Summer is finally here, and that means most everyone is trying to get their bikini bodies ready. While working out and exercising are important, if you’re not eating properly all that hard work is going to waste, which is something none of us want. But even when you are working out and eating healthy, it can seem like those cravings for unhealthy food can still creep up and disrupt your progress. It’s hard enough to stick to a plan to create a healthier lifestyle so don’t cravings distract you from your end goal. In this blog we will dive into some tips and tricks to make sure those cravings for salt, sugar, and fat are being curbed so that you can hit all your fitness goals!
Increase Protein Intake
Yes, we all know that protein is important, especially when trying to gain and repair muscle. But it is also important if you’re trying to beat any food cravings. Out of all the macronutrients, protein is the most satiating, meaning that it helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. By feeling fuller for longer periods of time, you are less likely to have impulsive cravings that you eventually give into. Protein is also the most metabolically demanding macronutrient for your body to breakdown. This means the body has to spend more time and calories to break the protein down on a per-gram basis than either carbohydrates or fats. One rule of thumb is to have a “2 for 1” rule with protein. Not only will this help you feel fuller for longer, but it also helps your body burn more calories by breaking it down. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Plan Out Your Meals
Meal prepping isn’t just for bodybuilders or people prepping for physique shows. Meal prepping can make the biggest difference when dieting and helping to significantly reduce the likelihood of you cheating on your diet and giving into your cravings. The reason for this is simple: when you know what you’re going to eat everyday, you eat it and that’s it. It takes no mental energy to think of what you’re cooking. Meal prepping also helps you stick to a schedule and you’re more likely to avoid going long periods without food, which is something that can make you crave unhealthy foods. It’s an easy way to help you maintain consistency in what you’re eating and when you’re eating.
Sleep is something that we all know is important, but it gets pushed on the back burner a lot. Sleep is especially important when dealing with the component of weight loss. Getting a proper amount of sleep is important to make sure that your energy levels are high for both your daily activities and your workouts. It also is a time that your body can properly repair itself from any previous work or workouts done the day before. If you don’t give your body enough sleep, your hormone levels are also more likely to dysregulated. Hormones like leptin, ghrelin, and cortisol are all hormones that can be easily affected. Leptin is a hormone that helps signal to our brains that we’ve had enough to eat, while the hormone ghrelin is the hormone that signals hunger. So it’s easy to see why these hormones play a major role in helping to curb your cravings, but can do all sorts of damage if they are out of sync with your body.
This one can be a bit tricky. We get it, stress comes in all shapes and sizes and sometimes these stressors aren’t things we can just magically get rid of. However, if you can, try and limit or figure out a way to decrease theses stressors. When you’re stressed, the hormone cortisol can be released. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone, meaning that whenever its elevated for long periods of time, it accelerates protein and muscle breakdown. Stress also impairs our bodies ability to sleep, induces food cravings, and we’re more likely to increase our caloric intake. Stress has been shown to increase your chances of storing fat in the body. So all of these things combined are the perfect formulation for your body to engage in any type of binge eating, which is, as we know, unhealthy. Exercises like yoga and engaging in meditation and reading can all help improve your ability to cope and deal with stress in a healthy way.
Get Rid of Any Junk Food
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Getting rid of any type of junk food in your home is going to help you stick to your diet. When you have junk food in the house, you’re more likely to reach for these items over the healthier options. So if you don’t have them in the house, you won’t even have the option to reach for them. Stocking your cabinets and fridge with healthier alternatives will help you reach for these options instead.
It’s also important to note that giving into cravings is 100% natural and okay, as long as you’re not doing it every time you get a craving. Don’t beat yourself up if you eat a piece of pizza or go out for a burger with some friends. Just get back on track the next meal and you’ll be okay.
At Fitness Specialists in Texas, we understand it can be hard to workout and eat healthy. Investing in some in-home gym equipment may be helpful when trying to hit your health and fitness goals. Contact us today to learn more about our equipment we offer or stop by any of our stores.