So many people who are craving sugar can satisfy that sugar craving by giving the neurons so to speak what they actually want, which are amino acids and essential fatty acids. That includes EPA, but also things like glutamine and amino acid that can really reduce sugar cravings.
We need essential fatty acids. They are vital to so many aspects of our health.You don't have to get them from supplements. You can, if you want to, but you need to get them from your food.
That of course can be done through food sources, things like fatty fish, or if you're not into eating fish, you've quality meats that are grass raised that can do that. There are other sources of essential fatty acids, of course also from plant sources. It's really easy to find.
The key thing is to get the levels of EPA that you ingest above 1000 milligrams per day. So that doesn't mean just taking a thousand milligrams or more of say fish oil or krill oil or whatever your preferred source is. That of course can be done through food sources, things like fatty fish, or if you're not into eating fish, you've quality meats that are grass raised can do that. There are other sources of essential fatty acids, of course also from plant sources. It's really easy to find.
The research and the literature shows that you want to get above a thousand milligrams of EPA per day, because that's when you can best support your metabolism and position yourself for good fat loss.
One of the big reasons why keto is so popular right now for many people, it's because the ketogenic diet kicks sugar cravings away. Most people eat a high-carb, high-sugar diet and this leads to repeated sugar cravings and sugar addictions. Nobody should have to spend the rest of their life struggling with an addiction that controls their eating habits and food choices.
This strong desire to eat carbs can sometimes seem overwhelming. Pizza, cookies, chocolate, ice-cream, all those things you can no longer have on keto suddenly seem so appealing. If you experience sugar cravings when you’re starting on your keto diet, it doesn’t mean that this type of diet is wrong for you. You may be wondering how you'll be able to follow it when it's a diet that reduces carbs and sugars to a minimum. Good news, It gets easier and easier over time, if you can stick with it. It takes time.
When can you expect that to go away? The consensus seems to be that cravings will noticeably diminish in three to ten days. It takes two to three days of eating very little carbohydrate for the liver to start pumping out ketones, and research shows that cravings are significantly reduced almost immediately when people go into ketosis.
While many people experience significant relief from compulsions almost immediately, not everyone is so lucky. Don't expect them to magically disappear. Every individual can feel different so it depends on the root cause of their sugar cravings.
One reason you may crave sugar is simply to train your body to rely on sugar for energy - you are dependent on carbohydrates. Maybe it's not the sugar you specifically want, but the energy it provides. It will become easier to avoid sugary treats as you adapt to keto. Your craving for sugar is significantly reduced as your body starts producing ketones.
Many people have the experience of giving up sugar like giving up an addiction. For some people, sugar is so satisfying that it feels like an addiction.
The difficulty is that sugar is physiologically satisfying. Sugar activates the neurological reward pathways, creating a physiological drive for more sugar.
Before we enjoyed technological advances such as supermarkets, craving carbohydrate and sugar-rich foods was a protective mechanism, humans increased their body weight to survive their environmental conditions, and those food cravings may still be programmed into our biology.
Women are more likely to eat high-sugar foods in an attempt to solve distress. Craving sweet foods can be a bad habit that has been programmed in your thinking over many years. Sugar is addictive because it releases dopamine which promotes happiness and the feeling of euphoria.
Things you can do to fight sugar cravings
Make sure you're not lacking Protein or Fat:
If you are following keto for long enough to enter a space of ketosis, you won't be experiencing any sugar cravings. So, if you are still experiencing them, you may not be in ketosis.
If you are on a keto diet, it is not enough to simply eat fewer carbs and avoid sugar. It is important to replace the carbs with the right amount of protein and fat. Eat enough fat and enough calories when transitioning to the keto. make sure you are really sticking to your keto plan properly.
You need Nutrients to help yourself detox from sugar. As hungry as you may be for sugar, another type of meal will fill you up just as well. Includes nutrients such as fibre; vitamin B which gets depleted with the consumption of sugar; and iron which can cause low energy and cravings when depleted.
