Most people have heard of sugar addicts, but carbs can be just as tempting. Simple carbohydrates have the greatest appeal as they provide a quick burst of energy. Plus, most foods with these carbs taste delicious, like donuts or burgers. When you’re short on time, you may not always be able to cook a home-cooked meal. Since fast food outlets abound in America, most people choose the latter.
However, saving time in preparing a meal comes at a high price when it comes to your health. An unhealthy meal once in a while won’t make much difference. But when eating fast-digesting carbs becomes a habit, it can lead to mental and physical health issues.
For example, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, anxiety, and depression can be the result of a poor diet. Numerous studies have linked increased consumption of highly processed foods to the global epidemic of overweight and obesity. According to the CDC, approximately 42% of adults over the age of 20 are obese, while 73% are overweight.
These statistics are alarming and reveal a deeply sick society where poor health has been normalized. However, this does not mean that we should accept illnesses without first trying to solve the underlying problem. We can restore our health by eating the right foods, exercising regularly, and remembering to prioritize self-care.
First, it’s essential to recognize the signs that you or someone you know might be addicted to carbs. We’ll discuss some common behaviors of carb addicts and ways to overcome these bad habits.
5 Common Carb Addict Behaviors
1. Carbohydrate addicts crave dessert after every meal.
Many people who eat too many carbs enjoy dessert after dinner because they crave the sugar. Because they aren’t eating enough fat or protein, they have to compensate by using quick sources of energy, like simple carbohydrates. Desserts like cakes and brownies have plenty of these carbs to satisfy your need for easy calories. However, eating these types of foods can often indicate a sugar addiction.
2. Carbohydrate addicts are emotional eaters.
People eat food not only for energy, but also for convenience. After a long, hard day at work, most people want to have a good meal in their stomach. Ever since humans first walked the Earth, we’ve associated food with comfort because it meant we survived one more day. In the modern world, people eat mainly due to mental discomfort associated with external stressors.
Simply put, food makes us feel better and nothing increases dopamine like a slice of cake or spaghetti.
3. The carb addict could handle weight loss.
If you feel slower than usual, losing weight can help you regain your energy levels. However, people with severe food addictions may find it difficult to adopt a healthy lifestyle without professional help. Therapists and nutritionists often work with people with disordered eating habits to help them uncover the root cause of their behavior. After all, our physical health reflects our mental state, which is why obesity and overweight begin in the mind.
4. You feel tired after meals.
Carbohydrate addicts often complain of feeling tired after eating. This happens because your insulin rises dramatically due to the entry of sugars into the body. As the pancreas works to regulate blood sugar, it can cause drowsiness once insulin levels return to normal. The only macronutrient that can cause this reaction is carbohydrates, since fats and proteins have minimal effect on insulin.
5. You have type II diabetes.
Although there is no cure for type I diabetes, type II diabetes can be controlled or even prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. For example, cutting back on simple carbs and sugars can keep blood sugar levels normal. Unfortunately, diabetes has become an epidemic in many Western countries due to our highly processed diets. About 96 million Americans ages 18 and older have prediabetes, according to the CDC.
Three healthy habits that curb carb cravings
You may feel hopeless or frustrated if you can’t reduce your carbohydrate intake. However, any good habit can undo bad ones with enough repetition. With perseverance and willpower, you can accomplish anything, including eating a healthier diet. Here are three tips to start your wellness journey:
1. Eat more protein with and between meals.
Carbs and protein contain four calories per gram, but not all macronutrients are created equally. Protein takes more energy for your body to digest and reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Eating more protein with meals keeps you full longer than eating processed carbs.
2. Stay active so you don’t eat out of boredom.
Have you ever met someone who mindlessly eats when they have nothing to do? Many people find themselves adopting this unhealthy habit in the modern world. Fighting boredom while eating starts with staying active and keeping your mind busy. If you don’t have as much time to eat, you will naturally eat fewer calories.
3. Eat healthy fats.
Fats and proteins can help you feel full and are essential to a healthy diet. Fat contains nine calories per gram, so when combined with protein, it quickly increases satiety. Try cooking chicken breasts or tofu in lard or olive oil for a healthy dose of fat and protein. However, avoid hydrogenated oils in margarine and shortening, as they can raise LDL cholesterol levels.
Final Thoughts on Carb Addict Habits
We need a good amount of carbohydrates in our diet to function optimally. However, many advertisements bombard us with images of burgers and fries, appealing to our most basic and primitive desires. It’s hard to motivate yourself to cook a home-cooked meal when you have temptations in your face left and right. But you can overcome a carb addiction and practice healthy living if you believe in yourself. Start with one healthy habit per month until you reach your goal.
By Kristen Lawrence. Articles in English