How To Control Those Crazy Cravings

This is How I Control those Crazy Cravings!

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—- In today’s blog I answer a question about how to control those crazy cravings that often show up at night, and I share one of my personal keys to eating healthy. If you have a question that you’d like me to answer in a future blog, send it in by leaving me a comment. I hope you’re enjoying a healthy day! (Please tell me you’ve already got in your workout for the day or you’re planning to do it later. =) ~Bill—-

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Question: Bill, I need help with my eating habits. I’ve been unable to overcome cravings for junk food at night.  Each day I promise myself  I’m not going to binge or overeat. But I end up blowing it on most days which is so frustrating. How can I get away from my cravings for high-sugar and high-fat foods?

Answer: This is a question which deserves a complete answer, so here it is…

First of all, it’s important to remember, especially during the first month of making a change, that our bodies crave what they’re used to, not necessarily what they need.  And this is how eating patterns work.  Very often, these patterns go back years, even decades; they are well engrained within our “neural network” (brain circuitry), and it does take some time before we can re-wire the system.

“Our bodies crave what they’re used to, not necessarily what they need.”

Re-aligning our biological or neural pathways is one of the most powerful things people experience when they go through the transformation process.  And it happens, of course, whether you know about it or not. I believe that being consciously aware of the process can be an advantage, especially in terms of “relapse prevention.” In this context, I’ll say relapse is completely falling back into old and unhealthy eating habits.

Think of it this way – the old circuitry in our brains is like a dry river bed.  It’s always there, and as long as you’re consciously diverting the energy flow in a new direction, it’ll remain inactive. However, if we drift back into our old style of thinking, coping and behaving, slowly but surely, it’ll eventually get to a point where it’s like a damn bursts and the energy of those past patterns and it’s like water gushing through the river bed again.  When this happens, the pull of those cravings and thoughts may even be stronger than they were before.  Anyone who’s yo-yo dieted, losing weight for a few months, only to fall back into unhealthy eating habits, and subsequently gaining all the weight back and more, has first-hand experience of this.

The good news is, there’s a solution and a sustainable one at that.  A big part of it is being informed and armed with knowledge; you’re working on that right now by reading this blog. Another aspect of the solution is to complete the ‘Healthy Spaces Makeover’ I talked about in my blog a few days ago. And now, I want to tell you about something else that helps me control my cravings and it doesn’t have to do with any diet; it’s all about how intense workouts can help transform the brain and calm those crazy cravings.

“The more intensely I exercise, the more I feel like eating right.
The more I eat right, the more I feel like exercising intensely.”

When I work with people who are seemingly stuck in any unhealthy pattern, one of my first recommendations is to get moving with high-intensity interval training.  An example of this type of exercise would be climbing up a steep trail for 1 minute, then walking down, then climbing back up, walking down, then climbing again, completing about 5 intervals.  The 20-Minute Aerobic Solution which I featured years ago in Body-for-LIFE is another highly effective interval training method. And my new 5-25 workouts  (where I teach both intense interval aerobics and intense interval weight lifting) featured in my blog last week are based on the latest, greatest exercise research findings. (5-25 workouts are absolutely more effective for me, in terms of mind and body benefits, than any other exercise method I’ve ever tried!)

Intense, interval training has been scientifically shown to double, even triple, the amount of fat the body burns, compared to longer duration (an hour or more) of moderate intensity exercise.  It does this by boosting mitochondria size and number within cells and that can dramatically increase the oxidation and metabolism of stored bodyfat for many hours after your workout is over. That means the “calories burned” reading on exercise equipment is very under reported. What we really want is to burn more fat calories all day not just while we are doing our workout.

Another one of the powerful benefits of intense interval training is that is releases healthy amounts of neurotransmitters called catecholamines (dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine), which satisfy the primary reward centers of the brain, boost energy and further accelerate fat loss. These reward centers all too often become chemically depleted by our modern way of life (inactivity, high stress levels, all work no play lifestyles). When neurotransmitter levels burn out, it can make us vulnerable to bad habits like binge eating.

More good news: Intense training also increases endorphin and serotonin levels (which make the brain happy); so much so, that over a period of a few months, it is more effective in treating depression than the most widely prescribed  (212 million prescriptions written last year) anti-depressant drugs.  And what do you know, the intense exercise no side effects which can’t be said for the prescription drugs.

“It is what you do most of the time, not some of the time, that shapes us.”

Moderate exercise like a good steady three-mile walk doesn’t completely produce this profound cascade of feel-good neurotransmitters — it doesn’t produce the level of  new energy and healing like the high intensity work does. I can tell you from direct experience that the days I get in 25 minutes of intense training are by far and away my most productive, energetic days. They’re also the days when I just naturally, without much effort, feed my body the right way.  After my workout, there’s nothing I crave more than a protein and vitamin-rich nutrition shake. And 2-3 hours after that, I’m craving a healthy meal, not junk food. And that’s a good sign. In fact, my intense interval workouts put me in a completely different state of mind. On the days when I don’t workout intensely, well… it requires much more conscious effort to eat healthy and stay on top of my game and in line with my plan.

