Dealing with food cravings

 

 

 

 

Anyone who lives in the real world, with other people in the same house, with co-workers, with friends, relatives and basically anyone with a life, will come up against temptations when trying to eat a healthy diet.

Feeling deprived, frustrated and restricted by food choices is something that’s going to happen. Going to birthday parties, weddings, out for lunch or meeting for coffee all provide more temptations. Just walking down the street past the bakery or cafe, or sitting in the tearoom at work can bring on feelings of inadequacy as you are tempted to make food choices that you’re trying to avoid.

You know that eating a health diet of fruits, vegetables, protein sources such as meat, poultry, eggs and seafood with some nuts and other sources of good fats makes you feel and look good. But all that seems to go out the window when so called ‘out of bounds’ foods make an appearance. To feel this way is perfectly normal.

Every single day we all have to make food choices that either push us closer or further away from good health and a healthy body weight. I am totally hearing you, with the same daily challenges to face as well. I’m not 100% compliant with my healthy diet. Just like you, I’m faced with challenges within my home and also outside the home. I can’t even claim to have a 90% success rate but am probably closer to 75 or 80%.

What I can claim though, is to avoid those temptations as much as I can and if I can’t, to at least some of the time, take action to make them less tempting. Here are some of the things I do:

  • Have more healthy treats available for those times when the rest of the family is having a treat. Frozen berries are a favourite of mine with greek yoghurt and chocolate protein. This doesn’t always work, but I eat chocolate less often because I have something else to eat instead

 

  • ‘Don’t start’ is a good tactic to remember. Just one cookie, or just one slice?? No way, you just can’t stop at one TimTam, and everyone knows that. I find it a lot easier to not have anything than to have a small portion. This is particularly effective when on your own. You know eating an entire block of chocolate, 3 bowls of ice cream or a whole packet of biscuits still counts even if you’re in the forest and no one can hear you!!

 

  • In the evening, I used to enjoy a hot milo while watching TV. While I don’t watch that much TV anymore, sometimes I’m still tempted to have that hot drink. So now I make myself a hot protein shake instead. A scoop of chocolate protein powder dissolved in a small amount of cold water, stir thoroughly and top with boiling water. Not quite the same, but its often the habit of the ‘holding the cup and sipping’ that is the hardest to break. Some people actually have pure cocoa or cacao in boiling water instead. If that’s too bitter for you, stick with the protein supplement.

 

  • Pack your own food!! This should have been the number one tip. When I’m going out and will be gone over a meal or snack or both, I pack my own food. Some yoghurt, berries and nuts or some fruit and nuts or a salad complete with protein are all very simple to pack and take. I have a small insulated lunch box and I just chuck everything in with a freezer block or two. I also have a larger box for longer trips as well. Those who attend sporting days or other excursions with me will have seen me eating from my tupperware. Long gone are the strange stares I used to receive when eating my own food instead of the terrible choices always put up at children’s events.

 

  • When the kids have take away once per week, I order a healthy or healthier take away choice. I love the warm chicken salad form My Pizza and Pasta here in town. I may have a few chips from the kids’ pile but I stick with my salad most times.

 

  • Lastly, I still eat lots of healthy foods. So even if I’ve eaten something that I really shouldn’t have, I always still eat my other food unless i”m so full that I can’t. When eating out, I’ll order a salad first, eat that and then if I am tempted to have dessert, I may have it, knowing that I’ve eaten lots of nutrients first. That way I’m fuller too, so less likely to eat as much

I haven’t found the secret to always making the better choice, but doing the things above means I limit the times when not so good choices happen. I also notice that at different times I can go for ages without caving in and other times it just seem so hard.

So don’t give up, keep on trying and don’t beat yourself up if you are tempted. The key is to limit the times you make not so good food choices and increase the times when you eat healthy. Doing that long term is the key to better health and losing excess body fat.


Are You Really Doing What It Takes? Part Two

My last post talked about stepping up the intensity during your training sessions.

No matter what you goals when it comes to working out, a greater overall intensity will always yield better results (allowing for proper recovery.) This holds true whether you want to get stronger and lift heavier weights, grow your muscles, get faster, gain more endurance or lose body fat.  It doesn’t matter.  The correct training program done with enough intensity will get you there.  There are a multitude of different training techniques depending on the intended outcome, but without doubt, one of the most important variables is the intensity.

