Information and support for low carb and gluten free eating.

Carbohydrate Addiction

Can't resist cookies? Bothered by bagels? Plagued by pasta? Fixated on flour? We know how you feel! Read on...
Michael's picture

Mood, Food, and Cravings

Found a couple of interesting things today - possibly related to chronic tryptophan deficiency.

Chronic Tryptophan Deficiency and Carbohydrate Cravings

Brain serotonin (5-HT) levels may interact with use or intake of alcohol, morphine, amphetamine, and cocaine [37,50,57]. It has also been argued that craving for carbohydrates may be influenced by levels of brain serotonin. The major hypothesis of this type is that ingestion of carbohydrate (in the absence of protein) increases the availability of the serotonin precursor, tryptophan, thereby raising the level of brain serotonin. In view of the role of low levels of 5-HT in depression, the increase in levels caused by carbohydrate ingestion is particularly reinforcing to depressed individuals and this leads to self-medication with, or craving for, carbohydrates.
Source

Chocolate cravings

kathy's picture

My Journey Back to Slim Day 3

No question about it. This is the right program for me. Today I didn't take my usual "cat nap" after a heavy load of carbs for lunch. In fact, I didn't even have lunch at all. Had planned to do a snack, but got busy and didn't. Usually I feel starved after a gym workout, but today I had breakfast about 10:15 and worked out at 12:00. Waited till 6:30 to eat with my DH. The scales are slowly shifting downward and my usually too-tight-jeans were almost comfortable today.

Pre-breakfast: coffee w/heavy cream

Breakfast: 2-egg omelet with green onion , mushrooms, sausage, cheese and
peppers

RM Dinner: salad, lamb steak, beets and beet greens, zuchinni with swiss
cheese, fruit salad. oreo cookies

Exercise: Regular gym work-out. Added some reps. Did balance exercise.
Otherwise same as Monday.

kathy's picture

My Journey Back to Slim Day 3

No question about it. This is the right program for me. Today I didn't take my usual "cat nap" after a heavy load of carbs for lunch. In fact, I didn't even have lunch at all. Had planned to do a snack, but got busy and didn't. Usually I feel starved after a gym workout, but today I had breakfast about 10:15 and worked out at 12:00. Waited till 6:30 to eat with my DH. The scales are slowly shifting downward and my usually too-tight-jeans were almost comfortable today.

Pre-breakfast: coffee w/heavy cream

Breakfast: 2-egg omelet with green onion , mushrooms, sausage, cheese and
peppers

RM Dinner: salad, lamb steak, beets and beet greens, zuchinni with swiss
cheese, fruit salad. oreo cookies

Exercise: Regular gym work-out. Added some reps. Did balance exercise.
Otherwise same as Monday.

kathy's picture

My Journey Back to Slim

Breakfast: Sausage Patty
1 egg scrambled with mushroom, pepper and onion
1 coffee w/heavy cream

Comment: Couldn't finish sausage. Feel good, full.

Excercise: Gym work out.
20 minutes elyptical machine on level 3
excercise machines
5 minutes Stair climbing machine

No Lunch

RM Dinner Large garden salad. Lots of tomato, half avocado, boiled egg, cheese
Sour cream/pork rinds
Blackberry pie filling w/yogurt

Comment: Usually cranky and headachy when starting a diet. Not
today. Felt good all day.

2/23/12 Daily Log

I am starting at 237.2. I have 2 eggs with an ounce a cheese for my CM. I will be traveling to a funeral today, so, will eat RM on the road.

LowCarbForLife's picture

Grain Free for 30 Days!

I have been following the Carbohydrate Addict's LifeSpan Program for the last three years and I have lost around 90 lbs. I feel as if I am in complete control over my food choices so I am at the point where I am curious to see how some of the foods that I choose to eat may be affecting me.

I just celebrated my 52nd birthday and I will admit that when I began this program, menopause had already become a part of my life. My hot flashes are getting worse and since the doctor confirmed last year that I am at the end of menopause, I am wondering if it is something that I am eating. I stopped drinking coffee after drinking it for over thirty years and I have been avoiding tea, blaming the caffeine in both of them for my flashes. I have been taking Estroven hoping to alleviate the severity of my problem, but they don't seem to be helping.

My husband and I were discussing my weight loss, or more precisely, my progress chart. The fact is that I have been losing weight at a nice, steady, pace, keeping my weight under the trend line, and since I deliberately began eating more grains, I have noticed that I have been hovering above the line instead of under. Since I believe that grains may have an effect on my diet and my hot flashes, I am going to be eliminating them for awhile.

