From Sweet to Salty

Hey friends!

How ARE you?! Thank you, already, for the well wishes for Saturday’s Half Ironman race. I reeeaaallllyyy appreciate the kind words, and the boosts of confidence!

My thought: Why yes, I will rock it if you say so.

Hah.

(Here’s to hoping, right?!)

In all honesty I just want to enjoy the experience (read: not die) and finish it (read: not die).

Cool.

******

From Sweet to Salty

Throughout the past several months & into this training, something verrrryyyy interesting has happened to me.

I’ve gone from sweet to salty in my preference(s) for food & snacks.

{Note: this does NOT mean I don’t like sweets anymore or don’t eat dessert. That would never happen. Ever.}

I’ve come up with some pretty good ideas and reasons why this has happened, that I wanted to share with you–especially those of you who are looking to tame a sweet tooth.

{ONCE AGAIN: I believe in eating dessert. I love chocolate. And I would never give up fro yo, ice cream, or yummy decadent foods. However, my preference for them has diminished, and my craving for these foods has been mostly replaced by cravings for saltier foods.}

  • I’ve kept at & upped my weight training sessions (and teaching BodyPUMP) to at least 4x/week.
  • I have been focusing more on REAL foods (read: lots of vegetables, nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt, chicken, whole wheat bread/pasta, fruit, etc.)
  • I eat often throughout the day. (at least 6-8 times)
  • I get real sweaty really fast. (I am one of those people who starts sweating in like 2 minutes, and I am dripping while teaching BodyPUMP).
  • I don’t ever avoid foods, restrict myself, or not give into cravings. <–I listen up & eat what I want.
  • I eat savory breakfasts more often than not.

I’ll explain each point & why I think this has contributed (there is some science to back it up, but not much. Anyone looking for a Master’s thesis project topic?!?! Athletes & cravings…..hmmmm) ;)

Also, if anyone is trying to tame a sweet tooth, knowing why it worked for me could be beneficial for you.

WHY from Sweet to Salty

  • I’ve kept at & upped my weight training sessions (and teaching BodyPUMP) to at least 4x/week.
When we strength train, our bodies need nutrients (vitamins, carbs, protein, etc.) to rebuild the breakdown that has occurred within the muscles. Our bodies will naturally crave higher protein foods and foods that contain copious amounts of nutrients. Sugar-laden foods are notoriously low in nutrient density, so I think my body doesn’t crave the nutrient-lacking desserts & treats as much. (<–Why Weight Train While Training for Long Distances)
  • I have been focusing more on REAL foods (read: lots of vegetables, nuts, nut butter(!!), seeds, Greek yogurt, chicken, whole wheat bread/pasta, fruit, etc.).
Instead of reaching for candy, ice cream, or other foods that don’t really fill me up, I’ve been reaching for nuts & dried fruit, spinach protein shakes, yogurt and fruit parfaits, and pita chips ‘n’ veggies with hummus. Putting a focus on fueling with the ‘right stuff’ has significantly dropped my sugar cravings; I plain just don’t want to eat fro yo all the time anymore. 
(It is odd to me too, I know).
  • I eat often throughout the day. (6-8 times)
I am not kidding when I say that I eat all.day.long. I really do eat like 2 lunches, 4 snacks, and sometimes 2 dinners (+ breakfast). However, each meal or snack is packed with nutrient-dense foods (i.e. vitamins, protein, fats, etc.), is satisfying, and does not deliver (for the most part) empty calories. 
Eating often has been shown to improve blood glucose control, control cravings, and speed up the metabolism. I truly believe I just don’t have ‘time’ to wish for sweet foods–instead I want to pack in as much good foods (veggies, chicken, etc.) as possible.
  • I get real sweaty really fast. (I am one of those people who starts sweating in like 2 minutes, and I am dripping while teaching BodyPUMP).
When we sweat we lose electrolytes, nutrients, & water and can get dehydrated & in need of nutrients quickly. This loss often causes our body to crave salty & water-dense foods and drinks. I can feel this SO much right after teaching BodyPUMP or doing a sweaty weights circuit–all I want afterwards is an egg with a lot of salt. ;)
  • I don’t ever avoid foods, restrict myself, or not give into cravings. <–I listen up & eat what I want.

This is a BIG one. This has been a re-learned thing for me — because of my ED and then disordered eating habits past, but I’ve learned it back slowly yet surely.

