Okay ladies.. and gents… let’s talk cravings.. those evil little things right…. Yes. It is safe to say they are evil. haha.
As you find yourself inching closer and closer to your body fat loss goal, you might find that
your cravings are growing at an even faster rate. Earlier you had no problem fending off passing desserts, drive-through stops, or late-night eating, but now you feel like it’s a whole other ball game.
This is quite common and expected whenever you’re on a fat loss diet because of the shifting hormone levels in the body that are trying to get you to eat so you don’t starve to death. The body senses that you’re getting leaner and leaner – something that it doesn’t especially like, and now it’s going to do whatever it can to get you to start eating.
So… hold up..I am telling you that as you lose the weight/fat% that you want to lose… your body is going to fight against you and try to make you eat to back track on all of your progress… YEP!!! That is exactly what I am saying.. UNFORTUNATELY…
So… how do we win this battle!?
3 tips… from bodybuilding.com
- Ask yourself if it is HUNGER or a CRAVING…
Are you feeling quite weak or light-headed? Both of those are symptoms that it likely is hunger talking. If you’re not, it could be a very strong craving that’s causing you to feel something like hunger.
If it is hunger, then it’s time to assess why you’re hungry. When was the last time you had a meal? Some people find that they can go longer periods of time without eating while others do better eating every couple of hours. Try and figure out what type of person you are and then adjust your diet accordingly.
In other cases, the real reason you might be experiencing hunger is because you are eating too few calories on an ongoing basis. Often when very low calorie diets are followed for an extended period of time, hunger will begin to get to an extreme level.
Usually a good way to offset this is by performing periodic re-feeds, which are periods of much higher calorie eating supplemented with your regular low calorie diet plan.
Other times, it may just be that you should increase your overall calorie intake higher, which would then allow you to deal with this hunger. In some situations doing so won’t even hinder fat-loss since when you are eating far too few calories, this can actually slow the metabolic rate right down.
So have a look over what your current situation is, both regarding how you’ve eaten that day and how you’ve been eaten for the last few weeks. You can then uncover some additional factors that could be coming into play with this hunger.
Obviously it isnormal to feel hunger at some point or another, but there are strategies you can use to minimize it, which will help keep cravings at bay.
2. Find a Healthy Substitute
If you realize after doing the hunger assessment that you aren’t really all that hungry and you just want a specific food, then it’s time to look at things from a different perspective.
Since you aren’t hungry, you know the drive to eat is purely psychological so you need to combat it in a much different manner. Ideally you’re going to want to try and find a food that you can eat instead of the one you’re craving that will still satisfy the desire in question.
There are a numberof different options that you can substitute, many of which will taste quite similar. Here are some quick examples of foods you may be craving and what you could eat instead:
As you can see, with some creativity there are a wide number of options you can choose from to help conquer your cravings.
Each person typically has their own specific food that they tend to crave the most….(for me it is ANYTHING SWEET), so obviously this will bevariable and you’ll have to think for yourself what will be mostimportant, but you should be able to come up with some reasonable substitutions that will keep your taste buds happy and serve you well nutritionally speaking.
3. Decide when to GIVE IN…
Finally, in some cases the craving is just going to be so strong that you simply aren’t going to be able to replace it, regardless of how creative you happen to be.
In this case, then it may just be smart to give into the craving and eat what you desire. If you don’t, chances are it will nag away at you until you do finally give in and when you do, you may not be able to practice as much self control as you otherwise would have.
You should train yourself to only have a dessert (or whatever food you crave) when you are absolutely sure that the calories are worth it. If you do this, you’ll find that you aren’t giving in all that often anyway and when you do, you truly enjoy it.
…when you give in… then GIVE IN!!
If you’re only half enjoying it and the other half of you is riddled with guilt over eating this particular food, you really aren’t doing yourself all that much justice anyway.
When you are going to give in, do it and savor every moment of it. If you do this, you’ll kill that craving in its tracks. Keep in mind that diets don’t have to be 100% rigid. A good diet should have room for flexibility.
Here are some things that I do to try and kick a craving..
- drink tea… myfavorites are Chocolate Tea and Coconut Chai!! Both are unsweetened and delish!!
- Go for a walk or to the gym
- look at before photos so I can see how much my healthy choices are paying off
- Call a friend
- Make healthy substitutes– protein oatmeal (cook oatmeal, stir in a scoop of your fave protein powder…mmmm!), protein pudding (scoop of protein powder, 1TBS fave sugar free pudding mix, little bit of water, stir, put in fridge or freezer till reached desired consistency)
*** Also… Pay attention to WHAT you are craving.. your body may be trying to tell you something!!!
yayyyyy!! Let’s conquer cravings!!