Master Your Cravings and Keep Fat Off Forever
Imagine no longer struggling with your diet. You can lose weight on command and with ease, your mind isn’t plagued with cravings you’re constantly trying to fight off, and you feel in complete and utter control over your body.
The only thing preventing you from achieving the body you want is simply giving yourself enough time to reach your goals. You aren’t stressed out whatsoever, and you’re confident in the fact that if you just give it time, you’ll eventually get exactly where you want to be.
That’s basically how I feel when it comes to managing my own nutrition. The point of this article isn’t for me to brag though, I want to dissect what I do differently so that you can learn how to do the same and build the body you dream of with much more ease.
You Have To Slow Down and THINK.
I wasn’t born with this innate sense of higher self control. Before I dove into this whole lifestyle head first, I used to struggle and succumb to cravings just like everyone else.
I used to literally live off of frozen pizzas, frozen burritos, jalapeno chips, and milk… it was bad.
But over time, I’ve developed the self control to master my nutrition, and so have many of my clients by following the methods in this article that you can use too.
Once you master these methods, you will find it has very little to do with self control at all. You will genuinely WANT to stick to your diet. Your desire to consume foods that align with your fitness goals will surpass your desire to eat your typical “junk” foods by a pretty large margin. You won’t need self control at all as you’ll be eating exactly what you want to be eating.
Imagine how successful you would be with your diet if the foods you wanted to eat were the ones that you need to be eating?
Before you jump to this conclusion, no I’m not claiming you’ll turn into some weirdo that thinks chicken breast and wild rice tastes better than tacos, milkshakes, and pizza. Those foods will always taste amazing.
What’s actually going on is restructuring of the way you decide what to eat and how you value certain foods over others.
Next time you’re hungry and deciding what to eat, take a moment to think about what’s guiding your decision making process. Literally set aside 5 minutes to think about it instead of instantly making a decision after 3 seconds of thought.
Far too often we make decisions without really thinking about them. Here lies the core of the issue, as we often don’t make good decisions when we don’t even provide a chance for rational thought to take place.
Here’s some things to think about before you decide what to eat:
- Why do I want to eat this? Am I actually hungry or just having a craving / bored?
- If I ignore the hunger for 15 minutes, will it go away? (that means it was probably a craving)
- Am I just eating to relieve boredom or stress?
- Will this junk food really satisfy me that much? How long will the satisfaction last? Is it worth delaying my goals for? (sometimes, it is.)
- How will I feel 30 minutes after eating this?
- How big of a portion do I really need?
- If I’m choosing something unhealthy on the go, could this have been prevented by planning ahead better or bringing a healthy snack with me?
- Will I feel guilty later if I break my diet?
A trick I like to use is considering if something bland like chicken breast, boiled potatoes, and broccoli would satisfy your hunger. If it would, you’re actually hungry and need to eat. If it won’t but tacos will, you’re not actually hungry. You’re just craving something that tastes good.
You Need To Clearly Define Your Motivations.
Being more mindful and intentional with your decisions won’t fix everything though. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the hard work of sticking to a diet that you lose sight of why you’re really doing it and what’s motivating you to make a change. Keeping these motivations close at heart is essential for sticking to it when it get’s tough.
So, what’s driving you to want to do all this? It’s important you spend time to think this through.
There’s two parts to motivation: negative, and positive. Yin and Yang. Pain and fears, and on the opposite side, hopes and dreams. You want to identify each one of these.
I’ll run you through an imaginary person named Jeff for an example to illustrate what it is you’re looking for.
Jeff is a pretty average guy. He’s not drastically overweight, played some sports growing up and stays relatively active, doesn’t really go to the gym consistently though. His career is stressful but is going fine, and has friends he gets to regularly see which is fine.
But for Jeff, fine isn’t good enough. Fine is average and he doesn’t want to live an average life. He doesn’t feel comfortable taking his shirt off around others. He looks older than he actually is (and not in a good way).
He’s self conscious about his appearance which makes it hard to carry himself confidently, which affects his performance to potential clients and his bosses at work, and definitely doesn’t help him out in the dating scene – he’s starting to get worried he may never find someone.
Not only does he look older than he is, but he feels like it. His body is full of aches and pains despite sitting most days and a game of pickup basketball floors him for days with soreness. Recently he’s been getting concerned with his health and what will happen if he doesn’t change.
Feeling self conscious with his shirt off, lacking confidence at work and with women, and feeling old are his pains.
Worried of being alone forever, developing health issues, and being doomed to an existence of mediocrity are his fears.
