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Mental Tips for Sticking to Goals?


#1

New to this forum. But am open minded about anyone’s advice. I’m wondering what mental triggers / tips you use to stick to your diet? I pack lunches every day and track macros. However I work as a chef and temptation always wins and I end up eating my meals and then some.


#2

[quote]gidthekid wrote:
New to this forum. But am open minded about anyone’s advice. I’m wondering what mental triggers / tips you use to stick to your diet? I pack lunches every day and track macros. However I work as a chef and temptation always wins and I end up eating my meals and then some. [/quote]

I may not be the best person to give advice here about sticking to diet, but I have some ideas I do that generally work well for me, but only for a period of time.

One issue I had was eating at night from 8pm to 10pm. I was perfect the rest of the day, pre-made meals, calories / macros counted exactly. Then, from 8-10, I ruined all of that. This compares to you, making your meals ahead of time, but being around food all day, you eat other, non planned items.

Plan to cheat. If you know you will eat 600 calories of extra stuff, then make 600 calories less. I personally do 6 meals at 600 calories / 50g protein a day, that is a cut for me (i’m a fatass and it takes 4000 calories for maintenance). for me, I would eat one less meal, or, make my meals 500 calories each. I do this, works great for a while, but for me personally, I get bored of my pre-made food and end up eating the wrong stuff at night instead.

Try that maybe, the plan to cheat method, but just keep the cheat still healthy food. My cheat was healthy, nuts, fruit, etc, it just ended up defeating the counted calories.

Another trigger for me is sitting on the upstairs couch while watching TV with the wife. I combat that by either playing video games downstairs in the theater room, watching a movie down there, or watching TV in bed. I don’t eat in those places, but I do on the couch upstairs. Point being is the couch is a trigger to mindlessly eat. For you, I’m not sure what the trigger is, but if you can identify it, then remove that from the equation. It only takes me 2 weeks of avoiding the couch to change my cravings. After 2 weeks, I can go back there and sit like normal


#3

I have come around the Charles Poliquins way of thinking on this as I get older and have done this myself longer, and seen others do it or attempt to do it, and that is:

There is no “discipline” … People’s actions mirror their priorities.

For you, eating delicious food has a higher priority in your life right now than sticking to your diet. Something needs to change for you to make those two flip and then you will have the opposite scenario (I want to eat my tasty meals, but my diet is more important to me right now). Perhaps an event will inspire this change, or a condition, or simply time. There isnt a “tip” or “trick” though

Now, there are little tips and tricks that can help those who do have their diet / lifting / physique as a priority (put trail mix in your glove compartment, weight yourself only once a week on the same day, after waking and after going pee, for example), but if your problem is that you cant stop yourself eating food there isnt a tip or trick anyone is going to be able to give to you that really does anything because this action suggests that your priority is eating, and not your physique.

Probably not what you wanted to hear, but that is what I have discovered in my decade + of doing this and observing others do it and attempt to do it.


#4

heyman that wasa great help thank you. I will try that. I used to do something similar.
If lets say i ended up having a binge. I would try and fast from then on. I stopped this though as i did not want to form a cycle of binging followed by fasting.
the cheat calories sounds like a good idea.
Maybe I can try including some of my favorite things in work into my calories


#5

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
I have come around the Charles Poliquins way of thinking on this as I get older and have done this myself longer, and seen others do it or attempt to do it, and that is:

There is no “discipline” … People’s actions mirror their priorities.

For you, eating delicious food has a higher priority in your life right now than sticking to your diet. Something needs to change for you to make those two flip and then you will have the opposite scenario (I want to eat my tasty meals, but my diet is more important to me right now). Perhaps an event will inspire this change, or a condition, or simply time. There isnt a “tip” or “trick” though

Now, there are little tips and tricks that can help those who do have their diet / lifting / physique as a priority (put trail mix in your glove compartment, weight yourself only once a week on the same day, after waking and after going pee, for example), but if your problem is that you cant stop yourself eating food there isnt a tip or trick anyone is going to be able to give to you that really does anything because this action suggests that your priority is eating, and not your physique.

