HomedietWhat To Do When You Cheat On Your Diet (Updated)

What To Do When You Cheat On Your Diet (Updated)

What To Do When You Cheat On Your Diet

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So you blew it. You went off your diet completely and ate something that you shouldn’t have. What should be your next course of action? Should it be an extra hour of cardio to burn off the offending calories? A resolution to eat less tomorrow to make up for today’s overindulgences? Or should you just sit and contemplate how much of a miserable failure you must be for not having the willpower to stay on your diet? The correct answer to this oft-asked question is none of the above! Crime and punishment, guilt and penance may have some bearing in other parts of your life but it has no bearing whatsoever as far as food is concerned. In fact the more you beat yourself up over eating the wrong foods- the more likely you are to keep on eating it!

Guilt \ˈgilt\: noun

1 : the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving a penalty; broadly : guilty conduct
2 a : the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously b : feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses, sin or from a sense of inadequacy : self-reproach
3 : a feeling of culpability for offenses

feeling guilty about cheating on diet
In many ways eating the wrong food has become the new form of sin in our society.

In many ways, food has become the new sin and with so many struggling with how to stop emotional eating it’s a serious and global problem. Once upon a time we ate with little thought to waistlines and Body Mass Index but today the act of eating is often thought of as an immoral action. One that so many use to justify self flagellation and lower self esteem. Like so many iniquities, it always seems to start innocently enough with the best of intentions but you slip anyway. Be it the extra slice of chocolate cake, the glass of wine at the company party, the apple-pie at the family holiday dinner or the bag of chips while you’re watching television at home unwinding after a long day. Yet, as much as you hate yourself in the moment, like most transgressions there’s no mistake that you do enjoy it. Whether we like it or not, rich, fatty, salty and sugary food appeal to us on a biological level and they indeed feel sinful for lack of a better word. Nevertheless, after blowing your diet, you feel absolutely guilt ridden afterwards.  For many, this feeling of guilt can be overwhelming. But as legitimate as this guilt may feel, is it really helpful? -or does it do more harm than good? Thankfully the answer is resoundingly negative. In fact, from what we know of behavioral psychology, the more you beat yourself up about eating something the more likely you are to keep eating it. It’s a vicious circle and one that traps many in a pattern of indulgence followed by self loathing.

What To Do When You Cheat On Your Diet- Understanding the Feelings Of Guilt 

understanding the behavior behind cheating on your diet
By understanding the mechanics of guilt we can see how can stop us from achieving our goals

The first step to understanding the harm that guilt inflicts upon us when we associate it with food is to objectively understand our behavior with regard to food consumption. It is said that if you know your enemy and know yourself, in a thousand battles you will never be in peril. These words written by a Chinese sage thousands of years ago apply to the strategies of war just as well as it does to the inner battles we fight to eat better. Behavior modification can only happen if we have an intimate and nonjudgmental understanding of ourselves and what we are up against. Most simply make the resolution to eat healthy with little thought to the subconscious mechanisms that keep us from achieving our goals. As valiant as it may seem to draw a line in the sand one day and declare that you’re not going to eat junk food anymore, this approach is almost always unsuccessful in the long term. If it were that easy, then weight management wouldn’t be an issue and we all know that this most certainly isn’t the case.

Punishing Yourself After Cheating On Your Diet Only Makes Things Worse

punishing yourself after cheating on your diet just makes things worse
Punishing yourself after cheating on your diet just makes things worse

To change the way we eat requires far more than a resolution. There must be instead an unrelenting commitment to a very real change in lifestyle- one that includes the possibility that we will from time to time slip and fall while on the path. To change the way we eat we have to first divorce ourselves from the destructive perspective that we must in some way atone for any failures on the path of change. It is human nature to believe that when a ‘wrong’ is committed that some form of guilt is required. In most cases, we feel that this guilt needs to be paired with some form of penance to make things better. As natural as this may seem to us in a predominantly Judeo-Christian society, it doesn’t make things any better with regards to our eating habits. The association of ‘wrongdoing’ with our foods has no positive outcomes. It can be the starting point for lifelong eating disorders because one of our most fundamental acts as human beings is defiled by what we perceive as a lack of willpower. Over the course of my career as a personal trainer, I’ve seen so many men and women suffer needlessly and tremendously from this way of thinking. Sadly, our society as a whole plays a large role in reinforcing feelings of guilt and failure in those who struggle to control their weight. We commonly associate not being able to control your weight with some sense of moral failure. When people yield to the temptation of eating the wrong foods, they tend to fall into a downward spiral of self-hatred and disgust. This self-inflicted form of flagellation is followed by a resolve to either exercise more, diet harder or employ some extreme method to compensate for the ‘damage’ done by their indulgence. Sadly, this is an all too familiar refrain for most people today.

A Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body Has No Place For Food Related Guilt

Physiologically speaking, there isn’t anything you can do to make up for a slip in your diet. No amount of cardio or starving yourself after the fact can change the reality of what has already been done. Any thoughts to the contrary fall neatly into the realms of magical thinking as the universe doesn’t have a rewind button. What is done is done so you just have to move on. And so we must simply move on. Wallowing in guilt and trying to make up for our bad choices with hours of exercise doesn’t bring you any closer to the body of your dreams. If anything, it only pushes you further away from your intended goal of a healthier lifestyle. Instead, we must learn to see our slips for what they are: learning experiences that teach us more about ourselves. Every slip holds the information we need to help us avoid a re-occurrence. Far from being a time to reflect on how much of a loser you are, it’s an opportunity to see what triggers make you stray from your intended path. Is it people? Is it places? Or is it a reaction to stress? Each time brings the opportunity to figure out just what you need to look out for in the future.

no guilt when you cheat on your diet
The more guilt you feel about eating a junk food the more you will remember the experience and the more likely you are to keep eating it.

It’s a bit of a Catch 22 situation when you resolve to no longer eat unhealthy foods. While you might believe that this affirmation will change your behavior, on a subconscious level it can work against you to reinforce your original habits of eating unhealthy foods. It sounds counterintuitive but behavioral psychology confirms what many of us learn the hard way: that the very habits that we seek to change resurface because our trying hard to forget them keeps them from being forgotten. When we want to change a behavior, both the new and old ways of thinking will co-exist within us as opposing impulses. Impulses that will always be in competition unless we understand what is going on and take active steps to disarm our undesirable attitudes. Consequently, the more you beat yourself over the head for eating that piece of cheesecake, the more you are helping yourself recall the image of you eating the cheesecake. Which then makes it much harder to forget about eating cheesecake… which ultimately is what you need to do.

What You Should Not Do After Cheating On Your Diet
no cardio after cheating on diet
You can’t simply run off the extra calories as your body will compensate by slowing down your metabolism later in the day.

The idea that you can burn off the calories from a bad meal choice is one that we know today to be virtually impossible, and given the psychology of punishment, make it more likely for you to eat the wrong foods again. As trying to work off the calories is not placing you in a space where you can forget about your slip. Metabolically, it doesn’t work either, and if it did everyone at the gym doing cardio would be sporting six pack, and we all know this not to be the case! Let’s say you had two slices of pizza, which would average anywhere from 500 to as much as 700 calories depending on the topping. You go on the treadmill and work up a sweat until the machine says that you have burned 500 calories and you go home feeling relieved that you dodged the bullet. but here’s what really happened, your body is a machine designed to maximize fat stores and so it is not realistic to believe that you can just jog off extra calories. Our ancestors had to hunt and gather everything they ate and this required an enormous amount of energy, and so our bodies learned to adapt to high energy outputs by slowing down later in the day to compensate. That’s right, slowing down. For decades, studies measured the amount of energy burned during exercise, but there was not any follow up on what happens afterwards and so most people were of the mind that you could simply burn off extra calories by upping your activity levels. New research involving the use of indoor calorimetry rooms that can precisely measure show however that this is not the case. When participants are made to perform aerobic exercise, there is a consequent and proportional reduction in metabolic rate in the 24 hour or longer periods after the exercise is completed. So for any “extra” calories burned, your body will slow down to compensate in a perfect example of homeostasis. For more on this see my ebook The Role Of Exercise In Reducing Abdominal Fat. Keep in mind as well that by exercising after overeating or eating the wrong foods, not only are you not doing anything to correct the situation, but you are teaching yourself a method of remembering the act and thus making yourself more prone to eat the same foods again.

What You Need To Do After Cheating On Your Diet- Move On And Keep On Moving!

