Lack of Motivation

hey i’m kinda new to t-nation so i’ll give a brief intro

my name’s joe, and i’m 17 years old. I weigh about 155 lb and am 5’7" tall. I’m overweight.

i have the motivation to work out (i work out with a friend), but i lack the motivation to control my eating habits. I always tend to overeat, but if i don’t, i sometimes get hungry and then eat junk food (usually ice cream). i know this isn’t healthy eating.

i’m pretty sure that if i can clean up my eating habits, then i can get into much better shape. what have you guys done to motivate yourselves and control what u eat and when you eat? thx

also, does anyone have a copy of TC’s “The Beast Evolves” (article #256)? i liked that article but never had the time to print it, and now its gone.

other articles that i’d love to have if you have it by any chance:

#257: OVT - Optomized Volume Training
#214: Ripped, Rugged, and Dense
#173: Meltdown Training
#174: Renegade Rope Training

thx alot in advance

Hey bro,

I’ve always found that if you’re constantly craving foods you shouldn’t have you are likely eating too little at meal times OR spacing your meals too far apart. Plan (and have prepared) your meals such that you’re eating every 2-3 hours without fail. If you’re having a hard time with 3 hours try 2 and a half. If that’s too far apart try 2. Make sure those meals are giving you enough food to tide you over until your next feeding. Remember, the effectiveness isn’t at all related to how crappy you feel while on it. (I stole that quote from someone on here)

Other tricks…drink water, munch veggies, and brush your teeth. Food tastes like crap after you brush your teeth.

As for the articles, they’re all still here. You just have to look for them in the archives.

To get you started:

The Beast Evolves;jsessionid=6533F2A622BB383F8C1C28FF17365692.ba08?article=256beast2

Renegade Rope Training;jsessionid=AD938F43016EF710B1DE494B36714E34.ba08?article=174rope

Meltdown Training;jsessionid=AD938F43016EF710B1DE494B36714E34.ba08?article=173melt

Ripped, Rugged, and Dense;jsessionid=9BC9050A13803D137FBAAEBE34077FEC.ba08?article=214rip


As far as the articles try the search functionality as far as I know all the articles should still be there.

As far as the eating goes if your being tempted by unhealthy food, consider maybe that your not eating enough. Try to get in vegetables, tons and tons of vegetables. They fill you up fast at a relativly low calorie cost, eat them before your meats/fats.

Also whenever you see a piece of food that you shouldn’t eat consider this.

It’ll be there tomorrow! When you can afford to have a cheat meal you can just run out to the grocery store and buy that same ice cream/cake/whatever it is you like.

On the flip side look at the parts of your body that you’d like to improve, if you eat that piece of food those parts will be there tomorrow too!

Rememeber 1 week 1 month 1 year a decade down the line you’ll be saying “Damn I wish I could give up all that food to be in good shape now”. You’re still in your teens which means that changing your body comp is easier for you than older guys. Take advantage of it! And always remember, when you look at a piece of food just think “I can have it if I want/whenever I want. But will I really be happy when I’m done with it?”

And finally a great trick if you really can’t avoid a piece of food is to grab a fruit or a cup of coffee (or both?)

You’re definitely right, diet is the largest component to how you look, but also how you feel, especially about yourself. Its hard to get started at first, I was in your same boat, as were many others. What helped me to stay motivated was to always set goals and strive for them. I would start with one large broad goal and define several short-term goals that would help me get to where I wanted to be. I wanted to be lean and muscular, so naturally the first step I took was to take up weightlifting. I started with setting goals on strength. Record every workout and strive to do one more rep, or do 5 more pounds each consecutive workout. Of course without a diet plan, I wasn’t going to get far.

For some individuals its helpful to choose a role model, or someone you would like to look similar too, and someone who’s training methods you enjoy. Examine their diet. Once you’ve got a plan on what type of diet you want to follow, start recording your meals, and be sure to write down everything you eat and the nutritional content. Pretty soon you’ll start to see exactly what you’re consuming, and your mind may play a guilt trip on you. I’ve found that very useful. In all reality, out of sight, out of mind. If you don’t record, you’ll likely try to justify it by forgetting about it, or pretending that you never ate something on the junk food side. Determine what your purpose for training is, and write down your goals and carry them with you all the time. Each time you’re getting ready to go for that bag of Doritos, look at your list of goals again.

