THE SCIENCE BEHIND CRAVINGS
First let's start with some background about carbohydrates...
*CHO will refer to carbohydrates as it's chemical makeup is carbon+hydrogen+oxygen.
First, there are "Fast Acting CHO"
Fast-acting carbs are very processed versions of carbohydrates such as white bread, some pastas, sugar-sweetened beverages, pastries, white rice, and really anything that undergoes processing.
Then there are "Slow Acting CHO"
Slow-acting carbs are things such as minimally processed whole grains and non-starchy vegetables
And lastly there are "Simple CHO" - Fruit
This is better for you than a fast acting carb but not as good as a high quality carb and is full of natural sugars.
How fast acting carbs lead to CHO cravings:
Cravings have to do with the consumption of highly processed, "fast-acting" carbs, these are not fundamentally different from sugar, in the biological sense.
White bread or any other processed carbohydrate will melt into glucose very quickly - and so like sugar, it raises blood sugar at a faster rate than slower-digesting carbs that are less processed and higher in fiber. These cause a rapid spike in blood sugar which is then followed by a crash.
Insulin as the Miracle Grow for fat cells?
What drives most CHO cravings is not the taste of the foods, but rather a biological urge to eat something to restore your blood sugar. This has to do with the hormone insulin.
Processed carbs cause more insulin secretion, calorie for calorie, than any food.
When you eat processed carbs, blood sugar rises rapidly, and insulin quickly follows, directing incoming calories into liver, muscle and fat cells.
Ultimately to avoid these cravings it will take time.You need to eat more slow acting carbohydrates and the longer you do this the more your body will adjust and you will no longer see the spike in insulin or the energy cravings. This will help you grow away from binge snacking and maintain more consistent energy and eating patterns.