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Suzee 07-20-2013 08:56 PM

I think I need help...self-sabotaging
Hi. To get right down to it. I'm trying to re-start low carb and get into ketosis. I do fine until about 3 PM. Today, I found myself in my husband's closet scarfing down Red Vines licorice. This is the 2nd time in 2 days. If I make the low-carb cream cheese muffins, I end up eating 6 of them or 2 or 3 of the low-carb brownies.

I know what I should be doing, but don't understand why I get that darn hideous craving for the sugar stuff. ANY suggestions or ideas, (maybe for substitute "goodies?), would be appreciated. Thank you.


llisarray 07-20-2013 09:10 PM

If it were me, and I was having to restart, I would do total induction again..no "goodies", just strict induction for a couple weeks to get myself away from the sweet cravings.

rubidoux 07-20-2013 09:11 PM

I have had a really hard time getting started, too. It's a little bit like detoxing with a bunch of your drug of choice hanging out everywhere you look.

One thing that helps is to eat as much fat as you can stand. Well... at least make sure you're eating fat whenever you're hungry or want to eat. Also, salty chicken broth can make you feel a lot better if you're feeling that yucky carb flu feeling. For me, it really hits the spot and makes me less binge-y.

Also, if it's really sweets that are your issue, check out my thread about gymnema linked in my sig. I have only just started using it a couple of days ago, but it feels like a real sea change to me.

shipshemom 07-20-2013 09:21 PM

Try not to have any sweets in the house to tempt you since it only tests your willpower. Sweets are my biggest temptation. The longer I go without them, the easier it gets to resist them though, so a sugar detox definitely works. One substitution I make is SF jello made w/ whipping cream. I also drink coffee w/ SF flavored creamer & Splenda in the afternoon to ward off sweets cravings.

Suzee 07-20-2013 09:25 PM

Thank you for the replies & suggestions. What would be a plain simple daily strict low carb induction menu? I can eat the same things, with a little variation each day.

buttercup30 07-20-2013 10:30 PM

I totally understand. I would totally sabatoge myself last year. It was awful. I too have it all around me, because no one else in the house eats like I do.

Sample Menu:
2 eggs
3 little sizzlers

1 Ball park beef patty
some kind of lean veggie

same style as lunch, except maybe chicken for the meat


pooticus 07-21-2013 12:54 AM

These are great answers!!

Sure there could be psychological issues at play here, only you know that for certain, but I can tell you that what you describe is really common (the 3 o'clock MHs -- Mean Hungries). But it's more likely you are experiencing true physiological insulin rollercoaster rides as you transition from your former diet to low carb eating. Once you truly adjust, the rollercoaster rides generally subside.

But, we're programmed to go for yummy snacks at 3pm from childhood. Remember the afterschool snacks? But also, 3-4pm is about 3-4 hours after the usual lunch. So it's likely that your blood sugar is tanking and sending you a strong "feed me" signal. In The Zone diet, Dr. Sears talks that a meal should last you 4-6 hours without hunger. If it doesn't you should look back on your previous meal to see if you had too many carbs or protein and were making extra insulin in response to a blood sugar spike.

The bad news, is that you are reaching for the sugar-snacky stuff instead of a protein/fat snack/low carb veg snack. Sometimes breaking that psychological bond between desire and what is actually in our best interest is harder than whipping the blood sugar back into shape!

I personally can't handle having off plan items in the house-too much temptation. And I even have to be very regimented with my on plan foods that are more "high appeal items."

I would say in the early days, to be gentle with yourself (while sticking to your 20g Net Carb daily goal). Don't beat yourself up if you do slip. And don't use a slip as an excuse to kill the rest of the day. Often 1 slip will not throw you too badly out of whack. A day's worth of slip will! So get right back to plan if you slip. Take that next best bite.

Secondly, eat. Whenever you are hungry. Do as Rubidoux suggests and eat a fatty snack. When you feel hungry in the early days, especially...eat!

Someone said here, and wish I could remember who...but she knew the big diff between head hunger v. true hunger: If the thought of eating a hardboiled egg satisfies your hunger cue, then it's likely real hunger. Eat the hardboiled egg! If it doesn't sound good to you and instead only thoughts of sweets, or salty carbs will do...then it's time for some headwork! (And btw, I'd go ahead and eat the egg. If you have a full tummy, you are less likely to binge on off-plan items.)

