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How to Deal With Sweet Cravings When on the Atkins Diet

By Rachel Nall

The Atkins Diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet that promises to help you lose weight quickly and keep it off. The diet has several phases, the first of which involves dramatically reducing your carbohydrate intake to stimulate weight loss. During this time, you are more likely to experience carbohydrate cravings. However, the introductory period is aimed at helping you conquer cravings for sweet foods. You can use a few methods to help you stay on your Atkins Diet and continue experiencing dietary success.

  1. Increase your intake of Atkins-accepted foods, such as those that contain protein or fat. Sometimes sugar cravings can be due to hunger because your brain is signaling your body to obtain a fast-acting source of energy. By eating just a little bit more food on the acceptable Atkins Diet list, you can calm your cravings and stick to your diet.

  2. Prepare foods with sugar substitutes instead of using real sugar. The Atkins Diet allows for three packets of sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose or xylitol. You also can have stevia, a sweetener derived from the stevia plant. You should, however, count 1 g of carbohydrate per packet.

  3. Choose Atkins-approved desserts, such as sugar-free gelatin and whipped cream, Atkins shakes or an Atkins Advantage bar. Your dessert should not contain more than 3 g of net carbohydrates per serving.

  4. Eat at more regular intervals. Eating several times per day can help keep your blood sugar levels constant and reduce cravings for sweets and other carbohydrates.

  5. Brush your teeth or gargle with mouthwash after you finish eating a meal. You tend to crave sugary foods less when you have brushed your teeth because the taste is not compatible with sugary-tasting foods. If you make this a habit, you will be less likely to crave carbohydrates.

  6. Engage in some type of physical activity when you experience a sugar craving. Taking a walk or dancing around your home is a way to boost your natural serotonin levels, which are the appetite-reducing chemicals in your brain. They also can give you a pleasurable “upbeat” sensation -- similar to when you eat something sweet.

  7. Warnings

    If you leave sugary foods in your home, you will be more likely to be tempted by them. To truly commit to the Atkins Diet, get rid of sugary foods in your cupboards to reduce the likelihood you will give in to a craving and consume a food high in sugar.

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