Whether it’s a fresh-baked cookie, a piece of chocolate, a hot slice of pizza or a plate of salty French fries, most likely you’ve had the intense desire to throw caution to the wind and indulge. So you give in, just once, only to find yourself craving another cookie or a bag of potato chips in just a few hours. This cycle of eating too many carbs raises and lowers your blood sugar levels. We call this the carb rollercoaster, and it’s the culprit for those constant cravings. You can end your ride on the carb rollercoaster with the following 13 tips to control carb cravings:
1. Stick with it
If you follow Keto correctly, you teach your body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs by decreasing your carb intake. This eliminates the spikes and slumps in your blood sugar, and keeps your hunger at bay, as well as those cravings. When you first start Keto, your blood sugar levels have not yet stabilized. After the first two weeks, your body should be burning fat for energy instead of carbs, which acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
2. Keep eating
If you are going too long between meals or snacks, your blood sugar will drop, leading to hunger and cravings. Keep your blood sugar on an even keel with three meals and two snacks a day.
3. Stick with a plan
If you plan out your meals and snacks each day, the right foods will always be at your fingertips, making you less likely to succumb to temptation.
4. Watch out for sneaky carbs
As always, be sure to read your food labels. You may be consuming foods containing hidden sugars or grains, and these foods could unknowingly trigger your cravings.
5. Have a drink
Of water, that is. Hunger and cravings may be confused with thirst, so make sure you’re drinking at least eight cups of water a day. Two cups can come from coffee or tea (caffeinated is fine), herb tea, sugar-free sodas or broth.
6. Don’t forget fat. Or protein
Make sure you have fat or protein with every meal or snack. Have half a Hass avocado, some cheese or olives for snacks. You can cook with canola, olive and most nut oils, as well as butter or coconut oil. Top veggies and other foods with butter, and use extra-virgin olive oil in your salad dressings. And you can enjoy eggs, fish, shellfish, poultry (unless it’s breaded or battered or sausages that contain fillers or other high-carb ingredients), beef, lamb, pork and all other meats (once again watching out for fillers and high-carb ingredients). All of these fat and protein sources fill you up and keep you satisfied.
7. Distract yourself
Sometimes hunger (and cravings) can be mistaken for pure boredom. Go for a walk, drink a glass of water, read a book or call a friend.
8. Watch your stress
Stress can mess with your blood sugar levels and trigger cravings for comfort food. Regular exercise can help decrease stress, as well as meditation, and taking the time to do activities that you enjoy.
9. Fruit. Foe or friend?
Once you reintroduce fruit into your diet, you may find that it spikes your blood sugar and/or causes cravings. If you must, make sure to pair it with fat or protein. Enjoy your berries with full-fat whipped cream (no sugar) or walnuts, for example.
10. Go cold turkey
A 2011 study in the journal Obesity shows that the fewer carbs you consume (especially when you eat fat and protein in their place), the less you will eventually crave those carbs and the more you will be able to control your hunger. This does not mean restricting all carbs; you need your 12 to 15 grams of Net Carbs of veggies every day and eventually we will learn what carbs (and how many grams of Net Carbs) you can continue to consume will losing and eventually maintaining your weight. But if there’s a food that continually causes your cravings to return, science shows it might be worth just eliminating it for good.
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