Probably not what you wanted to hear, but that is what I have discovered in my decade + of doing this and observing others do it and attempt to do it.[/quote]

To expand on this already great post, I have found that my eating was always much better when I had a competition to train for versus just hanging out. Knowing there is something on the line and that people are going to witness your efforts really puts things into overdrive.

I remember the first time I cut down to 181 to set some records in the fed I competed in, I’d tell myself everytime I passed up on some pizza or other food that “this is what winning tastes like”.


#6

This thread reminded me of a conversation I had last week. This guy joined a circuit training/ lean eating type program that sounded like a lot like a crossfit style thing. The class cost about $100 per month, but in the beginning everyone puts up an additional $300. As I recall, if they lost 10 pounds in the first 6 weeks, they got the $300 back, so there was a financial penalty attached to not following through. The class coached people on lean eating, and there was some peer pressure and accountability involved. He has lost 45 pounds over the first year, BUT he said many of the people who started the program and lost weight have gained all of it back. Obviously, a lot of us relax and revert back to our old habits once we reach the goal. Everyone has been there.

Still, I do think it’s motivating to have a reward, or series of small awards attached to it, with some accountability - a couple of friends or coach - at least to help someone get started and build some healthier habits.

Then there are just basic things. If you tend to binge on something, it can’t be in your house (or you make your spouse hide it somewhere). If you get a sweet tooth after dinner, brush your teeth and do something else you enjoy instead. Or if you usually graze while you’re cooking, chew gum while you prepare food so you’re less likely to do that. If you’re going to have a treat, plan it. Measure it out, then stop.

I think meditation helps. I’m trying to do that more this year, and not just about fitness-related goals. Just focusing on what your goals are and visualizing how you feel when you achieve them, why it’s important, taking the long-view. Reminding yourself that you can be a success at it for just one day…today. Then you can do it again tomorrow. Breaking goals down into realistic, achievable steps. You should be able to set realistic daily goals that you can achieve, instead of feeling like you’re constantly failing. I think some people get really mentally beat up by constant failure. We tend to set vague or unrealistic goals, or we get too ambitious because we want to see fast, dramatic change. Unfortunately, those kinds of changes are rarely sustainable.


#7

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

To expand on this already great post, I have found that my eating was always much better when I had a competition to train for versus just hanging out. Knowing there is something on the line and that people are going to witness your efforts really puts things into overdrive.

I remember the first time I cut down to 181 to set some records in the fed I competed in, I’d tell myself everytime I passed up on some pizza or other food that “this is what winning tastes like”.

[/quote]

This is a great point, Entering a competition or giving yourself a target date can do good things for a person who is already dedicated and looking to take it to the “next level.”

There is something about the finality of the situation that allows you to push harder knowing “it will all be over soon.”

This may be a good idea for the OP, whose picture suggest he is quite serious but is having trouble being “really serious” … Which may not even be necessary or desirable unless you have something to shoot for. I know, for myself, what I have to do to get in that kind of shape is not worth doing the rest of the year to me, and I scale back considerably on the effort and time it takes.


#8

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

To expand on this already great post, I have found that my eating was always much better when I had a competition to train for versus just hanging out. Knowing there is something on the line and that people are going to witness your efforts really puts things into overdrive.

I remember the first time I cut down to 181 to set some records in the fed I competed in, I’d tell myself everytime I passed up on some pizza or other food that “this is what winning tastes like”.

[/quote]

This is a great point, Entering a competition or giving yourself a target date can do good things for a person who is already dedicated and looking to take it to the “next level.”

There is something about the finality of the situation that allows you to push harder knowing “it will all be over soon.”

