Low-Carb Bodybuilding: Pros, Cons, 7-Day Meal Plan, Myths & More

Sculpting your physique: pro tips for balancing muscle growth and fat loss on a low-carb bodybuilding diet

Low-Carb Bodybuilding: Pros, Cons, 7-Day Meal Plan, Myths & More

Key takeaways

  • Yes, you can build muscle on a low-carb diet, but its real power is in fat loss and achieving a lean physique.
  • While a low-carb diet might make you less hungry and help you shed body fat, it could also leave you with less energy for workouts.
  • Timing is key. Choosing the right time to eat carbs, like around your workouts, can help you keep your energy up.
  • Lifting weights and building muscle on a low-carb diet requires a bit of planning. It's all about getting enough calories, protein, and timing your carbs right. Our AI Meal Planner can help.

You're here because you want to get lean and build muscle — and you've heard bodybuilding on a low-carb diet might be the way to go.

  • But what about energy levels and muscle growth?
  • Can you truly build more muscle with fewer carbs?

In this guide, we'll dive deep into the pros and cons, helping you understand the picture without the hype.

It goes beyond the basics, with a complete 7-day meal plan, all reviewed by an exercise scientist with over 21 years of experience and firsthand success building muscle on a low-carb diet.

We'll help you navigate the myths, understand the science, and decide if this is the right path for your fitness journey. Ready to see if low-carb can get you where you want to be? Keep reading.

In a Nutshell—Low-Carb Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding on a low-carb diet can be a powerful way to shed fat and get lean. By focusing on high-protein foods and healthy fats, you can maintain muscle mass while your body burns fat for fuel. A typical low-carb bodybuilding plan includes about 100g of carbs per day, with most calories coming from meats, eggs, oils, and low-carb veggies.

While eating fewer carbs can help control hunger and improve mental focus, it may leave you with less energy for intense workouts. Timing your carb intake around training sessions and choosing the right types of carbs can help. Aim for 0.8-1 g of protein per pound of body weight to support muscle growth and repair.

Building muscle on a low-carb diet requires careful meal planning and consistent workouts. Focus on progressive overload, keep pushing, and stick to the plan. With dedication and the right strategy, a low-carb approach can be an effective way to sculpt a lean, muscular physique.

Low-Carb Diets for Bodybuilding

When you think of bodybuilding, you might imagine eating loads of carbs to fuel your workouts. But there's another time-tested approach: the high-protein, low-carb diet. This strategy focuses on maximizing protein intake while keeping carb consumption low to encourage fat loss and lean muscle growth.

A high-protein diet can be a game-changer for bodybuilders. It supports muscle repair and growth, essential for those heavy lifting sessions. By reducing carbs, you force your body to burn fat for energy, potentially getting you shredded faster. It's a different take on fueling your body, but one that many find effective for achieving their physique goals.

What Is a Low-Carb Diet?

A low-carb diet means you're eating fewer carbohydrates, focusing more on proteins and fats. Research shows this can lead to improvements in cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure when done correctly. Instead of fueling up on sugars and starches, you'll get your daily calories from meats, healthy fats, and low-carb veggies.

Carbs are typically reduced to a minimal portion of your daily calories, like 100 grams a day or less. This shift not only impacts your cholesterol levels positively but also encourages your body to burn fat for energy. And don't worry, you're not just eating plates of bacon. Healthy fats, like those from avocados and nuts, are key components of this diet plan.

Can You Build Muscle on a Low-Carb Diet?

Yes, building muscle on a low-carb diet is possible. The key is to ensure your diet is high in calories and protein. Protein is the building block of muscle, and getting enough of it means your body can repair and grow muscle tissue, even without loads of carbs. This approach can be particularly useful if you're cutting calories, and looking to lean down while maintaining muscle mass.

However, it's essential to carefully manage your diet and workouts. Since you're operating on lower carb intake, your body's energy levels might fluctuate. Strategic meal planning and timing your intake of carbs can help you overcome this hurdle, ensuring your muscles get the nutrients they need to grow strong and defined.

Keto vs Carnivore vs Paleo: What Are The Differences?

