1. Sugar cravings are very minimal. Now that all sugar (even natural sugar) is off the table, I was wondering how difficult this particular aspect of my diet would be. Thankfully, my sugar cravings have dropped considerably. This is not to say they have disappeared entirely. Every now and then I will have a random sugar craving but, overall, my desire for sweet food has greatly subsided.
Note: I've been eating small amounts of super dark chocolate (85%) to help with sugar cravings but this is so low in sugar, it barely affects my overall carb count.
2. Low-carb junk food is tempting, but not on the plan. I made the mistake this past week of trying some "sugar free" pudding, but I think that was not such a good idea. Aside from the list of undesirable ingredients, I can tell that even sugar free, low-carb treats still affect my cravings and hunger. These pudding cups didn't help me get by... They actually made me overeat because they were highly palatable. (See my previous post on highly palatable foods) I am thinking that avoiding processed foods like this will be a goal of mine as I continue this plan. There are so many low-carb junk foods out there. Just because something is "low-carb" doesn't mean that it is a healthy part of a ketogenic diet. Lesson learned.
3. Less fruit requires more veggies. Low carb is not all eggs and bacon! Now that I am cutting way back on fruit, vegetables are very important to my overall nutrition. My goal is to make up for the loss of fiber and micronutrients from fruit by intentionally upping my veggies. I have been trying to have at least one or two veggies at each meal, including breakfast. It is difficult sometimes to do this, but as I find more of a groove, it is getting easier.
4. Energy levels are very steady. This was true on my moderate carb paleo diet also, but I do think that this low carb approach has given me even more consistent, and even higher energy than before. It's funny how eating less carbs, which conventional wisdom says provides energy to our bodies, is actually upping my own energy. This is a real testament to the whole ketogenic, "fat-burning" process!
5. Scheduled eating is still a problem. One benefit of ketosis is the ability to eat less without being hungry. Appetite is just naturally lower on this diet. I have definitely experienced moments of this on my plan. It would be time to eat, but I wouldn't be hungry yet. This is actually where I have struggled the most. Sometimes I will still eat a scheduled meal even though I am not hungry. It turns out that this is a big problem on this particular diet. Learning to eat only when hungry is a must when going low carb. Even though my hunger has dissipated, I need to learn to avoid social eating or simply eating on the clock.
Ok, those are my observations from week three. I really am learning a lot though this experience, and I hope that this helps lead me to my optimal weight and health. Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more updates next week.