This year's bikini prep was my second prep. Naturally I learnt something new about myself, my body and came up with a few tricks to keep consistent. 'Bikini Prep Tips' is a new blog series where I'll be sharing things in a topical form. Today - all about the naughty cravings that each and every one of us gets.
Never have things in your living environment that can tempt you.
If you need to leave your place and go outside to buy a treat, there's more chance that you won't. Or you'll change your mind on the way. Or at the very least, you'll move your body and burn some calories while walking to the shop.
If you're due a cheat meal, wait for time when you really want it.
Even if your cheat meal ritual is on every Sunday night, don't just have it because it's a habit. Cheat meals are meant to be highly enjoyable and good for your sanity. If you're not too bothered to wait a day or two, do that and you'll love your treat even more!
The above principle also works for your favourite foods, or preciously saved macros. Wait until the evening, as the evil diet cravings usually kick in at night.
In fact, try to eat your meals when you're hungry. Eating something just because you're due to have it, kills the fun. During a bikini prep it's very important to listen to your body. If your body isn't demanding food just yet, wait another hour until it does.
Keep yourself occupied with something that needs as much consistency and focus as a bikini prep.
Starting the daily Bikini Prep vlogs on YouTube was a challenging task for me as it took a couple of hours to edit every evening. Those couple of hours required my complete focus and distracted from thinking about food, procrastination or feeling sorry for myself. Plus I had to do the actual filming during the day, think of scenarios and come up with fun things to share.
Bikini Prep is a perfect time to pursue any other hobbies you have. Ideally something that doesn't involve food! Something that occupies your mind is a perfect thing. I met a girl backstage who did 2 hours of Sudoku daily after work as a distraction.
Allow flexibility and learn about your macros
I'm a big fan of flexible dieting while counting your macros. It truly gives you the best chance of sticking to your diet plan consistently without eliminating certain food groups. Guilt will be gone too. You can do your own research, but I'd recommend watching / reading Layne Norton's content on the subject.
The bottom line when it comes to your macros: they're recognised as Fat/Protein/Carbs by your body. Regardless of where they come from.
Example. You put 2 tea spoons of sugar in your coffee and feel very guilty, because sugar is BAD and you're not supposed to have sugar on prep. Wrong. Sugar is just a pure carb source. 2 tea spoon of sugar = 10g carbs. If THAT sweet coffee will satisfy your sugar craving and prevent you from buying a chocolate bar, consider it a big success.
You need to be clever with your macros. It's just like keeping to a budget. If your daily carb allowance is 100g, you can have 20 tea spoons of sugar, or 500g of sweet potato. The choice is yours. You've probably guessed that eating a sweet potato would be more filling. Plus it has other elements like fibre and micro-nutrients: vitamins, minerals that would benefit your body much more.
Flexible dieting allows you to have anything you want - as long as it fits into your daily macros. But I wouldn't apply it on a daily basis, as a cleaner diet with vegetables and good sources of proteins would benefit you much more. HOWEVER flexible dieting is an absolute life-saver if you do want to eat something specific or you're eating out.
Check if you have any remaining macros first.
If you're like the majority of bikini competitors, there's a strong chance that you're counting your macros and entering the stats into MyFitnessPal has become a religion. When you get a craving for something that doesn't fit your macros anymore, e.g. cheese but you're out of your fats, check how many other macros you have left. If you have protein and carbs left, fix yourself a meal that fits those macros - you'll satisfy your hunger and will probably forget you were craving cheese in the first place.
Understand that food will ALWAYS be there.
You simply can't have the FOMO mentality when it comes to treats and things you crave. Krispy Cremes aren't going out of business anytime soon.
Artificial sweeteners aren't great. Gum still has calories. But it's a real life saver when you need to trick yourself that you're eating something. It oddly helps me to focus too.
Herbal tea & stevia.
Find a tea that you like and have it as soon as you get a craving. I like anything with a hint of Liquorice or vanilla extract. Take little sips and tell yourself to think about your craving AFTER you're done drinking it.
Stevia is a huge helper too. Make sure to use the liquid form as it's a true carb-free form, while powder sachets do have carbs. This is my favourite one.