Just as important is the consistency of your training program.  Many of FitterFaster’s clients do not train with enough consistency, but still question their lack of progress.  The absolute minimum frequency to see improvements in fitness and/or see fat loss is to train three times per week.  That’s why it is a requirement that you attend this many times each week if you are a client here.

It’s sad but true, that going any longer than a couple of days without training will result in you going backwards.  Yes backwards after only a couple of days.

supercompensation-after-training

In the above diagram, you can see the initial performance ability (or fitness level.) You can then see how it drops during and immediately after the training session and then how during the recovery time, your body overcompensates and becomes stronger, fitter and/or faster depending on the type of training session.  You will also notice, that the fitness level begins to drop again straight away as soon as it has reached its peak. Your body adapt to the stresses placed upon it, so if there’s no stress after a day or so, it thinks it doesn’t need to stay at that level and it begins to go back to its original state.  Those of you studying at the moment call this homeostasis.  If you don’t know what this means, google it and you’ll see what I mean.

Please also note, that the time frames above, refer to a really hard and intense training session as discussed in my last post.   A training session that consisted of lower intensity activities such as walking, easier running (besides really hard running,) a typical ‘aerobics’ class or half-arsed gym workout will reduce all these time frames considerably.  In other words, training with less intensity requires that you do it much more often, or you’ll go backwards even quicker.  That nicely curved line above will slope downwards even quicker.

So if you only do FitForce or similar training twice in a week (or even less) you are probably going backwards in that week, particularly if you are not giving 110% while doing those couple of infrequent sessions.  The three times per week minimum only holds true if you are giving all you can while training.  If you give any less, you will need to train more often and even then, the results will not be as great.

So it’s a minimum of three times per week, EVERY SINGLE WEEK that will give you  results.  It’s training as hard as you can at any given moment in time.

If you’re not getting the results you think you should, think about it.  Do you come often enough EVERY week?  Do you really push hard enough?  Should you come more often or do home workouts inbetween?  Are you eating a healthy, nutritious diet?  Are you getting at least 7.5-8 hours of sleep every night?  Any of these things will alter the curves on the above diagram.

Be honest with yourself and make the changes necessary to reach your goals.


Are you really doing what it takes? Part One

The majority of people who are carrying excess body fat, forget that it took time for those extra kilos to creep on.  It may have seemed like it happened almost overnight, but if you think about it, it’s actually been happening gradually over many months or most likely years.

You have to be realistic about how quickly you can lose weight, or more correctly how quickly you can lose that body fat. It’s not about ‘you have to lose it slowly to be permanent’ or ‘if you lose quickly it’s all fluid.’  The debate continues on these issues, it’s about being realistic depending on the amount of effort you are really making to get to your goals.  You can safely and effectively lose body fat quickly – IF YOU DO WHAT IT TAKES.

I posted a few days ago about planning your training and nutrition.  Are you really doing this?  Or are you still just coasting along, making good choices sometimes and the wrong ones at other times?  Have you worked out a plan of attack and are you sticking to it?  Really!!!!

I’ve noticed at FitterFaster over the years, that some participants just go through the motions.  They’re more interested in how many sets we are going to do, if I’m counting correctly or what they did last night.  When you are training, you have to be totally focused on what you are doing.

If you’re not totally focused on what you’re doing, you can’t, and therefore won’t, put in 110%.   I’m spotting and pushing YOU and focusing my attention on giving YOU the best workout possible to get you great results.  I”ll worry about the clock, I’ll do the planning and I’ll make sur you’re using correct form and being as safe as possible.

But its YOU who needs to give 100%.  It’s YOU who needs to make sure you’re doing all you can at any given time.

I guess what I’m saying is – while you are at FitterFaster, if you want the great results that you see some others achieving, you have to put in the required effort.  It’s not enough to just turn up and ‘do a bit.’  You must focus all your energy into the set you are doing right now.  Don’t hold back, or save yourself.

There’s no ‘pacing yourself’ with this type of training.  It’s all or nothing if you want to see the benefits.  Even if that means that by the 10th set, you can hardly keep going because you went so hard in the first few rounds.  It’s about going the absolute hardest you can go at any given point in time.

So at your next training session, how about you push a bit harder.  Pick a heavier kettle bell, even if you have to drop back down after a few sets.  Get your butt lower than usual and keep it still.  Run faster, jump higher and get your hips lower than ever before.  If you want to see changes or if you’ve plateaued lately, do something about it.