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Some cravings, and how I’ve dealt with them; Are you making excuses?

Thursday, February 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

February
24
2011
No thanks!

No thanks!

After almost eight weeks with not so much as a single bite of anything off my strict cutting diet (no cheat meals, no alcohol) I’m surprised that cravings have not been a significant issue. Normally foods like barbecue pork dinners, french fries, fajitas, pizza and bacon cheese burgers are among my favorite culinary indulgences, but none of those things have tempted me in the least so far. Last night while I was preparing post-workout meal #2 (Shrimp Asian Stir Fry) I felt like I was starving to death, but the thought of junk food was still extremely unappetizing.

The above said, I have had to deal with some cravings. You may have noticed one glaring omission from the list of my favorite junk foods: popcorn. Regular readers of this blog know how much I love authentic (and unhealthy) movie theater popcorn when I’m watching a movie up in the theater. Avoiding popcorn does require a fair amount of self-discipline and pre-planning. Before my cut started I cleaned out the theater lobby’s candy counter (it’s absolutely empty), cleaned the popcorn machine and made sure there were no theater popcorn packs in the house (you can see the barren theater lobby candy counter in this video of Loki that I posted a couple of days ago). Even if all that stuff was around I wouldn’t eat it while I was cutting, but I also know from experience how strong the popcorn cravings can get so making sure there is none in the house seems to make dealing with things a little easier on me.

The only other real craving I’ve had to deal with is beer–specifically beer after working outside in the sun on the weekends. Generally speaking I’ve not had any cravings for alcoholic beverages, but nothing tastes better after several hours of yard work than a couple of ice cold beers. I find that the desire goes away pretty quickly if I just pound back the water and chew gum.

Speaking of gum, that’s one of my cutting tricks. I chew a hell of a lot of gum when I’m cutting, and I find that it really helps when I’m feeling hungry between meals. My gum of choice, if you care, is Orbit Spearmint. I just love that stuff!

When I’m cutting it helps me to remember that what I’m doing is very short term. There’s not a single person reading this that can’t be 100% disciplined for 4 – 6 months while working towards a fat loss goal.

Wait, what’s that? “Not me, I just can’t be that disciplined!” Bullcrap! You do have the self-discipline, and there’s a million reasons that I know I’m right. I’ve mentioned this in the past, but it’s worth repeating: if someone said to you, “If you go six months without a cheat meal I will give you (tax free) $1,000,000.”, there’s not a single person reading this who would not walk away a millionaire. So save your excuses and just admit the truth: it’s not that you couldn’t do it, it’s that you simply didn’t want it badly enough.

John Stone Fitness Comments

15 Responses to “Some cravings, and how I’ve dealt with them; Are you making excuses?”
  1. How funny… just this past weekend I questioned the whole “gum while cutting” issue. 45 days into my cut, I had my first “cheat” of some sugar-free gum. By the end of the weekend, I probably had chewed 15-20 pieces. And I totally regretted it! I convinvced myself that the sugar-alcohols were having an impact on my goal, and I needed to cut it out before it became a habit.

    So… what is the deal with sugar-free gum? Is some considered more acceptable than others? What’s a practical limit? I love over-analyzing. 🙂

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    • Dude, if you’re worried about sugar free gum and its effect on your cut, you’d better be at 2.9% body fat and a week out from stepping on stage. Relax. 🙂

      FYI: I chew about a pack (14 pieces) of Orbit every single day.

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      • That I can assure you, I’m not! Although I do have to give a presentation at work later, but I don’t think that’s the kind of stage you’re talking about.

        My concern is (was?) on the effects of the artificial sweeteners (sugar alcohols in particular) on blood-sugar levels. I’ve limited artificial sweeteners to a 1/2 serving (single scoop) of zero-carb whey protein post-workout.

        Okay, okay, I will try to relax. If only they made movie-style popcorn flavored gum. 🙂

        Thanks John.

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  2. My big temptation is coffee drinks and the freaking coffee cake at Starbucks. I have to have afternoon coffee to get me through the day, usually go to starbucks and get something nonfat, but man having to look at that display case full of muffins & cakes is PAINFUL! I like to chew gum as well but I will chew a whole pack in like 4 hours then I get a stomach ache fromt he sugar alcohol!

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  3. I’m well disciplined during a cut as far as avoiding unhealthy foods, but I tend to slip by over-eating clean foods (cottage cheese, natural peanut butter, brown rice, etc.) Also given my long hours I tend to over-eat these things late at night after I’ve worked out.

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  4. John… I find your dedication and consistency really inspiring. It’s really lit a fire under my ass to cut out cheating entirely and really commit to my current cut.

    But dammit, I can’t find your current food log to save my life. Where is that thing? And have you written about your philosophy re cardio and P/F/C macros/calories when cutting?

    Thx.

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  5. I find that sugar-free gum definitely helps, glad to hear others are using that trick as well 🙂

    I find it interesting though that you consider 4-6 months “very short term”. Especially since this is something you do every year. That’s about a third to a half or your life. I don’t think I could look at that as even “short term”, let alone “very short term”.

    Yeah, I guess I *could* be that disciplined, but I am more of “you only live once” kind of a guy. I don’t have a problem with eating clean “most of the time”, but being a foodie, it would really depress me not to be able to indugle a few times a week. Different strokes…

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    • I didn’t phrase my point clearly enough, I’m afraid. While I do view my cuts as short term, I wasn’t speaking about me personally there. The 4-6 month time frame I cited and the “everyone can be extremely disciplined if they want to” comment was directed towards people who have a lot of fat to lose but never make it happen. My point is that those people definitely have the willpower to lose the fat, they just don’t want it badly enough. And 4-6 months is a very brief period for someone who has been struggling with a weight problem for a long time–possibly even his or her entire life.

      As for me, over the years I’ve made the choice to do a lot of cuts and bulks, and I wouldn’t change a thing about anything I’ve done. It’s been fun, challenging, educational and rewarding for me.

      I probably won’t be doing much of the cutting/bulking thing anymore, though. As you may know, one of my goals this year is to remain below 10% body fat and to do a better job of maintaining. If I’m successful then my next pre-summer but will be a brief dash from 9-10% to 7%.

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      • I see, that makes much better sense. 🙂 Yes, 4-6 months once in your lifetime is fairly short-term. And the idea of trying to be a bit more strict while maintaining makes sense as well.

        BTW – Trident Layers for me. Wild Strawberry + Tangy Citrus. Delish.

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  6. I’m a fan of Wrigley 5 gum. The Elixir (berry), Prism (watermelon), React (citrus), and Rain (spearmint) are all full flavored and help with my cravings. Thanks for the daily inspiration!

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