Cravings are inevitable, it is being able to cure them without giving in that is the key to success. It is our ability to handle cravings in a positive way that will define our level of sustainability when it comes to achieving health and fitness goals.
February is usually a month where people try to get back on track with their health and fitness.
The festive season is over, schools are back in session and some form of routine has largely been created.
Every year in the studio, we like to do ‘Feb-Fast’ whereby our members give up something that has been a bit of a handbrake for their success over the previous few months.
Common examples include:
- Sugar/processed foods
This is a wonderful initiative to press reset nutritionally. However, there can also be some dangers (in the form of cravings) that occur over the course of the month.
This is perfectly natural.
Any time that you are giving up something that has been a feature in your life for a while, you miss it and so does your body.
Junk food, alcohol, sugar, caffeine and alcohol all create a situation where our body believes it needs them in order to survive.
Giving them up can lead to some withdrawals in the form of cravings. If we can handle these cravings in a positive way, then we are setting ourselves up for long term success.
So how can we cure those cravings?
Eat frequently, eat well
Ensure that you are eating 3-4 times per day and focus on having a positive balance between good proteins, carbohydrates and fats. This will mean that your metabolism is always burning at a high level and you will never have those ‘drops’ in blood sugar levels that can cause the feelings of cravings.
The better that you eat all the time, the less that you will crave bad foods some of the time.
The idea of ‘snacking’ is something that constantly gets bad press. Too often it is associated with eating bad foods (chocolates, chips, biscuits) and people think that they shouldn’t snack at all in order to see success.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Snacking is fantastic! It is also necessary to make sure that your main meals are not too big and your metabolism continues to burn at a high rate.
You just need to do it properly.
Swap out the biscuits and chocolate for nuts, fruit or protein balls!
Stuck for ideas?
Click here for some delicious snack recipes.
Make your meal feel naughtier than it really is
It is not too hard to make something feel naughtier or sweeter than it really is. You just need to know how to go about it properly.
A few ideas include:
- Sprinkling some cinnamon on your breakfast in the morning
- Adding a few slices of fruit to your salad
- Using artificial sweeteners such as stevia (just be aware of volumes)
If you are able to trick your mind and body into thinking that it has had something that you would normally crave, then more often than not you do not have to deal with those cravings coming back for a while. This is a great way of curing cravings without giving in to them.
Have a drink of water
Sometimes you are not even hungry. You are thirsty and do not even realise it.
As a population, we are chronically dehydrated. We are only drinking when we feel thirsty and by then it is largely too late.
Having a big glass of water is a great way to fill up the stomach and give yourself enough time to let the cravings pass.
Give it a go and see if it works. Worst case scenario is that you will be a little bit more hydrated which is a win in itself.
Understand and avoid certain triggers
It is perfectly natural to have triggers or scenarios in your life. Set one of these off and the response can come in a variety of ways. For a lot of people, this can be a negative response that will not help you with your health and fitness success. If you are looking to cure those cravings, it is important to understand if you have any triggers and how you normally respond to them,
Common examples include:
- Stress and reaching for junk food/alcohol
- Tiredness and eating sugary food
- Lack of sleep and all of the above
If you are able to understand what your trigger is and how you respond to it, then you are in a great position to change that response.
When you recognise that you have been triggered, it is time to remove yourself from the situation and the way you would normally respond.
A great thing to do is swap it out the negative response for a walk, some fresh air or sunshine. Stay away from the food/alcohol. Recognise your situation for what it is and deal with it in a more positive way.
Getting outside is a win win as you remove the craving response and get some exercise in as well!
Eat more protein
Protein is a wonderful thing.
Not only does it repair muscle tissue, skin and help with your joints, but it also takes a long time to burn.
Why is this an important fact when it comes to trying to cure those cravings?
It is very hard to be hungry when your body is still burning the previous meal.
If you increase your protein amounts with meals, you will spend less time feeling hungry which in turn reduces the opportunity for the body to start craving certain things.
Makes sense right?
You could even add some protein to your snacks to help improve the hunger between meals. This is turn will help you with your muscles and metabolism.
Whilst the above are not a foolproof way to cure cravings, they will go a long way to helping you overcome some of the major situations in which they do pop up. February will come and go. Feb Fast will go with it. If you take the above points on board, then there is a good chance that you can live your healthy best for the rest of your life.
Want To Learn More?
Since COVID-19 entered our lives, we have aimed to deliver some great weekly information as to how you can remain healthy, productive and in good spirits. This blog post is the latest addition to a growing library of information. Click to read more on our dedicated COVID support blogs.
Over the last 4 years Authentic Personal Training has established itself as a leading health and fitness studio on the Lower North Shore. We are incredibly proud to announce that we have been voted The Best Fitness Business on The North Shore for 2019.
Join us on our Facebook page:
To book a complimentary Outdoor Personal Training Session with one of Sydney’s most experienced Personal Trainers, simply fill out the form below