The mental game?

I decided to post this in the nutrition section of this forum, because herein is where my major problem lies. I have always loved lifting weights, and training my butt off, and about a year and a half ago, I picked up proper nutrition as another passion. In that year and a half, I have made great gains, I have shed close to 70lbs. I am much happier now, but I have developed a problem that I feel many others have developed also, and that is the mental part of eating “clean”. I have found that I have a pattern of eating clean for months on end, then I will go out and in one day completely binge myself to oblivion, I am talking buffett king style. Now the hard part is the way I feel about myself after this is done, for the next couple of days, I am totally disgusted with myslef, and I dont even care to look in the mirror, I dont go purging myself through excessive exercise or under eating, I know way better than to do that, but what I do;do is completely beat myself up for a week or so until the water is gone, and I am back to a comfortable state. Any how I am writing this cause I would really like to quit this viscous cycle. I know that eating clean is the way for me to achieve the physique I desire, but I also know that the occasional cheat meal is very beneficial, and has its place in my program, but it is when that cheat meal turns into a binge is when it takes away from the beneficial aspects of it. Now like I stated earlier I know there are others who have gon ethrough this, and continue to go through this, and I would like to know for those who have overcame it, what did you do? Are there any books that I can read that will help? what methods of thinking helped you? thanks as always all replys are greatly appreciated. J

I had the same sort of problem to some extent in the past. I can only tell you what helped me.

Plan the cheat. This will allow you to build up to the meal, and accept it as part of your whole program. Yes you will still think about it at first and probably forever but I feel you wont beat yourself up over it if you plan on it and try and accept it as a part of your program.

You could even keep the “king sized buffet.” Everyones cheat is different and you have to find what works for you. I personally fit my cheat into one big thanksgiving type of meal and just have what ever I feel the need. I plan it for early on in the day. I do eat my usual meals up to the cheat and then I dont eat again until usually right befor bed. I am just not hungry and have no desire or need to consume anything befor then.

I will tell you what though the cheats kick my metabolic butt. I sweat all day like an alter boy at a church sleep over. So if you are on a long cutting cycle I feel this can help keep the metab. ramped up.

That is about all I can add. For some info that might be of some help I would suggest checking out the tdawg 2 diet and the recomendations for cheats included. Or do a search for cheat meals.

I just wanted to note that my response isnt from someone who has been naturally thin through their whole life either. I was a former fat ass that has dropped 100lbs and am now in the best shape of my life and these cheats have done nothing but help me personally. With them included I seem to have no problem with keeping my bf% in the single digits or low doubles. Just remember you must find what works best for you like any other part of your total fitness program.

< Goldberg >

You’re thinking too much.

< /Goldberg >

I’m a former fat ass also and I tend to have a binge meal every few weeks. I always have a cheat meal every week and the only time when I don’t cheat is when I’m really serious about getting lean and even that only lasts 2-3 weeks at the most. With that said, I think that is all in your head. One cheat meal or binge meal every few weeks will not destroy your physique. Most of the weight gain is water and it goes away in a few days. You have to have some fun once in a while.

If you cant look at yourself in the mirror then you got problems mentally. Even if i miss a weight that i know i should have had, i dont get that bad. I do look at myself in the mirror and then i say you fucking pussy. Normally when i eat like that i look in the mirror and say, atta boy.


The simple fact is that we are all fighting set points. The harder one pushes, the harder one’s body pushes back. What happens when I try to stay in the low single digit body fat range for anymore than one month…what happens is all out binges for three to four days straight. I am talking on the order of 10000kcal plus per day. I shit you not and I have the data to prove it. As Pooh once said, it feels like rigor mortis. I have come to realize this is the natural ebb and flow of the body. I do not allow myslef this privilege, but it happens nonetheless usually after nine months of very very precise and dialed in nutrition. I am def. an OCD prone person in all aspects of my life. Rather than fight it, I embrace it.

Patty put it best once though.

Who, here on this forum, has gotten laid simply for their six pack? Whether ripped or soft, emaciated or smooth, there is always some one that seems to think I look relatively decent. Its a comforting feeling. Go forth my good brother.

This is not the only game in life.

