Diet is king when trying to make progress in your fitness. You've heard it before and you'll hear it again until the end of time.
The problem with dieting, though, is that it often can become a roadblock for social events, especially when getting together with friends for food or drinks.
In my experience, this especially holds true when football season and tailgating rolls around.
So how do we balance the two? Below are a few tips on how to fit cheat meals into your diet without the expense of your fitness progress or your enjoyment.
- Plan around this meal (or night). If you know that you'll be going out on a Friday night, it is vital that you stick to your diet leading up to the event. My biggest recommendation here is to keep carbs and fats low. Stay away from them as much as possible and consume almost exclusively protein. When you go out to eat or out on the town, you will almost certainly be eating greasier foods or higher carb drinks. If you're able to keep carbs and fats low before your event, you won't have to worry about what you're consuming. It makes for a much more enjoyable, guilt-free night.
- Drink more water. As someone who is dedicated to their workout and diet, you should already be drinking more than the average human being. That being said, if you know ahead of time that you'll be going out, make it a point to drink a TON of water. Drinking more water will improve how you feel the next day drastically.
- Get in a good, hard workout. This goes without saying, but if you know you'll be consuming more, you should work hard to burn more calories. Add in an extra 15 minutes of cardio, take less rest time in between sets or jump in on a functional fitness class that you know will get the sweat going. At the end of the day, your body composition is going to be a product of calories in vs. calories out, so burn more calories beforehand and the next day to counteract any excessive consumption!
Cheat meals don't have to hurt your diet and in fact can help sometimes. It's healthy and necessary to let loose regularly, so enjoy yourself! If you get off track, don't sweat it too much - just sweat it off the next day.