Sometimes you are just in the zone. You look forward to training and your eating is totally on plan. It seems like second nature and life seems calm and settled.
Other times you feel like you are drowning. You set out every day to go to the gym and eat within the guidelines you have committed to, and by 4pm you are still in your pyjamas, you have eaten everything in the kitchen and been to the corner store three times for treats. You promise yourself that tomorrow will be a fresh start but the next day is exactly the same.
What makes the difference? What have you done differently that has made your world swing from calm to chaos and how do you get things back to calm again?
For some people it is training every morning. As long as they get up and go for a walk/go to the gym they are set for the day. Their food choices are great because they don't want to waste the effort they have put in already.
For other people it is having a deadline to meet. A party, reunion or wedding set at a fixed date is what puts all thought of 'cheating' or 'relaxing' far from their thoughts.
For me it is the S food - Sugar and Starch. I am like an addict. If I try to moderate my intake and have a 'normal' amount each day I eventually spin out of control. Even healthy low GI starches (rice, oats, wholegrain wheat) totally derail me.
I can vividly remember the very first time my eating behaviour relapsed after losing 20kgs. I began eating healthy in January and in November I was given a huge basket of Freddo Frogs. I only meant to have one... I spent a long time after that night not knowing how to get back in the zone and not knowing why.
Then there was the period when I was touring overseas in Japan, Singapore and USA. I was trying to eat healthy foods by sticking to plain rice, grainy bread and cereal. I crashed and burned nearly every night.
I did quite well on low-carb until I introduced carb re-feeds. Even my Body for Life challenge [equal protein and carbs at each meal] saw me bingeing once a week on my free day.
To flick the switch to 'on' for weight loss/maintenance I need to keep away from the S foods. If I limit my carbs to 50-75g a day from mostly non-starchy vegetables, nuts and dairy I feel completely calm and in control. I can eat no-sugar chocolate and ice cream and I am OK. Give me rocky road or a piece of cake and I am ravenous for two days afterward.
To foil the deprivation monster I make sure I have my daily treat - chicken wings with the skin on, chocolate protein bars, peanut butter, Camembert cheese, and the aforementioned no-sugar frankenfoods but I have discovered that I need to eliminate the things I know will make me crazy and fat. There seems to be a strong case for both biology AND psychology.
What is the one thing you need to do to flick the switch?