This may be a good idea for the OP, whose picture suggest he is quite serious but is having trouble being “really serious” … Which may not even be necessary or desirable unless you have something to shoot for. I know, for myself, what I have to do to get in that kind of shape is not worth doing the rest of the year to me, and I scale back considerably on the effort and time it takes.[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing. If I knew that 6 weeks from now I was going to be posing for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, I would be seriously motivated. Joking there, but knowing that you were going to experience some sort of public humiliation if you didn’t meet your goal would be really motivating to most of us. I suspect knowing you have to get on a stage in posing trunks has a similar effect. :slight_smile: Knowing people would be watching any kind of competition would make me try harder.


#9

Reduce barriers, have plans to tackle non-compliance, and aim to improve rather than overhauling.

For example, in the evening I throw together a cup of steel cut oats, a cup of milk and a cup of Greek yogurt plus raisins then put it iin the fridge.

Breakfast is then zero effort when I wake up (cutting up a banana) and eat.

I always have fruit on hand so when I have a craving I go for a litre of water, if that doesn’t fix it, I go for fruit. If that doesn’t fix it, I go for a 5 minute walk. If even that doesn’t fix it, I have a bit of what I’m craving.


#10

Also, as others have mentioned, don’t beat yourself over “lack of discipline”. It’s most likely an overly onerous diet/schedule. Instead of trying to be “more disciplined” find out what’s causing your failure (eg. 3pm chocolate fixes) and just work to fix that. Small changes like that make big differences over time.


#11

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
I have come around the Charles Poliquins way of thinking on this as I get older and have done this myself longer, and seen others do it or attempt to do it, and that is:

There is no “discipline” … People’s actions mirror their priorities.

For you, eating delicious food has a higher priority in your life right now than sticking to your diet. Something needs to change for you to make those two flip and then you will have the opposite scenario (I want to eat my tasty meals, but my diet is more important to me right now). Perhaps an event will inspire this change, or a condition, or simply time. There isnt a “tip” or “trick” though
[/quote]

Great post and I couldn’t agree more.


#12

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
I have come around the Charles Poliquins way of thinking on this as I get older and have done this myself longer, and seen others do it or attempt to do it, and that is:

There is no “discipline” … People’s actions mirror their priorities.

For you, eating delicious food has a higher priority in your life right now than sticking to your diet. Something needs to change for you to make those two flip and then you will have the opposite scenario (I want to eat my tasty meals, but my diet is more important to me right now). Perhaps an event will inspire this change, or a condition, or simply time. There isnt a “tip” or “trick” though
[/quote]

Great post and I couldn’t agree more.[/quote]

Absolutely.

Either keeping your diet in check matters to you, or it doesn’t. If it matters to you, you’ll keep it in check with almost no effort.

Also agree with p3wnisher, entering a competition is a great idea as that may make eating right matter enough to you.


#13

My advise would be stop packing your lunches. Especially if you are eating your lunch and then your prepared meals later.

You love food right? Enjoy preparing and the taste of a well made meal? If that is the case, just increase your typical day energy output. Park far away from your restaurant. Go for walks at night. Do as many little things throughout the day that you can to burn off the extra energy you are getting from your chef meals compared to your packed lunches.

Track the macros of your chef prepared meals, get what you are lacking from supplementation, adjust your daily non-training energy output to combat the possible increase of total calories would be my advise. That’s what I would do if I was in your situation.


#14

I think just realizing that if your biggest challenges every day are deciding what type of food you eat and controlling how much you put into your mouth, then this should bring perspective as to how small and frugal your daily challenge really are.

Whenever I run into this, I put it into a different realization in my mind. I’m so goddamn privileged that I dwell on weight training and what I eat. For me, it really becomes easy after that and extremely manageable. All of a sudden “hard work” in the gym doesn’t hold a candle to countless others’ less fortunate lives and greater tribulations.


#15

thanks guys. I have only just joined and already your posts have been a kickstart for me.last night i stuck to my mealplan 100% for the first time in a long time,
I did want to do a show in sept.but now i have a baby coming in august.so maybe i could just do mens physique like my first plan? reason being that prep not as intence.
Anyways thanks for your tips and motivation


#16

Might not be such a bad thing… depends what youre snacking on -as long as its not sugary treats/junk then just crank up the volume of assistance work in the gym and youll get gains in strength and muscle that much faster


#17

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

To expand on this already great post, I have found that my eating was always much better when I had a competition to train for versus just hanging out. Knowing there is something on the line and that people are going to witness your efforts really puts things into overdrive.

