Hardcore Mentality vs. If it Fits Your Macros
In my experience as a trainer I have found there are generally two kinds of people in regards to cravings.
First, there are those who need to have a day or at least a few meals where they can just go nuts. The others need a little treat more often to keep sane.
One thing I rarely hear discussed is why we have these cravings in the first place? I found some great material on this topic and just ordered a book about it called "Always Hungry?" Dr. David Ludwig.
So which one are you? The guy who needs a 'cheat day' after sticking to a clean diet for a week or two.
Or does it help you to have a piece of chocolate or a small bag of pretzels every few days?
Neither is right or wrong. It helps to know which you are and use that knowledge to guide you towards success in your eating habits.
Personally I'm more of an all-or-nothing guy when it comes to treats and cheats. I want to eat a whole pizza not just 1 slice. Same for ice cream, sponge candy..
Recently, I went a month with no sugars, no flours, no dairy. Basically just meat, veggies, nuts, eggs and fruit. I cut out coffee also.
What I found was a revelation. My cravings went away. For carbs, for sugar, for pizza. The first 4-5 days were rough, for sure. After that it was no big deal.
What happened next was even more revealing.. I had some foods I don't normally eat. Like flour, dairy, bread etc.. I felt awful, naturally but more importantly I started to have intense cravings.
When I stuck to the foods that made me feel strong, vibrant and full of energy with no sugar/carb crashes I had minimal to no cravings. When they came they were very easy to push aside with just a normal meal. But when I introduced these foods that my body didn't like, I had these super strong cravings that could derail most people, even with strong self-control which I feel I have.
So moral of the story, find out what works for you. But don't be afraid to try a 30 day paleo or whole30 program or one of Dr. Mark Hyman's, to find out what it's like to not have such intense cravings that we all grow accustomed to and accept as part of modern life.
I don't like to fall into line with what the average Joe does in any area of my life. Diet is no different. There's plenty of information available for us now to learn of a better way to feel better, look better and live a vibrant, strong life.
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