Carb Addiction

We have found that some of our patients, often those that have struggled with their weight over long periods of time, report suffering from food cravings and that there can be a sense of hopelessness in controlling these cravings. As people struggle to take control they can sometimes find themselves binge-eating, or eating in secret, leading to additional feelings of despair.


Low carb eating can be a big part of the answer for many people, although this is not always the whole answer.

If this is an issue for you then we recommend that you look at the Fork in the Road website, that includes lots of helpful resources on sugar addiction and stories of recovery

The Public Health Collaboration have put together some excellent resources on food addiction:

We recommend the Food Addiction Resources of their website.

Local resources

Residents of the Colne Valley Primary Care Network will find lots of understanding and warm support on our Colne Valley Low Carb Support Group on Facebook, a very friendly place to be!

Please join us by clicking this link.

You may additionally wish to consider discussing this with your low carb programme health and wellbeing coach for 1:1 support and some space to think things through. This could include discussing the information in the Fork in the Road website, what it means to you, and how you might be able to implement some of the information and advice given.

If you find that binge eating is a particular problem you can also refer yourself to the local specialist counselling service Renew Counselling (free to residents of Mid Essex).

Dr Andrews has written about carb addiction in the Freshwell Low Carb Manual:

“So we know that we can become addicted to alcohol, smoking and drugs…..well what about food? The term “food addiction” is thrown about but is it real and does it actually occur?” ……..

….. find out more on page 14 in the carb addiction section.

Advice from our low carb programme participants

(Comments taken with permission from our Low Carb Support Group Facebook Page)

Start off with awareness and kind acceptance of yourself

“The fact that you have ‘come out’ and want to change is a huge start.”

“It’s hard with life’s buffering and stuff. But we can do it with the right mindset. Don’t beat yourself up about it though because that’s not good.”

“ … be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself if you do eat things that are not good for you.”

“ … it’s about learning to love/ like accept yourself …. you can weave a very intricate web around yourself with food in an attempt to make yourself feel ok, even when you know that in the end that isn’t the answer. It’s like eating to fill the empty space inside you, that’s nothing about feeling hungry!”

“Love yourself and just do what you need to do to change your life. … Whatever you do I wish you the very best of luck! Today is the first day of the rest of your amazing life!”

Do your research and then plan

“Sugar and ultra-processed foods are addictive, so it’s not surprising that we have difficulty giving them up. I recommend reading Gary Taubes book ‘The case against sugar’….”

“Dr Robert Cywes on You tube has a lot of strategies for carb addiction.”

“Have a look at this “Moderation is a Fariytale” page from Dr Tro’s Medical Weight Loss website”

Go ‘cold turkey’ on sugar

“I went cold turkey on sugar but was probably helped by the fact that I have had IBS for years so I already had the mindset that there were foods that were fine for other people but were poison for me, so mentally I put sugar in the same category as IBS trigger foods and that worked for me.”

Reflect on your use of artificial sweeteners – are they helping or hindering?

“If you can manage to give up sugar without substituting with sweeteners, you should find that your taste buds change and the old sweet foods become too sweet.”

Some people find lower carb snacks or ‘treats’ helpful

“I have been going with the hot drink option”

“I nibble nuts, apples, oranges”

“… pork scratchings”

“Maybe have goals and plan a treat every now and then. Bake some cookies with carb free flours etc.”

“ … having a batch of soup in the fridge is a great go to for a nice hot bowl of deliciousness.”

“Soup and a stash of hard-boiled eggs are usually a good standby for me.”

“I have Lindt 90% dark chocolate and I used to make a lot of treats of keto chocolate mousse (egg white, cream, 85% chocolate) or fruit fool (cream + defrosted frozen raspberries or stewed gooseberries). In summer, ice lollies made of full fat yoghurt with berries are a great treat.”

Non-food rewards and distractions 

“I decided to put a pound in a jar every day I don’t overeat or eat sugary treats, my downfall! Then I will donate the money at the end of each month to the food bank.”

“Walking my new puppy.”

Having a ‘cut off’ rule of when to stop eating 

“ …. my cut off in the evening is 7/8pm”

Identifying and dealing with ‘trigger’ situations

“I would be embarrassed to tell you what I used to buy from BP … on long journeys [without a plan]”

“ … imagine his belly growing bigger and bigger [so] he’ll soon go pop” [someone eating carbs next to you!]

Ask family members for support

“Could your partner … go without [your] danger foods for a bit.”

“I’m lucky that my wife is also taking part in the plan so temptation is largely removed from home.”

Get some outside support

“If you need outside help then get it.”