Fitting in a Bye-Week – 5 Tips to Fit in Splurges

Every good football team needs a bye-week to recover and recharge. Truth be told we all need bye-weeks whether it be from work, workouts, or our clean eating regimen. If you go all the time and never rest, or eat chocolate cake, you will be tempted to just quit it all.

The 80/20 Rule is one of the best rules to live by in that it promotes balance. The rule says that 80% of the time you do what you’re supposed to like exercise, eat nutrient-rich foods, watch portions, etc. Then 20% you can chill and splurge a little, or have a “bye-week”.  Maybe that is working out a little less or enjoying some of your favorite foods that maybe you should not eat all the time. The key to any bye-week, vacation, or splurge day is to not go overboard. Here are 5 tips to help you fit in splurges without busting your waistline:

  1. Party Prep: If you are going to a party, tailgate gathering or big dinner, go prepared.  Even if you plan to splurge on some of your favorite foods, don’t go to the party starving as that never results in eating success. Be sure to eat your normal meals throughout the day and ideally make the portions a little smaller to compensate for added calories later.  A snack like an apple and peanut butter or a few cheese cubes and grapes can be a great party-prepper so you don’t show up famished! 
  2. Practice Sharing: Sharing is caring – caring about your waistline that is. Eating small amounts of the higher calorie foods that you love promotes balance, but eating the whole tray of those foods likely leaves you feeling bloated and irritated. So, try sharing a big meal or your favorite dessert at a restaurant with a friend or spouse. By default, you will eat less.
  3. Burn it off in advance: If eating more calories stresses you out, then move a little more that day. Adding some extra cardio can help you burn off some of the extra calories you will eat later.
  4. Dance on the edge, don’t jump off the ship: The key with the 20% of the rule is to eat what you want, not everything you ever wanted! Some people plan a splurge meal or day and take in so many calories that they negate the good choices they made the other 6 days of the week. So, dance on the edge and enjoy some bites, but don’t jump off the ship and eat so much food that you are now in caloric surplus for the week.
  5. Let guilt go: Splurging on a high-calorie meal or dessert here and there is part of real life eating. Don’t feel guilty! Some people eat one food not on their plan and they either have a guilt parade or just decide to blow the whole day of eating and then feel terrible the next day. Allow yourself to enjoy life, holidays, vacations, and a splurge here and there.  You will feel better because of it! My birthday is this coming weekend and I plan to do just this!