Episode Highlights

00:01:59 Tips and Strategies to stay on track
00:03:35 Why you need to focused around mindset
00:05:00 Look for macronutrients
00:09:22 Drinking alcohol while staying hydrated
00:15:00 Taking activated charcoal



Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for men in their forties who want to improve their health and fitness. This is episode 125, and on today’s episode we are going to be talking about going off track and as it’s coming into December and we are actually able to have a party season. I just want to talk about some of the key tips and strategies that you can take into the party season to help you navigate through and not fall off track completely. But before we get into the episode, guys, I just want to take a moment to mention the show sponsors. Athletic Greens Athletic Greens is a complex of vitamins, minerals and probiotics, and it was developed by their founder after he had some serious health issues and couldn’t find an answer for his health issues. And he’s developed athletic greens as a kind of insurance policy, really, to make sure that he’s getting all the vitamins and minerals in his diet. Now, as you know, I am a huge advocate of making sure that we get all of our vitamins and minerals from our diet, but that’s not always possible. So I personally use athletic greens as an insurance policy to ensure that I’m getting all of my daily nutrients. And for the listeners of the show, athletic greens are offering a 10 percent discount off of your first order. So if you head over to athletic greens com for slash Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, you can get 10 percent off your first order.


So it’s party season. It’s December here in the UK and I wanted to record this episode today because a lot of people that we work with tend to actually get a little bit worried about this time of the year, particularly if you’ve been very focused on improving your nutrition, improving your health up to this point, and then they’re worried about what happens when we start to go out, we start to eat a lot of food ,food that we wouldn’t normally and our daily diet, how do we manage that? And sometimes there’s even some anxiety associated with the choices and the events that you’re you’re going to attend. So I wanted to kind of cover that off in this episode, really. And I think the first thing to note is that if you have been following a very kind of planned out nutrition plan and you’ve been very consistent with your fitness, it’s OK to go off track, right? The title of the episode today, going off track, it’s OK because you’ve done the hard work and you’re not going to ruin the hard work in one evening, right? Or a couple of evenings. So the first thing is its mindset, and I talk a lot about mindset because the majority of fitness nutrition is focused around mindset and how we are with ourselves, how we deal with ourselves, how we talk to ourselves internally. So just accept that you’re going to go out, you’re going to meet friends.


We haven’t done that for 18 months or even two years, maybe. And so enjoy it. Enjoy yourself, eat the food, have the drink that you enjoy and socialize. And you know, that’s a very important part of life is the social occasions that we’re going to have this time of the year. So just set that up in your mind. That’s what you’re going to. That’s what’s going to happen. And then when we are actually preparing to go out, maybe the following day after your night out is not going to be the best time to train. So if you have a plan, if you have a schedule, have that as your rest day, have that as you rest day. Don’t feel bad that you’ve missed a training day or you’ve not followed your nutrition plan again. Just accept that that’s what it’s going to be, and that is going to be your rest day. And I think by going into it with that mindset, you’re more inclined to enjoy yourself, be not to feel so bad the day after, but then see you can get back on to your program plan, whatever it is you’re doing or following after your night out. Now some people ask me, What do you do you know on the night out? How do you manage your food choices? I would always say I will come back to the basic fundamentals of new.


And that is, you know, not to count calories, and that’s to look for macronutrients, so even when you are out, you know, you might have taken the decision, which I completely understand and respect that, you know, you’re just going to have whatever you want, right? Which is cool. But if you are concerned about, you know, staying kind of closer to your normal plan, then there are some basic fundamentals you can follow. And it’s really simple, to be honest. And the way that I approach it is you just look at your plate like you would do it any other day is you look at your plate or you look at the menu and say, Right, well, where’s my protein going to come from? Is it going to come from fish? It’s going to come from chicken red meat, you know? And in restaurants generally, you have a choice that you can make sure that you get a good portion of protein and then you might have a side of vegetables, which is where you get some fiber. And then you might have some some carbohydrates from either some bread, some breads on the table, some salads, breads on the table, or you might have that in the form of some quinoa or in pasta. So those are the three main macronutrients are your protein, which is the largest proportion which should be on your plate. And then you have your fats. And that could also come from your protein source as well if you’re having oily fish.


So salmon, mackerel, things like that are good, oily fishes and then your carbohydrates. Vegetable is a form of carbohydrate, or it’s a smaller proportion of carbohydrates, and it’s also got fiber in it, which is good for our gut. And then obviously, you’ve got carbohydrates in the form of bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, that type of thing. So it’s just as simple as that, to be honest. If you want to still be mindful of the nutrition that you’re following and making sure you’re kind of enjoying yourself, but you’re not going to off track. And then comes the topic of alcohol. Now, I personally took a decision many years ago that I was just not going to have it. I do have it occasionally, but for those that really enjoy a drink and it’s part of the social occasion again, you know, you either make the decision that you’re going to have whatever it is you want or like some people that we work with do. They said, Well, what? What’s the best of the worst, right? So you don’t want to not have alcohol, but you want to have some alcohol. And I would always go towards having spirits. And then you just stick to one spirit. It could be a white spirit or a dark spirit. Generally, stay away from beer. Beer is huge in calories, and I know we said that we’re not counting calories, but just as a guess, as a measure, as a guide, it’s highly carbonated.


