The following question was asked to SGT Michael Volkin, military fitness expert, best-selling author and inventor of Strength Stack 52 fitness cards — the ultimate 52 card workout. Is SGT Volkin right? Sound off and let’s hear your comments.
SGT Volkin what is your answer for the obesity epidemic?
I don’t like the argument some experts say that UN-nutritious food is too available to us. We are human beings, not animals, we have choices when we eat. The problem is, Americans more-so than any other country in the world eats with their eyes and not their stomach. Americans eat with their eyes because we act on cravings. So if we can control our cravings then we would only eat when we are actually hungry, when our body actually needs food and not just wants it. It all has to do with cravings. There are a few ways to learn to control cravings.
1) Eat protein-Often our body craves sugar when it lacks in protein. If you find yourself craving something sweet, replace it with a protein rich snack which you should always keep handy. Anything from a protein shake or bars to a handful of almonds to beef jerky to cottage cheese and fruit. There are tons of healthy protein rich snacks available.
2) Ditch the stimulants– when people hear this tip, they often put their hands over their ears because they don’t want to stop drinking coffee. But if you truly want to get rid of cravings stop being a slave to your morning cup of coffee routine. Every morning you are not only drinking caffeine, you are teaching your body to succumb to cravings.
3) Replace any cravings with good behavior. So if you feel like eating some M&Ms and you don’t, reward yourself by taking a half day off of work, or some other reward that maybe isn’t so dramatic. This will train your brain to bypass cravings.
Those tips I just gave you though is a recipe for disaster if you stop giving in to cravings cold turkey. So make it a gradual process. It is also important to be aware of when a craving exists, which to most people is quite subtle. Food cravings are often associated with boredom. As silly as it seems, I have a saying in my head when I am about to eat out of boredom and it works really well. I say “a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips”. I think about how eating just one bagel means an extra half hour of treadmill work just to burn the calories in that bagel. It works; because I think to myself it really isn’t worth a half hour sweating on the treadmill just for a small bagel.