Are You Addicted To Carbs, Literally?
Written by: Brandi Monasco
When you think of an addiction, you think of not being able to live without something. Like cell phones – how many people can honestly say that they can make it through one month without touching their cell phone? Not many people can. That’s because we are all addicted; we are addicts to technology.
And just like being addicted to technology, you can be addicted to carbs, carbs such as bread, candy and pastas.
These types of carbs are refined carbohydrates, meaning that they are processed, man-made. They are stripped of beneficial fiber and have the majority of their nutrients removed. They are nothing but “empty” calories. They have a high glycemic index, meaning that they lead to spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels after eating. Refined and processed carbs are digested so fast, that they can cause overeating, which is a cause of weight gain and obesity.
The main sources of refined, processed carbs are:
- White bread
- White rice
- Table sugar/white sugar
- Ice cream
Pretty much anything with “added” sugar.
Signs You’re Addicted To Carbs
1. You’re Emotionally Attached. You couldn’t imagine a life where you didn’t eat pasta or have that soda or that piece of candy. When you refer to certain foods, you say “love.” “I love cookies,” “I love pasta,” etc.
2. You “Have To” Have It. Does walking down the bread aisle at the grocery store or by the bakery make your mouth water? Do you see that container of ice cream and tell yourself that you have to have it?
3. You Just Can’t Stop. You have a hard time with eating just one slice of bread or just one cookie, so you end up eating the entire package because stopping at just one is the hardest part. And you eat and eat until you are at the point of feeling sick.
4. You Can’t Focus. You are always thinking about your next snack or what type of carbs you will have with dinner. You can’t stop thinking about that extra donut that is sitting all alone in a box in the break room. You can’t move forward with your day until you satisfy your craving.
5. You Have Withdrawal Symptoms. You decide to cut out processed and refined carbs and sugar, but then you start getting headaches. Or you start thinking about eating that last cookie in the bag every minute. Or whichever withdrawal symptoms you get. You decide that you can’t carry on without one more bite to cure that headache.
If you feel as though you are addicted to carbs, there are things that you can do to help wean yourself off of refined and processed carbs.
1. Drink Lots Of Water. Drinking water will help flush toxins out of your body. It will also help keep you feel fuller for longer as well as keep you hydrated. One of the symptoms of dehydration is mimicking hunger, so try to drink a glass of water before you eat. You might just be thirsty.
2. Eat Small Meals And Eat Often. Eat small meals, preferably every 3 to 4 hours. Not only will this help keep you satisfied and reduce your cravings, it will also help increase your metabolism.
3. Eat Plenty Of Whole Foods. Make sure to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Whole foods do contain carbs, but these are the healthy carbs that your body needs. They are naturally occurring, not the refined and processed stuff.
Cutting out carbs can be tough because it is just like any other addiction. You will go through a withdrawal process, but you will eventually be able to fully detox from it. Before you know it, you won’t even think twice about that cookie!
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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