you’ll be surprised how little food you would need if you’d overdone it the day before as your glycogen (stored carbohydrates) would be topped up.
I say this day in, day out – I’m not working with college athletes, I’m working with busy over 30s men with pressures and social lives so its unrealistic to think that 95% of you are gonna be eating out of tupperware with just chicken and broccoli all day.
Enjoy life, track your input and output, do the maths and put in place those trade offs and you can still get away with a few beers and a chocolate bar here and there boys.
Remember for optimal health it’s key to eat real, unprocessed food 90% of the time, focus on being hydrated, getting adequate protein and getting good sleep.
And if you know your maths then you can use that other 10% just like I’ve explained above!
Hope that’s gives you some value lads?