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Food Addiction and a Keto Diet

Now that you know what food addiction is, let's talk about using a ketogenic diet to combat it.

Could a Keto Diet Help with Food Addiction?

In a word, yes! Food Addicts need to abstain from trigger foods and sugar. Trigger foods are more often than not, processed carbohydrates. What to do you eliminate on a keto diet? Sugar and processed carbohydrates. Is it easy? Not at first. Spend a week or so adjusting to new eating habits and it becomes second nature. You don't have to think about it. Set your macro goals, log everything you eat, and prepare snacks and/or meals in advance whenever possible to avoid making poor choices.

But Does It Really Work?

Again, yes! I wasn't even thinking about my addiction when I decided to try a keto plan. I lost weight right away and began discovering other benefits of this lifestyle. After about 2-3 weeks, I suddenly realized that I had almost completely lost the desire to overeat. I wasn't hungry and I wasn't thinking about food all the time. I wasn't sneaking snacks or engaging in other bad habits. I wasn't binging, even on dinner. I wasn't feeling guilty about what or how I was eating. I realized that I was, in fact, in recovery!

How did I know it was the keto plan that helped me beat food addiction? 

Well, for my birthday, my mom made one of my absolute favorite cakes. It's gluten free, but not low carb at all. (GF flour, apples, orange juice, and sugar. Not keto.) Even though it was not part of my plan, I ate it anyway. We also had a family bbq and I had s couple bunless burgers and chips. One meal won't make or break a diet plan, but a couple days might. It was obviously too much cake to eat in one day, so it was spread out over a few days. A few days of sugar. One piece at a time, but still plenty of sugar. About the third day, I stood in the kitchen, over the cake container, after everyone else had gone to bed, and ate three pieces. Three. As if I had no control over it. I just kept eating. It was the first time I truly felt like an addict.

I let my son finish the cake, even though I desperately wanted to, and went back to my keto lifestyle. In a couple days, the "need" subsided. I was back in recovery! I have had a few indulgences since then, and my diet isn't 100% sugar free, but it is significantly easier to keep myself in check when I set limits ahead of time. We had popcorn from the theater the other night. Normally, I'd eat until it was gone, or until I physically couldn't take another bite. (This is the MegaTub, mind you. I usually only share with my husband and/or son, so there's still a lot for me.) This time, however, I had a few handfuls and was done. There's still some left in the sealed bucket downstairs right now. While I'd love to go grab and handful or two, I won't. I don't need it. I don't want it. That's pretty exciting for me!

Is Keto Easier Than Just Sugar Free?

I think so. Only focusing on sugar leaves some room for error. Sugar free usually means there are artificial sweeteners, which are sweeter than sugar and cause the same, if not stronger, sugar cravings. You are also often left with other carbs that break down into sugar and continue the cycle. A keto diet may allow for natural alternative sweeteners like stevia, but it is not as sweet as others and if you keep it to a minimum, you don't encounter the same spikes in cravings. When sugar is removed from processed foods, fat is typically added. Not healthy fats, either. Following a diet that is low in carbs, avoids sugars, and is higher in healthy fats, almost completely eliminates cravings for unhealthy foods and overeating.

Should You Try It?

Quite frankly, I just don't see why not. Talk to your health care practitioner if you're uncertain whether keto is safe for you. If you get the go-ahead, jump right in. If you need any help getting started or sticking to a ketogenic lifestyle, please contact me right away!


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