So, how do you forget the wonderfully decadent foods that you shouldn’t eat? As impossible as it may sound, it can be done and be reassured by the fact that people do it all the time. But it doesn’t happen overnight, and it does require some patience on your part. What needs to happen is a gradual shift in your eating patterns over time where new healthy foods replace the old unhealthy ones. As time goes by, the new healthy foods will stay at our primary level of consciousness and the once almost uncontrollable desires for the old unhealthy foods simply fade away. It’s a very subtle shift- one that often goes unnoticed until one day you realize that you just don’t feel like eating junk food anymore. You can’t get this from fad diets, pills and powders as it is a very private process that you have to personally work towards. It’s a journey that leads to a true definition of health; one where you really want to eat the foods that are good for you as opposed to avoiding the bad foods because you know you shouldn’t eat them. Such a state requires fundamental change in perspective, as it is only when you are able to enjoy the foods that are good for you that you will be able to break the cycle. In the meantime, do your best not to eat the wrong foods, but if you do -just keep going. Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up if you slip here and there.

High Intensity Bodyweight Training: Ballistic Pushups & Dips!

This was a tough one!

Starts out with ballistic push ups (like clap pushups but without the clap as my wrist is still not 100%) nonstop for 20 reps, then all out on dips for 10 reps.

To say it was painful would be an understatement, but you just have to push through and keep on going.

Still training, hope you are too and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#hometraining #homeworkout #homeworkout #highintensitytraining #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #fitover40 #naturalbodybuildingvideos #chestday #chesttraining #naturalbodybuildingtips #pushups #dips #bodyweighttraining #highintensitytrainingtips #drugfreebodybuilding #calesthenics

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Kevin's Unconventional Biceps Training- 3-6 Minutes a Week!

In this video I go over my biceps training using the Naturally Intense High Intensity Training protocols that helped me go from having arms measuring 11.5 to 12 inches to 18 inches drug free!

It's an unconventional approach for certain, but it's one that's helped my arms grow and the hundreds of men and women I have trained over the past 30 plus years.

Now, my success isn't due to being genetically gifted, as it took me the better part of 11 years to get my arms up to those measurements.

Which is significant as it works and been been proven time and time again to work for the average man or woman trying to grow their arms without drugs.

It's my hope that these high intensity training protocols can help you as much as they helped me!

Click on my bio link to see the full video on my YouTube channel and thanks as always for taking the time to look at my work!!! Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#highintensitytraining #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #fitover40 #naturalbodybuildingvideos #armworkout #bicepsworkout #naturalbodybuildingtips #biceps #armtraining #highintensitytrainingtips #drugfreebodybuilding #barbellcurls

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At the Lancaster Classic Day 2 Elimination Rounds Against European Champion, and World Record Holder Leo Pettersen @leo_barebow_archer

I don't talk much about it but I'm also a competitive barebow archer (surprise!) and last Saturday I had the honor of making it to Day 2 at the Lancaster Archery Classic in the Barebow Division, as I made the top 64 out of 267 competitors and had a chance to shoot with some of the greatest barebow shooters on the planet!

I didn't make it past Leo, but it was a real rush to be there and a huge thanks to my coach, Joe MyGlyn @prolinearchery for helping me get there.

Thanks as well to my good friend @sean_chan33 for all of his help from the very start, to my line buddy Aaron Shea for taking the shot and showing up to support!

My thanks as well to rob_kaufhold for putting on and promoting one of the best archery tournaments on earth!

Thanks also to to everyone who took the time to send a supporting word and I am looking forward to next year!!! #naturallyintense #barebow

#lancasterclassic #lancasterarcheryclassic2024 #lancasterarchery #archery #fitover40 #barebowrecurve #targetarchery

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Dumbo, Brooklyn circa 2004

This shot was taken as part of the promotion for my Naturally Intense DVD and was about a year after my last bodybuilding competition.

It was a grueling photoshoot.

We started at about 10 am and finished around 4pm and I was completely spent, but the more we shot the sharper I looked, so we kept on going.

It's nice to look back from time to time and as tired as I was, we all had a blast!

My thanks to @stephanie_corne_artwork, @https://pulse.ly/itgnag2dec and @ftaz1 for taking the shots!!!

