With the Paleo Diet occupying all of my second quarter, I began the ritual of planning out my calorie budget for the next three months. That process isn’t as hard as it sounds once you’ve done it a few times. Think of it like a financial budget. You know Christmas is going to happen in December so you know that month you are going to spend a lot more than usual. Knowing that you can save up some cash to power through it. Similarly, if you know you have a vacation in July then you know you are going to have to financially prepare for that.
The same is true with your food consumption. While it sounds like a nice idea that you will always attempt to balance out your food consumption and your energy expenditure, there are going to be times when that doesn’t happen. Vacations are a prime example of cases where you are going to probably eat a bit excessively. The same is true for birthdays, special events and other such things. If you can plan on that then you can balance that out over a long period of time rather than going on some crash diet after the damage is done. Weekends for many people also fall into this category for me. I know I eat a bit more on the weekends, so I intentionally plan my daily calorie budget over that three month period of time accounting for that.
While I had three extra pounds I wanted to get off from excessive holiday consumption for the first quarter of this year, I want to maintain my weight for this quarter. While I normally eat a bit extra on the weekends, I honestly don’t know how that is going to pan out while on the Paleo Diet. A lot of my extra eating on the weekends are indulgences in desserts or candies. Alternatively it is perhaps a big dinner out where I’ll eat a huge steak and potatoes or a big plate of pasta finished off by mopping the plate clean with some bread. While I could perhaps make some Paleo treats, for the the most part these sorts of indulgences are now gone. Will I replace them with a few extra servings of maple coconut ice cream or handfuls of nuts? I honestly can’t say, but I figure i should plan for at least a little extra on the weekends.
Besides the regular weekends I know I have a few extra times where excessive calorie consumption will be occurring. There is a dinner party a friend is throwing in April that I’m already salivating at the thought of. There is a charity gala as well as the Memorial Day weekend in May. June is going to be a week of vacation where I’m sure I’ll be getting some extra eats in. Throughout that will also be my ramp up in training to get ready for the marathon ramp up that will begin mid-summer. That obviously pushes things in the other direction. So the total of all that looks like the below graph:
You can obviously see the big drops from the various special events and holidays i mentioned. As a point of reference, because I’m not planning on gaining or losing any weight the zero line is literally a calorie balance of zero over the three months. The little upticks throughout the graph are the 310 calories a day, on average, I need to be in deficit for much of the week. The smaller drops are the 500 calorie excesses I am planning on weekends. The huge drop is the 2000 calories I’m figuring I will have on the day of the dinner party, with 1000 calorie per day deficits for the gala and each day of Memorial Day weekend. The vacation I imagine will have a lot of activities and less opportunities for grazing like I’ll have on Memorial Day weekend so I’m only budgeting 500 calorie a day deficits for that period of time.
Considering that I have blown my budget a bit on the first quarter of this year and last quarter of 2013, not by much but definitely not as spot on as I like, I’m hoping I can stick with this a bit better.