John Basedow: If you ever crave carbs in the afternoon or run for the cookie jar at the first sign of emotional distress, you are not alone. These often fattening cravings can be linked to a decrease in the hormone serotonin which causes lower concentration levels and a decline in mood.
By snacking away, you are actually self-medicating your body where the carb induced increase of the same feel good hormone anti-depressants produce. While eating complex carbohydrates as a part of a balance nutrition plan is important, indulging in every craving is a one way ticket to the kind of body you don't want.
First, take a moment to think about when and why you have cravings. Take control of how often you indulge in simple carbohydrates like soda and sugary treats. If you need a pick-me-up snack everyday at 3:00 PM, try adding more protein to your lunch, or keep protein-rich snacks like nuts, whey protein or hummus nearby.
If emotional eating is the problem, substitute a more weight friendly snack to satisfy the craving. Try a low calorie substitute or chew on a piece of sugar-free gum. If you have the opportunity, take a walk or hit the gym to get cravings out of your head.
After a few weeks of controlling a fattening carb habit, your body will begin to crave these diet destroyers less and less.
While the occasional sweet snack or heavy carb fix can be a treat, be wary of developing a food-induced serotonin addiction.