Its 2:30, you ate your healthy salad lunch 2 hours ago, and your not planning on dinner for another 4 hours, and you're STARVING. You’ll eat anything, especially that chocolate bar you know you have stashed under your desk. You start fantasizing about all the things you want to eat. That chocolate donut, a giant startbucks Muffin, the bag of dorritos from the vending machine, the list gets worse and worse. Can you relate? It happens to the best of us. That time of day, in between meals, when the hunger and cravings hit. I call this the Crave Zone. It's a common thing, and I see it in my clients. They’ll send me their food logs and it's awesome, and then they write “I was so hungry around 3:00 so I just grabbed the first thing I could” which is usually a cookie sitting on the counter or something along those lines. Some simple changes in our day can turn the Crave Zone into a metabolism boosting-hunger curbing awesome zone if we play our cards right. Here are my tips:
1) Start your day right. A big contributor to hunger throughout the day is what we have for breakfast. Make sure you have some protein and some healthy fat in your breakfast so that you have something for your body to burn throughout the day. (check out more awesome breakfast recipes in my Sculpted for Summer program here).
2) Be prepared. Always have a healthy snack easy access for that time of day. It takes a little prep and planning in advanced, but it will be a game changer for you. If you know you are going to be out and about, pack something in your purse. Or if you are home, stock your fridge with go to healthy snacks. Some of my favorites are dry roasted nuts, peanut butter and an apple, String cheese, veggies and hummus. There are a ton of more ideas in my meal plans hear.
3) Remove the Junk. When hunger and cravings strike, our sub conscience tells us to reach for the easiest, closest thing. If we leave junk food and treats out on the counter, that's what we're going to reach for! Throw out the candy bowls and the cupcake stand. Instead, chop up a veggie tray with a homemade dip ready to go in your fridge, or have a bowl of fruit on the counter to suggest a healthy snack.
Don’t think you have to persevere through 5 hours of hunger until dinner, you should listen to your body and have a snack. The important part is to make it a good snack and to be prepared! Now that Crave Zone doesn’t stand a chance against your combatting skills.