When people think of the word addiction, they typically associate it with drugs or alcohol. While these types of addictions are certainly serious, they are far from the only addictions. Food addiction is a real problem for many, especially those looking to loose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Foods with a higher glycemic load (caused by excess refined carbohydrates) have been shown in studies to be addictive. Over time, a diet plentiful in refined carbohydrates can cause a person to become addicted and suffer from withdrawal if she removes these food from her diet. This can make carbohydrate addiction treatment seem difficult, but recovery is definitely possible.
What Exactly is Carbohydrate Addiction?
Before we can begin discussing any carbohydrate addiction treatment, we need to know how and why addiction occurs in the first place. Unlike alcohol and most drugs, food is a physical necessity. Because of this, and the overabundance of processed foods in the modern diet, you are literally surrounded by high-carb foods on a daily basis. The worst part? Convenience. A candy bar, sugar filled coffee, or fast food is a much easier to fit into your day than finding a healthy option on the go. However, it doesn't end here. Not only do they offer short-term convenience for your schedule, but your body as well. At first glance, refined carbohydrates seem like a great energy source. High-carb foods quickly raise your blood sugar, which then causes the body to raise insulin levels in order to convert your food into energy. In addition, carbohydrates also cause neurons in the brain to release serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is involved in reducing stress and anxiety, as well as increasing your overall sense of well-being, while dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for reward motivation. This combination of energy and stress release are what make you feel so much better after eating that guilty pleasure comfort food, and an obstacle to overcome in carbohydrate addiction treatment.
Unfortunately both the benefits to your mood and your body are short lived. Insulin will cause your blood sugar to crash once it uses up all the carbohydrates you just consumed. This in turn causes you to feel tired, hungry, anxious, and even depressed; some of the very things the rise in your serotonin and dopamine levels just took care of. In response, many people reach for another sugary snack or comfort food to feel better or for the energy to just get through the rest of the day. Put simply, you begin to need a quick-fix for your quick-fix, which over time can turn into a dependency. This can negatively affect mental and physical health to the point of requiring carbohydrate addiction treatment. Fortunately, with the right carbohydrate addiction treatment plan, you can stop this cycle before it gets worse.
Carbohydrate Addiction Treatment
Between work, friends, and family it's easy to depend on high-carb foods for the energy to get through the day. If you've developed a dependency on these foods, it makes dieting and carbohydrate addiction treatment much harder than it needs to be. Withdrawal makes food cravings all that more difficult to ignore, and makes carbohydrate addiction treatment seem impossible as the release of neurotransmitters can easily wash away the short-term guilt of that impulsive bowl of ice cream. For those that have fallen into this cycle, don't worry. For most people carbohydrate addiction treatment is often very effective, making it easy to get your healthy lifestyle back on track.
While your first instinct may be to go cold turkey and severely restrict your carbohydrate intake, this might not be the best approach. For most, carbohydrate addiction treatment is best accomplished by:
Eating plenty of protein to keep yourself feeling full longer
Not skipping breakfast to avoid impulsive eating later in the day
Not being afraid of eating healthy fats
Getting plenty of rest and exercise
Eating 4 to 5 small meals a day rather than 1 or 2 large ones
In most cases, following these steps can help you break your dependency on refined carbohydrates. However, in some more severe cases a balanced diet and lifestyle may not be sufficient. If your addiction is a part of a larger problems such as an eating disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy and medication may be needed as part of your carbohydrate addiction treatment.
Taking the Health Test
If you're serious about making your carbohydrate addiction treatment successful and improving your overall health, we can help. At WizeLife we are committed to giving you the power to control your health by giving you the knowledge you need to live your best.
Get started today by taking our health test to assess your health risks, create personalized goals, and start on the road to controlling your carbohydrate addiction treatment and your overall health.