Before we get started, remember a relationship is a sacred commitment which must be honored and respected so, STOP STARING AT THAT DONUT!!!
Here you are dieting for personal goals, or stage gold, temptation looms all around you! Switching from chicken, fish, chicken, fish- is enough to make anyone go crazy, but why put yourself through this torture? Simple of course, it’s for you! Dieting should NEVER be for anyone but YOU!
The first few weeks or days (for some) can be the easiest, but everyone eventually crosses path with their weakness. Now remember, that weakness is probably why your making such a bold change to compete in the first place.
Nutritionally speaking, the common person consumes 75% of their daily calories from food which aren’t nutritionally dense. Meaning the donuts or occasional cookies you don’t think twice about, aren’t going to help with your workout and will probably add an undesired inch or so around your waist or have detrimental effects on your health down the line. So again, why are you doing this? For you of course! Everyone has goals, yet those who set limits often sell themselves short. Still I don’t think anyone is okay with mediocrity.
Contest prep often shows your relationship with food like reassessing a childhood trauma. Whether it be stress eating or the ‘see food diet’, everyone has a weakness. It’s in my belief if you can understand those weaknesses and make better choices!
Rules of Contest Prep
The first rule and possibly the most important. Trust YOUR COACH! If you have a coach, always consult with your coach and be honest. Your coach will have your best interest in mind and should have the eye to notice when and how to restrict a cheat to keep you on track with you going over the edge.
2. Don’t pay attention to SOCIAL MEDIA! Of course, there’s plenty of coaches out there, plenty of fitness personalities that push the point of unhinged cheating, but they aren’t you! The stack of pancakes and philly cheese steaks THEY indulge in doesn’t exactly mean you need to do the same. A small serving of spaghetti might be all you really need- with your coaches blessing of course!
3. Only person getting on stage, is YOU! Probably one of the harder things to understand. With all the compliments from friends, family and strangers telling you look so good, you can afford to cheat a little, don’t mean squat! Leaving no stone unturned means no stone unturned. At the end of the night you’ll be the one on stage representing what should be the best of you! The countless workouts and cardio sessions are all meant for you to reap the rewards so keep your eye on the prize.
Now that the easy part is over, let’s get to the barbeque sauce drenched meat of things. These tips can improve your relationship with food and keep you in check!
Cheating Guilt Free
Plan your cheat! Down to the day and time! “If you fail to prepare, you’re preparing to fail!” Enjoying a cheat on the fly often leads to a horrendous downward spiral of regret and gluttony! Oh, the shame! Cheating is something you should look forward to.
Ensure it is calorie dense so it’ll leave you content. It shouldn’t be about stuffing your face until you fall into a food coma, but to reset your brain from the mundane routine. More importantly jump start your metabolism. Every blade must be sharpened after cutting away too long. A bump in your daily calories will give you more fuel for the next day(s) and give you some semblance of sanity.
Add a little green stuff in there! A light salad or side of veggies eaten before your cheat meal will keep you from going overboard and ensure the naughty food leaves in a timely fashion.
Cheat on or before doomsday. Now this is a case by case basis, depending on your metabolism, cheats should occur around heavy training days in my opinion. A slower metabolism, I’d recommend having a cheat the day before and the faster on the day of. That way you can shuttle those extra calories and put them to use.
Finally, pay attention to your body! The same way you pay attention to how your physique is leaning out, take note of the physical responses to specific foods/meals. This goes for cheats along with regular meals. Any abrupt and long lasted bloating should be noted, sluggish behavior, feeling of nausea etc. Probably means it’s a no-go! Generally, you should have for more energy after a cheat, and even look better!
What’s more important to take away from this article, is understanding the importance of balance. Whether you’re dieting or not, the ‘NEED’ of certain foods are often confused for being nutritionally unbalanced. Create more efficient habits and get the best out of your plate.
Check out these other links, and see what they have to say about cheating!