The first or second thing what people ask me when they hear about my LCHF lifestyle is: don’t you miss sugar/bread/potatoes/pasta/ice-cream? Basically, do I have cravings for anything “dirty” and “unallowed”. And you know what? They never believe me when they hear my answer.
No, I kind of really don’t crave anything anymore. I’m happy with my low carb lifestyle and food choices I have.
I have properly “cheated” on the diet twice and once “semi-cheated”. The semi-cheating happened on Midsummer’s Eve (in the end of June 2013). I ate all the strawberries, cherries and watermelon I wanted, that equaled a lot of sugar from the fruit. Plus, ate a lot of low-carb foods too. The night ended with terrible stomach pains that reminded me of my severe gastritis I have had a few times in my life. Not fun. The next day I went for a run and I felt really bad all over my body, my legs wouldn’t move as they should have, my stomach was bloated and hurt a little.
The first “real cheat” was also in the summer but I can’t exactly remember when. I had made cinnamon rolls and homemade sugar-free muesli with nuts, raisins and oats for my family. And I don’t know what hit me but in the middle of the night I ate a bowl of muesli (oats=high carb) with milk and a big cinnamon roll. I didn’t get stomach pains but did feel like a huge balloon and was bloated for days. I didn’t even crave those things but I ate them… The guilt afterwards was unimagenable. I beat myself up about it so bad.
The second and last “cheat” happened on the 1st of September. It was the morning after my granny’s 80th birthday party. The actual party went well for me: no alcohol, no starch, no high carb nothing, no sugar. Then it was weigh-in day again and I had gained weight although I hadn’t cheated before. And I ate a piece of whipped cream cake and a piece of apple pie out of the emotion of being upset and dissappointed in myself. I had made the cake and pie and ofcourse they tasted good (no artificial taste or too much sugar)… I felt good the 10 minutes while eating and then suffered major stomach pains for an entire day, felt guilt for more than a day and had strong pains in my lower stomach while running the same evening.
In general: 2,5 cheat days in 8 months. Not bad I think.
But in general I don’t have cravings. I bake for my family on a regular basis, cook potatos, rice and pasta dishes for them and don’t eat any myself. Low carb works great with reducing cravings. I used to be the biggest pasta junkie ever (I ate that 4+ times a week) and also loved rice dishes and baked goods, both savoury and sweet. I also ate chocolate sometimes and craved sweets occasionally. Now I don’t crave the high-carb foods. The cheats I have had were more of an emotional nature rather than “I-just-need-to-taste-that-in-my-mouth”.
What I do crave on low carb? The only thing I can think of are nuts. I’m a little bit obsessed with nuts and nut butters. A jar of nut butter won’t survive more than 7 days in my kitchen. I also have to portion out my nuts when I buy them, otherwise I can easily eat 200 grams in one sitting and not even notice it. I’m currently working on breaking my nut addction because they are extremely energy dense.
What do you crave? How do you manage your cravings?