3 Post Dieting Tips Everyone Should KnowDec 26, 2022
Have you just finished dieting? I bet you’re experiencing things like intense hunger / cravings, lack of motivation or even feeling a little deflated if your cut didn’t go exactly to plan.
These are feelings I personally know all too well… It’s things I experienced myself after dieting for not one, but two, bikini body building competitions!
So today I wanted to share 3 things you should know, to better equip you to navigate the typically challenging period after your dieting phase.
1) Prioritise more high satiety and low palatable foods
Foods that are higher in protein and fibre per calorie are good places to start – think lean meats, veggies, spud lite potatoes, grains, nuts for example.
Why? Well, research shows that consuming a larger amount of ultra-processed foods when in deprived states (such as fasting or being in a energy deficit) can over-active your brains reward system and consequently, overwrite satiety (the feeling of being full after eating) signals.
Additionally, when our body has lower energy stores, which range from being in a fasted state all to being in a prolonged calorie deficit; certain neurons (mainly agouti-related peptide aka AGRP neurons) get activated and signal you to seek out food. Yes, that’s right! Your brain actually makes you get up and go towards your fridge.
Foods that are less hyperpalatable are also typically harder to consume in larger quantities and aid satiety. So, while it’s tempting to buy all the pastries, cookies and donuts, it might be wiser to keep some foundational higher protein & fibre meals in and eating your “fun” treats in smaller quantities.
Not managing the above may lead trigger the “screw it” mentality and result in excessive calories consumed, particularly if will power or mental discipline is low. Which leads us onto the next tip…
2) Understand the importance on implementing a new goal post diet
For some this could be pivoting from your physique / aesthetic goal to a performance or lifestyle goal!
The post dieting (or in my case, post competition) blues are a common experience for many. This is where you’ve achieved your physique or aesthetic goal (determined by a certain target body weight or even how you look & feel about yourself when you look in the mirror) and now you feel almost lost in terms of “what or where to next”.
If you’re interested, you can read our Head Coach Glen Carroll’s blog post on How To Train After A Dieting Phase to learn more about choosing a priority performance goal and the importance in doing so.
On the other hand, maybe you aren’t motivated or interested in achieving a lifting goal and would rather focus on a lifestyle goal! This could be anything from improving your sleep or regenerating energy levels, to building competency on how to better prepare for social events and become more confident to eat socially while breaking free from self-sabotaging habits.
Instead of being in the constant pursuit of being leaner or forever dieting, it can be a welcomed change for us to reframe our mindsets and look for other positives that are in abundance!
Either way having a new goal to focus on is crucial for a variety of reasons.
Finally… it’s often overlooked, but be kind to yourself!
While the first two tips are there to help you have a game plan to tackle post dieting hunger and lack of motivation, this last tip is for those that might fall off track and need some assurance that doing so does not, I repeat, does not make you a failure.
At the end of the day we’re only human and as such, we make mistakes and growth is learning from your mistakes – as opposed to reverting back to old habits that may not be aligned to the person you want to become or show up as.
It's true that we are our own harshest critic… but this is your gentle reminder that you’re not a terrible person for not sticking to your post dieting exit plan, or that you’ve overindulged or missed a training session or two.
You certainly should not punish yourself; instead, implementing reflection as a powerful tool to understand why XYZ happened while adopting a curiosity mindset to learn and avoid repeat undesired behaviours.
Remember - Consistency over perfection
So, now that you know all this about the way your brain is wired and the likely events that will follow a dieting phase, this new information should empower you to think more strategically by preparing some foundational meals and creating new goals post dieting phase. And by doing so, you improve adherence to your reverse dieting protocols, potentially minimise body fat acquisition and continue the momentum towards the best version of yourself!
Though the above isn’t rocket science, it can be overwhelming to think about if you’re (most likely) exhausted post diet. Wouldn’t you rather put yourself in a position to nail your post diet period by having the accountability and guidance from an expert coach?
Click the link below to solidify your results with the help of strategic programming, a tailored post diet nutrition strategy and 1:1 support with Team Atlas 🚀
Thanks for reading,