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...