All that being said, sometimes even I give in and overeat at dinner or late at night. Remember this: It’s all about progress not perfection! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip now and then. It is what you do most of the time, not some of the time, that shapes us when it comes to nutrition and eating right.

So here’s my recommendation: If you want to flip the switch from an unhealthy to a healthy appetite and enjoy all the benefits which come with that, be sure to incorporate high-intensity interval training into your body and life transformation work. It will help you break free from old patterns and crazy cravings. It will also help you create new ones.  And that, in turn, will help you enjoy improved results that you can sustain for a long, long time.

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Are You Summer Ready?!?

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Selfish Versus Self Responsibility

SELFISH VS. SELF-RESPONSIBILITY

Oftentimes people mistakenly believe that by accepting responsibility to take care of their own health and happiness, they’re somehow being selfish. And no mature, conscious person wants to be “selfish.” This is yet another obstacle we need to overcome in order to reclaim sovereignty in our own lives. The fact is, we are being self-responsible when we prioritize, each day, doing what we need to in order to recover and renew our physical, mental and emotional well-being. That means we must choose to make time for exercise, eating healthy meals, rest, recovery and sleep.

We also must choose to create at least some quiet time for self-reflection and to clear and calm the mind. We must also choose to make time for doing things which we enjoy and that bring us happiness. These can be very simple things, for example: taking an evening walk at sunset; listening to your favorite music; getting out to enjoy your favorite hobby on a weekend. Although this all sounds simple, if we perceive them as being selfish, we’ll resist and put them off.

If you are a caretaker by nature, as I am, it is important to remember that we can’t give what we don’t have–and when we are low on energy and strength, it’s time to make renewing and re-energizing our selves a top priority! Make YOUR health a priority and I promise, you will find you have more to give others who need your help.

-Bill Phillips

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Good Life Fitness 4 Month Summer Specials

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6-Week Male “Shred” Transformation Champions

 

 

Congratulations To All Of The Winners Of The 6-Week “Shred” Transformation Challenge!!!  AMAZING Results In ONLY 6 Weeks!!!!!

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6- Week Female Transformation “Shred” Champions

 

CONGRATULATIONS To This Years Champions Of The 6-Week Female “Shred” Challenge!!  christi6weekchampion

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Maximum Results With The “Shred” Nutrition Program.

Did you know that in a recent study done by the International Food and Information Council Foundation 52% of consumers said that figuring out how to eat a healthy diet is more difficult than completing a tax return? WOW!!

Think about that for a second…

Just the like the weather we are currently having in Nebraska…rainy one day, sunny the next…always unpredictable.

Media, Muscle and Fiction, and other periodicals are there to confuse everyone!!

Low Carb, Low Fat, Zone, Flat Belly In 2 Days are just a few to mention.

Even friends are persuading you to try out the latest and greatest diet that has helped them lose “50lbs in 7 days.

Nutrition does not have to be complicated and the key is a plan that you can maintain past 21 days, 6 weeks, 12 weeks or 6 months.

I do have that plan for you.  The “Shred” nutrition program from Good Life Fitness is formulated nutrition plan that will instill the tools that are needed to help you achieve long term nutrition and fitness success.  What’s the secret?!?  No secret but a “shred” nutrition program that is designed around your lifestyle, your fitness goals, your grocery budget and the BEST thing is…it is NOT a “diet”…but a nutrition lifestyle.

Call today and schedule a FREE nutrition consultation to learn more about the “Shred” nutrition consultation TODAY!  (402)434-4444

“I love the SHRED diet! I have stuck with it for about six years now”- Christi Weirman- 6- Week Transformation Champion!  christi6weekchampion

 

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Setting Attainable Goals

I am a HUGE believer in shooting for the stars BUT so many people fail to recognize the importance of short simple daily goals and crossing those off for long term fitness success!!  Good Life Fitness personal trainer Bryant Travis gives his tips on setting fitness goals!

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Tip of the day: Goals!! Goals are important in anything that a person does. Without goals there is no direction. Without direction a person will often find themselves “spinning their wheels.” This is true with fitness. Without a goal little will be accomplished or maintained for the long term. Whether you want to just lose 5lbs, run faster, bench 300lbs, compete in bodybuilding, etc goals are needed in order to map out a path to success. Set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time) goals for 1week, 4weeks, and 12weeks to help you be successful in whatever you choose to do.

 

Bryant Travis- Good Life Fitness personal trainer/nutritionist

 

For more information or to schedule a FREE fitness consultation send Bryant an email at    info@powerfuelfitness.com  OR call Good Life Fitness (402)434-4444

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Top Reasons Why To Hire A Personal Trainer

In fitness there is 3 magic dates that are critical to surpass for long term fitness success and check out this short little video highlighting those.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQzvDyEdZ7k      

 

So many people have anxiety when starting their fitness journey.  The general assumption is we fear that everyone will be in amazing shape and unfortunately so many feel that they will be last or will be ridiculed for their current fitness level…NOT true at Good Life Fitness!  Working with a fitness professional who can brain storm and trouble shoot a fitness plan for your specific goals and help you on the path of fitness success!!  Check out the short bio’s of Lincoln’s #1 fitness trainers. 

