Cravings! (Loss of self control)
Since Iím new here, I havenít yet managed to figure out if this topic has already been discussed, so if Iím wasting space and time please accept my apologies. Anyway, my question, or rather problem, is about cravings.
When it comes to my workout and diet, I am very disciplined and have always managed to stick to the plan. Iíve never really had a problem with cravings, but Iím only human, so every now and then I allow myself to have a ďpig-outĒ day. Now the problem I experience is that if I do in fact get one of my rare cravings, I tend to binge. I canít have just one piece of chocolate or a handful of Doritos Ė I just keep going. Like I said, I rarely get cravings, but you can imagine my frustration when this actually happens. I lose all self control. Am I the only one with this problem or is there anyone out there with the same problem who might be able to help me out?
Appreciate any and all advice.
some things that help me out:
avoid starchy carbs in the evening...they seem to make me want more starchy carbs (bread, pasta, crackers, chips, etc)
avoid having binge foods in the house. if you must, buy the little single serving grab bags so you can cheat in moderation. pounding back a bag of doritoes will undo much of the fat loss in a week, as 1 normal bag is way more than one days worth of 10-20% caloric deficit.
eat more veggies, the leafier/greener the better, as that bulky/fiberous stuff will leave you full, longer.
drink whey + casien shakes. whey alone digests rapidly, but casein slows it down.
Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I've heard casein fills you up quite well. I think I'll try that... Any recommended intake? I mean, I'm sure there's a certain dosage that I shouldn't exceed right?
One of the most difficult things to overcome in achieving a change of diet and lifestyle is: The food craving. When deficit dieting the food craving is going to come. Do not be surprised. This is normal, and its one you have no choice but to deal with.
In order to control or attempt to eliminate your cravings, you need to understand why you have them and get-over-it through proactive self-participation.
Knowledge is power. Consistant application of this power, will give one a lethal dose to food cravings and provide strength and dexterity to one's goal path.
Why one can have cravings when deficit dieting:
1. The body is deficient in energy (calories) and has to look to itself for a source of energy (be it muscle and/or fat source). The body is literally feeding on itself to provide vitality in response to a energy shortage and is trying to meet the outside/inside demands placed upon it.
2. Sometimes unstable blood sugar levels can cause intense hunger cravings. The more stable the human blood sugar the more "stable" your hunger cravings will be. Sharp increases and declines in blood sugar levels can give one intense hunger pains that can be difficult to overcome.
The way you can combat this problem, is through understanding various food items and the big three macronutrients: Carbs, Protein, and Fats, and how they "can effect" one's blood sugar levels. And, knowing WHEN its appropriate to have an increase in blood sugar levels and when its not.
Post workout nutrition. One just got done with a rather demanding fitness workout, and placed alot of demand on the body and its muscles. The muscles are depleted and broken down. There is a need of replacement nutrition, and it should be given rather quickly. It is a good time to consume fruits (simple carbs [sugars]), and protein, at this time. The "correct fruit" will elevate blood sugar rather quickly and since the body is in "present need" will shuttle the appropriate carbs where needed, and this isnt detrimmental nor will add to one's hunger complications.
If anything, IMO, I believe it would "assist" against hunger cravings (later) because you are giving the body what it needs at the appropriate time and will not yell at you later or be an "assistor in lowering your energy levels" by continuing to be broken down through inadequate and timely nutrition.
Eating frequent meals with adequate and selective food items will be a major piece in your hunger puzzle. You determine your Maintenance Line of Calories, and divide the number of meals with your Maintenance Line of Calories to determine the approximate number of calories per meal.
Eating frequent meals is great in an ideal and perfect world. However, we all know we live in an imperfect world that can disrupt what we do, and eating frequently as planned is one of them. This can cause one to "improvise" and "adjust" on-the-fly, and "should be" expected and not lead one to surprise.
While eating frequent meals is recommended, if this cant happen or is disrupted in some way, and you had to adjust, this ISNT going to make you hit the curb on your fat loss quest. The most important factor when the dust settles, is whether one IS or IS NOT in an energy deficit at the end of the day. In some cases, having eating patterns irregular can assist one in fat loss dependent on dieting logistics. Just try to eat as often as your lifestyle allows adjust your meals when you have to--with applying knowledge learned.
