Eating. It's such a simple thing that is surrounded by such complicated crap. Food science boggles my mind. Food is something we need for basic survival. You gotta eat or you will die.
Most people go through their day and whenever they feel the need or the impulse to do so, they eat. For most people this works. Their bodies tell them how much they need in order to function and they fuel themselves accordingly. However, some of us have insatiable hungers. Hungers that can literally make them eat every minute of everyday. Way past the point of being full and well into the point of feeling sick. Ol' Yeargain is one of these people.
The biggest thing that people have to come to grips with when trying to get into shape is changing their eating patterns. I call this:
Eating with purpose.
Some people can get all of their results just by hopping into the gym, doing a few light weight bench presses, jog on the treadmill and eat a cheeseburger. I can almost promise that none of you are those kinds of people. In order to get real results from your programming you need to train correctly and, more importantly, you need to eat with purpose.
When I first started changing my eating behaviors I had to learn to no longer mindlessly eat. For one, I have an neverending appetite, so I can go well past my caloric maintenance incidentally or not. Secondly, constantly satisfying your random cravings does nothing to insure you're getting your correct nutrition and doesn't allow for enough consistency to gain any type of health benefits.
You have to think of food as its purpose. Some foods are going to help build muscle (protein), some foods are going to give me energy to get through the day (carbs), some foods are gonna make sure my mental and chemical health is on point (fats), and some foods are going to make sure I don't get sick (vitamins.) Once you've filled in these daily requirements, everything on top of that is just fun, but I'll talk about that in a second.
Losing Freedoms.You have to accept that eating whatever you want in what capacity you want is more than likely not going to yield you the results you desire. The biggest freedom I had to give up when I started dieting wasn't sweet treats or cheeseburgers, because I still could eat those every once in a while. My issue was giving up flexibility. I could no longer go about my morning not thinking about what I was going to eat during the day and then letting impulse take me where I desired for lunch. Now, even when I'm eating at my most flexible, I plan out all of my food the night before. If I want to go out to eat, I make a plan to do so. I track my macros, budget out for certain treats and hit my numbers because my body composition is important me.
If I'm going to have a very busy day and don't have a lot of money to spare, I have to stay up late the night before and make my food. I eat 3000 calories or more a day...that means I have to make full blown meals, snacks, treats, and package it up, knowing that its not going to be as good as when I make it fresh. Or, I have to be hyper conscious about where I'm going to go out to eat, look up the menu the day before, look up the calories, do some guesstimating and plan my day around that. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a wide variety of foods that keep me happy and satisfied (Check out my article on IIFYMs) but I have to plan it out and be smart about it to maintain my current aesthetic while building muscle
Food as Fun.Food is fun. Going out to eat, eating like a king, over eating, and celebrating is always fun. Think about all the wonderful moments in your life: food is almost always a part of it. Don't forget this part of eating, the minute you do is when you start letting one facet of your life ruin the whole of the experience. This is not to be confused with practicing self control the majority of the time. YOLO has its "life ruining" consequences too.
Don't be that guy that brings Tupperware to your best friend wedding or to your family thanksgiving. Don't refuse your sweet grandmother's blueberry pie when you go to her house over the weekend. I mean, you can, and if it's really going to mess with your head, you probably should refuse, but life is really short, man. If you train correctly and put the effort into the gym, that piece of pie ain't going to touch you...once you've built the foundation that is. That old saying of "everything in moderation" is so disgustingly overused, but it rings true.