The human body loves carbs. Our brains get a hit of dopamine, the pleasure hormone, whenever we consume them. The simpler the carbs and the greater numbers, the greater the hit. Studies have shown that sugar is like an addictive drug (some say it’s as addictive as cocaine).
Food makers are well aware of this, so they pack as many simple carbs into snack foods as possible. Even things marketed as healthy contain a staggering number of them.
The single most difficult problem that you will run into in your weight loss journey is food cravings. And 95% of the time, the cravings will be for carbs. (Have you ever seen anyone go on a chicken breast and butter binge?)
I guarantee that you will run into cravings when you start dieting.
To make your journey easier, I recommend that you stop eating all carbohydrates for a period of time to reset your brain.
It takes anywhere from 4 days to 3 weeks of limited carb consumption for cravings to stop. For me, I’ve found it’s never more than 5 days whenever I cycle diets.
Some people will have the willpower or genetics to quit carbs cold turkey. Most people can’t because of the way that they’ve eaten their entire lives. This shouldn’t discourage you. Cut down on carbs slowly if you have to.
Take your time and be patient with yourself. Sugar is a drug, after all.
Don’t let small relapses cause full-on regressions. Get up, dust yourself off, and try again. We’re only human, and we all mess up. You can still maintain your positive trend with a few bad days thrown in.
Fill your days with activities unrelated to food. Keep friends around to distract you or have them hold you accountable. Go to bed early if you need to.
One more tip. If you know that you’re going to relapse and there’s nothing you can do to stop it, eat fats or proteins until you’re satiated instead. Forget the calories. Breaking the carb addiction is more important for your long term success.
Once you’ve weened your brain off of carbs, your cravings will stop and your willpower will increase significantly. If you have stress eating and/or binge eating tendencies, they will go away too.
On top of that, you won’t feel hungry nearly as often.
Trust me, once your carb addition is gone, weight loss is a cakewalk. Take as much time as you need to break the addiction. Do whatever it takes.