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3 Reasons WHY you are craving carbs from a registered Dietitian



As a dietitian, I often see that many clients come to me with the exact concern often followed by feeling guilty after eating carbs. This makes sense, especially with diet culture leading us to believe that “carbs are bad”.

 

Before getting into what may be causing carb cravings I will talk about what carbohydrates actually are:

 

Carbohydrates are one of the 3 macronutrients that our body needs to function. They are the body’s preferred fuel for energy as they are easily broken down into glucose. Similar to car needing petrol to function, we need carbs to allow our body to work efficiently!


Given the importance of carbs in our body these may be reasons why you are craving carbs:


1. You are undereating/restricting

Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source for your body, providing quick energy through glucose. Not eating carbohydrates, can lead to low energy levels, weakness and fatigue, which in turn will lead to cravings for higher energy foods such as refined carbs, like those in white bread and sweets, can give you quick energy.

 

2)      You are sleep deprived

Science has shown that when we don’t get enough sleep our appetite hormones become imbalanced. A hormone called ghrelin (appetite stimulating hormone) gets increased and a hormone called leptin (decreased your appetie) when you don’t sleep enough.

 

3)      You use carbs to regulate low mood or negative feelings.

Turning to food for comfort is very common! Carbs are directly linked to the release of serotonin “feel good” neurotransmitter in the brain which helps to improve mood. We might be turning to carbs to feel better to manage negative feelings such as low mood, overwhelm, stress etc. However things can get tricky if we only turn to food as a coping strategy.

 

4)      You didn’t fuel up before engaging in exercise

Your muscles need carbohydrates for energy during exercise. If you don’t fuel up before working out your body will be carving carbs after!



Joanna Tsintaris, is the Founder of Nourish (RD)—an online health and nutrition clinic offering personalized 1:1 dietetic advice. She is a registered Dietitian in the UK and Biomedical Science graduate with first class MSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. Specializing in weight loss and Type 2 Diabetes with an interest in sports nutrition, Joanna empowers clients to make sustainable lifestyle changes, addressing conditions like pre-diabetes, PCOS, and more. With a holistic approach, she fosters a healthier relationship with food, challenges weight stigma, and rejects diet culture. Her clinical expertise, coupled with a commitment to evidence-based practice, ensures clients receive compassionate and person-centered care. Beyond her professional pursuits, Joanna, embodies the principles of holistic well-being in her own life, whether practicing yoga, enjoying brunch, or savoring moments with coffee in hand.

Joanna Tsintaris, is the Founder of Nourish Dietitian —an online health and nutrition clinic offering personalized 1:1 dietetic advice. She is a registered Dietitian in the UK and Biomedical Science graduate with first class MSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. Specializing in weight loss and Type 2 Diabetes with an interest in sports nutrition, Joanna empowers clients to make sustainable lifestyle changes, addressing conditions like pre-diabetes, PCOS, and more. With a holistic approach, she fosters a healthier relationship with food, challenges weight stigma, and rejects diet culture. Her clinical expertise, coupled with a commitment to evidence-based practice, ensures clients receive compassionate and person-centered care. Beyond her professional pursuits, Joanna, embodies the principles of holistic well-being in her own life, whether practicing yoga, enjoying brunch, or savoring moments with coffee in hand.

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