How to avoid sugar cravings when on a keto diet
It’s no secret that the keto diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and improve your health. Sticking to a ketogenic diet can be challenging, especially when sugar cravings kick in. This article will share tips for avoiding sugar cravings when on a keto diet.
What are sugar cravings?
Sugar cravings are intense desires for sugary foods, and imbalances in your blood sugar levels often cause them. When your body’s blood sugar drops, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol signals your body to release glucose, giving you a quick burst of energy. However, this surge of energy is short-lived and can lead to feelings of fatigue and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
The diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has been shown to aid weight reduction and improve health. When you live on a keto diet, your body enters the state of ketosis, and your body produces ketones instead of glucose when you’re in ketosis. It might assist you in losing weight and improve your general health.
Foods that contain a high amount of sugar
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that your body uses for energy. However, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Some foods naturally contain sugar, while others have added sugar.
Many foods contain a high amount of sugar. Here are some examples:
- Fruit juices and smoothies often have a lot of added sugar. Even if they’re made with 100% fruit juice, they can still contain a lot of sugar. For example, 1 cup (250 mL) of orange juice has about 27 grams of sugar. That’s the same amount of sugar as 2 oranges…with none of the fiber!
- Yogurt is another food that can be high in sugar. Sweetened yogurts often contain around 20 grams of sugar per 6-ounce (170-gram) serving. That’s the equivalent of 5 teaspoons (25 mL) of sugar!
- Many breakfast cereals are also high in sugar. In fact, 1 cup (30 grams) of cornflakes has about 10 grams of sugar. And Raisin Bran cereal has 22 grams of sugar per cup (40 grams). That’s more than 5 times the amount of sugar in cornflakes!
- Cookies, cake, and candy are all sources of added sugars. A single chocolate chip cookie can have up to 7 grams of sugar. And a frosted cupcake can have up to 12 grams…just from the frosting! Candies like licorice and gummy bears are also very high in added sugars.
- Sports drinks and energy drinks often have a lot of added sugars too. For example, one 16-ounce (470 mL) bottle of Gatorade has 34 grams of sugar — that’s almost 9 teaspoons (50 mL) worth! Water is a better choice than sugary sports drinks if you’re not exercising strenuously for more than an hour.
How can I avoid sugar cravings on a keto diet?
Here are some tips for avoiding sugar cravings when on a keto diet:
- Consume adequate amounts of fat and protein- When following a keto diet, it’s crucial to consume adequate fat and protein. It can help stabilize blood sugar levels and minimize sugar cravings. Good fat sources include avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
- Avoid trigger foods- Certain foods can trigger sugar cravings. To avoid these cravings, it’s best to avoid trigger foods altogether. Common trigger foods include sugary snacks and drinks, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates.
- Eat regularly- Eating on a regular schedule can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings. Try to eat every 4 hours throughout the day. And be sure to include protein-rich and fat-rich foods at each meal or snack.
- Get enough sleep- Getting enough sleep is essential for both your physical and mental health. When you’re well-rested, you’re less likely to crave sugary foods. Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Reduce stress- Stress can trigger sugar cravings. Try to reduce stress by implementing stress-relieving techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
- Drink plenty of water- Staying hydrated is vital for overall health and can help reduce sugar cravings.
- Take supplements- Certain supplements can help reduce sugar cravings. These include chromium, magnesium, and GLA supplements.
Following these tips can avoid sugar cravings and stick to your keto diet. Doing so will help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
Ideas for keto snacks?
If you’re looking for keto snacks that will help satisfy your sugar cravings, here are some ideas:
- Fat bombs- Fat bombs are small snacks that are high in fat and low in carbs, and they’re a great option when you’re craving something sweet.
- Keto bars- Keto bars are commercially available bars designed explicitly for keto dieters. They’re usually high in fat and low in carbs.
- Avocados- Avocados are a great source of healthy fats. They’re also high in fiber and vitamins, making them a nutrient-rich snack option.
- Cheese- Cheese is a keto-friendly food that’s high in fat and protein, and it can be an excellent option for when you’re feeling hungry between meals.
By incorporating these keto snacks into your diet, you can help satisfy your sugar cravings while sticking to your keto diet.
Benefits of keto
Following a keto diet has many benefits, including weight loss, improved mental clarity, and reduced inflammation.
The most common reason people go on keto is for weight loss. When you cut out carbs and consume more fats, your body goes into ketosis. When you are in ketosis, it provides an alternative energy source for your brain called ketones.
Inflammation is an immunological response to infection or injury. However, persistent inflammation can lead to many health issues, including heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. A keto diet has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body.
Following a keto diet can experience all of these benefits and more. If you want to lose weight, improve your mental clarity, and reduce inflammation, then keto may be right.
Risks of going keto
Some risks are following a keto diet, such as nutrient deficiencies, constipation, and kidney stones.
When you cut out carbs, your body no longer has its primary energy source, leading to fatigue, headaches, and lightheadedness. To avoid these symptoms, it’s essential to ensure you get enough calories and nutrients from other sources.
Another common side effect of going keto is constipation, and this is because the lack of carbs can cause your body to produce less stool. To avoid constipation, ensure you consume enough fiber-rich foods and drink plenty of water.
Finally, one rarer but more severe side effect of keto is kidney stones. It happens when there’s an increase in the levels of calcium in your urine. Kidney stones can be excruciating and may require medical treatment.
While some risks are associated with going keto, these can usually be avoided by following the diet correctly and staying hydrated. If you experience any severe side effects, it’s essential to consult with a doctor or registered dietitian.
While small amounts of natural or added sugars aren’t harmful, knowing how much sugar you’re eating or drinking is important. Over time, consuming large amounts of sugary foods and beverages can lead to weight gain and other health problems. To help limit your intake, choose unsweetened or minimally sweetened versions of these foods when possible. You can also check food labels to see how much sugar is in a product before you purchase it.