Cutting out carbs is a trend these days. People are starting to question the necessity for carbohydrates in their diet, claiming they add weight or decrease energy. But in an effort to curb the carbs, you also walk a fine line of leaving out some valuable nutrients..
So let’s talk about carbs!
I don’t think anything is more debated in the nutrition world at the moment than carbs. We hear about good carbs and bad carbs, processed carbs and natural carbs. We hear success stories from Paleo followers, and then equal success from avid whole grain eaters. It can be confusing, so let me break it down.
Good carbs = Fruit, Vegetables and Whole Grains
Bad Carbs = Processed snacks, processed breads, cakes, cookies, etc.
Even within this breakdown, some still shun whole grains and starchy vegetables like potatoes, claiming to feel better with none at all, while others criticize that trend, saying grains are necessary for their fiber and B vitamins. Others still say glutinous grains are the problem and non-glutinous like quinoa, millet, and rice are okay. So how do you know?
As with any food, you have to find what works for you!
But one thing that is universally agreed upon is that the bad carbs need to go! When I run into carb cravers, they are often yearning for pretzels, breads, and sweets. Processed carbs don’t serve our bodies in any way beyond the taste buds. They also contribute to inflammation, which is the underlying cause of most chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. If you are suffering from an autoimmune disorder, removing processed carbs will also help you find relief. I’ve created for you this visual of my Top 5 Carb Craving Curbers! Share it on Facebook or Twitter or just keep it to yourself 😉
However, in eliminating carbs you must look at adequate fat , protein and nutrient intake. If you are craving processed carbs, chances are you are not adequately nourished and your body is screaming for real food. By incorporating more whole foods into your diet, and adding in enough good fat from avocado, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, pastured or grass-fed meats, you can help balance your blood sugar levels, (that cheap carbs disturbed), and reclaim your energy. (Download my free guide on Reclaim Your Energy here).
The first step in curbing any craving is to find out what you are craving. Then write it down and start to note any patterns that may occur. With each craving, ask yourself why you think you have this craving. Are you bored? Are you missing something in your life? Are you overwhelmed? Emotions contribute greatly to cravings, as much as, if not more than, nutritional deficiencies.
Once you figure out the what, when and why, then you can work to answer your body’s call, and make the right choice. Those chocolate chip cookies may look appealing, but they are not going to give you the energy you are looking for during the 3pm slump. Instead, choose a piece of fruit and some nuts. And for lunch, while that burger and fries smell amazing, they will probably contribute to a crash later on, so opting for grilled chicken salad or a grain bowl with salmon may sustain you longer and give you more stable energy.
You are the expert on your body. Carb or no carb – when you eat quality, whole foods you will start to feel better.
To find out more about cravings with these resources:
How to Manage Your Sugar Cravings