You know the feeling and you’ve experienced the frustration. You’ve just finished a killer workout and now your muscles are craving carbs, big time. Instead of going home and carefully preparing a healthy, high protein, complex carbohydrate meal, you rush to Burger King and gobble down a bacon double cheeseburger, fries and a milk shake. And you’re still hungry!
How do you submerge those monster cravings when all hat junk food is so handy and plentiful?
Here are 7 tips that will help you survive those pesky slips and doleful binges that can put your physique and your health in big-time jeopardy.
1) Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast. Your breakfast should contain a 3-2-1 ratio of high glycemic index carbs (whole grains, fruit, lots of healthy fiber), protein (low-fat dairy, turkey sausage, eggs), unsaturated fats (avocados, almonds or peanut butter). It may take extra time and effort to prepare, but a substantial breakfast will keep you energized, curb cravings, and fuel your energy throughout the day. This is your first meal of the day and it will set the tone of your nutritional plan all day long!
2) Limit your intake of coffee and other caffeinated drinks. Caffeine causes blood-sugar peaks and valleys that leave you yearning for sugary foods.
3) SLEEP! A well-rested mind and body are less likely to desire carbohydrates in the form of quick and easy junk food. An alert mind and body will help you make wise food choices all day long.
4) Eat smaller meals and snacks frequently throughout the day. Choose snacks like nuts, chicken breasts, salads and other high protein sources that will help keep your blood sugar steady. Eat every two hours so that you don’t get unduly hungry and tempted to grab junk food that is fast and easy, and bad for you!
5) When you reach for candy and other sweets, stop and ask yourself, “Why?”. Are you upset about something? Are you missing someone or something? Instead of seeking emotional solace in food, make an adult decision and grab an apple instead of a candy bar.
6) Don’t eat sweets before a meal – the resulting blood-sugar fall will trigger your appetite. Eat desserts last, when you’re full of more healthful foods to overindulge. Choose desserts that are nutritious and healthy like fruit, sorbet, etc.
7) Clean House. If you don’t eat junk food frequently, your body will eventually stop wanting it. Eat healthy for a couple of weeks and notice what your body calls for when its low on sugar or protein. Chances are you’ll find yourself heading for a bowl of fruit instead of the cookie jar!