Lots of people think the Ketogenic diet is a lot of no! No carbs, no sweets, no fun. This misconception causes many to give up on the diet before long. You can only eat so much meat and above ground veggies. Eventually, you’re ready to kill for a brownie.
The Keto diet’s goal isn’t to deprive you of brownies but to redirect your taste toward healthier foods now and long-term haul. The diet was never intended to make it’s followers continually do without. In fact, once you break your carb addiction, you may not miss sweets at all.
Giving up sweets treats sounds like a mighty unappealing choice. How does Keto really approach sweets.?
What is your goal on the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet’s goal is to give your body foods that actually help it thrive. Counting on carbs for energy leaves you at the mercy of the glucose concentration in your blood. It makes you spike, crash and crave carbs all the time. This causes aggravation, poor sleep, sluggish metabolism, restlessness, illness and more.
The Keto diet offers you a better way. It switches you over to burning ketones. Ketones come from fatty acids, which are plentiful. Even thin people have a significant fatty acid supply, especially when they eat high concentrations of healthy fats.
The benefits of this a better mood, improved mental clarity, a more stable metabolism, better sleep, and increased energy. But on the other hand, Keto-ers can feel deprived occasionally.
What Does Keto Have to Say About Sweets?
Does Keto really forbid sweets? No, it’s our idea of sweets that causes the confusion. Keto doesn’t forbid sweets, but it prohibits many of the ingredients in traditional desserts. You can’t have anything with sugar and flour.
Why Do You Want Sweets, Anyway?
The ketogenic diet feeds the body what it actually needs and that is sometimes in conflict with what your brain is telling you it wants. People’s brains are operating under evolutionary forces from caveman times. Your brain looks at food like this: If it looks good, then eat it. Don’t ask questions; it may not be here tomorrow.
It worked well for early man, but not so much in the land of plenty, which explains why obesity is such a problem in the United States and the world.
if your brain is screaming “I need a donut!” then there is probably something else going on. The main things it could be are:
- You’re really hungry
- You lack energy
- You want that little something “extra” after eating
- You feel like treating yourself
- Let’s look at these.
What to do about your sweet cravings
You feel hungry, and you start fantasizing about your favorite bakery’s sweet case. You’ll be hungry again in about an hour since high carb sweets have no staying lower. The easy fix: Eat protein-rich food, which fills you up and gives you the fat-derived energy keto relies on.
Experiencing low-energy? See above: You need protein, fat and low-carb veggies.
The desire for something “extra” is more complicated. A sweet food like a bowl of ice cream or fruit triggers a “the meal is over“ signal, which ends your need to continue eating after a meal. It only takes a few hours, for the carbs to begin the spike-crash-crave cycle above.
The trick here is to choose a food that gives you the illusion of decadence, but really is healthy and filling. Some examples are peanut butter, unsweetened chocolate or a full-fat cheese such as brie or camembert.
Now we come to the need to treat yourself. It can be torture to see others eating food items loaded with carbs donuts, chocolate cake, and ice cream drinks. Is there a way of spoiling yourself without binging on carbs?
Choose Sweet Carb-Free Ingredients
When the familiar 2-p.m. crash rolls around – which happens less often on keto, but is a part of your body’s natural circadian rhythm, you may need a little something to tide you over during the day.
Now, what should that something be?
Choose the right ingredients. There are plenty of whole foods that taste sweet yet are low carb and sugarless.
Some “sweet” ingredients suggestions are:
- Nut butters, which have a creamy and nearly syrupy quality
- Coconut flakes are very high in protein and taste like they’ve been sweetened. When you add them to recipes they become a sweetener.
- Creamed coconut is so sweet you’d think it had buckets of sugar in it
- Coconut oil, which tastes like sweet cream butter
- Bacon, which when cooked slowly will caramelize naturally into a thick, sticky sweet coating
- Caramelized onions, which create the same coating as bacon, especially when fried in coconut oil or bacon grease
- Butter does have natural sugars but the high amounts of fat it contains slows the time it takes for your body to metabolize them and you avoid the glucose spike
- Stevia is actually a sweetener made from the leaf of a plant and contains no sugars or calories
If you use any of those to make a snack, they will fill you up and fill your desire for a guilty pleasure.
Eat sweet ingredients by themselves
Those sweet tasting ingredients are yummy all by themselves. You can eat them by the handful when you need a pick-me-up. Nuts get sweeter as you chew and release their fats. Fresh coconut is sweeter than any cake carb bomb.
Water chestnuts have a sweetness that puts fancy French desserts to shame.
Calorie restrictions aren’t a characteristic of the keto diet because it’s good food your body won’t store as fat. Bet you never thought of this: your body won’t let you binge on those foods like you can with carbs. This just proves you can get too much of a good thing, you would get sick before you could eat thousands of calories of onions the way you inhale a box of donuts.
Combine those ingredients into Keto approved snacks
Keto is all for combining individual whole foods into healthy snacks. This helps you get more mileage out of the more expensive ingredients by combining them (creamed coconut or grass-fed butter, say) with more affordable choices (coconut flour and peanut butter). It’s a good idea make the effort count and make snacks in large batches to keep you covered all week long.
Those of you that make the meals in your family know this, when you actually make something, there’s more satisfaction connected to it and it really feels like a treat. Compare a spoonful of nut butter to some keto friendly cookies or fat bombs.
On the Keto diet, you learn sugar and carbohydrates should be avoided, but you deserve sweets, and you know which ones are safe.