Take Control like a Pro and Crush Those Cravings!
Asked and Answered by Sexy Strong IFBB Pro Jacquelyn Geringer
I probably get asked the question about cravings and cheating at least once on a daily basis – it is a tough one, I am not going to lie! But first, let me give you a little back story on my cravings and cheating, because Pro or not we are all human, and for some reason when things get taken away from us we just want them just that much more…
In my opinion, I think many people just do not truly understand how important diet is in the sport of bodybuilding, and the role it plays in achieving that end result; being stage ready! I’ll tell you this, I was one of them and had no idea how important diet was nor did I want to be that person carrying around their meals in a bag everywhere I went – honestly, I thought it was little ridiculous! But now-a-days, you won’t catch me without a meal in my backpack or an IsoBag attached to my right hand!
Your Diet’s Major Role
When I first started this sport I gave into my cravings, not because I didn’t want to look good for my show; I just thought that if I didn’t have a meal on hand it was better to eat something then to go hungry. Or, another justification was, “I look great, so I can eat this and still look fine!” But this was my favorite, “I’ll just do extra cardio, cardio will fix everything!”
Because I wasn’t prepared, and because I didn’t understand how great of a role diet played in what I was doing, giving into cravings was easy and I didn’t feel guilty or have any regrets until… I’ll tell you when I had regrets, the exact time and place; backstage at NPC Muscle Contest USA’s in Las Vegas! Yes, at a national show trying to earn my pro card but not following my diet. How does that work? Well, for me it didn’t!! Regret is the worst thing, and it is especially bad when you’re standing around backstage waiting to go on stage looking at all the beautiful (non-cheating) bodies!
Let’s Get Educated!
Here are a few things that may awaken that craving bug!
- Low serotonin levels – serotonin can affect your appetite.
- Low endorphins – which may increase consumption of fats and carbohydrates.
- High stress levels – which will increase cortisol (corticosteroid hormone) and your body may crave comfort foods high in sugar and fat.
- Lack of sleep – which will increase ghrelin (hunger hormone) which will increase cravings.
Common Cravings and Why?
- Chocolate – Chocolate can help regulate your body’s endorphins and also contains a large amount of iron. When us ladies have that time of the month our iron levels are low, and this is why we crave chocolate. Or, because it tastes yummy and I love white chocolate!
- Salt – Craving salt maybe a sign of your body telling you that you may be de-hydrated. When the body is de-hydrated it loses water, electrolytes, and salt. Or, because you just want something salty and love nacho’s!
- Carbohydrates or Sugars – These cravings may occur when your energy is running low. Or, because you’re in love with pasta, bread and gummy bears like me!
With all jokes aside, sometimes we eat/crave because we are bored, emotional, or like I mentioned before, we know we can’t have it so we want it even more!
I totally get it, when your life is run by a freaking measuring cup you can totally go insane! But you need to remind yourself why you are putting yourself through this and how bad you want that end result. Is giving into your cravings worth looking terrible on stage or not placing as well as you wanted too or the guilt that runs through your brain? How bad do you want this??
And remember, there is hope!!…
Legal Eats Outside of Your Diet Plan!
If you read my first article, you will see that I don’t really do the macro diet and I don’t like to have my clients on it either. I personally think that being more structured with the diet has a better end result, but again, this is my opinion – you must do what works for you!
So what is legal on your diet outside of your diet plan? There are many things you can actually snack on and I’ll share my top 10!!!
- kim chee
- Sugar free jello (ask your coach first)
- Sugar free ice pops (ask your coach first; but this is one of my favs!)
- Bell Peppers (may bloat you)
- Chicken broth (I drink a cup with my last two meals if I really am hungry)
- Diet or Zero’s
These are a few things that help me through my preps, but honestly with time and prep after prep my cravings have decreased; yes, I am hungry but when your vision is clear and you realize that you eat for purpose and not for taste, things seem a little easier.
So get your phones out, find those Food Porn Instagram pages and just dream because giving in to your cravings is not an option if you want to execute to achieve the best final result!!!
My advice is, know what you’re getting into before you invest, don’t rush into things, start prep maybe every other day then work your way into prepping meals everyday, this way you don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed. Things take time and habits are hard to break so give yourself enough time to actually prep properly and then figure out a show date. Sometimes 12 weeks isn’t enough time!
I am Jacquelyn Geringer, IFBB Bikini Pro and Sexy-Strong sponsored athlete. If you would like to contact me, please feel free to email me @firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to use my special promo code “vixen” for your 25% discount on any purchase at www.sexy-strong.com.
“Always to inspire, Never to Impress.”