Quitting ‘Carbs’: Why It’s So Hard And How I Managed To Do It
Before I get into some of the reasons we reach for the starchy treats in times of stress I need to point out that what we often refer to as ‘carbs’ are actually just one type of carbohydrate. ALL vegetables contain carbohydrates. And I don’t want to get too technical here, but it’s important to understand this. The starchy foods that many have referred to as ‘carbs’ since the Atkins Revolution in the late 90s and early 2000s are exactly that – they are starches. They are the kind of carbohydrates that break down easily to sugar to be used by our bodies for energy. One of the things that our bodies use that energy for is breaking down the protein we eat. A diet devoid of starch may result in short term weight loss but will also eventually result in weight gain because the protein we eat eventually gets stored as fat. Plus our bodies will force us to consume starch by sending us cravings for it which we misinterpret as cravings for cookies and ice cream, not necessarily healthier starches like potatoes, yams or squash. SOME starchy carbs are necessary – just not in such a huge proportion of our diet as many of us currently experience. Further, a diet devoid of ALL carbs (starchy and otherwise) results in malnutrition because the minerals we require for survival are delivered via vegetables. Bottom line: Carbs good, processed starch (especially in huge quantities), bad, ok? Ok.
Now that I have put that technicality away I can get onto the cycle of addiction to these foods that so many of us suffer from and which is the reason so many of us carry a useless amount of extra fat on us no matter how clean we feel we are eating. Reasons I won’t get into in this post include seasonal changes (where we crave build up foods in the colder months – and these include starchier foods as well as denser proteins – I’ve written about this in multiple earlier posts) and emotional factors that are outside my area of expertise. Today I want to talk about blood sugar and how we become dependent on keeping it high because we think we feel better that way.
When we eat food that breaks quickly down to sugar our blood is quickly filled with sugar. Makes sense, no? When we eat copious amounts of highly condensed starches like dense breads and pastas our blood is filled with sugar in quantities our ancestors never experienced and so our blood sugar management systems are forced to over-react to get the sugar level in our blood back down and under control. The amount of insulin that is released into the blood by the pancreas when we eat an ultra starchy meal or snack is high and this results in fat accumulation each time. Plus, the insulin reaction forces blood sugar levels down so low that we become tired, irritable and hungry again. This typically happens a couple of hours after we eat breakfast, lunch or dinner – thus the mid morning and afternoon snack and coffee runs we ‘need’ in order to function.
But would we need these coffee runs if we hadn’t started it all by eating a high refined carb meal a couple of hours earlier? What’s first – the starch or the craving? The starch.
Balance your meals according to my balanced meal model and you can break this. But that takes a lot of work. Easier and more efficient is to use a tool that will put you back on track quickly and without suffering, dropping a lot of fat in the process. This is where the 30 day cleanse I’ve been recommending to clients can be appropriately applied. By providing a balanced month of eating along with herbal support for the systems of the body that help us to manage stress the cleanse resets our palate to crave food again, not food products. When that happens we stop starting and ending our days with sugar, forcing a need for sugar in between. When the sugar leaves our lives so does the fat on our body that the sugar has been supporting.
If you wish to try this approach to getting off those pesky ‘carbs’ and join the many of us who are now enjoying higher energy levels, smaller clothing sizes and a calmer emotional state then fill out the form below which will send me an email. You can have your package on your doorstep two days later. Trust me, this what you want to be sharing for the holidays. Are you going to wait?