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Psychological consequences of food restrictions: lifestyle tradeoffs for maximizing physique

Often, pictures of physique transformations you see online don’t show the sacrifices it takes to get them. Every year, millions of people aspire for such transformations. Most of them fail or regain their weight by falling back to old habits. Have you wondered what it takes and whether you can stick to it for life?

Fact checked by Nattha Wannissorn

Wade’s Story: How To Lose Friends And
Alienate People With Super Restrictive Lifestyles

For 15 years, I professionally competed in bodybuilding, one of the most restrictive lifestyle sports in the world. It requires achieving super-physiological low body fat levels and high levels of muscle mass, which goes against your evolutionary survival programming. You literally train, eat, and sleep bodybuilding. There’s no room for anything else.

Over the 15 years, I never had butter or dessert because my goal was to become the best bodybuilder I could be. The goal superseded everything else and I was going to make sure I gave it my best effort. 

My only way around these natural tendencies was to have cyborg-like rigidity. There was no deviation from the diet. There was no flexibility in any social occasion. There was just Terminator-like focus, because I knew that if I slipped, I would go off track.

When I got to very low body fat during long periods of dieting, I would constantly think of food. I’d have to count out mini rice cakes and allot 20-25 of them in groups of five at a time and put them in a bowl. If I did it any other way, my brain would skip the count, causing me to want to cheat and eat more rice cakes… I couldn’t keep the count down. My brain was trying to fool me into eating more.  It was a constant battle against my starvation self-defense mechanisms.

Wade at a bodybuilding competition

I could only date people with the same mentality: bodybuilders and fitness competitors. It was very difficult for a “normal woman” to tolerate my restrictive ways.  

I would either skip the social occasions or bring my own food to them. If challenged, I would leave the social occasion or fight back against anybody who suggested that I deviate from my diet, regardless of whatever rationalization they had. 

I would not get invited to certain events and things just because I would be the weirdest guy they knew.  As an outgoing person, this was a major sacrifice.

My story serves as a cautionary tale of what it might take to transcend your natural lack of discipline, although some might find it inspirational. If you want to go extreme with your physique, you need to engage in extreme practices that cost your relationships and opportunities. 

Here’s a diagram to help illustrate the throughput of effort to results. 

Effort flows into the “pipe.” Your total potential results are determined by the quality of your overall strategy. The better the strategy, the more potential results. Don’t worry, BiOptimizers has got every strategy you’ll need.

Then comes execution. How effectively are you executing the strategy? If you’re 80%+, you will get good results. If you want great results, you need to go to 90%+. If you want to go to the world-class zone, you’re living close to 100%. This is why LIFESTYLE is the final piece of the pipe. The closer you get to 100% throughput, the more restrictive your lifestyle becomes.

There’s another way to use this framework. If you want to reach your FINAL FORM as fast as intelligently possible, then this is highly relevant. In other words, maybe you have to get to 95%-100% restrictiveness for a few months. For life, however, you’re going to need to cycle between different strategies.

In our Nutrition Bible (coming soon), we cover these different strategies.

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