Fighting Carbohydrate Cravings

Cause of Carbohydrate Cravings

Some argue that complex, or refined carbohydrates that are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream induce the release of excess insulin. This excess release of insulin causes a rapid drop in blood glucose levels which is believed to stimulate hunger and cause a rapid decrease ("crash") of energy. You are then likely to crave even more carbohydrates.


Controlling the Release of Insulin

Choose carbohydrates that raise blood sugar slowly, thus preventing excess insulin production. Two theories exist, the Simple & Complex Carbohydrate Theory and the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Theory that address the affect of specific foods on blood sugar level.

Refer to the articles, "Carbohydrate Classifications" and "The Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Theory" for more information.


Increase the Intake of Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber slows the entry of glucose into the blood stream, reducing spikes in blood sugar levels. This reduction in blood sugar level lowers the amount of insulin production, therefore lowering the amount of glucose that will be stored as fat, reducing cravings, and increasing the feeling of fullness. Refer to the article titled "Dietary Fiber and a Low-Carb Lifestyle" for more information.


Increase the Intake of Protein

Eating food high in protein is thought to promote feelings of fullness and satisfaction which is key to weight control.


Between Meal Snacks

If cravings seem to strike at the same time every day, interrupt that craving by eating a high protein snack, cheese, fruit, or vegetable 30 minutes before the craving arrives.


Limit Alcohol, Caffeinated Drinks, and Fruit Juices

Consumption of alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and fruit juices cause a spike in blood sugar (a burst of energy) which is followed by a "crash" in energy. This will leave you starved for energy and high carbohydrate foods.


Remove Temptation

Clean out the pantry. Staying away from foods high in carbohydrates will be easier if they are not easily accessible.


Just Say No

Use self control.


Divert Your Attention

Depending on the cause of your craving, you may be able to divert your attention to something else. Try eating a "free" snack and going for a walk.


Giving In

If you've tried everything and nothing works. Studies indicate that being deprived may lead to bingeing. Control the amount you eat, rather than buying a large amount of the food you crave buy an individual serving. Relax, eat it slowly, then get back on track. Giving in only becomes a problem when it happens too frequently.

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