Deciding to go cold turkey on your favorite carbs (yes, the same ones that are bad for you, but so delicious) could be the hardest time in your life.
In fact, sugar addiction is a very real thing, not just a made up condition in the figment of your imagination. It is being researched more and more these days, and it has been discovered to share similarities to drug addiction, whereby pleasure and reward centers in the brain are constantly seeking their next “high” or feel good moment. Science has even shown us that sugar is ten times as addictive as cocaine and heroin. This is why I preach to as many as will listen, about the dangers of excess sugar.
However, the good news is that carb addiction is not impossible to break. In fact, after just 2 weeks or so of going low carb, you can do without them much easier, and you will not be subject to violent mood swings and out of control cravings. Let me warn you though, the first two weeks can be tough.
So how exactly can you stop missing those carbs, and overcome your addiction? By following some easy tips and making sure your gut is healthy and you are getting the right vitamins and minerals. Here are some tips that will help:
Prevent Hunger From Occurring
Sometimes, the difference between a craving and true hunger is confusing. In general, if you hear or feel your tummy “rumbling” you’re hungry. At other times, you think you’re hungry, but no signals are being sent from your tummy. Also, often we think we are hungry when in fact our body is thirsty and in need of more water.
The best way to prevent this?
Eat timed meals. If you find waiting 4 hours between meals isn’t quite working for you, divide that one larger meal into two smaller servings, which can be taken two hours apart. Ensure the meal is rich in protein and non-starchy vegetables, and a small amount of high quality fat, as they are all very filling and will shut down your desires for sweets and starches.
In addition, when you begin to burn fat for energy, as you will on a low carb lifestyle, you will not experience blood sugar spikes, which also helps to naturally regulate the appetite, as long as you eat protein and non-starchy veggies, and healthy fats on a regular basis.
Keep Yourself Busy
Do you notice that you, or your kids tend to gain an extra 5, 10 or 25 pounds during holiday or vacation times? Even though you may not be travelling and trying exquisite cuisine, the act in itself of being home all the time, and often bored paves the way for overeating. Take walks, find projects around the house, and just spend time with loved ones enjoying life.
Binging on carbs offers a short time fix for feelings of boredom, like smoking a cigarette to fix an itch. Keeping yourself engaged in activities will help distract your mind from useless snacking and possibly starting an addiction if you haven’t yet developed one.
Know what is absolutely jaw-dropping? The fact that a study revealed that cravings are not necessarily a result of hunger, but rather your mood. For many of my clients especially those who have had some form of weight loss surgery, (if you have had that surgery then there is a 95% chance you have a food addiction) there is an issue of emotional eating. That was definitely me. I can recall my former 350-pound version of myself having a bad day and hitting up the drive through at McDonalds and ordering 5-6 cheeseburgers. Clearly this was not physical hunger. Emotional issues are usually at the root of weight issues and food addiction issues. There is always a trigger and those triggers are different for each person.
Normally, it is some sort of depression- having lost a family member, being bullied at school, having no friends or sheer boredom.
Food does improve your mood, albeit for a very short period of time, but then just leads to you wanting more- and more frequently that bag of chips or candy. It is a vicious cycle that seems to never end.
Instead of filling up your thoughts with somber, woe-is-me thoughts, do something to take up your time, such as visiting somewhere new, doing something you truly enjoy, getting some exercise or going to a movie. Utilize the power of prayer. God hears us when we talk to Him and sometimes if my day is not going so well, I just turn it over to God and ask for strength and peace and happy thoughts.
Find Replacements and use GOOD supplements
Sometimes you need something tangible to fill the void created by the absence of your favorite sweet or carby starchy treats. Good options here include foods like fatty fruits (avocadoes, olives) protein, and bulky non-starchy veggies.
For me, staying faithful on my gut health supplements really makes a difference and helps keep cravings at bay. I find that when I forget my vitamin Pink Drink, probiotics or my magnesium, even for just a day or two, my body can go back into carb craving mode pretty fast! Gut health is no joke and is a real thing and with our environment and state of our current food supply, we ALL need to be on good nutritional supplements even when eating well. I use Plexus because of the quality and clinical studies to back them. Plus they are plant based.
The key to getting over missing carbs is surviving the first two weeks, keeping your gut healthy and balanced with good supplements, and keeping the carbs out of your house and your sight. It is futile trying to break the cycle, when you have cookies stashed in your pantry begging to keep you company. Oh and before you say you have to keep a snack stash for the kids, no you don’t. They don’t need the junk either! We are raising a generation of sugar and carb addicted kids and it is my mission to break the cycle with this generation through education.