Read time: 2-3 minutes
I feel like I’m kind of starting to re-hash well trodden ground here, so let me preface this one by saying I’ll back off for a bit after this! In the past few weeks I’ve told you how to tell if you’re addicted to carbs (hint: if you are, then this one is for you), asked you if your cardio habit is fueling your carb addiction, spoken about why I think it’s a myth that your body ‘needs’ bread or other carbs, told you when to break the rules on a low-carb diet, and explained low-carb nutrition once and for all (although obviously not, given how I’m still writing about it!)
I’ve also harped on about sugar a fair bit, with this brilliant You Tube clip Sweet, my confession on sugar addiction, and finally, a how-to guide on breaking up with sugar (which was even featured on the front page of The Daily Brainstorm!).
Hmmm. Is it just me, or am I a little fixated on this topic? In my defense, breaking free of sugar and carb addiction is one of the SIMPLEST ways to improve your health and energy and burn stubborn body fat, so please bear with me one more time.
A Simple Guide To Escaping Carb Addiction
1. Start one meal at a time, and absolutely make it breakfast. The food you eat first thing in the morning dictates your energy for the day ahead, as well as food cravings, and you know that the more carbs you eat the more carbs you eat, so it makes sense to hold them off.
2. Choosing a protein and smart fat breaky such as lean meat with a handful of nuts will optimise neurotransmitter function for the day ahead (keep you happy and motivated!) and is also ideal for fat loss and health (unless you’re lucky enough to tolerate carbs, in which case you could have some fruit and protein for breaky, or a small serve of oats with protein).
3. There is NO WAY you will escape carbohydrate or sugar addiction if you fail to eat adequate good fat. Great choices include flaxseed oil, quality fish oil, and small serves of nuts, seeds, avocado, olive or coconut oil.
4. Once you’ve dealt with breaky, think about the rest of the day. My best advice for a mid-morning snack is to choose some protein (a boiled egg, a small piece of meat, half a protein shake), along with some raw green veg. You cannot overdose on green vegetables and they are a great source of nutrition and fiber, so the sooner you start eating them each day the better!
5. Lunch: don’t think that you have to cut out all carbs (unless you prefer to jump in headfirst with a low-carb bootcamp), but why not think about smart carbs? Rather than processed grains – yes, even wholegrains – choose low GI starch like brown rice, sweet potato, or a yummy stone fruit after your protein and green veg.
6. Be smart with snacks. By this I mean the obvious (choose snacks that are real food based, such as nuts or nut butter with a small piece low GI fruit, or – even better – more veg, full fat dairy if you tolerate it, some leftover protein), but I also mean be smart by being prepared. It’s all very well to know what you should or could eat, but how likely is it that you’ll nip out to the supermarket to buy a healthy snack when something more tempting is more convenient? Keep healthy snacks with you (out of sight) at all times and you’ll find it easy peasy to stick to your health goals.
7. If you really feel that you’re eating well and you still struggle with carb or sugar cravings, try this neat trick. It has worked in 100% of the cases I’ve tried! Combine 1-2 teaspoons of full-fat organic cream with a teaspoon of the immune-boosting amino acid glutamine. You can do this several times each day if necessary! Personally I’ve noticed that since using glutamine regularly each day I couldn’t care less about carbohydrate treats.
8. Sleep more! A sleep debt disrupts your circadian rhythms, which can in turn put you on an insulin-cortisol seesaw whereby you constantly crave carbohydrates. It’s a vicious circle, because a lack of sleep also inhibits growth hormone production, which is crucial to building lean muscle and burning body fat. If you feel you’re doing everything right and yet still crave sweets all the time or struggle to burn fat, this may be the missing link.
9. Take fish oil. Fish oil is one of the smartest fats around, and in my opinion it is a ‘must’ supplement for everyone. Google fish oil (actually, omega 3) and any possible illness or ailment you can think of, and there will be a benefit. Myself and my clients notice that taking fish oil really helps to knock cravings on the head and keeps us fuller for longer. I’d suggest using one of these ones.
10. Get your head in the right place. There’s no way you’re ever going to jump off the carb rollercoaster if you’re not strongly motivated to do so, and if you don’t believe you should or you can. Mindset is in some ways even more important than knowing what to do nutritionally. As Tony Robbins would say (I love Tony Robbins!) make it a must.
What would you add to this list? What has or hasn’t worked for you? Please share below!
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