Alright folks, it’s about that time of year again. Birds are chirping, sun is shining. And you have a hankerin’ for a whole mess of pancakes, drizzled with syrup and a side of bacon or some sausage links if you fancy. That’s right; Calgary Stampede 2017 is just around the corner, and as a born and raised Calgarian myself, I’m not afraid to admit the very best part. It’s the ten days of what seems to be endless Stampede Pancake Breakfasts around the city. Most of them are FREE too… what a dangerous game!

But, just like any cohort mission, there are tactics and strategy and protocols you should follow in order to successfully accomplish this great endeavour. Whether you’re just out for a “treat meal” or you are part of a workplace pancake eating challenge, these four pro tips will help you to conquer the mighty Stampede Breakfast.

  1. Do some recon – That’s right. A well planned trip around your ideal schedule and/or dietary concerns (yes there are gluten friendly and health-conscious options too! Read below!) will save you tons of time in line at hot spots, help you to avoid politician traps, help you to avoid death or death-like symptoms and may even help you scout out where the best live entertainment is to accompany your morning feast. Heck, if you plan it right you can “Pancake Hop” around two or three separate events per day to tackle many more breakfasts with ease and efficiency. Set a timer, spend enough time to savour the flavours and jump to the next one. Boom. You’re welcome. Here’s the official 2017 Stampede Breakfast Guide to help you out with your strategy.
  2. Take friends! – Not to poo poo your ambitious solo-feasters, but really, whether you’re trying to bulk up ’cause it’s “growing season” or not… maybe you’re actually trying to lose weight and these next ten days are going to be the bane of your existence… if you have a tribe of Stampeders with you, regardless of their goals this will help. Why? Well first off it’s wicked fun, right? Secondly, the folks that are interested in bulking will take care of the leftovers from those of you who might have enough sensibility to stop eating before you see the light… it’s win-win, right!? (I’ll explain more in detail below) Help each other. That’s what friends are for. And leftovers. Good friends are also for cleaning up leftovers.
  3. Stuck in a Pancake Eating Challenge? I got you! Here’s how to win – We are going to use science for this one. Satiety, or the feeling of “fullness” regarding appetite kicks in for most human beings at about the twenty minute mark of eating. That’s right, it takes your body that long to recognize there might be a problem if you do happen to overeat within that window. See where I’m going with this? For those of you who are up for the challenge, I dunno, maybe for a half day off work or something with the office buddies – try this out. Eat as much food as humanly possible within twenty minutes. I think I might have done like 6 of those monster pancakes a couple years ago, but I’m an average guy – six foot, buck eighty. I know there’s some dudes that could take me to the cleaners on that. So, go for it. That’s a pretty consistent way to put on mass outside the Stampede season too, by the way. Eat, eat a lot and eat fast as to trick your brain into how much you’ve actually eaten. Sneaky, right?
  4. Want to enjoy a “treat meal” or two, but don’t want to go off the deep end? I got you! Here’s how to win – Science again. It’s important to be mindful about your eating all the time if you’re watching your waistline. Up for the challenge? Two key habits: Eat slowly. Eat until you’re only 80% full. Why? Satiety again. By the time you feel 80% full, if you’ve eaten slowly you’ll feel satisfied. it’s super neat how that works, even while facing stacks of pancakes! Use your body to your advantage. Often times while coaching clients on their nutrition and behavioural goals I find their biggest struggle is not actually taking the time to eat and only eat. It’s always on the run, generally with no concern to the process. Slow down and enjoy your pancake. I bet you’ll surprise yourself. And I call it “treat” not “cheat” because cheating would imply this is a test. What do people do on tests? Fail them. Your nutrition is not a test. Work away at it one step at a time and know that with 90% effort, you can expect 90% results. 12% effort… see what I mean? Eat what you want but understand the outcomes.

So, as you can see there are a lot of ways you can conquer the challenges of Stampede Breakfasts. Whether your goal is to eat 3 pancakes at every single one this year or if you would rather just participate without losing the awesome progress you’ve made so far this year, I’ve got you covered. Keep in mind as I mentioned earlier, there’s also gluten friendly and health conscious options out there for “all y’all” that want to have a guilt-free ten days… one in particular Tuesday, July 12 Amber Approved Stampede Breakfast seems like a good bet for most of you leaning that way.

In any case, know that it’s only ten days and you can choose to do what you like. Enjoy life, enjoy food and enjoy the greatest show on earth. Calgary Stampede 2017 doesn’t stand a chance on your Stampede Breakfast skills now.

For more exercise and nutrition tips and tricks, or if you have questions regarding your fitness plan or maybe you’d like to inquire about our studio or remote training services, please feel free to reach out to me at schwartzm@inliv.com or leave a note below. 

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