5 tested tips on how to adhere to your diet

As far as physical improvement go, dieting seems to be the main culprit of failure for many people. Thus, learning how to adhere to your diet is among the most important aspects of physical mastery. 

This goes for all corners of the spectrum; young bros trying to lose some fat for whatever purposes (mainly impressing homo sapiens sapiens of the opposite sex), post-4-pregnancies women who after a long and stressful process wants to slim down, and actual competing bodybuilders and physique athletes wishing to bring the best conditioning to the stage.

Diet adherence is hard

Whatever category you might think you fit best into, let me tell you; everybody can mess up their diet. Diet adherence isn’t easy. While we all have different levels of H4rDCoRe (!!!) dedication and willpower, most nobody will be able to completely avoid the negative downstream effects of prolonged caloric deficits, except those who are willing to use PEDs.

Overall energy levels tend to decrease, ability to focus and maintain a stable mood takes a hit, libido decreases, various hormones adapt to what they see as a treat to healthy body function; leptin, ghrelin and sex hormones regulate as a sort of defensive mechanism to the stress (caloric deficit = lack of nutrition = body going “Why you trying to die, man?”).

Now, with that being said, here’s a few tips on how to better adhere to your diet, some of which i still use (i’m still dieting for a few weeks to get shredded) and some of which i have used earlier. The first couple of tips are mainly psychological, the rest more practical regarding food intake.

Don’t lie to yourself if you want to adhere better

One thing i continuously witness in overweight people, both male and female, both lifters and none-lifters, is the psychological maneuvers they can take to avoid actually fixing their problems.

You’re not REALLY interested in losing weight if you don’t actually think you’re that fat, unfit or unhealthy to begin with. And by avoiding being exposed to how much you actually weigh, like by not having a scale in your home, you’ll be amazed at how well your mind can protect you from bad, hardwork-demanding realizations. 

Most overweight people would be shocked out of their mind if they went to a no-bullshit doctor, got their bloods tested, and asked of him/her to tell whats up based on the readings.

Now, a counter argument would be; what if they are just satisfied with where they are at, and doesn’t care much for the health aspect? Well, some people will truly be just that, and good for them.

Experience just tells me most won’t. They will claim they are, they will tell themselves they are, but when it boils down to actually feeling comfortable in their own body in everyday life and social events, they will struggle and reality will hit them.

I know firsthand of this, since i went through this stage myself; i hovered around 235 lbs on a 5’10 frame, and ensured myself that because i lifted regularly and could pull off a 5 x 330 lbs bench (which in retrospect is pretty bad considering my embarrassing body-weight) i was just a big teddybear.


The similarities are striking..

And while I was a big bear, my understanding of the ratio between powerful, useful and metabolically active muscle mass, and useless unhealthy fat mass on my body, was completely skewed.

This is extremely common in young men in the lifting community. We will think that our 17.7 inch arms will be 17.5 inches after a cutting phase; and that we just need to drop “like 15 lbs bro!” to get a deep set of abs and veins on our serratus, even though the biggest illusion of looking lean we can pull off is a single biceps vein after 10 sets of curls.

This is one of the reasons as to why many of the top bodybuilding coaches, especially in the field of pro natural bodybuilding, will tell people to devote more time to their dieting phase than initially planned; you just got more fat to lose, brotha. 

And as for myself – when it all boiled down to scenarios where I actually was tested on how “happy” i was with my physique; reality struck me. I was very hesitant of showing my body to people. Especially on the beach.

And that’s when i knew things were messed up. Lift with intensity for 5+ years and not even having a body you feel comfortable in? And that’s without even counting in the detrimental effects on my health by being +25 % bodyfat!

Anyways, summary; if you don’t admit to yourself that serious change is needed, you won’t be able to funnel the amount of work into the project needed to improve. If you don’t feel change is needed, why are you reading this? 