Generally, beer is wheat based, right? And it’s probably not good for your gut. So I tend to stay away from beers, believe it or not. Champagne is the lowest in calories for those who want to have an extravagant alcoholic drink. But yeah, stay away from the mixed cocktails as well because they tend to have lots of different. Spirits in them, lots of different mixes and might taste nice at the time, but really all of that stuff rolling around in your gut really won’t make for a good hangover the next day. Yes. So just kind of stick to one drink, really stick to one drink. Keep it plain and simple. Enjoy yourself wines again. You know, particularly red wine is the wine that is the most that has the higher calorific content. Red wine, really, and wine in general actually really dehydrate you. So if you’re going to have wine, I would really suggest that you have a glass of water by the side, so you have a sip of wine, sip of water just to keep the body hydrated. But that’s I mean, that’s that would be my approach with alcohol. And then again, when you come onto desserts and things like that, have the dessert you want, or again, if you want to stay a little bit on program or on plan, you can either not have a dessert completely.


I don’t know. There are some desserts that are that have kind of Greek yogurt based, got a bit of fruit in them, which are the best of the worst again in terms of, you know, what to have. But desserts are desserts that they’re there to. They’re sweet, they’re full of sugar, which is which is fine when you’re out enjoying yourself in the restaurant and then, you know, as it gets towards the end of the evening, obviously, you know, sleep is a big thing. You genuinely feel like when you’ve been out for a night out, you have a real good night’s sleep. It’s generally alcohol induced and therefore the quality of sleep you think you’ve got actually isn’t because your heart rate will be highly elevated. You’ll be very restless. Your body temperature will be raised, and that will also make you restless. But look, you know, like I said at the beginning of the episode, we’re here to kind of celebrate the year, socialize and stuff like that that we haven’t done for a long time. But just just know that your sleep won’t be that great after a night out. So you can do basic things like making sure that you don’t have caffeine in a restaurant after you finished your meal. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it’s in your system for at least eight hours.


So if you have a nice big double espresso before you leave a restaurant at 10:00 11:00 at night, just know that that’s going to be rolling around your system till six o’clock the next morning. So you might wake up feeling a little bit sprightly. But I can rest assured once that starts to wear off, then your energy levels or your feeling of energy will dip. But yeah, it just kind of stay away from the caffeine after your meal. And then when you get home, if you are compos mentis, if you are able to remember and have a glass of water, have a have a couple of glasses of water that just will go to help to rehydrate the body. And then, like I said, you know, mindset, you’ve already planned what you’re going to do before you go out. You know what you’re going to do the following day. Are you going to have a rest day? And then really, it’s kind of getting back on plan. You know, it’s not a case of at this time of year, you throw everything out the window until January because that will have a dramatic impact that will make you go backwards. All you want to do is just enjoy yourself, have your nights out, maybe have one day off, maybe even have two days off of your training, but then just gradually get back onto it. You know, don’t make it this big, massive thing and and that you’ve enjoyed yourself or you ate too much or you drank too much.


And so everything has to go out the window because that’s 10 tends to be what we do as humans. Unfortunately, we go from one extreme to the other, and we think that because we’ve had an indulgent evening that that’s it, you know, it will all kind of go out the window. And in some ways there is a little bit of truth in that because again, when we have alcohol. Alcohol is a stimulant, but equally, it has negative effects in so much as once you’ve the alcohol is gone through your system for the next day or a couple of days afterwards, you can actually be in a slightly depressed state. So and that can obviously impact your kind of motivation to want to then get back training again. You feel like you have to drag yourself out. But again, if you’re aware of that, if you’re aware of what alcohol does to you afterwards. For me, definitely puts me in a real depressed state. Takes me about three days to pull myself out of it. But, you know, as long as I know that, I know that that’s going to potentially impact my motivation levels on my mindset around training. So, yeah, mindset for me is is everything. And yeah, just don’t kind of let it derail you. So some top tips really are just to basically accept you’re going to go out.


You can have a great evening and you’re either going to go completely off plan or you’re just going to stay within it if you’re going to try and stay within it. Just try and look at your plate, build your plate where your macronutrients are, so your proteins, your fats and your carbohydrates. When we’re looking at alcohol, you know, steer more towards spirits. If you’re a spirit drinker away from the highly mixed cocktails, just keep it to one measure of alcohol. Yeah, if you want to go up market, you can have champagne. And then when it comes to the sweet time, the dessert time have it if you want it. But again, just don’t expect that it’s it’s not going to have sent you completely off track. It’s not going to have ruined everything. Enjoy it. Savor the moment and then the aftermath the next day. Just know that that’s going to be your rest day and you’re going to enjoy it. You’re going to relax with a family and reminisce over the previous night, and then you’ll get back on your plan plan the next day. There is a couple of things that I do do want to raise, though, and that I was refreshing my memory on before I recorded today’s episode. And that is over the last few years, there have been these kind of hacks, hangover hacks. I guess that people have been kind of putting out on the internet, social media and all that.


And that is there’s a couple of things that I want to pull up and on. One is about taking activated charcoal. So I’ve heard this. I overheard this in conversation where people said, Oh yeah, got this cure for a hangover is taking activated charcoal. It doesn’t work. Activated charcoal will remove toxins from the body, but it won’t remove alcohol from the body. And it certainly won’t help you with the hydration. And to be honest with you, you’re probably actually make you worse. And then the other one is milk thistle, and that helps liver function. So people, I guess people might think that’s going to flush the alcohol through their liver, but unfortunately it won’t, and it doesn’t help you with hangovers. So, yeah, just stay away from those kind of fads that you see on the internet, activated charcoal and milk thistle and just do a couple of pints of water when you come in from your evening out. And that should should help with. Definitely. With with the dehydration, it won’t completely solve it. You’re not going to avoid a hangover, so you’ve just got to suck that one up, unfortunately. But yeah, I just wanted to record that this episode today, really, just to kind of give you some tips and pointers. So I really hope that helps and I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.


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