So we all have them! Well most of us, sometimes in this industry people expect us girls (Muscle Worx 4 Her) to be perfect, like you and anyone else reading this I am far from it! I never ever aim for perfection but simply the best version of me possible. In saying this I have a horrible sweet tooth! It has always been the way, ever since I was a child….Put a whole pizza and chips in front of me and ill walk straight past it….put a block of chocolate down and now where talking! So how do I keep on top of these cravings and stay healthy and within a controlled macronutrient intake?
For me competing/dieting often causes cravings to become worse, I have witnessed this personally, with friends and also with clients and those around me close in the industry. I have done the old school methods of having a “cheat” meal once a week, where I would devour a stupid amount of sugary foods in a short amount of time and feel physically ill often and I know many others do the same. I found once I did this I would think about it all week and couldn't get it out of my mind… was it the sugar that I got into my blood that made me crave it more or was it simply the thought that I couldn't have those delicious treats for another week?? Want what you can't have?? I have now come to realize it's the second one of the two!
Recently I have changed my methods, I'm now not sticking to as structured eating plans, I'm still watching calories and macronutrients but I'm allowing myself something tasty and sweet that satisfies that want everyday, even while I'm prepping for the world titles. I have found that doing this I no longer binge, I no longer loose self control with food and I don't eat myself sick and stupid. I also don't beat myself up about my food choices or feel guilt as what I have eaten has been accounted for (most of the time as best I can) and I don't think about that sweet treat 24/7! Because I know I can have it when I want it. So yes I feel it does come back to you want what you can't have, the more your restricted the more you crave something. Keep pulling foods further and further out of your diet and what happens??? First you think about them more, and then when you do eat them you may have built up an intolerance and feel physically ill from it or it causes bloating, gas, binges and then this may lead to depressive thoughts, anxiety and unhappiness which I have seen and heard from many in the industry. All for what???? Over food? A plastic trophy? Your self respect? Its not worth beating yourself up over!
SO find what works for you but I don't believe that eating “clean” 6 days a week then gorging yourself stupid to the point of illness, or binging in a huge cheat meal or day is not a healthy thing. In an industry that promotes health all week I believe this behavior can often feed eating disorders and post competition issues, when no food is restricted people often don't know then how to stop and gain a lot of weight fast. This is something I have seen a lot and is very very common, so don't fret!
Since I have changed my thoughts on this I don't really believe in “clean” foods, I believe in getting a broad range of nutrients in my diet to assure I have a good intake of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients but I don't like to think of foods as good or bad. I think of food as fuel and I know my body and what foods make me feel good and what don't, I also know what foods are tasty an that will satisfy my hunger levels and cravings and I include them daily. Since doing this I have not had a period of binge eating, uncontrolled cravings of feelings of depression or anxiety about my body. Food is no longer on my mind 24/7 and I can live my life to enjoy things daily rather than feeling deprived while still competing and maintaining a healthy body image that I love and am proud of.
So what my favorite daily-craving busters that fit my macros and allow me to feel satisfied: Good old oats with chocolate protein powder, yoghurt and shredded coconut is a hit! Sometimes even some real chocolate in there ? Also homemade protein waffles with some low fat ice cream and fresh fruit. Homemade chocolate protein brownies with drizzled honey yoghurt. Occasionally a pop tart if I feel like it or some nutella! But I monitor what I have an account for it, no binging, no excess, but control and health ? Think of food as fuel no 1 but if it tastes dam good then don't deprive yourself, include it but control the intake in a healthy manor.