Eliminate Cravings

"I'm having lots of problems losing weight. I love to exercise and do jiu-jitsu, but the problem is that I love to eat. I've tried as you suggested eating animal proteins and lots of greens, but I end up eating too much of that stuff and eventually lead to eating carbs. What are your suggestions for modifying my taste? I've tried for years to lose weight by eating less and have been succesful on few occasions, but I eventually end up gaining the weight back very quickly usually through eating things like chips and fries."

Thank you,

My Answer: How to eliminate cravings, you ask? That is always going to be a problem. Frankly, there is no clear cut solution. If there was, then we wouldn't have so many people choosing to eat crap all the time.

The thing is that we all have these cravings for high calorie foods, because it's part of our evolutionary biology. Our ancestors hunted and gathered their food, and because they ate wild animals, the meat was naturally lean. Being prey or predator makes you pretty lean, because you're stressed and running around all the time.

Plus, there aren't as many carbs in nature as there are in the modern day supermarket. Orange juice didn't come in cartons hanging on trees. Back in ancient times, orange juice came in an orange.

So when our ancestors came across high fat, high carb sources, they went crazy by feasting. High fat/high carb is so rare in nature, that your body wants as much of it as it can get. The problem is we still have cavemen biology, but live in a world with a never ending supply of high calorie/high fat/high carb/low fiber foods.

So how do you eliminate these cravings? You can't. I just told you that these cravings are essentially the product of hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution. What makes you think you can get rid of them forever in 20 minutes?

What you can do is to "mute" these cravings and eliminate opportunities for them to arise. Here's what I suggest:

  1. Quit watching so much damn TV. It's rotting your brain, and plus those commercials for fast food are making you crave the bad stuff.
  2. Get rid of all the junk food in your house. This way if you do get a craving at home, then you won't be digging into those chips, because they're not there. If you're craving them bad enough that you head out to the store, then don't drive. Walk or bike to the store. At least you would have burned some calories for the food.
  3. Pack your lunch. You're more likely to cheat if you eat out all the time. Packing your lunch means you also control what you eat, so eat clean.
  4. Drink some green tea throughout the day, especially when you have a craving. Not only does green tea suppress appetite, but it numbs your taste buds as well.
  5. Take a self-hypnosis course. Visualization helps in a lot of things, including appetite suppression, but you need to practice it often. Let's take french fries for example. I like french fries myself. But what if there was a big gloppy turd covering those fries? Would you still want to eat fries? For that moment, you didn't want fries. And the more you envision that foul crap oozing all over those fries, the more repulsed you are by fries in general, because I just planted that image in your head, and you can't get it out now.  There's more to visualization than that, but it has to be a very visceral experience for your mind in order for it to work.
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