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Kkirwan

Addicted to carbs - How do I quit?

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Kkirwan

I have just realized (or finally admitted to myself) that I'm addicted to carbs. I don't know how to quit them without freaking out or turning into a raging witch. I'm actually scared to quit. I quit smoking 9 years ago but I had the gum to help me. As far as I can tell, there's nothing to help with carbs. What do I do?

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janice21475

K,

 

There are things to help - nuts, cream cheese, celery packed with peanut butter or cream cheese and the biggest thing KNOWLEDGE. Or, you could get lucky like me and have a bad tooth and not enough money to get it pulled. If I avoid sweets it is tolerable. One night of intolerable made a believer of me.

 

Seriously, baby steps, patience and practice. Read this forum daily to keep your incentive up and join our Morning Reading thread. http://www.diabetesforums.com/forum/monitoring/60667-morning-wake-up-readings-135.html Having to post your morning readings gives incentive to stay off the carbs. You will find plenty of support on this forum.

 

Oh, don't expect to do it in one day. Patience and practice with a touch of stubborn thrown in for good measure.

 

Regards,

Janice

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Lyla

I could have written your thread today as I'm having a hard time jumping into low carb. But, I used to, diet to lose weight, using low carb.

 

The way I used to start low carbing was to just change to low carb for my night time snack first. After about 3 or 4 days of low carbing nite-time snack I stop craving goodies late at night. I chose the late eating period first because I have less ability to eat right when I'm tired.

 

Then pick another meal to low carb. Keep doing this until you're eating all low carb. This usually works for me, and it might for you.

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Vilya

If anybody was ever addicted to carbs, it was me. Prior to my diagnosis, I ate almost nothing BUT carbs. I craved them like any other junkie. I was always hungry and couldn't get enough.

 

When I was diagnosed, I was scared straight - terrified that any carb I put into my body would immediately kill me. So I quit cold turkey and started limiting my carbs to 20 a day, mostly from veggies. I also started eating a good amount of natural fats, after reading about the low carb, high fat way of life here and on other boards.

 

You know what? The carb cravings disappeared entirely. I couldn't believe it. Once that junk was out of my body and I was eating stuff my body actually needed, I didn't want the carbs anymore. I was full all the time, truly full, not that fake fullness you get from carb binges. My blood sugar dropped like a rock. I started sleeping through the night. I didn't realize how bad I had felt for years until I didn't feel that way anymore. I'm still pretty stunned, and it's been 4 months!

 

I do still get cravings from time to time, but it's SO much easier to say no to them now. If anyone had told me I would be off the carbs and feeling just fine about it, I would have laughed in their face. But it's true, I'm off them and doing better than I ever have. You can do it, too, I promise.

 

What is your blood sugar like at the moment? Is that an incentive for you at all? What about exercise?

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Subby

I don't know how low carb you are aiming for, but what I found when just going to a more moderate amount of carbs, is that there is a definite threshold with carbs and addiction. Some carbs are wildly addictive, some are somewhat addictive, and some not really. I believe these are variable enough to class it as a personal equation you need to sort out for yourself. Throw into that equation, the amount you are eating of each addictive carb. You might tolerate x amount, you may not tolerate a little more without setting off cravings.

 

So what I found was that identifying the worst of the carbs was the first step, and that had to be a kind of boot-camp mentality to break the back of the addiction. It was a hard few days because there was an at least 24 hour addictive cycle to break. (About on par with quitting smoking for me: I quit cold turkey, which helped prepare me because I knew I could quit hard to quit things. In the end I think you quit yourself too, but it sounds like you think the gum did it). Stepping down by using less addictive carbs, was useful. For example, to stop eating so much bread, I found some amounts of fruits stopped me going mad, and I found those fruits were not as addictive. After a few days I found that I didn't need to eat 3 or 4 slices of toast, as long as I stuck to no breads/certain breads/only a certain amount.

 

Then I think the most important thing was finding low or low-er carb replacements for my meal staples, and making sure I had access to them. Carbs are cheap, easy, and everywhere. If you want to change your relationship to carbs, you'll probably have to change your relationship to them in those ways. Make lower carb options accessible, easy, and everywhere for yourself. You might find that it does cost a bit more, though.

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Kkirwan
If anybody was ever addicted to carbs, it was me. Prior to my diagnosis, I ate almost nothing BUT carbs. I craved them like any other junkie. I was always hungry and couldn't get enough.

