23 Dec CUT THE CRAVINGS! -Even for the most die hard junk food fans
Trust me, I know what it’s like to go years drinking soda every day, not caring what the nutrition facts were, burgers, food covered in grease and countless desserts… Actually… I don’t think I ever drank water growing up.. Everything was soda or juice, and I even though I was skinny (not healthy), I felt awful. That food only satisfied a temporary feeling and I didn’t know it then, but the food I ate and my overall health (mental, physical and emotional) were connected.
I know it seems impossible, and you kind of get angry thinking someone doesn’t want you to live life the way you want to because you HAVE to have your favorite foods. But you want to be fit too, so why can’t you do both if you’re busting your ass at the gym? I know I thought like that for a while. “You want me to stop drinking soda?” “I can’t eat my favorite chips and cheesecake every night?” “I workout all day, I DESERVE to eat what I want.” “I’ve liked this for so long, I can’t ever give that up.” But my body wasn’t changing. I still felt the same. I saw some progress, but it was taking forever. At some point I felt like I wasn’t going to change willingly, and decided to take extreme measures… I had stomach ulcers growing up (big surprise with all the junk I was eating), so I couldn’t eat anything spicy, or else I would end up at the hospital. Naturally, that has made me very sensitive to spices; even my 7 year old can handle foods with a little kick better than I can. Spices and hot sauce are actually a natural thermogenic, so I started sprinkling it on my favorite junk foods, even poured some into my sodas…I lost the taste for that stuff QUICK. The thought of sipping some soda actually made me want to throw up. Now I don’t hesitate to pass up the opportunity when I’m offered anything like that at a social event. When my long time friends try to flash some greasy food in my face, I can easily resist because I think of that hot sauce on it. But what if you love hot sauce? How will that method work for you? Tailor it to something you don’t like. Add mayonnaise, wasabi, apple cider vinegar- whatever it is that will make you lose your appetite for that food or beverage.
Sometimes, you have to take extreme measures in order to get the mission done, but I also understand it can still be difficult to still make that leap and there is an effective baby step to that, and it’s to eliminate that food for 3 weeks only. For some reason, when I let someone know that what they’re eating is unhealthy and preventing them from reaching their fit goals, they think I’m saying, “You can’t eat that for the end of time. You will die before you can think of eating your mom’s cooking again, or another taco from your favorite mexican stand.” But that’s not what I’m saying at all. As a matter of fact, it takes 21 days for your body to adjust to a new diet plan, so you don’t need to cut it out forever, but you’ll eventually want to. Your body will reject it at first; you’ll feel bloated and even sick, but the same goes with addicts going through withdrawls. Yes, it’s that serious. I’m comparing you to an addiction to drugs. Because that’s what that food is. It’s more than just fueling your body, it’s your emotional fix for an unhealthy craving. But after those 21 days, you won’t want it anymore. So far, it’s worked 100% of the time with my friends, family, and clients. When they really do cut the food out for that short amount of time, they look better, feel better, and don’t even care for those old eating habits anymore. So tell yourself, “It’s only for a couple of weeks that I’m not going to eat that. It doesn’t mean I can’t have it EVER.” After you reach your fitness goal, it’s up to you to add it in every once in awhile, but something tells me that you probably won’t 🙂
Another way to kick the cravings to the curb is to find a healthier alternative to your favorite foods. I was raised by a single father that microwaved everything, so there’s no excuse you can’t learn how to make a meal late in life like I did. It actually becomes fun because you get to explore and taste things you’ve missed out on for so long. When I replaced soda with water, it wasn’t fun. Since those beginning stages, I’ve replaced the soda with healthy protein shakes or vegetable/fruit smoothies, and bcaa’s. I actually make BCAA popsicles to satisfy my sweet tooth 🙂 All great alternative, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all when I see the family for the holidays, or any other gatherings where soda is available at every turn. I also replaced spaghetti and meatballs with a zucchini/carrot spaghetti in an avocado paste and tofurkey. Those are just a couple of examples, but recipes are so much more accessible nowadays, you can literally type in “Healthier version of (insert favorite dish here)” and google will find infinite searches.
There’s no reason to start on a monday, or the 1st day of next month, and especially not for a new year’s resolution to start practicing these habits now. Remember, food is fuel to your body. What you put in it is going to determine how it will function. You owe it to yourself to go for it, even for just 3 weeks. It couldn’t possibly get worse stepping away from the junk in your body. You won’t be sorry, I promise.