Hey, guys. I wanted to give a quick thank-you to all of the IRON MAN readers who have been following this column for the past year. Your support is appreciated. Thanks as well to Noah Milstein, co-owner of Feral CrossFit, who has consistently offered his help with this column. Keep the questions coming!
Q: I’ve been trying to keep on track with my New Year’s resolution to lose 20 pounds, but I’m finding it hard to stick with eating “clean” bodybuilding food. Have any tips to keep me motivated?
A: You can’t keep trying to change your diet to burn fat, change your body or improve your performance; you need to change your lifestyle and mind-set. Each New Year people are drawn to make all kinds of resolutions and pronouncements about the wonderful changes they’re going to make. Dietary changes are central to this trend. For most, changing their diet is about making a temporary personal sacrifice for an aesthetic-based goal of losing fat. Not surprisingly, it virtually never works out. Even if they do follow through with their “diet plan,” most people inevitably slip back to their old habits and regress.
The primary reason is that most of us view “diet” as a kind of triage and not as a fundamental lifestyle change. As I’ve said in the past, though, the word diet comes from the Greek diaita, meaning “way of life.” Without the conceptual frame of a fundamental lifestyle change, in contrast to fat triage, no diet will ever be successful. What’s more, it will be an exercise in sadistic self-denial and self-flagellation, neither of which are psychologically healthy attitudes or behaviors.
Editor’s note: Ben White won his first IFBB professional bodybuilding contest, the Tampa Pro, in 2010. He is also a champion powerlifter and frequently competes in the World’s Strongest Bodybuilder contest at the Olympia. His best competition bench press is 711 pounds. He is an MPH athlete, www.MHPStong.com. IM