Causes Of Cravings For Carbs: Natural Ways To Stop Carb Cravings

If you find yourself craving for carbs (chocolates, donuts, biscuits and cookies) frequently, it may be a reflection of your body’s requirement for a balance. Understanding when and why you crave for carbohydrates will help you deal with the cravings before they commence.

  • Serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain is linked to happiness and pleasing feelings.
    The body needs carbohydrates to synthesize serotonin. If you do not consume carbohydrates, your body fails to synthesize serotonin. A lack of serotonin afflicts your mood, making you exhausted and ill tempered. This is why you crave carbohydrates – your body sends messages to enhance your mood.
  • Carbohydrates are broken down in to glucose – the chief energy source for the cells. In case blood sugar levels fall drastically when you haven’t eaten well, you crave for carbs. Extreme hunger makes the body crave for foods that are sugary and starchy. These foods proffer you with instant energy.
  • Stress is by far the most vital cause. When you are stressed out, levels of cortisol shoot.
    Cortisol sets off the release of a neurotransmitter called neuropeptide Y. Neuropeptide Y is linked to increased cravings for carbohydrates to fuel your body’s energy levels.

Natural Ways To Stop Carbohydrate Cravings

  • A multi-disciplinary approach comprising of a healthy diet, regular exercise and necessary nutritional supplements will assist you in breaking the cycle of carbohydrate cravings.
  • First and foremost, make sure you are eating 60 grams of protein per day. Consume adequate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, with an emphasis on polyunsaturated, which will help you to feel satiated. Steer clear of trans fats. Low carb diet actually increases your craving for them; thus, make sure you are consuming the required amount. Consume complex carbohydrates, which prevent fluctuations in the blood sugar level and provide you with fiber.
  • 5-HTP is a nutritional supplement which is known to decrease carbohydrate cravings. An extract from the seeds of a legume called Griffonia simplicifolia, 5-HTP is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin. 5-HTP raises the release of serotonin and battles cravings.

Craving Carbs After Working Out

After strenuous exercise, you discover that you crave high carbohydrate foods after your workout. The body burns sugar for fuel during the exercise. How much fuel you burn depends up on the duration, intensity and frequency of the exercise. During the initial 15 minutes of the exercise, your body tends to pull glycogen from the blood and muscles. After 15 minutes, it depends up on liver glycogen stores. Experts say, exercise decreases sugar levels and glycogen stores. Consequently, carbohydrates are the sugar that your body requires after the workout.

Ideally, consume low-glycemic index foods, such as oatmeal, because these foods gradually increase your blood sugar and prevent weight gain by keeping you feeling full longer. Opt for those carbohydrate foods which will satiate the craving of sugar without giving you empty calories and fat. Select whole grain foods, they fill you up, reinstate glycogen stores and do not let you overeat.

Great options after your workout are – turkey on whole-wheat bread, hummus with carrots, quinoa salad, fish and salad, scrambled eggs and toast, apple with yogurt, brown rice with lean meat. Make sure you drink ample water. Water transports the nutrients from the meal to the muscles.

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