Issue #142


by Juan Carlos Lope

20 Questions with Cover Model Ashley Godfrey

Video Interview with Amateur Figure Candace Marconi

Ashley Godfrey, Juliana Halloran, Jessica Parsell, Jackie Frye & Jill Mcmillin

Video Interview with Amateur Figure Candy Carlin

Five Fantastic Tips to Fight Back Food Cravings after Restrictive Dieting
by Tina Jo Orban


Five Fantastic Tips to Fight Back Food Cravings after Restrictive Dieting by Tina Jo Orban

So you made it through your contest and photo-shoots preparations. You’ve dieted, doubled-up on cardio and pushed your self physically to get into competition shape. You got yourself into peak fat loss for optimal stage appearance and or camera ready. You did it! Congratulations! Now that it is behind you, you would like to congratulate yourself with some delicious, and maybe not so healthy “rewards”. I like to analogize hardcore dieting and return to “normal” food intake to the post breakup syndrome known as “rebound.”  After some break-ups— women (men too) sometimes let their potential partner standards fall precipitously. Let’s face it some people will date just about anyone after a tough break-up. After all that abstinence you may lower your guard (think standards) in who you date. You might settle for any guy (even a guy like the shmuck you just broke up with) because you are trying to busy yourself to avoid “cravings” for your ex. Likewise long term abstaining from calorie laden foods: sweets, baked good and carbohydrates and saturated fats can lead to extreme cravings of just such foods! To be sure, they certainly occupy your brain when you are dieting. But you are on a mission and your competition and photo-shoot is foremost in your mind. That is, your goal has a terminable date and you are determined to stick to your diet to achieve your goal! But what happens after the competition or photo-shoots? Once you are off your diet, unleashing cravings may be like an uncontrollable cataract that pummels your mind into obeying compulsion. You may give your self permission to overindulge and eat anything! You might just “lower your standards” for the quality and type of nutrition that is the hallmark of fitness and health that you stand for. Sure, after restrictive dieting go ahead and indulge once maybe twice, but don’t let that unleashing get out of control. 

Here are FIVE tips for controlling unhealthy cravings post restrictive dieting: 

Tip number one: don’t purchase and keep cookies, candy, chips, etcetera in your pantry or fridge. Just don’t buy the stuff.

Tip number two: Visualization. It works well for envisioning a winning a competition or placing well, likewise visualization has been proven in research to mitigate strong cravings. If you imagine yourself consuming the food and being satisfied— researchers have noted the craving diminishes or subsides altogether!  For example, after a long term restrictive diet you may want to eat a bucket of buttery caramel-kettle-corn, you could instead substitute a couple of caramel rice cakes and maybe a 1/4 cup of nuts (to get the satisfying mouth-feel of fats). 1] 

Tip number three, akin to visualization is an idea linked to the trend in meditation. Try to observe your thoughts as just that: thoughts! When a strong urge is upon you, if you can observe the craving as a just a thought that will come and go you can better manage dealing with the urge at the moment.  Its just a thought. They come and go in waves [2].You will find if you can temporarily stem the tide and reach for something healthy or grab some gum (tip number five) that the urge will weaken.

Tip number four: Drink plenty of water! Water actually makes you feel full! You know this already. So use this trick. And its good for you! Water not only hydrates you but keep your liver and kidneys running optimally, which is needed for optimal fat metabolism and over all metabolism. The kidneys job mostly is to filter wastes from your blood and create urine. They do not function properly without enough water.  When the kidneys are not properly hydrated and filtering at full capacity the excess load is dumped onto the liver! The liver’s works to metabolize (think breakdown) stored fat into usable energy for the body. If the liver is doing filtration-- for the taxed kidneys-- it functions less optimally in fat metabolism. This means it metabolizes less fat; more fat remains stored in the body and fat loss decreases.

Tip number five: Chew gum. Yep, keep those jaws busy (and your breath fresh while you’re at it!) Researchers have proven over and over in repeated studies the benefits of gum chewing as a mechanism to control hunger and stave off cravings.[3]

Bonus tip: Do something else. Cognitive behaviorists have recommended to patients with severe pain or a pending surgery to use Distraction Therapy. Distraction Therapy is just what it sounds like. Doctors will have patients play board games, knit, sew or sing to distract the patient from pain or impending pain. You can use an analogous model of Distraction Therapy by doing something else. Do something productive instead of reaching for the craved foodstuff. For example, if you feel the urge to devour a half box of cookies, or a pint of ice-cream instead grab your dog’s leash and go for walk, or do a household chore. If you are serious about controlling cravings you may want to pick up your pen and journal about the craving. Write down what food you want. What the food means to you. But then, write down why it is not conducive to your health and fitness goals! This last tip is linked to visualization. Thinking about your thoughts and being an observer or recorder of cravings can give you a better understanding of yourself. It can clue you into the real power you posses over your choices and ultimately your goals!

[1] Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Carey Morewedge group study <http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/
[2] Dr. Robyn Vast PhD. group study Feb 4 2011. https://philosophicallydisturbed.wordpress.com/

[3] “Weight Loss Benefits of Chewing Gum” WebMD.com 2015

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