“How do you eat all that tasty stuff and still manage to be in such a good shape?”– is a question I get all the time. Let me tell you how.
Fighters are on weight. Most of the time. Yes, sometimes a fighter misses the weight class, but that doesn’t change that he or she is in insanely good shape.
But what is it that gets the fighter into such a good physique? Of course, it’s also the hours of training they put in the gym sharpening their skills and getting ready for a fight. But without the right diet, they would never be able to get into their weight class.
What diet to choose? Well, that is a very individual question you can only answer based on your body type and lifestyle. And even when you’ve found the “right diet”, you always have to adapt and make changes. Your body is a dynamic system that is constantly changing and adapting.
When dieting, you have to make strong decisions. To make the right decisions, you need three powerful things a seasoned fighter has. I call it the tripod of the fighter’s approach: Knowledge, Experience and Mental Strength.
Once you have gained these attributes, it’s hard to take them away. Having the tripod of the fighter’s approach is not something you have from day one.
To get the diet-concerned knowledge and gain mental strength in executing your diet, you have to follow these steps:
1. Educate yourself about nutrition basics.
Get to know what you put into your body! You don’t know what macro- and micronutrients really are? You don’t know what fibre is good for? You have to know!
Get to know the food. What is in an apple? What is a good protein snack and what is it good for?
The list of questions is endless, but a basic knowledge is much needed if you want long-term diet success.
2. Find out what your body really needs.
You might eat rice and think “rice is healthy”. I hear that all the time. But why is rice healthy for your body? Maybe your body doesn’t need rice at that particular moment.
This segment comes closer to answering the question of what diet you need. Low carb or low fat? Or maybe it’s better to be moderate in everything? Find out what your body needs and when to consume it. This is all based on body type, health status, activity level and lifestyle.
Sometimes you have micronutrient-induced cravings. Wouldn’t you want to know what your body needs in that situation?
3. Rethink your diet with your new gained knowledge.
Compare! Every time you learn something new, you have to rethink if it is useful information for your diet. Like Bruce Lee once said: “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
Now you have your own diet. It is the diet to become your own champion. I call it ‘The Champion’s Diet’
4. Replace “empty calories” with healthier options.
Simply explained: You know Peanut-caramel-chocolate-bars? That’s empty calories. Replace them with the Fighterlicious Healthy Snickers.
When you replace the empty calories with a healthier treat in moderation, you have two major benefits:
- You don’t feel like garbage afterwards
- You get the micronutrients to regulate your hormone system.
Simply eat real food instead of fake food.
5. Time your “empty calories” correctly.
On The Champion’s Diet, there are no restrictions. There are only smart choices. I go with the 90/10-rule: 90% of my diet is clean, 10% treat.
It can be good for the mind to eat a chocolate bar. Enjoy it. Be smart though. Eating the sugar after a workout is less bad than having it before bed.
What about the infamous cheat days or cheat meals? There are definitely ways to do it smart and to time your food right.
6. Set a diet goal.
“Path is the goal” – yeah, but without a goal there is not even a path. I’ve never seen a path that leads to nowhere. When you jump into a taxi you don’t tell the driver: “Just bring me somewhere”. You tell him to bring you to XYZ.
Set your diet-XYZ.
A proper goal has requirements, e.g. it must be specific, measurable and timely. If your goal isn’t specific enough, it’s just a pointless sculpture. A proper goal helps you to gain mental strength. Be determined in what you do and set milestones.
7. Make a game plan to diet success.
Every goal is action-oriented. You need to know what to do to reach your goal. With all the knowledge you have gained, write down your tools and how you want to schedule them. This includes a constant target-actual comparison when you have reached a milestone.
Goal Setting is a major part of the mental side of dieting. I developed a formula that I apply every time when dieting for a fight: Definition, Illustration, Strategy, Structure, Execution, Conformation, Treat. The so-called DISSECT-Formula.
I follow all these steps to enlarge my tripod of the fighter’s approach: Knowledge, Experience and Mental Strength.
Build your tripod now and become your own champion at dieting!
Take it easy,
P.S: In my eBook The Champion’s Diet, I will guide you through all the seven above mentioned steps and give you insights on how I manage to lose weight leading up to my fights. Buy it next month on Amazon and here on Fighterlicious.