Successful Behavior Modification
One thing that I have noticed about competition dieting and training is that behavior modification happens in steps. Whether it is modification to the training protocol or modification to the nutrition protocol, we don’t just go from not working out to two hours of cardio a day plus weight training all in one instance. And the same is true for dieting. Depending on how naughty you get in the off season, we go slowly with that also.
One way of creating effective behavior modification is to be aware of our current behaviors in the first place. When we are not dieting or prepping for a show, sometimes our eating and exercise plan gets put on auto pilot and we are not really aware of what we are doing. So a quick and easy fix I like to make is taking a journal of behaviors for one week and accessing behaviors to see what they are and what the starting point is. Some people have very similar eating and exercise habits whether they are getting ready for competition or 3 months into the off season. In reality, I am not talking to you. I am talking to those naughty girls, that love the extremes of serious contest dieting followed by what seems like a nutrition and exercise vacation. This is not the healthiest plan, but hey, I am not here to judge, I am only here to help. Since this is a strategy that gets used, I want to address it, and help to create a realistic plan of action. Unlike the competitor that does not take a nutrition vacation, you have a bit more work ahead of you and it is best to be done in phases. Starting off with phasing out certain foods while phasing in more intense training in a balanced way that is reasonable so that the net result is successful.
So in the spirit of taking baby steps, my success plan for the naughty off season girl is to take one week to jot down meals and also weigh your food as well. If you have been naughty, chance are your competition food scale is sitting in the back of your cupboard collecting dust. Well, dust it off, hop on the scale access the damage and spend a week just observing your behavior. Once you have observed your behavior for one week, some of those behaviors will just naturally change just due to the fact of not wanting to write something down. So in the process of simply making a behavioral observation, you are already making behavioral changes. Then the second week, create your plan of action and move forward with your changes, making updates on a week by week basis.
That is my easy, quick, and cheap plan for behavior modification.