Crush Your Cravings

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This Fit Girl Magic podcast episode is ALL about cravings!  You know them, you give into them, you loath them, you wish they didn’t exist because they are the bain of your existence, and you don’t know WHY they sneak up all the dang time.  BUT guess what?? 97% of women and 68% of men report having an occasional craving. YOU ARE NOT ALONE my friend!

Just look at that percentage of women who have them!! And I think “gosh dang those hormones are on fire!!” But it is more than just hormone my loves!  How we live, sleep, and eat every single day plays a huge role in those cravings and when we get them and how fast get them or how intense we get them.

And I know everyone who is listening has gotten cravings, I mean that number up there speaks volumes.  But what exactly are cravings?? By definition I mean.. Well, cravings are defined as an intense desire for a specific food. They are stronger than normal hunger.  

Hunger is when you will eat anything! Steamed broccoli because the is how hungry you are!

Where craving is a desire for something specific.  Like you want cookies or cookies from a specific bakery or pizza from a certain pizzeria. See the difference?

I have heard before that craving is a nutritional deficiency.  And I can go either way on this.  There is probably some merit to that, but usually, I say that our cravings are more than that. We are hard-wired to crave this specific crappy food! Not healthy food, am I right?  So instead of saying it’s about nutritional deficiency, I like to say that cravings are going to be 3 things.  And this is what I ask everyone when we get into the topic of cravings. 

  1. Are you hungry? Are you eating enough for each meal? What are you eating? And is it sustainable?
  2. What is your energy like? Did you sleep last night? Are you sleeping well? If I am low energy, I am going to be looking for a sugary, high caffeine fix trying to find ways for my body to get more energy.
  3. What are your emotions/stress like? Are you in an emotional place right now? Are you emotional and stressed?

You are never going to NOT get a craving.  It just will always be something that is there.  But today I want to talk to you about how you can avoid fewer cravings but be cognitive of how your day is going and a few simple changes you can make each day to reduce those cravings!  How do you minimize the cravings and make them less intense, less frequent?

The first and biggest reason WHY cravings are coming at your so hard is that YOU ARE NOT EATING ENOUGH!  I know there are so many out there that you have lived in this bubble and you know that if you only just eat this much you are safe, or you are burning more calories than you are consuming in a day.  Yes, we want that calorie deficit, but not if you are starving all day long.  You may not be eating enough to keep up and your body is craving other things or more sustainable calories.

So, write down what you are eating during the day so that you can see how you were at the end and how you felt that day.  Were you craving by the end of the day and still hungry or do you feel like that one Uncle you have that always overeats on Thanksgiving and unzips his pants because you are too stuffed? Maybe that Uncle is you 😉. I like to measure hunger on a scale of 1 to 10 scale. The STUFFED feeling is a 10. Ideally you want to be around a 5-7 every meal.  Also, track those gym days too.  Did you crush it at the gym that day and you are starving after?  If that is the case, then you will need to up your protein and vegetables during your meals on those days.

The next reason you are craving is my ultimate JAM!  YOU DON’T HAVE A FREAKING PLAN!  Do you go throughout your day willy nilly no plan on what you are eating?

If I am always thinking about what I need to eat, and I am not eating, then 9 times out of 10 I am going to reach for the fastest thing possible and it’s USUALLY not a healthy thing that I am reaching for.  AM I RIGHT?? 

So, what you are going to have to do is get used to planning.  And you will be amazed at the peace of mind this brings you once you get started.  I love meal prepping, because it helps me to be prepared and go into the day knowing what I will be eating. It makes things go much more smoothly.   But this doesn’t have to be something you make every single day,  but go in with a plan for that day, track it, and see how those foods make you feel come the end of the day. 

Third, ARE YOU DRINKING ENOUGH WATER??  I can’t say this enough, and most people will be like “oh I know I don’t drink enough water.”  And I always tell my clients they need to be drinking enough water because water mimics hunger. If you are not drinking enough water and craving and hungry all day, then you may be really CRAVING THIRST!  Staying very hydrated helps you ward off those cravings, so when you are out and about during your day, bring water.  When you are working out, drink 16ox minimum during your workout, if you work from home, keep that water right next to you at your desk. 

Staying hydrated will make you feel fuller, so keep drinking throughout the day.  How much water should you drink though?  Try to get in about half of your body weight.  So, if you are 160 pounds, then you will need a minimum of 80 ounces of water every day. And if you have a craving coming on, try and have a glass of water and see IF IT IS THIRST!  If it works, then you know you need more water. 

Alright, the next thing I KNOW people are struggling with… ARE YOU TIRED?? 

