Dieting for a bodybuilding show is one of the hardest things in the world. Show after show, it never seems to get any easier. There are a few things I have learned over the years that have helped ease the pain of losing the freedom to eat a cookie at any random time of the day...or go without pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning...or eat cake at a friend's birthday party. Yeah, you get the picture.
These suggestions don't exclusively apply to bodybuilders, they also apply to the average person who's watching what they eat and needs a strategy to help them avoid falling off of the wagon and entering crazy town.
Drinking a cup of flavored tea has proven to be very helpful in curbing my cravings for a hot fudge sundae right before bed. Chewing sugar free gum, eating a serving of sugar free jello, sipping sugar free flavored water and Crystal Light are also helpful ways to distract your taste buds. There are several brands of sugar free candies on the market that may come in handy as well. I will warn you that overindulging in these candies may cause you to have several unpleasant situations in the bathroom, so eat them with caution. Try a little lemon or lime squeezed into your ice water or if you get crazy enough, just chew on the whole lime- they are reasonably low in sugar.
Overall, the substitute for high fructose corn syrup and cane sugar is aspartame and sugar alcohols, amongst a few other artifical sweetners. Some people report headaches and a burning mouth and certain "bathroom issues" with the sugar alcohol candies, as the only real side effects to these sugar free options.
Contrary to some television commercials out there that suggest you munch on a bowl of their cereal (ahem...Special K) late at night to avoid sabotaging your weight-loss efforts, THAT many carbohydrates- both from milk and the cereal, are unnecessary and counterproductive to fat loss. Forget the marketing scam bowl of cereal and chew some gum instead. Either that or just go to bed early and end the suffering.