I’m four weeks into the cut now, and it’s time to talk about cravings— the bane of anyone’s diet. When you’re hungry, you can get a little food crazy. If you’ve ever been on a calorie deficit, I’m sure you can appreciate this video:
Right now my carb range is at 150g, which is still enough for me to get some good eats in, but I’m at the point where I feel like I could be putting down so much more.
Because of course I can.
I’ve had a re-feed day once each week. That helps a ton. These days my re-feed day is treated more like an “extra allowance” of carbs rather than a day to see how stupid I can get. Back in the day I’d go ham on ice cream and cookies.
There are, however, days where it seems like the re-feed is so far away. To help me manage those moments, I try to keep in mind:
Running through all your macros via liquid calories has to be the worst. Not because liquid cals aren’t tasty– I remember plenty of high protein ice cream shakes I’ve made– but they just don’t tide you over well enough.
So if you reserve the calories you’d normally spend on a coke or juice, you have room to eat more. And when you’re actually eating the calories instead of drinking them, you feel like you’re getting more bang for your buck.
This gives me room on how I can be strategic too. It’s all about knowing what holds you over.
I know a lot of fitness folks are really into Pop-tarts, but for 35g of carbs, would you be more appeased by a bowl of cereal? I am. So lately, I’ve been enjoying cereal every morning. On the days that I don’t, I’ll have a bowl of rice with lunch. And while those don’t “hit the spot” like some skittles would, they definitely lull the appetite.
Remember: carbs give energy, but protein is really what tides you over with satiety. If you’ve never tried to track macros before, this might be the first time where you’re actively trying to differentiate your food breakdown. It can be really overwhelming.
You get so caught up focusing on one aspect that you neglect the other. Or maybe you get so frustrated with all the numbers that you extremely under-eat so you’re way under the protein, fat, and carb count. Okay, so you’ve “stayed” within your range, but no wonder you feel like crap!
In my very first cut, I was so focused on going low carb that I didn’t pay attention to my fats. Turns out, I was way overboard on my fats. I probably would’ve had better results if I kicked up my carb intake and monitored the fats with that kind of fervor.
With my current macros, I might feel like I could always eat a bit more, but I’m never at the point I feel like I’m starving. When you’re first into the swing of a new eating routine, your body needs time to adapt. Suddenly, it’s missing out on all these calories it used to have. It’s scared.
By staying consistent, it’s like being a good pet owner and/or significant other. You’ve got it in your arms. You’re whispering, “Everything’s going to be okay.” But it’s not enough to do that on a single day– you need to follow through time and time again.
Consistency, folks! It’s the magic you need and deserve.
Let’s go to back to the re-feed approach for a second. Actually, let’s talk about those “moments of weakness”– the times when you do want to breakdown and give in.
When I want to indulge, I’m going to make it count. And that’s kind of the key: if you’re indulging on everything, you’re not really indulging right. Don’t do it blindly. Don’t do it mindlessly.
Be good while you’re bad. Enjoy that moment.
Earlier in the week, I might’ve felt like I could really go for some tacos, a whopper, pizza, and Chinese food. But on the day of the re-feed, what sounds the best? I’ll go with that one. Trying to hit everything at once isn’t doing me any favors. You lose out on the highlight.
— The Architects (@aoabbu) July 19, 2016
Keep in mind: it’s all about delayed gratification. You’re not cutting these foods completely out of your life. If you are, you’re doing it wrong.
You’ll just have them later, not now.
So again, if you approach these foods like you’re never going to be able to eat them again, you’re probably going through them too quickly to enjoy them. That’s right: the guy who likes to scarf down his food is telling you to eat just a little slower.
One more chew– that’s your choice to make.