As we finish up the 3rd week of the challenge, I wanted to share some feedback on a few questions that I have gotten over the past several days. The two most common questions are:
1. Why am I always hungry?
2. Why am I craving everything that I can't eat?
This post will not be one where I make jokes and tell you to toughen up and fix your lack of discipline for having cravings and pouting about it….quite the contrary. When I began eating Paleo over 2 years ago, I STILL remember how bad my cravings were and how tough the 3rd and 4th week was for me. I craved everything! Every fast food place I drove by, everything I saw on TV, nothing I was eating looked as good as the things I couldn't have. Here are a few of things that may help you get through these last few weeks.
What to do if you are always hungry…
1. Eat Breakfast
Most of the people that tell me they are hungry will also tell me that they often neglect eating breakfast. This will be the biggest obstacle you will need to overcome if you want to stop feeling hungry. Breakfast will help set you up for the rest of the day and if you miss it, you will be behind the power curve and spend the rest of the day trying to make up for missing the most important meal. The easiest breakfast to try and get used to is to have Bacon & Eggs. You can throw in some vegetables or if your in a hurry just grab an apple or some berries and you will be set. It will take a week or so to get into the routine of doing this but it will pay dividends to how you feel for the rest of the day. What you absolutely CANNOT do is wake-up in the morning, skip breakfast and wait around for an hour or two until it is time to work out and then come in on an empty stomach. No matter what the skinny people in magazines tell you about how this will burn fat…take my word for it, it will be the quickest way to dizziness, fainting, headaches, and most of all, what muscle you do have will be cannabalized by your body since it has no other source of fuel. People that speak this nonsense need to be muzzled. If you don't like eating breakfast, simple solution, LEARN to like it.
2. Be ready for the hunger with pre-made snacks
If you know you have been feeling hungry around the same time everyday, the easy fix to this is to have a snack ready for that time of the day. Most of my snacks will just be smaller versions of my meals. If you don't have time to sit down and spend 5 minutes eating a snack, I don't believe you, but if you insist this is the case, throw some apples in your car and a ziploc bag of almonds. Not the most ideal snack but, in a hurry, is much better than the alternative of the impulse 32oz Sonic Milkshake you are going to buy when you drive by and can't help but stop. I try to mix up my snacks as best as I can and recently Jess has made me a huge tub of tuna/chix salad and I just put some in little tupperware containers and I need about 30 seconds to take 4 or 5 bites along with an apple and I am good to go until my next meal. You can have 6 little tupperware containers packed and ready to go so that you can grab one and take it to work or throw it in a cooler if your on the road. Don't be the guy that is afraid to pack a cooler because of what his/her friends will say…..I still remember taking a big cooler into every restaurant I went into while I was recruiting with the Marine Corps and lived on the road 4 days a week. I just decided that why should I care what people think about me trying to eat healthy. The answer is, we shouldn't care. So what if people wonder why the freak show is bringing in a lunch box to a restaurant, odds are you will never see those people again and if you do, it will make for a great coversation starter….
Drink Lots of Water
You can cheat the system a little bit and fool your body into thinking its full by pumping it full of some high quality H20. Sound crazy? Next time your stomach is growling, tackle about 24oz of water and tell me your not quite as hungry as before. This is not a substitute for real food but should be done in conjuction with your meals and snacks. Continue drinking water throughout the day, lots of water, and this will help substantially.
I will tackle the issue of dealing with your cravings in another post…stay tuned