Are you having trouble staying on your diet? Try these tools to increase your consistency.
Preparing for a physique type competition can be a mentally challenging undertaking, that’s sure to test your willpower. There are a variety of factors that influence hunger, feelings of satiety and pleasure related to the food that you provide your body. I would like to draw your attention to three factors that may be the cause your your weakest moments in terms of feeling deprived from a nutritional standpoint. Understanding a bit of physiology may help you recognize trends and apply the appropriate remedy. Feelings of hunger and the desire for food may be created through the recognition of an empty stomach, or a response to combating a low blood sugar level, as well as a variety of other vitamins, minerals or micronutrients. As these nutrients fall outside of the “normal limits” required to optimally function, the body recognizes these deficiencies and can also create cravings for specific foods that your brain has recognized in the past through association. Your brain recognizes the nutrients provided within the foods you’re eating and that information is stored along with various associations of the senses such as sight, taste, smell etc. This information may be accessed the next time as vital nutrients stray from normal limits and the desire to provide the fuel to complete a reaction is achieved. Understanding this concept may help create a bit more leverage within your psychology to eat a variety of balanced food to ensure your brain has a wide variety of food sources to associate desires and correct deficiencies. Creating a well balanced long term approach to contest prep in combination with a healthy offseason may be an intelligent way to decrease the need for drastic differences between your contest diet and off season diet. This could make for a more flexible contest prep diet producing less cravings. In any case, below are a variety of tools you may find useful in decreasing or eliminating the frequency and magnitude of straying from your diet.
Strive for a variety of vegetables. Most prep diet programs don’t have many restrictions on vegetables. Be proactive and make it a goal to eat veggies in as many meals as possible. This will add nutrients to help alleviate many nutrient related cravings. Vegetables also provide fiber and volume to the stomach and digestive system. This will decrease your craving created by an empty stomach. Eating vegetables along with your meal may lower the glycemic index of the overall meal resulting from a steady blood sugar level producing less cravings. The added nutrients may could contribute to your feeling of well being by assisting in the balance of hormones or neurotransmitters affecting your mood. At times of hunger try filling up on veggies rather than cheating on an obvious bad choice.
Add a variety of fresh herbs to your meals.Similar to adding vegetables, this may help decrease craving by providing more nutrients. Many suggest that herbs such as fenugreek, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger have been shown to decrease sugar cravings.
Utilizing a few tools below may help keep you from going overboard if you are someone that tends to stray from your planned diet. All of these items may not be optimal for your prep but are a better choice than brownies, pizza, & cheese cake.
- Add fresh cut lemon or lime to ice water.
- Try a sugar free, flavored low cal no cal drink type
- Chewing gum
- Diet soda
- Coffee or tea
- Sugar free jello or pudding
- Just eat an extra serving of a protein source or a full meal with protein carbs and veggies
- Fiber drink such as Metamucil
- Drink a glass of water
- Sliced cucumbers in vinegar
- Try making a thick serving of protein powder into a pudding. Place it in the freezer and you may feel as though you’re eating ice cream.
- Pickled olives or garlic cloves
- Get creative and have some emergency protein cookies or muffins made from basic ingredients that may likely be on your diet. (oats, eggs, protein powder)
- Get your mind off it by listening to music you enjoy. Create a motivational playlist that you can listen to that empowers you.
- Save pics on your phone or computer, wallet or fridge that motivate you and inspire you to stay on the diet.
- Taking a thermogenic type supplement such as Thermo-Alert, may decrease cravings and increase your sense of well-being. The Central Nervous System stimulation may assist intensity during your weight training and cardio vascular workouts. http://alteredimagesupplements.com/
- Often times people cheat when they find themselves hungry and don’t have a ready to eat meal at hand. Avoid a convenient bad choice by preparing and pre-packing meals in tupperware containers. Set yourself up for success, failing to plan may be planning to fail. You can easily purchase tupperware through WA State Open supporter Michele Woods www.mdwoods.my.Tupperware.com
If you are interested in learning more, register for Jeremy Williams next live seminar/workshop.
6 Contest Prep Tips
Few people are accomplishing these six things that may have a dramatic impact on your condition at the next contest. Stop searching for the “Hollywood Corn Diet”. If you achieve these six keys, you are likely to improve your physique at your next competition.
1-Start with more muscle
5-Start from a better metabolic state
6-Start from a point where you are eating a larger variety of food sources and in turn a wider variety of nutrients.
1-Start with more muscle…. So many competitors are not executing an offseason regimen that is conducive to achieving this goal. Many competitors compete season after season with little or no improvement in their competition appearance. Many factors contribute to this but the one I would like to bring to your attention is the need to have a productive off season. These days, it seems as though, many people that are not dedicated in the off season. The show ends and they go back to partying on the weekends, excessive alcohol intake, erratic sleep patterns, either overtraining or undertraining, and going back to a diet that is unstructured, inconsistent and is not nutrient dense. Heads up! There is more to “offseason GAINZ BRO” than heavy lifting, calories, protein, carbs and fat. Get educated, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients play a major role in allowing your body to restore organ/gland functions and, hormone balances that you most likely negatively impacted with your contest prep diet. Learn how to remedy this common destructive pattern.
