How Can You Live Life Without Sweet Tastes?

askdrandreaseenfeld

What should I do if I’m gaining weight on low carb?

The answer to this and other questions – for example, how can you live life without sweet tastes? And should you count fiber as carbs? – in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt:

How can you live life without sweet taste?

Hello Dr. Andreas!

On an LCHF diet, you basically dismiss everything that has a sweet taste, as it contains sugar or fructose and moreover, you cannot have artificial sweeteners, because they have laxative effects and other issues.

How can we expect people to live their lives without any sweet-tasting foods at all? Is this really the best solution? I understand that sugar is bad, that it can be addictive, etc., but at the same time, we evolved to like sugar, so have humans evolved in the wrong direction? To disease and death? I also understand that in nature, sugar is rare and not available in all seasons, and that in our civilization we have plenty of sugar available, but is the solution to sentence humans to a life without sweet-tasting foods?

Bill

 
No. But there are very few things in nature – including fruit in it’s original, non-modified form – that are so incredibly sweet as much of what we find in the grocery store today.

When getting off the hyper-sweet junk food of today, there’s a period of adaptation – a few weeks or so. After that, we can begin to appreciate the more subtle sweet taste in natural foods, like a moderate amount of berries.

For special occasions there are many good low-carb options that are fairly sweet. Check out our low-carb dessert recipes for example.

Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt

Gaining weight on low carb?

I am 43 years old and have hit 99.9 kg (220 lbs) today after 2 weeks doing LCHF. I am 165 cm (5 foot 4 inches) tall. Two weeks ago I was about 97 kg (214 lbs). So I have gained almost 3 kg (6 lbs) in two weeks. Needless to say I was at panic point when I started, but now things are worse!

I have commenced LCHF many times over the past 5 years or so, but I keep falling back into old habits. So I am trying again. But instead of losing I am gaining. I bought a ketone meter the other day. My first reading taken in the middle of the day was 0.9. The next day I measured after taking a 1-hour spin class (curiosity) and I was at 1.3.

This morning I took a reading as soon as I woke up before eating. I’m at 0.7. So I can see that I need to work on getting my carbs lower still, to get to optimal ketosis, however I am in mild nutritional ketosis. I would have thought that even if I weren’t losing at this level, I would certainly not be gaining.

I do have a sluggish thyroid – Hashimoto’s, but I feel pretty good and I do feel ‘lighter’ since starting LCHF (again!) – I just don’t understand why I am in fact heavier.

Could you please offer some explanation as to why this might be happening to me and what I can do about it. I’d like to persist, but my weight gain is really worrying me.

Thank you,
Jodie

 
Hi Jodie!

Good question. Hard to know for sure from your information, but clearly it’s not impossible to gain weight on a ketogenic diet, just usually hard to do without quite some eating when not hungry. I’d suggest trying to eat only when hungry, and if necessary add some intermittent fasting. Also have a look at this list of things to consider:
https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-lose-weight

Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt

How does fiber play into the equation

Hi,

My name is Amy. I have been tracking my foods for a while, just to see what my ratios of fat, protein and carbs are. I am also tracking fiber. I want to stay in ketosis for as long as possible because the weight loss results have been pretty good so far.

My question is twofold. First, when calculating the number of carbs ingested, does fiber play into the equation as it did under Atkins (ex. at 30 g of carbs, 10 g of which are fiber – do I count that as 30 g or 20 g of carbs?).

Second, daily recommended intake of fiber is about 25 g per day for a woman of my age. I am not getting anywhere near that, even with copious amounts of fibrous veggies. Does it matter? If so, how can I amp up my fiber? I am worried about things like cancers of the colon from not getting enough fiber. Thanks.

Sincerely,
Amy

 
Yes, you can subtract included fiber from the carb count (in the US fiber is included).

Secondly, I would not worry much about the exact amount of fiber you get. High amounts of fiber is likely most important when eating lots of carbs. But getting some fiber from vegetables is likely a good thing.

Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt

More

Low Carb for Beginners

More Questions and Answers

Many more questions and answers:

Low-Carb Q&A

Read all earlier questions and answers – and ask your own! – here:

Ask Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt about LCHF, Diabetes and Weight Loss – for members (free trial available).

More About LCHF and weight loss

  • How to Maximize Fat Burning
  • Isn't weight loss all about counting calories?
  • The 5 common mistakes on LCHF
  • A global food revolution

5 Comments

  1. Apicius
    Bacon is sweet in my opinion. Can't put it in your coffee, but you can certainly sip coffee while munching on a few strips. Even better when coffee has cream in it.

    Your taste buds will change, and sugary foods will no longer be that enjoyable (or at least that's what happened to me). A few months ago, I took a forkful of chicken and vegetable stir fry at a restaurant (thinking that's all I would taste). It was coated with honey. My mouth immediately clenched up...my jaw locked...it was painful. It was so sweet that it actually hurt me. This is what happens when you no longer eat sugary foods. Not even the artificial stuff.

  2. Jane
    I found the same thing with some vegetables; I can't eat mashed swede now because it tastes so incredibly sweet to me. It took me a while to lose my sweet tooth though. Good luck
  3. Gentiann
    I totally agree with Apicius.
    Staying away from sweet tasting food (specially with artificial sweeteners) is the key to lose your sweet tooth. I can pass by plates of cookies and have absolutely no desire to eat them. I am a retired US teacher, and there was always someone "nice" bringing donuts or other sweets in the teacher lounge...I was able to ignore them but I was an exception, no wonder half the teachers in my school were very overweight (including many sport coaches)!
    I am very irritated to see, on other low carb sites, most of the recipes being about low carb versions of cakes and cookies, using artificial sweeteners. I applaud Diet Doctor for discouraging this unfortunate trend.
    I do try also very hard to stay away from the low carb non sweet starchy food (bread, pasta, etc) keeping that message in my brain: if it looks like bread, it's probably not good for you........! and I do welcome that guilty feeling when cheating happens occasionally. This what keep me on track.
  4. Bradley
    Weight gain on low carb...happens regularly to me. I will loose weight then gain weight and for months thought what am I doing wrong. Finally I noticed that I was gaining muscle mass (much heavier that fat mass) hence the weight gain. But at the same time I was loosing size. So some weight gain at the same time my pants were falling down...do not just use the scale to measure your progress of the life style.

    By the scale I'm down 43 pounds now, by clothing size around 55 pounds but family and friends have noticed all of my new muscles...the best compliments ever!!

    Happy Eating to all.

  5. Thomas
    I gave up smoking 20 years ago and over the short term my taste buds cut in and food tasted a lot better. I quit all sugar (sucrose, fructose) last year and had drug type withdrawals on day 3. From day 4 I was conscious that I didn't feel hungry as usual. I had been using butter for cooking and on sandwiches but stopped refined carbs, so stopped eating bread, and started eating cabbage, leeks and brussel sprouts cooked the way my grandmother did back in the sixties. That was my paradigm shift and now the only time I have sweet food is with berries with whipped cream or plain youghurt. My diet now is close to keto with mostly fish and poultry and fat. Food tastes much better when you eat it in a more whole food manner. Adding sugar, or salt or chili takes away from the clean natural taste, which is my preferred style now.

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