Let’s start off by stating the obvious… “carbs are yummy!” or as my son would say as he tries to talk me into buying some colorful packaged delight at the supermarket with his most serious face “Dis is NUMMY!”.
And my reply is always the same “Sweetheart I know it’s yummy, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you”.
Most of the times this conversation ends in tears and I become “THAT” mother at the store.
And when you think about it… isn’t that the same conversation that goes on inside all of us as we are tempted with the delicious, addictive delights of carbs?
Now before we go any further lets clear up a few things.
Carbs are not all bad, in fact the ‘good carbs’ are ESSENTIAL to our health, fat loss, disease prevention and anti-aging abilities. Most of the superfoods with the secret key to health and vitality are carbs.
Carbs So Taboo?
When we eat carbs they get turned into glucose in our bloodstream, and glucose is our blood sugar. When there’s glucose in our blood, the hormone Insulin gets sent in to take the glucose out of our blood and send it to be used as either energy or get stored in our fat cells.
If you eat too many carbs, carbs without protein or fats OR a simple carb then you will have a high level of glucose and this will produce a HIGH level of insulin to take the glucose away.
The problem is the insulin takes away too much glucose and leaves you with nothing, so you have no blood sugar to use as energy… this creates an energy crash and has you craving MORE carbs for energy!
Add this to the fact that simple carbs are highly addictive both physically and emotionally and this carb addiction can be hard to break… mainly because we don’t want to even try because we love them SO MUCH!
The 3 Types Of Carbs Cravings and How To Curb Them
The ‘Energy Crash’ Carb Cravings
This is the product of what we just spoke about… the drop in blood sugar that leads to an energy crash.
The only way to stop this is to not get it in the first place!
Keeping a stable blood sugar level is not only the key to curbing these cravings BUT it is also the key to losing belly fat.
Tips to keep a stable blood sugar level:
- Only eat COMPLEX carbs
- Avoid Simple carbs at all costs (sugars, refined and processed carbs)
- Always have protein or fats with carbs
- Try and eat fiber rich carbs or fiber with your carbs
- Eat 5-6 smaller meals a day
The ‘Addicted To Sugar’ Carb Craving
This is a part of the bigger picture of the previous craving. Your body needs sugar for energy and you are also mentally addicted to it.
Controlling your blood sugar will help you dramatically in your sugar addiction… but getting off the sugar to control your blood sugar is where this theory all falls down.
You need to detox from sugar… NOW!
Sugar not only keeps you fat and your belly flabby and large (sorry for the bluntness but you need a few truths) BUT it is also:
- Increasing your risk of diabetes and heart disease (the sugar forms a glue that clogs up your arteries and makes all of the fat stick to it… it’s not the fat, it’s the sugar making the fat stick!)
- Aging you quickly! Forget the creams if you are aging yourself from the inside out.
- Rotting your brain… just like it does to your teeth. You know that foggy brain, lethargic feeling? It’s the sugar!
- Makes you moody, depressed and sometimes aggressive. The blood sugar roller coaster leads your body and emotions on a wild ride… happy, sad, depressed, regret, self loathing… let’s eat more sugar!
The Easiest Carb Detox Plan:
Simple Carb Cold Turkey! A 7 day carb detox is the only way to go. Remember, you are dealing with an addiction and cleansing your body is the best way to cure this addiction.
- Only eat Vegetables, lean protein and good fats
- Only eat 1 piece of fruit per day if needed for the afternoon craving
- Keep sugar intake to under 15 grams per day PLUS 10 grams of sugar from fruit sugar if desired
- Drink 2-3 litres of water per day
- 5-6 smaller meals per day
Tips For Withdrawals
- Take a multi vitamin supplement
- Other supplements that can help: L-glutamine, Vitamin C & Magnesium
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon at breakfast
- Peppers in the morning
- Squeeze lemon juice into your water
- 30 minutes of walking or yoga daily
The “Emotional” Carb Craving
There is a reason some foods are called ‘comfort foods’… they make us feel better!
Not only do we associate comfort with carbs like pasta, but simple carbs also trigger the same reward chemical that cocaine does… dopamine.
That’s the little happy buzz you get after eating sweets, pasta, cookies, soda… and this is what makes getting off carbs so difficult. Your brain remembers that feeling and wants it back!
So let’s give it some dopamine… but from healthy avenues.
There are also so many other aspects of emotional eating and the basis is usually one or both of the following:
As humans, we are creatures of habit. Our lifestyle is a combination of all of our habits and habits are things we are drawn to do.
If you eat pasta for dinner 5 times a week it’s because it’s habit, you are drawn to do it! If you add eating cookies every afternoon with a cup of tea, a burger and fries for lunch twice a week, well you have a series of unhealthy habits that are giving you an unhealthy lifestyle.
So breaking these habits and replacing them with healthier habits will move you towards a healthier lifestyle that you are DRAWN towards!
Unhappiness can be because of (and not limited to):
- Low “happy” chemicals in the brain
- Life situation
- Lack of goals
- Lack of self belief and worth
While these are ‘big’ issues, all of them can be improved with some simple techniques.
Recognizing your unhappiness and seeing the link with emotional eating and then making a conscious decision to improve your state is the BEST decision you can make.
Once you make this commitment, the weight loss, willpower and motivation you are always searching for will arrive. It’s already in you… you just need to uncover it.
Simple Techniques To
Overcome Emotional Eating
Here are a list of techniques to overcome emotional eating that will work on a physical and emotional level. Don’t just use one… add as many as you can into your life as often as you can.
- Increase dopamine and the other happy chemical ‘serotonin’ with intense exercise using High Intensity Interval Training
- Get your Vitamin D levels checked as low Vitamin D can lead to depression (especially in winter)
- Take a multi-vitamin and fish oil supplements
- Define some fulfilling life goals for the next 1 year, 5 years and 10 years… and start working on them. Having a fulfilling purpose in life increases dopamine and gives you a bigger purpose in life other than the short term gratification of eating carbs
- Start practising willpower… it’s like a muscle to be developed! Take it one meal at a time and don’t be overwhelmed by the entire day or the label of ‘never’. Every meal you eat healthy is one step towards a healthy habit and stronger willpower
- Go easy on yourself. You will have times when you binge, eat emotionally, eat simple carbs. Just accept it and don’t hate yourself for it… this will only make you do it more. Over time this will happen less and less frequently. You have a big addictive habit to break and only time, practice and self love will allow you to break free.
- LOVE and ACCEPT yourself for who you are. You are a beautiful, unique human being who deserves love… especially from yourself.
I hope you are starting to understand that your health and weight loss is more than just the right ‘diet’. It’s understanding and training your physical, mental and emotional team members to work together and develop new skills so you can always grow and always improve the quality of your health and life.