Choosing the right diet is crucial for building muscle and burning fat. Keto, Carnivore, and Paleo diets are popular options. Each one has its unique approach to improving body composition and boosting performance. Let's dive into how these diets work and which might be best for your bodybuilding goals.

  • The Keto diet focuses on high fat, moderate protein, and low carbs. This combo aims to put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Here, your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs, helping you stay lean while gaining muscle.
  • Carnivore diet is all about meat. You eat animal products only, cutting out carbs and plant-based foods. This diet can increase your protein intake, which is key for muscle growth.
  • Paleo diet takes you back to the basics, eating as our ancestors did. It's all about natural foods like meats, veggies, and fruits, avoiding processed foods and sugars. While it's not low-carb by design, it often ends up being lower in carbs than a standard diet.

Each of these diets has its benefits for bodybuilding. Keto can help you burn fat while maintaining muscle, Carnivore may boost your protein intake significantly, and Paleo focuses on overall health and lean muscle growth. The key is to choose the one that fits your lifestyle, goals, and dietary preferences.

Remember, diet is personal. What works for one person might not work for another. Consider your body's response, and don't be afraid to adjust your diet to meet your bodybuilding needs.

My Experience Bodybuilding on a Low-Carb Diet

I tried bodybuilding with less carbs for the first time in my 20s and really enjoyed it. I focused on eating fats and proteins. This change helped me cut down my body fat. It was tough at first, but I saw results in how my muscles looked.

I also felt less hungry throughout the day. I had more focus and consistent energy levels.

But, there were some drawbacks too.

At the gym, I did notice I had less oomph, especially for longer workouts. It was a trade-off, losing fat but having less energy for workouts. I couldn't push myself as hard or as long.

In the end, I was happy with the results. The fat loss and mental benefits were great, even if my workouts suffered a bit.

I learned that everyone's body responds differently to nutrition, and sometimes you gotta experiment to find what works best for you. If you're thinking about trying a low-carb approach for bodybuilding, just be ready for some potential energy dips in the gym.

Pros & Cons of Low-Carb Diets for Bodybuilding

Considering a high-protein diet for bodybuilding? It's a powerful tool but has its pros and cons. Let's dive in.

Key Benefit: Protein for Muscle Growth

One big plus of eating low-carb is how it makes you focus on protein. Protein is key for building and keeping muscle. When you eat enough, it helps your muscles grow after you work out.

For people who don't eat many carbs, like keto dieters, getting enough protein is even more important. It helps make sure you're building muscle, not losing it. This is a big reason why protein is so important in a low-carb diet.

So, how much protein do you need? It depends on your workouts and goals. But, a good rule is to aim for about 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.

Protein powders can help you meet your goals, too. They're an easy way to get more protein without adding lots of carbs. This can be really helpful for keeping your muscles growing while on a low-carb diet.

Other Pros

Low-carb diets have some clear benefits for bodybuilders. Here's why some athletes swear by them:

  • Fat Loss: By cutting carbs, your body turns to fat for energy, potentially speeding up fat loss.
  • Improved Muscle Definition: Less body fat means your muscles can show through more clearly, giving you that coveted defined look.
  • Controlled Hunger: High-protein and fat diets can keep you feeling fuller longer, helping you stick to your calorie goals.
  • Better Blood Sugar Control: Low-carb diets can help stabilize blood sugar levels, reducing cravings and energy spikes.
  • Increased Focus: Many report feeling more focused and alert on a low-carb diet, likely due to stable blood sugar levels.

These benefits can make a low-carb, high-protein diet an attractive option for those looking to enhance their bodybuilding results.

Key Drawback: Less Energy for Workouts

One downside to low-carb eating is having less energy for workouts. Carbs give you quick fuel. When you eat fewer carbs, you might not have as much energy to lift heavy or run fast.

Eating carbs like sweet potatoes and fruits can help keep your glycogen levels up. This means more energy for lifting and sprinting. It's all about finding the right balance for your body and goals.

How many carbs for bodybuilding workouts? Aim to consume about half before your workout. That could be in your last meal before working out, or a snack such as a protein shake.

This timing helps boost your glycogen levels when you need it most. It gives you energy for your workout and helps with recovery after.

