People who are trying desperately to lose weight often have to fight one common enemy – carb cravings! It sometimes becomes impossible to resist cravings for carb stuff because they trigger the release of “happy chemicals” such as serotonin in the brain and when we are stressed out or plain bored, we tend to reach out for carbs to feel better through the release of such hormones. It would not be wrong to say that carbs tend to put us into a cycle of overeating by raising cravings through the day. However, it’s not a wise idea to completely cut away this major food group from the diet, instead going low carb and eating the right kind of carbs (also called complex carbs) would be a better option to lose weight and get healthy. In fact, in the absence of complex carbs and healthy fats, the body would source its fuel by breaking down protein and lean muscle, and that’s why it’s important to eat the right kind of carbs and cut out all simple and refined carbs. Generally, a large population of people who have difficulty losing weight eat very large portions of refined carbs. In order to shed extra weight, it’s essential down to cut down the percentage of carbs. Carbs should ideally form just 15% of each major meal, while 50% vegetables, 25% protein content, and 10 to 15% fat source should constitute the rest. As we have mentioned earlier, fighting off carbs cravings is not an easy task, however, in this post, we will tell you how to break carb cravings once and for all.
The Link Between Carbs Cravings and Weight Gain:
Eating refined carbs causes the release of “feel-good” hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and other chemicals in the brain and the relaxing effects of such chemicals makes us seek out food items that can trigger their release. Boredom, stress, and other factors can aggravate carb cravings and it may become a habit which can become extremely difficult to get rid of. Refined carbs, processed food, junk food, are directly linked to weight gain and to the risk of developing metabolic syndrome that comprises of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even stroke. Also, when we eat refined carbs, the blood sugar rises steeply, and the level of insulin spikes up, pushing the glucose molecules into cells. And out of all body cells, adipose or fat cells have large storage capacity to store the extra calories. When all the extra calories are stored away into fat cells, liver, muscles, etc., the body signals lack of fuel to the brain, and you would start to feel hungry at that point. When the brain detects low calories in the body, it induces the feeling of hunger and cravings, and you are caught in the vicious circle of constantly replenishing calories, and carbs seem to be an ideal choice for quick reload of energy. Constant refuelling of calories can lead to overeating and of course, weight gain.
How to Break Carb Cravings Once and For All:
1. Switch to a Healthy Weight Loss Diet instead of Crash Dieting: To lose weight, do not resort to food deprivation diets such as crash dieting because starvation and extreme restriction of calories can make the cravings intense and lead to overeating later on. Lose weight by eating healthy and the right kind of food, find such diets on Rati Beauty app, and lose oodles of weight.
2. Cut back on highly processed foods that generally have refined carbs that get digested quickly, raise insulin levels, and then leave you hungry again in no time. Switch to complex carbs such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and vegetables.
3. Say yes to Healthy Fats: Do not avoid healthy fats if you are dieting because you eat healthy fats, you actually stop craving for carbs. Here’s a list of healthy fats that you can include in your diet (How Eating Fats can Make you Thin).
4. Eat Protein-Rich Food: We crave for refined carbs and sugary stuff when there’s not much protein source in the body. In fact, adequate protein would suppress the activity of hunger hormone “ghrelin.”
5. Stick to Meal and Snack Timings: Eating food on schedule and at fixed timings will help to avoid frequent hunger pangs and unnecessary snacking. Check out the Rati Beauty app for proper meal and snack timings for weight loss.
6. Find Healthy Replacements for Bad Carbs: Here’s a list of 8 Low-Carb Food Alternatives for High Carb Food Items.
7. Say No to Added Sugar: Added sugar is probably the number #1 roadblock in anyone’s weight loss journey and that’s because it acts in multiple ways to facilitate weight gain. It spikes the hormone insulin, which not only regulates blood sugar, it also triggers fat storage, and triggers intense sugar and carb cravings. If you give it enough thought, giving up sugar can be the easiest way to curb cravings. Added sugar can be found is found in cupcakes, candies, chocolates, etc.
8. Cheat Meal once a Week: Convert your cheat meal into a treat meal once a week. Dieting does not mean giving up on your favorite food forever, you can indulge in them once or twice during the week not only to satisfy your cravings, but also to kickstart a sluggish metabolism and to trick the body into believing that it’s okay to burn calories because food is available plenty and to take back metabolism to the high level.
9. Drink Loads of Water: The hypothalamus area in our brain tends to confuse thirst and hunger signals. That’s why it’s important to drink adequate water to curb all kind of cravings and false hunger signals.
10. Stay off these Carbs: Soda, candies, bagels, French fries, chocolates, white bread, etc., stay off all of these refined carbs.
11. Take a 10-minute Walk: There are two major benefits of going for a 10-minute walk when the cravings hit – you can burn a bit of calories and also by the end of this walk, the cravings will go away.
12. Chewing on Sugar-free Gum: Studies have found that chewing on a sugar-free gum can reduce carb cravings by a great degree and reduce the frequency of snacking as well, but make sure the gum does not have artificial sweeteners.
Hope this article would help you to fight off all cravings, especially carb cravings.