This week is part two of ways to eliminate carb cravings. In this episode, we look at the food and metabolism related ways to cut cravings!
- Spices and Sauces
Here are some great flavor boosters to help ease cravings!
Some more substitutions for carb cravings:
If you crave.....
Salty foods such as chips or pizza, you be low in tryptophan or chloride.
Cheese, fish, sweet potatoes, spinach, and sea salt.
If you crave....
Chocolate, you may need magnesium or zinc.
Dark chocolate. Particularly 70 percent or higher dark chocolate.
If you crave sugar or bread......
You may be dehydrated.
Drink water! Hydrate yourself. Need flavor? Add any citrus to your water, such as lemon, lime or orange.
If you crave processed fatty foods.......
Have a meal with protein and good fats. For example, eggs cooked in coconut oil, meat and nuts, a slice of bacon with an egg and avocado, or meat/ fish slices and a piece of cheese.
If you crave sugary candy, you may need sulfur.
Eat fibrous, crunchy veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts.
2. Eliminate Processed Foods
Research shows that eating too many processed carbs actually changes your brain structure, generating neuronal adaptations to make you crave them constantly. Think of them like drugs for your brain, you may even have withdrawal symptoms!
Replace processed foods with whole, low-glycemic foods that are high in protein and healthy fats.
3. Improve your metabolism!
Focus on becoming metabolically flexible. This refers to your body’s ability to burn both fat and carbohydrates for energy. This is what your body should do in an ideal situation. It allows you to have energy, lose body fat easier and increase exercise capacity.
Metabolically inflexible is the opposite (of course!). Your body is adapted to burn carbohydrates and unable to mobilize and use body fat. High carb, low fat diets tend to promote this effect. Anytime blood sugar drops due to not eating for a few hours, your body carves carbs to raise your blood sugar. If you taken in too many high-sugar carbs, you’ll crave high-sugar carbs because sugar has an addictive quality, activating a sensation of pleasure in the brain.
Avoid high-sugar carbs and change your focus from carbs to protein and healthy fats. For normal-weight people, the ability to burn body fat can be increased simply by eating a higher fat, lower carb diet. But overweight people’s bodies don’t adapt so easily and obese people are actually metabolically inflexible and incapable of burning body fat. This can be changed—it’s not a permanent state—but changing diet doesn’t appear to adapt the body to do it. One way for overweight people to increase fat burning is to do strenuous exercise. Both intense sprint training and long endurance exercise act as a catalyst for the overweight to become more metabolically flexible. Strength training may also be effective.
4. Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity
Many overweight people often insulin resistant, insulin doesn’t cut appetite, and you'll feel hungry after eating even a carb-fillled meal. Studies show that not only does an individual’s degree of insulin sensitivity predict hunger in the hours after eating, it also predicts the ability to lose body fat. The easiest way to improve insulin health is to exercise—strength training, aerobic exercise, and sprints all work. Eating a low-carb diet is well known for treating insulin resistance but being too low in carbs for too long (on a ketogenic diet, for example) can cause insulin resistance. Prevent this by including higher carb meals ever 5 to 7 days.
Are men and women different when it comes to fat loss? Yes, sort of.
Women’s Metabolism Vs. Men’s Metabolism
If you are a woman then you probably already know that women tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to fat loss and muscle building. Mostly because the majority of available advice is based on research done on men. Luckily there are some similarities to help us determine the best ways to train for fat loss. Of course, exercise is essential for any one to lose fat. It is even more important for women because workouts teach the female body to increase the use of fat for energy. Women tend to burn more glucose form carbs while at reast than men do. Men burn more fat at rest, but women burn more fat during exercise then men (yeah!). So if you are a woman who wants to lose body fat you must workout! Remember that metabolic flexibility? When women workout, they improve their body's ability to use fat for energy (metabolic flexibility). This, in turn, leads to improved blood sugar management and better fat loss!
Women’s Training Techniques Vs. Men’s
Studies have shown that women have an advantage in sprint training of being more endurance oriented. When doing sprint interval training, women seem to get better fat loss results by using slightly longer ratios than men. Scientists think this may be due to the fact that women rely more on aerobic energy pathways and deplete ATP more slowly than men. Plus, women recover faster, possibly due to higher estrogen levels. Your best bet for interval training would be longer yet moderate interval combinations such as 1 to 2 minute intervals at 80% to 90% of your max, with a 2:1 or 3:1 work-to-rest ratio.
Examples of 2:1 or 3:1 work-to-rest ratios
A 2:1 work-to-rest ratio means that you work for twice as long as you recover.
Elliptical trainer: Alternate 40 seconds at a high intensity (as hard as you can work while still maintaining good form, posture, and control) with 20 seconds at a moderate intensity for a total of 25 to 30 minutes.
Treadmill: Alternate three minutes of very fast walking (4 to 5 mph) with 90 seconds of medium paced walking (3.5 to 4 mph) for a total of 30 to 45 minutes.
3:1 Work-to-Rest Ratio A 3:1 work-to-rest ratio means that you work three times as long as the recovery.
Treadmill: Alternate 15 minutes of running (5 to 6 mph, or 8 to 9.7 km/h) with five minutes of jogging (6 to 7 mph, or 9.7 to 11.3 km/h) for 30 to 45 minutes. (running is still not my favorite choice for women and fat loss, but if you must, choose intervals!)
Elliptical trainer: Alternate nine minutes at a high intensity (as hard as you can work while still maintaining good form, posture, and control) with three minutes at a moderate intensity for 30 to 45 minutes.
If you are new to intervals, you can change the work-to-rest ratio into a rest-to-work ratio. For example, if working hard for two minutes with only one minute of recovery (2:1) is too much for you, simply flip it and use the ratio as a rest-to-work ratio instead—working for one minute and then recovering for two minutes (1:2).
Does Recovery Differ in Men and Women? Yes.
Women actually recover quicker than men during strength training. Women can also tolerate shorter rest intervals.
A study compared the effect of 1-, 2- or 3-minute rest intervals in an upper body workout with the goal of completing 10 reps per set in men and women. The women in the study were able to complete significantly more reps than men did, regardless of the rest interval used.
If you’re not seeing the results you’d expect from your program, experiment with shorter rest intervals. Keep in mind, if you are a beginner female there is some evidence that untrained women recover more slowly than men and may need longer recovery intervals until they gain base levels of strength and conditioning.
This last part may apply to both genders, but I still think men have a better advantage!
You Can’t Out-Train A Bad Diet!
No training or workouts can overcome a poor diet! Low energy, reduced metabolism and stymied fat loss all come with poor eating habits. If you eat refined foods in order to decrease fat intake and keep track of your calories, you will probably end up more hungry and missing nutrients.
Focus on eating real, whole foods in the amounts of each macronutrient of fat, protein, and carbohydrates that your body needs. With the right nutrition plan, your workouts will be stronger and more effective for fat loss.
What motivates you? How do you push yourself to workout on the days you don't feel like it? Some tips on how to keep your motivation on the blah days!
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Fit 224: Eliminate Carb Cravings Part 2, Differences in training for men and women, where's your motivation?