Diet is a word that is all too familiar to bodybuilders. The necessity of a healthy diet is obvious to the hard training bodybuilder. There is nothing more discouraging than building slabs of powerful muscle, only to be hidden by a thick layer of body fat. Hard working muscles need the right fuel to continue to grow bigger and stronger.
Every bodybuilder knows the importance of a healthy diet. The real question is how to consistently maintain a healthy diet, even during those times of temptation. There are plenty of temptations and opportunities to slip. A small slip is not a big deal, but a large or continuous slip can be a major issue that may undo much of the hard work.
There are some helpful strategies to maintain a healthy diet. There are motivational techniques, behavioral choices, and, of course, the avoidance plan. No matter which strategy is used, it is important to accept the fact that you are human and mistakes occur. If you slip, get back on the plan and move forward. If the guilt is eating away at you, do an extra thirty minutes of cardiovascular work.
Trying to stay the course can be tough when people around you are not on the same page. Holidays become a tough time, also. Parties and social gatherings offer a lot of tasty, diet killing, muscle hiding food. These times require a little extra willpower. These are also the times when you need to remember your motivation for staying on a healthy diet.
If you have made some significant gains since adopting a healthy diet it might help to carry a before picture of yourself to remind you of why you eat healthy. A picture of a bodybuilder you admire, and aspire to be like, might help also.
Before attending an event where food may be an issue try spending ten minutes posing in front of the mirror or do a short, pump-building workout. The pumped feeling may help remind you each time you feel tempted by a bad choice.
Behavior modification strategies might include working with a partner who has the same goals to constantly remind each other why the healthy diet is the right choice. Convince yourself that food is simply a fuel for muscle growth and energy needs and schedule your meals accordingly. Stop eating for flavor and start eating for survival and performance. This will help you avoid those splurge meals or those little treats. Eating a healthy, high protein meal before going to a social gathering might help reduce the chances of cheating, as well. The protein meal will help fill you up and stay with you so you are not hungry and you will not need to snack.
Avoidance is the optimal choice. If you can avoid putting yourself in a position where temptation exists then you eliminate the problem. However, total avoidance is not an option without becoming a hermit. Avoiding the dessert table or skipping the sauces and dips can be accomplished fairly easy. Avoiding the bar and not ordering appetizers will also help reduce unhealthy choices. Asking family members to have healthy choices at family gatherings will also help you avoid many of the temptations regularly experienced at holiday times.