There are two things that are music to my ears. One is, “I’m so sore!” The other is “I’m so hungry!” In my experience, most clients understand the first, but stress over the latter. In fact, many of my female clients will ask me with trepidation, “Will I be hungry?”
With the right kind of hunger, there should be no trepidation, though. Like muscle soreness, this is a good reason to celebrate.
As women, we’ve been conditioned to hate hunger. It’s a weakness we think we must overcome. If you’re on a diet, you probably curse hunger and might even be tempted to take something to eliminate it. “I’d be successful in weight loss if I weren’t so freakin’ hungry!” you think. But, in body transformation, hunger is a telltale sign of effectiveness. Why? It means your metabolic rate is picking up. If your hunger isn’t picking up, the quality or composition of what you’re eating or the intensity of your strength-training workouts is lacking. (Notice I say “strength-training” workouts and not cardiovascular workouts…)
In my eyes, inducing hunger is synonymous with success. As in, I’m successful in revving up your metabolic rate. This should be a primary goal for anyone intent on sustainable body transformation. And, it’s not because you are eating less. Often, you are eating more. But, this is also a classic hang-up, particularly among women, that we must overcome — the societal conditioning to feel bad about eating “too much”.
For example, stretching your first meal to 10am may seem “strong” because now you can eat fewer calories over the entire day and more calories when you really want them (at lunch or at dinner with wine…yay!), but nay…our bodies don’t work that way. Our bodies don’t know the only thing standing between them and a meal in the morning is…us and our misaligned mindset.
“I’m not hungry in the morning” is the telltale sign of a rundown metabolic rate. That is the good news. There is much upside when your metabolism isn’t performing at its full potential. We can remedy that.
Of course, it is also important to distinguish between hunger and cravings. Hunger feels like “I need to eat or I will DIE!” while cravings feel like “I want to eat or I will DIE!” Both are emergency signals, but one is driven from the muscle, while the other is driven from emotions or hormones. Both are real and both need to be “fed”. The first one requires protein. The second requires…a therapeutic rebalancing.
Coming off of pregnancy, during a certain time of the month…or season of our lives, we need to know the difference so we can honor both. Hormone-driven cravings are uniquely female (typically…), but no reason to write off our abilities to achieve a desired physique or to ignore the muscular-driven hunger. Know the difference…we feed the former and quell the latter.
Muscle-induced hunger requires protein. Feed it 5x a day with ~15-20g in each sitting from complete protein sources, such as egg whites, chicken breast, extra lean turkey, fish, whey protein, nonfat milk. (Notice peanut butter, almonds, yogurt, and vegan protein do not make this list.)
Hormonal or emotion-driven cravings require further analysis and attention. Do your best to nurture yourself with non-food-related activities. With food, go for the essence of what you want without blowing your fitness goals. For example…
Best: Make a simple shake with a scoop of chocolate whey protein and water (trust me, it will taste fine!)
Good: Make chocolate milk or hot chocolate with low-carb nonfat chocolate milk (served cold or heated)
Acceptable: Have a protein bar in preferred flavor. Note: a “decent” protein bar should have 15-30g of protein, 5 or fewer grams of fat, and less than 30g of carbohydrate.
If you’re interested in learning more, contact me about coaching. I work with clients near and far. I offer something different than a cookie-cutter diet or training regimen. Your knowledge is my objective, not my fear. Empowerment is part of my business model. Dream big. Desire more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sarah Ingmanson is the founder & owner of Star’s Locker fitness studio in Henderson, NV. She has her MBA from Wharton, her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute, and a BA from Tufts University, graduating Summa Cum Laude in International Relations and Quantitative Economics. This former executive director at Morgan Stanley, professional figure skater, and Fulbright Scholar, is an award-winning fitness competitor, instructor, and author. Sarah talks the talk and walks the walk of empowered fitness…occasionally in Japanese!
Behind her “Dream big. Desire more” motto is the message she wishes to instill in her clients, “Let go of the belief that you’re not worthy of your desires.”
Sarah’s book, Word of the Week: A framework for unlocking your willPower encourages you to think about the parts of yourself…your energy centers…your archetypes. By applying this framework to The willPower Method®’s Word of the Week, you will bring more deliberate focus to your willPower…and to perhaps the disconnect that is keeping you from true mind-body connection and soul alignment with your life purpose.