Mindbodygreen.com posted an article, in response to an article posted by the New York Times, last month on their site helping to answer the question to the question “why is it so hard to eat carbs in moderation?” and “what causes these cravings that can eventually lead to obesity?”
The article starts by talking about the two camps of researchers, one camp states that it is only a matter of calories in vs. calories out.
This, however, is an archaic way of looking at food addiction, obesity, and weight loss.
People have been told for YEARS that they just need to eat less and exercise more, and while this might work for awhile for some people, weight loss always stalls and people get frustrated and decide to give up. For good reason too, your body gets used to the amount of calories it is burning vs. taking in and adjusts. In other words, your metabolism changes to meet the energy needs of your body.
Bottom line: Your body is smart and wants to survive so if you give it less, it will learn to use less over time.
The other camp, though, believes ” that obesity has everything to do with hormonal imbalances—specifically a dysregulation of the hormone insulin.” Why is this? The things we crave center around insulin (carbs, hello!). When we eat carbohydrates our insulin spikes making us crave even more and introducing carbs into the system tells your body that carbs are the fuel source of choice and that makes your body want them even more.
So, the more we eat, the more our body craves. The more we crave, the more we eat. Makes sense, right?
Okay, enough of the lesson on insulin and carbs. I want to share a little of my story.
I’M A CARB ADDICT
I was (still am) one of those people addicted to all the bad carbs. I could down a bag of cookies without even thinking twice. It didn’t even matter that I wasn’t hungry or actually wanting the cookies, I just ate them. Same with candy, cupcakes, or any baked good.
After one of these binges, I would feel physically and mentally ill. But these feelings were only temporary and if another bag of cookies was put in front of me (or “hidden” in the cupboard) I wouldn’t think twice to start the cookie gorging again.
I was over consuming carbs, every single day, my body craved them, my cells wanted them for energy, and I kept obliging. It was getting to the point where I would buy a bag of cookies and eat them in the car hidden away from anyone else (yep, it was that bad).
I was also feeling sluggish, my brain was foggy, and the up and down due to the sugar highs and then the crashes led to me being moody as heck!
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION?
I didn’t want to eat all the carbs, I really didn’t. I tried so many times to just quit by just eating less, by “moderating”. But moderation NEVER worked for me. It was always the slippery slope into completely drowning myself in cookies and sweets.
Slowly, I started cutting back on carbs. It was VERY gradual, I’m talking, it took me over a year to get to the point of where I am right now with my diet.
The only way for me to completely change the way I ate was to do it slowly and intentionally.
SO, WHERE AM I NOW?
I think an addiction is always with you. I have never been addicted to anything serious (in the larger scheme of things, can we all agree that carbs aren’t THAT horrible) but NEEDING carbs (like, not knowing another feeling other than that real, down to the bones craving) is a bit of an unnerving feeling. Seriously, one minute I would be fine and the next I would be hangry and lashing out. Not a place I ever want to be again.
I can honestly say now that I feel a sense of freedom.I’m not free from carbs, I still eat them daily but I don’t eat them in excess. I plan my carb consumption strategically and it works for me.
Maybe this seems obsessive but you weren’t in my shoes, you didn’t have that uncontrollable urge to eat all the cookies or to hide candy in your purse for when your sweet tooth hit.
I am happy now with the way I eat. I know it isn’t for everyone but a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet works for me.
I have cut carb cravings out almost completely and to me, that is freedom and health.
Do you have questions about the low fat/high fat eating style? Feel free to ask!