Yes! Tis the season for Girl Scout cookies!
But can they fit within a plan for weight loss? Or are you bound to stall out if you enjoy those caramel covered, or chocolate dipped sweet treats?
While eating an entire box of cookies probably would do more to your progress than just stall it out, there is a way to eat the cookies, AND still progress!
Granted, if your goal is to get super shredded, or bikini ready as fast as possible – you may want to skip this one. Diehard results often take diehard actions.
But if you are in it for the long haul, and want to make all foods a viable option for your diet, and STILL want to see progress, then it is possible.
Here is how:
Preface – First, are you someone who fears eating the entire box, even if you have the idea of “I will only have one”?
This is normal, especially if you are someone who has struggled with your weight for a long time, and have heard many different voices telling you that “this food is bad, and this food is good.”
Here’s the thing: no ONE food is bad, nor good. Food doesn’t carry moral value. It is food.
Eating to much of any food can be “bad” if you’re goal is fat loss. But the food itself isn’t inherently bad.
We all have those trigger foods though. The ones that no matter what, you will always eat an entire bag of, or jar of, or package of. (see tortilla chips and salsa).
IF cookies and sweets are a trigger food, then this may be harder. However, after reading the following tips, I want you to think “is this something I could do?” If not, give it time, and maybe try down the road.
1) – Figure out what your daily calorie and macro nutrient goals are, and put the number of cookies that you want into your tracker right away.
If you don’t track your food, and have no clue how much you are currently eating, this probably wont work. But if you are good at tracking (I use myftinesspal.com) or have been at your nutrition for long enough to know roughly where you are at, this will work.
To avoid going into junk food coma, figure out what 10% of your daily calories is.
To use myself as an example – right now I am maintaining my weight at 3100 calories – so 10% is 310.
This is the number of calories you get to fill with cookie deliciousness.
Figure out how many cookies you can eat and stay just under that number, and that is your DCA (or Daily Cookie Allowance)
For my experiment I choose my favorites, the Tagalongs – the chocolate covered peanut butter cookies. I can have 4 cookies and stay under 310 calories (right at 280)
Then I entered those right into MyFitnessPal.
Now, to stay under maintenance I need to keep my remaining calories under 2820. This is my “new goal” for the day.
By putting the cookies into the plan, it does a few things psychologically.
- I am PLANNING to eat the cookies. They no longer feel like a “forbidden fruit” that I am not allowed to have. I have actually found that this makes self control increase tremendously, and it feels much easier to just have the 4 that I planned on having.
- I am basing the rest of my day around having the cookies. Knowing that they will take up some carbs and fat, I can adjust the rest of my meals a little bit and still hit my numbers.
If you don’t track food, but have a good idea of portions that you eat, you can just look at the label and see the macros. I know that 26 grams of carbs is just over a half cup of rice/pasta, or 2 pieces of bread – so I can omit those from the day. I know that 18 grams of fat is roughly 3 thumb sized portions of a high fat food – so I can omit those throughout the day.
You see, it still takes a basic knowledge of nutrition and portions – but it can be done.
2) Fill in the rest of your day around the cookies as normal – keeping the rest of the day as healthy as possible.
Because you only accounted for 10% of your calories coming from cookies, this means that if you eat healthy and hit your numbers the rest of the day, you are still eating 90% of your foods from whole foods (fruits and veggies, minimally processed grains, lean proteins, healthy fats).
90/10 is a pretty damn good ratio to hit daily.
Here is what the rest of my day could look like as an example (note: I don’t enter veggies, but usually get 3-5 servings a day, but since they don’t contribute much to calories, I don’t bother)
With all that, I still have almost 600 calories to spare. Usually I factor about +15% for little things here and there, so realistically I would be looking at a total intake of about 2879 calories (about 220 calories under maintenance)
If my goal was to lose fat at a nice, steady pace, I would stop right here.
But MIKE! You get to eat 3100 calories a day, that’s not fair!
Yes, I am a 28 year old male, who lifts weights 4-5 times a week and is on my feet 10 hours a day. This is ME.
If you figure out your calorie goals (this calculator gives a decent starting number) and you only get 1800 calories a day, then so be it. Repeat the rest of the steps for YOU.
10% – 180 calories = 2 cookies a day. You can still make it work.
And that’s about it. Know that cookies aren’t bad, and once you create a healthy relationship with all foods, you can make it work out just fine.
Maybe I will put this into action when I get my cookies I ordered 🙂
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Stay healthy my friends,