Let me tell you about a moment I just had in Wilkinsons. I’m not going to lie, I’m only just getting back on the straight and narrow after Christmas and New Year. Even though my partner and I didn’t actually buy any Christmas food for our home, we had relaxed food-wise buying things like oven bake pizzas and making steak and chips.
So I pop into Wilkinsons to buy some stationary (love it) which is all opposite the chocolate. I hadn’t realised until today that I had slackened off enough to mindlessly pick up a chocolate bar without even any consideration. I’d developed a dangerous habit that could send me spiralling back to 13 stone. I suddenly realised and put the chocolate bar back. Then my mind started going into overdrive and I was having that internal argument as I walked around the shop.
“Just go and get it, you’ve taught 2.5 hrs of classes this morning and have spinning later it’s already burnt off!”
“But if I want to lose some bodyfat I won’t be in as much of a deficit if I eat that, look it’s 160cals a bar!” So I put it back….
“You’re right and that bar is so small anyway it will hardly satisfy my cravings….is there a share bar?” So I pick up a share bar!
“Ok no..no..no that’s 200 calories per 3 squares and how many squares will I eat? MORE THAN 3!”
“But I want it”
“But I want to lose bodyfat”
I must have picked up three different chocolate bars and put them back. This happens to oh so many of us without us even realising and this is exactly why we feel like we are depriving ourselves because we’re saying no to our inner chimp that wants it here and now doesn’t care how.
How I tackled the cravings
First of all, Can I just make a huge point of saying that I didn’t even WANT chocolate until I SAW the chocolate! I had been played by the power of marketing and product placement.
Then I reminded myself that I had just had a super healthy lunch which was salad, turkey and green lentils so I wasn’t actually hungry!
Then here was the deal breaker that made me STEP AWAY FROM THE CHOCOLATE. I know that high sugar snacks will spike my blood sugars and therefore trigger further cravings later today. I also felt physically tired, like, ready for a nap tired and knew it was just my body asking for quick release energy. Finally I was able to tell myself that, although not as appealing right now, an apple will satisfy that sweetness I craved. I went home, had an apple and I SURVIVED! No chocolate needed and still on track to achieve bodyfat loss!
A friend of mine told me a great analogy once.
Think of losing bodyfat like wearing a rucksack and walking up a mountain. In your rucksack you already have your basics taking up room (this is the normal food you eat during the day). The more you eat the more you have to walk to empty out the contents of that rucksack. If your rucksack is full by the end of your walk you have no deficit and therefore won’t be any lighter.
So, if you overeat and your rucksack is already full, you have to use your pockets. Not only do you have to then walk to burn off what’s in your pockets, you also have the contents of your rucksack to burn too. If you don’t bother burning anything, then your pockets stay full and bulging. This weighs you down and makes it uncomfortable while walking.