Why We Get Cravings
Good news! Cravings are normal and you are not "undisciplined" or a failure for having them! Cravings can come from many things such as stress, in this post we are addressing Nutritional Cravings. Nutritional Cravings are simply a signal from your body letting you know that you are low on fuel.
Common occurrence: Often times, cravings happen when we transition into eating clean. The transition from your previous diet (or lack thereof), to a cleaner lifestyle of eating often strips the diet of a large portion of calories by abruptly removing carbs and fat. When we remove that amount of calories, your body is at a large calorie deficit (burning more calories than you intake on a daily basis). Thus, the "craving" is simply hunger. Your body is wondering where the normal amount of fats and carbohydrates are, in addition it actually may need those things to fuel your day and operate optimally.
Listen to your body: When it's 2 PM and you've had a small salad for lunch, a craving is simply a message from your body saying, "Hey - that cookie that you are craving has something I need - carbs and fat - my primary and secondary energy sources."
The Fix: Assess the changes you've made in your diet. Did you replace your lunch time carbs for a a salad? Did you cut down the number of oily restaurant meals? If so, your body might be sending a signal that we perceive as a craving.
How to reintroduce healthy foods that control cravings:
-Add a fattier cut of protein to your day such as tri tip, lean ground beef or salmon.
-If you're having a salad, add a half cup of quinoa or other complex carbohydrate on the side.
You are an athlete. Nutrition should fuel your workouts and more importantly - your life.