Eating healthy can be a challenge at time and we all have our own cravings! Chocolate, alcohol, pavlovas… they all taste great, but remember what you’re trying to achieve! We’re here to provide some tips for handling your junk food cravings.
Losing weight and getting healthy is a combination of multiple things: exercising, healthy eating and discipline! If you’re failing in one area, the other areas are going to suffer as well! Everyone has cravings for their favourite types of food, and quite often our favourite foods are the ones that are least healthy for us (unfortunately). I’ll never tell my members that they are not allowed to eat their favourite foods, but it’s important to limit how much you have of these foods.
If you’re sticking to your healthy eat plans for the majority of the time, and single cheat meal a week shouldn’t be a major issue, so long as you don’t go overboard. Remember though, it’s a cheat meal — not a cheat weekend! If you’ve been working hard and eating well then you’re going to be making great improvements with your fitness and weight loss so don’t throw away your progress by giving into your cravings!
Here’s some tips on managing your cravings without slowing down your progress:
Cheat Meals Are Physically Good For You
I know this might be a strange thing to say, but not all cheat meals are necessarily bad for you. If you’re trying to lose weight, then you should be eating with a caloric deficit, where you’re consuming less calories than your body needs. When your body is consuming less calories than it needs, your body needs to get it’s energy from an alternative energy source: your excess body fat. However, the human body has been evolving for thousand years and it’s become quite good at it’s primary goal: keep you alive!
If your body is constantly receiving less calories than it requires to survive, it may start intentionally converting more calories into body fat to reserve energy stores for the future when food is scarce. This is a natural, and mostly healthy thing for the body to do, but it works against the goal of losing weight.
Having a cheat meal once a week helps remind your body that you’re not starving and it does not need to focus on storing calories as body fat.
Cheat Meals Are Mentally Good For You
Discipline is a mental task, and just as push-ups can get tiring, so can staying disciplined. It’s an important skill to work on improving but you need to know when you need the rest.
Giving into that temptation a chocolate cake, beer or whatever your craving may be might be that relaxation you need to maintain your sanity! I’m not saying that you can throw it all away, but relaxing for that one cheat meal a week (or fortnight if you can) might just be that break you need to ensure you can stick to your long-term goals.
It’s always better to have that one-off cheat meal rather than give up completely!
Choose Smart Cheat Meals
Not all cheat meals are equal and it’s a good idea to choose the healthy option cheat meal when you can. There may be some days when that chocolate cake is completely irresistible and that’s perfectly fine, but if you can help it, focus on having a healthier option cheat meal. Focus on eating a high carb meal which your body can use for replenishing your energy stores and help repair your muscles.
Your body may not be able to convert the high fat foods into energy for muscle repair.
Eat Cheat Meals After Hard Training Sessions
After hard training sessions, your body will be craving food to repair the damage and restore your energy stores, and this is the perfect time to enjoy that high carb meal.
This is one of the reasons, it’s better to have high carb meals rather than high fat meals for your cheat meals. Your digestive system can convert carbohydrates into energy far quicker than it can convert fats, and the after-training window for energy replenishment relies on you eating calories that can be converted into glycogen (energy) relatively quickly.
As part of your healthy eating plans you will have been reducing your carbohydrate intakes in order to reduce your daily calorie consumption. Boosting the carbohydrates in your cheat meal is a great way to satisfy your cravings, without drastically affecting your progress.
Remember, we’re all working towards different goals and it can be hard at time, so don’t punish yourself by not allowing yourself to enjoy that simple pleasures in life! That piece of chocolate cake might taste amazing and you should enjoy it, but remember what you’re long term goals!
I’m always here to answer any questions our members have and help you achieve your goals! Keep in mind, I used to be overweight as well. I’ve fought my own personal battles with cravings to achieve what I have! I kept my discipline and worked hard to turn my life around and gain a Degree in Health Promotion and Nutrition. I have the skills, education and experience to help you hit the goals you have!
I know it’s hard work, and it takes discipline so I’ll do everything I can to make sure you get that body you’ve always wanted!