Those carbs will refill your muscle glycogen, which you need for heavy lifting and high-intensity exercise. Without enough carbs, your muscle tissue can't perform at its best. This can affect your training volume and how much muscle you can build on a low-carb diet.

For bodybuilding, you might also need more carbs on workout days. This helps make sure your muscles have the fuel they need.

Other Cons

However, there are some downsides to consider:

  • Less Energy for Workouts: Initially, you might find your energy levels dip as your body adjusts to fewer carbs.
  • Potential Nutrient Deficiencies: Reducing carbs means you might miss out on certain vitamins and minerals found in fruits, grains, and vegetables.
  • Difficulty in Sustaining Long-term: Some find the diet hard to stick to over the long haul, leading to potential yo-yo dieting.
  • Increased Cholesterol Levels: Depending on your food choices, there's a risk of increasing bad cholesterol levels.
  • Reduced Performance: Some athletes find their performance suffers without enough carbs, especially in high-intensity workouts.

Understanding these cons is crucial for anyone considering a low-carb approach to bodybuilding. It's all about finding the right balance that works for your body and goals.

Is a Low-Carb Diet Right For You?

Deciding if a low-carb diet suits you means thinking about your goals. Are you aiming to lose body fat while keeping your lean body mass? This diet might help. It focuses on eating more protein and fats instead of carbs. This way, your body uses fat for energy, helping you keep muscle while losing fat.

But, this diet isn't for everyone. If you love high-energy workouts, you might find it hard without many carbs. Carbs give you quick energy that's missing in low-carb diets. So, if you're into long sessions of running or heavy lifting, you might need more carbs than this diet gives.

Also, consider your lifestyle. If you enjoy meals with friends and family, a strict diet might be tough. Low-carb means saying no to a lot of common foods. Think about if you're ready for that change. It's about finding what helps you feel strong and healthy.

7-Day Low-Carb Bodybuilding Meal Plan

If you're diving into low-carb bodybuilding, your meal plan is your roadmap.

This 7-day plan focuses on muscle gain while keeping carbs low. You'll eat foods high in protein and fats to fuel muscle growth and recovery.

Remember, low-carb doesn't mean no-carb. You'll still include some carbs to support your energy needs, especially around workouts. Let's build muscle while burning fat.

7-Days-to-Lean Plan

Here's a 7-day high-protein, high-calorie, low-carb meal plan for bodybuilding with "peri-workout snacks" that includes about half of the day's carbs:

Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner Peri-Workout Snack
1 4 eggs, 1 avocado 8 oz chicken breast, 2 cups broccoli, 2 tbsp olive oil 8 oz salmon, 1 cup asparagus, 2 tbsp butter 1 scoop whey protein, 1 medium banana, 1 tbsp almond butter
2 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 oz walnuts 8 oz ground beef, 2 cups spinach, 2 tbsp coconut oil 8 oz pork chops, 1 cup Brussels sprouts, 2 tbsp olive oil 1 scoop whey protein, 1 cup oats, 1 tbsp honey
3 4 egg omelet with 1 oz cheese and 1 cup mushrooms 8 oz turkey breast, 2 cups zucchini, 2 tbsp avocado oil 8 oz cod, 1 cup green beans, 2 tbsp butter 1 scoop whey protein, 1 medium sweet potato, 1 tbsp coconut oil
4 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 oz chia seeds 8 oz steak, 2 cups kale, 2 tbsp olive oil 8 oz shrimp, 1 cup cauliflower, 2 tbsp coconut oil 1 scoop whey protein, 1 cup quinoa, 1 tbsp olive oil
5 4 slices bacon, 2 oz goat cheese 8 oz lamb chops, 2 cups eggplant, 2 tbsp avocado oil 8 oz scallops, 1 cup bok choy, 2 tbsp sesame oil 1 scoop whey protein, 1 medium apple, 1 tbsp peanut butter
6 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1 oz sunflower seeds 8 oz chicken thighs, 2 cups collard greens, 2 tbsp olive oil 8 oz trout, 1 cup Brussels sprouts, 2 tbsp ghee 1 scoop whey protein, 1 cup berries, 1 tbsp chia seeds
7 4 egg whites, 2 whole eggs, 1 oz gouda cheese 8 oz ground turkey, 2 cups cabbage, 2 tbsp coconut oil 8 oz beef liver, 1 cup broccoli rabe, 2 tbsp duck fat 1 scoop whey protein, 1 medium pear, 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • This meal plan includes a peri-workout snack that provides about half of the day's carbs to fuel your training sessions. On rest days, you can skip it.
  • The carb sources in the snacks are nutrient-dense and easily digestible, such as fruits, oats, sweet potatoes, and quinoa.
  • The rest of the meals remain low-carb and high in protein and healthy fats to support muscle growth and recovery.

