How to Survive a Caloric Deficit

In this diet game, there are rules. Now sure, if you break these rules a referee won’t drop out of the sky and blow a whistle all up in your face, but by following them you’ll increase the likelihood of sticking to your caloric deficit, emerging on the other side looking and feeling a lot better.

1. Secure home base

There is a tasty killer lurking in your house, and he is out to desexify your body. The most disturbing part of all is that you’re the one that let him in. A lot of the damage that occurs during a diet happens right at home – late night binging, mindless tv snacking, etc – and often involves all of the comfort foods that are mighty delicious, but pack a ton of calories and are easy to devour with reckless abandon. If that’s the case, it makes sense to avoid this pitfall entirely by getting those foods out of the place where they’re most likely to be eaten.

The first rule of Rogonian Law is that if a food is in your house, it will eventually end up in your stomach. Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang wrote a great op-ed piece for the New York Times discussing how will power is a finite resource and that while demonstrating zen-like will power on one task, you “deplete” your reserves and are therefore less likely to display that same amount of self-control when performing another seemingly unrelated task.

I don’t say this to give you a reason to obliterate the cookie jar when stressed – quite the contrary, because with practice our will power reserves can be bolstered. The best way to avoid eating something is not to have it around at all. If you’re not ready to make this plunge just yet, you can always slowly get these foods out of your house, first by reducing the portion size. Instead of buying the huge carton of ice cream, keep one or two of the single serving cups in the house – think of it as preemptive damage control. If you eat both of them, you’ve done much less harm than if you crushed an entire pint.

2. Don’t roll solo

Once you leave the comfort and safety of home base, that’s when it gets real. Not just real, but realer than real. You’re away from your usual foods and now you’re venturing out into a world where you’re rarely more than 5 minutes away from something you can eat. This is where will power is critical, but it’s best to come prepared regardless. Bag up something non perishable and keep it in your bag or car – think a piece or two of fruit (beef jerky is also an option, but you may lose friends if you eat it in close quarters) or protein powder. In those moments of dietary weakness, the simple act of getting something in your stomach helps you think more clearly and reduces the likelihood of an emotional eating episode.

By employing this strategy, you don’t have to go through the whole mental rigamarole of deciding between a piece of fruit or two ginormous slices of pizza with a piece of chocolate cake in between – you’ve already made a choice that will keep you on track towards your goals.

3. Prepare for battle

When on a diet, one fact that you’re going to have to accept is that you’re going to be hungry. Maybe not all the time, and not ravishingly so, but you and hunger are going to be homies during this process. You’re going to have to interact with other people while in a state of hunger, and this is where it becomes easy to fall off the wagon. If you create a caloric buffer or eat in line with your goals before you head out the house, you can drastically decrease the chances of overeating food at a get together only to feel like crap about it later. A social gathering with food is just that – a gathering where food just happens to be. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat a lot.

This rule applies for grocery shopping as well. I’m sure that we’ve all gone grocery shopping while hungry at least once, and the result was madness on a grand scale. That list probably snowballed from 6 simple items into pretty much anything within arms reach that looked like it might make your stomach smile with delight. Once the beast within takes over, everything starts to look like it could taste good and you make purchases that you never would under a more sane state of mind. And lets be honest here, do you really want to get home only to find out that 5 cans of Spam managed to find their way into your cart?

What are you dietary survival tactics? What has worked (or hasn’t) for you in the past? Leave your answers in the comment section below!

The Wisdom of Wesley Snipes: Fitness Edition

WS

Aristotle.

Confucius.

Plato.

Throughout the ages, philosophers have gone to great lengths to demystify the human condition. Brilliant books have been written, grand speeches have been given, but I argue that none of these men have had more of an impact on the world than the great sage Wesley Snipes.

You’ve seen his movies – Passenger 57, White Men Can’t Jump and the Blade series to name a few – you already know that Snipes is as manly as a man can be. Today I share with you just a few words from his vast cinematic archive, but after you experience and absorb them into your being, your gym performance (and life) will be changed forever.

“Some motherf*ckers are always trying to ice skate uphill.”

As we pass through our time here on Earth, we naturally encounter two sets of people in the gym: the epic hard workers and the ultra slackers.

The hard worker typically trains at least 4 days a week (sometimes 6-7), trying to fit every exercise imaginable into their session before heading off to do their cardio. Marathon gym sessions are common place, as are injuries, weakness and a general sense of wheel spinning.

The slacker makes it to the gym 2-3 times a week (many times less frequently). Showing up in the first place is commendable, but often their time spent actually training is minimal and the effort that’s put in while doing so is lacking in the intensity depart – they’re simply going through the motions. This group is highly susceptible to fad diets and gimmicky fitness devices.

What do these two groups have in common? A lack of results. One because their hard work is misdirected and the other because they’re simply not working hard enough, looking for shortcuts that will hopefully fast track their success.

This is the very definition of ice skating uphill.

Oh Wesley, the duality of your profound statement rends my mind!

Take home point: Lackluster effort won’t get you there, and too much effort will ensure that you burn out before you do. Don’t make the pursuit of your goals more difficult than it needs to be. Sure you could drive with your foot on the steering wheel, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. I too was an uphill skating mofo at one point, so it can be rectified, and life at the top of the hill is beautiful.

Creating the physique that you desire won’t happen in days or weeks, but months and years. You’re in it for the long haul, so approaching it with that mindset makes the road far more enjoyable.

“You can put a cat in an oven, but that don’t make it a biscuit.”

Every gym has that person who has been going there for years but looks exactly the same as they did when they first started. Pure stagnation As much as I hate to admit it, I used to be that guy and it sucked – it was the equivalent of training purgatory – so I’d like to help save everyone I can from that same fate.

Just because you’re following a certain exercise or nutrition program doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be successful. It must be appropriate to you, your goals and your situation. Measurements along the way to see if you’re progressing are a must.

Right from the start, make sure the information you’re getting is from a quality source and that you’re focusing only on things that matter.

Don’t waste time majoring in the minor things – it’s only an illusion of progress.

 “You can either smoke, or you get smoked.”

Once you have all the above locked in, the only thing left to do is to act.

Consistently.

With purpose.

Knowledge alone is not enough, and the only difference between success and failure is the willingness to take action, and fortune favors those who do so.

“Always bet on black.”

Always bet on yourself. If you don’t believe that you can achieve it, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else says because you’ve already counted yourself out from the start. Even in the face of great difficulty, know that success is inevitable if you continue to push forward and adjust accordingly along the way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc4xuzcvcFE

This is an homage to an article found here.