You’ll Lose Water Weight First
During a keto diet, you’ll lose water weight first, which can be misleading, and then the non-water weight will follow. A 2013 meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Nutrition that compared low-carb ketogenic diets with traditional low-fat diets found that low-carb diets could be effective in reducing obesity rates. But when you consider the long-term health concerns mentioned earlier, cutting them out altogether doesn’t seem like a healthy long-term option.
Cutting Carbs To Lose Weight
Carbohydrates are found in most foods, with the exception of meat and fats. If you’re keen to remove most carbohydrates from your diet, this means that you should avoid high-carb foods like cereals, noodles, pasta, baked goods, rice and other grain-based foods. Other high-carbohydrate foods include processed products like chips, popcorn, crackers, and refined foods like frozen, premade meals and pizza.
High carbohydrate foods can even include some foods that are typically considered healthy, like beans, nuts, sugar-rich fruits and starchy vegetables. Some low-carb diets are so strict that they limit the consumption of carbohydrates to no more than 20 grams a day.
It might seem as if there is little left to eat if you’re eliminating so many carbohydrates. However, all your sources of protein â like fish, shellfish, poultry and red meat â and most of your sources of fat â like extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil and lard â are all fine to eat. Additionally, not all your carbohydrates are off the table you still need to âinclude carbohydrates from soluble and insoluble fiberâ in your diet.
âRead more:â 16 Diet-Friendly Healthful Carbs
How Sugar Affects The Brain
Addictive drugs like heroin and cocaine produce a high because they either masquerade as neurotransmitters or prompt the nervous system to release a flood of them. These kinds of changes in brain chemistry lead to dependence, withdrawal, and addiction.
Sugar triggers a release of endorphins, the natural opioids that are widely recognized for reducing pain after youre injured and boosting happiness after you exercise. Sugar also triggers a release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter linked to cravings.
In animal studies, researchers have found that sugar withdrawal mirrors withdrawal from other drugs, like cocaine and heroin. But animals seem to be more prone to “sugar addiction” than we are. In one study, when given a choice between cocaine and sugar, cocaine-addicted rats primarily chose the sugar.
Sugar is a tricky thing. There are sugars in many of the healthy foods you eat, including fruit, bread, and dairy products. When we talk about sugars from a health perspective, what we are usually talking about are the refined sugar added into things like bread, candy, and soda. This includes table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and white flour.
Whether or not you can actually become addicted to, or physically dependent upon, sugar depends largely on your definition of addiction. But it does appear that many people experience withdrawal-like symptoms when they give it up.
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Eat This: Dont Ditch The Carbs Switch The Carbs
Few foods can make you feel as warm and happy as a big bowl of pasta or a few thick slices of warm bread smothered in creamy butter. Carbs are life for so many people. The mere thought of giving up bread, pasta or pizza sends them into a tailspin.
Carbohydrates or carbs, as they are fondly known come in a bunch of tastes, textures, shapes and sizes. We all have our favourites, our go-to, our gotta-have-it, dont run out carbs. But why do carbs get such a bad rap? We have this low-carb craze of eating thats as strong as ever, with all the diets out there. Carbs are an energy-producing, fibre-rich, nutrient-dense group of foods that line supermarket aisles, and we are actually taught and told to make about 60% of our daily food intake.
Is your head spinning? Yep, I get it. Heard of the term carboholism? Yep, some say that carbs are as addictive as booze, drugs or something that has an -olism on the end of it. But really, are bread, pasta and muffins all that bad? Dr. David Ludwig, who has written numerous books on this, focuses on the effects of insulin and how to regulate it in his new book, Always Hungry . Its a valid topic to do a deep dive into, but am I about to say its time to jump on the bandwagon of low-carb, no-grain, meat and two veg ONLY on your plate? No way, hose.
How Much Sugar Can We Eat
Many foods contain natural sugar, including fruit, vegetables and dairy products and these should be included in a healthy diet, but aiming for no added sugar will help to support health and reduce cravings, says Adrienne Benjamin, nutritionist for ProVen Probiotics .
The NHS states 30g added or free sugar a day as a maximum intake for adults, and suggests that sugar should only represent 5% of calorie intake, says Adrienne. In comparison, the average sugar intake in the UK is now 100g a day way higher than the recommended amount. But its very easy to consume excess sugar . For example, 100g serving of Special K contains 10g , she explains.
Its really not that easy to stick to the recommended amounts, confirms Suzie Sawyer, clinical nutritionist for Feel Alive! Supplements . For example, for those with a passion for fizzy drinks, then one can of original cola has 35g sugar. And if you also eat a portion of Muller Greek Style Yoghurt with 22g sugar that will take you well over the recommended daily intake.