Remember to adjust portion sizes based on your individual calorie needs and goals, stay hydrated, and include resistance training for optimal results.

Lean Plan: A Guide for Muscle Gain

To gain muscle on a low-carb diet, focus on greater fat and protein intake.

  1. Start your day with a high-protein breakfast to kickstart muscle repair and growth. Include eggs, avocado, and lean meats. For lunch and dinner, think of a lean protein source, like chicken or fish, with lots of green veggies and healthy fats from nuts or olive oil. Snacks can be protein shakes or a small handful of nuts.
  2. Hydration is key. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Before workouts, consider a small serving of high-glycemic carbs to fuel your session. After exercising, have a protein shake to feed your muscles. This balance supports muscle growth while keeping carbs low.
  3. On this plan, your carb intake is lowest on rest days. On workout days, you slightly increase carbs around your workout times for energy. This strategy helps maintain muscle and strength while promoting fat loss. Remember, consistency with your diet and workouts is crucial for success.
  4. Eating enough protein is vital for muscle fibers to repair and grow. Aim for at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Spread this throughout the day in your meals and snacks. This ensures a constant supply of amino acids for muscle repair.
  5. Fats are also crucial. They help keep hormone levels steady, which supports muscle growth. Include sources of healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and fatty fish in your meals. These fats also help you feel full and satisfied.
  6. Low-carb doesn't mean boring. Experiment with spices and herbs to add flavor without adding carbs. Meals should be enjoyable as well as nutritious. Try new recipes and vary your protein sources to keep things interesting.
  7. Listen to your body. If you feel sluggish or weak, you may need to adjust your carb or calorie intake. This plan is a starting point. Customize it based on how you feel and your progress towards your goals.

Remember, recovery is part of the plan. Ensure you're getting enough sleep and managing stress. These factors can affect muscle growth and fat loss. Treat your rest days as seriously as your training days.

Finally, be patient. Building muscle on a low-carb diet can take time. Stick with it, make adjustments as needed, and you'll see results. Keep your focus on the long-term goal: a lean, muscular physique.

Additional Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snack Ideas

Here are more meal ideas to keep your diet varied and exciting. Remember, balance is key. Make sure each meal has a good mix of protein, fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates.

Meal Time Ideas
Breakfast Omelet with spinach and cheese, topped with avocado slices; Greek yogurt with nuts and a dash of cinnamon
Lunch Grilled chicken salad with olive oil dressing; Beef stir-fry with a variety of vegetables
Dinner Baked salmon with asparagus and a side of quinoa; Pork chops with roasted Brussels sprouts and a small sweet potato
Snacks Almonds or walnuts; Cottage cheese with a few berries; Protein shake with whey protein and coconut oil

Adjust portions based on your caloric intake and energy needs. These ideas can help you stay on track with your low-carb bodybuilding goals while enjoying delicious and nutritious foods.

The Best Low-Carb Foods for Bodybuilding

  • Protein sources: Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish, eggs, and whey protein. These help with muscle repair and growth.
  • Fatty acids: Avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish like salmon. These fats support hormone balance and can serve as an energy source.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, kale, and other leafy greens. They're low in carbs but high in fiber and nutrients.
  • Dairy: Greek yogurt and cheese in moderation. They provide protein and fat but watch the carb content.

Combining these foods in your meals will help you maintain muscle mass while sticking to a low-carb diet. They offer the nutrients your body needs for recovery and growth.

