Here’s How I Kick Sugar Cravings to the Curb with Keto

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woman with cupcake on her head

The struggle is real.

Personally, the biggest hurdle for me when I first began eating a ketogenic diet was definitely learning how to deal with my insanely strong sugar cravings. 😬 Those powerful sugar and carb cravings got intense, and I often daydreamed about devouring a Costco sheet cake. Yes, I am a complete sugar addict.

I feel like this is a common complaint from many new keto eaters, and the reason so many people spend the first few weeks of this new lifestyle googling keto desserts.

It took me a while to realize this, but for me eating keto isn’t about substitutions, it’s about a totally different way of thinking about food.

trying to kick craving sweets against stack of krispy kreme doughnuts

Changing your mindset is the first step.

My relationship with food wasn’t always the healthiest. Through most of my 20s, I struggled with bulimia. It makes me sad to think of myself during those years. I was an addict – cake, doughnuts, ice cream, binges, purges, numb – that was me. It was a vicious cycle. I did end up going to rehab and learning other ways to cope with the stresses of life. To be honest and open, I struggled after rehab, but thankfully due to the support of loved ones and learning to be kind to myself, I slowly broke free from my addiction.

As a recovering bulimic, I really try to focus on eating to live, not living to eat. What about you, do you eat to live or live to eat? It’s a good question to ask yourself and think about.

It took me a while, but now I live AND thrive without sweeteners in my coffee, without dessert after meals, without chewing a pack of sugar-free gum in hours, and without consuming loads of sugar-free JELL-O! Yes, at one time, those JELL-O containers were my best friend.

Five Guys Keto Burger

While I love a good keto dessert, I try to eat pretty clean most of the time and focus on whole foods. What likely helps is that I personally don’t need a lot of variety in my diet and could literally eat bun-less bacon cheeseburgers daily and not get sick of them.

assortment of non-sugar sweetener products

Living a sweet life doesn’t have to include sugar.

There are numerous options for keto-approved sweeteners and they are so popular right now with so many people trying to kick the sugar habit, but I’ve found that continuing to eat artificial sweeteners just makes me continue to crave sweets. With that said, I try to steer away from them as much as possible.

In addition, there are other negative side effects from those sweeteners too that definitely affect me BIG time (and this could be because I have major portion distortion issues when it comes to sweets and I tend to OVER-consume! Oops!), like bloating, gas, and diarrhea. And of course, there’s the legendary Sugar-Free Gummy Bears reviews on Amazon (if you haven’t, you should for sure read this for a good laugh).

woman holding big hunks of cheese

Make the change mentally and physically.

Instead of focusing on the list of foods I couldn’t have, I focused on the delicious foods I could enjoy while living the keto life. I feel like so much of a person’s diet is based on lifelong habits like eating breakfast first thing in the morning, having something sweet after dinner, consuming a bowl of popcorn while watching a movie, having dessert to celebrate something, etc. Once you get over that initial hump and create new habits, it’s so much easier to resist.

So when a newbie asks how to kick those cravings to the curb, the short answer is—try and change up the way you eat first rather than replacing those cravings with a keto version.

sheet pan of low carb steak and veggies

It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change!

A ribeye steak (if you like steak) can be an entire meal – and a pretty filling and a delicious one at that. And coffee with heavy cream and no sweetener is so good as is! Keep your belly full of whole foods that are ketogenic and your cravings will start to diminish.

I’ve been in the keto groove for a few years now, and most of the time it’s easy for me to resist all of the sugary temptations. I don’t get sick of eating the same types of meals over and over and over again (maybe I’m weird?) and I find that the high-fat portion of this diet keeps me totally satisfied. In fact, when I do treat myself to a sugar-alternative in my coffee or indulge in something I shouldn’t, the sweet flavor often tastes a bit weird to me.

If you need a cheerleader in your keto journey, I’m here for ya!

woman holding avocados around her face

If you’re just starting out and find yourself dreaming of sheet cake, know that it does get easier. First, start lovin’ that body of yours and taking good care of it.

Join The Discussion

Comments 28

  1. Janel Litzner

    For me it’s is 100% mental. I’ve done strict keto and also half hearted keto. For obvious reasons the weight crept back when relying on the keto sweets. I realize everyone responds differently to them but for me it kept me mentally dependent. My personal goals with the 30 day challenge is to eliminate the keto desserts and drinking 64 oz. water daily. When I view saying “no” as strength training for my brain, I focus on one craving at a time realizing that when I have victory and say no it builds the strength and ability to say no the next time. It seriously does get easier, just like physical exercise! I choose to occupy my mind with something else when all I can think of is food. It’s one choice at a time and one victory at a time….thank you so much for the support and encouragement through this challenge!! 💪

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re SO very welcome, Janel! 💕 Thank YOU for taking the time to share your journey with us!

