When Your Diet Fails
Oh no! We all know that feeling when you’ve been making some great fat loss progress, but then all of a sudden…..you’ve lost control.
What do you do? What is the best course of action to correct this mistake and reverse it?
Firstly, you cannot reverse it. Therefore don’t try to.
Secondly, don’t panic. Everything will be fine and the world will not end. I’m here to save you. I think the key thing is to learn from the mistake, what caused it and how can you prevent it from happening again?
The number 1 cause for diet cock-ups is people trying to cut calories too fast, which results in wheel-spinning every time. But quite often it’s due to a large social event, especially when there’s alcohol involved, which is notorious for lowering one’s willpower levels.
If it was due to a large social event, some prior planning is required during a diet. The most important things you can do to prepare for a potential binge-fest are the following:
- Save about 70% of your total calories for the event.
- Eat virtually all of your protein/micronutrient requirements well before the event.
If you still think this won’t save you, then you could try performing cardio in the morning, to give you some extra “breathing room”. I’ve tried this many times before and it works well. Just because you’re doing a few big cardio sessions every now and then doesn’t mean all your muscle is going to drop off (I know some of you are terrified of this).
Get things into perspective.
Diet adherence and energy balance are more important than anything.
You could do zero cardio but be in a large deficit, but the guy doing loads of cardio in a small deficit will retain more muscle.
If cardio helps your diet adherence, DO IT!
Generally speaking, people tend to binge either at the start of the diet or much further down the line once they’ve already made loads of progress, and are probably in need of a diet break. The time in between is often the least dangerous.
The first scenario is of course due to changing stuff too fast. The latter scenario may be an indication of a diet break being a good idea. So relax for a week or two, and allow your body to recover and “de-stress”. Don’t fret over a couple of cock-ups and see the bigger picture. As long as you’re making progress in the long run, that’s all that really matters.
The worst thing people do is try to starve themselves the following day. All this does is gets you into a negativity/guilt spiral, which never ever ends well. Just breathe, relax and start again tomorrow. If you’re really intent on damage limitation, then cardio is a lot better for you than trying to severely reduce food the next day.
Either way, stop stressing out, stop giving a **** and see the bigger picture. Are you looking better from week to week/month to month?
That’s all that really matters.