Posted by: Jess | 2007/05/08

Healthy eating

I would like to know if there is a condition where a person is addicted to carbohydrates because I cant seem to have enough of carbohydrates foods from pastry-type like rolls etc to breakfast cereals to provitas etc. I can eat only these the whole day, For examples, I would have all bran flakes for breakfast, I then feel fuller for the better part of the day and when I get hungry during the day, I will then go with the bran flakes again and feel fuller longer again. As a result I do not get to have other required food sources proteins etc in required proportions. I am aware that this is not a healthy option but I do not know how I can break this circle. I tried following the BFP eating plan (I do not have a problem sticking with the training program) a couple of times only to fall off again in the middle of it. I am a very active person, exercises ~6X week. I have been aiming for muscle definition for the past two years or longer, there is a slight change in my physique but it does not equate the amount of training I put in. I know that my diet is the reason where I am still where I am. Please please help. I am very knowledgeable about nutrition, I read a lot about nutrition etc; it’s not like I don’t know what good nutrition is. I share my nutrition info with friends and colleagues etc, you’d think I have some background studies on the field but when it comes to practising it is a totally different story. How do I get right with my eating? Like I mentioned I am trying (very hard) for muscle def, I have done most of the fat loss (lost 15 kg, and gained 4 kg back again) in my fitness journey over the past 3 odd years. Some body stats if needed : female 1.64m, 59 kg, BMI 22, body fat% 22.

Thanking you in advance

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Jess
I hear what you are saying and agree that although you do need a diet that is very rich in carbs (very active individuals should ingest at least 60-65% of their energy from carbs to fuel their activity and replenish their glycogen stores), your carb intake may be excessive. There are two possible reasons for your carbohydrate cravings: a) The chemical in the brain called serotonin which among other functions, makes individuals feel more positive and uplifts the mood. If you have a deficiency of this chemical then your body turns to carbs to increase the levels in the brain. You could consult a psychiatrist about possible serotonin imbalances as there are certain medications which can restore the serotonin balance in the brain. b) You may suffer from a derangement of your blood glucose levels (hypoglycaemia or insulin resistance). To determine if these are factors you would need to have some tests done which your medical dr can arrange. If you should suffer from hypoglycaemia or insulin resistance then your diet needs to be low-GI and it is always advisable to consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area) to help you work out a low-GI diet, which also provides sufficient readily available energy for your exercise needs. Your body stats are excellent, so that is not the problem.
Best regards

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