  2. Kacy

    I have also found that the alternative sweets are not helping the cravings go away😩

  3. Jaci

    Almond butter how much of it would be ok? I have a hard time with carb counts or sometimes confused on stuff thats suppose to be keto but looks high on carbs.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi Jaci! Be sure to check what fits into your daily macros, however just a spoonful should be good to curb those sweetness cravings. Hope this helps!

  4. Amy Cardinal

    I am exactly like you! I can eat the same things which helps keep it simple. Every once in a while I’ll partake in something sweet but I know that it immediately riggers my sugar demon so it’s much better if I don’t. I take my favorite food items and find my keto alternative and that way I don’t feel deprived. You are so right about not focusing on what you can’t have. I see so many people concentrating on that. Set yourself up for success!!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Yes! Love that! Thanks for taking a moment to comment, Amy! We sure loving hearing about what works best for you!

  5. AuntJenny

    I found my cravings for sweets hit me hard in the evening hours around 9pm. This was true even after months of healthy eating. I knew, for me, if I gave in and went for something sweet there would be no stopping me. At first shaved ice chips with a little Chrystal Light drink mix worked well and gave me some relief. Although I still have those cravings now I can feel that way and be okay with it and just let it pass.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s awesome! Thanks for letting us know how you have worked through your cravings! 🙌

  6. Dana

    On one thing I can completely agree,… And my daughter thinks I’m weird… But I don’t require a lot of variety in my diet either. I like what I like and I can eat it over and over LOL

  7. Annika

    In case of cravings it is mental for sure. And this is a reason, why overcome them is so hard, especially if your cravings are caused by quiting smoking. My keto diet did not prepare me for this feelings after quiting smoking. After reading a book by Robert Jenkins (net-bossorg/the-easiest-way-to-quit-smoking-for-life) I thought that I’m prepared, but it was not true, so I had to spent more time on training my willingnes!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Annika! Hoping some of the tips above will be helpful!

  8. Chantell Duncan

    I started keto in January, lost 12lbs and then fell off track. Im just getting back on track. On my journey to get back on track, I realize that one of the reasons I stayed on track was eating the same things. Unfortunately getting bored with eating the same things also got me off track. Now I’m in search of a happy median. Having some reliable meals I can depend on, but also finding some variety that fits when I’m starting to get bored. The steak and broccoli in the picture looks delicious. Do you have a recipe?

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      That recipe is here! We have lots more recipes this way!

  9. Stacy Sorensen

    I could have written this exact story as far as the sweets. I am beating diabetes II with keto and fasting, so I try to steer clear most of the time. Anytime I add keto approved sugar, it takes me a couple of days to quit the cravings, my mood is yuck, I’m hungrier. I don’t have any of those symptoms when I’m strict. I do enjoy dark chocolate 95%-100% with almond butter and berries occasionally or whole fat plain yogurt with berries, assorted nuts for variety, like chopped pecans or walnuts, sliced or slivered almonds and topped with cocoa nibs. Dark chocolate has beautiful minerals like magnesium and manganese,, fiber and antioxidants. It’s a must in my diet and I also use unsweetened high quality cocoa powder in my bulletproof to make it like a mocha. To make keto lifetime sustainable once in a while I try a recipe that’s a treat for fun or the season and I know the 3 day consequences, then I fast and it’s over.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks a bunch for telling us about your experience, Stacy! Good to know what has worked for you!

  10. Sandra

    I want to do keto to lose weight. I feel like you in that I could eat certain foods all the time. But my husband doesn’t. I’m not sure how to cook things for him and not be tempted to eat things not keto. Any suggestions?

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      It sounds like you could use a support group. Have you joined our Hip2Community group here? They are super helpful.

  11. Michael

    Thank you for this. I have had a sweet tooth all my life. I would find myself mindlessly eating sweets, can you say crumble cookies, and actually get no joy from it. Once I changed my muscle memory and avoided sweets it became easier to do. I would tell myself I can wait 10 minutes before I eat that cookie and then the craving went away.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      That’s awesome, Michael! You’re so welcome! Thank YOU for sharing how you’ve been able to avoid sweets! 🥰🙌🎉

  12. Vicki persinger

    I drink sparkling waters like bubbly I love the lime flavor is that ok to drink . I have found zebra grape is my absolute favorite because I love grape flavor . What’s the right kind . I struggle with diabetes for 18 years and keeping my numbers down with my meds if hard .

  13. Margaret McNeal

    We are so alike in our way of thinking and past cravings. I totally agree with your idea on changing when you eat.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Thanks, Margaret! Good to know you can relate to that! ❤️

  14. Cristina DiMartini

    Do, you have tom count calories.?

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