3. Lets add 1 and 2 together. If the body is deficient in energy levels and being forced to locate fuel from itself (deficit in calories)--and--the blood sugar levels are sharply increasing and declining (at times), "this is a most deadly combination to cause intense hunger cravings".
4. Even if you level blood sugar (through what you eat within your diet and calorie manipulations), one will still be left with the body being deficient in energy, and will be calling on you to eat; however, its the lessor of the two, IMO, and is the place one wants to be at most of the time when deficite dieting to lose fat tissue, as it is truely easier to deal with.
On-going and continued education in:
1. Information on various techniques to combat cravings.
Read, read, and read some more. Absorb it and apply it. When you read an article on certain techniques to handle food cravings, and it appears it may not fit within your life style, is their a way you can:
A. Modify, change, or manipulate the idea or concept in some fashion to work with your personality and within your current lifestyle?
KEEP YOUR PERCEPTION UNTAINTED.
B. Manipulate lite fitness training to your goal advantage?
Sometimes just keeping the mind occupied on something else for a small duration of time can be enough to combat the current food craving and reduce it to toleratable levels; however, this can require a certain amount of self discipline (along with manipulating your foods to your advantage) in order to be successful.
You could jump on a bike for very lite cardio session (a few minutes), and consume a no-calorie or very low calorie beverage to fill the stomach and get the blood pumped. Take a walk. Play a video game you like, and on and on with the potential possibilities.
Look within your environment and see things others cant see--that will assist you toward your goal path.
Develop clear stategies to deal with weaknesses. Allow your strengths to improve your weaknesses. And, you can use FOOD to assist your weakness by using your strength of being proactive.
Some proactive anti-food craving tactics:
When you view these brief guidelines, I would like you to keep an open mind and think about ways you can manipulate these guidelines to fit within the circumference of your personal life style. In other words, you can take some or all of the guidelines and modify/change them to a degree that is more applicable or suitable to your individual environment.
A. Change your frame of mind when going to the grocery store:
--->1. Hunger Defense Perception One:
Look for food items that are bulky (that will fill a large portion of the stomach capacity) and carry the nutritional quality that fits within the macronutrient value you seek (all macronutrients), that fit within your life style for:
Educate yourself on various types of foods that take long periods (or a longer period, if you will) to digest than others. that fits in the health and nutrition scope you personally seek. Investigate the "reasons" why this is case, though investigating the nutrients in these types of food. For example, "fiber rich" foods can take longer to digest and give a sense of being full.
(If you want I can provide a list of suggestions)
--->2. Hunger Defense Perception Two:
Specific shelf and refrigerator items specifically purchased to assist one's self during the times when food cravings are a problem. These are bulking items that are low in calorie content BUT carry a nutritional punch in accordance to its caloric value.
1. When hunger is a problem its important to know where you are at in your diet in the calorie equation, in order to "effectively" use one of your proactive and goal-keeping food purchases for:
(If you want I can provide a list of suggestions)
The mind game is critical to ones success:
The best doctors in the world are "Personal Doctors": (written by Chillen)
Doctor Diet: The quite-riot to the diet;
Doctor Trainer: The no-brainer and the painter of the muscle-gainer;
Doctor Fat: Goes at-bat to combat fat to make the stomach flat;
Doctor Calorie: The internal art-gallery to attend the external shooting-gallery;
Doctor Inspiration: Sets the foundation sensation to end frustration;
Doctor Motivation: Creation plantation to end temptation and bring mental vibration;
Doctor Mind: Designed and combined not to be confined to get behind and maligned to the self-kind.
Doctor Willpower: Devour the control-tower and empower the super-power.
"What you do with diet and exercise is up to you, in the context you give to time,--as time will pay you no mind. But, given time with your context in mind, your mind will give time to your mind."
I wrote this rather quickly, and its not exhaustive. Maybe I will write a more detailed post on how to fight hunger cravings in the COL if I am asked.
If you have questions, please feel to ask them. I will answer them.
Best wishes to you, my friend.
From my heart to yours.