The second we say we’ll restrict something or try to force our body into not craving or wanting something, our brain is wired to make you want it even more. I’ve since learned to go with the flow.

For example, just yesterday I was sitting at my desk just 3 hours after breakfast (a filling simple protein-packed pancake), wanting pita chips and hummus SO bad. I had that craving and so I grabbed the bag & hummus & munched until I felt content.

Yes, I am saying that I totally eat what I want when I want, and it’s amazing how well my body & taste buds have responded! Sometimes all I want is a huge salad, and other times I want a big sandwich with all the fixings, and yes, sometimes I do want a big bowl of ice cream with caramel sauce all over it.

The thing is, the want for the ice ream & caramel has been lessened.

It’s so weird to me too.

  • I eat savory breakfasts more often than not.
I’m not an oatmeal for breakfast kind of gal. Personally I don’t love having oatmeal in the morning–it makes me too full, I feel like it is too sweet for the a.m. for me, and it makes me want sugary foods all day long. (I know, I just admitted to not loving oatmeal, gasp!!) I way prefer eggs ‘n’ spinach (with salt!) on toast for breakfast.

 

There is NOTHING wrong with a sweet tooth or having a sweets craving. I STILL have them and I’m still regularly consuming chocolate & fun desserts. However, the vengeance in which I’ve had these cravings before has been significantly reduced to something quite minimal.

It totally floors me. Especially because I distinctly remember right after marrying my husband, I asked him if he wanted to join me for a bowl of ice cream and he said “I don’t feel like eating sweets right now.”

WHAT?!

I seriously remember being SO shocked. Who doesn’t feel like having sweets or ice cream all the time?!

Well, friends, I can honestly say that is me now.

I used to ‘always’ have to have a sweet after lunch or dinner (I craved them all the time), and now it’s more like yogurt + cocoa powder or cottage cheese + stevia once in awhile with the occasional bowl of ice cream or chocolate thrown in throughout the week.  <—the ‘real’ desserts don’t sound as appealing right after teaching or sweating profusely….and I can’t handle the sweetness as often.

I will still always be in love with ice cream & fro yo, and will always eat them on a pretty regular basis, but I just eat them when I want to eat them, and quite frankly that ‘WANT’ time right now is not very often.

******

Thankful Thursday

  1. I am thankful for frozen turkey in the freezer–it makes meals so much easier!
  2. I am very thankful I am healthy enough to race this weekend.
  3. I am super thankful for all the support from my husband, family, friends, and you guys going into this race!!!!!!

Have an AWESOME day!! <3

Have YOUR cravings or tastebuds ever changed preferences before?? Which do YOU crave more-salty or sweet?? What are YOU thankful for??

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Comments

  1. I have a definite sweet tooth, and I can totally see what you’re saying about starting out the day with something sweet. I’ll sometimes have savory breakfasts, but not too often. I’ll have to try it out!

    • Yes, it was sooo interesting once I made the switch how I didn’t crave chocolate as much ;) (operative word being “AS”) hah ;)

  2. I’m more of a savory kind of person in the morning too. Plain oats simply don’t fill me up… I have to add protein powder if I’m doing oats. While I like my sweets, if I’m truly hungry I crave something more salty becuase like you said, most saltier foods, are more filling and satisfying than a sweet treat!

  3. I like it all ….but I agree with you when you say DON’T restrict your eating by saying you CAN’T have some thing. I think moderation is key, give in to the craving and satisfy it but eat it because we really want it (for me I have to know to NOT eat it b/c I am emotional or hormonal).

    I am getting better that is for sure….and I too don’t seem to crave the treats as much any more.

  4. First of all good luck on your half ironman! It is something on my bucket list. I am sure you will do great, but most of all just have fun with it. Secondly, I admire you for teaching so many BodyPump classes each week! You are an animal. I teach it as well, but only twice a week, sometimes three, but that is only if I sub for someone. Love your blog, but this my first time posting. Guess I have kinda been a creeper :-) Again good luck! Have a healthy day!

    • Thank YOU! And welcome into the comments ;) It’s fun to ‘meet’ the creepers. Hahah :)

      And how cool that you teach BP too?! Isn’t it the best?! I just.cant.get.enough.!

