Do Not Starve Yourself
No, you dont have to starve yourself to lose weight or be healthy.
While it may sound like common sense not to starve yourself, most people associate diets and healthy eating with having to excessively reduce the amount of food that they eat.
This is simply not true.
When your body experiences a drastic cut in calories, your body starts to believe that it is being starved. This will lead to cravings, hunger pains, and weight retention or gain.
Point is, let go of all preconceptions about quantity and be sure to focus on the quality of the food youre eating! On keto, the goal is to eat high-quality fats and non-starchy veggies.
Craving Breaking Step #: Find Out The Intention Behind The Action
A great tactic to break your brains strong connection to junk foods and fulfillment is to simply take a pause.
When those nasty ol thoughts of junk food start to arise and you get that intense desire to eat, stop what youre doing, pause, take a moment and ask yourself what the craving actually is. Did something, in particular, set it off?
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Go For A Brisk Walk Outside
Another thing that can work is to go outside for a brisk walk.
If you are a runner, running will be even better.
This serves a two-fold purpose. First, you are distancing yourself from the food that you are craving.
Second, the exercise will release endorphins, or feel good chemicals in your brain, which can help turn the craving off.
If you cant go outside, do a few exhausting sets of burpees, push-ups, body weight squats or any other body-weight exercise.
Going for a brisk walk or running may help reduce cravings.
Have Protein For Breakfast
Cravings are much harder to manage if you let your blood sugar spike in the morning, only to drop again a couple hours later. Incorporating protein in your breakfast is part of the important game plan for controlling appetite throughout the day. Consuming some form of protein at every meal, especially breakfast, increases satiety and has a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. This improves our appetite control and can help prevent us from reaching for a sweet snack mid-morning and will keep mindless munching at bay throughout the day.
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How To Beat Carb Cravings
Keep your brain busy. Itâs hard to think about cravings when your mind is occupied with fun. In one experiment, volunteers who played the video game Tetris for a few minutes found that it curbed their craving for food, drugs, and other pleasures. The researchers think thatâs because your brain has limited capacity to juggle competing images.
Eat mindfully. Sometimes you reach for carbs not out of hunger but boredom. Or itâs your habit to indulge in a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Mindful eating may help. Practice paying attention to why youâre eating, slow down to savor the taste of your food, and focus on the moment. This helps your brain get in sync with your stomach and get the signal that you’re full. Studies show a strong link between mindful eating and lower body weight.
Go for the right kind of carbs. Not all carbs are created equal. Complex carbs, the ones you find in whole grains and veggies, are your body’s main source of energy. They take a while to digest, so your blood sugar levels rise slowly and you feel satisfied longer. Non-starchy veggies, such as carrots, have fewer carbs than starchy ones like potatoes. Check the labels on the foods you buy for both carbohydrate content and for sugar in the ingredient list. Even foods that aren’t “sweet” can have more added sugar than you’d expect.
This Is Your Body On Sugar
Excess sugar wreaks havoc on your body in a few different ways. For starters, research suggests it may contribute to inflammation in the body. In turn, chronic inflammation is linked with heart disease, arthritis, numerous types of cancer, and other serious health problems.
We store glucose in the form of glycogen in muscles and the liver to supply energy between meals. Once glycogen stores are topped off, excess glucose is converted to fat in the liver. That fat must be transported to fat cells , explains Dr. Bill Rawls, M.D., Medical Director of Vital Plan. Fat doesnt mix with water, so the liver forms special transport particles called lipoproteins to transfer the fat. These particles are made of fat, protein, and cholesterol.
After the fat is deposited into fat cells, the leftover particle, containing protein and cholesterol, is the LDL particle the bad type of cholesterol associated with heart disease.
Glycation is another harmful side effect of sugar overload. Glycation is when glucose sticks to proteins in the body and gums up the works, says Dr. Rawls. He explains that proteins are what make normal and necessary functions happen throughout the body, so too much glucose ends up inhibiting those functions.
The drive to consume carbohydrates is even stronger than the drive to sleep and have sex. Dr. Rawls
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How Do You Feel After Quitting Sugar
I quit sugar for 40 days and it changed my life completely.Heres what happened
Add In Protein To Every Meal
When you eat a heavy, starchy meal, like a giant bowl of spaghetti, youre pretty much setting yourself up for a guaranteed gelato craving. All that pasta with no fiber or protein is like a big bowl of sugar.
