CM SEAL Team blogger Mike Ryan: Teammates, this Labor Day: Don’t Fall off the Wagon! Have you ever thought about the perfect holiday meal? Holidays are a dangerous time if you are trying to stick to a nutrition plan. Just one poor meal can erase an entire week of productive training. Let me put this into perspective. A typical Labor Day party usually consists of a bar-b-que with an assortment of appetizers and cocktails. Let's say you have a traditional meal of: 6 oz. rib eye (or cheeseburger with bun), 2 ears corn, ½ cup guacamole (8 tablespoons), 2 oz tortilla chips, salad (with unknown dressing) 3 Sam Adams beers, and one 2” brownie (or cookie).
To some of you this may seem like a lot, but over 3-4 hours it seems pretty reasonable. Having said that, you just consumed a minimum of 1,500 calories with 81 grams of fat. In just one meal! I bet most of you are saying “well I wouldn’t eat a brownie - or that much guacamole.” Yeah right. For most people, this meal would take 1.5-2.0 hours of moderate to intense exercise to burn off. This assumes that there was no net gain in your net caloric intake over the previous week. Bottom line, it’s not worth it.
Here’s a better meal. 1.5 chicken breasts, 20 grilled asparagus, ½ avocado, one whole tomato, and about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Put the oil in a flat dish and dip coat veggies first – meat last. Some of it will burn off on the grill. Salt, pepper, and season everything to taste or use Santa Maria Grill seasoning on everything! This meal only sets you back about 570 calories in an almost perfect 40:30:30 PRO, CHO, FAT ratio. Just remember, everything else you eat adds to the caloric values above – so watch out!
Here are some other tips to keep you on the right track.
Avoid all dips – the better they look and taste, the faster you should run.
Eat a moderate/large snack of high fiber veggies before you go to the party. This is key. You should plan on being almost full when you arrive.
Guzzle water – as soon as you arrive – slam 12oz of water and stay on that track every hour or so.
Avoid mixed drinks – this is a killer. Mixers can be as much as 300 calories of sugar per cocktail. Aim for wine, soda water mixers, or shots.
Chuck the buns. You can save almost 150 calories of useless carbs by chucking the white bread.
One final tip.
Plan for a brutal training session at 0600 the morning after your festivities. (When I say brutal, I mean 1 hour of "dry-heave difficult": the worst workout ever.) You have two choices – a) eat anything you want and throw up what’s left 30 min into your workout or b) eat my meal, sleep in, and blow off that workout!
Don’t quit. Stay focused. Remember, you only get one go-around. Live with Intensity.
Michael Ryan is the President and CEO of Intensity Nutrition LLC. Founded by former Navy SEALs, Intensity develops super-premium sports supplements for professional, semi-professional, tactical, and functional athletes. Intensity will launch early summer ’09 and welcomes any recommendations for product development. Mike and Alden met during “running remediation” at Basic Underwater SEAL (BUDs/s) training. Special thanks to BMC Pardue for the introduction.