In my “Neeks Answers” series, I pose a question to my followers about nutrition and then use those responses in order to give advice. In this edition, we will explore the question: “What’s the one thing that always derails you?”
I’ve responded to each of your responses with some suggestions on how to stay on track when facing challenges. Scroll down to see my responses!
What’s The one thing that ALWAYS derails you?
“School and or Work”
My best advice is time management and learning what things you can do less of to make time for meal prepping or fitness (examples:skip happy hour after work to prep meals once a week or skip the movies or that college football game everyone is going to) you wont have to skip much long-term because as you get better at meal prepping, you will find that it takes you less and less time!
In the meantime, order ready to eat meal prepped meals from a local meal prep company as an emergency backup plan for those moments and things you can’t control.
“Traveling for work”
Understand that when traveling, things will not be perfect, but your best efforts will work wonders. Request a microwave and or mini fridge in your room, and go grocery shopping when you get to your destination. Take advantage of hotel breakfasts and enjoy plain oatmeal, fresh fruit, hardboiled eggs, whole wheat toast, and single serve PB cups.
When I have a fridge, I love to buy rotisserie chicken, frozen veggies and ready-made microwave rice when I’m stuck in hotels for long trips. In my ebook, I teach you how to order when dining out. Use this as a guide if you want to eat out regularly instead of saying in your room and “meal prepping”
This is by far the hardest one in my opinion because sometimes you don’t know when you can return to activity so you lose hope. For me I encountered that with my heart condition in college and my herniated L5S1 disc. My biggest tip would be to really focus in on what you are in complete control of which is your caloric intake! It took me 40 days to unwind months of hard work…. Don’t have the same “eff it” mentally I did and learn from my mistake of eating everything in sight because you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I PROMISE you its there! You’ll be okay!
I know everyone thinks they can’t stay on track and enjoy the holidays but here is something to consider. Each holiday may consist of 1 meal with your family. ENJOY IT and don’t over think one meal and turn it into a cheat day. Moderately indulge in your favorite foods during holiday events and I promise it will not drastically effect your body composition.
Neeks Tip: Go in with a game plan. Here is mine:
- Load up on veggies and protein, stick to zero calorie drinks, and forget the leftovers
- Focus on talking with family and making memories and less on food.
- Assure yourself that food will always available and focus on enjoying quality time with your family members (older grandparents, or family that don’t live locally, for example)
We all get these but I would really work on figuring out why you are getting these cravings (are you lacking a certain nutrient, are you depriving yourself of a certain macronutrient entirely that may be signaling your body to shout out for help as it may think you’re needing to survive?)
I like to tackle cravings by doing one of two things: (1) eating what I refer to as my “craving busters” in my ebook, which are great work arounds for common cravings, or, (2) just eating a reasonable serving of whatever I’m actually craving.
Neeks Tip: Craving busters are low calorie alternatives to super calorically dense foods that can easily help keep you on track!
“Good Vs Bad Food Mentality”
I like to preach that no foods should be forbidden, no foods are good or bad…. But that some foods have a higher return on their “caloric investment” and that you should choose those more regularly than the other options to end up making maintaining a caloric deficit easier to maintain.
First tip is to make yourself aware of some of the things that stress you out. Second I would sit and try to reverse engineer mini game plans for each one of those things. Ex: making note that I become anxious or stressed before a test or work presentation could be solved with a plan to go on a 10 min walk outside by CHANGING YOUR PHYSICAL STATE to calm down before walking back inside the house.
Neeks Tip: you can’t eliminate cues or triggers that change your emotions you can only change what you do after you become aware of them in place of that old bad habit. Focus on replacing those old habits!
“Lack of preparation”
I made a blog post about Hail Mary’s. Check that out for emergency times
“Your significant other”
I would hope you would choose to be with someone who supports you goals, cheers you on and wants to help be a part of your journey BUT if that Is not that case continue to remind yourself why you started your journey and what you want most when being challenged. Don’t let someone else have that much control or power over you.
“Old Habits with Family”
This one is tough because not everyone may want to join you on your fitness journey. I would personally try to have a conversation with them explaining why you want to make these changes and why they are important to you. Give them ideas on what they can do to help and if they are not open to being very supportive try to suggest new traditions and ways to spend time together that don’t require sharing a meal if you know there will be ZERO healthy options.
Neeks Tip: invite family to your place and be the host so you control the food options
“Not having a set goal in mind”
This one is common for us bodybuilders in our offseason because we have no set show date and we tend to be all or nothing athletes. I personally focus on realigning my goal to be achieving balance where I am hitting macros during the week and not tracking on the weekends but intuitively eating on the weekends. This does not mean eating everything in sight it means eating foods I may not enjoy during the week and stopping when I’m satisfied. This takes WEEKS of trial and error to see what you can and cannot get away with (what I’m currently calibrating, myself, right now!)
Comparing yourself to others
You know this is silly so I want you to ask yourself, “would you be friends with people who spoke to you the way you speak about yourself?”… I sure hope not so be a little kinder and patient with yourself.
Especially if you are giving it your best attempt given all of the curve balls life has sent your way! This quote is from my coach, Chris Ford:
“You are in NO WAY defined by the normal curves, slight pockets of body fat or imperfections that you, me and everyone else possesses. You are defined by much more than that”
So as he said, do not dare compare your self worth in a “currency”that should not be compared (like your physical appearance!)
Thanks to everyone for submitting responses! If you are reading this and have any other examples of things that derail you that I didn’t cover in this post, let me know!