Those calories are absorbed fast and they do not keep you feeling full or satisfied. Whats a pasta lover to do? Try a big bowl of veggies, with lean protein added and topped off with a little pasta versus the other way around. This applies to salads, too load up on the veggies first, then add a protein or carb on top.
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Hydrate With Water And Electrolytes
On a Keto diet, your fluid and electrolyte needs go up. Thirst is a good indicator of fluid needs, but electrolytes like sodium and potassium may need more planning.
What you think is a carb craving might be a sodium craving. It makes evolutionary sense. Sodium was scarce in ancestral times, so we evolved to crave salty things. The research bears this out.
The solution? Add a few shakes of salt to your water and a few more to your food. You may find your carb cravings dissipate.
Swap Refined Carbs For Fat
When we opt for a low-fat diet, we are more often than not choosing to replace a flavorful, moist, and satiating food with another flavorful substitute: usually a refined carbohydrate . Our bodies digest simple carbs very easily, which in turn creates a craving for more sugar in attempts to energize the body once again. This yoyo-ing deprives our body of maintaining equilibrium and is totally unsustainable.
Healthy fats serve the body well and aid in hormonal balance, boost the metabolism, and regulate blood sugar. Eating a source of healthy fat along with or in place of a carbohydrate will slow down the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream, preventing undesirable sugar highs and lows and curb sugar cravings. Healthy sources of fat include nut butters, avocados, eggs, coconut oil, and high-quality animal protein such as wild caught salmon.
Pro tip: Try adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to your morning coffee or our High Fat Morning Glory Coffee. It helps to stabilize your blood sugar and keep you alert and focused.
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Stop Limiting Carbs Too Quickly
As you start on your keto journey, your pre-keto goal is to cut your carbohydrate intake to about 25g per day, cutting out all sugars and refined carbs completely.
When you start the keto diet, there are two approaches you can take. Either you could start day one of your goal carb macro set by going immediately cold turkey on carbs, or you could track your normal pre-keto carb intake and gradually cut 50g of carbs per day until you reach your goal.
With the average carb intake clocking in at 325 grams of carbohydrates a day, most people will opt for going cold turkey, especially since its the fastest way to reach ketosis.
Tip #3 Use Sour Tastes To Stop Cravings
There are 5 main tastes. They are sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami . Sour, bitter tastes help reprogram tastes for sweet things. Sour and bitter tastes serve as a warning. The body perceives acidity or bitter tastes as a potential toxin.
There is a ton of research showing that sour tastes can block the receptors in the brain responsible for causing cravings for simple sugars and carbs.
This is part of the reason why Apple Cider Vinegar is trending. ACV is bitter and can stop cravings. But ACV tastes nasty and can cause heartburn in people with acidity issues.
Thats why I recommend lemon water. Thats also part of the reason I created my Lemon Water Challenge.
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How To Stop Sugar Cravings: 5 Tips For The Long Term
One of the best ways to manage sugar cravings is to stop them before they start. To help you do that:
- Skip artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners may sound like a great idea, but “they dont lessen cravings for sugar and havent demonstrated a positive effect on our obesity epidemic,” says Grotto, author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.
- Reward yourself for successfully managing sugar cravings. Your reward could be large or small. Remember why youre working on it and then reward yourself for each successful step.
- Slow down. For one week, focus on your sugar cravings and think about what youre eating, suggests Chambers. Diet mayhem often results from lack of planning. So slow down, plan, “and eat what you intend to eat, instead of eating when youre desperate,” Chambers says.
- Get support. Many people turn to sweet foods when they’re stressed, depressed, or angry. But food doesn’t solve emotional issues. Consider whether emotions are involved in your sugar cravings and whether you need help to find other solutions to those emotional problems.
- Mix it up. You may need more than one strategy to thwart sugar cravings. One week you may find success with one tactic, and another week calls for an alternative approach. Whats important is to have a bag of tricks to try, Gerbstadt tells WebMD. To tame sugar cravings, you really need to “figure out what works for you,” Neville says.
Supplements That May Curb Your Carb Cravings And Help You Lose Weight
You exercise regularly. You drink enough water daily and youve even tried banting, yet you still cant curb your cravings.
And on top of everything, youre stressed out and do a lot of emotional eating because those darn cravings just keep getting the better of you.
This may well be because you are nutritionally deficient in some way and may need a little outside help in the form of supplements. Certain supplements can support and enhance your neurotransmitter and brain functions. Several supplements are available to help you balance out your vitamin and mineral levels.
