Have you just switched to a Keto diet for a healthy body? Well, it’s good for you until hunger pangs and sugar cravings hit you, hard.
As the Keto diet cuts out most of the carbs from your daily diet, it is quite natural to feel the lack of sugar (glucose); more so if you were gorging on a high-carb diet. As you force the body to switch its source of energy (from carbs to fats), sugar cravings can become a major threat to your health goals.
How To Deal With Sugar Cravings On Keto Diet
Frequent and intense cravings can make you opt for frequent cheat meals or worse, fall back to your old eating habits. If that’s not what you want, you have to deal with sugar cravings that occur with a low-carb diet.
Denying your cravings for sugar or carb isn’t a solution as the mind and body will give in very soon. So, instead of denying the urge, you have to be better at managing and suppressing it. This will ensure that you are actually successful in your goal and can lead a carb-free, healthy life.
Here are a few ways to beat your sugar cravings:
Every time you have a sugar craving, don’t reach out for a snack. Drink a glass of water and wait for a few minutes. Many a time, your cravings will go away. This is because the body can misunderstand thirst for hunger and crave carbs and sugar. However, if the cravings don’t go away after a few minutes, you are actually hungry.
Have healthy snacks ready
Just because you are hungry doesn’t mean you have to resort to a burger, hotdog, or some potato chips. You can have healthy snacks that contain little or no carbs.
Fruit salads, green smoothies, nuts, eggs, guacamole, cheese, etc. are great if you are on a ketogenic diet. You can eat these snacks freely while on a keto diet to satiate your hunger.
Add more proteins and fat
If you are cutting back on carbs, it is important that you add more proteins to your diet. Protein-rich food can not only keep you healthy and fit but also satiate your hunger for a prolonged period.
This reduces the occurrence of sugar cravings while on a low carb diet. Goods fats are also important if you are following a keto diet. Since you are forcing the body to use fats as the source of energy, you must ensure that the body gets enough fats to produce the energy it needs.
Add considerable portions of keto foods like shrimp, salmon, tuna, oysters, chicken thighs, milk, avocados, cheese, olives, whey protein, tofu, etc. to ensure that your body gets enough fats and proteins.
Avoid stress and depression
Cravings for sugar increase when you’re are depressed or stressed. To avoid such cravings, try to reduce anxiety and depression.
Do not stress yourself at work and create a work-life balance. Do not try to handle too many things at a time and you will be ward off unnecessary stress or anxiety. Whatever you do, avoid resorting to artificial sweeteners to satiate your cravings.
Sugar cravings can increase if you are not sleeping well. Studies show that lack of sleep releases hormones like ghrelin and suppresses hormones like leptin. This can trigger hunger cravings which force you to consume more carb-rich foods.
So, if you do not want to fall back to your old eating habits, make sure that you get at least 7-9 hours of restorative sleep.
Many people make the mistake of switching to alternative sweeteners on keto. However, taking sweeteners on keto is a bad idea. You have to cut out sugar as much as possible and at once.
Trying to reduce sugar consumption gradually doesn’t work for most people as most marketed sweeteners for the keto can fuel your sweet tooth. Thus, it is best to avoid sugar and its substitutes even if the sweetener Glycemic Index is low.
Ramp up your activities
If you are idle or sulking, you can feel sugar cravings more often than usual. An easy way to fight these cravings is to do something that you like.
You can engage in your favorite hobbies, go out for a walk, or exercise. These activities will release feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine, etc. that can satiate the mind. This can keep you off unnecessary sugar cravings while on a ketogenic diet.
Use Keto swaps
Sugar cravings can become frequent and intense if you deny the body of all things sweet. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to feed the body harmful sugar or other carbs.
You can use Keto swaps like keto bars, keto-friendly chocolate chips, and brownies, etc. to satiate your mind and body without using any artificial sweeteners for the keto. You can also try ice cream flavors like chocolate, vanilla, mint chocolate, etc. that are keto-friendly.
Don’t cut calories
If you have just started your keto diet, do not count the calories in your diet.
Cutting off carbs and calories at the same time can have serious effects on the body and mind. You first have to concentrate on keeping carbs off your diet. Once you have successfully done that and your body is adapted to Keto, you can count the calories. This will minimize your sugar craving.
Switching to a keto diet isn’t a cakewalk. Like all things good, keto needs some dedication and effort. You have to have a steady goal and never ever think about deviating from the path that you set for yourself.
However, being on Keto doesn’t mean that you starve yourself. Keto simply aims to help you skip the overdose of carbs that we are so used to and switch to a healthier source of energy – fats.
You have to follow a diet chart with lots of keto foods and avoid carbs as much as possible. You can have occasional cheat days but they shouldn’t be too frequent.