Contrary to popular belief, cravings have nothing to do with a lack of willpower. We crave sleep, sun and alone time simply because we need it. It’s no different when we crave food, especially salty, sweet and savoury ones.
Why do we think we can get by on less food than we require? Perhaps it has something to do with the nutrition advice “Eat Less Exercise More”. For more than 50 (unsuccessful) years we have followed this advice in an attempt to lean down. What if we followed the advice “Eat Enough and Exercise”? This translates to eating enough to meet our daily needs but then exercising enough to help us burn slightly more calories than we eat. Consequently, the body is forced to give up a little extra fat. Unfortunately it means we have to take a second to figure out how many calories we burn on a daily basis.
Download our free Balance Factor app if you have an apple product and get on board. If you don’t, follow the instructions below.
Google “BMR calculator”. Fill in the boxes and your daily caloric requirement (to just lie in bed and blink) will be calculated. Next multiple that number by 100 and divide by 65 to figure out how many calories we actually burn over the course of a regular day. This is called the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
It’s shocking to realize how many calories the body actually burns on a daily basis. Over the course of a few days, look at the number of calories you are eating at one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner and one snack. Add them up. Are you within 500 calories of your TDEE? If you aren’t (and especially if you are exercising), you have the reason for your cravings. Your body just isn’t getting enough!
So, eat enough and exercise. The cravings will go away and your body can get into a fat burning mode that is sustainable. If you continue to eat less and exercise more, you will forever be craving foods, binging on weekends, and obsessing over why you can’t lean down. It’s not rocket science, it’s just common sense!