There’s no question that your body can become addicted to carbohydrates in much the same way it can become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Over the years, many people have tried arguing that sugar addiction isn’t real and that carb addiction is nothing more than something for dieters to complain about.
As low-carb diets started to become more common, researchers started paying more attention. According to a study performed by Princeton University, there were significant similarities between those withdrawing from drugs and those withdrawing from sugar. This is because sugar and carbs send the same pleasure signals to the reward center of your brain, making you crave more because it quickly fades.
Fortunately, carb addiction is not as difficult to overcome as drug or alcohol addiction, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any symptoms at first. Some people experience what is known as keto flu, which is a form or withdrawal. Fortunately, keto flu is typically gone within a few days and once you’re about two weeks into a ketogenic diet, your cravings should be gone. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll never crave carbs, but it will be easier to manage those cravings.
So what do you do in the beginning when you are craving those carbs and don’t think you’re going to make it? How can you ever overcome an addiction so strong, you’ve been living with it your entire life? That’s where we come in. Follow our tips to make your life a little easier, at least for the next couple of weeks!
Don’t Get Hungry
Hey, I saw you roll your eyes, but just hear me out! Imagine how much easier it would be to prevent carb cravings if you didn’t allow yourself to get hungry. It’s pretty well-known that many people can’t tell the difference between actually being hungry and having a craving for something. You can thank you brain for that one. When you’re craving something such as carbs, the only way your brain knows to signal the craving is by sending hunger signals.
The next time you really want something and you aren’t sure whether it’s hunger or cravings, look for the physical signs that you’re hungry. Is your stomach rumbling and making noises? You’re probably actually hungry. Nothing happening in the tummy area? That means there are no physical hunger symptoms and you’re just craving something. Of course, this is easier said than done. Wouldn’t it be easier to prevent this signals in the first place? You can!
Time your meals so you don’t get hungry. If you’re like most people, you probably try to space your meals out so they’re four or more hours apart. This is common because if you eat more frequently, you probably think you’re consuming too much food. There is an easy way around this, however. Take your meal and make two portions out of it and then eat them in two-hour intervals. This way of eating provides you with the same amount of food, but your body thinks it’s getting fed more regularly, which keeps you satisfied and keeps your cravings in check.
When preparing your meals, it’s going to be essential that you include plenty of healthy fats. Not only are fats the most filling thing you can eat, but they will tell your brain that you’re full, keeping the brain from sending those signals for starches and sugars.
Occupy Your Time
Busy people often don’t have time to eat, but that isn’t exactly healthy. There is something to that philosophy, however. When you are keeping yourself busy, your are occupying your brain and giving it something to focus on other than wanting the foods that you have no intention of putting into your body. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do. You can read a book, clean the house, find a hobby. Do something to occupy your time and your mind.
By keeping yourself busy, you ensure that you’re not going to get bored. Studies performed at California State University showed that participants who were bored binged more on carbs a lot more than those who were kept busy. I highly recommend finding something you enjoy and making it a regular part of your lifestyle.
Replace The Carbs
Even after taking the steps above, there are going to be times when you just want something to eat to fill the void that ditching the carbs has left behind. There are a number of things you can try that act as healthy replacements for the carbs you gave up. One of my favorite things to do is to take sliced pepperoni, put them on a paper towel covered plate and microwave them until they get crispy. I use them like a chip for guacamole or buffalo chicken dip.
Of course, you can also snack on lunch meat and cheese, nuts, olives, broccoli with ranch or a big salad. There are lots of good things out there than can replace carbohydrates, it’s all about making good choices and going from there.
But what about foods that there doesn’t seem to be a replacement for? What do you do for things like bread and candy? What if I told you that there are low-carb options when it comes to convenience food as well? In fact, I even wrote an article on the 10 Best Low-Carb Items that can be purchased on Amazon and delivered to your home within just a couple of days. The list includes bread (at just 1 carb per slice), protein bars that actually taste like birthday cake, and lots more.
When cutting carbs, getting beyond those first two weeks is the most important thing, followed closely by getting all the carbs out of your house if they’re too tempting to be around. If you have a secret stash of carb-filled goodies, I can almost guarantee that you’ll think about them so much that you’ll eventually cave and eat them. Avoid the carbs for a couple of weeks. After that, you’re not going to miss them nearly as much. By following these steps, you can take control over carbs and take back your health once and for all.Read Full Article