If you're craving sugar on keto, it could signify something missing from your diet. It could also be a psychological effect of restriction.
Because you can’t have sugar, naturally, you want it more. You may also be susceptible to suggestions—the scent of a cinnamon roll or a photo of a luscious piece of cake can send your cravings into overdrive. Remember, you've been eating sugar for years, and advertisers have been selling it for decades. That's a long history of creating sugar cravings.
First of all, keto sugar cravings are normal, but they can be uncomfortable. Depending on your willpower, they can cause you to cave and cheat, messing up your keto momentum. It helps to determine if you're falling for the power of suggestion or if the craving is physical.
If your keto sugar cravings are metabolic in origin, it’s a sign that you’re not consuming enough food. Keto dieters often consume a lot of protein and fat, which is satiating and keeps your blood sugar steady. However, your blood sugar can dip if you forget to eat or have a meal that's not filling enough. Your blood sugar can also go down after physical exertion like running or a big workout and even stress.
When this happens, you might crave sugar. Your body is adapting to keto—what we call "fat adapted." That means you're turning to your fat storage for fuel. But during the first few weeks of fat adaptation, you might still experience physiological cravings. Here are five ways to kick sugar cravings on the ketogenic diet.
1. BE PROACTIVE TO RESIST SUGAR CRAVINGS
To resist craving sugar on keto, you first need to break the habit. You'll do this by stocking up on keto-friendly foods that you can swap for your favorite meals and snacks. Make sure you have plenty of items you can reach for when you’re craving a fix.
You can also break your sugar habits by implementing new actions when you would have previously turned to sugar. For example, go for a walk after dinner, brush your teeth after lunch, or drink a big glass of water whenever you walk into the kitchen to nosh.
It takes time to build new habits but set yourself up for success by stocking up on what you need and planning how to address the cravings when they happen. Don't wait for a sugar craving to hit, and then try to make it go away. Instead, assume that it will occur at some point and have a coping plan in place.
Hydrate, exercise, and care for your body in healthy ways. If you experience sugar cravings on keto, don't punish yourself and dwell on how "hard" it is to avoid. Instead, shift your mindset to think of how you're nourishing your body with healthy, whole foods. Kick this damaging sugar habit once and for all!
2. FIND HEALTHY STRESS FIXES
Sugar soothes us. It actually boosts our brain chemistry and gives us that hit of dopamine that we desperately want when we’re feeling stressed.
Interestingly, researchers have found that our sugar cravings were evolutionary in nature(Opens an external site in a new window). When our ancestors were foraging for food, sweet flavor meant that the food would offer energy. It triggered the dopamine center in the brain to say, “Yes! This is good! Eat more of this!”
But today, sugar is readily available to all of us any time we want. So the dopamine hit becomes addictive and even destructive. We eat more and crave more. When we're stressed, we're particularly susceptible to sugar cravings.
If sugar is your go-to stress coping mechanism, look for other ways to treat yourself. Light a scented candle (not a cookie-scented candle, something soothing like lavender). Foam roll or give yourself a foot massage. Call a friend while you walk around the block. Snuggle a pet or play a game on your phone. Do what you need to do to decompress without a chocolate fix.
Rather than powering through the craving, treat yourself in a healthy, stress-busting manner. Light exercise, nature activities, or creative pursuits are all healthy outlets for boosting our moods and avoiding a sugar binge.
3. EAT SOMETHING COMFORTING AND KETO-FRIENDLY
If you’ve reached a moment where resistance is futile and you can't stop thinking about your keto sugar craving, try filling up on something keto-friendly instead. Look for comfort foods. A luscious, creamy avocado, favorite cheese, or a yummy bowl of pasta…
WAIT! HOLD UP!? WHAT? PASTA ON KETO?
Yes, that’s right, It’s Skinny allows you to enjoy your favorite comfort meals without derailing your diet. It’s Skinny pasta is made with konjac root—a special ingredient that contains ZERO net carbs. That means there are no hidden sugars and only 9 calories per pack!
It’s Skinny Pasta is a keto dieter's dream. It allows you to add all your favorite toppings—load up on the fresh veggies, protein, cheese, and spices to create your favorite pasta comfort dish with all the flavor and none of the guilt.
This plant-based pasta is also great for those following low-carb lifestyles, paleo, whole food, vegan, and gluten-free diets as well. It’s made with only a few simple ingredients and packed with glucomannan fiber that fills you up and helps you stay full to kick those keto sugar cravings.
Order It's Skinny today to make all your comfort food dreams come true. It's available at many retailers and online in a convenient multipack. Try the variety pack with spaghetti, fettuccine, angel hair, and rice shapes that are ideal for every meal.
4. PLAN AHEAD BY EATING BEFORE WORKING OUT
If you find that you crave sugar on keto, especially after the gym, it could be that your blood sugar levels are crashing post-workout. New exercisers are particularly susceptible to this phenomenon.
Plan ahead by consuming a small meal before you hit the treadmill. You don't want to eat so much that you feel full or get sick while exercising, but you'll need something to sustain your body while you sweat. Keto fat bombs (balls made with fats like coconut) are a good choice. You could also have other keto-friendly snacks, like a cheese stick, some beef jerky, or a hardboiled egg. Satisfy your sweet tooth with keto-friendly sweet snacks like a small piece of dark chocolate or berries with cream.
Look for a snack with some protein, if possible, and some fat. Even though you might be craving sugar, grabbing some keto-friendly berries might not be the best choice right before a workout. Filling up on artificially sweetened energy drinks or coffee can also be a no-no before physical exertion.
5. CHECK YOUR SLEEP HABITS
If you're craving sugar on keto, you may want to look at your sleep habits. It sounds strange to think that sleep could be connected to sugar cravings, but when we're tired, our willpower goes down, and our desire for comfort goes up.
During sleep, our body has a chance to metabolize and reset. It can change our insulin sensitivity(Opens an external site in a new window) when we don't get the rest we need. A lack of sleep might damage our metabolism, take our blood sugar out of whack, and make us crave foods like sugar.
The other issue with a lack of sleep is that it reduces our executive functioning(Opens an external site in a new window). It makes it harder for us to resist temptation and make smart food choices. When tired, we're much more likely to cave to our cravings and derail our diet progress.
Sweet cravings on keto are a normal phenomenon, and it doesn't mean you're doing keto "wrong" or can't be successful with your diet. Plan proactively by filling up on healthy foods. Look for keto swaps so you can avoid deprivation.
It’s Skinny can help you stay on track with your keto diet. You don’t have to say goodbye to your favorite meals just because you’re avoiding sugar. Use It’s Skinny Pasta and It’s Skinny Rice to help recreate everything you crave (without the carbs). Order It’s Skinny today to keep yourself on track!