Here, Healthspans head of nutrition Rob Hobson shares further examples of the average amount of free sugar in a recommended serving of:
- A Mars Bar: 32g sugar in 54g bar
- Sainsburys Fruit Yoghurt: 15g sugar in 125g pot
- Fruit Gummies: 12g sugar in 25g serving
- Ben’s Original Sweet & Sour Sauce: 14g in 112g serving
- Bran Flakes: 4.3g in 30g serving
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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.
Sugar Reset: Your 1 Month Plan To Get Off Sugar
Is sugar just a sweetener, or an addictive substance on par with a drug? Depending on which experts you ask, the answer may surprise you. While we are primed to want the sweet taste of energy-rich simple carbohydrates, eating too much can not only give us uncontrollable cravings for more, it can set us up for a lifetime of chronic health issues.
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How To Quit Sugar
You know in your heart when youre eating too much sugar. You want to cut down but you dont know how to go about it without further fuelling cravings. But you can do it. Here’s how to quit sugar.
First, remove all sugary treats from your home. Replace them with healthier sugary options, such as fruit and low-sugar alternatives. Fill your biscuit tin with nuts and swap the sugar in your porridge for a teaspoon of honey.
Next, think about your diet. The key is to plan ahead, advises Adrienne. Start reducing the amount of processed and packaged foods that you eat, including snack bars, chocolate and bread. Buy in lots of one ingredient foods, such as meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, veg and fruit and start to cook from scratch, she says.
Eat three balanced meals around 4-5 hours apart throughout the day to support healthy digestion and reduce insulin spikes, she continues. ‘This may be difficult when you first quit sugar so eating a small snack in between meals can be helpful. This can include fruit to satisfy sugar cravings, but eat it with some protein or fat, such as a few nuts and/or seeds, nut butter, yoghurt or hummus. Many of these healthy snacks are suitable. This sugar-free diet plan can also make a difference
Evenings are one of the times most people crave sweet treats. So try going out for a walk, do something around the house or have a nice bath rather than flopping in front of the TV with a packet of sweets, adds Rob.
How Long Do The Symptoms Last After Quitting Sugar
You will have to put up with these signs and symptoms for 1-3 weeks, depending on the individual.
People who have been eating a lot of sugar over a long period of time may experience a withdrawal that lasts around two to three weeks. Even artificial sweeteners can lead to addiction and withdrawal as a result. For this reason, artificial sweeteners like aspartame should not be used as a substitute for sweets that include sugar. Exercise can help with headaches and flu-like symptoms, as well. Moderate to brisk walking or jogging can help by raising circulation and metabolism significantly, stimulating the immune system, and giving the person something pleasant to concentrate on. Also, remember to try our SugarMD Weight loss formula which is specifically designed to help you with sugar cravings which you will have plenty of when you are trying to get off all the goodies you love!
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You May Experience The Low
Juliana Shalek, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of The Nutrition Suite claims that following a low-carb diet tends to promote weight loss at a relatively fast rate because cutting carbohydrates reduces blood glucose and insulin levels, which in turn minimizes fat storage in the body. However, Kristin Kirkpatrick, a dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, asserts that cutting carbs out altogether may result in fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headaches, irritability, and nausea that can last a few days or even weeks, also known as the “low-carb flu.”
Gomer describes this phenomenon as well, saying you may have “brain fog and low energy.” Glucose and carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for our brains, so adjusting to that intake inevitably has its effects. “If we have a high-end sports car, we put premium gasoline in itso why give our brain sub-par fuel?” says Gomer.
Day : Nix The Sugary Snacks
Get rid of easy-to-grab sweets in your pantry or drawercookies, energy bars, muffins, candyand youre already slashing a bunch of unnecessary calories. A good rule of thumb is to stick to 25 grams per day if youre a woman 36 grams if youre a man, per the American Heart Association . When you notice a sugar craving, stop and take a moment to figure out whats really going on. Addressing whats truly driving the urge to eat sugar sets you up for success. Here are the top contenders:
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Why We Crave Carbs
Carbs are one of three main fuel sources for us in our diet, alongside protein and fat. And because of this, Taylor says its important to remember that carbs arent some forbidden food.
Carbs arent evil, she says. They play an important part in a balanced eating plan. We want carbs because theyre our bodys favorite fuel source, especially for activity and exercise.
The important role carbs play is at the root of why we need and want carbs as part of our overall diet. But there are also specific times when certain behaviors trigger particularly heavy cravings for carbs and, according to Taylor, these are the instances we need to look out for.
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.
