So you’ve decided to give keto a try. If you’ve just gotten started on keto (or have been following the diet for a few weeks), chances are you’re experiencing some keto cravings.
It’s not uncommon to start craving sweets on keto, but it can make following the diet challenging. Some people report that they’re just not hungry on keto, while others are always craving sweets. If you fall into the latter category, these 10 tips will help you stop keto cravings.
What is the Keto Diet?
Keto is a low-carb, high fat, high protein diet that helps many people lose weight and increase their energy. It can be an easy diet plan for some folks to follow, especially if they find themselves craving fat or protein.
Doctors initially developed the keto diet to help ease the symptoms of epilepsy in children. However, people found that by following the diet, which causes the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates, they could also lose weight and have more energy too!
Following keto means avoiding carbohydrates, mainly focusing on protein and healthy fats—dairy, eggs, olive oil, avocados, nuts, and animal fats. Almost all plant-based foods have some carbohydrates, although many non-starchy vegetables are also encouraged and allowed on the keto diet.
Any time you take a break from a certain type of food, your mind is likely to start focusing on the exact item you're avoiding. When you can't have sweets, you crave sweets. When you can't have carbs, you crave pasta.
Rather than fighting the keto cravings in your mind, try these 10 tips to help you stop keto cravings in their tracks.
10 Tips to Stop Keto Cravings
1. Stay Full
If you want to combat keto cravings, staying full is the biggest tool in your arsenal. Fortunately, protein is very filling, and fats often leave us feeling sated. When you're hungry, it's harder to resist cravings and stay on point.
When you enjoy foods on keto, be sure to have large, filling portions. Eat frequently before your hunger becomes an issue. You may want to carry a snack like beef jerky with you, in case you feel the hanger coming on!
2. Power through the Beginning
It takes a little bit of time for your body to adjust to being on keto. Many keto followers describe a bout of the “keto flu" after a week or so of following the diet. Keto flu isn't the real flu, but rather a feeling of malaise that comes on as your body shifts into ketosis—the state where it's burning fat for energy rather than carbs.
If you’re experiencing the keto flu (or just struggling to follow the keto diet at first), try to power through for the first few weeks. You may need to remove the tempting foods from your house and focus on other activities to keep you busy. If you can make it through the first few weeks, you’ll get a boost of energy and start feeling great.
3. Focus on Low Carb, Not Low Cal
Many people are surprised at how much they're "allowed" to eat on keto. So go ahead and have a second chicken breast, a whole avocado, or a few extra slices of bacon. Fill up on healthy fats and proteins rather than trying to eat small portions of low-carb foods.
One of the problems that can cause keto cravings is focusing too much on calorie restrictions. You're already following a diet, so don't sweat it. Your body will shift to efficiently burning fat for energy, and you need to ensure you have enough calories to help it along. You will still lose weight if you're following keto.
4. Eat More Vegetables
Are you craving sweets on keto? Wondering how to avoid craving sugar? Fill up on veggies! Now, we know that when you’re craving a piece of cake, kale is small comfort. But when you expand your vegetable horizons, you’ll find many delicious flavors that can help you fill up (and kick those keto cravings).
One secret to great veggies is roasting. Almost every vegetable tastes sweet and delicious after roasting in the oven. Try brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and more. While starchy veggies aren’t encouraged on keto (vegetables like corn, sweet potato, or carrots), many other vegetables are available. You can also enjoy berries in moderation, which can really help when you’re craving sweets on keto.
5. Make Smart Swaps
There are plenty of smart swaps to help you follow keto successfully. One of the smartest is switching out traditional pasta and rice for It’s Skinny noodles and It's Skinny Rice. This fantastic product is made from the konjac root, with NO carbs and only 9 calories per bag.
It's Skinny can really help you enjoy all the pasta and rice dishes you love without feeling the guilt of derailing your keto diet. So if you're craving the look, feel, and taste of pasta, don't miss this healthy pasta swap. It’s Skinny Pasta can make your dreams come true!
6. Stick to the Plan
One of the challenges keto-followers face is sticking to the plan. Your blood sugar responds every time you go off the keto diet, and your body shifts out of ketosis. It takes a while to get back on track, and during that time, you're likely to experience keto cravings again.
If you can stick to the plan for several weeks, you'll start to feel better, and you'll see real weight loss progress (which can continue to be extremely motivating and empowering). When you want to "cheat," remind yourself how far you've come and that you don't want to derail your progress and reset your body out of ketosis.
7. Get Plenty of Sleep
When you're following the keto diet, you can start to feel hungry and get keto cravings when you are sleep-deprived. Whenever anyone goes without sleep, their body naturally craves carbohydrates. It's hard to ignore cravings when your willpower is down, and when you're tired, willpower often goes right out the window.
Aim to get a solid seven hours of sleep each night. If you have a late one, plan out your meals for the next day to be sure to stay on track. Enjoy a snack or two of nuts or unsweetened peanut butter, which can help keep you on track. Make a big bowl of It’s Skinny Pasta to get the comfort of comfort food without the extra carbs. More importantly, get your sleep back on track, especially if you just started keto. Your body needs extra rest.
8. Cut Back on Sweeteners
We may hope that artificial sweeteners will stop us from craving sweets on keto, but that's not usually the case. On the contrary, some studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can even make our cravings for sugar and sweets stronger!
If you're constantly craving sweets on keto, look at your intake of other foods. Are you eating enough? If you are, but you're still craving sugar, try enjoying a handful of berries. Frozen berries can be particularly satisfying as you can take your time savoring the sweetness of nature.
9. Drink Water
One of the essential tips for fighting cravings on keto is to drink plenty of water. Thirst can mask itself as hunger on any diet, especially keto. Many higher fat foods (like bacon) can also contain added sodium. When we're eating a lot of savory foods, we may also be adding extra salt to amp up the flavor, which can leave us dehydrated.
Your kidneys are a vital part of the keto process. Keep them at optimal functioning by staying hydrated. Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day. You may discover that the more you drink water, the less likely you’ll be to experience keto cravings at all. Many people report that when they’re drinking enough water, they’re not hungry on keto.
10. Exercise Regularly
Another tip for killing keto cravings is to get plenty of exercise. You'll also have more energy when you're enjoying protein and healthy fats on the keto diet. Channel that burst into regular, healthy movement, so your body can build muscle.
Exercise keeps our minds occupied and off our food cravings. It always keeps us busy—out of the kitchen cupboards and engaged with our bodies in a different, healthier way. Many folks discover that regular exercise can help reduce their cravings and hunger significantly. So if you’re experiencing keto cravings, try a walk instead!
Following the keto diet can be a great way to shift to a healthier lifestyle. Keto can help you regulate your blood sugar levels. It can help you discover a reserve of energy too. If you're considering a keto diet, don't stress about the cravings for sugar and sweets. After a few weeks of following keto, the sugar cravings will die down and eventually go away.
Give yourself time, and remember that just because you're giving up carbs doesn't mean you need to give up on all your favorite foods. Enjoy pasta and rice dishes on keto with It’s Skinny Pasta, and It's Skinny Rice. You can make almost any recipe with these fantastic ingredients—order on Amazon today.
What’s your biggest struggle with keto? Do you have any tips for curbing keto cravings?