 

http://goodlifefit.com/personal-trainers/ 

 

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Fitness And Nutrition On The Road

Hitting the workouts and the nutrition obstacles when traveling can really cause a major setback on your fitness success!  Check out a great article by one of my former clients Shannon Montanye.

It is that time of year again.  The kids are almost out of school for the summer, and that usually means one thing:  traveling for summer vacation.  You say to yourself, “I’ve been doing great with my diet and exercise at home, how am I supposed to keep it going while on the road?”  It just so happens that I have a few suggestions that might help.

During most of my career, I have been a corporate and a charter pilot.  As opposed to an airline pilot, who actually has a flight schedule, pilots who work on the corporate and charter side of flying really don’t have schedules at all.  Trips are constantly popping up at the last minute, and once you get to a destination, the dispatcher always has another place for you to fly.  Before you know it, you’re pushing the Federal Aviation Administration’s maximum of a 14-hour duty day.   With that kind of a day, one may ask “when do you eat and workout?”

Many of the guys that I flew with would go all day without something to eat.  There just wasn’t time to grab anything.  Some resorted to going through the stocks of junk food and Cokes on the airplane or the vending machines at the airport, but seriously, what kind of nutrition is that?  I started carrying my own food with me.  I would carry it in a small, soft-sided cooler with enough healthy meals and snacks for the day.  If I was on a multiple day trip, I packed food in my luggage for the following days.

When I started carrying my “mule pack,” as one of my customer service reps called it, believe me, the guys wasted no time in making fun of me.  “Oh there’s Shannon carrying her lunch purse!”  Yea, and at the end of that 14-hour duty day, when they were starving half to death because they hadn’t eaten all day, who was laughing then?

Here is a list of some of the things that I carried with me:

3oz packages of tuna

3oz packages of salmon

Cups of unsweetened apple sauce

Nile Spice brand soups (like cup of soup, but all natural and without additives)

Clif Builder’s Bars

Whey protein powder (don’t forget your shaker!)

Homemade trail mix (I used ¼ cup of Ezekiel Cereal, 1 oz almonds, and a SMALL box of Sun maid Raisins)

Oatmeal

Dried fruit

Bottled water (It is important to drink lots of water when you’re just sitting around or you’ll be a bloated sea cow by the end of the day!)

When looking at these items, one can see that there is a little of everything from most of the major food groups.  Fruits, veggies, protein, and whole grains.  All of these foods are great to have while on the run, simply because they don’t require refrigeration.   As far as the soup and oatmeal goes, remember most airports do have a Starbucks, which means hot water!  Another important point to be made is this:  don’t worry about getting this stuff through security at the airport.  I’ve traveled many times with these items when flying on the airlines, and it all passed.  Liquids they do have a problem with, food they do not.

As far as international travel is concerned, you will have to check with your airline to see what will be acceptable and what will not be to bring into that country.  I’ve been to numerous towns and cities in Canada, Mexico, and Colombia, and as long as the food was packaged (bought from the store in a package) they didn’t seem to have any issues with that.  None of the three countries seemed to have a problem with my homemade trail mix either.

Sometimes, we (I and my other crewmember) would get to stay at our destination for a couple of days.  If that was the case, we always tried to stay at a hotel that had refrigerators and microwaves in the rooms.  Hilton properties are particularly good about having those items in their rooms.  If we managed to stay at a hotel with refrigerators, one of the first things we did was go to the grocery store.  Non-fat, no sugar yogurt and skim milk were always on the top of my list.  Ladies especially, you need to make sure you get your calcium!

If you do choose to eat out, choose a restaurant that serves fish and chicken.  My fellow crewmembers and I frequented Outback, Texas Roadhouse, and Lone Star.  I could get my grilled chicken breast and plain sweet potato, while the guys, who didn’t have the strict diet that I had, could have their steaks.  In other words, there is something for everyone at these locations.

On the topic of exercise, more and more hotels are including good workout facilities within their establishments.  Hilton Garden Inn, Westin Hotels, and Crowne Plaza Hotels, in my experience, have the best facilities.  New cardio equipment, free weights, cable machines, medicine balls, etc.  If your hotel doesn’t have a nice facility, ask the front desk clerk if they have workout passes with any of the local gyms.  A lot of the time, they will either have free passes for hotel guests, or the hotel will have an agreement set up with a particular health club for a reduced-rate day pass.  You just have to present your hotel key to the employees at that health club.

I have one final suggestion.  Let yourself live a little at least one day and one meal of your vacation.  If you happen to be in Southern California, have that burger (In N Out Burger), in Florida, have the fried grouper sandwich at St. John’s Seafood, and in Memphis, have some of that awesome BBQ!  And don’t worry, no one will tell Steve that you cheated on your diet.

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