When I first decided to give keto a try, the thought of a diet that actually allowed me to eat things like bacon and cheese really appealed to me. I loved the idea of getting up in the morning and frying up a meat lovers and cheese omelet. For many of you I’m sure, having the ability to eat those “normally forbidden” foods is just one of the many perks to living a keto lifestyle, but what about when your sweet tooth come to call?
If any of you are like me your sweet tooth is a real force to contend with on any diet. When I was bodybuilding, I would take care of this by just allowing myself one set “cheat meal” every week. That way I could always see the end of the tunnel. I only had to maintain my discipline for no more than seven more days and I could get that reprieve. On keto however we don’t get such luxuries. One cheat meal is all it takes to knock us out of ketosis. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve accidentally knocked myself out of keto only to have to slug back through the dreaded “keto flu”. Although I will say it is normally a much quicker process than the first time around. So out of necessity I began to figure out some tips and tricks that worked for me to cure those cravings without sacrificing your progress.
Sugar Free Jell-O:
Thank the gods for my wife as she in fact turned me onto this idea early on in my keto journey. Sugar free Jell-O is to this day one of my favorite “go-to” keto sweets options. It comes in a wide variety of flavors so you won’t have to get burnt out on just one flavor all the time. It’s also an incredibly cheap solution. Locally I believe we can get a pack of sugar free Jell-O for around a dollar. Equally as important is it’s insanely easy to make! So much so that we taught our 7-year-old how to do it for us #parentingwin.
Peanut butter has been an old go-to of mine for a very long time. It is absolutely loaded with all the fats you look for with the keto diet. However, it does have some hidden sugars in it so you have to be a little careful with this one. With roughly 4g of carbs per serving (I think a serving is two teaspoons) it makes a great “on-the-go” snack. I’ll grab a spoonful right out of the tub and hit the road.
Ready Whip and Strawberries:
I truly feel a little embarrassed admitting this, but I’ve been doing keto for about 4 years now and I only recently learned about Ready Whip… Had you told me 6 months ago that Ready Whip was 0g carbs and 0g sugar I would have bet my bank account you were lying… and I’d have been wrong! As with most all these “keto sweets” tips, you can’t just sit back on the couch and down a can of ready whip and a carton of strawberries… I know… I tried… lol BUT with 1.4g carbs on average per strawberry you can definitely have a satisfying dessert after dinner, or mid-day snack.
Plain Greek Yogurt:
If you’re like me you really begin to miss things like ice-cream or frozen yogurt. I’ve found plain Greek yogurt to a truly satisfying alternative to that carton of Ben and Jerry’s. Even better for us, Chobani’s makes a line of whole milk Greek yogurt that has even more good fats we are constantly on the lookout for. At 9g carbs per cup you definitely need to moderate but paired with some blended-up strawberries or blueberries, then set in the freezer for a couple hours. It really takes care of that longing for your favorite frozen treat.
The first year my wife and I really went full tilt with keto I had been scrambling for something really special to do for my wife for her birthday. I am the gourmet chef in the family, so anything out of the ordinary in the kitchen was normally done in my universe. However, this year in the month leading up to her birthday, my wife kept talking about how much she was going to miss having her “death by chocolate” style birthday cake. She mentioned it in passing several times so I could tell it was really on her mind. The problem was that while I AM a self-titled gourmet chef… I am definitely NOT in any sense of the word a “baker”. So, what does a good husband do when he’s completely out of his depth, and wants to cook his wife something amazing? You guessed it… I called my mom. I told her what she wanted, and that we were on keto, and she took it from there. She took this Chocolate cupcake recipe and doubled it. The result was a double tier death by chocolate birthday keto-cake. I will never forget the look of pure child-like joy on her face when I surprised her with it. So, it has gone down in my recipe collection as a very special favorite.
As time goes on, I continue to stumble across these great little alternative ideas to mainstream foods. It always ends up being the little things that make the biggest difference when it comes to living this lifestyle day in and day out. Learning to navigate your way through this diet while still holding on to a sense of normality has proven to make all the difference in the world. The simple fact is that cravings are going to happen. You are going to come home from work and just want that burger and fries. You’re going to sit down with your family to watch a movie and begin craving chips and dip. Those late night sugar cravings are not going anywhere, but if you file some of the tips away, and plan for them. They become a much easier problem to deal with.