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Banishing Carb Cravings?

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Old 10-25-2009, 08:58 AM   #1
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Default Banishing Carb Cravings?

I worry I'll be in trouble soon. As background, I get seasonal affective disorder some years in the winter. In addition to moodiness, etc, I get horrendous carb cravings. It doesnt matter if I've already eaten. Or if I've already had carbs. It's a driving force.

I was hoping to avoid it this year, but I worry. Felt like that tonight. Ate 3 bagels, a pint of ice cream (just plain chocolate, so it was "only" 560 calories total), 4 cookies and a chocolate raspberry yogurt. It's not exactly the same as a straight out binge for me...it is, but it isn't. I don't know how to explain it. It has the same net effect though, so it might as well count as one.

I still wasn't much over my calories for the day according to my calorie tracker (and I do try to be as close as I can manage, no fudging), so it's not the end of the world. I try to drink water each time in hopes of feeling full. But I can't do this every day.

How do you banish the carb cravings? I want this to be the winter where I finally keep losing weight, not packing it back on. Danke.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:12 AM   #2
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I'm sorry to tell you that the only way to banish the cravings is not to give in to them. You simply have to avoid that first bite. Once you start, it is very hard to stop.

You will not die because you don't give in. A craving is just that--uncomfortable. It is not life-threatening.

Things that may help: Eat a protein snack, or eat foods that contain protein as well as carbs. For example, string cheese or cottage cheese (lowfat). Avoid carbohydrates that are refined--stick with whole grains. Cut out refined sugar completely. Measure the amounts of all carb foods you eat--for example, have only 1/2 cup of cooked rice, potatoes, oatmeal, or pasta per meal.

Good luck! You just have to tough this one out.

Jay
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:31 AM   #3
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Protein helps me...try to drop the sugar and white flour - and after a couple days - most of those cravings go away for me
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:35 AM   #4
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I agree with Jay. The only way to banish those cravings is to dry them up. DON"T GIVE INTO THEM!! Allow your wants and desires for them to atrophy. By continuing to eat those carbs, you're keeping the wants alive. You need to kill them.

Cravings are strong, but you ARE stronger, make no mistake about it.

I thought I could never ever live without those carb-y foods, turns out I could barely live with them. Banning them had miraculous affects on me. I'm sure they will for you too. Once you get past those difficult first couple of weeks, they will no longer call out to you and you will wonder why the heck you didn't do it earlier, I'm certain of it.

Get them out of your home. Make them definite no's. Put them on your banned list. ADD in wholesome foods - lots of voluminous veggies, fruits, low fat proteins. Map out your food schedule in advance. Stick to it like glue. Give yourself that gift. You don't have to let food have power over you. Take the control back. You can do this. You absolutely, positively can. And you should. Why wouldn't you? Transform your life. Watch, you'll see.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibouchina View Post
How do you banish the carb cravings? I want this to be the winter where I finally keep losing weight, not packing it back on. Danke.
I think that you can eventually stop giving in to them by systematically modifying your behavior. You need to build confidence in your ability to resist and to build a technique which will lead you to complete capability to resist.

I'd recommend the following steps:

1. Recognize that you're having a craving and are not hungry.
2. Write down how you feel and rate your craving on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being irresistible and 1 being vague. Write down the circumstances that surround the craving (cold weather, stress, etc.).
3. After this reflection, look at the clock. Tell yourself that you will not act on the craving for 15 minutes.
4. During that 15 minutes, create a planned response to the craving. Choose your "poison", as it were. Tell yourself that you can have x amount of this in 15 minutes to deal with your craving based on the number of calories you'd like to devote to the craving. Tell yourself that it is okay to have x amount.
5. After 15 minutes, decide if you can wait another 15 minutes or if your frustration will be too great. Only wait if you can do so calmly and with a sense that you're in charge of your choice. If you're feeling tense, upset and deprived, just eat your planned carbohydrate portion and don't beat yourself up about it. Make sure when you eat it that you eat it slowly, enjoy the taste and texture of every bite. Fully immerse yourself in the experience of eating it so you can extract the maximum satisfaction from what you're eating.

