Tuesday, July 16, 2024

How To Break Carb Addiction

Healthy Fats Help Curb Cravings For Unhealthy Carbs

How to Break an Addiction to Carbs

Eating more healthy fats like nuts and full-fat dairy can help reduce cravings for unhealthy carbohydrates like white bread and sugary cereal, David Ludwig, professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in an October 17, 2017 CNN interview. Unhealthy carbs cause blood glucose fluctuations that can contribute to weight gain and also metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Many high-fat foods are luscious and do not cause an insulin release, so they keep your blood sugar much more stable, Ludwig said. Examples include nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive oil, dark chocolate and full-fat dairy.

How To Beat A Sugar Addiction

Breaking a sugar addiction begins with reducing the amount of added sugar that you have in your food. Sweetened beverages are one of the main culprits, including sodas, energy drinks, and sweet iced tea. Opt for the sugar-free versions of your favorite drinks, or add sweetener yourself, gradually reducing the amount youre putting in your drink. Also consider reducing the amount of alcohol you drink. Beer and wine have a lot of sugar in them, too.

You may also like water with a few flavor drops added in. When you become dehydrated, its easier to cave and say yes to sugar. However, switching to foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners may delay the amount of time it takes to kick a sugar addiction.

Opt for the sugar-free versions of your favorite drinks, or add sweetener yourself, gradually reducing the amount youre putting in your drink. Also consider reducing the amount of alcohol you drink.

You can also stop buying desserts and sweet treats. If you think youll have a hard time moderating how many cookies or pieces of candy youll eat, simply stop bringing it into the house. If others in your family are asking for treats, ask them for their cooperation in helping you beat your sugar addiction. Or, you can buy small packages of your favorites instead of a large family-sized container.

When you feel a sugar craving coming on, try to do something to distract yourself. Exercise is a natural mood booster and can help take your mind off the craving for a sweet treat.

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Basically Foods That Spike Your Blood Sugar Are Addictive The Dont Even Have To Be Traditional Sweets

If youve ever felt like those endless cravings for bread and ice cream, and thought that they are some kind of addiction or obsession the answer is yes, they are but dont worry, its not your fault, and youre not alone – many people suffer carb aka sugar addiction everyday without realizing it.

The feeling that youre always going to be hungry and youll never be full without being stuffed with carbs breads and dessert, or the sadness you feel when you cant enjoy something sweet or carby… well these types of obsessive cravings were once a part of my life and sugar addiction.

Ive suffered with a chronic sugar addiction – yes I can say it out loud, sugar addiction. Of course at the time I didnt call this issue sugar addiction, carb addiction or even food addiction because, like most of us, I didnt take it seriously.

Carb Cravings Are A Temporary Side Effect Of Going Keto

How to Overcome Your Carb Addiction Guide

Carb cravings are normal during the beginner stages of the Ketogenic diet. Its more important than ever during this transition period to keep your carbs as low as possible so your body adjusts to using fats for energy.

Note: The content in this article is not medical advice and is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Always talk to your doctor before changing your diet.

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And Sugar In Your Body Is An Addictive Substance

Actually sugar is even more addictive than cocaine. Yeah, you read that right.

A study in 2007 found that 94% of rats tested would rather choose artificially sweetened water over cocaine .

Just think about that for a second!

Sugar fires up dopamine and lights up your brain in the same manners as drugs, and theres gotta be a problem with that – especially given the issues that come with high sugar consumption, problems I have had first hand experience with. I used to have a full blown sugar addiction – I was in really bad shape, both physically and mentally – so I certainly know the signs of an unhealthy relationship with the stuff.

The same goes for our sugary junky foods like refined carbs junk food is addictive in the same way that heroin or cocaine is addictive too.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that high sugar, high glycemic foods are just as addictive as table sugar.

David Ludwig and his colleagues at Harvard, did a study showing that foods that raise blood sugar even more than table sugar such as white flour, white potatoes and refined starch, have a high glycemic index, and trigger a region in the brain nucleus accumbens which is the area in the brain that is ground zero for a drug abuse addiction.

When You Eat A Food Containing Carbohydrates Your Body Will Release The Hormone Insulin To Take Sugar Out Of The Bloodstream And Into Our Cells

Whats wrong is, that when the carbs are refined carbs or in the form of simple sugars, our bodies digest them quickly and their sugars enter the blood rapidly, causing a super large release of insulin, and leading to a sugar rush and crash – just like with a candy bar.

This is also generally the issue with most high glycemic index foods.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of An Eating Addiction

You Get Tired After A Meal

One sure way to see that youve consumed too many carbohydrates is that you get tired after eating a meal. When you dont get the proper balance of foods and consume too much sugary stuff, your body goes into a slumbering state.

