Keto Snacking: How To Snack and Stay in Ketosis
Here, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about Keto Snacking. But why should we? Why do we even need to figure a way to do snacking the keto way?
Going through the emotions
Snacking is something that many people do but some of us battle with on a daily basis! Snacking is nearly always an emotional response. Be it, lack of sleep, stress, relationship challenges, or even feel-good ‘rewards’. The brain seeks out a ‘high’ to comfort and soothe in the best way it knows how with endorphin releasing foods.
Snacking decisions are usually made very quickly, without any consideration for the after effects. Everyone has their own favourites, but for most people their go-to snacks will be loaded with any combination of refined carbs and sugar. As soon as the sugar or carb ‘high’ has ended (which is usually moments after first taking your taking your first bite) you’re faced with the same urge to snack once again. It’s a vicious circle that can lead to a sugar or carb binge lasting for hours and sometimes even days at a time.
Bad snacks = no ketosis
Every time you snack on carbohydrates, it causes blood glucose levels to rise. This then impacts insulin levels, causing them to spike – halting ketosis. The end result being your body switching back to glucose burning mode rather than being a keto adapted, body fat burning machine. The insulin spike tells your body to make fat and store it, rather than burn it, converting the glucose to fat and retaining it as body fat.
I was recently listening to one of Dr. Eric Westman’s talks that took place at the HFLC cruise in 2015 and had a sudden moment of realisation. He very rightly points out that what was originally a primal survival function of the human body to help us survive long winter months of famine, now plays a key role in the rising obesity levels that continue to stifle today’s modern society.
The ketogenic diet is rich in healthy fats and should help to keep you feeling full and satiated throughout the day. However, the carb and sugar loving part of your brain might trick you into thinking you need a snack. Here are a few tips to ‘overcome the monster’:
- Spend some time trying to decide if it’s your brain or your body before you reach for your snack of choice.
- Dehydration may have a role to play in your urge to snack. Drink some water, wait 20 minutes and re-evaluate the situation.
- Develop your own coping mechanisms to help you overcome the urge to snack. Find a distraction. Try short bursts of exercise like pushups or burpees, go for a brisk walk. Anything to help take your mind off the overwhelming urge to snack.
- One of my own coping mechanisms is to drink a coffee with double cream or butter. The Caffeine gives me an energy boost and the addition of the healthy fats help to stave off the craving. Usually about 45ml (3 tablespoons) of cream, or 30g of organic grass fed butter (blended) does the trick.
The problem with snacking is you never reach for the keto friendly options. It’s always the carb loaded, sugary types. The types of rubbish that your carb/sugar loving brain wants you to consume, not your body! Don’t listen to your brain, it’s a liar! You don’t need to snack!
If you really can’t stop yourself (and believe me I’ve been there many times), arm yourself with keto snacking favourites in case you get an attack of cravings. The keto friendly ones are protein based and/or loaded with healthy fats helping to soothe and calm the emotional response leaving you feeling satisfied and satiated. They should be quick and easy to prepare, with little to no preparation required. Ideally something you can easily reach for in your moment of need. We’re going to give you some great snacks under 5g of net carbs in a follow up blog.
Either way, don’t let 5 minutes of keto snacking turn into a day long binge! It’s easy for your brain to take control and manipulate your thoughts, feelings and actions. You get ‘high’ from the hormones released in your body as you bite into your first mouthful. Continually seeking out the next ‘high’ you need more and more! What harm can come from a little nibble of chocolate or a few crumbs of cake? They’re only small pieces after all!
Before you know it, a small nibble here and a few crumbs there, quickly spirals out of control – into a family sized pack of chocolate bars and a whole sponge cake. Take control of your body and feel empowered to tell those dark thoughts to go away! Don’t undo months of hard work for the sake of a few moments of a sugary, carby ‘high’.
Hold onto that feeling you get when you see the progress you’re making: that pair of jeans that you can fit back into, or that tight dress that you feel confident wearing again. That’s the real ‘high’ and it’ll last a lot longer than a few moments on your lips you encounter from keto snacking.