Fitness Minutes: (38,598)
3,970 4/28/13 1:28 P
I am a carb addict ... and expect to be one for the rest of my life. The cravings get intense and I can lose control totally and really gorge myself on cake, cookies, etc.
I know of only one way to keep my carb cravings under control -- a "low" or "moderately low" carb lifestyle. A few years ago, I went really low carb for a couple of months. For the first few days, I went through the classic carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms. But by the end of the first week, the cravings disappeared.
Over time, I have incrased my carb consumption to about 125 grams per day -- higher than most "low carb diets," but lower than the amount of carbs generally recommended by SparkPeople. I find that when I eat more carbs, the cravings start coming back. When that happens, I go very low carb for 2 or 3 days and that nips them in the bud.
I recommend reading up on the physiology of low carb lifestyles. For those of us with carbohydrate problems, eating carbs triggers a rush of insulin into our bloodstream -- that signals the body to "EAT MORE CARBS NOW!" The more carbs we eat, the more likely we are to stimulate those cravings.
Like me, you might not need to stay very low carb forever ... but you might find that going through the withdrawal process and staying on a "lower carb" diet breaks that viscious cycle described in the paragraph above. I find that as long as I keep my carb consumption "a little on the low side," I do OK. When I stray, the cravings return ... but I know what I need to do to make them go away again. --- Don't eat the trigger foods in the first place -- and the trigger foods are ANY foods with carbs (not just the junk food, either.)
In addition to reading up on low carb lifestyles, you might want to check out some of the low carb teams here on SP. You'll find other people have used the same strategy to deal with their carb cravings, too. You are not alone in having this problem.
Fitness Minutes: (17,637)
857 4/28/13 12:31 P
I am pretty good at eating healthy and avoiding temptation all day long, but once my kids are in bed my pantry starts whispering to me. It's terrible, because I'm usually up for three to four hours alone after my kids go to bed. I've had to eliminate all temptation, which is easier since my husband is away. Seriously, the closest thing I have to binge foods right now is Fiber One granola bars and pretzels, both of which I keep around for my kids' lunch boxes (and I would feel terrible if I binged on them and then didn't have their snacks to give them tomorrow.) I've also put the healthier snacks in front of the less healthy snacks, so when I'm thinking of looking for something to snack on, I would have to reach over the raw almonds/dried apricots/shredded wheat squares to get to the granola bars/fruit snacks/whatever. Usually, if I really am hungry, a few almonds and some dried fruit will quiet my grumbling tummy and appease my sweet tooth.
I know keeping it out of the house doesn't work for everyone, especially if you have a spouse that brings it home or thinks he *needs* it (I don't count my kids who think they need it, they can do without!) but it's what works for me. When my husband is home, I have asked that he buys himself the varieties of his favorite junk food that I am least inclined to crave...Cool Ranch or Salt & Vinegar chips (ick!) and certain flavors of ice cream that I dislike. It's what works for us.
Spark Coach challenged me to write about my night time cravings on the message board & see what you all had to offer. It boils down to terrible carb (processed-chips,etc.) cravings. I have fought this most of my life, but it has gotten worse since I quit smoking years ago & since I got older. Carbs are my comfort food & sometimes the cravings are soooo strong I just binge until they're gone, then feel like a hog. I've gone up & down since starting Spark People, but only have lost 3lbs. due to sabatoging all the good choices & action steps I've made by doing this. I found two things that help me is having a little later snack of laughing cow cheese & celery or a sweet potato baked into spiced fries w/ a couple TBL. greek yogurt spiced for dipping. Any of you suffer from this ? Have you overcome it?
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