Escaping Diet Hell: The Mental Game of Weight Loss

diet discipline macros motivation Apr 09, 2021

If you've spent any time online looking for weight loss advice, you have probably visited the world of "Diet Hell":

  1.  You end up spending more time studying the differences between different diets than actually making PROGRESS on your plan.
  2. You are constantly looking for the right program or coach that you feel has the answers, but it all starts to feel like a muddled mess.
  3. And even if you DO find a popular plan or fitness instructor, there's no guarantee THAT plan will work for you. Have any of the others?

But that's not the end of it - the problem is actually worse than that!

  1. Diet Hell clouds your head - creating DOUBT in your mind about whether anything will work.
  2. And even if it DOES start to work, it probably requires you to eat "clean" foods and green shakes, even in social settings.
  3. Plus, it seems like there is no hope because it seems like as soon as you make some progress during a diet regimen, something inevitably breaks... your motivation, your willpower, or even a recurring knee injury if your diet comes with a fitness program! It's interesting how this typically occurs usually in the first few weeks of a program or the first few months, isn't it?

Perhaps worst of all, when you get stuck in Diet Hell for too long, you start to wonder if it's not these diets that are at fault, but YOUR fault - if maybe you just can't, and never will, get this right. Trust me, I've been there too, and I spent the better part of my youth trying different plans, diets, and supplements to get the lean shape I wanted. It was EXTREMELY hard and frustrating. We live in an age of mass information which, while good in some cases, is extremely confusing to find the right information.

The Solution to Diet Hell

Have you ever played the game Othello? It's called different names, such as Reversi, in different parts of the world. The game is simple in it's objective. It's a strategy game for two players in which each players gets 32 discs (one player takes the white discs, the other player takes the black discs), and the object of the game is to have the majority of your color discs on the board at the end of the game. On the box of the game it states, "A minute to learn, a lifetime to master." What a way to describe nutrition as well! The scientific concepts of weight loss are simple, but mastering it takes time. 

  1. Realize there's no such thing as the BEST "diet", in fact, you shouldn't go on a "diet" ever again!
  2. Understand that the three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) are all good and necessary for your body and overall happiness.
  3. Understand how lack of sleep, overabundant stress, and too much alcohol can undermine even the cleanest diet and the greatest workout plan.
  4. Know that there are NO magical pills, supplements, or meal plans. Stop wasting your money! 
  5. Best of all, you don't need to give up the foods that you love, but you do need to time when, what, and how you eat depending on your goals.

 I have trained numerous military members and veterans in my fitness programs over the years, helping them take back their lives and careers. During that time, I have seen how frustration, stress, and lifestyles affected my client's ability to exercise or even function correctly. In a more intimate sense, I saw how it impacted my own life.  In fact, I almost gave up on the whole personal trainer thing until I realized that nutrition was the foundation and bedrock for EVERY thing we attempt to do in our lives.

Once I realized nutrition wasn't just eating your fruits and vegetables, but is the link between stress, sleep, hormones, and hydration, it was like a breath of fresh air. I found a way to get out of Diet Hell for BOTH myself and my clients.

Your Resolve Is Key

As you begin to take the concepts above and learn true nutrition, the most important element after consuming the basics of nutrition is your resolve going forward. There is a distinct lack of motivation and discipline in most people, and this is the single greatest mental barrier to achieving your desired outcome. Most trainers talk about the physical stuff - sets, repetitions, weights, how to lift, and how to eat. What is less discussed is the mental game of training and diet - the structured mindset and system that will overcome a weak will and a weak body.

The extra hour of sleep, fast food, new tv show, or the weekend binge drinking will come calling as soon as you attempt to improve yourself and these are the things that you to start to slip on and eventually quit altogether. Only that structured system of mental game will push you through. That system is developed by you and/or your coach to guide you through either the initial barriers or the on-going ones. 

Over the next few weeks I will be speaking more on preparing yourself to mentally win and stay the course. Don't ever quit on yourself. You can gamble on yourself or bet on yourself, but don't ever quit.

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