When you are starting off on The Kaufmann Diet, it is very likely that you will experience some serious cravings for many of the foods that you are now eliminating. Particularly if you are accustom to eating foods like breads, pasta, potatoes or sugary foods (all foods that make up the Standard American Diet) often the cravings for these and other sugar/carbohydrate rich foods can be overwhelming. Ultimately, many people wind up falling off the diet because the cravings are so strong.
Many people who go on carbohydrate restricting diets experience these sorts of cravings, and most of the time it is written off as your body adjusting to the lack of sugar that it is used to. Often, these cravings subside after a week or two, but in the beginning, they can be quite strong.
Something else, however, might be to blame too.
Fungi and yeasts are parasites, and they are documented as influencing the cravings of their hosts. In other words, you crave what they crave, and fungi’s favorite food is sugar. When you start cutting that sugar out of your diet, you are essentially starving these parasites, which often leads to insatiable cravings and a “flu-like” feeling called Herxheimer reaction. Your cravings, in other words, could be a sign that The Kaufmann Diet is working––it just needs more time to accomplish its goal.
Often, these cravings manifest as overwhelming hunger, which can be difficult to not give in to. Think about it––have you ever experienced hunger even after a large meal? What did you think about that could fix that hunger? Probably some sort of dessert, right? Even though you have given your body plenty of the fuel that it needed, you were still craving something, and it is likely that is was something with lots sugar and/or carbohydrates.
So is your body telling you that it is actually hungry? Or is it craving something? This logic should be applied to all hunger pains, especially when you are begging the diet, because it can be difficult to discern the difference.
It is important to remember that there is never a need to go hungry while on the Kaufmann Diet, because you are not restricted by how much you eat. You are only restricted by what you eat. If you really want to know if you are actually hungry or simply craving something not on your diet, simply eat foods instead that are on your diet. It takes a certain amount of will power and determination, of course, but this is an easy way to distinguish between actual cravings and hunger. In other words, if you are hungry, eat something, but make sure it is on the diet.
Tips On Fighting Cravings
The fact that it is possible to distinguish between cravings and hunger does not make those cravings any less real or difficult to deal with. However, if you are going to get through the initial, critical 4-6 weeks that are recommended for sticking to the more restrictive Kaufmann One Diet, you are going to have to navigate your cravings. To that end, here are some tips for helping to navigate those cravings.
Drink plenty of water, especially when you are hungry.
Drinking water is important regardless, but particularly if you feel cravings coming on, drink plenty of water. This will help you feel full and can distract from cravings that manifest as hunger. Thirst, too, can manifest as hunger, so be sure you are drinking plenty of water. It is simply a good and necessary strategy for health in general.
Keep Kaufmann Diet-friendly snacks around.
There is no reason to ever be abnormally hungry on the Kaufmann Diet. If cravings are setting in, it is good to have snacks handy that are on your diet. This can mean plain yogurt, green apples, almonds, walnuts or pumpkin seeds. Beef jerky can be a good option too––anything that will keep your stomach happy so you do not give in to cravings is a good option to keep on hand.
Find substitutes for the foods you crave.
There are so many options for substituting the foods that you crave on the diet. Starchy, salty carbs your thing? Try mashed cauliflower. Is bread your thing? Try almond our almond bread recipe (available in our cookbooks). There are even options for Kaufmann One-friendly desserts. Focus on the foods that are on the diet; it takes time, but it eventually becomes easy to come up with creative ways to substitute the foods you are eliminating.
Give your body time to realize it is full.
Craving dessert after a huge meal? Before you reach for sweet treats, give yourself 15 minutes. Often there is a delay in the time it takes for your hormones that tell your brain your stomach is full to reach their destination. This is why even after you have finished a large meal, you may still feel hungry for a while. Take your time when you eat, and wait at least 15 minutes before reaching for something else after a meal.
Stick to your eating schedule.
While intermittent fasting is a popular trend and good diet strategy with some exciting benefits, for some people who are starting on the Kaufmann Diet, it can spell disaster. Simply put, combining a new way of eating (like The Kaufmann Diet) with restricted eating windows (intermittent fasting) can be too much for some people. In short, don’t skip meals if it means you will get too hungry and give in to cravings. Try eating throughout the day and keep snacks on hand. If you eventually want to work intermittent fasting in to your regimen, that can be a beneficial tool for your health goals as well, but not if it initially makes you fall off your diet.