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Helpful Ways to Curb Carb Cravings

Helpful Ways to Curb Carb Cravings

Craving a daily doughnut?  As the autumn days grow shorter, many people find themselves reaching more frequently for comfort foods such as pasta, cookies, bread, and crackers.  These rapidly metabolized carbohydrates give us a quick “happy fix.”  Unfortunately, they also lead to a subsequent drop in blood sugar that causes us to crave more carbs again, in a relatively short time.

Why do we crave carbs in autumn?  Light from the sun causes the pineal gland in our brain to decrease its production of melatonin. Less light = more melatonin.  Melatonin causes a drop in serotonin, our “feel good” hormone.  When our serotonin levels drop, we compensate with carbohydrates, which increases the levels of serotonin in the brain.  Unfortunately, we also experience a ‘rebound’ drop in serotonin levels once the “high” from these foods leaves our system.

To help curbing carb cravings as the darkness creeps in:

If your carb cravings seem to be coupled with significant mood swings, depression or anxiety, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder–look for information on this in an upcoming piece.

In the meantime, step away from the donut and make a plate of Basmati brown rice.  Your light-deprived brain, and your body, will thank you.

2 Responses

  1. Ooops, typo! “do dome” should be “do come”. My apologies for not checking before submitting.

    by Susan Morrison on Nov 20, 2013 at 10:16 am

  2. Although brown rice substituted for doughnuts does not sound appealing at all, I get the reason for the switch! Doughnuts are not my weakness, but other “quick” carbs do dome into play virtually every evening just when I’m trying to get geared down for the night. It’s a hard habit to break. This will take some willpower, but I love nuts & other alternatives suggested, so it shouldn’t be that hard to do. It’s just a matter of searching out other options when I open the cabinet or frig at night. Thank you so much for this information.

    by Susan Morrison on Nov 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

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