Struggling With Food Cravings? This Article Is For You...
If there's one thing that'll derail both your progress and your motivation when it comes to fat loss and getting shredded it's giving in to those bad food cravings.
When you're in a cutting phase you're consuming fewer calories than your body requires to maintain its current state, a little bit of hunger is normal and is to be expected. However, the urge to ruin your diet by binging on junk food, carbohydrate ridden foods and anything else that'll send you into a huge caloric surplus can be stopped.
Don't fall victim to self sabotage next time you're ready to give in to those food cravings, implement these 8 techniques below and both progress and motivation will remain on your side.
How To Stop Food Cravings (Implement These 8 Tips)
Craving food that’ll derail your diet? You don't need any appetite suppression pills, potions or supplements. Give the following 8 simple techniques of mine a try…
1 - Load Up On Micronutrients
A calorie is a calorie, that may be true when it comes to body composition… but what about quality of life and cognitive function?
If you’re replacing all of your high quality complex carbohydrates with simple sugary carbohydrates found in lollies and the like you’re going to be feeling terrible and performing worse both in the gym and mentally.
When you're loaded up on micronutrients you'll find cravings are almost non existent.
Instead of just throwing a couple of scoops of whey protein into your shaker after your workout why not blend up some whey protein, blueberries and baby spinach? This combination tastes fantastic when using vanilla protein powder (the spinach really does not have much of a taste at all!).
Green juice is a quick and convenient method of ensuring you're getting in all of your micronutrients too.
Here's my go-to juicing recipe:
1 thumb of ginger
2 - Ensure You're Not Crash Dieting
TV shows such as The Biggest Loser utilize crash dieting techniques to get their contestants as light as possible in as short of a timeframe as possible.
Not only will this cause damage to your metabolism (which takes a substantial amount of time to reverse) but you’ll also find that there’s no longevity.
Eating a very minimal amount of calories for a short period of immense weight loss quickly backfires.
The cravings kick in.
Humans only have so much willpower.
The trick is to only reduce your caloric intake as little as required so you're not starving your body, a conservative deficit of 500 calories will have you burning fat at a steady rate while avoiding the food cravings and mood swings associated with a starvation style crash diet.
3 - Reduce Your Stress Levels
When we're stressed we're more susceptible to eat junk food as a release, hence the term 'comfort food'.
Reduce your stress levels and you'll be reducing those bad food cravings for comfort food!
Here's a handful of techniques I use to de-stress, give them a try and find what works best for you.
- Spend an hour in a sensory deprivation tank
- Perform 20 minutes of interval sprints to get the 'runners high'
- Diffuse lavender essential oil, proven to assist with stress reduction and improving sleep
- Spend 10 minutes in a comfortable position going through a guided meditation via Headspace
- Read a chapter of a biography or non-fiction book
- Foam roll/trigger point therapy to reduce tension in my body
4 - Intermittently Fast
Fasting through the morning has been the #1 way I’ve been able to ensure I don’t exceed my caloric goal when I’m following my cutting diet.
When cutting I’m generally aiming for around 2,800 calories per day.
If, like previously I had a big breakfast I’d be down to 1,400 by mid-day.
With only 1,400 calories to tie me over between mid day and when I’d go to bed at around 11pm at night I’d often find myself giving in, I ate the bulk of my calories too early and couldn’t resist fasting through the rest of the day when I was hungry.
By fasting ’till mid-day this gives me a full 2,800 calories to work with for the afternoon and evening, this way I’m able to ensure I’m only hitting my goal and not exceeding it daily.
If you’re used to eating breakfast every morning you’ll find it takes a bit of time to adjust – the first few months I was able to fast until 9am, 10am, 11am and finally 12.
5 - Increase Your Water Intake
Drink two gallons of water per day, an increased water intake has been linked to reduced cravings and increased satiety.
6 - Increase Your Fiber Intake
Increase your intake of foods high in fiber such as green vegetables and fruits such as the apple, foods high in fiber have been proven to leave you feeling fuller for longer.
Bad food cravings won't creep up on you when you're full.
7 - Chew Gum
This is the quickest, simplest 'hack' to eliminate bad food cravings.
Whenever I'm out and about and feel like cheating on my diet I'll chew some spearmint gum.
This may sound silly but chewing gum instantly suppresses my appetite and gives your body the illusion of eating food.
8 - Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth immediately after your scheduled meals (if you're eating on the go and can't brush your teeth opt for chewing gum as mentioned above).
Once you've brushed your teeth you won't find the desire to snack or devour those calorie dense meals that you had on your mind earlier in the day.
Your 8 Step Checklist To Stop Food Cravings
You don't need to fork out a cent for any ridiculous supplements or training protocols to eliminate bad food cravings, here's my 8 easy steps that've keep all of my cutting phases on track:
- Eat foods high in micronutrients (green juice one a day)
- Keep my caloric deficit modest
- Read, run and relax to reduce my stress levels
- Fast through the morning
- Drink 2 gallons of water a day
- Eat foods high in fiber (greens)
- Chew gum when I get food cravings
- Brush my teeth between meals