Many people who listen to me right now do not get enough sleep and they do not make it a priority. I am CHALLENGING everyone listening to have 7-9 hours of sleep. I make damn sure to get 7 hours of sleep every night and sometimes I get 8-9!  Because I KNOW that if I do not sleep or get that sleep, I cannot function properly, and I am mainlining coffee like a junkie, and I am craving like nobody’s business!  I know me and I know what would happen. So just like with food, I want you to see how you are throughout the day when you are getting more sleep vs. when you get less than 7 hours.

As much as 55% of the people who are considered to be obese are not getting enough sleep.  When you stay up late, your body is actually saying, “You are forcing me to stay awake, so I need some energy right now.”  It’s  sending you those cravings to grab those sugary, fast things to eat.I want you to track your sleep and see what you are getting at night.  Use a fitness watch to help give you a ballpark figure of the type of sleep you are getting.  This will help you to check for patterns and adjustments that may need to be made.

Another way to create a craving is what  I call DISORDERED EATING! 

What is this anyway?? Let’s say you have 1 great meal and then you didn’t have a plan for the rest of the day.  So too much time passed between meal 1 and meal 2 and now you are out in seek mode and trying to find something to eat because  YOU ARE hungry!  And when you are really hungry, we don’t make the best decisions.

Make sure your meals are balanced and think about everything you put into your mouth. Protein kicks it off and then everything follows that!  A bagel and cream cheese for breakfast isn’t going to cut it because it isn’t going to fill you and there is not enough protein in there to sustain you until your next meal.  It’s too many unrefined carbohydrates and it just isn’t going to work for you.  When you eat more protein-packed foods in the morning, you feel fuller for longer and have fewer cravings throughout the day.

If I haven’t drilled that point in about protein than I don’t know what else to do!! Protein is such a foundation especially for us ladies on all parts of our bodies.  Protein is your new best friend!! Here are some simple to make foods to get protein easily… Greek yogurt, Poultry, Eggs, Fish & Lean meats!  Everyday ladies!!

I created a Cravings Guide for you so you can make sure all of your meals look better so you are eating more, staying more full throughout the day and not in that, “I didn’t eat enough and grabbing whatever you can.” mindset.  So be sure to grab it HERE! And let me know what you think!

I touched on STRESS before and it is a huge factor. 

You know how I am about stress!  Most of us are giant stress balls and I am a recovering stress ball myself!  There are 2 types of people when they are stressed.  Ones, like me, who don’t eat while they are stressed, and others that eat all the time when they are stressed.  Ladies we suck at stress!!!  Stress causes our cortisol to rise and that then leads to weight gain and this weight sits especially in our bellies. It also causes us to eat more as a way to cope with stress.

Be sure to plan ahead as much as you can.  Try to avoid being stressed the best you can and try and throw in my stress management techniques into your life!  Try breath work, or meditation, praying, going for a walk-in nature, deep breathing or closing your eyes for 5 – 10 minutes.  And if you find yourself in that craving mode when you are stressed, I want you to think to yourself to recognize the triggers!  When we can recognize what sets us off, we can start to diffuse that bomb! 

Okay, ladies, what is your ENVIRONMENT like?? This is the last thing I am going to touch on and it has to do with your friends and family…. Are the people around you supportive of what you are doing?  Are the people around you always wanting to go out and drink every week and eat heavily each time?  What do you do when you go out with friends??? Can you have 1 to 2 drinks and be totally okay or do you go completely out of control?

You have to set boundaries when it comes to this and what are your boundaries if you have any?  Who are you around that makes you eat more or drink more?  Have a conversation with them and tell them they can’t do that overeating and drinking with you anymore or you just can’t go out as often.  This is about YOU and taking care of YOU, not anyone else!!

Magic makers, I know there is a ton of great info in this blog and over on the podcast, but all of this really boils down to 3 things!

  1. Improve your diet. Healthy whole foods. Adequate protein. At least 30 grams in every meal.

  2. Stay hydrated.

  3. Give your lifestyle a good makeover. Set boundaries so that when you are out and you feel good after a night out!

This is going to take some time and you watching for cues and seeing what your triggers are.  I want you to say, “Here are the things I am going to not do so that I don’t fall down the same rabbit hole of cravings.”  And it is all about experimenting and seeing what is working for you.  Watching how you are when do get more of what your body needs vs less of what it needs.  Track your behavior and your energy levels and your cravings or NO cravings.  Watch it all and report back to YOURSELF about how you are doing.  And if you are killing it girl, then do not stop!!! YOU GOT THIS!

So be sure to check out that Cravings Guide in conjunction with this blog and hit me up on the socials of what you think!  Did the guide help you get organized and help you become more in control of your days?  Remember, you are in charge of what goes into your body and what your body does!!

LINKS

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FabFitSquad

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fitgirlmagic/

Website: https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fit-girl-magic-healthy-living-for-women-over-40/id1476883661

Cravingsguide https://kimbarnesjefferson.lpages.co/cravings-2020/

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