After battling a really bad case of allergies (which later turned into an infection), I am back to blogging! Yay! It’s kind of hard to write when your brows and eyes are swollen. But I look like my normal self now so I’ll just tell you guys more about that later. Today, I want to talk about FOOD and cravings!
As you might know by now, I’ve been doing EMS training regularly as my workout at Impulse Studio the past few months and the results have been ah-mazing! (Check them out here!)
I love EMS! In fact, my husband will even go as far as saying that I’m addicted to it.
(RELATED POST: Fitness: 9 Things I Love About Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) Training at Impulse Studio in Bangsar)
The next thing I should be telling you is how I’ve been eating more and more healthy food to aid my training. But alas, if you’ve been following my Instagram, you’d know that going on a healthy diet is a huge challenge for me and I’ve been eating some carb-rich, oily, dishes that has “A million calories!” written all over them. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been on a diet longer than 24 hours for my whole life. I even failed on juice cleansing so bad. I ended up just drinking the juice with my usual meals.
Impulse Studio is located in Bangsar. And that location is both a blessing and a curse. I love going to Bangsar as that neighbourhood is super fun with quirky shops. I never get bored walking around the area after training. However, there are also a lot of restaurants in that place. Crepes, steaks, Thai food, sushi! You name it, it’s just a stone’s throw away from where I workout!
I dunno if it’s just me or what – but during those last few minutes of my workout, just when I know it’s about to end, I start imagining what I’ll be eating after! I start craving for burgers and sweets. I even think of all the restaurants in the area that I can just walk to after my shower! The McDonald’s that’s like a block away from Impulse isn’t helping my cravings either!
After a really intense workout like EMS Training, you’ll definitely be hungry. And in fact, you should eat! But the question is, will your food actually work with the training you just did to help your body be healthier or take you a few steps back when it comes to your progress?
So, to help myself instil a bit of discipline to my cravings and my tummy, I did a bit of research and asked people who know better than me when it comes to nutrition, about healthier (but still great tasting) substitutes to my usual cravings. And because cutting down my food intake is just near to impossible, I decided that if I’m going to be eating more, then I might as well opt for nutrient-filled food that will help me recover from intense workouts rather than junk, right?
I’ve tried them all and so far, they’ve been working pretty well for me. And don’t worry – I won’t be waxing poetic over kale and other greens. Not really the biggest fan of greens, to be honest. And I did promise great tasting alternatives, didn’t I?
Putting this up here for posterity’s sake and so I can look back at it whenever I finish working out. But don’t judge me when I post gelato photos on Instagram. I’m allowed cheat days, aren’t I? I’m still doing baby steps here. 😉
Without further word vomit from me, here’s my no-diet, crave-curbing cheat sheet! I hope it helps you out too! 😉
1. Instead of ice cream, go for yogurt.
Yes, you’ve heard of this one before. But some say that a lot of yogurt brands are actually not as healthy as you might think. Sugars, calories, etc. But at the end of the day, yogurt still has less of those than ice cream. I also opt for Greek yogurt these days or the low-fat, high calcium ones that Anlene has. Just so my brittle bones and teeth get some extra love.
2. Instead of candy or chocolate, go for raisins.
It’s the snack my grandma used to give to me after school and I still love it up to this day. Raisins make me forget about candy in an instant. They’re chewy too which is a plus!
Raisins do have calories. But they’re the good kind that’s filled with nutrients! They also contain protein, fibre, potassium, and iron.
3. Instead of French Fries, go for nuts
This one is hard to curb. Fries are so effing good! And I’ll admit, to me, nuts are not entirely God’s gift to human kind. They’re hard to bite on which can be a nightmare for my brittle teeth (they sometimes crack while eating really crunchy food) and nuts get in between them too which can make flossing a tedious task. But the health benefits make the hassle and extra care worth it. Whenever I feel like taking a short stroll to McDonald’s to order a large pack of fries, I force myself into a cab so I can go home straight to where my stash of nuts are.
