This year I have scheduled a cheat day every Sunday where I will have a Danish pastry or chocolate bar that have been craving throughout the week. I normally do this I the morning to allow for it to be burned off throughout the day. The rest of my diet throughout the day is the same except I leave out the broccoli and tuna which is the only part of my diet I do not enjoy. I also leave the scales in the cupboard and don't bother writing the nutritional value of the food I ate throughout the day.
Putting on 5 lbs a week is better than 1 lb - Over doing carbs will make you fat. Most people realize this but in the off season they still take in huge amounts of carbs which their excuse is it gives them more energy to train. These people think if Lee Priest can look that good onstage after getting up to a 44'' waist they should follow his footsteps.
If you put more than 1.5-2 lbs a week the rest will most probably be fat or water so you would have done yourself no favors by putting on any extra weight. If you want a hope in hell in getting in shape for a contest or the beach you must watch your bodyweight carefully. If you don't you will only give up half way through your cutting diet or you will lose most of your muscle along with the fat.
Eating anything that doesn't move - Some people get the idea that to put on muscle you need to eat as much as possible. Although bodybuilders must eat a lot especially those with fast metabolisms eating to many calories will only be made to be stored as body fat. It would be far better to workout your maintenance level and add on another 300 calories on top of that to put on mass while limiting body fat.
Not eating enough - As well as people eating to many calories eating to little will also limit your gains. You should shoot for around 250 calories over maintenance level to make gains while minimizing fat storage. Not eating enough will send your body into a catabolic state that is when your body uses muscle for energy. This happening everyday is definitely not the way to build a superior physique.
|Following diets from magazines - I too followed diets from magazines but I soon realized these are served as an outline. For example when they outline a diet for a bodybuilder weighing 160 lb they do not often mention if they have a fast metabolism or if its meant for steroid users which need more calories. This is why diets from magazines such as FLEX should be used as a guideline only.||
Thinking fat is the enemy - You need good fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated best got from flaxseed oil and nuts. Although it is important to have fat in your diet try to stay away from taking in unnecessary saturated fats especially when dieting.
Training alone will help you reach your goals - Some people in the gym use perfect form, don't spend ten minutes talking between sets and are using a good exercise program. It's a shame some of this straight after a workout head to the nearest fish and chip shop. They say your diet counts for around 80% of your overall progress so it makes sense to concentrate more on perfecting your diet than your training routine.
Eating to little when dieting - I did this and sacrificed all my size just to be ripped. Killing yourself dieting to hard for a show is not the answer. When starting dieting only drop down 250-300 calories in one step. Dropping from 4,000 to 3,000 suddenly will cause your body to use your muscle for energy.
If your maintenance calorie intake is 3,000 there's no point dropping down to 1,000 as half the weight you loose will most probably be muscle rather than fat. Along with that you will feel that shit and will not have a chance of putting 100% into your workouts that you should be doing.
Using someone else's diet just because it works for them - I did this when dieting for my last show. I followed a diet I was set by a natural British champion. Although he clearly knew what he was talking about no two people are built the same so it was a big mistake copying someone's diet. Use the diets you read about for a base but also take into account your goals and your calorie maintenance level rather than focusing on the persons who gave you the diet to follow.
Supplements replacing a good diet - This is another common mistake. As someone is using a great supplement stack they forget about the whole food diet and rely solely on supplements. These guys although maybe using top notch supplements will never reach their potential due to a poor diet they follow. Whole foods should be a solid base to construct your diet then finish of with adding supplements.