Are you addicted to carbohydrates?
Take this short quiz to find out.
Do you often feel hungry very soon after you have eaten?
Do you feel that a meal is not really complete unless you have some form of starch included (bread, pasta, rice, potato, qunioa etc)
Do you sometimes feel sluggish after you finish a meal?
Do you find it difficult to say no to starchy or sugary foods?
Do you struggle with energy levels?
Do you need to snack between meals, especially mid afternoon?
Do you crave starch or sugar?
Do you find your concentration improves quickly after you have eaten starch or sugar?
Do you find it difficult if not impossible to stop eating certain foods until they are all gone?
Do you snack or graze daily?
Now.. count up your Yes answers
0 – 2 You are probably not addicted to carbohydrates
3 – 5 You appear to have a mild carb addiction which, at times, you may be able to control and with some difficulty.
6-8 Your score indicates that you are moderately addicted to carbohydrates. At times you may be able to control your eating but you may find that stress, premenstrual changes, tiredness, boredom, unexpressed anger or pressure may increase your carbohydrate cravings.
9-10 You have scored in the severe carbohydrate addiction range. You may be struggling to control your eating without realizing that your body has been fighting you, literally driving you to eat and then storing the excess food energy as fat.
You may not be surprised by your score or you may think that surely everyone is in some way a little addicted to carbs in some form.
Perhaps you know that you have a problem with carbs in whatever form that takes but you cannot seem to break the cycle of eating.
Hands up here….I am a total Carbohydrate addict!!!
I thought I was just greedy or that I didn’t have enough willpower to resist the sugary or starchy delights.
I was wrong…. Being a carb addict is not about greed, hunger or willpower.
Let me explain.
It all starts in childhood.
I was brought up in the 1070’s by an Irish grandmother.. It was the beginning of the snack era. I can still remember the adverts for Milky way Chocolate bars..”the treat you can eat between meals and not ruin your appetite”. I could eat about a dozen of those little morsels, then there was the lemonade van that came door to door every Wednesday I was allowed two bottles for the week of whatever garishly coloured highly sweetened beverage I liked. But its wasn’t only the treats that were changing, the food we eat regularly at home changes too, the bread became more processed, in addition to meat and two veg there was now exotic dishes like pasta or curry and rice… add into the mix that an Irish grandmother is also a big fan of having a pudding after supper EVERY EVENING and you can see where the trouble began.
My sweet tooth was almost insatiable.
Next comes college.. living on cheep student fodder of pasta, pizza, cheesy chips, pot noodles ( no judgement pls) choosing to fill myself up on cheep stodgy foods actually felt like I was nourishing myself. But basically when you add in the alcohol consumption as well the college years are just one long carb feast!!
Then there are the corporate years. For me that meant years of working in hospitality, so shift work and availability of restaurant food meant that I was often eating rich indulgent foods at all times of the day and night…oh and then add in the social life. More eating out, more alcohol…more sugar , more starch, more carbs!!!
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
This is the story of how I became addicted to carbs. Your story may be slightly different but it probably follows a similar pattern.
Year after year, decade after decade you have eaten progressively more and more carbs.
You began to change your taste buds, you changed your glucose tolerance threshold, you change how your brain reacts to sugar and starch… slowly but surely you become more addicted. Need just a little more sugar, a little more starch, more carbs to just feel normal. Its feels difficult to function properly if you don’t have enough “fuel” and for you fuel need to be fast acting…fuel needs to be carbs!
The diet industry doesn’t help…for years we were told to eat less fat…fat makes you fat!! Of course the problem was that what we were left with was CARBS… and when you take the fat out of a dish or product you have to replace it with something that adds in not only flavour but also texture… enter in sugar, starch and artificial sweeteners.
You can find yourself on a starchy sugary carb fuelled rollercoaster. Needing more each day to get through the day.
We meet so many women week after week at The Body Retreat who are are struggling to regain control from addiction to carbohydrates they try to quit the habit at home but find it too difficult…if not impossible to get through those first few days.
The problem with many at home plans is that they focus too much on what you need to tae out of our daily eating…this void leave you at the mercy of cravings. Which is why on our retreats we focus equally on what you put into your daily diet alongside those foods you are looking to remove or reduce.
Rather than building your diet around carbs we focus on increasing the amount of protein, fat and fibre.. which help to keep you feeling satisfied and not at the mercy of blood sugar cravings.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to starch, sugar and carbohydrates? Do you think of yourself as being addicted to carbohyrdates? Let me know in the comments below.