How can I overcome my addiction to carbohydrates?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
This simple 28-day plan can help you break free of carb addiction. You'll be amazed at how you'll look and feel afterward -- you'll have more energy and shave off unwanted pounds, especially around your midsection.
  • Week 1: Detox with fats. Start kicking the habit by booting all the carbs off your kitchen shelves. To withstand the symptoms of withdrawal, fill up on healthy fats and don't worry about your calorie intake. The point of this first week is to get off simple carbs. Fats are satiating, which will help diminish hunger pangs and keep you from overeating. In addition, for this week, none of your food servings should have more than 4 grams of sugar. Choose healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, avocado, fatty fish such as salmon, and flax seeds.
  • Week 2: Turn white into brown. Whole grains keep you full longer, stabilize blood sugar, and are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plus, a diet rich in whole grains has been tied to lower rates of chronic disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. Restock your pantry with fiber-rich brown carbs such as quinoa, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice, and whole grain pasta.
  • Week 3: Hand to mouth. At this point you've been filling up on healthy fats and whole grains. Now you need to focus on portion control. Forget about scales and measuring cups. You can use your hands to measure the right portion size: Carbs: Fist - A serving of carbs should be about the size of your fist. Protein: Palm - A serving of meat, poultry or fish should be about the size of your palm. Fats: Thumb - A serving of fats should be about the size of your thumb. Fruits and Veggies: Handfuls - For fruits and veggies, grab all you can hold! Always combine your carbs with fats (but no more than a thumb's worth). This will help you slow sugar absorption and control your weight.
  • Week 4: Time to cheat. Pick one day a week to enjoy your favorite white-flour food such as bread, pizza or pasta. Eating your favorite carb with fiber will also help you better metabolize sugar and keep your weight down. For instance, top your pizza or pasta with a bunch of veggies.
This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Carbohydrates

Burn More Fat with This Wonder Breakfast
Burn More Fat with This Wonder Breakfast
Your workouts might melt even more body fat if you eat this at breakfast: whole-grain cereal. Why? A small study suggests that eating healthy carbs i...
Read More
What's the difference between refined carbohydrates and slow sugars?
Peter Attia, MDPeter Attia, MD
The difference between refined carbohydrates and slow sugars is that they break down at different sp...
More Answers
What role do dietary carbohydrates play in human nutrition?
Heather R. MangieriHeather R. Mangieri
Dietary carbohydrates are our body’s primary and preferred source of fuel. The body uses them to mak...
More Answers
What Are Some Healthy Substitutions for Carbohydrates?
What Are Some Healthy Substitutions for Carbohydrates?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.