Dear Reader, can you relate?
You come home after a long day's work, you’ve eaten the healthy lunch you made and you are just about to make dinner.
When you finish your dinner you feel great and it feels amazing to finish another day of dieting completely.
But after a while you begin to get hungry again but you don’t think anything of it.
After a while the feeling starts to grow and your willpower starts to go out like a slow burning candle.
Eventually you end this “crazy torture experiment” and giving into your cravings and devouring any food in your sight.
Let me tell you, it happens to far more people than you may realize you are not alone, many of the people who reach out to me are very confused on what, how and when to eat.
They experience no predictability in their hunger, energy and cravings from the food they eat, and when you mix that with 4,820,000,000 results from a quick google search on «diet», the confusion is complete.
Many struggle with unpredictability in their energy-levels through the day, in how long they last between meals before their energy drops like a rock, and their hunger and cravings skyrocket through the roof, and many also struggle with intense cravings even after they have eaten a meal.
The way most people understand diet is to follow crazy willpower diets only to crash and give up.
With this I’ve decided to compile a list of what I see as the most common reasons why most people struggle with craving in the evening and what you can do about it.
So you can consistently follow through with your diet without fail, as you approach the finish line every evening. Finishing through with your daily diet with ease.
So here goes:
1. You haven’t eaten enough early in your day.
Many «dieters» start each and every day with an unreasonable goal of «today I’m going to hit «the numbers» or not eating much». So they start the day with skipping breakfast, or maybe just have a coffee for breakfast.
The lunch approaches and they are good so far. Not excessive hunger and therefore they eat a salad, or just a smoothie for lunch. All good so far of today's plan.
And then comes the afternoon: The energy starts to drop, the mood is shit and they experience intense hunger. Maybe they follow their dinner plan, but most likely - they have so intense hunger that they just MUST have something fat and juicy for dinner.
All their thoughts on eating in a calorie deficit today are long gone, and they eat too much of the wrong food for dinner.
This ultimately also lead us into the «bad day strategy» where we say «Fuck it, it’s just a bad day, I’ll start again tomorrow». And from there it all goes south…
2. Your HEC it not in Check
HEC stands for Hunger, Energy and Cravings, and this is a marker you can use to see if your diet and nutrition is taking care of your needs.
The goal is for your meals to be of quality, and leave you with high energy throughout the day, appropriate hunger just before your next meal, and getting rid of physical cravings.
If your HEC is in check you are on track. If you however struggle with excessive hunger, low energy trough (periods) of the day, and cravings every day, we need to take a look at your HEC.
3. Your food isn’t satisfying your emotional needs.
Yes you read that right. Your food needs to cover our physiological as well as our psychological needs.
We are emotionally connected to everything we eat, if not we could have eaten everything and anything, without caring.
But that’s not how it is, right? We are biologically programmed to eat things we enjoy, and therefore the food you eat needs to cover your emotional needs as well as your nutritional needs.
This does NOT mean eating chocolate cake as a meal. But we need to eat healthy food that we like and enjoy. Not only cold chicken and some loose salad from a Tupperware container on the run…
4. You ate too little yesterday - and therefore you are more hungry today
Yes, you read that right - again. If you one day are more active than usual, without adjusting your food-intake, or you one day have a super busy schedule and therefore don’t have time to eat all of your meals, it can come back and bite you in the ass the next day.
No one talks about this, but it can. You may have woken up one morning starving from hunger. Or you can even have nights where you woke up from your sleep feeling hungry.
This could be a sign that you ate too little the previous day. The thing with this is that it will affect your HEC and set you up for having more hunger, lower energy and more cravings the next day.
Therefore it is important to keep your eyes on the overall trend throughout your week.
5. You have lost track of your cycle.
Women experience their cycle differently. Some feel it the most when they are ovulating, and others feel it the most in the days leading up to their period.
However, your hormones have a cycle of 28 days, and therefore you will have a slightly increased metabolism in the days leading up to your period.
This will also affect your HEC. Tracking your cycle, energy, hunger and cravings can be a good way of seeing the bigger picture of how your body works and what you need to give it to thrive.
All of these will affect how your body responds to how you live, what you eat, how hungry you are, how your energy is throughout the day, how your cravings are affecting you, and how you feel in your everyday life.
Therefore - it’s not just about getting through the day from meal to meal. It’s about the total trend over time and how you read your body’s signals and give it what it needs.