I’ve helped thousands of people lose fat, build muscle, and get healthy, and here’s a situation I encounter all too often:

Chris has been following his meal and workout plans for a couple of months and has made steady improvements. Then, one night after work, he heads out with friends and winds up eating more of the greasy, delicious food than he wanted. 

Immediately afterward, he’s upset with himself for “ruining” his diet. Steaming, he berates himself:

“Perfect, Chris. There goes this week’s progress. I can’t believe how weak I am. I can’t even hang out with some friends without stuffing my fat face with junk food. How pathetic. You know what? I’m going to eat ice cream when I get home too. That’s what a slob would do, right?” 

Later that night, Chris gobbles down two containers of Jeni’s Gooey Butter Cake (*Italian chef’s kiss*) and plods to bed, disgusted with himself.

It didn’t have to go this way. 

The path from nibbling on nachos and wings to slurping down pints of ice cream was manufactured by Chris. 

His story about why he ate the food in the first place (“I’m weak”) and his conclusion (“My diet is blown”) were unnecessarily pessimistic. If he had rejected his knee-jerk reaction to the snacking and reframed it, the outcome could have been very different.

“Hold on, Chris,” he could have said. “I didn’t eat that much—some chicken wings and nachos is what, a few hundred calories? Also, eating a little too much today doesn’t mean I’m weak. Look at how good I’ve been so far, bringing lunches to work and turning down the cookies, doughnuts, and candies everyone passes around. Tonight was a hiccup, so I’m going to forgive myself and carry on.”

This is the “secret” to guilt-free eating and exercising. 

So long as you can do the important things fairly well most of the time and stay cool when you stumble (and you will stumble occasionally, because we all do), you’ll never struggle to improve your body composition. 

Things may take a little longer or be a little less straightforward than you’d like, but you’ll never lose the plot.

So, the next time you face adversity of any kind, pay attention to your explanatory style, and if it’s tainted with pessimism—if the story is permanent, universal, or self-abusive in nature—stop to dispute your assumptions.


If you want more of my musings on mastering the inner game of getting fit, check out my newest book Muscle for Life.

In it, I share wisdom and insights on how to tackle the three ugliest inner-game ogres standing between you and the body you really want: the Purpose Phantom, Time Troll, and Consistency Creature.

If you want to finally feel like your fitness regimen is on autopilot, you need to overcome these obstacles and temptations, and Muscle for Life will show you how.

Go for it!


P.S. To celebrate the release of Muscle for Life, I’m also giving away over $1400 of splendid swag, including . . .

  • Bowflex C6 Bike ($999)
  • Hypervolt Go ($199)
  • Instant Pot Duo Crisp Air Fryer ($199) 

. . . and more.

There are several ways to enter to win, too, including buying books, spreading the word, following me on social media, and more.

Click here for a quick hosedown of the giveaway intel:

⇒  www.muscleforlifebook.com