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When Youre Addicted To Sugar The Cravings Are Unbearable And Weight Gain Is Inevitable So When I Eliminated Added Sugar From My Diet Completely This Is What Ensued
Ah sugar! There is nothing in the world I love as much as sweet treats. And I am not just talking about chocolates. Right from that jar of condensed milk hiding in my mothers kitchen to hot gulab jamuns dripping with sugar syrupI can nosh on it all for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
But as happy sugar makes my taste buds, its absolutely terrible for my body. No surprises there, right? I mean from a lot of weight gain to an increased risk of diabetesmy sugar addiction doled out a slew of health problems for me, including PCOD.
Thats why when the lockdown was announced, I decided to give up sugarin all its formsfor 40 days. Tough feat, I knowbut I gave up biscuits, desserts, sugar granules , chocolates, and basically everything that has added sugar. All I allowed myself to have was fruits and foods with natural sugars.
The first few days were horribleMy system was so high on sugar that by the time the first day of my sugar fast ended, I almost fainted. This despite eating fruits like mangos and bananas which are teeming with natural sugars and not skipping any meals.
Not to mention that the cravings were unbearable. All I wanted to do was binge on chocolates and dig into that can of condensed milk with my fingers. Each time a wave of sugar pangs hit me, I would pop in a sugar-free gum or snack on almonds while waiting for it to subside.
Frankly, kicking out sugar from my life wasnt easybut damn, it was totally worth it!
Why You Should Look For High
The good news is, there are plenty of delicious, high-fiber, low-carb foods you can eat that will keep you feeling good. Since fiber is neither digested nor absorbed, it actually takes up space in your intestine, giving you a feeling of fullness .
“High Fiber is gold,” says Kimberly Gomer, Director of Nutrition at Pritikin Longevity Center. What’s more, “eating lots of vegetablesthe best carbs out thereis key for health,” adding that along with making you feel satiated, veggies “will provide you with the nutrition that provides anti-cancer, strong immune health, and cardiovascular support.”
Registered dietician nutritionist Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, of Maya Feller Nutrition, says that the daily fiber recommendation for women is 25 grams . “Most Americans are not meeting their daily fiber needs,” the expert told us. “Low-fiber diets can have a negative impact on both gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health.”
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What Foods Reduce Sugar Cravings
Whole-grains and complex carbohydrates, which are higher in fiber, release glucose more slowly, so you get more stable glucose levels instead of having sugar spikes. Also, fiber takes longer to digest in the body, which leads to a higher feeling of fullness, she explains. Proteins and fats have the same effect. They take longer to digest, so they increase your fullness levels, reducing your cravings.
In other words, sugar fans the flame of sugar cravings. The more sugar you eat, the more sugar you will crave. Focusing on whole, natural, unprocessed foods such as lean proteins, vegetables, whole grains, eggs, seeds, nuts, and low-fat dairy will reduce sugar cravings.
Fruit is high in natural sugar, so depending on how sensitive you are to sugar cravings, you might be able to use fruit to help satisfy your cravings, but you may find that you do best avoiding most fruits.
Swap Milk Chocolate For Dark Chocolate
It is difficult to find chocolate that doesnt taste good, but the health properties of different chocolate bars can vary a lot.
To illustrate this, a regular 1.5 oz bar of Hersheys milk chocolate comes to 26 grams of carbs including only one gram of fiber .
In contrast, the same amount of 85% Lindt dark chocolate provides only 8.6 grams of carbohydrate, and this includes 3.2 grams of fiber .
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You Can Mix And Match Any Breakfast Lunch And Dinner
Breakfast: A big bowl of berries with 3 tbsp natural whole milk or Greek yoghurt, scattered with 1 tbsp coconut flakes and 30g mixed nuts.
Lunch: Grilled halloumi salad .
Dinner: Tomato and prawn pasta .
Breakfast: Full English .
Lunch: 75g smoked salmon strips spread with 2 tsp cream cheese and cucumber slices, then rolled up.
Dinner: Creme fraiche and coriander chicken .
COULD YOU BE A SUGAR ADDICT?
Does the thought of living life sugar-free fill you with horror? If so, you may unknowingly be addicted.
In fact, sugar is believed to be eight times more addictive than cocaine. Some people are more sensitive than others, but the more sugar you eat, the more likely it has taken hold of your addictive pathways and is driving you to eat and drink far too much.
When sugar hits the bloodstream, it stimulates release of a brain chemical called dopamine, which makes you feel good. The feeling is usually short-lived.
This can trigger cravings for more sugar, urging you, against your better judgment, to pick up another biscuit or break off another square of chocolate so your brain can have another hit of dopamine.
Before long, the biological signals that would normally control hunger and satiety are swiftly being overwhelmed by this dopamine stimulation, to the point where your body starts listening only to sugars cues and ignores the fact that you have already eaten far more than you need.