Jeff wanted to get in shape. He wanted to build some muscle and lose some fat. Deep down he didn’t feel like a weak and pathetic man, but he felt like his appearance did, which made it hard to act the part. He wanted a body that impressed others, commanded respect, and could attract someone he could spend the rest of his life with.
He wanted to feel good, like he was young again. He wanted to have more energy so he could get more done at work while still having energy to see friends after, start playing more basketball, pick up a few more active hobbies, and in general just start living his life.
Earning the admiration and respect of others, attention from women, more energy, more youth, better health and a better life are Jeff’s hopes and dreams.
Jeff’s ‘goal’ was to simply look better and get in shape, but the motivations – the pain and dreams – are so much deeper than that. THAT is what you are really looking for.
Now, I want you to take a moment to think about these questions. What is your ‘pain point’ motivating you to make a change? What are some reminders you sometimes encounter of that pain? What are some of your ‘dreams’ when you have made that change? Be specific.
Tie it all together: Use Your Motivations To Keep You On Track
Are you skipping to read on to the next section? Tsk tsk. Seriously, that last part is important.
Take a moment to really narrow down those pains, fear, hopes, and dreams.
So you’ve got a pretty good idea of why you’re doing this, but what the hell are you supposed to do with this information? Let me run you through another example.
Let’s say you’re driving home from work and your cravings are telling you to stop at a drive through and get a burger and fries. Now, let’s assume you follow my first piece of advice and you decide to spend some time to think about it instead making an automatic decision without any thought, and figure that you probably can’t eat out without stalling your weight loss.
That consideration alone might be enough to convince you that it’s not worth it. But, it’s a lot more effective if you tie your pain points and dreams into the decision making process.
As you’re deciding if you’re going to succumb to the sweet temptation of breaking your diet, think about how much it sucks hating your body. How much it sucks not having the confidence to carry yourself confidently. How much it sucks feeling held back from living life to the fullest.
Then, spend some time thinking about your dreams.
Imagine being able to take your shirt off at the beach confidently. Looking in the mirror and loving what you see. Having more energy and consistently being more positive. Being able to finally live your life instead of feeling like you’re stuck.
I don’t know what exactly your dreams and pains are. It’s up to you to spend the time to think about it and define them.
But what I do know is finally achieving those dreams, no longer experiencing that pain, that will leave a consistent, huge improvement to the quality of your life. The satisfaction after eating a burger and fries when you really craved some? Maybe lasts 5-10 minutes after you’re done eating.
Which one sounds more worth it to you?
When you break it down like this and remind yourself of your motivations, it’s a no brainer to stick to your diet.
But that entire thought process takes longer than the few milliseconds we often take to make the decision to swing through the drive through. This is why it’s essential you force yourself to stop and think before making a decision.
Instant Gratification Is The Enemy
Now, even using all of the tricks above, it will only partly help you get around the fact that sometimes dieting just sucks. You get hungry, tired, irritable, and that can be discouraging to stick with it.
We, as humans, are hard wired to operate off of instant gratification. Unfortunately, most things worth having are a result of delayed gratification, such as fitness.
This is why you need to trick yourself into looking at hunger, less energy, etc (at least in modest amounts) as a good thing.
Are these things favorable by themselves? No. But think much deeper about what’s going on than the knee-jerk reaction of what’s preferable in the present moment.
You want to tie it all back to your pain points and dreams.
Being hungry and tired sucks. But, experiencing mild hunger throughout the entirety of the day is a sign that you are in a caloric deficit and burning up body fat. Decreased energy and struggling to maintain performance in the gym are additional signs which confirm that being the case.
If you stay the course, you will be all that closer to reaching your dream and never experiencing that pain again. Essentially, all those things are signs that you are exactly where you want to be.
You’re experiencing a temporary inconvenience for a lifetime of improved well-being.
- Spend 5-10 minutes to weigh your options and consider the consequences before breaking your diet. You may find that after that time is up, the craving has passed.
- Clearly define your motivations. Think about it a lot. Think about how much it sucks being where you are now. Envision how amazing it will be once you reach your goal. Write it down somewhere you will see it every day if it helps.
- Don’t succumb to instant gratification, train yourself to be smarter than that. Invest in the long term. Most things worth having don’t come instantly.
If this article helped you, I’m couldn’t be more glad. I work hard to try and put out content that’s a little bit different than most surface level solutions you find out there.
If you loved it, share with a friend.
If you want more like this, you can find more in the free guide I offer right here on my website. Sign up for it at Dylanclarkfitness.com/program