 

When I was diagnosed, I was scared straight - terrified that any carb I put into my body would immediately kill me. So I quit cold turkey and started limiting my carbs to 20 a day, mostly from veggies. I also started eating a good amount of natural fats, after reading about the low carb, high fat way of life here and on other boards.

 

You know what? The carb cravings disappeared entirely. I couldn't believe it. Once that junk was out of my body and I was eating stuff my body actually needed, I didn't want the carbs anymore. I was full all the time, truly full, not that fake fullness you get from carb binges. My blood sugar dropped like a rock. I started sleeping through the night. I didn't realize how bad I had felt for years until I didn't feel that way anymore. I'm still pretty stunned, and it's been 4 months!

 

I do still get cravings from time to time, but it's SO much easier to say no to them now. If anyone had told me I would be off the carbs and feeling just fine about it, I would have laughed in their face. But it's true, I'm off them and doing better than I ever have. You can do it, too, I promise.

 

What is your blood sugar like at the moment? Is that an incentive for you at all? What about exercise?

 

I'm so concerned about the emotional impact. I have depression and anxiety - controlled with meds - but it's iffy sometimes. I've warned my boss that I might be a mess for a while.

 

I used to go to the gym 6 days a week. Fell out of that habit, but with the realization of addiction I'm going to go back to that schedule.

 

10/10/11

FBS 128

A1c 6.5

Metformin 1500 mg

 

I guess that's not too too terrible (?). It needs to be better but I'm more concerned with the addiction and future binges or complete reversal of behavior. My next therapy session can't come too soon ;)

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A1C

I never knew there was such a thing as carb addiction. I am not on a low carb diet, but I decided to give it a try briefly. I ate turkey and some dark leafy green vegetables. I do not recall craving carbs. Then again my experiment did not last that long because it (turkey) was to expense and I gained 15lbs.

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Moonpie

I understand, when my Dr told me I had D & to lay off the carbs I was devastated. I agree, it is harder than quitting smoking, which I did over 20 years ago. I cut down gradually, for dinners, in the begining days, I would have a baby red potato, & for breakfast I'd make the one minute muffins, & for lunch whatever was around. I also used low carb tortillas ( half at a time) I gradually switched to a protein breakfast ( eggs & bacon or crust less quiches. etc) & no bread substitutes. And for dinner, I now eat 2 or 3 different types of veg with my protein. I am now used to it. Some people do better going cold turkey but for me, I had to wean myslef off of them, gradually. The flax breads were a lifesaver. Only you, know which method will work best for you. Seeing my bg numbers improve, was a major motivator me for me.

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jwags

I am also a former carb addict or should say I am a reformed carb addict. I finally learned I had to basically go cold turkey. If I have one chip I want the whole bag. The only way to get them to go away is to purge your house of any tempting carbs. Now, this may be hard to other family members. Replace those carbs with low carb snacks. The things that keep me sane are cream cheese, hard boiled eggs, organic butter, cheese, pepperoni. I also have learned how to bake low carb. Go out and buy some Almond Flour or Almond Meal, Ground Flaxseed, Coconut Flour and some alternative sweetners like Erythitol, Splenda and Stevia. With those ingredients you can make cookies, muffins, waffles, pancakes and all sorts of goodies. Check out the recipe forum for great ideas.

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aggie168
I have just realized (or finally admitted to myself) that I'm addicted to carbs.

I don't know how to quit them without freaking out or turning into a raging witch. I'm actually scared to quit.

 

The better way to phrase it is how to "lower your carbs intake or replace it with better carbs" to help your body. You may not have to totally eliminate it. What I am trying to say is based off your condition and your "desire", removing carbs may have negative impact. Physical or psychological. Remember, it must be something you can sustain. Otherwise, it will fail. So the first step is to reduce it. Then identify what is good for your and what is bad for your. Change them around. Do it slowly is the key.

 

Remember, diabetes is forever. Best wishes. :)

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volleyball

It is not the same addiction as say nicotine or drugs but I could see how people "think" they are addicted. Your body had gotten somewhat use to the junk and it wonders when it is not there. I say give it carbs, just not too many and make it whole grain.

