Overcoming Dieting’s Biggest Hurdle
Back in the day when I was competing as a professional bodybuilder in the Mr. Olympia competition, I would frequently diet for 12 weeks or more, nonstop.
During this prep period, I would get my bodyfat levels down to the single digits, but it was a real struggle at times.
This was especially true at night, when I would often wake up from a dead sleep with a growling stomach. Visions of food would start dancing through my head.
Normally, I could handle it just by drinking a glass of water and laying back down. But there were times where having been deprived of my favorite foods for extended periods of time, I would be tempted to binge eat.
On several occasions, I ended up in my kitchen, in the wee hours of the morning, eating whatever I could find in the fridge! Of course this was not constructive. Afterwards, I would just get mad at myself. But the truth is, I was setting myself up for failure when I deprived myself of certain foods.
You see, any time that you deprive yourself of food for extended amounts of time, you are bound to fail.
I believe that the feeling of deprivation can be one of the biggest obstacles to your dieting success.
How do you overcome the “deprivation mentality”?
It all starts in your head. Whenever we diet, many of us start to constantly think about the things we cannot eat.
What if you started focusing on all the things you CAN eat, instead of what you cannot eat?
That would get you thinking about all of the healthy variations of foods that you can actually introduce into your diet. And this would lead to your enjoying a greater variety of foods, which in turn would lessen the sense of deprivation even more.
Deprivation occurs whenever you say to yourself “I can’t eat that food!” What if you were to think about it a different way?
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What if you were to allow yourself to eat that “forbidden” food periodically? So instead of avoiding it completely, you just set boundaries for yourself.
Let’s say you love to eat red meat and currently eat it 5 days a week. Instead of cutting red meat out of your diet altogether, you simply create new boundaries that would allow you to eat meat twice a week instead of five.
That small change would create a huge change in your body over time, but you would still be able to enjoy a food that you love. Hello positive change, goodbye deprivation!
You could even take it one step further…
You could make the decision that when you eat red meat, you’ll eat
5 oz instead of 8 oz.
Even with a smaller portion, you probably wouldn’t feel any deprivation, you’d continue to enjoy a food that you love and you’d make a positive impact on your body.
You can take control of your diet; and many other things in your life, by developing an attitude of searching for alternatives, instead of depriving yourself. And this is a success mindset that can help you develop compliance and help you reach your goals.
So just remember: the next time that you’re faced with dieting or any other challenging activity, you can develop alternatives that will help you comply and still succeed, without feeling deprived.
Have a great and healthy week!
Yours in health,
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.