"I'm not hungry for breakfast," she'll say.
I nod to myself quietly. I want to ask, How's that working for you? Because I have totally been there and I know how it's working. But I wait.
"I have these intense sugar cravings around 4pm, though. I don't get it. I eat so healthy."
I nod again. Oooh, pick me! I want to say. "I know!
But nobody likes a know-it-all. So I wait.
And I'll ask a few gently probing questions.
What does your lunch look like?
"I don't really eat lunch."
How much protein are you getting at dinner?
"I don't really like meat."
What happens around 4?
"I'll grab a few crackers or chips or a handful or cereal. Sometimes fruit."
How are you sleeping?
"I wake up every night around 3 am."
Poor dear. Let's do something about this.
So we do.
The Genesis of A Craving
If you're not eating enough food, you'll get a craving. If you're not eating enough protein (especially at breakfast!), you'll get a craving. If you're drinking too much coffee and not eating enough calories, you'll get a craving. If you're not sleeping enough, you'll get a craving.
Dr. Ted Naiman says that we are all programmed to get a minimum number of protein grams each day. If we fail to get enough protein, our bodies will continue to seek out fuel in an effort to get all of the amino acids we need.
One gram per pound of desired body weight per day.
No joke, ladies.
If you think you should weigh 150 lb, you should try to get 150 grams of protein a day. Now, I realize that there are few of you who are able to actually do this- I can't do it regularly.
This is what it would look like, though:
You would have to eat 5 oz of chicken 3.41 times per day to get to 150 grams of protein.
I dare you to get that much protein and then tell me that you have intense sugar cravings. Or are sleeping poorly. It just won't happen.
Because you will be on your way to getting properly Nourished.
Here's the thing, though. If you just eat chicken, you'll be a very unhappy camper. Rabbit starvation, or eating only lean meat for an extended period of time, is never a good idea.
Women need good fats and plenty of vegetables. And fruit. Come to think of it, that's exactly the idea of the plan I use with my private clients.
You don't need that, though. You don't even need me. You just need to train yourself to eat regular, protein-rich meals during the day. I promise, this is the first and best step to conquering cravings. I see it time and time again with my clients and in my group coaching sessions. When the body gets the nutrients it needs, it has no need to activate cravings.
Here are a few recipes to get you started for those mornings you don't want breakfast. Just like you would never let your small children skip breakfast (cranky and unfocused, anyone?), you should never let your sweet self skip breakfast. Or lunch. Proper nourishment kills cravings. It really is that easy.
Will you try it? Give it five days where you get 30 grams of protein, at least 3 times a day. Chicken, collagen powder, ground beef, turkey bacon, chicken apple sausage, smoked salmon- go wild! But get your protein in, and then come on over to Facebook and let me know how it's going. Poof, cravings gone!