Oh, the mind games that cravings can play on you. It’s so interesting to me how our bodies can be telling us exactly what we need but our minds can misinterpret those signals with the wrong foods because of emotional and habitual conditioning.
I’m a firm believer that our body knows exactly what it needs and when it needs it, but sometimes we just need to learn to listen without letting our own desires cloud that. If you think about pregnant women, intense cravings are a common experience and something that we all have joked about (you all know about pickles and ice cream, lol!) but the reason cravings seem more amplified for pregnant women is because they are becoming more in tune with their body and what it needs. After all, they HAVE to.
Cravings aren’t only for pregnant women and they are something that interestingly enough, I think we should lean into. I think the key to “controlling” cravings involves being in tune with what your body wants and avoiding “trigger” foods.
Why We Crave
Our bodies want variety! Sometimes they want carbs, fats, or protein… or combinations of those. It may sometimes be in the form of a turkey rice bowl with avocado or a stack of delicious warm pancakes! It may even be a few Oreos with milk before bed, your body knows what it wants.
Often times we crave foods that we may be deficient in. For example, if I’m craving a big bowl of ice cream, it may mean that my body needs energy from fat or sugar. OR you may be craving a big bowl of ice cream because you are sleep deprived and you’re looking for a quick, delicious way to pop out of that sleepy state. Or if you’re anything like me, ice cream may be a “comfort” food and something you used to use to deal with emotional stress. That’s a deep one and a difficult one to overcome. More on this in a future post.
No matter the reason for the craving, YOU can make the decision to address it and ignore it, “control” it by eating something that would satisfy the craving in a healthier way, or give in to it. And none of those decisions are wrong. The benefit of macro counting is that you CAN eat what you crave.
How I Deal With Cravings
As discussed above, should you choose to address your craving and ignore it, either because you know your body does not need food at that moment or you are dedicated to a strict goal, props to you! This isn’t easy but you CAN master this with time and practice.
If you know that you are hungry and have a craving for something specific but would like to make a healthier choice, I highly recommend checking out our blog for so many protein-packed versions of common craving foods.
Do you want to make your craving food into your macros? I recommend this route! Because if you continue to deprive yourself from the foods you love you will definitely fail at counting and hate it. But if you allow yourself to eat the things you love, things start to become easier to manage.
What do you crave that you fit into your macros daily or weekly? Let’s take those Oreos for example: let’s say you are craving them like crazy. Well then let’s make them fit! Pre-log your cookies first thing in the morning that way they are accounted for and you are giving yourself FULL PERMISSION to have them. (Don’t miss this step) ... 2 Double Stuffed Oreos is: 7f 20c 1p.
Now if you need 3 or 4, so be it! Just log them. - My advice is if I were to be craving Oreos, I would pair it with protein to ensure I get full and satisfied when eating my treat. I personally would make a thick protein smoothie with ice, cashew milk, iHeart Protein and crumble the cookies on top! And voila, you stuck to your macros, had a treat and are still on track to meet your goals! Welcome to the happy mindset of macro counting!
Macro counting will give you freedom if you are disciplined with it!
Uh-Oh: Watch Out For Triggers
There is a caveat to giving into your “craving, " which is what I like to call “trigger food.” These are foods and/or treats you eat one bite and you just can't stop until the bag is gone.
What's your trigger? GRANOLA is one of my triggers, I can't buy it because I will seriously eat the whole bag until I am sick! I know this is a trigger of mine so I choose to NOT partake. Knowing your triggers will help you combat binge eating and/or overeating. Find balance, find peace, count your macros!
My rule of thumb is if you are craving it, then eat it and track it! That way you don’t over eat it in a weak moment. Allow yourself to have the fresh Reese’s Pumpkin or that handful of yummy Candy Corn .... just account for it and get on with your day! - My advice is to “PRE-LOG” it first thing in the morning so it is accounted for! Plus you are giving yourself permission to eat it and enjoy it with no guilt or shame! Nothing is off limits with #macrocounting ❤️