Cravings, hormones & peanut butter. Week 4

Start of Week 4: Weight and measurements

Weight – 61.1kg

Thigh – 58.5cm

Glute – 95.5cm

Waist – 68.5cm

Cravings can be killer when dieting. Especially if you’re like me and love ANYTHING sweet. AND especially when it’s those special few days of the month and you feel as tough you could eat your bodyweight in chocolate and cake.

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‘Oh, you!’

My cravings for off plan foods haven’t been too bad so far (apart from when my mum made flapjacks the other weekend and melted white chocolate on the top. Then this weekend she made berry crumble. OMG. Not sure what she’s trying to do to me). Because my calorie intake is still nice and high, I don’t find myself craving too much as my diet is packed out with all sorts of foods, both sweet and savoury, and plenty of carbs and fats to keep me satiated, energised and SANE! That’s where a lot of people tend to go wrong when dieting. They restrict carbs and fats excessively or completely ban certain foods or food groups. Result? Intense cravings. Inability to ignore said cravings. Cravings win. Scoffing occurs.

This week however my cravings have intensified slightly. I do think the dreaded period is coming so that could be the main reason for this rise in the desire to scoff. It could also be the reason why I’ve had a few ‘feeling fat’ days (in my mind I know that I’m the leanest I ever have been, so have been telling myself this repeatedly!). I’ve also had a few moments where I’ve felt like crying for no reason whatsoever or like erratically flipping out or ramming the car in front of me so yeh there is a high chance that the old hormones are all over the place. Or maybe I’m just a psychotic loon of a human. (I know what Darren would argue! lololol). Life is tough for us girls.

I’ve also found this week that I craved off plan foods more the day after my refeed, which makes sense as my refeeds do tend to include foods which are higher in sugar than my normal day to day foods. The following day, once sugar levels have dropped the body and the brain crave that sugar fix again. Sugar really does play havoc with your hormones and messages to the brain so its understandable how people get into the cycle of craving that mid morning biscuit or that late night chocolate feast. Or how people find it hard to get back on track after an indulgent weekend. These habits can be detrimental to a person’s health goals or weight loss goals.

NOTE – CRAVING is different from HUNGER. Hunger is your body’s need for energy, whereas a craving is your brains desire for ‘reward’. Learn to understand the difference.

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Macro friendly pancakes! WOOOWWWW

Flexible dieting can be really beneficial for people who love a bit of what they fancy, while consuming predominately a healthy and wholesome diet. Flexible dieting or IIFYM (if it fits your macros) is the way forward and is a principle I live by, even while I’m on prep to an extent. If you know, for example that you really fancy a chocolate bar after your dinner, you can simply have a lower carb and lower fat main meal and leave yourself some fats and carbs for your dessert. That’s a very basic example but following a macronutrient plan really doesn’t need to be anything complicated and it can reduce cravings and prevent that feeling of deprivation. You can choose what foods you have in order to hit your macro nutrient goals! Obviously the more natural foods you eat (i.e your veggies, fruits, lean meats etc), the more volume you’ll be able to eat because these foods tend to be lower in calories than your processed foods but there’s always room for some chocolate or a slice of cake. In my opinion anyway!

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Macro friendly waffles until I added 500 toppings.

Currently I’m not eating much processed food, purely because I want to make sure I’m having a high volume of food to keep me satisfied and minimise cravings. Here are some current staples in my diet that are keeping my sweet tooth happy and helping to reduce my urge to face-plant the chocolate drawer, or my mum’s flapjacks, or her fruit crumble and custard. Maaannn I deserve a medal.

Please note – this is not your typical ‘health blogger sweet treats’ list. Probably because I’m not a health blogger. While I love healthy foods and do eat predominantly wholesome natural foods, right now I’m following a specific macro nutrient plan so sometimes the lower calorie/artificially sweetened stuff has to come in and save the day.

Oats with toppings on toppings on toppings

Every night before bed, I’ve been having a giant bowl of oats with chocolate or vanilla whey protein powder. I’m currently using the PHD Vanilla Whey and the Cookies and Cream Precision Whey. Microwave the oats and whey with grated courgette which adds some serious volume for an extra 20 calories (dieting tip – add low cal volume to your food, i.e pile up the veggies!). I then top it with jam, dark chocolate and peanut butter. I seriously look forward to this throughout the day – what an exciting life I live! It’s so sweet and filling and feels like an indulgent dessert. Perfect for us dieting folk.

Sweet Omelette

Simply eggs mixed with protein powder and cooked as you would a normal omelette. Season with cinnamon, add fruit and top with dark chocolate or peanut butter.

Cereal

I have been eating a ridiculous amount of cereal lately – shout out to variety packs and Chocolate Chip Weetabix. Cereal is relatively low calorie and gives me that sweet hit when I need it. It’s high carb and low fat which is perfect for a post exercise snack. I have a bowl with my egg wrap for breakfast and a bowl mid afternoon, topped with almond milk. I tend to buy the variety packs and mix 2 boxes together to make cereal time that extra bit more exciting. (Check out my ‘Food diary of a gal on prep’ blog for a full run down of my meals)

Diet Coke, Pepsi Max Cherry and White Monster

No explanation needed. Diet fizzy drinks are delicious and I don’t care that they have no nutritional benefits or that the Daily Mail claims they’ll make me gain weight or that they’ll rot my teeth. I eat my veggies, I’m not fat and I brush my teeth. One or two a day is perfectly OK so ssshhh and leave me be.

Fruit

Apple, bananas and strawberries are my current faves. Topped with Pip ’n’ Nut Maple Peanut Butter, they’re even more satisfying. Fruit is naturally sweet and yeh while it’s not chocolate, try and appreciate it for it’s sweetness. Get that sweet hit for fewer calories, less fat and more health!

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Look at how healthy I am!

Sweet potato (with peanut butter) – Don’t knock it ‘till ya try it!

Roasted sweet potato is so naturally sweet. Try roasting one whole for up to 90 minutes. That’s when the magic happens! The skin may smell like it’s burning but inside the potato will be wonderfully caramalised and sweet. I eat it with peanut butter or mix with cocoa powder for a sweet chocolatey snack. Sweet potatoes are fantastic and you can even use them to make brownies. Google it and thank me later.

Nut butter

It seems to have been a common theme throughout but nut butter is a staple when it comes to minimising my cravings. Although nut butter is high in fat and therefore high in calories, I don’t consume many other fat sources so I can afford to get a lot in. Either with food or straight out the jar.

Top 3 are Pip ’n’ Nut Crunchy Maple, Meridian Crunchy Peanut Butter and Pip ’n’ Nut Almond Butter.

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The holy grail of nut butters

Sweetener.

Whilst artificial sweetener, like diet fizzy drinks has zero nutritional benefits, it definitely isn’t the devil that it’s made out to be. In large quantities, yeh I’m sure it is very bad for us, but isn’t anything? Having a few sweeteners in your coffee or in your natural yoghurt or on your oats won’t do you any harm. I carry sweeteners with me wherever I go, just incase I’m caught short and there’s only real sugar about. Pretty sure I have a couple in every pocket, every bag, every purse and scattered all over my car. I never buy my own, instead I just take a handful from Starbucks whenever I pop in. Thanks Starbs xoxo

End of Week 4: Measurements and weight

Weight – 60.5kg

Thigh – 58.5cm

Glute – 95cm

Waist – 69.5cm

Progress pictures: Start vs. Week 4

(Posing heels arrived!!!)

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