On June 11, 2011, my weigh in was 146-1/2 lbs., and it was the first day that I eliminated grains from my diet. My plan is to avoid them for 30 days and see how it will affect me. I am so happy that I have never had a carbohydrate addiction to grain based carbohydrates because eliminating them will not be a problem for me. I am looking forward to my experiment and will continue to weigh myself daily.

Michael's picture

How "Heart-Healthy Whole Grains Make Us Fat" (gnolls.org)

Fascinating study results involving obese teenage boys. Feed them three different breakfasts, with identical caloric value, but composed of different food types (low, medium, and high Glycemic Index foods). Monitor blood chemistry and subjective hunger perception. Feed them the same meal for lunch. Let them eat anything they want after lunch. Measure how often and how much they ate. Monitor total caloric intake.

These results speak for themselves:

“Voluntary energy intake after the high-GI meal (5.8 megajoule [mJ]) was 53% greater than after the medium-GI meal (3.8 mJ), and 81% greater than after the low-GI meal (3.2 mJ).”
[...]
“In addition, mean time to the first meal request after lunch (2.6, 3.2, and 3.9 hours for the high-, medium-, and low-GI meals, respectively) differed between test meal groups (high GI vs low GI; P = .01; high GI vs medium GI, not significant).”

That’s not a misprint. People consumed 81% more calories during the five hours after eating instant oatmeal than after eating the same number of calories as an omelet and fruit—and 19% more calories after eating steel-cut oatmeal than after eating an omelet and fruit. (Note that the hunger curve for both kinds of oatmeal was rising precipitously at 5 hours, whereas the omelet + fruit curve flattened out. Do you ever have to work late? Is dinner always five hours after lunch?) Furthermore, the omelet-eaters took 50% longer to request any food at all.

Source: How “Heart-Healthy Whole Grains” Make Us Fat

So, according to the study, the modern "heart-healthy" oatmeal breakfasts that we keep hearing about, can make us hungrier, want to eat more often, and consume almost twice as many calories following the meal when compared to the shunned egg omelet.

Go read the article (and the original study, if you have time). Click here to continue reading, or leave a comment »

Michael's picture

Commercially prepared ranch dressings and hidden carbs

Teri and I had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant the other night, and she ordered a chicken salad with Ranch dressing, which we shared.

Teri used only a small amount of the Ranch dressing on the salad, but I noticed it had a detectable sweetness to it. Then I remembered that most Ranch dressings have added sugar as one of the ingredients.

It's funny, but now that we've switched from prepared mayonnaise and salad dressings to homemade, we can now taste the added sugar in products we once consumed on a regular basis–products that we'd never before perceived as having a sweet taste!

The moral of the story: read your ingredients lists, folks!

Too many prepared foods have added sugar and even though the caloric load of the sugar may be low in the individual servings, the cumulative effect can have a negative impact on your weight loss and health goals.

Another interesting point: You don't realize how we've grown accustomed to the added sugars in our daily diet, until you start to eliminate them.

Michael's picture

Gary Taubes on low carb vs. low fat diets

Here's an interesting article about Gary Taubes on SFGate.com (home of the S.F. Chronicle). It is a pretty good overview of the "low fat" vs. "low carb" camps.

Gary Taubes on "Why We Get Fat"

The diet Taubes recommends is eerily similar to the carbohydrate addict's diet Teri follows.

Michael's picture

Are carbs more addictive than cocaine?

Paul John Scott, in the March 2011 issue of Details, reports on what may be America's worst drug addiction: carbs.

Your body is virtually defenseless against a dependency on carbohydrates—the substances that really make you fat—and it's time for an intervention.

[snip] But this addiction is not usually apparent to the casual observer. It has no use for the drama and the carnage you associate with cocaine and alcohol. It's slower to show its hand, more socially acceptable—and way more insidious.

I'm in a Panera Bread outlet. The company is on Fortune's 2010 list of the 100 Fastest Growing Companies and earned more than $1.3 billion in 2009, mainly from selling flour and sugar by the railcar. Last year, Zagat named it the most popular large chain in the United States and ranked it second in the Healthy Options category. The company responded by touting its "wholesome" food. Sure, Panera sells a few salads. But why do the scones, pastries, baguettes, and bear claws get all the good lighting? Why are the grab-and-go packs of cookies and brownies next to the register? What need is fulfilled by serving soup bowls made of bread, with a mound of bread for dipping, and then offering more bread on the side? How come it's noon and the couple behind me are eating bagels while the guy to my right is sawing into a cinnamon roll with a fork and a knife like it's a steak?

Source: Are Carbs More Addictive Than Cocaine?

(Via: Twitter @rnikoley) Click here to continue reading, or leave a comment »

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