All these were taken in the last 6 weeks. I am about 5'10" have been averaging between 165-168 lbs. I think my offseason was a great success!
Offseason to Dieting Season
Well folks--it is about that time of the year where I start my transition from my “offseason” phase to a dieting phase. It is a little earlier than I had anticipated to start dieting but you know how it goes...
Despite starting my diet a few weeks earlier, I am really happy with the fact that I get less fluffy every time I go into an offseason/ growing phase. This area will always be a work in progress and finding balance is hard, but I feel good about the process.
The basic fundamentals to my nutritional protocols is always and will always be a counting macros/ flexible dieting approach. The only difference from my offseason to dieting phase is the degree of my adherence and flexibility with my nutrition.
Having practiced flexible dieting and counting macros for several years – I really like to have a separation between the two phases. When I am dieting, my dietary adherence and compliance to hitting my macros is HIGH and when I am not – it’s more of a middle ground with freedom forget how truly sad a serving of peanut butter is.
I think it is important to not be in diet mode 365 days of the year. I personally know I NEED a mental break from not weighing everything I eat. I like to have that time of not being so OCD with my nutrition to enjoy and maintain a “normal” life. Being able to take a mental break from it every now and then and prioritize other aspects of my life is key to my long term success.
Now that all being said – I am currently mentally preparing myself to get into the zone of tracking and weighing everything because I have some specific goals I am wanting to accomplish in the months to come…
Starting a diet can be overwhelming even if you already familiar with flexible dieting and tracking macros mostly because, it takes a lot of work to be consistent. Anything worth achieving is going to require some degree of sacrifice.
I think the anticipation of the dieting is more daunting than the actual task is going to be because flexible "diet"-ing feels a little less like a “diet” and more accommodating for LIFE but a caloric deficit is a caloric deficit. Sure the first couple weeks will be a little tedious with weighing and logging everything but overtime the adjustment of changes and "new" behavior will add up and the routine will kick in.
Starting out the gates of my dieting phase I want to put in 100% or as close to it as possible from the very beginning. I want to set a strong tone and build momentum as the weeks roll by. In order to be successful and get to where I want to be aesthetic and health wise, having a strategic plan with consistency is needed to hold myself accountable and crush some goals.
If you are in the process of deciding to "diet" (meaning a fat-loss goal/eating in a caloric deficit), make sure you have a couple things set in place to get started:
1. SET GOALS
Setting goals early is one of the most effective ways to maintain your long-term focus and hold yourself accountable for your diet. A realistic, long-term goal with smaller “milestone” goals in between will allow you to monitor your progress and consistently remember that you’re doing this for long-term results.
Once you have long terms goals in place - break things down one step further and set SMART goals.
Specific - clear and significant to you and your success.
What do you want to accomplish? What are your specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal?
Measurable - assessing progress helps you to stay focused, on track and motivated to reach your goals.
How can you track your progress? Weekly check ins?
Achievable - realistic and attainable to your efforts and lifestyle.
Do you think you can stick to this for the long term? Are you going to be happy during this process?
Realistic - relevant, challenging, yet attainable within a timeframe
Why do you want to reach this goal? Is reaching your goal relevant to you?
Timely - time-based. Having an end date will hold you more accountable and committed to focus your efforts. Set the motion to begin working on the goal.
When do you want to accomplish your goal by? Do you have a deadline?
2. GET A GAME PLAN TOGETHER
What things do you need to follow in order to accomplish your SMART goals?
SMART goals brings structure and trackability into your goals. Once you have those set you can get a game plan together of things to do to help you accomplish those goals.
If you have a fat-loss/ physical goal, do you have the tools necessary to accomplish it? Example - gym membership, nutrition protocols, programming, cardio regime etc. You could look into hiring a personal trainer or coach to help you work through the goals you have.
You want to make sure that whatever game plan you follow that it's one that will best fit your lifestyle and your dietary needs. The best "diet" and program you can ever be on is one that you can stick to. Personal preference will always take priority.
3. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
In order to know where you are now and where you want to be, gather some data. What is your starting point?
You can set a specific day each week or each month that you monitor your progress. Typically for a fat-loss goal you will want to frequently do weigh ins, pictures and measurements to track progress you are making.
One of the MOST important things. Being accountable to something means that you're willing to make commitments and be responsible for your own actions. Whether that be with a coach you hire, friends and or family - find someone in your life with whom you can share your aspirations, goals but also triumphs and failures.
5. BE CONSISTENT BUT ALSO BE FLEXIBLE
Consistency requires commitment by building small empowering habits every single day. If you have specific goals and a time-line, accuracy and consistency is going to be EXTREMELY important for you however you don't have to be perfect. Life happens and if you have something come up, a family emergency, a life situation - have no fear. The things we do everyday matter more than the things that happen every once in a while.
At the end of the day, if you want to change you have to make some changes. A dieting phase can be incredibly motivating as you can see your body change week to week if you are doing everything consistently. Not to mention, I actually feel super empowered by the discipline of tracking and being in the pursuit of my goals.
I also like to think of dieting as - the more consistent and adherent I am to hitting everything 100% the sooner I will be to not dieting. Not tracking accurately and eating out can slowly draw out the dieting process and that's never fun (see earlier blog post - Nutritional Compliance).