Our love affair with carbohydrates
Many people are addicted to carbohydrates without even realizing it and definitely not wanting to acknowledge it. Both physically and mentally, the more you eat these blood sugar spiking foods, the more the body craves them. It becomes a vicious cycle, where you don’t even realize that you are hooked on them, but you would faint at the thought of not eating bread or cereal.
How do you know if you are addicted to carbohydrates?
When your body – or rather your brain- is addicted to carbohydrates, you crave them, especially when your blood sugar is low. The more carbohydrates you eat – especially at a meal that is not balanced with protein and fat, the greater the cravings become. The grains/cereal/wraps/juice/fruit yogurt cause a drastic rise in blood sugar levels, leading to a short burst of energy, then your blood sugar drops again, you store fat, and you crave them again. You think you are hungry, but you end up consuming far more than your need, because you are constantly storing calories rather than using them.
Why is it a problem?
The problem with these cravings is exactly what you are experiencing. Weight gain, difficulty losing weight, high body fat composition, fluctuating moods, cravings are all obvious indications that you are having too many carbohydrate calories. Like any addiction though, you LIKE the way you feel immediately after eating them, and the more you feed them stronger the cravings become. The blood sugar highs and lows become more and more pronounced, as insulin is continually being released following meals.
How do you overcome these cravings?
The goal is to maintain level blood sugar. By stopping the roller coaster of blood sugar ups and downs, the cravings and their negative side effects will slowly subside. The way to do this is to eat foods, beginning with breakfast, that are slowly absorbed and provide a more sustained source of energy. Meals that are comprised of lean protein (eggs, fish, cottage cheese) and healthy fats (almonds, flax seeds) in balance with carbohydrates (vegetables and fruit) will help keep your blood sugar levels balanced, and thus prevent the weight cycle and the cravings.