Top Tips: How To Stop Sugar-Cravings On A Keto Diet

  • Author: Kara
  • Date: December 9, 2023
  • Time to Read: 8 min.
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Struggling with sugar cravings while trying to adhere to a keto diet? You’re not alone. Many find it challenging to suppress their sweet tooth while maintaining a low-carb lifestyle. But worry not, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll share our top strategies to help you overcome those pesky sugar cravings and stay focused on your health goals.

So, are you ready to defeat those cravings once and for all? Let’s dive in!

Understanding the Keto Diet

The Keto Diet is a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle that prompts your body to switch from using glucose for energy to burning fat.

This involves significantly reducing your carbohydrate intake and replacing it with healthy fats.

This metabolic shift leads to numerous health benefits, including weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity.

However, sugar cravings can be a real challenge when transitioning into a ketogenic lifestyle.

Our bodies are used to using carbs as an easy energy source, which we’re no longer providing with a keto diet.

But don’t worry, with some determination and discipline, you’ll soon find yourself free from sugar temptations.

I know what a challenge it is, I’ve been there and done it!

I promise you that it does get easier and that sugar cravings will soon be a thing of the past.

Decoding Sugar Cravings

Ever felt like you’re addicted to sugar? You’re not alone.

Sugar cravings are common among those following a keto diet. Understanding why we crave sugar is the first step towards conquering it.

The reason many of us struggle with sugar cravings is related to our blood sugar levels. Consuming high-carb foods like bread, pasta, and cakes cause our insulin levels to spike quickly.

This leads to an overproduction of insulin, triggering feelings of hunger soon after eating.

To avoid this cycle of craving and overeating, it’s crucial to keep your carb intake low on a keto diet and regularly monitor your blood sugar levels.

Reducing stress can also help mitigate cravings by allowing your body time to rest and reset its hormone balance.

When I first started on the keto diet, I thought I was prepared for the challenges that lay ahead. I had read up on the science behind it, stocked my pantry with all the right foods, and mentally prepared myself for the potential struggles.

But nothing could have prepared me for the intense sugar cravings that hit me like a tidal wave.

I had always had a sweet tooth, indulging in sugary treats on a regular basis.

So, when I suddenly cut out all carbs and sugars from my diet, my body rebelled.

The first few days were the hardest.

I found myself constantly daydreaming about cookies, cakes, and chocolate bars. It felt like my body was screaming for a sugar fix, and it took every ounce of willpower to resist.

But as the days turned into weeks, something amazing happened. The cravings slowly began to fade away.

I started to appreciate the natural sweetness of foods like berries and dark chocolate.

My taste buds seemed to awaken to the subtle flavors that had been overshadowed by the overwhelming sweetness of processed treats.

Not only did my cravings diminish, but I also noticed a significant improvement in my overall well-being.

Without the constant sugar highs and crashes, I had a newfound sense of energy and mental clarity.

My mood stabilized, and I no longer experienced those dreaded mid-afternoon slumps. I felt lighter, both physically and mentally, as the hold that sugar had on me started to loosen.

Looking back now, I am amazed at how much my relationship with food has changed since those early days on keto.

Sugar no longer has the power to control me.

The below graphy illustrates my journey, and so many other Keto Eaters that I speak to.

Sugar Cravings on keto timeline

Initally cravings are still high, and this will stay high for a number of weeks, but from around week 4 those cravings will start to subside and will soon drop off to nothing.

I have learned that it’s possible to enjoy food without relying on excessive sweetness.

And the best part is, I feel better than ever.

Why Do We Crave Sugar on a Keto Diet?

Sugar cravings can be hard to beat in the early stages of a keto diet.

The main reasons for this are due to our natural craving for sweetness, which is influenced by several factors – including hormones, brain chemistry, and social influences.

One common culprit behind sugar cravings is consuming too much processed or refined foods that have added sugars.

Eating these types of food increases your body’s desire for more sugary foods as well as other unhealthy snacks.

I know that pre-keto, I was definitely guilty of this.

Reducing your overall intake of high-calorie carbohydrate-rich foods may also reduce cravings for sweets.

Healthy keto snacks

If you find yourself reaching out for something sweet after meals, try substituting artificial sweeteners instead.

Here are some healthy keto snack ideas;

  • Almond flour crackers
  • Avocado
  • Baked cheese crisps
  • Berries with sugar-free whipped cream
  • Blueberries & full-fat cottage cheese
  • Celery with cream cheese and fresh herbs
  • Cheese sticks, slices or cubes
  • Chicken or beef bone broth
  • Chocolate fat bombs
  • Cucumber sticks wrapped in cheese
  • Deli meat (turkey, chicken, ham, etc.)
  • Deviled eggs
  • Dill pickles
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Homemade keto granola
  • Keto bagel
  • Keto chicken wings
  • Keto coffee or tea
  • Keto nuts (almonds, macadamias, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.)
  • Keto pancakes or muffins (make ahead)
  • Mini meatballs or mini burgers
  • Nut butter (peanut, almond, etc.)
  • Olives, plain or stuffed with soft cheese
  • Pork rinds
  • Raw low carb vegetables
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc.)
  • Sugar-free dark chocolate chips
  • Swiss cheese & turkey roll ups
  • Zucchini chips

They don’t contain any calories or carbohydrates, so they’re unlikely to cause blood sugar spikes or increase your appetite.

