Before I started limiting sweets and breads I would really never feel hungry because I always “grazed” and I would eat before I actually had that empty feeling in my stomach. My cravings for food really didn’t have anything to do with being hungry. There was something else that was driving me to shove food into my mouth. If you find yourself eating when you are not hungry then a low carb diet may also help you to curb your cravings.
How To Curb Cravings
From what I have read there are two possible reasons why I no longer crave food and I actually have a more normal feeling of hunger. There could be more reasons but these two seem to stand out.
The first is the results of eating more protein. Studies have shown that proteins tend to be one of the foods that curb cravings in people who are prone to this problem. One study took individuals and had some of them eat a serving of carbohydrates, some of them eat a serving of protein, and some eat a combination of the two. They found that the people who ate the simple carbohydrates tended to crave more carbs within an hour or so. The people who ate a combination were more satisfied. And the pure protein people actually felt satisfied for a few hours and then when they did want to eat again it was because there stomachs felt empty, it wasn’t just that they craved a type of food.
My Experience With Curbing CravingsThe results from this study match my results perfectly. For breakfast I usually make an omelet with turkey roll or breakfast meat, some vegetables, and maybe a little tofu. It is really tasty and it satisfies my hunger. But the most important thing for me is that I don’t crave foods within a couple of hours like I did when I ate a high carbohydrate breakfast. I am full and then when I do want to eat again it is because I am hungry,
Usually I will have a snack about three hours after breakfast. This is usually a leftover from dinner the night before that is very low carb or no carb. This may be a hamburger patty, chicken, piece of roast, or tuna. This keeps me satisfied till lunch time.
Before I really started paying attention to what I was eating, I would usually binge when I came home. Now, I also have a high protein low carb snack in the mid afternoon and I notice I no longer have the desire to binge. The protein really seems to keep my body on an even keel as far as wanting food goes.
Do Carbohydrates Cause Cravings
The reason that a high protein and fat diet may help my food cravings comes from the affect that sugars seem to have on our bodies. More and more research is showing that sugar and simple carbs impact the areas of our brain that are associated with addictive behavior. Brain scans show that the parts of the brain that show a lot of activity when addicts consume, or even think about, their drug of choice also become active when a person eats sugar. It appears as though people really can become addicted to certain foods.
It also appears that simple carbohydrates, the ones that are converted into blood sugar quickly when you eat them, have another effect on how our bodies utilize the energy from foods. The rush of sugar gets your body out of whack and it tries to correct itself. The dramatic increase in blood sugar causes a release of insulin to help balance out your chemistry. But usually, with simple carbs, your body overreacts. This causes a crash which makes your body crave more sugars in order to find the middle ground again. Within an hour or so you are craving sugar. So you eat a donut or have a candy bar and the whole thing starts all over again. You are on the “carb yo-yo”.
Can You Stop Your Cravings
Most people seem to see a dramatic drop off in the amount of cravings they experience when they stop eating simple carbohydrates and eat more protein, fats, and complex carbs. Usually the effect is dramatic over the first couple of days and then once your body starts operating on real food instead of processed foods, the cravings may go away completely.
So the question is, are you sick of being at the mercy of our highly processed modern diet? Do you want to lose weight and feel better? Are you tired of having food control your life? If the answer is yes then maybe it is time to try a low carb diet and eat no carb foods.
If you have any questions or insights to share please leave a comment. You are on the start of your journey to a healthy relationship with food.