Remember the feeling you get after compulsive eating on Thanksgiving? Well, this same feeling happens after most meals where the carb count is too high.

The Case For Addictive Carbs

High Carb Foods to Avoid | Break Carb Addiction

Some researchers have gone so far as to suggest that refined carbs in the form of fructose have addictive properties that closely resemble those of alcohol. Fructose is a simple sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and honey.

These scientists found that, like alcohol, fructose promotes insulin resistance, abnormal fat levels in your blood, and liver inflammation. Plus, it stimulates your brains hedonic pathway .

This pathway triggers appetite and influences food intake through a system of pleasure and reward rather than being based on true physical hunger or actual energy needs.

Not only do insulin resistance, inflammation, and abnormal fat levels increase your risk of chronic disease, but repeated stimulation of the hedonic pathway may reset the level of fat mass your body wants to preserve, contributing to increased body weight .

High-GI carbs that promote rapid changes to insulin and blood sugar levels also appear to affect dopamine levels. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in your brain that sends messages between cells and influences the way you feel pleasure, reward, and even motivation .

Furthermore, some research in rats shows that granting periodic access to sugar and chow food mix may produce behavior that closely mirrors the dependency often seen with drug abuse .

Its important to note that most of the experimental research conducted thus far on carbs and addiction has taken place in animals. Therefore, additional and more rigorous human studies are needed .

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You Finish Every Meal With A Dessert

Most people that are carb addicts dont feel like any meal is complete without a dessert. It doesnt matter if you just had a big platter of pancakes and bacon you still crave something sweet to finish off your meal. Your constant sugary cravings for snack foods are a sign that youre addicted to the sweet stuff.

Is Junk Food Addictive

There is a debate about whether junk food and overly processed foods are addictive. By addiction, I mean in the same way, a drug addict must get their next fix.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that high sugar foods that are higher in the glycemic index can indeed be addictive.

How does this happen exactly? The study showed that high carb foods raise blood sugar even more than common table sugar.

Grains, starchy vegetables, and all things sweet actually trigger a part of our brain called the nucleus accumbens. This is the area of the brain that gives us a reward response.

Its where dopamine and serotonin are formed. Serotonin is what gives us the sensation of fullness and keeps our inhibitions in check. It is also responsible for keeping our moods stabilized and is a natural sleep promoter.

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How To Stop Eating Sugar

If we are not careful we can fall into a vicious cycle, where we remove sugar temporarily then trigger an intense desire for something sweet. This then prompts us to seek more sugar in order to stimulate the brain area with the sweets it is craving.

Just like an addict keeps going back to their drug of choice and needs more of it in order to get the same desired high. We try to raise dopamine with our food addiction only to lower our serotonin levels, and the merry-go-round continues.

Why Breaking Sugar Addiction Is Important

How To Break Your Sugar Addiction In 8 Ways

Sugar addiction is a silent killer. Although you dont see immediate consequences as you do with alcohol, cocaine, meth, heroin, etc., the damage is just as severe in the long run. It doesnt appear to be life-threatening on the surface, because its effects are cumulative and take time to materialize.

Over the years it slowly destroys organs and systems in the body that eventually lead to a variety of debilitating health conditions, like insulin resistance, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, chronic fatigue, attention deficit, Candida overgrowth, anxiety disorders, chronic headaches, hyperactivity, obesity, hypoglycemia, adrenal fatigue, weakened immune system, nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, cancer, drug and alcohol addiction, Alzheimers/Dementia, and many more.

The American Diabetes Association classifies sugar as one of the top three primary causes of degenerative disease in America.

Not only that, addiction to sugar often leads to alcoholism or drug addiction, as the body breaks down and tolerance builds.

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Why Do We Crave Carbs

Cravings often come when we feel stressed. When you eat carbs, it releases a “happy” chemical in your brain like serotonin. Many of the foods we tend to crave — sweets, white breads, and sodas — are filled with simple carbs that your body processes very fast. This boosts your feel-good hormone levels quickly, but it also causes your sugar levels to spike and drop.

For Now Here Are A Few Small Signs You Maybe Addicted To Carbs And Sugar:

  • Your mouth waters every time you think of sweets, and pasta.

  • You couldn’t even imagine the thought of no having pasta, soda or candy in your life, and you constantly use the word “love” when you refer to certain refined carbs or sugar foods.

  • You try to stay healthy and yet every time you find yourself eating starchy or sugar carbs, you keep telling yourself that you’ll cut back later. You always find yourself starting the next day.

  • You cant help yourself but have more than one. Be it candy, soda, cookies, pastries or bread, keeping to a moderated amount is impossible and not stopping until feeling stuffed is a constant issue.

