Your body really is a amazing detective. Every day, as you get hungry, your body is telling you exactly what it needs. Since it can’t actually speak to you, it tells you through your cravings instead. Learning to listen to your cravings, and determine what they really mean, will help you in your Keto Diet Success. Instead of falling victim to your cravings, you can master them. By learning how to fill your cravings in a healthy way, and determine what nutritional deficiencies they may suggest, you will be able to improve your health and your overall well being.
Getting What You Crave
You know that the Keto Diet requires a strong desire to stay in ketosis, especially as you become fat adapted. There will be cravings and tough decisions. Though there is no easy solution, the following tips are intended to help make your cravings easier to manage.
Pasta, Rice, Bread, and Baked Goods
First, there’s a good chance that you will have some strong cravings for these. Obviously, as you detox from carbohydrates, your cravings will be stronger. Luckily, your cravings will subside as your body adjusts.
Since grain are such a large part of the typical American Diet, you will have to adjust to not having them in your diet regularly. Most cravings for these grains are fueled by a lack of nitrogen, and can be put into check by eating more protein like shellfish, meat, and nuts.
Taco Tuesday doesn’t have to be a disappointment when on the keto diet! Yes, you can’t have the taco shells, but you can still have everything else. The meat, cheese and avocado are all essential and delicious parts of your diet. There are some great recipes for keto tacos available, which add the crunch of a hard shell in other ways (i.e. Cheese!!!)
Chances are, if you are craving chocolate, you need more magnesium in your diet. Keeping at least 2 tsp of salt (sodium, potassium, and magnesium) in your diet each day will help to keep these cravings at bay. Also, raw nuts and seeds are great sources of magnesium. Most Americans are magnesium deficient, whether or not they have a specialized diet. Consider adding a daily supplement to battle this deficiency.
If you REALLY want chocolate, eat some chocolate! Important rules: No milk chocolate, only dark chocolate, and keep your chocolate to at least 75% (or higher) and unsweetened. The darker the chocolate, the better!
You are most likely dehydrated, drink water. Then, drink some more water. Basically, drink LOTS of water. This will help with cravings for donuts and bread as well.
These cravings can also be caused by a deficiency in chromium, carbon, phosphorus, sulfur, or tryptophan. These deficiencies are likely to make you irritable and more likely to reach for a candy bar instead of a keto-friendly treat. To fight this, add more dark, leafy vegetables, dairy, nuts, liver, chicken, and/or beef. These foods are both high in the nutrients mentioned above, but also in magnesium.
Even the “healthy alternative” to carbonated beverages, flavored sparkling water, can contain more than your daily carbohydrate intake. Flavored Pellegrino, for example, contains 31g of carbs in just 12 oz! Sparkling natural mineral water simply has 10g of sodium per serving, so it’s an easy substitution. There are a few companies making keto-friendly mock-sodas, like La Croix and Zevia. These drinks are zero carb, zero calorie, and contain no sugar. Conversely, they contain an ingredient listed as “natural flavor.” While we can’t be sure of it’s full ingredients, many Keto Dieters swear by the mock-sodas. We’ll let you be the judge!
If the craving arises for your favorite can of soda, you are probably low in calcium. Try eating some string cheese or a healthy serving of broccoli, kale, or other dark-green vegetables to kick this craving!
If you are craving chips or pizza, your body wants more tryptophan or chloride. Eat some cheese, spinach, fish, or even unsalted cottage cheese instead.
We’ve all had the experience of being hungry for what seems like no reason. If you’ve already drank a large glass of water, with no avail, you might be missing some key nutrients. These include: silicon, tryptophan, and tyrosine. Try replenishing your stores with nuts, seeds, cheese, spinach, liver, lamb, or vitamin C supplements.