Thanks for watching and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #throwback #fifthavenuegym #5thavenuegym #drugfreebodybuilding #naturalbodybuildinglifestyle #gymlife #gymmotivation #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #bodybuilding #blackandwhite #instablackandwhite #bnw

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Can You Build An Impressive Physique Training Only At Home?


I stopped training in commercial gyms as of March 2020 and have been training at home ever since.

Initially I was admittedly worried that I might lose some of my gains or not make as much progress, but that certainly wasn't the case.

I've consistently continued to improve with my high intensity workouts and muscles have no idea where they are training.

As long as the criteria of adequate intensity and overload are met, there will be an adaptive response and your muscles will get bigger and stronger.

So don't worry at all about where you train, focus instead of what will be the best way for you to always be training!

Thanks for watching and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

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Kevin's Three Day Training Spilt!

For the past 33 years I have trained three times a week with Naturally Intense High Intensity Training workouts lasting 10, 15 to 20 minutes max.

It's a training split tried and testes not only in it's helping me realize my goal of becoming a successful natural bodybuilder, but it's also helped hundreds of men and women over the past three decades.

I have tested just about every possible training split imaginable and for this particular style of high intensity training, this particular grouping consistently yields fantastic results.

I hope it helps you as much as it's helped me over the years and thanks so much for taking the time to look at my work.

Keep training hard and Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#trainingsplit #3daytrainingsplit #threedaytrainingsplit #naturalbodybuilding #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuildingvideo #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #naturalbodybuildingtips #drugfreebodybuilding #bodybuilding #highintensitytraining #highintensitytrainingtips

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405 Stiff Leg Deadlift for 7 Reps! High Intensity Training.

First leg workout of the year and already pushing it!

I haven't done a stiff leg deadlift over 315lbs for about 3 years at this point, and I did my last set with 315lbs and comfortably got to 10 reps and decided I had far too much gas left in the tank and that I should go up in weight.

So I did.

I figured I might get a solid 6 reps in, but I made it to 7 and I think I could have gone on to get a full 10 reps BUT that's when good judgement prevailed.

As a bodybuilder having not trained this heavy for so many years, the shock of this much weight would be more than enough to stimulate muscle growth, and doing more reps wouldn't yield any greater returns, only increase the likelihood of injury.

It's not about the numbers, it's about training to a point where you achieve your goal, and it's important to have a goal in mind as a bodybuilder based on increasing muscle mass rather than hitting a particular number.

Besides, if in my 20's I never did more than 405lbs on a stiff leg deadlift, it doesn't make any sense going heavier than when I am almost 50!

Could I deadlift more at this point?

Absolutely but just because you can doesn't mean you should!

So keep those weights in a good working range, keep it safe and as always Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#hometraining #homeworkout #homeworkout #roguerack #highintensitytraining #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #fitover40 #naturalbodybuildingvideos #backworkout #naturalbodybuildingtips #backtraining #highintensitytrainingtips #drugfreebodybuilding #fitoverforty #deadlift

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Turning 50 in a few months...

Not much of a big deal for me as I still feel pretty much the same but I hope that my example helps show what can be done with a lifetime commitment to eating well and training consistently!

Thanks for coming along on the journey and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #healthylifestyle #fitover40 #drugfreebodybuilding #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #natty #fitness

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Food And Self Control: How To Reduce Cravings

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Related Videos:

What To Do If You Cheat On Your Diet

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Featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to CBS News, Kevin Richardson’s Naturally Intense High Intensity Training have helped hundreds lose weight and transform their bodies with his 10 Minute Workouts. One of the top natural bodybuilders of his time, Kevin is also the international fitness consultant for UNICEF and one of the top personal trainers in New York City.

Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardsonhttps://www.naturallyintense.net
Featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to CBS News, celebrity Personal Trainer NYC and with over 2.6 million readers of his blog, Kevin Richardson is the creator of Naturally Intense High Intensity Training, one of the top lifetime drug free bodybuilders of his time, the first International Fitness & Nutrition Consultant for UNICEF, 2020 and 8 Time Winner of the Best of Manhattan Awards for Personal Training and a world recognized authority on high intensity training. Kevin has helped thousands, from celebrities to CEO's over the past 30 years achieve their fitness goals with his 10 minute high-intensity workouts done just three times a week in conjunction with his holistic nutrition approach. You can learn more about about his diet and training services at www.naturallyintense.net

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