You’ve been hard and heavy on your diet. Your training is going great. Then you walk into work and see that It’s the boss’s birthday. Everyone is passing around cake. You don’t want to say, “No thank you, I’m on a diet.” After all it just puts a target on your back for the office smart ass. So one thing leads to another and we are off the proverbial wagon. Finding the proper mind set to maintain any course of action is the key to achieving one’s goals. Easier said than done, right? Hopefully the tips below can help you achieve the right mindset, and push forward.
We don’t throw in the towel for just one reason. We can’t really put the blame on others. Often times the lack of planning will make it easier to eat wrong or skip a workout. For example, you decided to cook your meals for the day in the morning, but when you got up you remembered you had an all-day event to go to and wouldn’t have time.
- Plan your week. If you don’t know what is happening on a day to day basis you can be taken by surprise.
- Cook in advance. Along with planning your week, cook in advance. Having a day or two each week to cook in quantity can save you. It’s a lot easier to not go off plan when your food is already made.
- Have a couple meals in the freezer ready to go when you screw up can be a lifesaver. Precooked chicken in the bag isn’t perfect, but it’s better than going crazy.
- Have emergency rations available. A bag with beef jerky, meal replacement drinks, or protein bars can save the day.
- If you are parent planning is even more important. As a parent remember you don’t have to make your child eat all your diet food, but likewise, you don’t need to try all of theirs either. A good middle ground would be to make some of your foods for them with some additions. For instance, if you’re eating broccoli and grilled chicken breast they can eat the same, but mix in some macaroni and cheese.
Just as in the original scenario social pressure can make us feel like an outcast. The pharse, “Eeeww, broccoli and chicken again?” just has a special way of grating on your nerves. Sometimes it may feel easier to just go with the crowd. The pressure to conform is built into most of us, but we can fight this.
- Developing a social network. Finding like-minded individuals to support you can make all the difference. Look on social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) for support and inspiration. If you take a class at a gym or see the same people at the gym try to make connections. Find a workout partner while you’re at it. Having friends and acquaintances with similar goals will keep you from feeling like an outsider and make it easier to say no to foods off you plan.
- Give it back to them. When you have people that always have to say something negative have fun with it. When they say, “Gross you’re eating that?” maybe respond by saying, “Yeah, and it’s sooo good. Come on you know you want some.” Laugh it off, we spend too much time being serious and internalizing our frustration. After all don’t they say that laughter is the best medicine?
Boredom gets us all. Nothing can be more true than when it comes to eating. Constant meals of chicken, rice and broccoli, or worse yet fish, and broccoli can make even the strongest mind snap at some point. There are ways around this.
- Alternate protein sources.
- Use a variety of seasonings or low calorie sauces. We are fortunate enough to have a dozens of different rubs, seasoning blends, and low calories sauces. One of my favorites is Red Hot sauce.
- Experiment. There are endless low calorie ways to make your food that will enhance the flavor. Apex Muscle Journal has dozens of recipes to try that will keep you on track.
Sometimes our training becomes stale. It’s always fun when we start a new program, but a few weeks in and workouts can become mundane. In addition to boredom, continuing to grind on the same movements for too long is a recipe for injury.
- Have a progressive plan for your training.
- Alter training as needed. Being too stringent can not only hinder results, but can make a plan feel too structured.
- Have set goals. For instance, set a goal for the body fat you want to lose in the next two weeks or the amount of weight you want to lift on an exercise
- Take breaks. Every so often a deload can benefit you physically and mentally. This can mean a light week of training or even a complete week off. This can reinvigorate you when you come back to the gym.
It is human nature to take the path to less resistance, but with the right mental outlook, some planning and a little support we can even the odds or even put them in our favor. The obstacle to our success is not other people. It is not the amount of hours in the day. The obstacle is ourselves. We are the arbiter of our own fate. Once we adhere to that mentality and work within those parameters we can achieve things we never knew were possible.