Hope this helps!

suzanneyea 07-21-2013 03:49 AM

I have ten years experience and those cream cheese muffins are still a no go for me. Stick to higher fat meat and lower carb vegetables. I used to keep hard boiled eggs or devil eggs in the fridge. If I felt like eating candy, I just ate the eggs, basically till the thought of eating anything else was gross.

Suzee 07-21-2013 04:03 AM

Thank you very much to Suzanne, pooticus, buttercup, shipshea, rubidoux & llisarray. The suggestions are very helpful. My hub does not eat like I do, and there are tons of sweets and soda and snacks everywhere. He doesn't get it, to the point of offering me candy or a cupcake, even after I've explained, for the umpteenth time, that I can't eat them.

So, it's more mental work on my part. Does anyone else have trouble sleeping? What kind of pickles do you eat, buttercup? Is the deviled egg recipe on this site, Suzanne?

suzanneyea 07-21-2013 04:28 AM

Deviled eggs are easy. Hard boil your eggs, cut them in half. Take the yolks and mix them with mayo. I add a touch of Dijon mustard and salt too. Put the mixture back in the eggs white. I make them every morning for the day. My whole family snacks on them
My husband eats carbs too. Give him time to accept your new diet. My husband assumed this would be like my other diets, just a phase.

emel 07-21-2013 04:45 AM

and for the ones where you break the egg white cups, smoosh them into egg salad to eat with a spoon or with celery sticks or sliced cucumbers for dippers.

I think 2 devilled eggs halves and a dill pickle is an awesome snack to have when the sweets are calling you. Good dose of fat and salt---just what we need.

Suzee 07-21-2013 05:56 AM

Deviled eggs & dill pickles are okay for induction?

Aomiel 07-21-2013 06:15 AM

Oh yeah...deviled eggs are my go to for snacks. I'm always on induction (less than 25gm per day although I usually come in at 20) and I eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, a big salad for lunch with egg, ham and italian dressing and some type of protein and a cup of green vegies for dinner.

You can have hard cheese (no more than 4 oz per day per Atkins '72), deviled eggs (mix 3 yolks with 2 Tbs mayo and a bit of mustard...not much). Real cream in your coffee. I don't usually eat breakfast until 10 a.m., but I'm up at 6:30 so I have 2 cups of coffee with real cream and that fat holds me over until breakfast.

I'd avoid the desserts...even if they're low carb...and if you can, try and avoid artificial sweeteners. Truly, I found that the 'sweet' taste still kept me craving the carbs even after several weeks of induction.

emel 07-21-2013 06:57 AM


Originally Posted by Suzee (Post 16524476)
Deviled eggs & dill pickles are okay for induction?

Atkins induction allows copious quantites of eggs, and you can have the mayo, mustard, and salt that's in them. Dill pickle spears-- 2 a day is the recommended use.

Vlassic is about 8 cal per spear, 0 fat, 1.5 to 2 carbs (hard to say due to fuzzy math on the label), 0 protein, 313 mg sodium
Oh and don't forget to count the carbs in the eggs and mayo and mustard.

Patience 07-21-2013 07:00 AM

Great advice here. If you are time deprived for making deviled eggs, just add some butter (and salt if you like) to hardboiled eggs and mash. The trick seems to be to get some extra fat into your eggs. I'd too suggest eliminating the artificial sweeteners. Some folks here use them successfully, but at the risk of keeping sugar cravings alive I feel you are better off without them (not to mention that they are expensive and nutritionally zip). The exception I would make to the homemade locarb snacks on the recipe page would be fat bombs. They helped me through some afternoon cravings. I no longer eat many as I tended to overeat, but they helped in the early days. I agree with posters, don't let yourself get hungry. In your early days planned snacks are good ways to keep hunger and cravings at bay.

Take this advice with a grain of salt, some will work for you and some may not, but speaking of salt I've learned how important it is for me to up my salt intake. Pickles are great, but read the label. I've been buying Woodstock Organic Kosher dill, 1 carb per serving for 2 baby dills. I found a great sale and stocked up, but I'll buy about any kind that has no added sugar and artificial colors. I drink all the juice too. Pickles are easy to make, but I haven't done so for many years. Cucumbers are a wonderful snack, too.