Almonds, cashews, and walnuts have been linked to lower cholesterol levels. Walnuts are also rich in omega-3 which is good for your heart while almonds are packed with fibre and Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant. Cashews, meanwhile, carry iron and zinc which are good for your brain and eyes.
4. Instead of milkshakes, go for granola smoothies
Best after #workout drink ever. Triple #chocolate #granola #milkshake with real #strawberries in it (hence the pink colour) from @lapa_kl. So yummy and filling! Totally curbs my ice cream and popcorn cravings after working out. 😋 And since I go to @impulse_asia, I get a 15% discount. How awesome is that? 😉 #VSCOcam #healthy
I’m lucky that Impulse Studio in Bangsar is right next to LA/PA, a restaurant that makes awesome granola smoothies so I usually get mine from there. But they’re also quite easy to make at home (if you’re not lazy like me). Just mix milk (almond, coconut, or hazelnut milk would be better), frozen fruits, and granola into a blender and voila! A sweet, nutritious, and very filling drink. 😉
Oh, and add a bit of dark chocolate, if you must. 😉
5. Instead of Fanta, go for an orange or 100% orange juice (no sugar!)
Well this was extremely plain and simple. But isn’t going au naturale and chugging down loads of Vitamin C always the best? Way to go, Captain Obvious! 😉
6. Instead of mashed potatoes, eat a banana
Before you start stoning me to death, telling me that they’re different when it comes to taste, just hear me out. I reacted the same way when someone told me that she eats bananas as a snack every time she thinks of having a cup of soft mashed potatoes smothered in mushroom gravy. But when I tried it one afternoon, it did work! I was contemplating on getting my husband to take me to Chili’s or to KFC for dinner just because I’ve been dying for some mashed potatoes but one banana a few hours earlier did the trick. I was able to resist!
Also, a banana is rich in potassium (like potatoes but less sinful!). During a workout, your potassium reserves will definitely suffer from huge losses and since potassium (like calcium) is a key factor in producing energy for your muscles and restoring fluid levels, bananas are definitely a great post-workout/recovery snack.
7. Instead of Hot Star’s Extra Large Fried Chicken, go for quinoa-crusted chicken breasts
Looks yummy, doesn’t it? But it’s not good for you! It’s not! Calories, too much salt, flavouring, etc. Be strong and say no to that deep fried chicken!
I know it’s so hard to resist but you have to! (You can really tell in this post that my eating/craving struggles are real!) Yes, I do consider fried chicken as a snack. Sometimes.
My trainer at the gym, Irwan, told me that my body is in need of more protein due to the intense workouts we’ve been doing and that chicken breasts are a good source of that. I did try to haggle by telling him that Hot Star seems to use chicken breasts. But of course, I lost that round. LOL.
So a good alternative will be getting off my lazy butt and dipping some thin chicken breasts (skinless!) into beaten eggs before covering them in protein-rich quinoa crumbs. Brown the breasts on each side on a pan with olive oil before baking them in an oven. I even modified that recipe and turned into a healthier version of the Chicken Parmigiana which the husband and I shared over lunch a few days ago – with brown rice, of course. See? We’re trying our best. 😉
This quinoa chicken breast combo also curbs my burger and pasta cravings! And it tastes really good too!
8. For any other cravings, drink some water or green tea
Whenever I feel like opening a bag of Ruffles’ Cheddar and Sour Cream, I drink two glasses of water or brew some fruity green tea. It’s been working great so far and I’m glad to report that I haven’t had a taste of my favourite chips in the past 3 months. And that’s saying a lot because I used to buy a bag of those chips every time we go to the grocery store. I can also finish it in one sitting. It tastes so good! ARGH.
Now I need some green tea. Oh, and before I forget – green tea makes for clear, bright skin. Isn’t that an awesome motivation?
So, those are my quick fixes. How about you? How do you curb your cravings? Help a girl out and leave me some suggestions below!