The Carb Conundrum

Carbs are the enemy...

I have been experiencing this problem. Let’s call it my carb conundrum. I guess it is to be expected with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but as of late, I have been feeling the urge to eat more sweets, like cookies, and salty items, like chips.

Normally I am not too tempted by these items, and over the last few months, I have actually lost 20 pounds through portion control. So needless to say, this sudden hankering for less-than-healthy food items is more than a little distressing. Surprisingly, I made it through the holiday season without the gaining that I expected to occur, and was so disinterested in food (not to mention, tired and overwhelmed) that I never even made any holiday treats. Maybe it was due to the extra junk food leftover from the holidays or getting used to the concept of eating more or an over-inflated confidence in my ability to lose weight whenever I desire, but now that the holidays are over, my eating troubles are just beginning.

I know that carbohydrate cravings are symptomatic of S.A.D., in addition to the corresponding weight gain that often accompanies these cravings. Many of my cravings occur when I am most tired or frustrated, and often in the afternoon when I hit a wall and need a sudden pick-me-up. But rather than cutting off my meals, I feel the need for a dessert to top it off, and I have been a lot more hungry than I was previously. Add into the equation the recent onset of worse winter weather, and it does not make for a good combination. Writing an article on Great American Pie Month, which involved lots of emphasis on fabulous pies and quiches, sure did not help either.

I am not often successful, but one way that I try to control these cravings is by not having the source of temptation available. I got a sample of an item that I wanted, and I gave it to my husband instead. I way overdid eating a box of candy that I bought recently, so I will be refraining from buying anymore of that. If I want an afternoon snack, I stick with a hot drink or some dry oatmeal, which is a carb, but is healthier, and a good source of fiber. Thankfully, I normally avoid eating too many chips or bread with dinner, and have not been interested in chocolates that have been sitting around for a while.

That being said, I need winter to be over sooner rather than later, lest I undo all of the improvement that I achieved over the last few months. I also need to get to working out on my lonely exercise bike, as that can help to undo damage caused by carbs.

How do you fight your carb cravings? Or are you lucky enough to avoid them altogether?  Do you feel differently from one year to the next? Please share your own tips and experience with this S.A.D.-induced carb conundrum.

Put the carbs down and back away...


8 thoughts on “The Carb Conundrum

  1. Fenny says:

    Welllllllll …… Weight is an issue for me as my bipolar meds have caused me to gain lots of weight amongst other thigns. Of course, SAD doesn;t help either. Nor having a salty tooth.
    However, what I have learned for myself is, eating small portions 5-6 times a day helps to keep the overeating off. It took a while to figure out what could constitute a ‘meal’, also in the beginning I felt I was more focussed on food than before since I was eating every 3 hours or so. Still, it worked for me, I felt better and lost weight.
    Unfortunately when SAD hit last year my new found life style wasn;t strong enough to withstand that attack. I am still in recovery mode, but at least I know now what works for me.
    Also, trying to eat slow and in company are two elements that are imortant, in fact, more important than what you eat.
    Ok, this is a getting a post in itself, sorry!

    • jllopez1006 says:


      Yes, I have heard about those meds and how they can wreak havoc on your weight. I have also heard of some people who refuse to take them for that reason alone.

      Do you find that anything works to try to combat that?

      • Fenny says:

        For me, it has always been a weighing carefully of the worst: is it worse to take meds or deal with the mess without meds?
        Especially in the beginning I needed a lot of meds, but now I am on a lot less. I intend to be on the lowest possible for me. Maybe in time none!
        However, the damage regarding weight is done, and undoing it is hard and long work. Actually, it’s a change of life style as I explained above.
        And no, there is no magic pill to counter the nasty side effects of those type of meds – of which weight gain is but one. Taking meds to counter side effects is going too far for me – I have enough poison in my body as it is. If the drug is thát bad, I will not take it.
        It’s a conundrum that every mentally ill person deals with – what is the price I am willing to pay for taking meds that help me function better?

      • jllopez1006 says:

        Sorry, Fenny, I just realized that I missed the second half of your original comment, which explained how you have been handling those issues.

        It sounds like you know what the problems are, and are trying to work through them the best that you can. I know that a great number of medications for various ailments can cause you to gain weight, which is really a negative. But I guess if the meds help you to be more productive and stabilized, it is worth it.

        Knowing that the meds are working against you has to help in figuring out a game plan to combat though. There are meds that you can take for SAD, and I have chosen not to, but that is not an option for all illnesses unfortunately.

        Thanks for your insight. 🙂

  2. […] the previous post, I talked about my battle with […]

  3. sweetopiagirl says:

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

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