  5. I LOVE this post… emphasis on LOVE. People look at me like I have 10 heads when I explain I do not have a sweet tooth..and what you wrote is totally why. Teaching 4+ hours a week of Zumba, I sweat like maddddd. I can almost taste and see the salt on my body after a class… so my body WANTS salty and savory foods. I crave things like vegetables and burgers and chicken, etc. chocolate? not really…unless its a mix in cottage cheese or something. Also, you hit the nail on the head and as I explain in my blog to my readers, to me, NO FOOD is off limits.. if I’m not eating a stupid cookie, it is because I GENUINELY DO NOT want to… get over it. I eat what I want, when I want, IF I WANT IT. So, again, I love posts like this one!! :)

    PS- ZIN40 rocks my world.. I love 7 out of 9!

    • Love this!!!! :)

      I like zin40 too! I already taught 3 of ‘em to my class on Mon–and they liked ‘em. Woot! Kass & Lindsay live near me, actually, so it’s fun to see ‘em on stage.

  6. Danielle says:

    Wow I’m totally with you on the savory breakfast thing. I have an enormously HUGE sweet tooth but I have never been one for sweet breakfasts. I like savory breaktasts 9 out of 10 times, and love making omelettes if I have time, or just some hard boiled eggs with guacamole or leftover veggies; I’ll also have cold chicken or chili for breakfast as wll, or just leftovers from dinner.
    But I really do have a sweet tooth, especially around my workout times and after lunch and dinner. However, I am noticing that I’m cravings tons tons tons more protein and fat now. Like last night after my 25 mile ride, I chowed on extra chicken stew, and had more chicken for dessert. Finally I ended the feast with some choopped bananas and chia pudding, but it was seriously a protein chow down :)
    Love your posts! I’m thankful for my health, great posts/bloggers like you, fitness, family, and having dinner at a new place with my girlfriends tongiht. Whoohoo!

    • Oh have fun at your new place with all the friends!! :)

      I agree-I am constantly chowing down on protein type snacks and foods. YUMM!

  7. I definitely notice that I crave salty foods much more often now that I’m marathon training, and I know a big part of it is all the electrolytes that I lose when I sweat!

  8. krystal says:

    I love this post and I’m so experiencing the same thing with the cravings for saltier foods ever since I started adding extra mini workouts to my regular workouts. I’m also experiencing more fatigue so I want to start taking some recovery type of supplements. I remember you wrote a post on how you keep your body fueled for your workouts but I can’t find it. Would you be able to send me the link please?

  9. Courtney says:

    Just got directed to your blog from Skinnyrunner. Love the pictures in this post! I love the way you talk about food. It is such a healthy approach. I will be visiting your blog for sure!

  10. I’m a total sweet tooth girl, but when I was a competitive swimmer and training up to 8 times a week plus cross training, I was waaaay more into salty stuff, which I never ever crave anymore! It makes sense since we are sweating so much while training and exercising more though, so we crave that salt to replenish the electrolytes and sodium.
    I definitely hear what you are saying with starting the day with something sweet., I hardly ever do savoury breakfasts…I should change it up I suppose hah:)

  11. VERY interesting indeed!!!

    I have a CRAZY sweet tooth though I normally turn to whole foods before I turn to desserts…That being said, if I’m craving the junky dessert stuff I certainly don’t stop myself…Been there, done that!

  12. What an interesting change this has been, and I appreciate you really laying it out for us lady! I have a raging sweet tooth and I wonder what would happen if I implemented these changes… Although when I have a hard workout/sweat a lot (especially after runs) I do crave saltiness, I need sodium and potassium levels to balance out again!

  13. Wow! I have found that as I stop restricting I don’t go absolutely crazy for the usual date night dessert (because it use to be the only ‘cheat’ thing I ate). I would obsess about it haha. More often than not though I still want sweet stuff and it’ll be cool once I’ve reached your stage! Lately I am a carbs girl and loving wholegrain toast or a wholemeal muffin for my snacks- with nut butter, chia seeds and occasionally a banana or strawberries.

  14. “I asked him if he wanted to join me for a bowl of ice cream and he said “I don’t feel like eating sweets right now.” WHAT?! I seriously remember being SO shocked. Who doesn’t feel like having sweets or ice cream all the time?!”

    OMG SO my husband and I!! He never craves sweets, and I do not understand! But I totally agree with you – since upping my mileage and weights for marathon training, the craving for snacks has gone considerably down. I know my body needs major fuel or my runs will be BRUTAL. Funny how that works!!

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