Best Cheap Low-Carb Bodybuilding Foods

  • Eggs: High in protein and fats, eggs are a cost-effective staple for muscle building.
  • Canned tuna: A cheap source of protein and fatty acids. It's versatile and can be added to many meals.
  • Frozen vegetables: Buy in bulk to save money. They're just as nutritious as fresh veggies and can be a handy, quick side dish.
  • Ground turkey or beef: Often cheaper than whole cuts, these can be a great protein base for meals.

Building muscle on a low-carb diet doesn't have to break the bank. Focus on these affordable foods to fuel your bodybuilding journey while keeping your budget in check.

Debunking Myths Surrounding Low-Carb Diets and Bodybuilding

Many people think low-carb diets and bodybuilding don't mix. Let's bust some myths and show how you can build muscle without loading up on carbs.

Myth: Cutting Carbs Causes You to Lose Muscle Mass

It's a common belief that low carb intake will make you lose muscle. But, research shows that's not true if you eat enough protein. A high-protein diet can help maintain and even grow muscle on low-carb diets. Protein is the building block of muscle, and eating enough of it can keep your muscle-building process on track.

Also, even with lower carb intake, your body can use dietary protein and fats for energy, protecting your muscle mass. So, you don't need to worry about losing muscle as long as your protein consumption is high.

Myth: Low-Carb Diets Will Make You Feel Hungrier Than Normal

Some say low-carb diets make you hungrier, but that's not always true. Eating more protein and healthy fats, like peanut butter, can make you feel full longer. These foods help control your hunger better than high-carb, low-fat foods.

Also, once your body adjusts to burning fat for fuel, you may find you feel less hungry throughout the day. This can make sticking to your diet easier.

Myth: Going Low-Carb Means You Have to Avoid All Carbs

Thinking you can't eat any carbs on a low-carb diet is a myth. It's about choosing the right carbs. Focus on eating vegetables and low-glycemic fruits. These provide the nutrients your body needs without spiking your blood sugar.

It's also about balance. Even on a low-carb diet, there's room for some carbs, especially around workouts when your body can use them for energy. So, you don't have to avoid all carbs, just pick them wisely.

Pro Tips for Low-Carb Bodybuilding Success

Success in low-carb bodybuilding comes down to optimizing your workouts, focusing on your protein intake, and managing your energy levels.

Optimize Your Workouts for Muscle Growth on a Low-Carb Diet

Focus on strength training with heavy weights and fewer reps. This helps stimulate muscle growth without needing a lot of carbs for energy. Adding casein protein to your diet can also help with muscle repair and growth overnight.

Keep your workouts short but intense. This helps you use your energy efficiently without burning out. Remember, your body's fueling differently now, so listen to it and adjust your workouts as needed.

Focus on Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is key to growing stronger and building muscle, even on a low-carb diet. Gradually increase the weight or reps in your workouts. This challenges your muscles and forces them to grow.

Remember, recovery is just as important as training. Make sure to give your body enough time to rest and rebuild the muscle fibers you've worked so hard to challenge.

Keeping Energy Levels High Without Carbs

Even without carbs, you can keep your energy up. Focus on eating enough fats and protein to fuel your workouts. Consider MCT oil for a quick energy boost without the carbs.

When It Comes To Carbohydrates, Consider Glycemic Index

Not all carbs are off-limits. Choose low-glycemic carbs that provide steady energy without spiking your blood sugar. This can help maintain energy levels for your workouts.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Low Carb Diet Bodybuilding

One common mistake is not eating enough calories. Even on a low-carb diet, you need enough calories to fuel muscle growth. Make sure you're getting enough protein and fats to meet your caloric needs.

Also, don't neglect resistance training. It's essential for building muscle on a low-carb diet. Focus on heavy lifting and high-intensity exercise to stimulate muscle growth and improve your strength.

Conclusion: Achieving Your Bodybuilding Goals with a Low Carb Diet

Reaching your bodybuilding goals with a low carb diet is possible. Ketogenic diets help use fat for fuel. This means your body burns fat, and you can still build muscle. Training programs are key. They need to fit with your diet. This way, you get stronger and keep muscle.

Low carb bodybuilding helps your brain too. It can boost cognitive function because of ketone bodies. These are made when you eat fewer carbs. Also, less insulin production and steady blood sugar can make you feel better. So, eating fewer carbs can work well for bodybuilding.

