Let's talk turkey..specifically, turkey day.
To track or not to track THAT is the question.
We want to emphasize that there is no wrong answer here—deciding what to do is more a matter of knowing yourself than knowing the macros on the menu.
So what feels better to you (a.k.a. gives you less anxiety): tracking or not tracking?
The case for tracking:
There's a lot of advice saying “relax it's one meal”.
First of all: in the history of relaxing no one has ever relaxed by being told to relax.
So that's not a thing.
And secondly if you're a person that struggles with an all or nothing mindset—going in without some awareness could end up with you going all bananas cream pie for a 4-day weekend...
...and ultimately feeling like you put a Brutus-like knife square in the middle of your own back.
So if this is you, make a game plan:
bring a dish yourself,
do some menu recon with your host
or layout a basic pre-plan of what you’re going to have.
Here are ballpark macros of likely foods you’ll run into:
🦃Turkey, dark meat with skin ((2-3 slices) F18 P65
🦃Turkey, white meat with skin (2-3 slices) F12 P65
NOTE: (subtract about 6 grams of fat for losing the skin)
🐾Stuffing (1 cup) F18 C42 P2
🥒Green bean casserole (⅓ cup) F9 C17 P3
🥔Mashed potatoes (1 cup) F9 C35 P4
🍮Gravy (¼ cup) F16 C8 P7
🍒Cranberry sauce (1 slice) F0 C22 P1
🍞Cornbread (1 3x3 piece) F5 C28 P4
🍠Sweet potatoes with marshmallows (1 heaping scoop) F9 C132 P2
🍰Pecan pie (1 slice) F27 C64 P1
🍰Pumpkin pie (1 slice) F14 C41 P6
The case for NOT tracking:
If you decide not to track, we support you!
You can still play it smart by sticking to serving up smaller portions, eat your protein first and eat plenty of it.
Taste everything but only eat what you really love! Stick to one plate!
One meal won’t wreck you physically.
Research shows that for every 1000 calories you consume above your total daily calorie burn...
the average person will only gain 1/5 of a pound..
(that's not a lot).
The scale might register higher of course because of all the factors we've mentioned before (sodium intake, undigested food in your stomach, water retention etc)...
But we're talking 1/5 - 1/2 of a pound of fat gain--
IF you really dedicated yourself to overeating.
So once again—one meal won’t wreck you physically...
but it can wreck you mentally...
IF YOU LET IT.
If one untracked meal turns into an untracked day...
and then an untracked weekend.
But even then...what is the answer?
Just get right back to it.
No matter what damage you think you've done—
we're playing the LONG game here!
Every day is a new day: so just get right back to it.
Whatever you decide to do...
Make sure to hit plenty of protein early in the day (especially if you're not a big turkey fan) and try not to go in super hungry.
Going in super hungry can lead to more indulgent choices--you can curb your appetite with a protein shake or similar so you have a clear head!
Drink plenty of water, engage in conversation and get up and walk around--it doesn’t have to be totally and completely about the food.
And most importantly of all ENJOY YOURSELF.
Like any other occasion, mentally plan for it.
Tracking isn’t just to make sure you don’t overeat, it’s also about making sure you get what you deserve!
It can be used to provide a perspective that is sometimes hard to see between the pie and potatoes.
We know that the intensity of family and traveling can be daunting--but it doesn't have to be.
and remember that this Holiday is about being grateful...
...it's about enjoying our lives and our favorite people!
Be deliberate about your choices...
decide to track or not to track...
decide to not make it a 4 day event,
decide to enjoy yourself and enjoy the Holiday!!!
Happy Thanksgiving from The Macro Challenge!!!