I remember the first time I cut down to 181 to set some records in the fed I competed in, I’d tell myself everytime I passed up on some pizza or other food that “this is what winning tastes like”.

[/quote]

This is a great point, Entering a competition or giving yourself a target date can do good things for a person who is already dedicated and looking to take it to the “next level.”

There is something about the finality of the situation that allows you to push harder knowing “it will all be over soon.”

This may be a good idea for the OP, whose picture suggest he is quite serious but is having trouble being “really serious” … Which may not even be necessary or desirable unless you have something to shoot for. I know, for myself, what I have to do to get in that kind of shape is not worth doing the rest of the year to me, and I scale back considerably on the effort and time it takes.[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing. If I knew that 6 weeks from now I was going to be posing for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, I would be seriously motivated. Joking there, but knowing that you were going to experience some sort of public humiliation if you didn’t meet your goal would be really motivating to most of us. I suspect knowing you have to get on a stage in posing trunks has a similar effect. :slight_smile: Knowing people would be watching any kind of competition would make me try harder.

[/quote]

This brings to mind the Dan John Alpo diet. If you don’t hit your weight loss goals, all your friends and family gather round and get to watch you eat a can of dog food.


#18

If you have long term goals, make checkpoints every couple weeks so that you can track progress. Try to lose the all or nothing mentality. If you want to try some tasty food then try it and know you’ll have to make up for it later by being more strict on your diet or adding in more work. Strive to reach the checkpoints no matter what you end up doing.

If you want to eat more, then do more work. Don’t let it come free. Think about your goal every day and ask yourself if you’ve done what it takes to get one step closer. The little things count. If you’re okay with not meeting the checkpoints and not finding ways to improve then you probably don’t want it bad enough. It really depends on how bad you want to reach your goals.


#19

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Powerpuff wrote:

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

To expand on this already great post, I have found that my eating was always much better when I had a competition to train for versus just hanging out. Knowing there is something on the line and that people are going to witness your efforts really puts things into overdrive.

I remember the first time I cut down to 181 to set some records in the fed I competed in, I’d tell myself everytime I passed up on some pizza or other food that “this is what winning tastes like”.

[/quote]

This is a great point, Entering a competition or giving yourself a target date can do good things for a person who is already dedicated and looking to take it to the “next level.”

There is something about the finality of the situation that allows you to push harder knowing “it will all be over soon.”

This may be a good idea for the OP, whose picture suggest he is quite serious but is having trouble being “really serious” … Which may not even be necessary or desirable unless you have something to shoot for. I know, for myself, what I have to do to get in that kind of shape is not worth doing the rest of the year to me, and I scale back considerably on the effort and time it takes.[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing. If I knew that 6 weeks from now I was going to be posing for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, I would be seriously motivated. Joking there, but knowing that you were going to experience some sort of public humiliation if you didn’t meet your goal would be really motivating to most of us. I suspect knowing you have to get on a stage in posing trunks has a similar effect. :slight_smile: Knowing people would be watching any kind of competition would make me try harder.

[/quote]

This brings to mind the Dan John Alpo diet. If you don’t hit your weight loss goals, all your friends and family gather round and get to watch you eat a can of dog food.[/quote]

Oh wow. I hadn’t heard of the Alpo diet. Yuck!! Still, the idea of getting on stage in front of a crowd wearing nothing but a tiny sparkly bikini ranks a lot higher on the fear factor scale than eating dog food.


#20

cheers guys there all pretty good tips. ate an almond in work tonight and wasw like…fuck this. i dont want no almond, I want to be a ripped beast.
Xmas coming up but feeling motivated.gonna bring the food scales:)