In addition to sugary Easter basket treats, Easter meals often consist of high-carb foods, such as scalloped potatoes or mac and cheese, and richly prepared meats, such as honey-glazed ham. If you’re tracking your macronutrients (macros), large meals can seem daunting, especially since most people have a tendency to overindulge.
With a little planning, you can track your macros (proteins, carbs, and fats) and take control. You can enjoy Easter brunch or dinner without worrying about ruining your diet. Flexible dieting is about sustainability. Here are some practical tips for surviving the big Easter meal while tracking your macros.
Have a clear idea of how many macros you should consume for the whole day. For example, if you’re on a ketogenic diet, you might need to intake 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs. Knowing these percentages, as well as your total calories, can help you stay on track and plan out your Easter meal.
One of the major issues with holiday meals is that it can be difficult to estimate portion sizes. WebMD has a printout that’ll help you determine proper portion sizes for a variety of foods. If you forget the information on this printout, you can use your hand as a measuring tool. For example, your fist is roughly equal to one cup, your thumb is equal to one tablespoon, and the end of your thumb is equal to one teaspoon.
A 2016 study found that using a hand to estimate portion sizes was fairly accurate when compared to using traditional household measurements. Using the information from the printout, or by using your hand, you can estimate portions, so you don’t overdo it at the next Easter meal.
According to a 2008 study, keeping a food diary can double your weight loss. Why? People tend to underestimate how much they eat. Tracking daily intake helps create an accurate picture of your overall diet.
Instead of writing out your food diary by hand, consider downloading an app like Lifesum that does all the macro tracking for you. You just enter the type and amount of food (this is where portion estimating comes in handy!) and our app will provide a breakdown of your macros.
Consider entering the food you plan to eat into the macros app before the meal. Not only will you have a clear picture of your macros, but you’ll also be more likely to stick to your plan.
Slip-ups happen. With all-or-nothing thinking, you might consider throwing your diet out the window after one overindulgent meal. Instead, simply track how much you ate and figure out the best way to get back on point, whether it’s by planning out your next few meals or hitting the gym a bit harder than usual.
Easter, or any other holiday meal, doesn’t have to be daunting if you use these tips. Tracking your macros is about making healthy, sustainable choices that help you reach your weight goals, so enjoy Easter brunch or dinner. If you do overindulge, remember that you can get back on track tomorrow.
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