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Two Sneaky Things That Cause Cravings

Heather Hudson

You’re going along with your fitness routine, making progress and yet, you keep derailing your progress by giving in to cravings for junk.

The reason behind these cravings can get quite complex. It could be that as a whole, your eating habits are not consistently balanced and right and this definitely causes cravings because the body is trying to compensate for lack of correct nutrition.

But, there are two really sneaky factors that often go unchecked when people are experiencing cravings.

#1 Dehydration

Dehydration is a HUGE component affecting the body’s cravings for things that sabotage your fat loss results. Dehydration is not just something that happens to people after walking through the desert for 3 days. Keep reading, because if you are not doing the following, you are probably dehydrated and don’t even know it.

Drink at minimum of 12 oz of water right when you wake up. FIRST. Before coffee or any other thing hits your stomach. (I personally drink 20 oz right away, and can’t function with any less.) This helps break the fast of lack of water all night long. (If you don’t already do this, once you start, after just a few days, you will wonder how you ever LIVED any other way. Trust me.)

In addition to hydrating your system upon awakening, you need to drink another 12-16 oz of water with every meal and every snack (so that’s at least 5-7 times a day).  Foods also have a degree of hydration factor because they have water in them, so adding fresh fruit and veggies to your meals only helps.

This might seem like a lot of water each day, but, actually…it’s NOT. You need to know, trust, and believe that if you aren’t doing this and you start, you will quickly realize how bad you felt prior to this routine and never look back. You’ll feel amazing, consistently throughout the day. There’s nothing as wonderful and magical as clear, refreshing water!

Note: any other liquids you consume don’t count towards the above requirements for water. If you do consume other liquids, they are just extra, but, don’t count them as “water.”

#2 Sleep deprivation

Not getting enough sleep is a powerful thing. It not only makes you irritable and tired (obviously) but it does cause your body to have cravings. This is the body desperately seeking a source of energy. A lack of sleep will cause the body to need MORE than usual calories to function than it would need if you’d gotten enough sleep.

TRUE STORY: I’ve had bouts of nights here and there where I tossed and turned all night for whatever reason, and woke up feeling like a zombie. I can tell you that the day was directly affected with a severe need to eat more than usual. On those types of days it would seem that I couldn’t get enough fuel. It also made me want to reach for fried foods, and candy, NOT grilled chicken and broccoli!

Listen, sleep is repair time. If you don’t get enough of it, you need to figure out why. This WHY is different for each person. But they often have fairly simple solutions.

  • too much caffeine (stop drinking 8 energy drinks a day)
  • anxiety (will this issue matter when you’re 90? If not, let it go and go to sleep!)
  • a sucky pillow (seriously, buy a good pillow. You’re worth it.)
  • alcohol can cause ‘light’ sleep instead of deep sleep (Switch to hot tea if you need something to wind down every night)
  • your spouse snores (get earplugs and save your marriage & sanity)
  • no self-control to turn off the TV…(get a DVR if the show is that important)
  • “I’m used to getting no sleep. I’m fine.” (denial is an ugly thing.)

Whatever it is: you need to make your body’s sleep cycle a priority.

A multitude of things are fixed by an extra hour of sleep each night. You can’t rely on just sleeping in once in a while to “make up” for consistent lost sleep. That would be as looney as working out for 12 hours in one day and expecting that to make up for all the times that month you didn’t work out at all. It’s consistently that makes the difference. So, if you’re getting less than 7 hours of sleep consistently, move that number up to 7.5 – 8 and see what happens. I promise it will be more than a miraculous change in your quality of life.

Proper hydration and establishing a better sleep pattern take more than one day to fix. You will notice improvements after a just few days, and then more after a few weeks. After a month, you’ll probably notice that you look younger and your cravings have significantly decreased if not vanished!

Combine this with eating right every day and you are practically a new person! It’s a wonderful way to live! I never have that afternoon slump most people talk about. No lie.

9Round memberships come with a subscription to 9Round Nutrition. So, for my 9Rounders out there, if you need guidance on how to eat right for hormone and blood sugar balance, go to http://www.9round.com/login.php