So, you are following the ketogenic diet and you are DYING for a treat, eh?
So let me ask you… are you experiencing lots of cravings for sweets? or is this just a “it would be nice to have a sweeter treat than i’m used to?" fleeting thought?
Assuming you are having intense sugar cravings, my first question is:
For how long have you followed the ketogenic diet?
In the first 2 weeks you may experience +++ sugar cravings as this is your body’s withdrawal from carbs! yes, carbs act like a drug in our bodies! So keep on low carb-ing on! You can get through these next few days! Eat ++ fat if you are having a craving!
Are you having enough fat?
Many ketogenic forums out discuss this concept of ‘macros’… the macronutrient ratios you need to follow for your personal amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates. While it is important to limit your carbs to likely between 20-50g total carbs and limit your protein to 1-1.5g/kg of either ideal body weight or lean muscle mass (which ever you know!), fat SHOULD NOT BE RESTRICTED. So there is no macro for fat. The limit for fat is your fullness cues. Eat fat to satiety. not sure what this means?
Let me give you an example: let’s say you think you need ~ 1800kcal (calories are largely irrelevant in the ketogenic diet, but we live in a calorie world, so…)
and you are eating: 20 g total CHO, 80g protein… let’s convert these grams to calories. So there are 4 g of protein and carbohydrates in 1 calorie. So we get:
- 20 g CHO = 80 kcal CHO
- 60 g protein = 240 kcal PROTEINarbProtein.
So if we add the carbs and protein calories up, we get 80+240 = 320 kcal per day. but we are eating 1800 kcal! that means that the rest of the 1480 kcal are coming from fat!!! So if we work backwards, there are 9 g of fat in 1 kcal. So 1480kcal/ 9g = 164 g fat per day!
What does 164 g fat look like?
- 164g fat= 164 ml fat = 11 TBSP per day of added oil!
Now I'm not AT ALL saying that that you need to follow the above macronutrient ratios. In fact, I would rather you limit your carbs to your personal tolerance (or to ~20 net grams of carbs per day), protein to your personal threshold (or 1g per kg of ideal body weight, which inaccurately I usually start off basing on BMI of ~25; or 1g per kg of lean body mass if you have access to a taint scale). Fat, well I want you to eat fat until you are full. Some days you may go past your 'macro' and other days you might not reach it. But you should not be hungry on this diet! If you are hungry, you are not eating enough fat. For more information, read Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore with Dr. Westman and listen to Keto Talk with Jimmy Moore and the Doc Podcast (start at episode 1 with Dr. Adam Nally)!
If you are not eating enough food, then you will be having cravings - your body is talking to you!
If you just miss a treat, you've overcome the carb withdrawal, and you are just looking for a small something for a treat, then you can consider a few things: berries with whipped cream, a few pieces of dark chocolate (I suggest 80% dark chocolate or higher because the other stuff has so much sugar added!), or a fat bomb (a small treat made up mostly of fat, usually with a non-caloric sweetener added to it). [Google fat bombs and you will get a TON of recipes!]
When you have your treat of choice, just remember to enjoy every bite!
As always, if you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of health, Eliana
(Please note, i'm in the process of adding a number of posts with references, pictures, etc. Rather than wait until every thing is perfect, I'm adding it now!)