Chances are that you may find initially that you'll want even more, but you now start again on making yourself wait. This time, extend the time to 20 minutes. Rinse and repeat.

The point of this is not to stop your carbohydrate cravings cold, but rather to start to build a process of where you're taking control without feeling bad about it. I'd recommend extending the time you wait as you extend the process and analyzing how intense the craving is through time. Is it always a "10" or does it drop over time? At what point is it resistible (when it hits 5, 6, 7?)?

I've found that resisting food is easier if there is an end in sight and a sense that you can choose to have something if you want it. For me, this has always been a matter of telling myself that I can have something tomorrow if I really still want it. And if I really still want it tomorrow, I have it, but I'm eating it as part of a plan rather than by acting on an uncontrollable compulsion. The process I outline above is a plan for building up to putting it off until tomorrow (which I consider a fairly advanced state of resistance to cravings).

Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:53 AM   #6
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You start your post out by saying you are affected by S.A.D. Perhaps you can curb the cravings by controlling the winter blues.
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:04 AM   #7
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Well said everyone! Carbs perpetuate carbs. I think it is equally important to deal with S.A.D. Have you tried anything like light therapy or B12 supplements? I hear these can be very effective. Good Luck, I know you can do it!
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:26 AM   #8
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What types of foods are you eating normally? i don't think your problem is carbs but that you are eating highly refined carbs mixed with high fat. That is an addictive combination.

I agree, you have to avoid giving in.

Certain things are off limits for me including bagels because if I have one, I'll want another. Although I can have fruits, squash (my most recent indulgence), various veggies, beans, etc without the same feeling that things like bagels, cookies, ice cream, etc give me.
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:25 PM   #9
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@Tibouchina
I totally understand your carb cravings and the hole winter thing. Here's a quote that my mother helps me remember.

"NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS THIN FEELS"

Hope it helps!! Cheers to weight loss this winter. :smile:
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:50 PM   #10
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Sounds like you have already gotten great advice. Big huggles and hope you can find a way to beat them!
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:55 PM   #11
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Thanks. I weighed in this mornin' and I had actually lost weight, so that's good. I just need to follow all y'all's advice. Resist. Eat better. Not buy pints of ice cream even if they're on sale for 33 cents. Go sit out in the sun some more or use my light box.
It will all work out. I just have to think and resist. Danke.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:33 PM   #12
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omg! 33 cent pints of icecream? I paid $7.49 CDN funds for a pint of Ben & Jerry's the other night! Ouch!

I too am troubled by the winter blues. I am hoping with eating better overall and exercising on a regular basis this will help fight it.

We have to fight those cravings! We can do it! Stupid carbs
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:42 PM   #13
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I also find that when I crave carbs, sometimes eating a few walnuts helps. The good oil in them really satisfies me. (unlike peanuts which I can eat by the boatload)
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:05 PM   #14
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It was a pint from a local creamery that they sell at grocery stores here...I guess usually they're 1.70 but for some reason they were 33 cents. Only vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, but still....my frugality kicked in and went Wowsers! Ice cream for 33 cents!
At the same store, you can get a soft serve ice cream cone that is a foot tall (pretty much literally, it's called a Kong Cone) for 1.29. Arghhh. I haven't bought one of those, but even the one half that size, which I have, is huge.

It's too bad I don't like walnuts maybe almonds. Those still have good fats too.

Yes, hopefully exercise will help. I have a gym membership, a Wii with Wii Fit, and a PS2 with Dance Dance Revolution. Just finished Week 1 C25k. Hopefully keeping active will be good.
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:31 PM   #15
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How many grams of carb do you typically have per day? I find that if I honestly stay below 25, and none of those carbs from anything artificial, and no artificial sweeteners, I have no carb cravings at all after about 36 hours. Of course you have to white knuckle through those first 36 hours!! After a few days at <25, I can go back up to my normal carb count, which on a typical day is 25-30--but I'm a very very very low carb person.
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