To ward off the overeating problem, try drinking a couple tall glasses of water before you begin eating. You won’t be able to stuff as much down the ol hole if your belly is full of water. Make sure that you eat several small meals everyday. At least 5 individual meals to start with. You’ll find that it will boost your metabolism provided you’re eating healthy. Make sure that you time your meals accordingly so that you really never get very hungry. I eat about every 2 hours on average. Once you start getting hungry, you’re out of fuel for building muscle; the more muscle you have, the more fat you’ll burn. If you’re having trouble with the amount and quantity of food you’re eating to make you full, give this a shot. Eat a good source of protein such as chicken breast or tuna for a meal, and eat a heaping portion of brocolli or grean beans. You’ll find that vegetables are fairly low in calories, provide you with an excellent source of carbs, and you can eat a great deal of them. For some people it can take up to 3 weeks to adjust to eating 5 or more meals a day. Don’t crash diet, if you have cravings for certain foods, simply ween yourself off of them by cutting down the portion, and eventually eliminating them over time. If you can, substitute what you’re craving with something else. For example, if you want chocolates or a milk shake, go eat a protein bar (beware some taste like hell) or drink a protein shake (preferrably a meal replacement like Biotest Grow or AST Nytro Pro 40). If necessary, plan small cheat meals occasionaly to keep you sane!

These tips helped my girlfriend lose more than 55 pounds and she’s still burning off fat. Just remember, it takes time, its not going to happen over night!

thx for your comments.

i have another question. i know breakfast is an important meal, but should i force myself to eat even though i don’t feel hungry?

It’s important to eat first thing in the morning(or right after cardio). I’m not hungry in the morning either; I find it’s alot easier to drink a protein shake with either Udo’s or oatmeal(you can get instant oatmeal and mix w/protein,chug it cold,it’s a chunky texture but you’ll get used to it).If you go with the Udo’s swallow a tbsp first then chase it with the protein. If you mix 'em the whole shake will taste like shit.

At 17 I wouldn’t try to cut calories too much, I’d focus on eating more protein, way more. Cut back on crappy refined carbs, eat lots of good vegetables, mad amounts of protein, lift like a mofo, and you should be set pretty quickly. When I used to crave junk-food I labeled it ‘Pussy Food’, when I ate it I was being a pussy!


haha…i like that…pussy food

i haven’t eaten any pussy food today…unless peanuts count as pussy food :smiley:

I think the single most important thing you can do to control cravings is eat frequently, no more than 4 hours between meals. NEVER let yourself get hungry. If you’re not hungry, there’s less reason for food to be on your mind. The last time I had cravings for junk was when I got careless and went ~6 hours without eating.

It also depends on whether you are craving specific foods or just more food. If you want more food, that’s easy, put on weight… I know it sounds counterinuitive, especially if you are an overweight teen, but the biggest mistake I made in my earlier training career was not eating enough and not gaining weight, because I was also a Fat Kid and wanted to get rid of that spare tire.

Well believe me, if you put on 20lbs of muscle, it will start melting away even if you don’t try, and you will be able to eat more and still get lean. At your age, if you just start training and eating like an animal and get your metabolism fired up, you should get great results.

Try to keep your diet fundamentally sound. Worry first about getting all the good stuff IN before taking the bad stuff OUT. Get your protein up, get vegetables and fiber in, supplement properly; make sure you have everything you need to be healthy. THEN think about taking out the junk. You probably want to avoid processed foods, refined carbs and sugar as much as possible, but by this time, you will probably be so full of healthy foods that there won’t be much room left for that crap anyway.

If you want a diet recommendation for something that is effective but easy and low stress, check out Dr. Squat’s Zig Zag diet.

Basically, you calculate your daily caloric requirements, and undereat slightly 5 days a week, then overeat 2 days a week. I have taken slight liberties with the formula and consider my overeating days full cheat days. Which means that I allow myself to eat crap and junk food if I want it. But what you may find is that it works like a psychological comfort zone. If I know that I am allowed to eat whatever I want on the weekend, all the junk becomes far less attractive, it’s not sexy when I know I can have it, I just have to wait a couple days… and then when the time comes, it’s like I can just eat one cookie, or one scoop of ice-cream and be satisfied, rather than feeling like I have to stuff my face while I can get away with it.

The Zig-Zag diet has been great for me, I’ve been losing fat and gaining lbm at the same time, but the results come slowly… if you want to lose fat as quickly as possible or bulk as quickly as possible, the diets on T-mag are more aggressive and probably better for that purpose, but I have found Dr. Squat’s diet to be a good formula for long-term success.

Motivation and willpower are great, and necessary to get anywhere, but if you are just making yourself miserable every minute of every day you will fail. Trust me. Misery is not sustainable. Find something that you can handle, and if it takes you twice or three times as long to get the results you would get with a stricter program, so what? You have to be in this for the long-haul anyway, and once you start getting results it will be easier to be stricter.


I agree. If your eating every 2-3 hours then it will help to reduce your cravings. Another thing you can do is choose one of the diets here a t-mag that way you have some outside rules to follow. But sit down and set out some long and short term goals. Then right out what you will have to sacrifice to obtain them. Then decide if you are really willing to pay that price.