It was a cold and rainy day, and I was in the supermarket when something truly amazing happened. Something that really made it hit home that I had made the right choice by changing my diet to a low-carb, high-fat one.
What was this amazing thing?
It was simply this:
I walked down the confectionary aisle in the store and didn’t feel a single pull to add any chocolate, sweets, crisps, biscuits or cakes to my basket.
I didn’t want any of those things at all. I wasn’t even full up from a meal; breakfast had been some hours before. But my body was happily burning fats and I had absolutely no need or desire for any of those high carb kinds of foods.
This might not seem like a big deal to you, but for me, it was life changing! For the first time ever, I didn’t have to battle with a desire to eat things I knew I really shouldn’t. There was no battle whatsoever – I just didn’t want them.
In the first few weeks after starting to eat a keto diet, you may feel some pretty intense carb cravings. I know I did! But if you stick with what you’re doing, you will get to the point where that craving just doesn’t exist anymore.
The extent to which you have to deal with carb cravings will really depend on how many carbs, in particular, refined sugars, you were eating prior to making the shift to eating keto.
Carb cravings are perfectly normal to start with. Before you body has got the message that it should rely on burning all that fat for energy, it will keep looking for more carbs to burn because that’s what it’s used to.
Once you have become fat adapted and your body is happily burning fats for energy on a daily basis you will be amazed at how those carb and sugar cravings fall away.
In the meantime, here are 3 tips to help you beat those carb cravings:
1. Eat More Fat!
In the beginning, you really have to flood your body with fat so that your brain starts to understand that fat is the preferred fuel to burn. When you crave carbs, eat some fats. Coconut oil is a great one for this as the energy is readily available. Look up some delicious fat bomb recipes and pop one or two of these in your mouth whenever you are feeling a strong urge to eat some carbs.
2. Get Enough Sleep
This is so, so important. I know that before I was keto adapted, if I didn’t have enough sleep my carb cravings went through the roof. When you are not sleeping enough, your body will crave carbs for that fast hit of energy. Pre-empt this by making sure you are well rested and sleeping 8 hours a night, certainly while you are keto-adapting. (You are likely to find that you start needing less sleep once you are adapted).
3. Distract Yourself
Be proactive when a carb craving hits. Don’t sit there battling it out, choose an activity to do that will take your mind off it. The carb craving will pass very quickly if you just do something else – even getting up and jogging on the spot! If you sit and wallow in your craving, it will stay there. Don’t let it start to eat away at your willpower; immediately a craving hits, get moving and do something else.
In the first few weeks, stick to your guns and don’t give into these carb cravings. If you do this, before long you will be having one of those life changing moments when you realise you are perfectly content with your meals and don’t feel any need to grab at carbs during the day.