It’s well reaserched that diet has a lot to offer you if you’re a food addict.
This is especially true if your food addiction is based around sweet, carb heavy foods.
The keto diet is based on severely restricting the amount of carbs that you can eat each day, while drastically increasing your fat intake.
The normally suggested ratios for each food macro are 5% of your daily nutrition from carbs, 20% from protein and 70% from fats.
The keto diet could help you in a number of different ways.
By limiting you to just 5% carbs, you will not be able to include most of your trigger foods. The 5% rule works out at eating 20g net carbs or less each day.
The average cookie contains between 7g net and 12g net depending on size and ingredients. A slice of white bread has 14g net carbs.
To stay within a very low carb allowance there are some items that you can’t eat. These include:
Below ground vegetables
Carbs are a major cause of damaging insulin spikes. These levels then quickly drop after a few hours.
This is the cause of that post meal slump and afternoon tiredness.
Further, the unstable insulin levels will leave you feeling hungry again, even when you’ve eaten enough.
Furthermore, this drop in insulin is also known to trigger cravings. This is another good reason to walk away from the carbs.
However, just reducing your carb intake isn’t going to help you on its own. If this was the case then you wouldn’t still have your food addiction.
This is where the other feature of the keto diet will help you to reach your goals.
Fats will make up 70% of your daily intake, which is a lot more than most people eat on the standard American diet.
Fats are an important part of the keto diet, and have several healthy effects on your body:
Good fats include:
When you eat these good fats they not only have numerous health benefits (1) but will also:
Keep you feeling full for longer
Stabilize blood/glucose levels, so you’re less likely to want to binge, or experience craves.
Help you to maintain ketosis – which will suppress your appetite, stabilize blood/glucose levels and improve your mood.
What will help to reduce craving as quickly as possible?
There are several things that you can do which will help you beat your cravings as quickly as possible:
Get your intake of carbs down to 20g net each day or less on the first day of your keto diet, and stay at that level. Measure and track your carb intake: Don’t guess. The sooner you’re fully fat adapted the fewer cravings you’ll experience.
Make sure you’re eating all the fat you need. There is no need to go lower than your macros suggest for you. If you’re unsure of your macros use this keto diet calculator.
Accept that you’re going to be in for a rough few days. The first week is always the worst. Find ways to distract yourself, go for a walk, talk with friends. Remind yourself that this stage will pass soon.
Eat plenty of nutritionally dense foods, and experiment with new recipes. Make sure that any food you eat is not reduced fat.
Check out these quick keto snacks. Plan ahead and have a few of these in your store cupboard for when a crave hits.
Take a drink of water. Thirst is sometimes mistaken for hunger
Think about how you’re feeling when a crave comes hard. Are you upset, bored or lonely? Try to think of ways that you can do something fun for yourself.
If you’re addicted to food there is a way that you can overcome this.
Cravings are at the very core of addictions: Once you’ve learned to over- ride your cravings, you’llbe on your way to doing something about your addiction.
The less you give into cravings, the less you will activate the pleasure pathways in your brain.
Pathways that are not regularly used will fade, and the cravings will diminish with time.
This certainly isn’t an easy process, but it is possible. Don’t let the initial discomfort put you off ridding yourself of this addiction. You have a lot to gain from learning how to walk away from your problems foods.
The gain will be well worth the initial hard work, and you deserve to be in charge of what you eat and when you eat.
It may be your gut bacteria that are causing or adding to your desire to eat sugar and carbs.
After a few weeks on a low carb diet, you’ll have changed your gut bacteria enough that this is no longer happening to you.
Even 24 hours on a low carb diet will begin to alter the balance of your gut bacteria.
There are multiple reasons to consider making the change to keto or a low carb eating plan.
For a start, the lack of carbs will balance your blood/glucose levels, and lessen the amount of times you feel hungry.
Further, more stable levels of Insulin will also mean fewer cravings, and less hunger.
Also, by eating more fat, you’ll keep yourself full for longer. You’ll experience fewer times when you crave carbohydrates.
On top of this, Ketosis will not only help you manage and reduce your cravings, it will also make you feel more relaxed and happy.
Remind yourself that you’re not deprived when you’re longing for carbs. You’re doing something that will have an amazing benefit for your health and your addiction.
You’re not being forced to do this, you have chosen to do this.
With some planning, knowledge and patience you can overcome your addiction. Plus you’ll be improving your mood and self esteem.
You’ll be on the right path to meet all your weight loss and health goals.