Boosting Satiety with Healthy Fats and Protein

One of the most crucial parts of a keto diet is ensuring that you feel satiated and NOT experiencing sugar cravings.

To achieve this, incorporate healthy fats and proteins into your meals.

Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado can help fill you up, as well as adding flavor to your food.

Fat bombs – small snacks made from butter or cream cheese mixed with nuts and seeds – provide the perfect combination of fat and protein.

Lean sources of protein such as fish, poultry, eggs, and Greek yogurt are also essential. These high-quality proteins will keep you feeling fuller longer than their refined counterparts would.

Additionally, staying hydrated helps reduce hunger pangs while also helping flush out toxins in the body.

Managing Stress Levels

Managing stress is key for reducing sweet cravings on a keto lifestyle. Stress hormones like cortisol can cause spikes in hunger, leading to cravings and feelings of deprivation.

To reduce stress levels, try engaging in calming activities such as yoga or meditation.

Deep breathing throughout the day can also help ease anxiety and promote relaxation.

Historically, I wasn’t a fan of meditation and the like.

However, over the last decade, I‘ve really embraced this and have found that it brings no end of benefits to my life, one of the best being reducing my stress levels.

Importance of Hydration

Staying hydrated helps your body regulate itself better, making it easier to resist unhealthy snacks.

Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day.

Personally, I have a water bottle with me at all times and try and refill it three times a day. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening.

I will have hot drinks around this, but I know if I’ve finished my three refills, I’ve had enough for the day.

Importance of Proper Sleep Habits

Lack of quality sleep can increase sugar cravings. Poor sleep affects our hormones and causes us to crave sweet foods as our body craves energy.

It is important to get seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to improve your overall wellbeing.

improving sleep through sugar regulation

Consistent bedtimes and wake times throughout the week will help stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Avoid drinking coffee late in the evening as this can affect your ability to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep until morning.

Regular Exercise

Exercising regularly is key to conquering sugar cravings on a keto diet. When you exercise, your body burns fat for energy instead of relying largely on carbs and glucose from sugar.

This helps reduce insulin resistance and keep blood glucose levels even throughout the day.

The type and amount of exercise that works best will depend on each individual’s needs and overall health goals.

However, most people find success with some form of low-intensity activity like walking or yoga as well as regular strength training sessions.

You do not have to do crazy cardio in order to lose weight.

Substituting Sweets with Natural Sweeteners

When trying to avoid sugar cravings on a keto diet, natural sweeteners can be an excellent alternative.

They provide a way to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings without compromising your goals.

Here are some ways you can substitute sweets with natural sweeteners:

  1. Choose non-starchy fruits like berries as occasional treats.
  2. Use artificial sweeteners occasionally such as stevia, monk fruit extract, or Swerve.
  3. Indulge in low-carb chocolate bars or desserts made with all-natural ingredients for an occasional treat.

Increasing Fiber Intake

Increasing your fiber intake can help reduce cravings by helping you feel fuller and more satisfied, longer.

Fiber is not digestible carbs, so it won’t affect your carbohydrate intake in any negative way.

Eating foods high in fiber such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables is recommended.

These fibrous foods will help keep blood sugars steady while still providing enough satiation to prevent overconsumption of other food items later on in the day.

I like to add chia seeds to my smoothies, granola, salads, and deserts, pretty much anything to add a bit of extra fiber.

Herbal Remedies to Curb Cravings

There are some herbal remedies that can help curb those pesky cravings while allowing you to still enjoy low-carb alternatives.

Incorporate adaptogens like ashwagandha or lemon balm into your daily routine.

Enjoy cinnamon tea to reduce sweet cravings naturally.

Try supplementing with magnesium or chromium to increase satiety signals and minimize food cravings overall.

Accountability and Support

Accountability and support are key when it comes to developing a healthy lifestyle.

Consider involving your family and friends in the process of cutting out sugar cravings on a keto diet.

You can also join an online group that offers dietary support for those who follow this type of eating plan.

Creating realistic goals with people you trust will help you stay motivated.

Final Thoughts: Stop Sugar-Cravings On Keto

Following a keto diet doesn’t have to mean constantly being tempted by sugar cravings. By understanding the reasons for these cravings, ensuring you’re getting enough healthy fats and proteins, increasing fiber intake, reducing stress levels, and having accountability, you can manage your sugar cravings while still enjoying your low-carb lifestyle.

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