I have a really hard time with seasonal dieters. A seasonal dieter is someone who diets for a set duration of time – you know the 24 week competition prep and the 12 week weight loss challenge folk. I work in the fitness industry so I understand the business side of things. We can’t sell a lifetime supply of coaching; a 12 and 24 week period organizes things nicely. Seasonal dieters often resort to bro science formatted word documents and lonely nights alone until they reach their goal. The issue I have with seasonal dieting is the extreme life changes these people resort to. The party girl stays in on weekends watching movies on the Women’s Network and the ladies man spends evenings with his mom instead of perusing a relationship with the potential love of his life. And why exactly? Oh right because its dieting season…
One of the biggest complaints I hear from physique competitors and weight loss evangelists is in regards to friends and family. Questions and statements like “Can you have that on your diet?” and “I can’t wait for you to eat normal again” are common and also unnecessary. When you have set food levels and know how to track and manage those food levels you can essentially eat any foods you’d like. Once you hit your fiber level your carb sources do not matter much. No you may not be able to eat a piece of unplanned chocolate cake at the end of the day BUT provided you are not on poverty macros you can preplan that piece of sugary bliss and fit it into your daily food levels. You are an adult, you have the power of choice. Provided you know the nutritional break down of a food you have the ability to work it into your diet.
Seasonal dieters are not fun people. They are married to a schedule consisting of eating, sleeping and training for a set period of time. The biggest issue I have with seasonal dieting is the end point, when the goal has been accomplished and the season comes to a close. These people have been saying no to social events, saying no to food and drink and saying no to a balanced life. They have been declining everything outside their strict daily protocols but now that the season is over they expect friends and family to treat them as they once were. This is why I prefer a lifestyle approach to dieting. As a seasoned partier I am comfortable going out with friends in season or off season. I do not suffer from negative post competition rebound because I do not change my lifestyle for a photo shoot or a fitness competition. Diet and exercise should add value to your life, not take from it.
If you are at the point in your diet and training where you have become so obsessed and focused that you lose important social ties, its time to get a grip. I personally find it more rewarding to look at photos of fun memories as opposed to shredded photos of myself. You don’t decorate your home with photos you have taken of yourself in the gym washroom. You frame photos of fun memories and landmark moments in your life. It is possible to be a sucessful diet story or a physique athlete who eats a variety of foods, has fun with family and friends and who legitimately enjoys dieting and training and the positive value it brings to your life.
Here is a great recipe for healthy chocolate cake because I know you are craving it after learning you can fit it into your daily food levels:
Chocolate Cake Brownies:
225g canned pumpkin
125ml egg whites
125g oat flour
60g Optimum Nutrition whey protein (I used chocolate)
4 tsp sweetener (I used stevia)
20g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
Combine all of the above ingredients and bake in a Pam’ed 8×8 brownie pan or as my IG friend Jillian Wilmon suggests make it into brownie muffins via muffin molds and bake at 350F.
Macros Per 1/6 brownie: cal 186 – fat 2g – protein 17g – carbs 25g
With love from the Trench kitchen,