Tips and Tricks to Combat Cravings
If you ever wanted to enter a figure competition and need to know how to combat cravings, rest assured, I can help guide the way. After being in the fitness industry for 30 years, competing on stage starting at the very bottom placing last to moving up in the ranks to taking first place and overall, and now being a professional figure coach, I can tell you the trials and tribulations I encountered and how I learned how to prep and ultimately, steal the show.
Back when I was competing the Internet wasn’t around and there weren’t many coaches available. Trainers were usually juiced-up guys. I had to rely on book research. Taking notes of my dieting, training and cardio was routine. As someone who wanted to succeed, I studied pictures and videos of the top amateurs and pros. I picked the brains of the top competitors and I brown-nosed my way into the judging circle and even judged a few shows. In the end I spent YEARS in the competitive circle breaking it apart piece-by-piece.
Overcoming Mistakes and Turning Them into Successes…
Hey, I made my mistakes in the beginning such as eating cold cereal and Rice-A-Roni in my diet plan. I decided to make the switch from Coke to Diet Coke, guzzling down aspartame by the can until I became addicted to the darn chemical.
As “healthy” as I thought my diet was, I had bouts of hypoglycemia. Through more studying and researching I learned that one of the major side-effects of aspartame abuse is hypoglycemia.
I was able to successfully kick the Diet Coke habit, quitting the chemical, aspartame, cold turkey. I suffered withdrawal symptoms, but I toughed it out and was de-toxed in a matter of days. Since then my hypoglycemia has disappeared I have never returned to diet drinks.
3 Tips You Should Know Before Entering Your First Competition…
If you are just getting started in competitions or just checking them out, understand that you don’t NEED the “perfect body” to compete. Your contest diet, the way you progress your cardio, and the training principles you apply to your workout program can give you an advantage and help create a figure-ready body.
Below I will share some figure prep secrets, tips, and tactics about how to combat cravings so you can be well on your way to prepping for your first figure contest.
Implement Your Contest Diet in a Strategic Manner (How the Pros Do It)
It is probably not a surprise that you will need to be on some sort of figure prep diet. Quite honestly, the diet is the easy part. What you need to be aware of and pay attention to are your cravings.
When you start your prep diet, I recommend to stay on it for a solid 3 weeks (that’s 21 full days including weekends) before you take a cheat meal. This 3 week induction period will train your body to work in harmony with the diet and form a habit.
After your first 4-7 days on your diet you may notice that you get mad cravings for salty foods or even chocolate cravings. Your cravings can extend beyond these. However, these two are usually the popular ones, especially by women on a strict diet. But stick with me and I’ll show you how to combat cravings.
Combat Salty Urge (This is Important)
If you find yourself craving salty foods it may be a sign you are under stress. That stress can be mental or physical. Your adrenal glands deal with stress and they rely on sodium to function. When you are carrying a load of stress (diet, training, cardio, PMS, etc.) your adrenals have to work harder, using up your body’s sodium causing you to crave salt.
A little tip I want to share with you is, don’t to go hungry. Yes, the new trend is “you don’t need to eat every 2-4 hours”. However, if your blood sugar dips too low it puts stress on your body and this stress taps your adrenals. Going extended periods without food makes your adrenals work overtime, causing them to release more cortisol to try and keep your body running normally.
As stated by Amy Logan at www.Alternativemedicine.com, “Adrenal fatigue occurs when the glands release high quantities of cortisol, which eventually depletes the adrenals so they can’t produce enough hormones.”
It’s fine to eat salt. It is a mineral. Just as with anything, be cautious that you are not eating it in excess. A little secret tip I like to suggest is preparation such as taking steps to reduce stress ahead of time such as drinking more water, eating several small meals and/or snacks a day, and getting a little extra sleep. As simple and relaxing as these steps sound, they do help to combat cravings.
(Special Note: You can get these DELICIOUS and spicy Gator Pickles from www.CreativeCajunCooking.com, made right in my hometown of St. Amant, LA by Jimmy Babin… Go STA Gators!)
Tackle the Chocolate Desire (This Might Surprise You)
Did you know that chocolate cravings may NOT mean you have a lack of will power? You may find that you crave chocolate and that chocolate craving increases DRAMATICALLY when you have PMS. Chocolate cravings are usually a sign of a calcium/magnesium imbalance. It may surprise you to know that chocolate is the highest in magnesium.
During times of high stress, physical and physiological, magnesium is excreted in large amounts, throwing off your calcium/magnesium balance. While your diet can supply calcium and magnesium, it’s generally not enough in stressful times (contest prep and/or PMS) and it could be helpful to supplement your diet.
I recommend that my clients supplement with a balance of 500-600 mg a day of calcium and magnesium, giving them a sufficient amount to bring these two minerals back in balance and banish those chocolate cravings.
If you MUST opt for chocolate, have a few bites of dark chocolate. The higher the percentage, the better it is for you. What a great way to combat cravings. Right?
Did You Know…
Did you know that to combat cravings you can do those simple things? Pretty amazing stuff, right? The more information you have, the better you can have control. When you have knowledge and control, you are in power.
Now, if you want a real Contest Prep Crash Course that will get you started, check out my free program below. It’s the real deal information to get started.
Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
Thanks for reading over my article! I hope you found the information helpful. If you have any questions you can contact me directly using the “Contact Link” at the top of the page. I answer all emails.
If you did like this article then you should sign-up for my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course. These lessons provide science-based information on fat loss, muscle gain, and contest prep. Get the facts and you get the results.