  • You cant focus on your day until you appease your cravings. This is more like a fixation rather than hunger.

  • Your portion sizes are out of control. They get larger and larger and make you feel sick or lethargic after eating.

  • Youve tried to cut out refined carbs and sugar and end up up feeling horrible, sick, lethargic, and unwell. If you consume excessively high amounts of sugar on a regular basis, it will cause your body to go into shock if you suddenly stop consuming it, causing you to experience a variety of different symptoms. This is sugar withdrawal. If you want to learn more about sugar withdrawal click here.

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Plan Times To Indulge

Completely ignoring cravings can have negative consequences, so it may be a good idea to plan times to eat otherwise restricted foods. This may look like a cheat day or an after-work treat, depending on a personâs dietary needs.

Sticking to a restrictive diet and ignoring cravings may be easier if a person has a planned indulgence to look forward to.

Being Set Free From Sugar Will Be Worth The Work

Break the Carbohydrate Addiction Habit and Increase Your Willpower Now

Is all this work worth the effort? It is if you want to take your health back and truly be set free. Ill admit that the first few days and weeks will be the most challenging.

But after consistently turning down the temptation you will notice the desire for sweets to begin to subside. The more you surrender this area to God the easier it will be to pass the test.

Randy and I call this our Jesus and Keto Lifestyle. Because it wasnt until we combined our faith with a ketogenic diet that we began to experience real transformation. It finally put us on the path to being able to say no to sugar and yes to our health.

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3. If you want a sweet treat, go for something low-glycemic and healthy that won’t trigger you.

Berries are great. I love eating big, juicy, red strawberries or copious amounts of blueberries . They are low-glycemic, meaning they produce very little sugar in your blood and body. They won’t trigger your addiction to sugar, and even if you ate a lot of them, there are virtually no negative consequences.

4. Be aware of the “just one drink” phenomenon.

Because of my interest in the addictive process, I have read the famous Alcoholics Anonymous “Blue Book,” said to be a good read for anyone with any addictive tendency .

The “just one drink” lie we tell ourselves is so true. People who struggle with alcohol will often tell themselves, after a stint of sobriety, that they can handle “just one drink” since they’ve been doing so well. They have that drink, and the addictive cycle in the brain gets triggered again. Before they know it, they are deeper into their addiction than ever before.

5. Don’t have it in the house.

This is a very simple rule of thumb, and it really works. I don’t fool myself into thinking I can resist having something sweet in my house. It will not last the week. Probably not even 24 hours. If I don’t have anything tempting in my house, and make it hard for myself to out and get it, that’s more than half the battle.

And don’t underestimate the power of sugar. Seriously.

Connect with Dr. Biali on and , and visit her website to receive a complimentary e-book.

How To Conquer Carb Cravings

Even though research shows that carbs display some addictive properties, there are many techniques you can use to overcome cravings for carbs and other junk foods.

One of the most powerful steps you can take to stop carb cravings is simply to plan for them ahead of time.

Having an action plan in mind for those moments when cravings hit may help you feel prepared and empowered to pass up carb-laden junk foods and make a healthier choice instead.

As far as what your action plan should entail, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer. Different techniques may work better or worse for different people.

Here are a few ideas you can try:

  • Fill up on protein first. Both animal and vegetable sources of protein, including meat, eggs, tofu, and beans, are renowned for helping you stay fuller for longer (
  • 28 ).
  • Get familiar with your triggers. Pay close attention to which foods are hardest for you to avoid and prepare yourself to be around those trigger foods ahead of time.
  • Take it easy on yourself. Nobody is perfect. If you give in to a carb craving, simply consider what you can do differently next time. Dont beat yourself up over it. Just like anything else, learning to navigate carb cravings takes practice.


Various techniques may help fight off carbs cravings. These include physical activity, staying hydrated, familiarizing yourself with trigger foods, and filling up on healthy fruits, vegetables, and proteins.

Recommended Reading: How To Kick Food Addiction

I Just Told Myself I Was Hungry Greedy Or I Had A Sweet Tooth But To Tell Yourself Youre Just Greedy Isnt Fair

Before, when I was in the grips of my sugar addiction, it left me in really bad shape, both physically and mentally – sleep issues, extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, hormonal imbalance and irritability were all common for me.

Eventually, in attempt to save my health, I came to realize that all my health issues were linked to sugar and my diet.

No one wants to be addict, and no one wants to constantly be craving bread, chips, fries, muffins, etc. .

Of course, a sugar craving can be normal – its not all addiction – there can be a myriad of reasons for your cravings. If you want to learn more about sugar cravings and other reasons why you could be craving sugar, I recommend you head over to my in-depth article on why you crave sugar here.

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