Well, so much for thinking that I had broken the addiction, despite eating some of the contraband on an almost regular basis. I am amazed at what has happened. If you have been following my blogs, you will know that after months of eschewing sugar, flour, rice, potatoes, corn, bananas, and winter squash, to keep my daily carbohydrate intake low, and avoid the high-glycemic index carbs, I “cheated”. I’ve said that once can cheat once/week, no more. I was trying to defy that rule, but I failed.
Indulging in sweets has resulted in my craving for carbs to return… with a vengeance. Initially, sugary, crunchy snacks simply looked good to me. Now, they’ve always looked good, but they took on an extraordinary appeal after I had consumed them several times in one week. Although I waffled about whether I was re-addicted or not, and to what degree, I thought I had it under control. But, I found myself getting hungry in mid-afternoon, when I had been going all day without food, simply not being hungry. But, now I was hungry. And it was not the mild hunger that I experienced while following the Weight Agency Method, but the more compelling, intense hunger that comes on and soon thereafter becomes an imperative. Still, I thought I had things under control because I kept my daily calorie consumption around 1700 calories/day (more than the 1200 I had averaged for the prior 6 months).
Last Wednesday, I was grocery shopping and happened by the cookie aisle. I found some cookies that did not contain partially hydrogenated oils (which I believe are terrible for our arteries), and I bought a box of them and ate them all…. and a chocolate bar too. No big deal, right? I had only done this once and planned to stop. But, I had been eating smaller amounts of high glycemic-index carbs (potatoes, corn) pretty regularly so I had already played my once/week card. OK, this is it– no more. How many times have you said that to yourself only to go out and buy more sweets, cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs– a classic sign of addiction?
Well, the next morning, I woke hungry! I ate my usual breakfast, which is cottage cheese, whey protein, and fruit, alternating with days of an egg, ham/bacon/turkey/herring/or crab, and cheese 3 times/week. This normally carried me until 5PM, with a mild and gradual increase in hunger until I had dinner, sometimes as long as 4 hours later and I wasn’t “starved”. This time, I was hungry again before noon. I had an unusual mid-day meal of some leftover chicken, avocado, on a whole wheat tortilla. I was hungry again at 3PM, and so “starved” by 5PM to where I ate a couple of handfuls of nuts, which I later calculated to be about 6oo extra calories worth! That toned down my appetite to where I ate a normal meal about 8PM that evening.
I am writing this not to bore you with my boring eating habits but to illustrated how food addiction works, in case you hadn’t introspected about this as much as I have. What started out as a rare breaking of my rules, soon became an all-out re-addiction to carbohydrates. This means that my body is now burning glucose for energy instead of stored fat. Although I’ve lost 80 lbs since July, I still have another 50 to go to reach my goal, so I clearly don’t want this. By eating lots of carbohydrates (even low-glycemic index ones), I am training my body to burn glucose, which results in no fat loss, but an easy fat gain if I eat more carbs than I’ve burned in my daily activities. Instead, by severely reducing our carbohydrate intake (avoiding ALL sugar/flour/rice/potatoes/corn/bananas/winter squash) and consuming only fruit and green vegetables, one trains their bodies to switch to fat-burning for energy, resulting in weight loss, a reduced appetite while we’re burning off our bellies and hips, and a reduced craving for these refined carbohydrates.
This should be a warning to my readers– it’s too easy to fall off the wagon, as most ex-smokers, recovering alcoholics and drug addicts will tell you. I knowingly tempted fate and lost. Now, I have to pay the price of enduring another few days of carb withdrawal, which is NOT pleasant in the least. It is best to avoid going down this path in the first place, but at least we all know what we must do if/when this happens. Beware– it will sneak up on you if you are not diligent. So, this is it. Back to strict avoidance of high glycemic index carbs and a resumption of my 3 lbs/week fat loss. Stay tuned to follow my progress.