As a very active person who eats a lower carb diet I do find I will get carb cravings from time to time usually after a longer or more intense workout then normal. When this happens I try eat the most nutritious kind of carbs I enjoy, sweet potatoes or an apple or a banana are my go to starch when this happens.
I recently returned from a trip to Disney where we had the dining plan that included a lot of desserts. I definitely went though sugar withdrawal when I got back home. I had sugar headaches for almost a week! I'm back to my normal eating now but it took me a good three weeks to stop having sugar cravings and feel normal again.
i'm guessing that you're not craving the kale and green beans sort of carbs, so what are you craving? if it's mac and cheese that's different from chips or cake. for a mac, loading up on the vegetables, reducing the fat in the cheese sauce and using less pasta is a great way to make a favorite that's better for you and still tasty. if it's chips some people swear by kale or seaweed chips or you can make your own from root vegetables. for cake it might be switching to what you love most [dark chocolate] or adding fruit [perhaps more of a pie or trifle]. i'll say that you should make sure you are eating enough. if i'm not at about half my calories for the day by about 4pm, i will inhale anything that is nearby. it's a lot easier to overeat and give in to cravings if you are hungry.
I believe that this topic is the secret to weight loss. People overeat on carbs. Yes, they are tastiest when combined with fat, which is why we demonize fat so much, especially since a lot of this is trans fats, and saturated fats.
While I agree that more sleep is good, and so is tracking, I don't think that they are the reason for your cravings, which are not natural btw. If you eat correctly, you should never be hungry.
I had a huge problem with bingeing, and it was more of a problem after I found out I had a heart problem in 2001. I tried every trick to stop, and despite the risk of death, the desire to eat these carbohydrate laden foods was greater than my concern for death. Look at all the foods you crave or binge on. They all have carbs. I agree with eliminating refined carbs, and sweets, but also limiting whole grains, such as bread/cereal, as well as pasta, rice, potatoes, corn, peas, beets, and carrots. These veggies might seem good for you, but most of them can used to make alcohol, since they have lots of sugar in them. The same thing with sugary fruits. These cause cravings.
I want you to note the difference between eliminating, and limiting certain foods. I understand that most people won't do low carb like I do. I ELIMINATE all of these foods, but most people will eat vegetables, bread, and pasta at least occasionally. These foods are all high glycemic carbs, which spike blood sugars, and release Insulin, in a vicious cycle that leaves us obese, with various illnesses.
The easiest way to cut cravings is to eliminate the sweets/refined foods, and then pay attention to what foods cause cravings after you eat them. For me this is sugary cereals, and bread, the most. So I started by eliminating them also. The rest of the foods that are high glycemic should be tested, and your reaction to them should be determined, and if they cause no cravings enjoy them.
Some low carbers recommend staying very low in total carbs, but I think that should also be tested. You may find that brown rice, beans, and vegetables cause you no cravings, but a certain amount of servings of these foods do. So, you may eat 5 servings of green leafy vegetables, which cause no cravings, and a serving of beans is fine, but 3 servings of beans may be a problem, or if you eat 5 servings in a week. Let the absence of cravings be your guide.
This may sound like a huge change, but I am not suggesting you quit all your food ( except sweets/processed foods ). Simple changes like having berries, and melon, instead of bananas for fruit, or green beans, instead of corn for vegetables. For some quinoa or brown rice is better than pasta. They even make low carb bread, but I would just limit it to fresh bakery bread, and very rarely. Still, you may find bread to not be a problem. We all differ.
The focus should be on how carbs affect YOU. It takes a bit more work, and time, but eventually you have a list of acceptable foods, and a pretty good idea of how many servings of each that you can eat before you get cravings. Stick to that. If you get cravings, analyze why, and fix the problem.
Since I doubt you are looking to do low carb, I would recommend just reading The Glycemic Index. It explains how foods affect your blood sugars, and the lower glycemic foods will cause less cravings. This is a good guide to look for alternatives to many high carb foods.
Once you no longer have cravings, you can lose weight easily, since you won't be eating extra calories at 4th meal. This has allowed me to lose 157 lbs. so far, 16 in the last 12 days, and although SP tells me to eat 2110 - 2460 calories, I tend to only be able to eat 1700-2000. This control is the key to weight loss. There is no secret, except what is causing you to overeat. Solve that, and you will hit goal weight with no hardship. I solved it with low carb, and I think most people have a problem with carbs to a certain degree. The biggest problem we have though is the types of carbs we eat. Eat better carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats, and cut out the rest. It is the very food we are eating that is causing these cravings.
Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 10/22/2013 (02:33)
Fitness Minutes: (34,325)
22,425 10/22/13 1:04 A
I went to have a wee peek at your Nutrition Tracker, but you don't seem to use it often, and some of the days that you have used it, the calories aren't enough, IF you have recorded everything for those days. Are you tracking anywhere else? If not, I would suggest that you way all of your food and enter it all into your Nutrition Tracker. Also ensure that you eat ALL of your meals - don't skip any. Sometimes a carb craving comes about because a person hasn't fueled their body properly in the first place. It might be a time factor, or it might that the person doesn't recognize that they are actually hungry.
If you are craving carbs, try some wholegrain toast with some peanut butter, hummus or cottage cheese. The protein and carbs together work wonders.
Good luck, and remember, if you track all your food it is easier to identify the cause of the problem which in turn makes it easier to rectify.
From a quick glance at your SparkPage, I'm guessing that you are having carb cravings more because you are tired than any other reason --- you've got a lot going on in your life! If that's the case, then the best way to avoid the cravings is to get more sleep.
A good test that I do is to give myself a 5 minute "time-out" when I get a craving - if it's caused by the need for rest, then the craving will have gone after the "time-out". My "time-out" is to sit or lay down and do a full-body relaxation exercise.
If the craving hasn't gone, then I've discovered that my body is usually telling me that I'm in need of more fibre or more folate. I tend to nibble on spears of asparagus, or some brussels sprouts, which takes care of both. And yes - I do get specific cravings for these!
You might want to take the "time-out" to think about what your body might be telling you, and see if adding in some foods that will meet the nutritional needs might be the solution for you.
If you're starting out on low-carb and it's just missing carbs in general that is the issue, then you might want to try the low-carb teams and see what suggestions you can get from the folks who have been living that way for a while.
Eat less carbs. Or, at least, the "refined carbs" - sugar, white flour, potatoes, cold cereal, bread, cakes, pastries, white rice, doritos, french fries, oreos.....
yeahhh i know. all the "good" stuff.
but seriously - refined carbs have this tendency to *create* cravings. You eat some, and end up craving MORE. You eat more, and then an hour later, you want to eat more again. The best way to avoid setting yourself up for such cravings is to avoid eating the foods that trigger them. At least for awhile. Get your carbs from whole grains, fruits and veg - "complex" carb sources that keep your body busy for awhile and aren't so likely to send your blood sugar swinging.
Fitness Minutes: (57,146)
1,958 10/21/13 4:15 P
any tips on fighting the carb cravings? these things have me cornered!
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