Wow, it has been awhile since I have sat down to write a blog! First, I apologize, and second – I’M BACK 🙂
While I may not have been writing a lot, I have been in the trenches working with clients and can tell you there are some pretty alarming things going on in the dietary world.
It’s time to clean up the mess…
For many people, this is the time of year when they jump back on the diet bandwagon…
The kids are back at school, routines are normal again, and suddenly there is a harsh realization around the effects that all of those summer vacations (and missed workouts) had..
Unfortunately, this usually leads to even worse dietary behavior, and the beginning of cleanses, detoxes, or some other crazy fad diet that is “guaranteed” to help you lose weight in just a few short weeks….LOL!
At some point we have to realize that repeating this pattern year in and year out is actually the PROBLEM – not the SOLUTION!
Instead, this article is being written to help you identify the some of the main, but not so apparent reasons that you are resorting to such behaviors, and how to actually fix them – let’s jump in!
1. Your Diet is a “Diet”
The word “diet” in and of itself implies restriction. From a psychology standpoint, we know that anytime we restrict things in our lives, we instantly want them more. Therefore, the inherent nature of dieting is actually a setup for failure. Kinda crazy, huh?
In application, I typically see this occur cyclically in people. There are periods of “being strict”, i.e. – restricting. Then there are periods of ZFG – zero fucks given – i.e. eat anything and everything at any time.
The simple truth is that NEITHER ARE CORRECT!
I know that the common trends right now are to say that we “shouldn’t ever diet” or bla bla bla…but can we be honest for a moment? If you want to achieve fat loss, you have to actively create a calorie deficit – PERIOD! Note, I did not say that you have to adhere to dogmatic dietary principles, I simply said there must be some emphasis on ensuring a deficit.
With this in mind, the setup is critical.
You already know by now that accounting for YOU is important – but do you know how to do that?
While I review this extensively in YOUR LAST DIET EVER, below is a list of several of the things that need to consider when you are building your protocol:
1 – Your non negotiables – this may be the single most overlooked piece of dieting, but it might be the most critical.
2 – Creating the appropriate deficit/surplus – this will come from an understanding of where you currently sit in your dietary journey in combination with your lifestyle, but obviously from an efficacy standpoint, this step is paramount
3 – The ability to create consistency – If you are building an application that is not something you can see yourself adhering to long term, why are you even starting? Temporary results are what you are trying to escape, so stop implementing temporary protocols!
I believe this list could be extremely long, but for the sake of this article, that is a phenomenal starting point.
NOTE – I did not simply include macro calculations. While those are extremely important and WILL ultimately be the deciding factor in actually creating results – we must first have the ability to successfully implement a protocol before we can gauge its efficacy.
2. Your Expectations
Ahhhh, the hype is so real in the health and fitness industry! I won’t lie, sometimes the outrageous headlines on articles and products even catch my eye….then the sales copy is so good that I even consider pulling out my wallet – CRAZY!
Sadly, this is a prime example that the industry is being taken over by marketers, not real experts.
And as this is happening, the promises being made to you are becoming more and more unrealistic.
The end result is that you are now believing you can create any result you want without any work, and that the whole thing will require very little effort. The best part – it will happen overnight…or at least in a few short weeks.
WOULDN’T THAT BE NICE!
Now I’m certainly no pessimist, but the truth is that change is not always easy…and it is absolutely not something that happens very quickly.
YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THIS, AND COMMIT TO IT!
So how do we solve the problem of time?
First, you need to ensure that you are actually in a position to diet (this comes down to periodization, which I will discuss in a later article)
Second, you need to commit to the PROCESS, not the OUTCOME.
After creating over 10,000 success stories, I can confidently tell you that those individuals that define success by adherence to the process are the ones that win.
If your metrics of success purely revolve around the scale, measurements, or even visuals in the mirror – you are setting yourself up for failure.
INSTEAD, start your metrics around compliance, enjoyment, and truly building a foundation of something that can be sustained.
When you LEAD with this, then you can tighten up the other variables, and ultimately success becomes guaranteed 🙂
3. Your Definition of FAILURE
Can I keep it real? Last night I was supposed to train and didn’t – I also went and had a burrito from Chipotle and ice cream….oops!
Does this mean that my “diet” is ruined?
Perhaps I should just stop, and finish out the weekend on a pizza and junk food bender. Then I can start again on Monday.
Those statements are laughable…but let’s be honest, we have all made them before.
In fact, if you are reading this article, you might be making those statements more often than not.
LISTEN, it’s time to get real.
FAILURE only occurs when you allow it to.
Will you make mistakes? ABSOLUTELY
Will you fall off? YOU BET
But neither of those equate to FAILURE unless you allow them to.
Unfortunately, the common application of mistakes to allow them spiral into more and more mistakes, ultimately leading to a mindset of failure.
Then this turns to thoughts of needing a new “diet”
A brief success is inevitably followed by another mistake, classified as failure, and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
Once again, STOP THE MADNESS.
You are human, you will make mistakes and that is ok.
However, instead of immediately switching protocols because it’s “not working,” recognize that life will continue and you simply need to keep moving forward.
You didn’t gain all of your weight in one meal, or even week – so why the stress about having an off meal or off week now?
It’s time to recognize that “diets” in their traditional sense are broken.
Instead, start with YOU – your life, your desires, and your goals.
Then, commit to the process.
Finally, understand that progress will not be linear, mistakes will happen, and that you need to keep going.
In combination, these simple steps will take you further than any set of macros ever could 🙂