Has this ever happen to you? You go away for a long weekend or get back from a vacation later on a Sunday, just to remember how you purged the fridge of all your food before leaving, and now you have no food, no time, no energy and no motivation to get yourself food-prepped for the upcoming week? This happens to me all the time, and did again this past weekend.
Obviously, this is not an ideal situation and could lead to a very bad week of eating if I let it. So, the question is….what should I do so that I don’t blow the whole week of eating and get too off my clean nutrition plan?
Some would say, suck it up and go to the grocery store at 8pm Sunday night and come back and make your food, dammit. However, a strict willpower-only response like that may work once or twice, but for the majority of us, that is the absolute last thing we want to do and energy it takes to force ourselves to do it, over time, will simply not endure.
Another option, and a likely one, would be to simply hit up the grocery store after work Monday, which works great and if you can squeeze it in. However, just pick up the essentials for the week instead of trying out a new gourmet clean eating recipe. At the very least, simply pick up eggs, oats, chicken breasts, frozen veggies, protein powder, some fruit, etc.
So, what about Sunday night? How to manage the situation if you can’t make it to the grocery store all week?
Here are 2 things that I do when I don’t feel like doing anything (these may surprise you):
1) Relax. Yes, I actually don’t freak out, even though my initial reaction is to be stressed that I am heading into a week with no clean eats prepped and god-only-knows what crap food I might stumble upon as a result BUT, I believe, that adding stress to the situation only makes it more inevitable that I will, in fact, eat poorly. In a sense, getting worried that I might eat poorly will, more times than not, ensure that I will eat poorly. So the first piece of this is to get my mind right. I have to let go, and TRUST that without all my usual clean eats prepped and waiting, I can still manage to do my best. And believing that I will be just fine helps me actually be just fine.
2) Mix and match convenience-style eating. One of the 5 tenet’s of Metabolic Effect is that “Fat Loss Happens Anywhere,” meaning that you can literally make the right choices to maintain your physique wherever you end up. ME has even showed you how to eat at a gas station or vending machine So if you end up having to eat on the fly all week without any prepped food, try not to stress about things like sodium (yes, there will be more salt in processed foods and take-out meals, but beggars can’t be choosers :)) and an occasional sauce or little bit of butter. Mind you, eating like this all week will probably not accelerate your fat loss, but it will at least help you to maintain and not gain.
Clean Restaurant Eats: a little butter won’t kill you
Here are some of the foods/places I use when I don’t have clean eats prepped:
Oat bran with protein powder
Oat bran with frozen berries & nuts (if I have them in the pantry)
Chipotle chicken bowl with extra chicken, extra salsa, no rice, no beans, light guac
Panera salad w/ chicken, dressing on the side, no bread, add apple
Any take-out place or even fast food place: Salad with chicken, dressing on side or sandwich, take off bread, eat insides
Canned tuna or salmon or chicken
Take-out: Repeat lunch options OR
Just get take-out from anywhere: salad with chicken or salmon, ask for no sauce plus dressing on side
You can get a grilled chicken breast (plain) with a side of broccoli from pretty much any chain-style restaurant
Again, NOT the most ideal situation and if you are really trying to make headway with your results, you simply cannot afford to eat like this every week (both physically and financially :)), but if you get caught with no food late on a Sunday, realize that not all is lost and with a little attitude adjustment and some menu perusing, you can contain the damage. Not being prepped is not an excuse to have a free-for-all. In fact, the more you practice being able to make the right food choices wherever you end up, the more successful you will be in the long-run at maintaining this lifestyle. I would argue that if you cannot eat clean without having everything bought, prepped and cooked for the week, that your efforts will be unsustainable anyway. Because there is always going to be a time when you simply don’t have things ready. So get ready for it! Now excuse me, I have to go make my protein shake. Good luck!