Whenever I tell someone about eating Keto and how my husband and I have lost a combination of over 70 lbs this year, I’m told “I could never do that”. I understand where they are coming from because I would estimate that my diet used to consist of over 80% carbs. I couldn’t imagine eliminating them, but I did, or at least I cut them back dramatically. Cravings still happen and today I’m going to share how I manage some of my most demanding cravings while still maintaining a low carb diet. The biggest challenges that I’m faced with are pizza, sweets and ice cream.
It’s the ultimate comfort food. It’s perfect for movie night, game night, or really any night. So what is it about pizza that is so endearing? I think it’s a combination of things. Pizza works for almost everyone. It can be eaten with your hands or with a fork. Minimalists can enjoy a cheese pizza while others want the works. It can be a vegetarian or meat lovers’ treat. Put on extra sauce, or ask for half the sauce. Perhaps one of the biggest pizza perks is the ease at which we can get it. It can be delivered, picked up, bought frozen … it’s always ready for you. So what does a low carb person do to fill the pizza void? Eat pizza! There are a few options available while eating keto. First, let’s discuss the fathead pizza.
This isn’t a quick or easy way to have pizza, but it’s most definitely the lowest carb option that I know of. It is delicious and filling and you can make several crusts in advance, freeze them and have them at your disposal when you feel that pizza craving coming on. It’s become a staple in our house and I’m excited to try the deep dish fathead pizza recipe that my husband has been telling me about.
Low Carb Wrap Crusts
Another option is to make your pizza on a low carb wrap. You will still be eating refined carbohydrates, so if you have restricted them entirely, this is not the option for you. However, it’s probably still a better option than giving into the cravings and ordering delivery.
Order with Purpose
Sometimes I’m just weak and lazy and I give in to my cravings. When this happens, I still try to keep my wits about me and make decent choices while ordering. In order to keep the carbs low, I order a whole wheat thin crust pizza and I don’t order more than we need for one meal. Sure leftovers are great, but then you’re looking at two days of eating refined carbs, and I don’t need encouragement to cheat!
When you make any choice that involves some refined carbs, start your meal off with a salad. Eating keto allows you to enjoy that salad with full fat dressing and added protein like hard boiled eggs or avocado and it will help fill you up so you don’t binge on refined carbs. If you are out somewhere and grabbing a slice on the go, drink a bottle of water first. I carry low carb protein bars with me for those times when I just have to have something.
A craving for sweets is often just a craving for fat, so the first thing I do when the sweet craving hits is grab some cheese. That is my go-to but yours may be a hard boiled egg or some full fat greek yogurt (read the labels before buying because they aren’t all low carb). This often does the trick, but sometimes my taste buds insist on something sweet. Another way to combat the sweet cravings is by making fat bombs.
Not all fat bombs are sweet. You can make savoury fat bombs using bacon, etc. but I prefer the sweet fat bombs. My all time favourite fat bomb is the Cheesecake Fat Bomb.
This little treat has zero net carbs and it gives me a little extra fat while satisfying my taste buds as well. Cheesecake has always been a weakness of mine, and these taste just like the real deal. The only downfall is how soft they can get so we choose to keep them frozen and just let them sit for a couple of minutes before eating them. You can store them in the fridge after freezing them, but they will soften quite a bit. You can find all flavours of sweet fat bombs with a simple internet search.
Sugar Free Treats are not necessarily okay while eating keto
Branded sugar free treats are another option, although we consider them a last resort. I’ve purchased several Atkins treats in the past and while they are considered low in net carbs, they are high in sugar alcohols. I’ve noticed weight gain when I indulge in too many of them.
Who doesn’t love a little ice cream on a hot day? It was one of the things that I missed most when we cut sugar out of our diets. Fortunately, there are some alternatives.
Keto Ice Cream
We found this keto ice cream recipe online and my husband made some for me for Mother’s Day. It was delicious. The only downside is that is does freeze quite solid. You need to take it out of the freezer and let it sit for a little while before serving it.
Low Carb Ice Cream Brands
Another low carb ice cream option is called Halo Top Ice Cream. I really like it, although I would consider it more of a frozen treat than ice cream.
There is also Breyers CarbSmart ice cream that is not available to us in Canada. Since Breyers is a brand that is available in Canada, I don’t understand why we don’t have this option. Perhaps some emails to the company would help? Again, let me know if you’ve tried it and what you thought about it.
I have to admit to making some concessions when it comes to ice cream. It is difficult to find a low carb ice cream in grocery stores so I read all labels. Sometimes I enjoy a greek yogurt ice cream bar that has 17 grams of carbs. That is more carbs than I generally allow myself for a food item, but sometimes you just feed the craving.
Eating Keto doesn’t mean you are always pining for a slice of bread or piece of pie. It’s about learning to make healthier choices for yourself. Once you feel the side effects of eating keto long term, you will prefer that over a sugar diet. The mental focus, energy, weight loss, etc is well worth the initial effort.