Sticking to your diet is the hardest part to do when getting fit. I don´t think anybody would disagree to this statement. Anybody can go hard in the gym for an hour or two but the rest of the 22 hours apart from sleeping, or even when sleeping(dreaming about delicious chocolate cake) you have to avoid cheating on your diet. And when your´re on a contest prep diet the hunger can really be felt. Not just cravings but real genuine gaping “hole-i- your-stomach-hunger”. Leaving you in a cheesecake blues. But help is on the way, here are some quick tips to help you avoid cheating.

 

1.If you tell your self you can´t have it, you want it even more.

This is a known feeling, we all want something we can´t have, and if you tell your brain no YOU CAN NOT HAVE CAKE. What do you think you will instantly crave?
That´s correct. Cake. Instead of telling yourself you can’t have cake put down some rules. Tell your self, yes I can have cake but on these conditions. Choose something that usually motivates you or chores you hate doing.

If I want cake I have to first:
Nr.1  Listen to X song. (Choose a song that motivates you).
Nr. 2 Do 20 push ups in one go.
Nr 3. Run up and down a set of stairs. /go round the block.
Nr 4. Clean the bathroom/do the dishes / take out the trash.

If You still want cake after completing these task you´re allowed to have 50 gr. of cake. I promise you. Your cravings will vanish. And you won’t´really get them like you do if you tell your self YOU CANT. Mine usually goes away after listening to the song.

 


2. It´s a mind game, so play it!

More than anything sticking to your diet is a tug of war between your self discipline and your cravings and desires and input from others offering you tasty treats. Trying to persuade you to not be so strict with yourself.
To conquer your cravings you need to play it smart. It´s like a” Yo mama battle”. So stack up on some quick and painful “one-liners” to make your cravings skulk away with a wounded self esteem and not the other way around. Here are some examples. (Warning; these are the kind of thoughts that should stay in your head, do not speak them out loud crazy) Duuuh!

Evil cravings: Come on, it´s a party, everybody is eating and so should you!
Self discipline comeback: Yes it´s a party and tomorrow I´ll still be fit, while everybody else is more fat and hungry again. (Have calorie free jello instead.)

Evil cravings: Your´re hungry, listen to your body, It needs food now. Just a bite to stop the worst hunger until my next meal won´t hurt.
Self discipline comeback: Yes! Being hungry means my metabolism is working and is currently burning stored fat. Score! And I know myself well  enough to know that I can never have just one bite. It will only trigger my cravings even more. I will wait until my next meal happily aware that I have burned some of my stored fat.

Evil cravings: Life is made for living, You only live once! You have to enjoy it while you can!
Self discipline comeback: 5 min after stuffing this in your face you´re going to be miserable about failing your goal. Utter regret. And you will have wasted the last 3 days of hard work and staying on your diet just because you had a weak moment. Is it really going to be worth those 5-10 min of face stuffing? Think twice about that.

Consider which of these thoughts you are most likely ro have after three months of sticking to your diet. That might help put things in perspective.

A. Wow Im so proud of my self and what I have accomplished. I feel stronger, healthier and more fit than ever before. And Im loving what I see in the mirror. I can´t belive I have a six-pack. I feel like I can do anything now!

or

B. Crap. I so regret not eating pizza and drinking beer at 4 parties and having ice cream like 11 times. And God I wish I had eaten like 7 subs from Subway. And this lousy six-pack is just boring to look at. Never mind the extremely annoying energy I have and all these terrible goals I achieved, and all this glowing self esteem? Yuck!

 


 

 

Woman looking at ice-cream sundae.

You can practice to improve your self discipline

3. Self discipline can be taught, it´s not something you’re born with, or in total lack of

Yes, it´s true, you can train you self discipline just like riding a bike or taking gitar lessons. Saying you have no self discipline is the worst excuse ever.
They should have classes for this I think. But here´s some ideas to train your self discipline:

Test yourself.
Start small. Put something tasty in the fridge. But not an entire chocolate cake. Maybe just buy a small chocolate bar. And leave it there. It´s just going to stay in the fridge. When it has stayed there for a week without you eating it reward yourself. NOT with the chocolate, but something else, like a new T-shirt, or a visit to the hair dresser. Then you can increase the amount of tastiness you add to your fridge without eating it.

Go to dangerous places.
Visit places, stores, or cafes where you know they serve free tasty samles of food. Say no thanks. Walk by and reward yourself later with a hot bath or calorie free jello.

The ultimate test is to visit your grandmothervisitgrandmother


If you can go to you grandmother and refuse her cooking and sad eyes and her “your´re getting skinny worrying”, congratulate yourself:
your´re now a master of self discipline!

 

 


 

4. Its a long game, not quitting is the most important part.

So imagine you go outside, and when outside in the middle of the street you discover that your fly is open. What do you do? Do you go oh well, now everybody´s seen me with my fly open might as well get totally naked, and undress there in the middle of the street? No! That´s crazy! So why would you go ahead and eat an entire pizza two boxes of chocolate, a B&J galore and a couple bags of chips because you had one popsicle? It´s the same thing. If you make a mistake. Just keep going. Don´t punish your self. You will only loose your motivation. Pat your self on the back and get back on that horse. Its okay to make misstakes.

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About The Author

Ariell Rosenblad. Art director and Editor in chief Long and varied background in the field of exercise. IFBB Athlete.