Cravings are hard. In fact, it's one of the most common obstacles clients and people have, so what's the deal? When it comes to cravings you can focus on these 3 principles and develop strategies to get a better understanding and handle on them...
1. Composition. When your meals consist of protein (20-25g) each time, your body is more regulated and you feel more "fullness" or satiety. This will curb cravings. Studies have been done with groups controlled with a heavier protein diet and others with a heavier carbohydrate diet. The results to just cravings were incredibly interesting.
Can you guess how they played out? The group eating more protein had significantly less cravings than the carbohydrate group. Protein isn't just for athletes and muscle-builders, I have to explain this all the time!
2. Frequency is also very important. How often do you eat? What is your meal timing like? This involves blood sugar. When you go long times without food your blood sugar begins to lower and eventually plummet. When this happens, a chemical response is at work. The receptors in your brain fire, dopamine is released as you think about eating.
The longer you go, the harder it is and the more your brain engages the pattern. Sadly enough, even when you finally do reach your desired food(s) to satisfy your craving, you eat them, and instead of quenching the fire, your brain in turn releases more dopamine! Viscous cycle. Can you recall times like these? Is this common?
3. Availability. The last thing involved with cravings is simple availability. If it's around, or if it's there, chances are significantly higher that you will eat it! This one might be the easiest to control ourselves, but people we are around or live with influence the availability.
I remember years ago dieting extremely hard for the Arnold Schwarzenegger Grappling Classic, and all my clients were aware. This was a big one, so they wanted to be nice and reward me as I accomplished my goal. In the weeks leading up as it drew near, I had made the mistake of telling them my favorite cookie. The week I returned, needless to say, I had way too many oatmeal raisin cookies that week! I remember thinking, "I'll just mow through them all to get it over with". They were available.
It may be your roommate, mom, grandma or husband, always bringing something home that tempts your cravings without fully understanding their actions. Eliminating or reducing these foods before they are an issue will lead to success.
Protein every meal, eat often to regulate your blood sugar and keep craving-worthy foods away, or at an all-time minimum. These three principles work extremely well together. Imagine, if you are eating protein every meal and eating frequently, regularly, controlling your blood sugar and cravings...you won't be nearly apt to indulge if cake or cookies present themselves. Even if they do, you'll be okay. .
Study and recognize your cravings. With this new information analyze what is happening, why are these craving coming about? You will find insight into why and now you have the solutions. Follow these three easy cravings principles and you will rid yourself of nearly all your daily cravings.