Yesterday we had thanksgiving dinner (canadian style). Everything is more or less the same as american thanksgiving except it happens in October.
Of course this means a big day of eating, but how big depends on your regular eating patterns.
If you’ve been following my weight loss advice you may have noticed that eating lower calories for extended periods of time get you accustomed to that calorie level.
In other words lower calories start to feel normal.
If you can get yourself to this point then any big eating day will feel bigger than it really is. In other words you can go all out and eat what feels like a lot of food but in reality you might just make it up to your calorie maintenance or just over for the day.
For me maintenance (meaning not gaining or losing weight) Is likely around 2000 on a really low movement zero exercise day and maybe 2500 calories on a higher movement day including a good workout.
Lets just use my numbers as an example:
You can actually train yourself to make 2000 calories FEEL like 3000 calories.
This is a matter of a ‘shifting baseline’…what does that mean you ask? Well read on…
Baseline Calorie Level
Your ‘baseline’ of calories is the amount you regularly eat on a daily basis. You will quickly become accustomed to your daily baseline calorie level and it will feel ‘normal’ to eat at this level most days.
If you’re baseline daily level of calories is 1300-1500 every day then 2000-2500 feels like a lot. But if you regularly eat 2000-2500 you gotta eat 3500-4000 for it to really feel like a lot.
In both cases the feeling of ‘a lot’ is similar, but the total amount of calories consumed is different, and only the second case would cause me to gain weight.
Eating low calorie every day can get tedious and is somewhat unrealistic for the long term. You’re going to want to splash in some higher calorie days…BUT the definition if ‘higher calorie’ is what can change.
Redefining “High Calorie”
If you can train yourself to perceive calorie maintenance as “high calorie” then you’re well on your way to sustainable long term weight loss/maintenance while still enjoying all the social gatherings and holiday eating events that come up throughout the year.
It’s not necessary to eat 4000 calories at thanksgiving dinner in order to enjoy it. Likewise with any other holiday, wedding, cookout or special event. Keeping your calories lower during the week and bewtween (before and after) big events like thanksgiving is what will shift your baseline lower and allow you to enjoy any big eating event without even thinking of how much you’re eating.