2- Start leaner – Once you come to the realization that you need to be leaner on stage for you next show, before you go out in search of a new diet coach. Consider that if you did the same thing you did last time but just started your prep from a leaner standpoint, you would end up leaner on stage, as long as you don’t kill your metabolism by excessive cardio and malnourishment. How far off was your condition? Could you just be a little more serious in the off season and maintain a lower bodyfat. Many competitors are failing to recognize a significant common factor among the majority elite competitors. The people that show up on stage in the best condition are the same people that started in the best condition. Get serious and stop getting so out of shape in the off season. Do you really believe it is healthy to put on an excessive amount of fat and water retention, with the intent and understanding that you will be eliminating it in the shortest time within your ability. I understand that this is somewhat of the basic nature of this sport, but I challenge you to consider asking yourself and searching for a healthier possibility.
3- Diet longer – Building on the last point of starting leaner. If you not only start the diet with less body fat but also begin your “contest diet” a few weeks earlier than last time, wouldn’t this give you more control over your condition. The answer is… yes, as long as you don’t kill your metabolism by too much cardio and malnourishment. If you are able to achieve the stage condition of your last contest 3-4 weeks out this time, then you’re likely to come in better this time, I would hope.
4 – Diet harder – Stop cheating on your diet! Rather than jumping to the conclusion that you are not on the best diet. Consider asking yourself….”Am I doing my best on this diet”? From my experience it is very rare to see a competitor that does not cheat on the contest diet and take a step back every so often. This is not only frustrating for the competitor but these contest prep coaches that really have few people actually following “the program” they are presented with. A majority of competitors just do a variation of the diet that is within their will power. When the show is over, if a competitor is unhappy with a placing or the condition attained, then seek out a new “prep coach” claiming that the last coaches program was not good for them in some way. The sad reality is that few people have the willpower to follow most prep plans consistently enough to make such a claim. What you wind up with is people going from coach to coach, diet to diet only doing a variation that is conducive to their lifestyle and psychology. As the years go by they are likely to gain muscle I would hope and at the time they finally win a show or come out on “top”. The coach and program that they happen to be with at that time is somehow in their mind the best. Failing to realize reason for the majority of the improvement has been the years of training and average of your consistencies. If you want to make an immediate change in your prep this time, then stop cheating on your diet or at least set out to cheat less. There are definitely underlying reasons for hunger and cravings. Understanding these causes will empower one’s ability to creating a program that is less devastating to your metabolism. That is an article in itself, for next time. Until then….suck it up and stop cheating on your diet.
5- Start from an optimized metabolic state – If you were able to start your next “contest diet” from a better metabolic state, wouldn’t that optimize your ability to retain if not build muscle during the prep. Additionally get leaner in less time and most importantly obtain a level of condition far superior to your last condition. Did your off season diet have a strategy to set you up for success from a metabolic standpoint. Are you providing the appropriate resistance and, cardiovascular training? Is your training designed to synergistically compliment the nutrients provided through your diet with a goal of optimizing your metabolism and overall health. I am taking about the speed of all cellular activity, as well as optimizing organ and gland functions and in turn hormone balances. Successfully managing this type of strategy may require a deeper level of understanding than calories, protein, fats, and carbs. Start your next contest diet from a healthier standpoint, with organ systems and glands that are functioning to the best of their ability and more likely to create hormone balences conducive to obtaining a lean muscular physique.
What is your metabolism? What contributes to your metabolism? What major factors impact your metabolism? What can you do to naturally optimize your metabolism? Seek answers and natural solutions not short cuts that impact your health negatively. Empower yourself through education not the latest fad.
6 – Start from a point where you are eating a larger variety of food sources and in turn a wider variety of nutrients. This statement builds upon “starting from a better metabolic state”. It is surely common practice for most “contest prep diets” to purposely decrease, in some variation: calories,protein, fats, or carbs as time goes on. As one purposely decreases these macronutrients, they are also decreasing what i assume is already a limited supply of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that are required for an optimally functioning organism (You). By dramatically decreasing the quantity and variety of food and nutrients you are also decreasing the efficiency of the countless balances, functions and reactions. As time goes on, the body adapts by performing various functions through less optimal variations, slowing down less vital functions. The list goes on, this scenario also creates multiple excessive by products that further tax organ systems that are already functioning less that optimal. Consider make an off season diet goal to provide your body with the widest range of nutrients from a large variety of healthy nutrient dense food. Would this aid in building more muscle in the off season and retaining less fat? If you start your contest prep diet from this place would you have a larger variety of food to switch out to lose fat as the weeks go on? Would you be less likely to cause permanent damage to organs, glands and hormone balences because you started from a healthier place?
If you are interested in learning more, register for Jeremy Williams next live seminar/workshop.