|It is the end of the day, and I am short on protein, what do I do?
Sometimes, our days do NOT go as planned. We measure our food out into our containers, prepare the snacks, and pack our lunch back for the day ahead. Then, something happens.
An unavoidable work lunch comes up, or we forget our food in the car. For whatever reason, the pre-portioned meals we worked so hard to prepare are out of our reach.
So instead, we adjust, we order a balanced meal and do our best to stay on track. Even if you tried your best to stay on track, you may not hit your goals as you had hoped for that day.
Your fat may be a little high, your protein may be a little low–that 40/30/30 breakdown that you tried to hard to meet is now out of reach. We often hear the question of what to do in this particular scenario.
Let’s say that your protein count is low at the end of the day. You are at 25% instead of 30%. You may be tempted to eat something additional to get to that number.
If you are significantly low on protein, you might have a protein shake to ensure you are getting enough protein to promote building lean muscle mass.
I recommend that you ask yourself this simple question:
Are you actually hungry?
While it is important to have goals, we do not want to become so focused on the numbers that we are not listening to our bodies as well. If you are eating food to meet the numbers, but you are not feeling hungry, that is also counteractive to your goals.
Instead, focus on balance. Strive for your goals, but listen to your body. If you are short at the end of the day, do not binge or eat more just to get to your numbers. Review and reflect on what you did that day, and adjust for the next day. If you are full and satisfied but you have left over carbohydrates and fat at the end of the day, instead of smothering some crackers or a rice cake in peanut butter, focus on getting your numbers in with whole foods the next day. Focus on real food, don’t let the numbers control you.