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The Carb Question

Saturday, August 26, 2017

My husband is a dedicated vegetarian. I cook dinner and typically we will have some sort of variation on grain bowls, beans & rice, lentil salads, baked potatoes, a vat of oatmeal, etc. And typically I have had not much sense of satiation, even when I know that I've consumed a lot of calories. Each evening, I have gone about like a maniac, snacking on peanut butter, bread, any sweet I might find, and crackers crackers crackers.

During the past 4 days I've done something different: Please read no more if you are a vegetarian: I've had a theory that eating a lot of carbs (for me--I am not generalizing) leaves me always wanting more. So for 4 days I've had chicken, pork, eggs, and beef for dinner (along with typical vegetables and salad).

The result? I have not done any evening snacking whatsoever! None at all.

Could it be that a carb dinner sets me up for sugar cravings and I spend the evening snacking on crackers?

Since I've gone back to animal protein, I've not had any cravings for crazy eating. My evenings are smooth and I don't even think of food.

But my husband, having had some serious strokes, must have his food prepared for him and I don't know if I can sustain a life with eating two dinners. FREUDIAN SLIP: I meant "preparing" not "eating"

Is it possible that we are different biologically or chemically? He weighs about 140 which is just where he was in high school. Carbs do not create cravings in him.

The ethical implications of eating meat are somewhat important to me. But I don't seem to have the strength to resist cravings.

Could it really be that a piece of chicken or pork can limit or remove my post-prandial cravings?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I started cooking my own meals over 18 months ago, in addition to the family's meals. I also experienced the same thing as you with carb-heavy meals, which my husband tends to favor, and which don't seem to have the same effect on him as they do on me. I do eat a lot more meat than I used to, to get that satiety and avoid carbs... i've also increased my fat a bit, too, from nuts or meat or dairy products. One thing that sped things up for me was pre-cooking and pre-portioning my meat and keeping it in freezer bags to add to the other stuff that I was preparing.
    1390 days ago
    To understand all of this better there is an excellent autoimmunity series to watch on YouTube (the links are found here, along with my notes and other helpful resources):

    ~ Autoimmunity Demystified (BETRAYAL Video Series - Dr. Tom O'Bryan)

    1391 days ago
    Always good to ask the questions... unfortunately there really are no simple answers/solutions. It really is about studying reliable resources, and listening to your body.

    It seems your body is shouting at you that carbs over a certain threshold are not your friend. Because you are significantly overweight, I doubt the type of carbs will make a difference. The point of complex carbs instead of simple carbs is well-taken, but it won't fix the problem for everyone. I got very very fat and ill on a 'healthy' complex-carb based, no processed food diet. I did *everything right*.

    "Could it be that a carb dinner sets me up for sugar cravings and I spend the evening snacking on crackers?" YES. A high carb dinner causes an insulin spike, so that when your Blood glucose and thus insulin starts to drop you are driven by your physiology to seek more carbs. Because you are not primed to burn fat for fuel, your brain insists you are starving, and demands you eat carbs to forestall certain starvation... bodies are really creative that way.

    "Is it possible that we are different biologically or chemically?"
    NO: metabolism works the same for everyone.
    YES. Hormones do impact on metabolic process, and insulin is a master hormone. As your insulin levels go, the rest of your hormone levels also change. Obviously your husband has better insulin/glucose control than do you (he has no weight issue), so he doesn't ride a carb/Blood glucose fueled roller coaster. To complicate things further, estrogen is more sensitive to insulin fluctuations... which does make you more metabolically vulnerable.... so does consistently overeating/snacking. It all becomes one huge snowball going faster and faster.

    Incidentally, stroke/heart disease is also hormone/autoimmune related (as are your own health issues). So while your weight has risen out of control, your husband's autoimmune vulnerabilities have manifested differently. Both issues have the same root problem.

    Poor blood sugar regulation is autoimmune related, and autoimmune response is controlled by gut health (and anyone who is gut compromised will do worse with complex grains, than they will with those which have the fiber removed). The fact that your husband's metabolism hasn't 'broken' eating this way would suggest that he likely isn't sensitive to the lectins, phytates and gluten (and other grain proteins) in the carbs you are both eating. He is likely part of a small percentage of people who have won the metabolic lottery (his vulnerabilities are different and no less serious). The rest of us can expect to struggle metabolically more and more as we age, unless we take steps to preserve gut health, and blood glucose control.... which means type of carbs, the amount of carbs, source of carbs all have to be considered and personally adjusted (and when I use the word 'carbs' that means all plant sources of food... they are all carbs... carb sensitivity doesn't distinguish between carb sources). Additionally, if you liver is fatty (which it probably is) fruit has to be strictly limited.

    Two important books:
    The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung
    The Art & Science of Low-Carb Living by Phinney & Volek

    I can understand how it would be frustrating to cook two meals all of the time. My only suggestion to avoid this would be to follow a Paleo Vegetarian nutritional approach, and if you still need to drop your carb levels lower (your husband's carb tolerance is better than yours), there are two approaches: raise the amount of fat you eat significantly, or add small amounts of animal protein (eggs, cook a roast once a week, canned fish, gelatin)... it doesn't have to be onerous.

    1391 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/27/2017 2:59:46 AM
    I find your blog interesting. Thank you for bring this to my attention. I will try to follow your blog. Keep trying.
    1391 days ago
    Great questions, and great answers! I am following this blog! Thanks for asking the question!!
    1391 days ago
    I think SUNNYCALIGIRL nailed it. For me, it is the simple carbs (the "whites" she named that cause cravings.
    1391 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14456645
    emoticon Have you by any chance read 'The End of Overeating' by David Kessler? 1st 3rd is about chemical reactions in the brain to eating excess sugars(carbs), fat, salt, especially in combinations like say ice cream or butter frosting, pizza, etc.... there seems to be a tipping point that sets off a voracious appetite/cravings... a chemical/physical response.... (middle 1/3rd is about food companies efforts to make us crave their products, last 1/3rd is Kessler's ideas on how to manage/avoid the cravings.)

    emoticon you may be on to a possible solution for you... are things like cheese & eggs ok? there seem to be vegetarian/vegan protein products available now too...

    certainly worth experimenting... you have already had remarkable improvement ~ now to explore more and figure how this all fits into your daily eating. I look forward to your discoveries!
    1391 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/26/2017 5:57:21 PM
    Are you aware that there is a difference between simple and complex carbohydrates? That means that simple carbohydrates do not leave you feeling full, as they have been stripped of fiber and minerals. Simple carbs=white rice, white potatoes, white bread, white flour. Complex carbohydrates are more filling because they contain the fiber. Complex carbs = brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole grain breads, stone ground oatmeal rather than instant, quick or even old-fashioned, whole grain flours. Whole grain spaghetti! I don't eat white spaghetti, my spaghetti even has had protein added to it. ALSO--fruits and vegetables have carbohydrates.

    That being said, if you like those things and don't have a medical problem that prevents you from eating them, why not?

    I am, by the way, primarily a vegetarian who eats some vegan meals AND on occasion I eat fish and other meats. I am really a flexitarian, and I am a Team Leader. My team? The Affordable Vegan, Vegetarain, and Flexitarian team. You might find some help from my team, check it out.
    1391 days ago
  • no profile photo BRIARGAL
    I don't know the answer to your question but am interested in the answer!
    1391 days ago
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