Continuing to grow in popularity, the keto diet is a favorite among many people who have tried, and failed, other so-called fad diets. Although many claim that they feel very satisfied and do not crave anything on a keto diet, you may be wondering how you'll be able to follow it when it's a diet that reduces carbs and sugars to a minimum. In this article, we'll be exploring what sugar cravings are, why you may be experiencing them on a keto diet, and what to do about it.
What is Keto?
The ketogenic diet is a way to eat that (almost) eliminates carbs. Followers of the keto diet watch their macros carefully, taking care to eat large amounts of fat and protein, but no carbs or sugars. The ultimate goal of this diet is to provoke a reaction in your body known as "ketosis". In a state of ketosis, your body no longer burns carbs for fuel, but rather fat. After that, you should be feeling much better and lighter, lose weight rapidly and be overall much healthier.
What are sugar cravings?
Sugar cravings are a strong desire to eat carbs that can sometimes seem overwhelming. Cupcakes, chocolate, ice-cream, all those things you can no longer have on keto suddenly seem so appealing you can barely contain yourself. For people not following a keto diet, sugar cravings usually arise when they are experiencing a "sugar crash". That is, when their blood sugar has fallen low after rising too high because you ate too much sugar. So why then, if you are following keto to the letter and no longer experiencing sugar highs, are your sugar cravings not going away?
Why you get sugar cravings on keto.
Putting it simply - if you are following keto for long enough to enter a space of ketosis, you won't be experiencing any sugar cravings. So, if you are still experiencing them, you may either not be following keto to the letter, or you may not not be in ketosis. The good news is that this means your sugar cravings will go away on their own after a while. The bad news is you will have to wait it out. If you have been eating a lot of sugar in the past your may have a sugar addiction, which might make the keto diet more difficult to begin with, but here are a few, useful tricks to help you through difficult patches...
How to overcome your sugar cravings
If you are still dealing with sugar cravings, the first thing you can do is pause, remind yourself why you’re doing this, and allow the craving to pass. This is of course much easier to say than do, but it remains true. The longer you stick to keto, the less likely you are to experience sugar cravings. It's all a mind game: wait it out, and the cravings will go away on their own. And that little voice in your head that tells you you would be satisfied if only you had a little sugar? Well, it's lying. As soon as you give in to the cravings, you'll start the cycle all over again and you'll get and the further away from your keto goals. So remember, it all starts with being mentally strong.
The second step is to make sure you are really sticking to your keto plan properly. If you have been following keto for a while but are still experiencing sugar cravings, it may be a sign that you are still eating too many carbs. Count your macros for a couple of days and try to see how many grams of carbs you are consuming. If this is anything above 25 grams a day, you should try to reduce that number to a minimum.
Finally, you can get rid of your sugar cravings by eating...something else! As hungry as you may be for sugar, another meal will fill you up just as well. So when you are experiencing those sugar cravings, don't limit the amount of food that you eat or count your calories. Give yourself free reign to eat as much healthy, keto-friendly fat and protein as you want. These will keep you seriously full for a long time, and keep your sugar cravings at bay while you are waiting for ketosis to take effect.
I have written a blog post here outlining other ways to deal with sugar cravings which may come in handy on the keto diet.
So here’s a recap on how to manage sugar cravings on a keto diet. First of all, they are normal and something to be expected when you have either been following keto for a short time, or are still eating too many carbs.
Secondly, the only real way to get rid of them is to wait for your body to enter a state of ketosis.
Finally, adopting the right attitude, following keto to the letter and making sure you are eating enough fats and protein is the best and surest way to keep those cravings at bay!
If you are still having trouble with sugar cravings, you can sign up to my 21 Day Sugar Detox Program here, where I can walk you through the process of breaking the sugar addiction cycle allowing you to make healthy food choices that are not driven by cravings and addiction.