LESSON #2: FILL MOST OF YOUR DAY WITH PROTEIN + HIGH VOLUME FOODS TO KEEP YOU SATIATED AND SAVE ROOM TO INDULGE
On previous vacations, I would treat myself for breakfast, lunch and dinner, knowing that I would only be
eating this way for a few days. On this trip, I made an effort to plate every meal around a serving of protein (the most satiating macronutrient), as many fresh vegetables as possible (high volume food - they take up a lot of space in your stomach but hold minimal calories), a serving of starchy carbohydrates before and after my workouts (such as oats, sweet potatoes, rice, etc...) and a source of healthy fat (such as EVOO, coconut oil, salad dressings, etc...). Eating this way in general has my digestive system moving, energy levels high, and workout capacity strong, so it is always the default for me.
At home, I work anywhere from 8am-8pm on any given day. Before my work day begins, I spend 60-90 minutes on heavy lifting and a few days a week I incorporate conditioning too. Because of all this exercise and constant movement with the nature of my job, I find myself eating 6x per day because I get hungry every 3-4hrs. While away, we allocated 45 mins to training most days and the intensity was around 60% of the usual effort, so naturally my appetite wasn’t as ravenous. Furthermore, we were out and about exploring all day long so I didn’t have access to food in the usual 3-4hr intervals. This took the meal frequency down to 3-4 meals per day. Naturally, this will equate to eating less calories throughout the day, which gave me room to indulge.
These two factors combined were the primary reasons why I did not gain weight while indulging in desserts and/or alcohol almost daily. Keep in mind that filling your macros with sugary treats and alcohol WILL impact your body composition if done consistently over long periods of time, even if you’re still eating the same amount of calories. It’s definitely not the way I choose to eat at home because it doesn’t fuel my brain, training, or promote recovery. Consuming a diet high in sugar depletes my energy, creates brain fog, slows down digestion and leads to muscle loss for me
However, for a short term vacation, this approach allowed me to thoroughly experience everything Bali had to offer while staying happy with my body composition.