I just finished entering all of my food for today into my calorie counter. I have established a bit of a routine for the weekdays, and I generally know what I am going to eat and how much exercise I'm going to get every day - so I enter it every morning. This way, I know where I stand. If I want that snack at 3pm, I know whether or not I have room in my calorie budget. If I don't have the room in my calorie budget, I need to look at how I can squeeze it in (i.e. what and how much exercise I will have to do to balance it) or I will have to skip it. At this point though, I know my habits. I know that I will need to munch on something when I get home from work, so I pencil it in - and I'm honest about it. I know what I like to munch on and I measure it in the morning and set it aside because otherwise I will get home from work and pig out. If I measure and set aside, I don't splurge and I know that when it's gone, I'm done.
This planning works from day to day - but it also works in the larger scheme of things. For example, I am going to Sacramento for work tomorrow. I know that I will not have much time to exercise, I have to be out the door at 7:30 to make my flight and I won't be back until late. So, unless I can pull myself out of bed at 5am and do a short Kinect Zumba workout (which I will attempt, but I know myself well enough not to count on being able to do that) - I will not get much exercise at all tomorrow. Add to that the lunch at the meeting I will be attending and the late dinner, likely from a restaurant - and I am going to have a high calorie day tomorrow.
I have known about this for a while, and I have done this trip before, so I can plan for the day. Here is what I will do / have been doing: I have had high exercise / low calorie days for the last several days because I know that Thursday will be high calorie / low exercise. As I said, I will try to wake up early to do a short Zumba session in the morning before I leave. I will have a low calorie breakfast with protein (probably whole wheat toast with a small amount of peanut butter and an orange) to help me feel full for longer, I will eat the lunch served during the course of the meeting. Lunch will be sandwiches, chips, cookies, and fruit. I will eat the sandwich and the fruit with some water. I will have a salad (probably again with some protein - chicken cesar or a greek salad with chicken) with dressing on the side and a small amount of bread for dinner and probably eat some pineapple when I get home. There. My day tomorrow. Planning around it will help me to manage what will probably end up being a higher calorie day. I'll do this kind of thing when I know I'm going to go out to eat, or be at a family event as well. It is easier than stressing myself out all day about the extra calories I know I'll be taking in.
This probably sounds a bit obsessive, but it really isn't that difficult - it sounds worse than it is, and once the habit is developed, it works really well (for me anyway). The whole planning thing probably takes a total of 15 extra minutes a day at most and it helps immensely.