Diet as a budget

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I have for a long time looked for a way to describe how I go about maintaining low fat levels and attack the entire aspect of dieting. I wanted to describe it rather briefly because apart from the reference to the blog title, I actually do find my dieting rather simple. I have gone for the most bang for the buck. Not looking to be a super shredded bodybuilder or fitness athlete, but maintain high levels of muscle mass, low levels of bodyfat, performance and last but not least aesthetics.

What struck me last night as I lay in my bed, was the fact that I treat my diet somewhat as an economy or a budget. I think a bit ahead and looks at what to come in my calendar; will any of the coming days include dinner with friends, parties, weddings or any of the like, or will it be full of training and physical activity.

To create a budget, you have to get familiar with your income and your expenses. If you use more than you earn you will be setting yourself up for debt. On the other hand if you earn more than you spend you will be building up a buffer that can be helpful when your spendings get a bit out of control.

Then how is this useful in the context of dieting. First of; the root of my plan is somewhat strict diet for 5 days a week. I eat pretty much the same meals, do somewhat the same amount of workouts. This enables me to make tiny adjustments depending on morning weight and what I see in the mirror. This part is pretty simple, it is not about weighing food, just make assumptions and judge by mirror and weight. I eat more on days with heavy training – but all of the extra calories comes post workout – up until my workout; it is pretty much just a usual day. I then “earn” my calories and eats a lot.

Then one or two days a week, which will primarily be weekends, I will eat pretty normal during the day, but at night/evening I will just eat whatever is served. If I know there is going to be a lot of food, I would probably eat a little less during the day – again to give myself a little buffer. No need to try and hold myself back from eating at night in front of a lot of delicious food – I will fail at that! But as long as I am aware of that, I can plan ahead to counteract it.

The beauty of this type of budget, is that I can even set myself in a bit of a debt and deal with the consequences the day after. Now I use fasting as a pretty stable tool in my dieting – intermittent on a daily basis – but it can be extremely useful after a night or weekend full of delicious food. Having worked up quite a debt, of too many calories, I often fast for the entire day of sunday. Or that would be from saturday night to sunday evening, where I would have a “normal” meal consisting of perhaps ⅓ of my normal days consumption. This works wonders to counteract a day or two of enjoying great food, drinks and just having fun.

Therefore; earn your calories or pay’em off the day after.  Keep a little budget in your head about how much you have earned and how much you have spend – you’ll be amazed at how easy this get’s, and how good you actually are, at guessing whether you are a little on either side of the line.

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