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Tip #4 Banaba Leaf Are The Best Supplements For Sugar And Carb Cravings
Banaba leaf supplements will help stop sugar cravings, too but because theyre encapsulated they take a little longer to take effect than green beans do.
Banaba is pronounced just like banana but with a b bah-nah-nah.
I used to carry banaba on trips and when Im hormonal in case my inner cookie monster manifested.
Banaba is a little known natural way to stop sugar cravings and not too many people know about it. A lot of people think its only good for balancing blood sugar but its also good for sugar cravings.
I recommend Paradise Herbs Banaba Leaf on Amazon. This is the exact same banaba leaf I used that worked for me. This is what the bottle looks like.
You may be able to find banaba leaf at your local health food store. I cant I only have one time.
Quinoa Is A Filling High
A quick caveat: a true keto diet wouldn’t include quinoa, because even a modest portion has enough carbs to easily surpass the limits of stricter diets. But if you’re just trying to be more carb-aware, or just balance out your macros, it’s a convenient, filling way to add protein and round out a meal.
I cook my quinoa in a rice cooker, and add a bouillon cube and spices along with the water so it’s packed with flavor. It makes a good side or foundation for grain bowls, soups, or salads.
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If You Are Hungry Eat A Healthy And Filling Meal
Its important to realize that a craving is not the same as hunger.
Its not your body calling for energy, its your brain calling for something that releases a lot of dopamine in the reward system.
When you get a craving when youre hungry, the feeling is difficult to resist.
In fact, a craving combined with hunger is a powerful drive that most people have a hard time overcoming.
If you get a craving while hungry, one of the best tricks is to eat a healthy meal immediately. Stock your kitchen with healthy snack foods or pre-made meals.
Protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish and eggs are especially good for curbing hunger .
Eating real food may not feel very appetizing when you have a craving for sugary junk food. But if you truly need to lose weight, resilience is worth it in the long run.
When you experience a craving and hunger at the same time, force yourself to have a healthy meal rather than junk food.
Make Room For The Occasional Treat
Feeling deprived is no good for long-term health. If you say, “I’ll never eat ice cream or crusty bread again!” you will likely obsess or eventually overindulge. Find healthful alternatives daily , or have the real stuff on birthdays and special nights. If you’re straying from your healthy diet one meal a week, you’re doing just fine!
These 10 tips will help free you from carb cravings so that you can go back to your life and worry about more important things, like your work, your hobbies, cooking, and time spent with friends.
Dr. Amy Shah is a double board certified MD with training from Cornell, Columbia and Harvard Universities. She was named one of mindbodygreen’s Top 100 Women In Wellness to Watch in 2015 and has been a guest on many national and local media shows. She helps busy people transform their health by reducing inflammation and eating more plants, utalizing the power of the microbiome to help digestion, natural hormone balance and food sensitivities. She is an expert on intermittent fasting for women and has a 2 week guided group program.
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Use Your Caffeine Wisely
Caffeine can be an appetite suppressant, but it also dehydrates you and can lead to a crash. So drink your coffee in the a.m. and then don’t overdo it in the afternoon. Some slow caffeine metabolizers need to limit their intake to one cup a day. For others, one cup of coffee and one to two cups of green tea works well.
Alright Youve Made It Yippee
I know that weve had to cover a lot, but I bet you now just have so much more confidence and are ready to take on your keto lifestyle, with a clearer and better understanding of your mind, body, and connection to food, especially addictive foods like refined carbs or sugars.
Whether youve been making unintentional keto mistakes, needed help with carb withdrawal cravings on pre-keto, have issues getting your body to run on ketones, or have realized that you suffer from emotional reliance on food particularly sugar and refined carbs, or even processed food and sugar addiction, I know that if you follow the steps needed to address your struggle from this post you will have the tools to follow along a road to happy keto success.
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Drink Tea And Coffee Black
Tea and coffee are two of the worlds most popular drinks, and they are also drinks that many people sweeten.
While a teaspoon of sugar may only be around 4 grams of carbohydrate, this can quickly add up when drinking five or six cups per day.
Additionally, black tea or coffee with milk adds extra carbs from the milk content.
For example, a grande sized Starbucks latte contains 21.6 grams of carbohydrate, and that is even without sweetening .
A simple change to make is by switching to unsweetened black tea or coffee which are both free of carbohydrate.