One of the things that I remain most impressed by is the way this community has banded together, both here and on my Facebook page. I’m amazed at how supportive everyone is, and the valuable discussion that takes place. That’s why I wanted to use this blog post to pose a question to all of you: how do you handle your carb cravings?
Last week, I mentioned that gluten and sugar can act much like a drug, leaving those going off gluten, grains and sugar going through a period of “withdrawal.” I’ve seen a number of comments come in from folks looking for advice on how to deal with this period and prevent a slip-up. Better than answering this myself, I thought this was the perfect question to pose to all of you, as many of you may have just gone through this phase yourself. How did you handle the cravings? What did you do to overcome them? Is there a snack, an exercise or a mantra? Share your tips and tricks with others. I’m interested to see what everyone has to say!
I see a lot of activity in the comments section of this website from individuals struggling to manage their sugar/gluten/grain cravings during the first few days (and sometimes weeks) of a transition to a gluten- and grain-free lifestyle. While a part of it is mental (we all know how deceptively good some sweets taste), the real cause of that yearn may be physiological in nature.
Late last year, researchers at Connecticut College discovered, using rats, that Oreos stimulate the brain in a way to similar to most drugs. This isn’t the only study to look at this similarity, but it certainly is the latest. Just like Oreos, there are chemicals in gluten and wheat that stimulate the same parts of the brain that are responsive to morphine. Interesting to note: my colleague, Dr. William Davis, points out in his book, Wheat Belly, that when given a drug to block those receptors, individuals who go off bread do not go through any sort of withdrawal. Interesting to consider for sure.
Monia’s story makes me wish I had been able to write Grain Brain a decade earlier. This book has brought to me so many stories of individuals who were looking for answers on these topics but couldn’t find them. I’m glad that Grain Brain can finally give them the information they’ve been looking for. – Dr. Perlmutter
I have been on my low-carb, high-fat journey for some time, but I only recently came across Dr. Perlmutter through his videos on YouTube. When I first started I had a nutritionist to guide me along, but even though I was diligent, I wasn’t losing any weight. So, I decided to gather all the knowledge I could about nutrition.
After much studying, I gave up sugar in 2001, followed by dairy in 2003 and meat (besides fish) in 2009. Finally, in 2010, I lost 100lbs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t maintain it and I quickly put 30lbs back on, accompanied by unstoppable carb cravings. Soon thereafter, I read Wheat Belly and cut out bread. However, it wasn’t until I read Grain Brain that I found the plan that would really work for me.