Symptoms and Tips for Carb Addicts

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Carb Addicts

Have you ever noticed that the more carbs you eat, the more you crave them, especially when it comes to sweets? And why do we eat so many carbs in the first place? A lack of serotonin may be the answer. Simple carbs make up for the missing feel-good chemical in the brain, but they also leave us feeling drained, bloated and fat.

“A large percentage of overweight clients who snacked on refined sugar and complex carbohydrates, such as popcorn, chips and candy, reported relief from depression, anxiety and boredom,” according to Betty Street of the Fairland Institute.

Because carbs and sweets temporarily relieve our emotions, we repeatedly turn to these foods rather than dealing with the issues that cause them.

It was Dr. Richard and Judith Wurtman who originally coined the phrase, “Carbohydrate Craving Syndrome” during their study of overeaters at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences of Massachusetts Institue of Technology. They found that balancing insulin levels with a chromium supplement was helpful in reducing carb cravings in addicted patients.

Symptoms of Carbohydrate Craving Syndrome

Carb cravings are commonly caused by low levels of serotonin, high levels of insulin resistance and low blood sugar.
Other symptoms include:
  • A family history of obesity
  • Not being able to take your mind off of food
  • Hiding food and eating habits regularly
  • Diets don’t work for you and you end up eating even more than before and gaining weight
  • Using food to satisfy emotional needs
  • Treating food as your friend

Tips for Losing Weight with Carboyhdrate Craving Syndrome

You can’t escape your genes and weight loss is difficult at best when the cards seem stacked against you, but there are some things you can do to make the journey a little easier.
  • Distract yourself when cravings hit.
  • Substitute a lower fat, lower calorie snack for high carb foods.
  • Eat smart carbs throughout the day to feel full and avoid feeling deprived on your diet.
  • Eat a small portion of the food you crave. Some dieters swear by the three-bite rule.
  • Eat all foods in moderation without binging on certain foods or omitting others.
  • Follow a diabetic diet to avoid sugar spikes and feel a sense of balance.
  • Talk to your doctor and have him or her rule out any other medical reasons such as diabetes or thyroid problems that could prevent you from losing weight.
Note: If you are also being treated for depression (due to low serotonin levels) the medicine may worsen your carb cravings. Ask your doctor about side effects and the best option for lifting depression while losing weight.

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