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Subby

Well I've found some carbs - especially refined and starchy, physically addictive in that my body craves it some time after eating it. For me it's usually a 24 hour cycle and then it fades. The worst example for me is white chocolate (which can barely be called chocolate anyway). The physical urge I get the next day at about the same time is extreme. Breads also tend to do similar to me and are extremely hard to resist. I don't mind bread all that much, but I don't find it psychologically that exciting. It just causes cravings for me. I believe this is related to the spike that will often come along with such carbs (for me with my insulin profile), because it feels almost exactly like when I get higher, say above 11 mmol/l or 200 mg/dl. Then I get carb cravings unbidden into my mind whether I ate some a minute ago or a week ago, in fact usually I know I'm going high before my meter such unbidden cravings can be so strong.

 

I have no doubt that this is driven by physiological phenomenon, due to the way my system (and many systems) responds to an influx of glucose and the corresponding adrenalin-like BG spike. I also suspect that sugar + fat combos create very strong physical responses for people, hence it is a magic compulsive junk food recipe. Add in salt and I think you've got a complex whammy of foods the body can find very close to a drug.

 

At the same time virtually all addictions or compulsive urges over time have or develop a psychological component, whether it is alcohol, speed or paddle pops, so I don't think it is correct to suggest that the mental is generally not involved. Of course some people can talk themselves into cravings or addictions that are not occurring physically. But I think I think there is relatively safe ground to explain that foods can and do have an addictive or compelling property.

 

Am I on some anti carb rant? Eck no. I think different people find different levels of how they react to carbs and indeed all foods. But if you have truly never had a physical craving for a second chocolate bar or slice of toast sometime after eating a first, doesn't mean other people don't!

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MsTCB
It is not the same addiction as say nicotine or drugs but I could see how people "think" they are addicted. Your body had gotten somewhat use to the junk and it wonders when it is not there. I say give it carbs, just not too many and make it whole grain.

 

I would have to disagree. At least for me, the addiction isn't a mental thing ("think"), it is a very real physical addiction. For as long as I can remember, every time I would eat something high in sugary carbs, I felt an immediate "rush" - a bodily sensation of being "high." I can feel it pulsing through my veins. It is not, as Dr. Phil says, "a party in your mouth." For me the taste isn't really the addictive part. It is the physical "high" I get.

 

This over-reaction to sugar is something I vividly recall even from very early childhood. Through the years I've asked other people if they get this same reaction, and no one that I personally know has the reaction. It's one reason why I believe that I was "born" Diabetic. I believe my body has always over reacted to sugary carbs.

 

Anyway, those days are GONE now, and that's fine with me. Over the years I had gradually given up bread, pasta, etc. I know that the desire will always be there, so I'm careful NOT to take even one bite of a "trigger" food. I've found substitutes that I enjoy eating and now don't even think about those sugary carbs any more.

Especially when I know how much destruction they cause to my body. It's just not worth it. I want to this body to last a while longer. :)

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jwags
It is not the same addiction as say nicotine or drugs but I could see how people "think" they are addicted. Your body had gotten somewhat use to the junk and it wonders when it is not there. I say give it carbs, just not too many and make it whole grain.

 

I also think there is a chemical addiction comparable to drug addiction or alcoholism. When you eat carbs, your body responds with the production of insulin. Although insulin is needed to live the problem comes when your body produces way too much insulin. This response leads to the production of dopamine in the brain. This is a feel good hormone. I know lots of people who can eat a small carb serving and be satisfied, but not me. When I eat carbs my cravings just intensify. Even though I am full I still want more and more. I was a vegetarian before diabetes and never ate fat, cheese, eggs or meat. So I relied on carbs for my meals. I ate whole grain carbs like bread, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and fruit. Yes, eating very helathy complex carbs intensified my carb cravings and I eventually became diabetic from it. So I really think you need to be award of "carb addiction", it is real. By eating an extrememly low carb diet I have silenced the carb addiction. But all it takes is slipping off that wagon for one meal and the carb addiction comes back with a vengence.

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kingd

I have the same problem with carbs,mostly chocolate. The stuff is like crack to me,one little piece and I crave more (a lot more).

So for me I try to avoid chocolate at all costs.

Now for the other carbs(bread,etc) I forced myself to eat green veggies or a salad with a tiny bit of dressing and it helped a lot ,and I'm talking about

huge plates of it.

 

I try to keep sweets out of the house to avoid temptation also. Exercise for me has helped curb my cravings for some reason.

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jwags
I have the same problem with carbs,mostly chocolate. The stuff is like crack to me,one little piece and I crave more (a lot more).