Last edited by Chillen; Jan. 31/08 at 04:21 PM.
"Manipulating what one learns is powerful!"
With the previous post in mind, I want to add another mode of thought.
Most (not all of course) do not use the almighty power of "manipulating the king of kings: The Calorie".
Calorie manipulation can be a powerful tool to use to eat more and prevent hunger cravings.
Understand the energy IN versus energy OUT equation.
Learn it well. It can prevent you from experiencing hell, and have you check in the goal motel.
To manipulate calories one has to have a good understanding of:
1. There personal MT Line,, along with the deficit/surplus target in mind (with associated activities per day understood)
2. Calories burned during certain exercises (education is vital)
3. Confine calories within a 24 hour period "that fits their lifestyle."
A breif and simple example application:
My MT Line is 2800c with my "current" workout and other activities factored in. I have been running deficits of about -500c for about a week (or 2300c intake to lose fat tissue, 2800c -500).
Today, I want to eat at MT Line. This will allow me to consume an additional 500c than I haven't in the past week. To compensate, I know that if I ride my bike (I have studied the approximation science on the bike I have and the amount of calories burned dependent upon intensity and time in intensity,etc), I can burn approximately 300c in about 30 minutes (example only), thus bringing back my deficit and allowing to eat more.
This is one example among many, many, more.
Last edited by Chillen; Jan. 31/08 at 04:14 PM.
good stuff Chillen, I read it all
I responded to your post in the COL. In the event you havent seen it.
I plan to write up something for you.
Bring the spirit into your heart and you will always be near it,
One thing that I have noticed is that certain places trigger hunger for me, which is a result of classical conditioning (if you don't know what that is let me know). For example, I have a lot of food in my room so many times when I go into my room I just get hungry even if I just ate because my body has come to expect food, and physiologically prepares for it. If this is the case recognize where those places are and make sure you know that your not actually hungry, and your body is trying to trick you.
You might actually be onto something there. I've noticed that I always get cravings at work and friday evenings for some strange reason. I remember as a kid, my parents would only let me have candy and junk food on weekends, so maybe I've been conditioned to associate weekends with pigging out. Now the only problem is figuring out how to "de-condition" myself..
It might be as simple as just not eating when you get those cravings. If the conditioned stimulus (your environment) is not paired with an unconditioned stimulus (food) long enough, the physiological reaction of your body preparing for food will become extinct. This may take a while but it should happen. I plan on doing the same thing. Going to be hard as hell, but I'm hoping all those psych classes will actually be good for something!
The problem you are having is simple: you're on the "last-meal" theory. Basically, when you give into your "cravings" you are at conflict with yourself: "Uh-oh, I already had one, I guess I'll have another, another, and another." These usually spark an out of control eating habit which usually results in a full stomach and terrible guilt over it. In some cases your emotions and place of event play an important role in binge eating. For example, after a fight, or when you see/smell something that sparks a memory of a food.
In my opinion, everyone has inner conflicts. When you continuously fight to one side of the conflict, you eventually get pulled back to the other side of the argument. Basically, in the case of diet, you are saying, "I can't eat this food because it's bad for me" then the other argument is, "But I want that food oh so bad." Eventually the opposite side of the argument wins from time to time which usually results in binges and feeling out of control when doing so. Even life itself is a constant conflict, that ends with death being the winner.
So how do you handle these intense cravings? Well the first thing to do is take a deep breath. Listen to your inner desires. Say to yourself, "I can always eat this food whenever I want, and however I want." When you first learn that you can always eat whatever you want, then you will start to see that you do not desire the food any longer. When you tell yourself that you can have any food you want, without any limitation, without any restrictions, without any guilt, then you will be at peace with that food.
So basically, here's the steps I recommend:
1) Always have that food around that you crave the most. You can tell yourself you can have it any time of the day, whenever you want.
2) Before eating the food, take a deep breath. Relax. Remember, you can always have this food whenever you want and without limitations.
3) When eating, do not stuff it down or watch TV or hide it away from others or do other stuff. Simply sit down, look at the food, chew it, and think about if you want more of it. If you do, go ahead and eat more. If you don't, and you are happy with the amount you ate, then go ahead.