It’s okay to be a bit fanatical at times


Lean protein only is not an exciting diet strategy. But in short bursts, it can work wonders by creating a massive caloric deficit!

I know what i am about to suggest goes against common advice of trying to suit the diet to your social life so you don’t isolate yourself and risk burning out; making it a longtime “lifestyle change”, and while that is most likely the best way of thinking in the grand scheme of things, for some it creates a very small boundary between actually dieting and just hovering around maintenance calories.

Small boundaries are easy to cross, and few things are as demotivating as having a single birthday party disrupt a full week of diet focus.  

So, try to embrace obsession for a short while; take your diet from the lower steps of your “hierarchy of priorities” and place it at or near the top. Make the goal of losing fat become a major component of your everyday life, beyond the practicals of actually following the diet.

Make your diet and adherence to it the main schedule of your spare time, and adjust accordingly; social events will have to fit into your diet, not the other way around. Got a friend inviting you for a coffee downtown, but you know that it’s often accompanied by some irresistible cakes and other goodies? No coffee date this time around.

There will be plenty of time for both coffee, sweet cakes and goodies when you’re one ripped superman/wonderwoman, and your fine tuned insulin sensitivity, better nutrient partitioning and highly responsive body will handle times of overfeeding much more efficiently

(I’ll probably write more about this at a later time, but enjoy this study showing no fat gain in lean individuals after 3 days of 1500+ caloric overfeeding).

I speculate that times of very strict, almost tunnel-vision levels of adherence, will have a carry-over effect on the process when you loosen up a bit. I know it did for me.

By having a short period of fanaticism, i found that even after having loosened up and allowed myself to live some more, it was in effect still a tighter level of control than previously.

When you’ve been used to consuming 1200 calories and spending 2 hours in the gym for 14 days straight, easing up to 2000 calories and weekly refeeds seems like a breeze. However, the main danger of this is post-fanaticism binging.

But binges happen to people even just following times of regular 500 caloric deficits – but in those cases they can revert much more progress, and cause much more damage. 

Getting firsthand experience with harsher phases of weight loss can provide tools for later stages, future weight loss embarking, and life in general.

Another practical example; imagine how easy i feel my daily 17-18 hour fasts feels like when i have recently done 3 runs of 44-46 hour fasts? It simply builds discipline

Actively ramp up your willpower 

Without attempting to sound super cringe-worthy; willpower is everything. If you have the right amount of willpower, you would gain nothing from reading this article, as everything would be adhered to without issues.

Most people don’t have that amount of will. But you can take steps to actively ramp it up by surrounding yourself with inspiration in accordance to your goals. While this can be a near-impossible task in real life, where most of the western world is seemingly busy eating and drinking itself to cardiovascular diseases, psychical degradation and an early death, the wonders of the internet allows you to cherry-pick your preferred niche.

So while 210 lbs skinny-fat estrogen-filled James from your office might pick on you for skipping out on the cantina and eating a salad instead, jokingly calling you one of “those wacky health fanatics”, there are plenty of people online much more in line with your strive for the better.

If you want to get shredded for either purely narcissistic purposes or stepping on stage, fill up your youtube feed with videos of people on that same mission and of people who’ve already achieved that state.

Whenever i was really hard-pressed psychologically and wanted to eat food worth the weight of a cruise liner, i would hit up youtube and spend some time staring at ultralean, half-naked men awkwardly grunting in the gym while lifting iron up and putting it down.

And it worked. And there is available motivation for just about everyone. For instance, as for women wanting to lose weight, there’s literally thousands of videos showcasing major weight loss transformations and positive life changes. 


I have no clue who this woman is, but the picture is available to the public, and it’s a showcase of some damn good work in the kitchen and gym.

You could make a playlist and make it a hardcoded goal of your daily activities to watch just one of these, every morning as you lay in bed just after waking up.

You could couple that with following a few instagram pages putting out the same content, and before you know it, the diet plan in your mind is stimulated and freshly fired up every single morning. 

