I low-carbed on and off for a long time, had a very busy and stressful spring and summer, fell off the wagon gradually and then totally, put on a lot of weight, am now into day 5 of real low carbing.
Now please excuse me while I go a bit woo.
I hypothesise that if you overeat carbs to suppress emotions (fear, anger, sadness) they will come out again when you drop the carbs. You store them up, and you have to feel them sometime.
I know I am low carbing now (a good woe for me) because I am finally feeling secure enough to do so (a long period of stressful transition is over). But the way I have been feeling emotionally (now lifting) has been terrifying.
Does anyone else have experience of this?
Or any other stuff about diet and emotions to say?
When I did low carb a couple of years ago to help IBS I definitely felt more bonkers and remember wondering if it was this woe. I asked a friend and she said that going without carbs initially can be hard on women cause we are used to the carbs to calm us down.
This is really interesting stuff. I think if you are using food (any food or substance, not specifically carbs - could be sugar, alcohol drugs for example) as an emotional crutch/hiding place, then of course when that is removed, then you are forced to face up to the emotions/situation you are trying to avoid or stop thinking about, so that makes perfect sense OP.
Wrt 78bunion's post, I think the mood/food thing works both ways - if you are in a positive mood, feeling good about yourself and in a self-respecting/self-caring state of mind then you will tend to reach for the food that you know is best for you - often these things will promote a sense of feeling good and are healthy so give a sense of wellbeing, so its a win win - on the other hand, if you are harbouring negative feelings about your body/life in general then I think there is a natural inclination towards what we regard as 'comfort' foods, invariably the starchy carbs that leave us feeling sluggish and bloated - so in both cases the mood you begin with is sort of sustained?
With the exception of certain foods such as chocolate, which contains chemicals which prompt the release of serotonin, the 'feelgood' hormone in the brain, I'm not sure any specific food truly affects mood in itself, what has much greater impact on our mood is the implication we attach to eating things - ie whether they are "good" or "bad" - too often we judge ourselves harshly for eating "bad" things and feel like a failure because of it .
I have to say I agree. I have found I can binge on carbs- even porridge, so it's not just the "white refined" ones that I would use to lift my mood. I have never really attached a negative association with foods such as dark chocolate or complex carbs, but I binge on these when feeling flat. Just my two pennies worth, I appreciate this may not apply to anyone else, and it may be that I am just very odd!