Anyone who has tried to eat low carb knows that it can be really hard. I mean really hard. It’s probably safe to say that until recently, I’ve been hitting the low carb mark, but not necessarily the keto mark. To be in ketosis, you have to aim for 50g of carbs (or lower) a day. And most people recommend shooting for 20g or less that way there is a cushion for hidden carbs.
I’ve struggled hard on my quest to eat healthier and eliminate sugars, starches, and processed foods from my diet. Even nine months in I still have my moments of weakness. However, I kept pushing through and every time I’d cave, I’d tell myself tomorrow will be better.
And I’d fail again.
The last two weeks have been the first time since January that I’ve probably been in full ketosis. There was no one thing that made it finally happen, but I can say that continuously trying was the key. I just kept trying… and trying… and then tried some more. And finally, everything clicked.
Now my cravings are nearly gone; and the ones I do get are manageable.
In fact, due to Mother Nature’s lovely monthly visit (I can’t seem to get rid of her!), I was craving chocolate after dinner tonight. Keep in mind I have real chocolate in the house. But as I type this, I am eating half of a Lily’s Chocolate bar (sugar free chocolate), smothered in 2 tbsp of coconut butter, and 2 tbsp of whipped cream. Not the most glamorous desert, but hitting the spot!
Three weeks ago I would have been downing the bag of M&Ms in the pantry. As well as the Little Debbie snacks. The bag of Doritos. The ice cream in the freezer… you can see why I’ve had issues staying on track. Unfortunately I’m the only one in my family of four eating low carb, so temptations are everywhere.
Right now, the thought of any of that other stuff actually sounds disgusting though, I wanted the Lily’s! And this has been happening over and over. You know what I had for lunch today? Bone broth soup. And my body craved it! It wasn’t pizza, or McDonald’s, or the frozen burritos we always have on hand… I wanted freshly made bone broth soup! That’s weird to even type that!
I just wanted to give encouragement to anyone that is currently struggling. It does get better. It will click for you eventually. The key is persistence.
A few suggestions to help you stay on track:
1. If you can, get rid of all temptations from your house. I know better than anyone this is not always possible, but if you can, get it out of the house.
2. Plan your meals. This helps me so much. I make a dinner menu every week and follow this as closely as possible. If you know you are going out, see if you can nail down the restaurant ahead of time. Then go online to look up their menu and see what low carb options they have. Knowing what I am going to have ahead of time, makes me feel prepared. I also try not to even open a menu so that I’m not tempted by the other options.
3. Do something else. If cravings hit you, tempting you to indulge, do something else for at least 15 minutes. I find a walk works best for me, but I’ve done smaller things like painting my nails, playing a quick mini game on my phone, or cruising Facebook.
4. Hot or Cold. When distraction doesn’t work, I’ve sometimes found that drinking a glass of ice water or a hot cup of tea, coffee, or broth works. I don’t know why, but this only seems to work for me if the liquid is either ice cold, or freshly brewed/warmed. I think feeling the warmth or the cold in my belly sends some kind of signal to my brain that it’s all good now.
5. Chew gum. Chewing gum has helped me tremendously. Sometimes a craving is more about wanting the feeling of something in your mouth, than about something in your belly. I’ve found that chewing gum satisfies this need. Just make sure to chew gum that is low in carbs/calories. I like Orbit’s Sweet Mint the most.
6. Keep keto/low carb friendly snacks on hand. Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with veggies, cheese, salami, bacon, pork rinds, guacamole, cheese, bone broth soup, sugar free jello/pudding, whipped cream, cheese, almonds, pecans, parsnip crisps… did I mention cheese? There is so so much more I could mention, there are so many options and they’re all super tasty!
7. Brush your teeth. This one is weird, but brushing my teeth makes me want to avoid spoiling the nice clean feeling of my mouth. And besides, toothpaste has this magical ability to taste horrible with just about anything, making the desire to eat something afterwards practically vanish.
8. Persistence. I mentioned this above, but I feel this is really the key. If you cheat, make sure it’s a cheat meal and not a cheat day. And having said that, if you do cheat the whole day, start over again the next day. Start over again when you fail again. And do it again if you fail again! Keep starting over until you’re no longer starting over and you’re actually doing it! I’ve heard something along the lines of, success is just practice repeated. I like that. It gives me hope, not just with my diet, but with other things (like this blog).
I hope this helps someone that is struggling. As of yesterday, I was down 7 pounds from my last weight loss update post. All 7 pounds were from the last two weeks, so that tells you how bad I was struggling.
Now, I no longer fear caving into my cravings, the few urges I am getting I’ve been handling with the tips above. And the last few days I’ve been getting that keto high, where you feel good, more alert, no longer hungry (in fact, I’ve been experimenting more with fasting), and just feeling happier in general.
I plan to give it another few weeks and then I’ll do an official update post for anyone interested. Until then, keto on my fellow low-carbers.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask below or shoot me an email!
Please don’t mind the mess.
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