Bread, pasta, pies, chips (both the deep-fried and the crunchy kind) – ever thought that you might actually be addicted to carbohydrates? Yes, the bad news is that our brain releases the chemical dopamine when we eat carbs which is why they make us feel so darn good! Each time you’re consuming these delights you brain is creating a little pleasure centre.
Crazily over time, our bodies need more and more carbs to get the same ‘fix’. Cutting down results in some serious withdrawal – headaches, moodiness, depression and anxiety. Quite shocking, isn’t it? Kinda explains a lot though.
Therein lies the rub – if we consume increasing amounts of carbs we are at risk of struggling with weight issues or diabetes. We might develop heart or immune system problems. If we give them up, well we just feel miserable!
Here are three signs you could be addicted to carbs:
1. YOU MUST HAVE CARBS IN THE MORNING
If you must have carbs first thing in the morning (officially within 1 hour of rising), then Houston we have a problem!
2. YOU CAN’T SEEM TO CUT BACK THE CARBOHYDRATES
Using carbs to fill an emotional need and you just can’t give up? Turn to carbs when you’re stressed or upset? You’re in trouble.
3. LESSENING CARBS CAUSES WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
If you get a headache in the first 24 hours of reducing carbs, feel grumpy, moody, and anxious then you need to face the reality – you’ve got an addiction baby:(
It ain’t pretty and yes, it doesn’t sound that different than the symptoms of an alcohol or drug dependency (actually, clinically it’s not!).
Just to be clear, not all carbs are B-A-D. Just the dodgy ones made from bad things like white flour and those that are highly processed (and quite frankly, very limited in nutrition value). There are good carbs and if you learn to manage the amount you consume, you’re instantly improving your diet.
Ok, you’ve faced the reality. You’re addicted to carbs. Now how do you give it up or at least get it under control and consume the ‘good’ carbs?
Tune in next time for advice on how to manage carbs in your diet, rather than let them manage you.