Since diet is so vital to our progress we have to make sure we iron out all of our wrinkles. Most of our wrinkles are often caused by habitual behavior. Yup, that’s right, bad habits! Our habits truly define us as we have them with the way that we speak, work, walk, drive, and most importantly how we eat. So we need to recognize these bad eating habits and put an end to them. Breaking habits certainly isn’t an easy task, which is why we need to wean off of them like we would a narcotic. If you jump right into it and cold turkey your bad habits, they will most likely return. The key here is to slowly cut out the habits and develop a will power that will soon enable you to hold off and forget about your old way of life. Develop a game plan that will facilitate you to prevail over your bad eating habits. Identify the foods that are a part of your diet that shouldn’t be, and write them down. You keep these foods in there because you feel like you NEED them, or because you have those late night urges. Well these foods are the foods that you will wean yourself off of. Whenever you get the urge to indulge into that piece of cheesecake that has ever so patiently been waiting for you to treat yourself with, you need to ask yourself whether or not you really need it. You will come to realize that you do not need this sinful desire. This cheesecake may taste amazing, and due to its high glycemic index rating, it will satisfy your body’s urges with a quick spike of energy. But if you don’t have it, will it kill you? The trick here is that you need to comprehend it’s only a habit that makes you feel this way. So instead of eating the whole piece of cheesecake, take half of it and save the other half for another nights urge. When this urge spikes again, try and eat half of that half-eaten piece. Here you wean yourself off of the late night cheesecake through a small decline in portion size. Now the most important part of this weaning process happens when the food is gone. This food should be crossed off the game plan list as well as your grocery list. Let’s face it, you are what you eat, and you eat what is in your house. If you have bad food in your house you will stay persistent with a bad diet. If you fill your fridge with healthy foods, then your late night snack may be a piece of cold chicken thrown over some romaine lettuce instead of the strawberry covered cheesecake. If you’re serious about taking steps forward toward your true potential, fill your fridge and cabinets with a variety of healthy foods so you have no choice but to eat the right way. This idea of habits doesn’t just involve the bad habits we have now, but more a less the good habits we will develop. Some good habits that I have developed over my years of training not only propelled my results, but made my life a lot easier. One of the best habits I developed was that I learned how to plan everything out. From meals to work outs, I went into that day with a mindset of knowing what to do and what I needed to accomplish. There used to be days when I would go into the gym without a plan and just use what was convenient, or just happened to be available for the time being. For example, if it was a chest day and I wanted to do barbell bench but there weren’t any benches open, I would skip it and go do dumbbell incline or the peck deck. This would hurt me in the long run because the next time I went in to do chest, the same thing could have happened and therefore I skipped bench two weeks in a row. You need to write down what you are going lift and stick to that plan. If you have to wait for something to open up, it’s ok; you can always come back to it. Plus, by writing everything down it helps you see the weights you used. So for the next workout you can apply our progressive overload technique and continue to push more weight than previously used. Other habits that formed through this growing process include the amount of water I need to drink in a day, the foods I eat before and after I lift, getting out of bed early enough to start my day, the route I take in the grocery store, and it goes on and on. These good habits keep my mind and body healthy and help keep me on my schedule.
Vincent Russo, 25 years old from Kenilworth NJ. Has a BA in Biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison NJ. A Bodybuilding.com Team Athlete, Silver Model, High School Football Coach, Substitute Teacher, Waiter/bartender. Was a top 5 finalist out of 500 guys for bodybuilding.com‘s 2012 BodySpace Spokes Model. Compete in the Men’s Physique category where in recent competitions placed 2nd in NPC East Coasts (Nov. 2011), and 3rd in Bodybuilding.com‘s BodySpace Spokes model competition (LA Fit Expo 2012).