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Valentine's Day: What's Your Meal Of Choice?

Dr. Rick Kattouf II

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Valentine's Day is a great day of celebration. Couples will hit the town and enjoy a great dinner together. At the same time, many individuals express the fact that, while they want to enjoy a great dinner out at a restaurant, they don't want to ruin all of the great progress they have made on their health, fitness and nutrition journey. This can create that Ping-Pong match in the brain where one side really wants to enjoy some amazing food and beverage while the other side wants to be cognizant about their nutrition choices. 


 One common approach is to just "go for it" and consume a ton of food and beverage and then, having the mindset, "I will just work out more and eat less tomorrow." On the surface, this almost sounds reasonable. But, it is this mindset and then the follow-through with this that will create nothing shy of a train wreck. It is this mindset that leads the individual to eat a lot less the next day, because they think this will make up for the binge eating session the night before. And this is typically combined with increased workouts that day as well, thinking that this will burn off the calories from the night before. This will then simply lead to another overeating session that night as well, and then the negative cycle continues.


Let's be clear on one thing, it's perfectly fine, no matter what nutrition choice you make. If you choose to throw back a 1500 cal dinner, so be it, that's not the focus here. Rather, it's the mindset and expectations that we have based on our choices; that's the focus. We can't overeat and think we're just going to outwork it in the gym tomorrow. We simply have to understand that these overeating sessions will take at least 2-3 days to recover from, and then, we are simply back to where we started.


In addition, we do want to be aware of what we are consuming, as this can help put us in the right mindset and set us up for success. If we just simply go into to a Valentine's Day dinner blind in terms of the food and beverage we are going to consume (total volume), it's probably not going to be the best outcome. We don't want to play ostrich, put our head in the sand, and pretend that this was a much lower calorie meal than it truly was. Remember, trying to ignore how many calories are in this mega-meal is not going to eliminate or reduce how many calories there truly are.


 So, let's take a look at a very common Valentine's Day dinner one might order at a restaurant: 8 ounce filet, baked potato with butter and sour cream, vegetables, two glasses of wine. On the surface, this doesn't seem to be over-the-top, does it? That is until we dive into the details. This meal has 1130 cal and a whopping 39% fat. Again, it's perfectly fine if you choose to have a meal like this, we just have to understand, going into it, how this could negatively impact our health and fitness goals. And, as mentioned above, we don't want to go into a meal like this completely blind thinking that, "oh, it's no big deal, it's not that big of a meal."


Just by making a few slight changes to a meal like this, we can bring the numbers down to a much more reasonable level.  If we consume 6oz filet, omit the butter and sour cream and omit the wine, look what happens; we get a meal that is virtually half, 570 cal. And, we get a meal that is fairly well balanced in terms of carbohydrate-protein-fat; 50% carbohydrate, 33% protein, 17% fat.


 Bottom line is this, enjoy your Valentine's Day dinner and make whatever choice you are comfortable with. Once you make the choice, own it and accept the good, the bad and the ugly that may come from it. Once again, it all comes down to choices and consequences. We can't choose to have a 1130 cal meal and then complain the next day about how bad we feel or complain how we are just not getting the body composition results we desire.


If you do choose the 1130-calorie meal, fantastic, enjoy every bite and every sip. And then, here are the keys to success moving forward. First off, don't beat yourself up the next day for the food choices you made the day before. It's in the past, get amnesia and forget about it. Next, don't skip breakfast upon awakening the next day. I realize you ate too much the night before, but you're not going to make it up by skipping breakfast the next day. And not only will you not make it up, you will be setting yourself up for disaster. So, wake up the next day, get amnesia about the big meal the night before and start to fuel your body properly right away upon awakening and every 2.5-3.5 hours thereafter all throughout the day. Continue to fuel the body properly each day and after a few days, you will be feeling right back on track once again. And also, completely erase the mindset that you are going to work out more the next day to work this off. That's the "diet mentality" that we want to run far and fast from. Just get right back on track by fueling the body properly the next day and sticking with your normal workouts.


Dr. Rick Kattouf II

2x Best-Selling Author

Named One Of The World Fitness Elite® Trainers Of The Year


2x Best-Selling Author and Fitness & Nutrition expert Dr. Rick Kattouf has been named one of America’s PremierExperts® and one of the World Fitness Elite™ Trainers of the Year. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates around the country as well as in the USA Today, Chicago Tribune and The Independent in the UK. Rick is the CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf, Inc., CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf Nutrition LLC, Creator of TeamKattouf Nutrition Supplements, Host of Rx Nutrition, author of Forever Fit, Creator of 5-Round Fury Fitness™ workout app, 9Round Nutrition Coach Sports Nutrition Specialist, ITCA Triathlon Coach, MMA Conditioning Coach, Food Psychology Coach, Wellness and Nutrition Consultant, Sports Nutrition Consultant, Heart Rate Performance Specialist, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker.