The Keto Diet for Carb Lovers: Tips for Carb Cravings
If you’re a carb lover you find yourself asking how many carbs can I eat and stay in ketosis? However, with the best intentions, you always find it’s best to eliminate as many carbs as possible. There is a way to get through the keto diet for carb lovers.
The best way to get the most out of the keto diet is for carb lovers is to focus on the foods that satisfy carb cravings. Healthy fats, protein, and low-carb food are the best to help you stay full and feel like you didn’t miss a single carb.
The benefit of learning how to navigate carb cravings is finding new foods that you love. Knowing what carbs to choose and how much you need will help you learn how to stay in ketosis.
Keep reading, to find out how to navigate the keto diet as a carb lover without starving yourself. Each tip will help you deal with your carb cravings using nutritious food to help you reach all your goals while on keto.
Can you be in ketosis while eating carbs?
Anytime you eat carbs you risk coming out of ketosis. Too many carbs stop the body from producing ketones and prevent ketosis. Every person is different however, some people can enter ketosis while eating more carbs than others. The keto diet will depend on each individual’s body.
Ketones are a form of energy made in your liver when your body doesn’t get enough glucose for energy. When you don’t have enough glucose your body burns fat for energy instead. Carbs give you high levels of glucose, so avoiding them helps keep your glucose levels low.
The issue with assigning the exact amount of carbs you need is that each body produces glucose and breaks down carbs differently. You may need fewer carbs to stay in ketosis than the next person. However your body could need more, so in theory, you could eat carbs and still go into ketosis.
If you’re already in ketosis and you raise your level of carbs, your blood sugar will spike. A spike in blood sugar can throw you out of ketosis. So if you choose to eat 25g of carbs per day, it’s important to stick to it to stay in ketosis.
How many carbs can I eat and stay in ketosis?
Keto dieters eat anywhere between 25g of carbs per day and 90g per day. Most keto diet guidelines recommend staying between 15g and 30g of net carbs per day. Keeping your daily net carbs below 30g helps you continue producing ketones.
If you want to find your exact carb number you can attempt to calculate your carb needs using a keto calculator. The calculation will help you determine your carb intake based on the theory that carbs should be less than 5% of the energy you take in.
“For a standard ketogenic meal plan, carbs should make up less than 5% of your energy intake. From this, you can quickly estimate grams by dividing carb calories by 4 (since there are four calories in each gram of carbohydrate).” —www.trifectanutrion.com
Another way to figure out your carb intake is to test your carb limit. Over the course of a week, you increase and lower your carb intake and monitor your ketone and glucose levels. The best time to do this is near the beginning of your diet or if you feel you’ve hit a plateau.
Each method is tricky which is why many people opt to go with the standard recommended amounts. The wrong level of ketones in any direction can be dangerous which is why you should always talk to your doctor first.
How do I satisfy my carb cravings on keto?
To satisfy your carb cravings on keto eat macronutrients that give the same satisfaction as carbs. Carbs are often satisfying because they are filling, sweet, or hearty. Savory healthy plant-based foods and low sugar fruit can be used to help with carb cravings.
Another way to satisfy your craving is to fill up on protein and fiber from low-carb foods. The macronutrients (protein and fiber) will leave you feeling fuller longer keeping your cravings at bay.
Here are some tips to satisfy carb cravings on keto:
1. Don’t count calories
Since keto is all about getting into ketosis it’s more important to pay attention to your macros and micros. You shouldn’t be worried about how many calories you’re getting if you get the right amount of fat and protein. It’s true that losing weight counts on burning more calories than you take in, but if you don’t focus on getting the right amount of carbs you won’t go into ketosis.
2. Eat when you’re hungry
It seems to go without saying, but when you’re dieting sometimes you’re too worried about the number of calories you’re eating. This can lead you to forget it’s okay to eat if you’re hungry. If you’re always hungry on keto you’re more likely to binge eat something you shouldn’t. So adjust your diet to account for the food you need if your plan isn’t working. If you find that you’re hungry all the time try adding in another snack or a small meal.
3. Snack Smart
You don’t have to give up snacking on keto if you snack smart. Whether you feel you’re getting enough food or not, if you’re having a craving you need to watch what you eat. Make the calories you’re getting count and you’ll naturally keep yourself from overeating.
Choose keto snacks that will keep you full and won’t interfere with reaching your goals. For example, adding hemp hearts to a meal or snack will give you more fat and protein without the carbs. Thus, keeping you on track by helping you feel fuller longer.
4. Fill up on whole foods
Whether it’s snack time or lunchtime choosing whole foods over processed options will keep you full and eliminate hidden sugars. Sometimes the hidden salt and sugar in your favorite frozen foods, sandwiches on the go, and favorite coffee drinks are causing you to crave more carbs. If you’re feeling hungry it may be best to slow down at mealtime and eat whole foods. A berry salad in the morning may be a better choice than a smoothie at your favorite shop in the morning.
5. Drink more water
It has to be said every time, go drink more water - right now. If you are hydrated you’re more likely to stop yourself from snacking. Often if you’re feeling hungry you may find that you were thirsty all along. Before filling up on an unhealthy snack, drink some water instead and then if you are still hungry have a bite to eat.
6. Fill up on fiber
Sometimes when avoiding carbs you forget that there are some important nutrients that you get from carbohydrates. While you want to go into ketosis, not all carbs are bad. Fiber helps with digestion and keeps you full longer. Find foods with low net carbs. Foods that contain the fiber you need, but not the extra sugar you don’t, are low net carbs.
7. Tackle your sugar cravings
Don’t forget carbs aren’t just bread and pasta. If you’re having trouble with cravings, satisfying your sweet tooth will help. Help stop sweet cravings by eating all-natural sweet foods that are also low in carbs. Try eating homemade frozen yogurt or popsicles to help satisfy cravings without adding too many calories and carbs. Don’t reach for artificial sweeteners because they may leave you wanting more.
What are good carbs for keto diet?
Good carbs for keto are low in net carbs and are made up of primarily fiber. Complex carbs are good for you because they take longer to digest and release glucose in your blood slower than simple carbs.
For keto, you should eliminate simple carbs altogether, but some complex carbs should be included for your digestive health. While it may not be a good idea to fill up on lentils you have other options. Remember carbs aren’t only found in bread and pasta, carbs are also found in meats, nuts, seeds, seafood, vegetables, and fruit.
Some good carbs for keto are:
Low carb vegetables
- Blue cheese
- Cottage cheese
- String Cheese
- Greek Yogurt
Healthy fats and protein that contain carbs
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
Nuts and seeds that contain carbs
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Hemp Hearts
- Macadamia Nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
Low carb fruit
If you don’t know where to begin, start with vegetables and work your way to nuts and seeds. You should fill yourself up with vegetables because they offer other health benefits from the vitamins and minerals they contain. Nuts and seeds are a great choice as well because you get a variety of nutrients in a small package.
Tips for carb lovers on a keto diet
The best way for a carb lover to get through the keto diet is to find new foods they enjoy. Sticking to a diet is difficult, which is why it’s better to find low carb, satisfying foods.
Being a carb lover can mean many different things. You can have a love affair with rice, pasta, or bread. To satisfy cravings you’ll need to shift your focus from carbs and sugar to more filling keto-friendly options. Try these tips for carb lovers on a keto diet:
Focus on healthy substitutions
Let go of rice, pasta, and bread cold turkey and try some popular substitutions instead.
- Rice to cauliflower rice or chopped cabbage
- Pasta to zucchini or edamame pasta
- Bread to lettuce or cloud bread
Find a favorite and make it work for your flavor palate.
Focus on low carb foods
If you’re focused on lower carbs instead of no carbs, you’ll naturally limit the number of carbs you eat. The focus should be on low carbs, but high nutrition so you get much-needed protein and fiber.
Understanding that you have higher or lower carb options on every portion of your plate will help. Choosing grass-fed beef, low-carb seafood, and avoiding processed hidden sugars will go a long way.
You may be making a salad and loading it up with a dressing that can ruin your progress. Consider each element in your food and ensure each one is low carb because carbs aren’t always classified the way you think.
Focus on naturally sweet foods
One thing, you should skip altogether is sugar. Once you avoid added sugars you’ll begin to find that you don’t crave it as much. The best thing to do is find other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth.
If the carbs you crave come from desserts it may be better to focus on the sweets you can have instead of the ones you can’t. Choose sweet treats that come without added sugar and are naturally low in carbs. The best options are berries, but you can also get your fill with better carb choices like dark chocolate and cocoa.
Focus on the fat
The keto diet is all about fat, both burning and eating fat. You need healthy fat, your body is made of it. Essential omega fatty acids can’t be made by your body; they can only be gained by eating food. This means if you’re hungry give the body the fat it needs. As a result, you’ll have fewer carb cravings.
Luckily hemp hearts, hemp protein, and hummingbars have healthy fat and protein with a bit of fiber. You can have healthy filling snacks and add more of the nutrients you need depending on which product you choose.
- For a quick on the go snack, try a hummingbar
- To make your meals like salads more filling, sprinkle hemp hearts on top
- Use hemp oil the perfect low carb superfood to make a dressing
- And to get the protein you need add hemp protein powder to your drinks, snacks, or baked goods.
Whichever option you choose you’ll be getting the macro and micronutrients you need to help you defeat cravings once and for all.
Summary: Keto diet for carb lovers
Now you know that it’s possible to stay in ketosis while eating carbs. What’s most important is finding the number of carbs you need for your diet. Trying to follow the carb suggestions for someone else won’t work.
If you’re a carb lover it’s difficult to give up your favorites, but if you put in the work and make substitutions you won’t have as many cravings. Your diet plan is all about focusing on the right foods to keep you in ketosis.
Focus on getting healthy fat, protein, and avoiding hidden sugar to be successful. When you get the right macronutrients all you’ll need to do to satisfy your carb cravings is filling up on water, fiber, and sweet whole foods.
The list of approved food for keto gives you options for vegetables, dairy, nuts, and seeds that will satisfy your hunger. If you’re a carb lover you can even help your sweet tooth with dark chocolate and the right fruit.
If you’re ready to keep loving the food you eat while on keto, grab a bag of hemp hearts to fill up on the omega fatty acids you need. Eating protein, fat, and a little fiber will help you get the nutrients you might be missing from the carbs you’ve eliminated. Pick up a bag online or in a store near you today and see the benefits of hemp hearts on a keto diet first hand.