The only way to battle cravings is to actually tell yourself that the food is unlimited, and that you can have it any time you want, whenever you want, and however many you want. Don't limit it.
Did you know the first diet restriction failed? Adam and Eve failed big time with their diet. God gave them the rules: you can eat anything you want, except that tree of knowledge. At first it worked, until they were tempted to try it out. And they failed big time. They were restricted from the food they should have had, but yet, due to the restriction, the limitations, they gave into the cravings because they were told not to, they were told to eat everything except that. Remember, failures only comes when you set limitations.
Last edited by Dallen; Feb. 01/08 at 10:08 AM.
Some examples I had, and how I ended it:
* A few nights ago my mom bought some ice cream. She asked me if I wanted some. I said no at first, but then she insisted on it. I took a deep breath, thought about it for a second, and said okay, I'll try out a little. I did, thought it was one of the best things I've had in a while, had a few good laughs sitting down while eating with my parents, and that was the end of it. I never thought about it again for that night or any other nights.
* One time at the super market, I was confronted with a sales person trying to give me a sample. It looked good, but I just ate and wasn't really hungry. I told myself that I'll go ahead and pick everything up I want at the store, then if I still want it, I'll come back and try a sample. I went around the store, and thought about it for a second, then never thought about it again for the rest of the day (even up until this very moment while I was thinking about it).
* I love Doritos as well. I bought a huge bag of it one day because I was having an intense craving for it. I ate some with my sandwich, and after that, I never ate it for weeks. It became sort of rotten because my parents started asking me why I wasted all that money. I told them they can have it, but we ended up throwing it away because it's been sitting there for months.
* One morning I woke up and I started thinking about poptarts. I have no idea why. So I decided I'll have some anyways, and put some in the toaster. I ate some, and realized it was not what I was thinking about and dropped it in the garbage. I then proceeded to cook up some oatmeal and honey. I then realize that it was milk that I was craving, and had some with my oatmeal and was completely satisfied and never thought about it again throughout the day.
EDIT: Another example
* A month or so back, my friends and I went to McDonalds. Not wanted to feel left out of the group, I decided to order a double cheese with some french fries. I ate the burger, and having not eating at any fast food joint in months, I found that it tasted funny and it felt like bubbles going off in my mouth. I ate some and left it out. That night I had horrible, horrible gas problems. I promised I would never eat that again because of the way it made me feel. The conclusion of this story? Well if you want to try something, try it, if it makes you feel sick, don't eat it again, but if it tastes good, tell yourself you can eat it again.
Last edited by Dallen; Feb. 01/08 at 10:36 AM.
Also, some parents out there actually understand this concept of limitation.
Think about this, when you were a teen, cigarettes and alcohols were a big part of your life probably. You probably didn't drink or smoke, but no doubt that you saw someone around you that did (or perhaps you, yourself tried it out at some point).
Basically, when you turn 18 and smokes become "legal" for you, you suddenly realize, "It isn't cool any more when it's legal." Then when you turned 21 and drinks became "legal" for you, you suddenly realize, "Man, I don't get those teens wanted this junk."
And what did some parents do when they found cigarettes or alcohol under you bed? They sit you down at the table, and tell you that you're going to smoke that entire cart right there and then. You probably get so sick, that you'll never try it again because it was over the normal limitation.
Same thing applies to a diet. When you are given an unlimited amount of something, you become sick of it. You no longer want it. So basically make no limit your limitation. When things are "legal" you no longer want to have the whole thing when presented, but instead you take your time and you know your limit because you understand that you can get it whenever you want, and how ever many you want.
Hope that helps.
Last edited by Dallen; Feb. 01/08 at 10:50 AM.
I get terrible cravings for cereal once I've seen it in the large plastic dispenser box's we keep them in. I'll have a bowl of cornflakes, and then eat another 3 because I can't stop myself.
I guess I'd rather eat that than chocolate or crisps though.
Dallen, those were really good tips, thanks a lot! I think you're right - if you think about it, and you really want it, you might as well have a little. Personally, I just need to remember to pay attention to what I'm eating and really enjoy it if I'm going to eat it.
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