I recently celebrated my 38th birthday! I know, I can't believe it, either. And being on the Oaxaca coast, I couldn't think of anything I would rather do on my birthday than go eat all the delicious food here. I ate about 4,000 calories worth (this is not an exaggeration, I promise you. I tracked it.)
But, wow, it was worth it - the food here on the Oaxaca coast is some of the best I've ever tasted. I mean, the tamales melt in your mouth, the mole is super flavorful (and free of peanuts, yay!), and the meat is tender and delicious without using a ton of oil, like most cuisines do.
Whenever I have a day of eating this much food, or whenever I post stories on Instagram eating ice cream multiple times a week, I inevitably get questions about how I maintain my body composition eating like this.
And today I'm going to tell you some strategies I employ to keep (or even improve) my body composition while also giving myself the freedom to indulge and enjoy delicious food when traveling, or just in general.
My best workouts always happen after a day of eating a little (or a lot) more than usual. These extra calories help to fuel my workouts and I inevitably always tend to lift heavier those days.
Lifting heavier = building more muscle = increase in metabolic rate.
This means I’ll burn more calories at rest. I would say that’s a win-win.
So, after a day of eating a little too much, I always try to get to the gym - not to punish myself or burn off the “extra calories,” but to actually shuttle those extra calories into building muscle.
I like to look at caloric intake on a weekly basis rather than on a daily basis. Before I continue, calories do matter, but you shouldn’t even be looking at calories if you’re not already eating a very nutrient-dense diet! That’s always the first step before looking at overall caloric consumption. Ok, so back to it…
If I ate almost 4,000 calories, surely, my 5’1” frame would gain weight. However, if on average that week, I ate the amount of my maintenance calories, I would maintain my weight. So, even with a higher calorie day thrown in there, if I eat a little less than usual some of the days - which I do intuitively after eating so much, anyway - I wouldn’t gain any weight.
If you have no idea if you’re eating a nutrient-dense diet or how to determine your maintenance calories, all of this is covered in my Fat Loss 101 course.
I’ve been there, feeling guilty about having an extra cookie or eating too much at dinner, but that shame and guilt was never very helpful to me. All it did was cause me to want to stuff my face with all of the unhealthy food and continue down a very vicious cycle. So, I chalk high-calorie days up to a great time, delicious food, and beautiful memories, and then I move on.
I’m in better shape now (at 38) than I’ve ever been, and I attribute this to the above strategies, along with a strategic nutrition program and targeted exercise program. If you’d like to know if you’re making one of these 4 fat loss mistakes, download my free guide here.
Hope this was helpful!