Apparently, how accurate this is I don’t know, two thirds of Britons are on a diet at any given time, and it’s ironic as two thirds of Britons are overweight or obese.
Does this indicate diets don’t work?
Maybe. But then a diet is a word that people associate with getting lean, trimming up, dropping some body fat, getting in shape… you get the drift. So whatever you call it, in the persons head the aim is the same, it’s just many aren’t getting the outcome they want to get, fat loss.
I write this article as I embark on a diet. Yep, I’ve put on a few pounds as a fitness guy and I want to drop them, and in a 3 part article series I’m going to share that process with you, from a mindset, training and nutrition perspective, as these are the 3 key areas people need to work on to be successful with a body transformation. Of course tying in lifestyle, supplements, and a few other random things that affect the journey.
The reason I am also doing this is to show you it’s not that hard, at all, if you have the right kind of plan, can find a way to be consistent, and can control, ultimately, what goes in your mouth. After all no successful diet was built around a liberal amount of cake in ones diet, sure have a little, but there has to be a limit as cake is pretty darn calorific.
Ultimately this is what everyone is struggling with, consistency, but why? Why do people struggle so much with sticking to a diet? Let’s list the three main reasons I see as a coach:
- Someone is too extreme in their approach and thus causes the desire to binge on foods they are overly restricting themselves from
- Someone embarks on something that is not sustainable, its just a diet and not change, which links to being too extreme or dramatic with your approach
- The individual doesn’t fully know why they want to go on a diet, they just feel they want to lose weight but aren’t truly connected to the outcome, they don’t have a burning and emotive why to change
Let’s stick to point number 3 for the rest of this article, why, the mindset behind a diet.
Being honest, we all let things slip a little, and that’s cool. Maybe it’s the summer and holidays are booked, friends are constantly having BBQs and cool stuff is happening all around you, we get busy at work, can’t get enough exercise in, and over time the pounds creep on and we’ve hit August thinking “ah, bugger”.
This is fine, it happens to us all. What I don’t then want as a coach is people to then think “screw it, I’m half way fat, might as well carry on”. This isn’t a person with a mindset that values their body and health, and I need you to be that person, you should want to be that person, after all, without your body and your health can you really expect to be your best?
So my starting point with my diet is my why. I want to be the healthiest I can be, I want my abs back, I want to look great in and out of my clothes, I want my 100% confident self back. As a result of these why’s I have the deep and emotive impulse to change, it causes me to say no to the evening box set with ice cream and yes to getting outside for a run and cooking a proper dinner.
Body and mind transformation does all start in your head, and because I have the right why, I genuinely WANT it and no one is going to stop me from wanting it, I create action around my wants. When you are not 100% clear on the outcome you want you will let others dictate, essentially, your life. This means that when you go out for dinner, instead of picking the leaner option and saving room for a drink or two, you get influenced by others and you end up having a burger, ½ a bottle or wine and an indulgent pudding just cause everyone else is and you didn’t really have a genuine plan for yourself, so you let yourself get influenced by others.
When you start with why, you plan, you create a reason to say no to the wants and desires of others, this is when you empower yourself with consistency, this initial motivation and reasoning then leads to habit, and it becomes more habitual to say no than yes, and saying no means you are in control of your decisions, and thus the outcome. Not someone else.
Leaving your decisions to others will only lead to long term frustration and regret, so get focused, know your why, and take control of your actions that feed into your desired outcomes.
With my mindset right now I feel strong, confident and focused on the outcome, so as I navigate a summer of BBQs and events I know what I am going to eat, why, and how to manage a few indulgences by creating some room for extras some days, doing a bit more exercise, and the other tools we have to create more flexibility on a diet.
This is how we create a diet for life, by knowing we are embarking on something we can stick to. We all need rules with our body and health, that is a pure and simple reality. We can’t just eat and drink whatever we want and expect the outcome to be as we dream or see in magazines, we need to have rules that allow flexibility and indulgence at the right time, with a plan, but keep us on the straight and narrow at other times.
So I know my why. Do you?
Because I know my why you’ll be seeing my abs soon, and in the next issue we can talk nutrition and my plan, after all, abs are made in the gym, but revealed in the kitchen.
What does Ben’s current training look in the gym:
Mobilisations, activation work, core holds and boxing on the bag increasing in intensity
A1: Front Squat 4×6
A2: Weighted chin up 4×6
1.5 minutes rest, 4 sets
B1: Barbell split squat 3×10
B2: Single leg hip drive 3x Max reps
B3: Hollow abs hold 3x max time
C1: Snatch grip Romanian deadlift 3×6
C2: Romanian deadlift 3×6
C3: Single arm overhead dumbbell carry 3x20m
C4: Single arm dumbbell farmers carry 3x20m
D1: 5x20s max sprints on a piece of cardio equipment, 40s rest, 5 minutes total time