Watch your fruit habits: Consider allowing some low glycemic index fruits, for example. Switch sugary fruits for Berries, which are sweet and have natural sugar and fiber and contain little carbohydrates. Your sugar cravings are also satisfied with keto smoothies. Put plenty of fibres in your smoothie and it won't cause a surge in your blood sugar. If you eat a small serving of berries, it will help diminish your cravings. You can also mix your berries with different types of cheese and nuts.
Eat Nuts: A high protein food will go a long way to silence your sugar cravings and your hunger pangs. Because of the high fat, protein, and fibre content of some nuts, they can help fight sugar cravings. Keto nuts include hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, walnuts, and brazil nuts. You can also make your own nut butter from any of these nuts. Flavoured nuts with added carbs and sugar should be avoided and you should also stay away from roasted nuts that are processed in oil.
Keto Coffee, & Tea: When you make a hot or cold-brewed coffee, simply add MCT oil, coconut oil or grass-fed butter to make keto coffee. This beverage is fat-filled. It can help combat your sugar cravings and give you long-lasting energy as well.
Tea & Flavoured Drinking Water Add lemon, berries, or other fruit to your water. If you drink tea, go for a sweet herbal tea. Choose a naturally sweet tea like vanilla or apple spice tea as these have no calories and nothing artificial in them.
Practice good self-care
There is no doubt that there are physiological factors at play that keep the craving for sugar but It's not always about the food.
Remind yourself why you’re doing this, make sure you have your lifestyle in order and allow the craving to pass. There's a good chance you've used sugar in the past to lift your spirits. You don’t have to give in to your sugar cravings to feel good and avoiding sugar will make you happier in the long run.
Identify the patterns After a week or two, you may be able to Dig deep and look at what really underlies those sugar cravings. When you are worried and sad, eating sweets can help produce feel-good hormones. It can be a form of self-mediation. So, whenever a craving for sugar occurs, note the following: Are you unhappy, bored or anxious? Also, check the time of day, where you are, who is around, what did you eat and any other clues to possible triggers.
Work on developing other coping methods that aren't related to food.
If you are using sugar to calm yourself down, you will also need to develop better coping mechanisms. If it's obvious that there are specific triggers such as time of day, workplace stress, or fatigue that precede your cravings. Solve the root problem.
If you want to cut back on sugar, then it’s important to get enough sleep: Poor sleep have repeatedly been shown to cause sugar cravings as the body struggles for quick energy. If you don’t sleep well, then your body will crave sugar and caffeine the following day. Drink a glass of water: When you are thirsty, sugar cravings may strike. When you are dehydrated, there will be an imbalance with your body’s hunger and satiety hormones. And these hormones trigger sugar cravings in order to get more liquid into your system Meditate:
Try a total restriction period
It may be necessary to adjust your strategy but once you are metabolically flexible, you can decide on a case-by-case basis how to respond. Remember that occasionally craving or even craving sugar doesn't necessarily mean you're doing something wrong.
Try to find your personal sweet spot, eliminate all sweeteners, even stevia.
An addiction to sugar could be a sign of an underlying health condition
Thyroid failure: Ban processed food . Drink more water to help flush your system. Cut back from caffeine, and if possible switch to herbal teas.
Menopause or PMT: If mood swings are a problem, it could be from excess sugar that's blocking your ability to turn a substance called GLA into the DGLA (needed to improve mood)
Adrenaline overload: When under constant pressure, these glands can become sluggish, so we often turn to sugar for a short burst of energy. Eat small, high-protein meals such as nuts, cheese or eggs.
If you've tried the suggested strategies, given enough time to fully adapt to keto, and feel really addicted, it might be time to see a doctor, nutritionist, or therapist who specializes in sugar addiction.
References: Anton SD, Moehl K, Donahoo WT, et al. Activating the Metabolic Switch: Understanding and Applying the Health Benefits of Fasting. Obesity (Silver Spring, Maryland). 2018 Feb; 26(2): 254-268. Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Evidence of Sugar Dependence: Behavioral and Neurochemical Effects of Intermittent Excessive Sugar Intake. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008; 32 (1): 20–39.