Are You A Carbohydrate Addict?

When you think of addictions, what comes to your mind? Drugs, alcohol, even the more recent, sex. However, food(in this case carbohydrates) can be an addiction as well. When you have an uncontrollable urge to eat, even if your not hungry, and you feel as if you "need" that cake, you may have an addiction. A carbohydrate addiction.

Putting the science in weight loss. Being over weight, may not just be because you won't say no to the extra calories your eating, or the lack of exercise, but it can be a biological addiction to carbohydrates and an overabundant production of insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use and conserve food energy in three ways:

Insulin tells your body when to eat.
Insulin delivers food energy to wherever the body needs it.
Insulin commands the body to save food energy stored in fat cells for a time when no food is available.

If you have excess amounts of insulin in your bloodstream, your body cannot absorb it all, which leads to hunger, and cravings of carbo-rich foods, such as breads, cakes, and pastas. Eating these foods cause the body to make even more insulin, thus creating an endless cycle of over eating and weight gain.

Carbohydrate addiction can be controlled, you have to manage what you eat, and take charge of your diet. Keeping a food journal is very useful.

Find out if you are a carbohydrate addict. Ask yourself these questions:

1. After eating a full breakfast, do you get hungrier before it is lunch time than you would if you had skipped breakfast altogether?

2. Do you get tiered after eating a large meal, or find that you are sluggish and/or hungry in the afternoon?

3. Have you been on diet after diet, only to regain the weight you lost?

4. Does stress, boredom, and tiredness make you want to eat?

5. Do you sometimes feel you aren't satisfied, even though you just finished a meal?

6. Do you find it harder to take off weight- and keep it off- than when you were younger?

If you answered "YES" to 2 of these questions, you are probably mildly carbo-addicted.
If you answered "YES" to 3-4 of these questions, you are likely to be moderately carbo-addicted.
If you answered "YES" to 5-6 of these questions, you probably have a severe carbohydrate addiction that may be greatly affecting your life.

You can manage your carbohydrate addiction so that you can lose weight and be healthy for the rest of your life- without feeling deprived or struggling to manage your eating patterns and your weight.

You can have your CARBS and eat them too, once a day, to prevent the release of excessive amounts of insulin.

The following plan is from "The World's Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets" (2005), and worked for 80% of the 1,000 carbohydrate-addicted patients they consulted at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Carbo-rich foods: breads, grains, cereals, ice cream, milk, yogurt, fruit and fruit juices, lunch meats, pasta, noodles, rice, snack foods, sweets, and starchy vegetables(beets, carrots,zucchini, corn, tomatoes, peas and potatoes).
Craving-reducing foods: red meat, poultry, fish, cheese, oils, tofu, fats, dressings, non starchy vegetables (brusselsprouts, green beans, peppers, lettuce, asparagus, broccoli and mushrooms).

The Basic Plan
Eat one balanced "Reward Meal" everyday for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The meal should consist of two cups of fresh salad and

one-third craving reducing protein (meat,fish,cheese,eggs,tofu)
one-third starchy vegetables
one-third carbohydrate rich foods

*Use good sense, and listen to your body when sizing the portions.

Complete your "Reward Meal" within one hour. Otherwise your body will be hungry all over again.

Eat only craving-reducing foods at all other meals and snacks.

Consult with a doctor before starting any diet or exercise plan. Follow the program for two weeks, you should notice a lessening of your cravings. If you don't, try to adjust the program- for example, you may need to eat between-meal snacks...adjust the servings sizes of your meals, or add nutritional supplements and other dietary supplements to your plan.

Source: "The World's Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets" 2005 Bottom Line Publications (Pg. 343) Print.

Cathie is a mom and a writer with various blogs and topics. Her specialties are

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