Hey Jared, how do I diet with a sugary carb addiction? Help!
Sugary carbs are a personal favorite of mine, and I bet you’ll find that’s true with nearly everyone reading this blog post as well. While I’ve never considered myself an addict, I have been known to eat so much at times that I struggle going to sleep because my breathing is labored.
Yeah, I’m human too. I eat pizza, candy, ice cream, and all the other gloriously horrible things that are available at an instant for our tastebuds.
Periodically someone will tell me: “I would love to look like that, but I just love food too much.”
Yeah, we ALL love food too much. There’s nothing wrong with loving food, but you can’t let it control your life.
You may love sleep too, but those bills aren’t going to pay themselves. So you make the wise decision each week to get up and go to work rather than sleeping and ignoring your responsibilities. Sleep gets a portion of your life and fits into how you need it to be - most of the time being sacrificed due to other priorities.
Delicious sugary carbs work the same way. Dieting doesn’t mean they have to go away completely, it means you place your other priorities first and fit them in where you can.
There’s a few different options here.
You may decide that sugary carbs are a trigger food for you.
If that’s the case, it may be best to eliminate them for periods of time and allow yourself a ‘reward’ of having them for sticking to your diet throughout the week. This is more along the lines of a cheat meal, or an indulgence once a week.
By knowing you will be able to eat the foods you love at the end of the week, you can delay gratification until then and work towards your goal all week. At that point there’s no guilt, no shame, and just sheer bliss enjoying the food you worked hard for.
Alternately, you may know yourself and know that you are unable to wait an entire week for your cheat meal.
In those situations, it’s best to use the sugary carbs to your advantage.
There are specific times when having those types of foods can be more advantageous than others, like post workout. After a workout your glycogen (stored carbs) should be running low. Replenishing glycogen with a fast-acting carb (sugar) can benefit your muscle recovery quite a bit, as well as release more insulin to help drive nutrients to the muscles that need them most.
If you need to have some sugary carbs in your diet each day, this is going to be your best time to place them in there. Be aware that the amounts are still incredibly limited, so portion control is key. If you just need a little bit to get you through the day, this can work wonders.
Lastly, you could choose to fit these in every single day of your diet with I.I.F.Y.M. (If It Fits Your Macros).
This is a method of dieting where the food sources are not AS important as being able to stick to a specific set of macros for each day. That means if you’re wanting to eat a piece of chocolate, you could factor it into your macros and eat a piece of chocolate every day. If you need a donut for breakfast with your Isothority, you could subtract the donut from your daily macros and fit that in each day.
The key for IIFYM is to make sure you are sticking with your macros each day and not going over. Being strict and ruthless with your calculations is the key, otherwise it won’t work the way you want it to.
If you’re interested in how If It Fits Your Macros works and how to make it work for you, sign up for my free course: Know Your Macros.
Ultimately you’ll need to come to terms with your sugary carb addiction and make it work WITH you rather than AGAINST you. Personally, I’ve used all three of these methods. In fact, I’ve used all three of them together.
When dieting for bodybuilding shows in the past I would eat cereal with my Isothority after each of my workouts to spike insulin and replenish glycogen (Cinnamon Toast Crunch being one of my top favorites). I would have a ‘cheat meal’ each weekend where I allowed myself to have one meal and satisfy some cravings (and most of the time going way more overboard than I should). At times, I did both of these things while following the IIFYM type of dieting where I would allow myself to use whatever food sources fit my macros rather than focusing strictly on the types of foods I was eating.
Dieting doesn’t mean removing everything you love from your life, it means learning how to control your situation and use whatever you can to your advantage. If there’s a way for you to advantageously eat something you love, or diminish the negative effects from eating those foods - use it!