Do you ever crave carbs; a cinnamon roll, a plate of pasta, or only bread?
Do you know that there is a scientific explanation for such craving?
Carbs are the primary source of energy for our bodies.
They help fuel our brains, heart, muscles, and nervous system.
Carbs are one of the three essential nutrients that we need on daily basis.
However, too many carbs can be harmful.
As per the American Dietary Guidelines, a person should consume between 225 to 325 grams of carbs every day for a 2000 calorie diet.
The minimum intake should be at least 130 grams of carbs per person and 175 grams for a pregnant woman.
But, too much carb, however, puts you at the risk of diabetes, obesity, and addiction.
Excess Carbs in Our Bodies
Unneeded carbs are stored in our bodies as fats as a secondary source of energy for later use.
So, when too much unnecessary fats are stored in your bodies, it increases our weight.
Not only that, but weight gain could harm other body functionalities and may cause diseases in the long-term, especially heart-related diseases.
In addition to weight gain, carbs, being an energy generator, raises our blood sugar to support the different organs with the needed fuel, “glucose”.
Yet, too many carbs could lead to insulin insensitivity and hence diabetes.
Not only that, but carbs are addictive as some carbs stimulate the parts in the brain responsible for addiction and cravings.
This is why you crave pasta, pizza, ice cream, or donuts, but never crave apples or cucumbers.
The reason for that is that too many carbs trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin in your brain.
These feel-good hormones get our brain addictive to what caused their release, i.e., carbs.
Besides, high sugar levels caused by carbs are usually followed by a drop-in sugar level because of insulin working to regulate our blood sugar.
And since almost eighty-five percent of this glucose goes to our brains, when our brains feel a drop in the sugar level, or in other words is glycogen deficient, it would compensate for this drop by craving more carbs.
Another different reason for carbs craving is a mineral deficiency.
Deficiency in magnesium will make you crave carbs like crazy.
Because magnesium is involved in energy production in our bodies, our bodies would compensate for magnesium deficiency through craving carbs.
Sleep deprivation is another important reason.
Sleep is our body’s way to restart and regenerate its power.
When we are sleep deprived, we are low on energy and hence need to run on an alternative source, and in this case, that source is carbs.
Breaking the Vicious Loop
Since too many carbs could be addictive as well as harmful compensators for energy in our bodies, regulating our carbs intake is essential.
However, when our body lacks essential elements like magnesium, and sleep or is acquiring too much blood sugar and hence adjust to these high levels, it falls into a harmful vicious loop that should be broken.
Yet, to get rid of an addiction or to break a loop you must break its most robust chain, which is the amount of carbs entering our bodies in this case.
When we decrease our carbs intake, our bodies will start to acquire its energy through burning fats and hence lose the unnecessary weight.
Not only that, but it will also protect us from spikes and dips in blood sugar and hence protect us against the possibility of diabetes as well as addiction.
And an excellent way to break this vicious loop is by following an Atkins diet.
Atkins is a low carb diet that helps you regulate and lower your carb intake and hence lose weight.
This is called the induction phase.
In this phase, you limit your carb intake to 20 grams only per day.
This way you force your body to get the rest of its energy needs from burning the already stored fat.
However, if you are not overweight, you don’t need to pass by this phase, and you can start at phase II.
A good way to know where to start is through calculating your body mass index (BMI) to know the percentage of fats in your body and how much you need to lose.
If you don’t have a lot of fats to lose, you can start here.
This phase is called the “ongoing weight loss”.
In this phase, you will find your carb tolerance, which is the amount of carbs that you can eat per day will still losing some weight and feeling lighter.
In this phase, you can include a variety of food to your diet including nuts, seeds, cheese, and berries.
You can reach up to 40 grams of carbs per day.
This phase should help you eliminate bad habits and eat when hungry only.
This phase is the pre-maintenance phase.
In this phase, your goal is to keep slow and steady.
You want to lose weight will still find a balance in your carb intake.
Here, you can add 10 grams of carbs per week until you find your point of balance in which you can eat carbs while still lose weight.
This phase is about trial and error and activating your inner communicator so that you can listen to your body.
The end result is to reach your target weight and stay there.
By time, you will know how much carbs would keep you there.
This is the maintenance phase.
This is when you have reached your goal, so you should stay there.
Whatever you have achieved and the amount of carbs you have eliminated from your diet should become your lifestyle now.
This is when you have tried the amazing benefits of eating a low-carb diet, and you keep it by choice.
You now chose low carb for life.
However, the good news is you can increase your carb intake a little bit while reducing your fat intake to enjoy a healthier life.
- Eat 3 large meals or 5 smaller ones
- Compensate the carbs in your diet by proteins and fiber, you can eat around 117 grams of protein per meal
- Let your carb intake comes from vegetables
- Drink a lot of water, around two liters per day.
- You can start adding 5 grams of carbs per week until you reach 40 grams
- You can start adding variations to your diet
- Your weight loss will not be as fast as in phase I
- Eat a lot of natural fats
- You can take vitamin supplements
- Drink around two liters of water per day.
- You can add 10 grams of carbs per week until you reach 100 grams.
- You can add starch vegetables, grains and fruits to your diet.
- Consume plenty of water.
- If you haven’t been exercising before, now is a good time to start.
Atkins Meal Plan
- 2 Omelette and cheese
- Smoked salmon with sliced avocado,
- Low carb sausage, poached egg, and grilled tomato,
- Scrambled eggs with asparagus and one slice bacon,
- Or one fried egg with one bacon, low carb sausage, and grilled tomato
You can choose between:
- Chicken leg,
- Boiled egg,
- Sliced avocado
- Or cubed cheese
You can choose from:
- Goat cheese salad with olives, tomato, avocado, cucumber, cheese, and olive oil,
- Chicken thigh with a green salad
- Bacon, spinach and blue cheese
- Chicken burger with tomato sauce
- Greek salad
- Or Salmon with vegetables
- Salmon with rice cauliflower and sauteed kale
- Mushroom burger
- Chicken breasts and celery
- Beef with mushroom and red pepper
- Full-fat Greek yogurt and berries
- 2 poached eggs with mushroom, bacon and grilled tomato,
- Almond pancakes,
- 2 scrambled eggs with tomato and avocado,
- Eggs and smoked salmon and cucumbers,
- 2 omelets with mushroom and cheese
- Handful of hazelnuts
- Avocado with onions and cherry tomato,
- Tuna with mayonnaise
- Burger with avocado, tomato and green salad
- Salmon with cheese and vegetables
- Tuna with spinach leaves and vegetables
- Strawberry with spinach and feta
- Mozzarella with tomato and basil
- Tuna with mayonnaise and vegetables.
- Rice cauliflower, baked cod with parsley and buttered sprouts
- Chicken with cream sauce
- Grilled steak with cauliflower, cheese, and broccoli
- Chicken breasts with spinach and ricotta cheese
- Lamb Stew
A Final Word
Carbs are beneficial to our bodies as it is the primary source for its energy.
However, too many carbs are equally harmful as it could cause obesity, diabetes, and addiction.
Regulating our carbs intake is essential for a healthy life.
Atkins diet is a low carb diet that aims to help you lose weight and feel healthier and lighter
This diet is a four-phase diet with guidelines and goals for each phase.
Once accustomed to a low-carb diet, one would choose it for life.