Do you think it is hard to adapt your diet to your lifestyle and activities? Are you scared it will impact your progress? Or maybe you’re simply not sure how to go about it?
Then this post is for you! I am all about being strict with my diet, making hard choices. BUT I believe in the 80/20 rule. If you don’t know this rule, it means (in simple terms) that 80% is what matters, and the 20% doesn’t matter. In dieting, this means that it is the majority of choices you make that matter, not the occasional piece of chocolate or glass of wine.
Of course, many people disagree with me here, I completely respect that. AND I am sure that my progress would have been better if I followed the diet completely. Buuut that’s just not how I roll. I make the choices I make in order to get a healthier, happier, and wilder life, not to stand on a stage or compete in CrossFit. IF that is your goal too, then this post is right down your alley!!
I’ve also made a video about how an active day while dieting looks for me, it’s linked below.
Table of Contents
View the day as a total
When your dieting food timing is everything, I have complete faith in that and I know it gives me results. That being said when I have highly active days, especially outdoors hiking, biking or skiing, meal timing is hard, sometimes even impossible.
Maybe I need an extra bar, an apple, piece of chocolate, raisins, or dates (yup! I love them?) and that probably doesn’t fit with my macros for that meal.
So, what I do is plan for this. I bring an extra bar, dates or whatever and I subtract that from another meal. For example my evening meal. That way the total amount I consume that day doesn’t exceed what I am allowed to even though I eat more for one meal.
Flexibility, creativity, and planning
This is what it’s all about to me.
I have to be flexible with my meals, my example above with looking at the day as a whole is a great example. A huge part of this is not shaming myself for not being 100% compliant to each meal, and understanding that this is a marathon not a sprint.
You have to be creative to make this work. If you make food on your hike, choose foods that are tasty and full of slow carbs that can keep you going for a longer time. Unless you need that quick energy shot of course ? Also, choose foods that will complement other things you eat, so you won’t exceed your daily macros. In the video below I made sure to use vegetables that give a lot of taste and crunch to the meal. That way you might not need that much fat, you can keep it leaner and save the fat for a protein bar.
When you have an active life sometimes you miscalculate how tiring some things are. Maybe your hike was steeper or longer than you thought, maybe you decided to climb that extra mountain top etc. When you get home you can be exhausted, and it is sooo easy to just grab a pizza (because your body IS craving carbs). But if you instead have prepared vegetables, a protein source, and a carb source in advance, you don’t have to make this decision.
This actually comes down to planning and willpower. There is only so much you can withstand, so make things easy for yourself and plan ahead.
If you want to learn more about willpower, we have written a great piece on how it works.
Stop blaming yourself
Okay, this one I am really really bad at, but I’m working on it, and it is to stop blaming yourself. You will, it is inevitable, exceed your macros at some point. At least if your day is super active. Speaking for myself, if I’m on a long hike, bike ride, or ski touring, I just need more energy (read FOOD) to get my butt home. It is as simple as that sometimes. So, listen to your body, and stop being mad at yourself if you exceed your macros once in a while.
I try to remember that this is a long term goal and it’s about health, so having one “bad” day won’t ruin my diet ? in all honesty, it might save it.
These are my tricks to stay on track while dieting. I really hope they help you too ?
It is not easy to always eat and be healthy, here are our 7 tips for a sustainable healthy diet.
If you want to read more about my life using the RP strength App I have a post on how a day looks like.