Emily-D 07-21-2013 07:17 AM

I would go back to Atkins induction, by the book, for two weeks. You can take L-glutamine to help with cravings for sweets.

Anglophile67 07-21-2013 07:36 AM

This is what I have found works well for me when I am facing the temptation of goodies all around from my three kids and husband. A tablespoon of coconut oil three times a day. Seems simple, but it truly makes me feel full and it lasts a long time. I did a lot of research on CO before I started taking it, and now I can't imagine being without it. It gets me through the late afternoon munches! :-)

clackley 07-21-2013 07:50 AM

^All great advice!! I would just like to add that planning out your days menu may be useful too. If you know what you are having and have all the ingredients needed and plan in snacks such as boiled eggs, you likely will find that you don't end up consuming it all.

I too had a really hard time getting traction on low carb after a long absence and if I had only realized that adding fat would have made it so much easier....

Patience 07-21-2013 07:55 AM

Right, Anglo, I agree with you. I often take mine in my coffee. Sometimes I take a spoonful out of a jar in which I've combined CO and butter (I like a bit of butter for a sweeter taste), and a little salt. It's the low effort version of fatbomb. Sometimes I melt and mix in a little whey protein powder if need a bit more protein. Sort of chewey, but good.

If I am going to a social event where I am not sure about the food, a spoonful of CO before I go is really a life saver, or a least a diet saver.

newcrew42 07-21-2013 08:35 AM

Bacon, the microwave kind, it is really satisfying. When having an afternoon craving I just pop 3 or 4 slices in the microwave.

We have the super Kroger here and they have deviled eggs in their deli. They are delicious! I a high school teacher and a couple of boys on the wrestling team noticed me eating those for lunch. Now they eat them when they are cutting for a match.

JMacB 07-21-2013 09:12 AM

I deal with my nightly sweet craving with drinking lots and lots of the wal-mart brand of diet tang. It is filling and sweet and I really love it. I make a two-quart pitcher every night and polish it off. It has made a huge difference in my nightly cravings.

shelby'snana 07-21-2013 09:44 AM

very good advice here....... off to boil me some eggs ! I forget to have them on hand sometimes :)

thatphdguy 07-21-2013 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by JMacB (Post 16524716)
I deal with my nightly sweet craving with drinking lots and lots of the wal-mart brand of diet tang. It is filling and sweet and I really love it. I make a two-quart pitcher every night and polish it off. It has made a huge difference in my nightly cravings.

Can you please tell me what is the name of the product you are talking about? Does it have Aspartame?

Thank you!

thatphdguy 07-21-2013 05:52 PM


You got great advice from our own experts. As they say, stick with the basics: meat, low-carb veggies, and full fat dressings. Your cravings sooner or later will disappear.

JMacB 07-21-2013 07:01 PM

It's the great value brand of drink, orange early rise flavor. It does contain aspartame. I love it.

Suzee 07-21-2013 08:29 PM

Thank you soooooo much for all the advice, ideas and hints. I'm off to boil some eggs now. It sounds like that is going to be a go to snack for awhile. I have a day without dogs on Tuesday, and will go over what I have for induction. :)

bigguy23 07-21-2013 09:09 PM

The hardest part is not beating yourself up over it. It happened, nothing can change that. Forgive yourself and make a plan of action. Keep trigger foods out of the house. You can do it!

Suzee 07-22-2013 11:46 AM

Today, it's working. I headed for the licorice in the closet and remembered I'd made deviled eggs last night. I had 2 deviled eggs, instead, and I feel fine, now. I'm hoping to keep this up. Thank you! :up:

clackley 07-22-2013 11:48 AM


Janknitz 07-22-2013 12:09 PM

I'd have the planned low carb snack AND bump up the fat at lunch. If you can't think of anything else, put a dollop of coconut oil in some hot coffee or tea or broth. It'll keep you going for hours, then you may find you don't need the snack--but having it there just in case is a good idea.

The coconut oil does a few things for you. As a medium chain triglyceride, much of the fat bypasses the liver and goes directly to the cells to revv them up for fat burning. That gives you energy, and it reduces hunger.

If you're new to coconut oil, start slowly with just a teaspoon and gradually increase to a tablespoon, otherwise you'll experience some GI problems.

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