Updated: May 27, 2020
St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner! Many of my clients and AENpeeps are excited for the celebrations, but are worried about completely derailing their weight loss results in the process. But incorporating treats and treat meals can actually help you stay on track, when done properly. Today, I'm breaking down the simple three step process of how you can enjoy yourself on holidays, like St. Patrick's Day, and still work toward your weight loss goals.
Step 1: Eat A Satiating Break-Fast And Lunch
A HUGE mistake I often see people make is restricting your intake earlier in the day to "save up calories" for alcohol or treats later in the day. Although this might make mathematical sense, this strategy is actively working against your goals.
By eating small, calorie restricted meals, you're increasing your hunger levels going in to the treat meal. Increased levels of hunger cause two things to happen:
1) cravings for sugar and starches go up.
2) likelihood of over-indulging on sugars/starches goes up.
Sugars and starches cause the body to release the storing hormone insulin. Insulin shuts off lipolysis (fat burning) and turns on fat storing - both of which actively work against your goals.
Instead, by focusing on satiating meals earlier in the day before your treat meal, this helps to keep blood glucose levels stable and hunger at bay so that you're less likely to crave and overindulge in sugary foods that work against your weight loss goals. One of my favorite meals to eat to help boost satiety levels is my Chia Brekky Bowl, featured from the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle. You can grab one of the recipes for free HERE.
Step 2: Choose Dinner As Your "Treat"
When it comes to choosing your "treat" meal, I always recommend keeping this to dinner or dessert. If you start off your day with a sugar-dense treat, this will increase your cravings for sugar the rest of the day, making it more likely that you will consider the day as "lost" and continue to eat sugar-packed foods the rest of the day.
Instead, by choosing your treat as dinner, you get the opportunity to eat blood glucose stabilizing meals earlier in the day and limit the sugary foods to just one meal. This means you can cut back on 1/3 of the sugar that you might otherwise have taken in!
Step 3: Maintain AEN Nutrient Timing The Next Day
The second major mistake I often see people make is feeling the need to restrict their intake the following day. The fact is, after indulging in a treat meal, you're likely going to have slightly increased sugar cravings the next day (however, much less so if you started off with step number 1!). By restricting your intake the next day, you ramp up your hunger and sugar cravings further and make it even MORE difficult to bounce back! Instead of restricting your intake, focus on the satiating foods, like those in the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle, to help bring your sugar cravings back down. This will aim to normalize your cravings so that you can get back on track faster.