Dr. Muscle's AI Meal Planner: Your Low-Carb Bodybuilding Ally

When you're trying to build muscle on a low-carb diet, having the right plan is key. That's where Dr. Muscle's AI Meal Planner comes in. This tool takes the guesswork out of eating for your goals.

The AI Meal Planner creates a custom diet plan based on your needs and preferences. It factors in your weight, height, activity level, and goals to craft the perfect low-carb menu for you. And it's not just about hitting your macros. The meal plans are designed to keep you feeling full and energized, so you can crush your workouts and build muscle without feeling deprived.

The meal plans are also super easy to follow. You get a grocery list and simple recipes that fit your low-carb bodybuilding goals. And if you have any dietary restrictions or preferences, the AI takes that into account too. It's like having a personal nutritionist in your pocket.

So if you're serious about building muscle on a low-carb diet, give Dr. Muscle's AI Meal Planner a try. It takes the stress out of meal planning so you can focus on your gains. With the right fuel and the right plan, you'll be on your way to the lean, muscular physique you've been working for.


Can I really build muscle on a low carb diet? Yes, you can build muscle on a low carb diet. Eating enough protein is key. Also, your body uses fat for energy. So, you can still lift heavy and grow muscle. It's important to eat the right foods and follow a good workout plan.

Will I have enough energy for workouts? At first, you might feel less energy. But your body will adjust. It starts to use fat for fuel. This can give you steady energy. Plus, eating carbs around your workouts can help. This gives you a quick energy boost when you need it.

How much protein do I need? You need a lot of protein to build muscle. A good rule is to eat about 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight. This helps your muscles grow and repair. So, make sure you get enough protein every day.

What are the best low carb foods for bodybuilding? Good low carb foods for bodybuilding include meat, fish, eggs, and low carb veggies. Nuts and seeds are good too. These foods give you protein, fat, and vitamins. They help you stay strong and healthy while building muscle.

Can I use supplements on a low carb diet? Yes, you can use supplements. Protein powders, BCAAs, and creatine can help. They support muscle growth and recovery. Just check the labels to avoid extra carbs. Supplements can be a big help in reaching your goals.

How do I know if a low carb diet is right for me? Try it and see how you feel. Everyone is different. Some people do great on low carb diets. Others might need more carbs. Listen to your body. If you feel good and see results, it's working for you.

What is keto flu, and how can I avoid it? Keto flu happens when you first cut carbs. You might feel tired or have headaches. This is your body adjusting. To avoid it, stay hydrated and get enough salt. This helps your body switch to burning fat for energy.

How do I stay motivated on a low carb diet? Set clear goals. Track your progress. Celebrate your wins. And use tools like Dr. Muscle to keep things fresh. It gives you new workouts and meal plans. This keeps you moving forward and staying excited about your goals.

What if I'm not losing fat on a low carb diet? Give it time. Make sure you're eating the right foods. And check your calories. You need to eat less than you burn to lose fat. Also, make sure you're doing both weights and cardio. This combo works best for fat loss.

Can I eat out on a low carb diet? Yes, you can eat out. Just make smart choices. Go for meals with meat and veggies. Avoid bread and pasta. And watch out for hidden carbs in sauces. With a bit of planning, you can enjoy eating out and stay on track.

How often should I change my workout plan? Change your workout plan every 4 to 6 weeks. This keeps your muscles guessing. It helps you keep getting stronger and building muscle. Dr. Muscle can do this for you. It updates your workouts so you always make progress.

Do I need to count calories on a low carb diet? Counting calories can help at first. It makes sure you're eating the right amount. But you don't have to count forever. Eating low carb foods and listening to your body can guide you. You'll learn how much to eat to reach your goals.

What's the best way to track my progress? Take photos, measure your body, and note how your clothes fit. Also, track your workouts and what you eat. This shows you how you're doing. It helps you see what works and what to change. Tools like Dr. Muscle can track all this for you.

How can I avoid feeling hungry on a low carb diet? Eat enough protein and fat. These keep you full. Also, eat regularly. Don't wait until you're very hungry. And drink plenty of water. Sometimes thirst feels like hunger. Eating this way helps you stay full and avoid cravings.