I read a post by a woman in a room where there is a weight loss challenge. In the challenge, there are no chips. That is because potatoes are so high in carbs. In fact, I don’t even do potatoes anymore for two reasons:
1. High in carbs.
2. Terrible on the glycemic index for the sugar rollercoaster, which causes addiction.
This lady ate at Wendy’s. The fast food places do not have the best choices for food. Definitely not organic or hormone-free, but not many diet-friendly choices. However, she had the BLT salad there and I was surprised to see that it only had between 10 and 13g of carbs. That is really good. If you want to lose weight, keeping your carbs between 50 and 100g is the way to go. So, 10g for a meal is awesome. But, the lady might be addicted to sugar, because she felt the need to get a baked potato too. Many people think of baked potatoes as healthy. I know that I did. However, root vegetables are HIGH in starch, meaning sugar. So, the carb count on a medium baked potato is 37 grams. A lot for one half of a meal. Also, terrible for trying to get over cravings. She said she got the potato to feel full!
I get the whole, “wanting to feel full” thing. That is what kept me addicted to bad foods. Dr. Mark Hyman talks about how to get through the addiction and withdrawal in his book, “The Blood Sugar Solution. ”
“When you eat simple carbohydrates, whether as sugar or as starch, they pass almost instantaneously from the gut into the bloodstream. Within seconds, blood sugar levels start to rise. To counter the increase in sugar, the body releases insulin. Insulin is the key that unlocks the cells and allows sugar to enter. As sugar enters the cells, the amount of sugar in the blood declines and the body restores homeostasis. An abundance of simple sugars in the diet goads the body into releasing more and more insulin. Eventually, the cellular locks get worn down from overuse. Like a key that’s lost its teeth, insulin loses its ability to easily open the cellular door. The cells become numb to the effects of insulin. As a result, the body pumps out more and more of the hormone to keep its blood sugar levels in check. Eventually, this cycle leads to a dangerous condition called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance—at the root of diabesity—causes you to gain belly fat, raises your blood pressure, messes up your cholesterol, makes you infertile, kills your sex drive, makes you depressed, tired, and demented, and even causes cancer.”
3 Ways to Reprogram your Brain
Luckily there are ways to rewire the primitive parts of your brain by making good food choices.
1.) Balance blood sugar.
Blood sugar highs and lows drive primitive food cravings. If you get famished between meals, that’s a sign that your blood sugar is crashing. When blood sugar is low, you’ll eat anything. To better balance blood sugar, eat a small meal or snack that includes healthy protein, like seeds or nuts (measured out because they are high in carbs) , low-fat Greek Yogurt, two tablespoons of almond or peanut butter, or eat any meat, a protein bar or drink (check on the ones that are lowest in carbs) and cheese, every 3 to 4 hours.
2.) Eliminate liquid calories and artificial sweeteners.
Early humans didn’t reach for soda or fruit juices when they got thirsty. Sodas are full of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup. Processed fruit juices are awash in sugar. Try sticking with water and green tea. Green tea contains plant chemicals that are good for your health. And, last but not least, don’t succumb to the diet-drink trap. The artificial sweeteners in diet drinks fool the body into thinking it is ingesting sugar, which creates the same insulin spike as regular sugar. I have to admit, I use artificial sweetener in my coffee and soda and I still lost weight, but this can spike cravings….just sayin’. Reason why I also take fiber to feel full.
3.) Eat a high-quality protein at breakfast.
Ideally, you’re eating quality protein at every meal, but, if you need to prioritize one meal, choose breakfast. Studies show that waking up to a healthy protein, such as eggs, nuts, seeds, nut butters or a protein shake help people lose weight, reduce cravings and burn calories. This is actually very true and important! I also found that the low carb version of pancake mix from Lindora.com or Netrition.com, and sugar-free maple syrup helps with that need to sometimes have something a little more substantial without killing my diet. Using alternatives and learning new tricks to eating and enjoying food is what you need to do to lose weight. This is why I started this blog. This blog is to put out there for others all of the work I have done to discover how to lose weight and keep it off!
Ultimately, you may not control your genes, but you do control what and how you eat. Since taking control and changing my diet, my brain no longer caves into the cravings and urgings that seduce the reptilian brain. The most powerful tool you have to transform your health is your brain and your fork!