As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog regarding my Superbowl indulgences, it was rather disappointing as far as the anticipated excitement of eating foods I hadn’t had in 6 months. But, just as I knew would happen– and for what I had braced myself– I am re-addicted to carbs! And, just two days of indiscretion has resulted in me gaining 4.5 lbs, though we all know that’s not all fat, but mostly water from stored glycogen.
I woke “hungry” yesterday. I came home after playing golf about 3PM and was “hungry”. I quote “hungry” because it was really carb craving that made me feel hungry. Since the craving of carbohydrates is indistinguishable from truly being hungry– without additional information. I know I wasn’t truly hungry because I had eaten my normal breakfast of 550 calories, 64 grams of protein, and 64 grams of carbs. This lasts me until dinner, in normal times– not that I recommend skipping lunch; I would be better off dividing the breakfast into two meals, breakfast and lunch, but I don’t. So, by deduction, I wasn’t hungry but responding to rapidly falling blood sugar, which was rapidly falling because it was dramatically raised, because I wanted my Superbowl food fix. But, it felt just like I hadn’t eaten in a couple of days! So, what do I do? I open the refrigerator and bring out– you guessed it– leftover pizza, nachos, and brownies, reinforcing and perpetuating the re-addiction. But, I didn’t stop there. I wasn’t hungry for dinner, but ate a bit of salmon anyway. Later, while watching TV, I ate the entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, for which I had no room during Superbowl. This was another 1060 calories and 95 grams of carbs– the amount I usually eat in an entire day, from fiber-rich vegetables and fruit.
So, now what? I again woke hungry and am drinking my coffee as I write this. What is today going to be like, I wonder. Well, from experience, I pretty much know. I will soon feel hungry, and soon after, starved. I will eat my normal breakfast, which usually satisfies me completely, but I will still feel hungry after I eat. I will tough this out and not overeat. Today, tomorrow, and possibly even another day, I will feel abnormally hungry, so I know I must not use my appetite as my guide to eating, but to carefully eat prudently and tough out the hungry feeling which is carbohydrate withdrawal. I brought this onto myself so now is the time to pay the fiddler before the bill gets too high.
A friend sent me an article: http://news.yahoo.com/pancreas-may-taste-fructose-hinting-links-diabetes-220211696.html which has some profound information that is quite apropos here.
“Commenting on the study, Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist and clinical investigator at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that it showed that “when you eat fructose and glucose together, you get even more of an insulin release. That means sugar gets out faster, and the body is pushed harder.”
And, he added, “if you have a high sugar consumption, you may tire out your pancreas, and that exhaustion might cause the pancreas to not release enough insulin anymore. If you already have type 2 diabetes, this could push the body more and hasten the progression of the disease.””
I am a bit surprised that the article does not stress that ordinary table sugar is half glucose and half fructose, and High Fructose Corn Syrup– which is used to sweeten many foods, especially snack foods– is even higher in fructose. In nature, these sugars are rare finds. A bee hive contains a concentration of sugars in the form of honey, but any creature stealing the bee’s honey pays a dear price for it, and finding such a hive to pillage does not occur with any frequency. Ditto with fruit. Recall that in nature, before man began the agricultural era, fruit was also a rare find. Not only did many creatures in the forest seek the lone fruit tree, so finding any fruit left after the birds, raccoons, and other animals already found the lone tree, was exceedingly rare. Moreover, the fruit was not like today’s culitvated and bred varieties, but apples, for example, rarely exceeded golf ball size. The Paleo diet is based on these facts and makes good sense. You might think of the Weight Agency Method as encompassing much of the Paleo diet.
Since we now know that carbs– especially sugars and refined starches– control our hunger feelings, so there is no question as to what to do: break the addiction. And this is exactly what I will do. It means a day or two or even 3 of toughing it out and not succumbing to the craving-induced “hunger” to get back on track and tame my appetite. If you’re just starting after months or years of high carbohydrate eating habits, it may take a week or longer to break the addiction. But, when the addiction is broken, food takes on a MUCH less important role when it comes to one’s life. No more craving, no more obsessing about food! No more salivating when walking past a bakery or candy store. Sure, those foods will always look good and taste good, but not like before; not like an addict finally getting a long-wanted fix. You, too, will be back in control of your appetite and, hence, your eating habits…. and the weight will fall off.