By the very nature of fantasy, our own fantasy of the perfect “body” is unattainable. If it were, the very concept and motivation principle of fantasy, in every sense of the aspect, would implode, as would our psyche. Its much like the serial offenders fantasy. It never ends, and it is never attained.

Cupcake, help me out with the literay scaffolding…(i.e., what philosopher was it who discussed this point in detail…it escapes me at present)


Just plan on binging every so often and think of it as important for your goal.

Realize that if you dont binge every so often you are worse off than if you do.

It’s all mental like you said, the glass is half full or half empty, make your choice.

Good stuff everyone, it really helps to see others perspective on this. Sometimes I need to be reminded of the past, and how I have done things, especially in the area of planning cheat meals, as I have never seen myself look and feel better, than after a cheat meal of decent proportions in which I didnt go out and binge completely. Goldberg, based on your comment I dont think you have ever dieted. I know you love to lift heavy, and that from what I gather is your passion, but I have done both, and I see this as way more difficult.

Why must eating clean entail deprivation of the stuff you enjoy?

Really, it is about moderation. To throw out an example, a few chips every now again doesn’t hurt anything; binging is the problem.

But I’ve never had the desire to inhale the entire bag. The fourth chip isn’t nearly as satisfying as the first, so I don’t bother with it.

And what is it you’re eating that has no healthy substitute?


See, I can’t operate like that

its either the whole box of cereal on a refeed/load

or none at all

Vain, how on earth did you eat 10k cals of real food? I can see it if you used those carb gels or anything goofy, but real food?

And also I wouldnt consider drinking maple syrup or fats either…

The more of KnightRT’s stuff I see, the smarter I think he is. The fourth chip isn’t nearly as satisfying as the first, so I don’t bother with it. Damn. That about says it all.

I have never been a fat-ass, but I do have the opposite problem: keeping weight on. Still, after a while of eating clean I tend to start getting tired of it. I don’t binge, but I do start eating stuff that I “shouldn’t”. And so the midsection starts thickening up, and I lose LBM at the same time. Sucks, huh?

But you know what? I’ve found that re-feeds - specifically Joel’s CD/EDT protocol - are amazing not only for what they can do for your physique, but what they can do for your mental attitude. So I’ve decided to incorporate a CD/EDT cycle a couple of times a year from now on. Leans me out without losing LBM, and I can eat stuff that I normally couldn’t.

The other thing that I’ve decided to do is dedicate the coming winter to what I think of as Goldberg-style training. In other words, I’m going to do Westside, make sure I get enough protein, and other than that, if I see something that I want to eat, I’m gonna eat it. That will be a HUGE break from what I’ve done in the past, and while I’m sure that my lines will suffer a bit as a result, I’ve worked myself around mentally to be okay with that.

So I guess that’s my answer: If you’re not happy with how your lifestyle is fitting in with your priorities, you might want to change them around a bit. Just a thought.

Didn’t Vic Richards claim to eat 10k a day…?

As Dorian Yates said “…you’d be on the toilet all day long…”


I am using the 10k figure as a base estimate. I can assure you that none of the calories came in liquid form. Even on a binge, there are certain things I do not do. I never drink real soda, or any sports related drinks. Thus, all food consummed is hard food.

Like I said, eb and flow. I know the bingeing is over becuase its like, okay time to dial back in. But when I go, I go, and look out.

I`m another “all-or-nothing”-guy, which I think contribute to the occasional binge. My approach is to never binge on the really bad foods, instead to annihilate a box of cereals or even a bread. If I put this post-workout I could turn out to be not too damaging.

Hey J
I think you need:
A. perspective. there are more inportant things in life. find out what they are for you.
B. exceptance. I not saying set low standards, but love yourself, no matter what.
C. learning from those experiences and what they say to you, not on a fitness level but on a personality level.

good luck bro

been there.


Right on glute, I feel you on that. I always get better mentally the further I get from my binge, and the more days of solid nutrition and great workouts I get in. I know that I need more balance and that is what I am currently seeking, this next time I stray from my diet I plan on 1. Planning it, and 2. leaving it at the table. If and when I do this will lead me into a much better direction than I have been going. I know that moderation is the key, and beleive me I want that, so that is what I am going to be seeking, but to be honest with you, if one wants results there is nothing modersate about your approach. That is it, if you want average results you can go with the mainstream, but if you want above average results you have to do more, so where is the balance there?