Use these drugs; Dihydrogen Monoxide and 1,3,7-Trimethylpurine-2,6-dione to push your breakfast later in the day and/or increase satiety 

This is a small tip, but is has proven useful to me in a couple of ways. Just to throw it in early to avoid confusion; the above drugs are water and caffeine. Both can suppress hunger, and by drinking a few full sized glasses of water shortly after waking up, i find that any possible hunger signals are blunted for some time.

Often people will assume they need to hit the breakfast buffet as soon as the day begin because of hunger signals, but many times it’s just the feeling of an empty stomach that cause this.

By downing a good chunk of water and perhaps a few cups of black coffee, many will find that any hunger they experience upon waking up is at least postponed. The fact that caffeine is one of the best researched substances in relation to increased energy, thermogenesis and fat loss, doesn’t exactly make it any less useful.

In fact, I will often consume caffeine pills on the side, just to ramp everything up a notch! If you’re in doubt about where to get cheap but good caffeine pills, these seem to be best value.

And one of the most popular tips in recent years derived from intermittent fasting protocols is to postpone your breakfast as much as possible, to allow for a greater density of calories within a given time frame.

Following IF myself (usually i fast til 16-17:00 in the afternoon and eat til 22-23:00 in the evening) i know the difference between eating 2000 calories throughout the span of an entire day and getting to eat them in a time frame of just a couple of hours.

Besides that, the release of stimulants during fasting coupled with the caffeine intake make for a very productive and focused state of mind for me.

And another small tip; whenever I eat, especially around dinnertime, I make sure to drink plenty of water in conjunction with the food. I feel this makes me feel more full and satisfied. 

Be careful of “If It Fits Your Macros” (IIFYM) as the holy grail of dieting

IIFYM in it’s most crude form is about eating whatever you want as long as you are able to his your daily macronutrient and caloric goals. So if you can hit your goal of 160 grams of protein, 250 grams of carbohydrates and 60 grams of fat while eating cakes and double cheeseburgers for dinner, it won’t make a difference compared to hitting the same macros and calories consuming a “bro-diet” of chicken, broccoli and healthy fats.

And it most likely wont, not on the scale at least; the one most important aspect of weight loss is tied to the universal first law of thermodynamics – which put into the subject of weight loss dictates that the amount of energy we expend (calories burned) must surpass the amount of energy consumed (calories eaten and drunk), if overall weight is to decrease.

Now, the actual equation of calories in vs. calories out is actually a bit more complicated (which i might cover later), but that’s not the point of this tip.

This tip is mainly about satiety, the feeling of having a nice full stomach. See, many people can make IIFYM work, and i mostly adhere to it’s main principles, and give the same freedom to “clients”; macros and calories are king, not chicken and broccoli.

But one thing that routinely sends me back to dinners consisting of lean meats and wholegrain carbohydrate sources is the feeling of satiety. If i eat 1600 calories worth of McDonald’s i will be able to down a good sized meat-stacked pizza 20-30 minutes later (done it twice).

Now if i eat that same amount of calories worth in chicken and wholegrain pasta, or perhaps worth in a huge bowl of skimmed milk and oats; i will sense a much more fulfilling feeling of satiety.

Eating that amount of oats might even make me feel like exploding! Which, as crazy as it sounds, isn’t necessarily a bad feeling when you’ve been dieting for 7 months straight. 

So my recommendation is to mix it up for your own advantage; know that if you want, you can fit in “dirty treats” and fast food into your meal plan, but don’t make it a goal in itself.

When i first started following an IF fasting routine i spend weeks calculating basically how much shit i could  fit into my macros and caloric goals. This meant that when time was in for ramping up the speed of my fat loss, i had a harder time adjusting to the lower amount of calories.

If you push your macros low enough (like a PSMF style 180p/<20c/<20f), there won’t be much room for junk, only “good” foods. So don’t strive to leave the good foods out completely when you have more calories at your disposal 🙂 


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