So you are 10 days into your diet. You made it through the first weekend with flying colours and you even lost 5 pounds and several inches. You are kicking ass.
But Wednesday morning you wake up feeling tired. For some reason you were tossing and turning last night. You so badly wanted to tear into tea and biscuits last night but held off..just
As the day goes on you are starting to get that eerily familiar feeling. Something is off. Last week you were on a high and could care less about food or sweets. Today those urges that are normally with you are back with a vengeance.
You fight it of course. You resist the sweet press at work. You have a run in with another birthday cake brought in for a coworker’s birthday. You make it again, but this time you dipped your finger in for a little taste of the icing. You could feel the salivation in the back of your throat. You wanted it sooooo bad, but you held yourself back.
Finally you get home and make dinner. You eat and settle on to the couch for a little TV. There has been a pint of ice cream in your freezer for 10 days and it has not said a word to you. But now it is calling to you.
You pull it out, look at it and quickly put it back before returning to the couch. Within 3 minutes you are back. This time with spoon in hand.
You tell yourself “just one bite,” but deep down you know it is going to be “just one pint.” And there it goes…….BOOM!!!……….diet over and the flood gates open. By the time the night is over you go through that pint of ice cream, half a pack of jaffa cakes along with some pringles!!
You then slowly crawl into your bed stuffed and defeated.
Can you relate to this story? Of course you can. It happens to all of us. The question is why?
Is it Willpower or Cravings?
Talk to most people and they will tell you your willpower failed. You should have been stronger and more disciplined. You need to try harder next time.
Something does not sit right with you though. If you lack willpower how is it that you can work a high demands sales job, be a single mom and keep the house spotless?
The truth is you have willpower, but you also have cravings. Cravings are willpowers kryptonite. When cravings hit you don’t stand a chance. That is because cravings are both chemical and habitual.
If humans were a computer, cravings would be like a computer virus that takes over and causes your software to crash. The only way to get rid of them is to run some anti-viral software.
There is a dual approach to this:
1. Attack habits
2. Attack brain chemistry and hormones.
Since habits take time to change we will deal with that separately. Let’s talk the biochemistry of cravings in this blog.
Cravings are triggered by many factors, but the most uncontrollable urges come from the perfect storm of an imbalance of cortisol, blood sugar and the combination of dopamine (pleasure seeking) and adrenaline (anxious stimulation).
Try to get in touch with the way your body feels during a craving. What you will feel is a strong sense of want/desire and a barely perceptible state of anxiety. So how do you combat this?
What if you could immediately lower cortisol and balance dopamine with relaxing serotonin while at the same time balancing blood sugar? You can if you know what you are doing.
Here is how:
You feel a craving coming on? Use whey protein as your starting point. Research shows it lowers cortisol and raises serotonin. The amino acids can also be used to slowly be made into glucose giving the brain a slow steady rise in energy. It is a one, two and uppercut punch.
So you drink that. But, not just any protein will do. It has to be something that tastes good and resembles something your brain has associated with pleasure. If you add ice, certain viscous fibers and a thick liquid like unsweet almond milk, it is starting to look like a milkshake. This is a priming signal to your brain that satisfaction is coming.
Now you need that extra kick that has that satisfaction in terms of taste. You need chocolate. Well, cocoa to be exact. That’s chocolates no fat, low carb base. It is almost universally enjoyed and it raises brain chemicals like PEA and anadamide, which give direct pleasure. Yum, now you are set.
Final point……..eat this BEFORE the craving hits if possible. It will work when the craving is right on you, but it will work even better if you can stop it before it starts.
If you struggle with cravings then try this..
1. Make a note of when your cravings typically hit.
2. Substitute a strategic whey and cocoa “milkshake” for the meal before this craving occurs.
3. Use cocoa at least two other times a day preferably between or after other meals.
Boom!! Cravings crushed….
In part 2, I will explain exactly why you get food cravings how they are triggered.
Check out the 2nd Part here:
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