Food craving, the intense desire to eat a specific food, can occur to anyone at any time of the day. Satisfying a craving gives one a rewarding feeling, but for those who are on a strict diet like keto, it can be a nightmare.
Whenever you crave for a certain food, you think that desire won’t go away unless you fulfill it. And when you do, you not only feel full, you feel happy as well.
Although cravings are normal, it’s a big no-no for those who have gone keto. Are there ways to stop your cravings when you’re on a keto diet?
Cravings while on keto
When you’re on a ketogenic diet, you consume food that's high in fat and low in carbohydrates. This diet lets your body go into ketosis, a normal metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of carbs.
This low-carb, high-fat diet is popular among people who are trying to lose weight. If you’ve just started a keto diet, you're probably struggling with your cravings.
In general, cravings are results of emotional and environmental factors. Like when you’re lonely, you think a pint of triple chocolate ice cream would make you happy. Or watching tons of Tastemade videos made you want to eat a plate of fully loaded french fries.
Cravings, while you’re on a keto diet, is usually that persistent want for carb-rich food such as pasta, pizza, and chips, and for sweets like pastries, candies, and chocolates.
Carb and sugar cravings often occur on the first few days of your keto transition. Cravings usually go away in about an hour so it’s definitely something you can control. If you let your body get into ketosis, you’ll get over your cravings.
5 ways to stop your carb and sugar cravings
If you haven’t fully adapted to your new metabolic process, these cravings will keep on haunting you. And you shouldn’t give in! Fight off your cravings or you going keto would not make any sense at all.
1. Cut carbs completely
When you go into keto at a slower pace, your carb cravings will only persist. The faster your body goes into ketosis, the more effective you can curb your cravings.
If your body isn’t okay with the total elimination of carbs on your diet (hello, keto flu), limit your intake to 20-25 grams a day. Do this until you survive the first couple of days when you’re craving strongly for carbs.
2. Hydrate yourself
Are you hungry or just thirsty? These two have the same signs so when you feel like your hungry and craving for something, drink a glass of water and feel the difference.
Hydrate yourself as often as you can. It will make you feel full so you won’t eat more than you need. Drinking lots of water can also help stop your cravings.
3. Eat more food with other nutrients
If you still aren’t satisfied and want to eat more, consume food that’s rich in other macronutrients -- protein and fat -- and fiber.
You could be thinking you’re craving for carbs because you’re still hungry. But if you try to eat a bigger portion of protein-rich or high-fat food, this will satisfy you.
Fiber-rich food will also make you feel less hungry and it’s good for your digestion. Make sure to include fiber in your diet.
4. Get a good distraction
Cravings usually disappear in less than an hour. The moment you feel you want to grab a slice of cake, divert your thoughts and attention to something else.
Go out of the house and walk for a while. It’s also a great opportunity to finally face your cluttered closet and be Marie Kondo for an hour or so.
But if those activities are too tiring for you, which may only intensify your craving, opt for a simpler, non-exhausting distraction. Call a friend or catch up on your paused Netflix series.
5. Don’t cave in to emotional eating
Craving for carbs or sweets may be a response to a stressful or emotional situation. Do you often munch on a chocolate bar when you’re sad? When you had a bad day at work, do you rely on your comfort food (mostly junk food) to feel better?
You won’t get away from carbs and sugar cravings if you always depend on them whenever you’re lonely, upset, or bored. Stress eating or emotional eating will defeat your goal of getting into ketosis faster and ruin your diet completely.
Exogenous ketones for faster ketosis
When you’ve only started your keto diet, adjusting to it might take a while. You know you have to reach ketosis in order for everything to work out smoothly. But it doesn’t happen at the same rate for everyone.
Aside from your low-carb, high-fat diet, one way that can help you reach ketosis faster is by taking exogenous ketones.
Our body naturally produces ketones. But when you’re still adapting to a keto diet, exogenous ketones will help speed up ketosis by prompting your body to burn fat and use ketones as its main fuel source.
Supplements like Keto BHB will provide you exogenous ketones that will induce ketosis faster and let you manage your cravings.
Your cravings can control you only if you let them. Don’t cheat especially at the beginning of your diet when you’re body is just starting to adapt to this low-carb diet.
Your first week into the adaptation phase might be really challenging. Remember why you’ve gone keto. Keep that as your motivation to fight your cravings.