Processed carbohydrates release serotonin in the brain – the feel-good chemical associated with happiness and peace. When people say they’re “self-medicating” with carbs, it’s not just an expression – it’s a potent and potentially addictive chemical response. If you feel you’re hooked, wean yourself off of unhealthy carbs with this plan and find freedom in the healthy alternatives.
Week #1: In the first week of the program, focus on adding healthy carbs and don’t cut back on the amount of unhealthy carbs yet. This will help ease the symptoms of withdrawal from unhealthy carbs.
Add Foods That Curb Carb Cravings
Add whole grains, like quinoa, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta, and whole fruits, like apples, pears, berries, and melon. These foods not only keep you fuller longer, but they also have antioxidants that help protect your brain chemistry!
Week #2: In the second week of the program, support will become vital, as you are now cutting your unhealthy carb servings to 2 per day.
Cut Back to 2 Unhealthy Servings of Carbs Per Day and Get a Sponsor
We treat food addiction like any other addiction, so get a sponsor – this can be a sponsor at a free Overeaters Anonymous meeting, a significant other, weight-loss buddy, or health-care professional. When we feel supported and happy in our lives, our brains release serotonin – the same brain chemical you used to rely on those unhealthy carbs to release. It’s not so much about what you’re subtracting from your life – it’s about what you’re adding. This is the key to sustaining change over the long-term.