How many carbs should I aim for per day to remain weight stable? How can I stop myself from overeating?
These and other questions are answered this week by our food-addiction expert, Bitten Jonsson, RN:
After weight loss?
I have just started keto for weight loss. Sticking to 20 g carbs per day. Once I have reached my target weight, how many carbs should I aim for per day?
Congratulations to cutting carbs. Your question is hard to answer. Our own unique “fuel mix” is something we have to test out ourselves. If you are a sugar addict, you need to be aware that if you start adding carb’s again you will end up with weight gain and cravings and you might relapse back into eating the way you did. Keto is a lifestyle, not an on-off diet. In the meantime, when you eat like this prepare to change your ideas about food forever.
How to not overeat?
Hi, how are you?
I’ve been in ketosis for the past month with a day off here and there where I eat mostly healthy carbs like rice. I’m trying to do the one meal thing but when I break my fast I tend to overeat; especially nuts. I like to mix them with ghee and stevia. I haven’t used sugar for a long time now and I avoid it. I recently came off from fruits as well. I’m doing long fasting at the moment 36 h so far. I want to push it until I get into my goal weight, currently 56 kg. I want to get down to 50 kg or 52 kg. I’m 5’2. I plan on not keeping nuts around so that doesn’t happen to me anymore but is frustrating to feel you don’t have the strength to keep a normal portion of it so I wouldn’t have to remove it completely. I appreciate any insights.
Gracias! From Colombia,
I understand your frustration. First of all, sugar addiction is not a diet or weight-loss program. It is about a brain illness, a dysregulation in our reward system. Therefore, we need a lot of tools in order to achieve health in the long run. I absolutely advise against fasting for 1½ – 2 years for sugar addicts, while learning not to overeat and maintain being sugar/flour free. Substitutes like keto bread and keto desserts are not for us and most of us can not keep nuts in the house – we will overeat them as snacks. “Pushing it” as you say is like holding a huge pilates ball under the water, eventually your arms get very tired and it will fly up in your face, i.e you’ll relapse. I advise you to start by reading “Food junkies” by Dr. Vera Tarman and Phil Werdell. The new updated version is out now. And welcome to join our support group on Facebook.
Can I have a snack, like fruits, in between meals, if so, which ones would be suitable?
I want to know if I can have a snack in between meals or when I am feeling hungry.
I don’t touch fruit, there’s way too much sugar for me and back when I did, I ended up more hungry and relapsed back into carb eating many times. First of all, try to eat more at meals so you sustain longer and then if hunger/craving hits, you have some warm fluid (coffee/decaf/tea) and add 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee to it. That’s my “snack”. You may also use MCT-oil but be careful with that in the beginning, start with a teaspoon and increase slowly as it might give you diarrhea. Do this until you eliminate hunger/cravings between meals.
Will I get angry easily if I skip carbs?
I was once told by a friend that if I skip carbs, I will feel depressed and get angry easily as carbs are said to be a comforter.
Well, you are sure right that carbs act as a comforter. That is why so many people end up being addicted. They act as a psychoactive drug on our reward system. Not on everyone, but some people are more sensitive than others. If you are among those I do not know, but what people talk about is withdrawal like with any other drug. And that will go away. How tough it will be and for how long, is individual, depending on how much and for how long someone ate sugar/flour/processed foods. It is well worth going thru in order to achieve a better health. Most of my clients experience withdrawal in the first three weeks on and off. Here is a list of symptoms people report when detoxing.
- Restless – wired
- Concentration problems
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- A runny nose
- Sleep disturbances