How to Indulge and Still Get Results

How to Indulge and Still Get Results

Alright, it's Thursday, we are approaching the weekend and the most likely time for all of us to indulge a little bit! While I can't encourage you to eat processed sugar and drink alcohol with a clear conscious - it will in no way bring you closer to your goals - I also can't ignore the fact that enjoying those things are a part of enjoying our lives!

I'm not one to go for the “stick your head in the sand and ignore it” route so, rather than teaching abstinence, I am teaching education! Here's how we can indulge, strategically, without forfeiting all the hard work we’ve put in towards our goals so far!

How to Indulge in Sugar Loaded Treats:

We already know that Carbs are necessary for our bodies to repair and refuel for workouts. We get roughly twice as many on workout days! Guess what- this is a great way to “fit” your indulgences into your macro goals for the day. So, rule number 1) indulge on workout days.

We also know that we utilize those carbs most efficiently post workout, so if you eat that muffin after your gym sesh  you'll be more likely to use that glucose for muscle repair and less likely to store it as fat. This brings us to rule 2) eat your treats post-workout.

Lastly, I'll remind you of our number one priority in regards to nutrition when it comes to fat loss: we have to keep our total calories in check. So, if you go over on your carbs for the day, just follow rule 3) try to keep your TOTAL calories on point and you won't really be doing a whole lot of damage.

Of course, if we do this too much, our overall health will suffer because eventually we are living off of a few oreos for our daily carbs instead of nutrient dense veggies and fruits. No Bueno. Try to limit your indulgences to once or twice a week. I always try to ask myself “is this really worth it?” Before I dig into that scone because ultimately, if i say yes to that I am saying no to something else.

How to Indulge in Fine Wine and Spirits: 

I know you have all heard about how much carbs and sugar are in alcohol. Well, that's only half true. Yes, alcohol contains alcohol sugars, but they aren't exactly the same as regular old glucose.

If you look at the nutrition information for a 6oz pour of wine for instance, you'll find it only has about 6-8g of carbohydrate. "6-8 grams?!? I can have a whole bottle this Friday!!"

No. You can't. That same glass also will contain between 100-150 calories. And we know that those calories count! So, rule 1) try to be reasonable, make sure you won't be way overshooting your carbs and cals if you have that glass or two of wine. My bigger concern here is the after effects. After a few glasses of wine, our priorities get just a little bit fuzzy. You might decide you've been an angel all week and deserve some pizza or ice cream or whatever else might be hiding in your pantry. Well, guess what, if you don't have the calories in the budget- you don't! Rule 2) Don't give up on all of your nutrition goals just because you already gave yourself a little wiggle room. Our brain is all about that old “give them an inch and they take a mile.” I have found that my sugar cravings are wicked the day after I've had a few drinks and ultimately that isn't usually worth it, so I'm not just talking about the drunk munchies here. There may still be consequences the day after. Experiment on yourself a bit and pay attention to how you feel with different types of alcohol and in what quantities.

Trust your body to tell you what it really wants. If you can have a glass of wine with no problem and find it's easy to adjust your food intake without feeling hungry or exhausted then go for it. If you get a headache and binge on a pint of ice cream, maybe it wasn't the right choice for you.

Try to remember that macros are not the end all be all and just because you can “fit” the extra calories into your day doesn't mean it's the healthiest choice. Rule 3) Don't starve yourself all day and restrict real nutritious food to make room for an abundance of empty calories later on. Rule 4) is all about temperance. If you suffer from cravings the next day, do your best not to give in. Just get back on track, and forgive yourself for any missteps you might have had the night before.

In conclusion, I want you to enjoy your life and still reach your goals and I believe this is totally possible! I live my life this way and it allows me to indulge, within reason, so that I'm not feeling guilty and fluffy on Monday mornings. You can indulge in a way that still helps you work towards your goals, or at the very least doesn't set you back. This is the way to quite literally have your cake and eat it too!

PS: I love baked goods. I don't do super well with gluten and try to keep that limited but I indulge in some sort of sugary goodness that I deem as “super worth it” post-workout every Saturday! I'd love to see what’s “super worth it” to you! Post a picture of your #superworthit and tag me @ashleybrownpilates so I can decide what I should have as my next sweet treat!

NutritionAshley Brown