Cravings seems like a rather appropriate topic to touch on given the time of the year and the fact that masses of the population are approximately a week away from going into a ‘’fat loss frenzy’’ as 2013 ticks. Initially the sickly feeling induced by binging during the festive period will inevitably serve as an effective deterrent for the first couple of weeks (at a push) of the New Year. What then, though? What happens when your cravings run wild and all of a sudden you could have a Christmas feast all over a again, the prospect of a mammoth feeding extravaganza is suddenly more appealing than ‘’clean’’ eating.
Personally I like to think (maybe I am kidding myself) that I am fairly good at addressing this topic with an ounce of logic given that 95% of my clients are ‘’T total’’ and most are still able to enjoy their favourite junk food on a regular (ish) basis. There are two elements to tackling cravings, there is the psychological aspect and then there is the physiological part as well. Psychologically the minute you say ‘’those foods are off limits’’ you will begin to desire them!! The easiest way to battle this feeling is to know that your nutrition plan caters for your needs. This means that if knowing that pizza is off the menu for 10 weeks keeps you awake at night then you potentially need a mental break once a week. This doesn’t mean hitting up the best pizza restaurant in town, instead it might mean having a homemade ‘’healthy’’ pizza which nails your cravings yet coincides (at least roughly) with your diet.
From a physiological point of view there things you can do which will help eliminate the desire for sugary foods, often the main culprit. Eating foods which provide satiety is essential; a salad with a sprinkling of chicken breast probably isn’t going to do the trick as where something with healthy fats along with protein (think meat & nut breakfast) is ideal! This will also help steady blood sugar levels which is one of the best ways to help supress the desire for sugary foods.
You should always have an ‘’emergency’’ treat which isn’t in fact a cheat, but tastes great for when temptation becomes too much. Often snacks which include protein powders and nut butter perhaps with quark cheese are ideal, making a healthy mousse just to take the edge off.
There will always be an element of self-control and mental grit however it does certainly help if you are using these tips as a means to limit the requirement for out and out determination!