If you’re trying to lose weight, chances are you’ve cut back on carbs. You’ve probably heard they’re caloric, they turn to sugar in your bloodstream, and they’re an easy – and unfortunate – way to pack on the pounds.
But here’s one things you might not know: They actually lead to MORE cravings.
That’s right. Not only a carbohydrates sugar-filled on their own, they can also cause abrupt spikes in your blood sugar levels, thus giving you unwanted food and sweet cravings.
It’s called the carbohydrate trigger, and if you’re not careful, it can cause you to overeat. And instead of losing weight, you could actually gain it in the end. And I can bet that’s not something you’re interested in.
So how can you avoid this horrifying carbohydrate trigger and keep on the path to weight loss success? Let’s dive into that now.
Avoiding the Carbohydrate Trigger
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high-glycemic foods – foods that are high on the GI index – are the biggest culprit when it comes to the carbohydrate trigger.
These foods are typically processed and refined carbohydrates, as well as sugary foods and drinks. When consume, they cause your blood glucose levels to rise and fall very quickly. This stimulates feelings of hunger in the brain, as well as craving and reward sensations. Often, this means you get food cravings –especially ones for sugar and more carbs – just a few hours later on down the line (when your stomach probably isn’t actually hungry!) This leads to overeating, high caloric intake and, you got it, weight gain.
Researchers say avoiding carbohydrates – specifically the refined ones – can be an effective way to fight off these cravings, keep blood sugar levels stable and even control (or lose weight) in the long run.
It’s particularly effective for those sufferer from weight issues. In fact, according to the study, “This research suggests that based on their effects on brain metabolism, all calories are not alike. Not everybody who eats process carbohydrates develops uncontrollable food cravings. But for the person who has been struggling with weight in our modern food environment and unable to control their cravings, limiting refined carbohydrates may be a logical first step.”
Some studies also show that mood impacts carb cravings. So if you’re feeling blue or depressed, you may be more inclined to reach for that breadstick or pack of chips. If you ever catch yourself feeling in the dumps, do something to improve your mood. Take a relaxing yoga class, meditate, exercise or put on your favorite song. Go get a massage, have dinner with a friend or watch your favorite movie. (Just steer clear of the buttery popcorn!)
Foods to Avoid
So what foods do you need to steer clear of if you want to avoid the carbohydrate trigger? Well, that’s basically any high-glycemic food, sugary food, or refined, processed carbohydrate.
Here are some examples:
- White bread
- Anything made with white flour
- Corn syrup
- White rice
- White potatoes
- Ice cream
- Breaded and battered foods
- Fried foods
- Granola bars
Take a few hours this weekend to completely clear your pantry and fridge of these items. For one, you don’t want them to taunt you – to serve as reminders of what you can’t eat. Two, you also don’t want them there in case you have a moment of weakness. If you get that carb or sugar craving, and there’s nothing to eat, there’s no harm done! If those foods are there when you let your guard down, it could have disastrous results.
In addition to avoiding the carbohydrate triggers, you can also steer clear of unwanted cravings by breaking your food intake into smaller meals. Instead of having three big meals a day, opt for a few small ones every two to three hours. This will stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep your metabolism pumping at its optimal levels.
You can also start avoiding diet drinks and sodas. These often include sweeteners that will cause cravings, similar to the carbohydrate trigger. They could even leave you reaching for a snack just 30 minutes to an hour after you drink it! This is a big no-no if you’re trying to lose weight.
Start Avoiding the Carbohydrate Trigger Today
Want to make weight loss easier and avoid those pesky cravings? Then it may be time to start fighting off those carbohydrate triggers. Cut out refined carbs and other foods on the high-glycemic index, and start taking steps to eat healthier, more nutritious foods throughout the day. Over time, you’ll see cravings decrease, you’ll have a lower caloric intake as a result, and you’ll start to lose weight easily and naturally.
Have you ever tried cutting out refined carbs or high GI foods? What was the result? Share with me in the comments!
Remember to share this information with all the people you know struggle fighting off cravings.
Together we can make this world a happier, healthier world!