So for me I try to avoid chocolate at all costs.

Now for the other carbs(bread,etc) I forced myself to eat green veggies or a salad with a tiny bit of dressing and it helped a lot ,and I'm talking about

huge plates of it.

 

I try to keep sweets out of the house to avoid temptation also. Exercise for me has helped curb my cravings for some reason.

 

 

Here is a solution to your chocolate problem. Melt about 1/3 cup of coconut oil in a glass cup in the microwave. Add some unsweet chocolate or cocoa, peanut butter, sweetner, and nuts. Stir until melted and pour into a plastic square container and pop in freezer. When frozen cut into pieces. I also will add healthy whole flaxseeds and chia seeds to this. This chocolate is not addictive and actually sends my bgs down, not up. You can also add heavy cream to it to make it more like milk chocolate.

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janice21475

Thanks for the directions, jwags,

 

Sounds simple enough for me to handle. I may try it since I have a package of unsweetened Chocolate laying the the freezer. I used it only once - it was such a drag to prepare and tasted awful. (Could have been my fault, who knows??)

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Subby

That sounds a lot like MCS's peanut butter fudge recipe, I use it regularly. Getting the sweetener right is key. I find truvia works pretty well, in fact I find it best if I put in a couple of different sweeteners.

 

You might want to make smaller amounts until you get a taste you like! Such as, a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and pb and try different ratios of chocolate/cocoa and sweetener.

 

And for anyone who wants their carbs, don't feel left out... just sub in sugar (caster sugar would work well) instead of sweetener. ;)

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IrinaHarr

I love bread, its the hardest for me to give up. FBG 139 today, toast has to go.. "Oh, no! Not the toast - not my sweet golden crispy toast!" - cried the princess. :)

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jwags

I find going to Gluten Free Sites works well for finding good bread recipes. My favorite are

 

Healthy Gluten Free Recipes | Elana's Pantry

 

Comfy Belly

 

 

I just made some almond meal pancakes from Elanas Pantry for brunch. I just swapped out the honey and put in a couple of tablespoons of Erythitol. I even added some blueberries and nuts. They have some good bread recipes I want to try.

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kingd
Here is a solution to your chocolate problem. Melt about 1/3 cup of coconut oil in a glass cup in the microwave. Add some unsweet chocolate or cocoa, peanut butter, sweetner, and nuts. Stir until melted and pour into a plastic square container and pop in freezer. When frozen cut into pieces. I also will add healthy whole flaxseeds and chia seeds to this. This chocolate is not addictive and actually sends my bgs down, not up. You can also add heavy cream to it to make it more like milk chocolate.

 

Now that sounds good to me,gonna try it.:)

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Sandra94103
I have just realized (or finally admitted to myself) that I'm addicted to carbs. I don't know how to quit them without freaking out or turning into a raging witch. I'm actually scared to quit. I quit smoking 9 years ago but I had the gum to help me. As far as I can tell, there's nothing to help with carbs. What do I do?

 

I'm going through the same thing. I am very addicted to carbs and before I joined this forum was eating a crazy high amount- probably well over 300 a day. Started reading all of the low carb posts and after seeing how my sugars responded to lowering my daily amounts, I decided I do want to eat low carb. I'm still struggling with cravings but noticed they have decreased substantially. My goal is to eat around 50-60 carbs a day but I'm not always successful with that and find that I actually eat around 80 carbs a lot of days. I try to get most of my carbs from vegetables first though I've found that low carb tortillas and crackers help satisfy carb cravings. Also turned to making desserts from small amounts of fruit and cream. Sometimes I add a little splenda or chocolate shavings.

 

Tracking and writing down everything you eat is essential. I've been at it a few weeks and surprise myself with the amount of carbs I take in. My mind is wonderful at fooling me. There are days I could have sworn were low carb days but really weren't! If I don't measure and record, the daily intake creeps up and my food choices aren't the best.

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jwags

I think one of the tricks to banishing carb cravings is upping the fat at meals. The fat will keep you full in between meals. Also in the beginning I would carry a small bag of almonds everywhere I go to munch on. Also I found a few crackers that satisfy my carb craving- WASA Sourdough Rye crackers and GG Bran Crispbreads. They are both recomended by Dr Bernstein in his book. I find if I add a little cream cheese, hummus or natural peanut or almond butter it really solves the carb problem.

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