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Home Keto Diet Why Am I Hungry on Keto? A Common Question Answered

Why Am I Hungry on Keto? A Common Question Answered

Why Am I Hungry on Keto? A Common Question Answered

You’re now on board with the industry’s trending diet. Welcome!

The ketogenic diet is a prevalent lifestyle choice that gathers a lot of attention. 

Many health claims draw people in, like fast weight loss, improved brain function, balanced blood sugar levels, and greater appetite control.

If you want to benefit from the above, it might be the perfect regime switch.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy. Many keto dieters drop the diet as they struggle to maintain the restrictions and the negative side effects.

Aside from keto flu, feeling hungry is a common complaint that can ultimately sabotage the diet. 

However, the concept of the ketogenic diet isn’t to starve yourself. It’s about balancing your eating habits with a low-carb, high-fat diet, cutting right back on carbohydrates.

With that in mind, it’s not a given that you should be feeling hungry. In fact, a suppressed appetite is one of the best-reported advantages. 

Here we consider why you might be hungry on keto and provide tips to keep you feeling full so that you can get the most from your keto journey. 

Why Am I Feeling Hungry on the Keto Diet?

There’s no denying that keto is seemingly difficult to adapt to. For most participants, it’s a long way away from usual eating habits. 

You might be hungry on keto if you’re not eating the right foods or not eating enough of them. 

The ketogenic diet consists of low carbs, moderate protein, and many healthy fats.

Finding a balance between macros is key, whether that means adding more protein, more fat, or reducing your net carbs.

It’s easy to focus too much on what you can’t eat and miss out on what you can eat. And if you’re not getting enough calories or your daily nutrients, hunger is inevitable. 

Why Is Protein So Important in the Keto Diet? 

Cutting carbs is a given, but protein has a crucial role, too.

A general ketogenic meal plan includes 10–20% protein from your daily calories. 

Protein intake is kept moderate compared to other low-carb diets that increase the amount of protein you eat. This is because too much can prevent or kick you out of ketosis.

Protein has amino acids which can transform into glucose when you have too much. The body can then break down the glucose instead of fat stores. 

The right amount of protein is essential on the keto diet as it enables ketone production while maintaining lean muscle mass. 

The protein will provide your body with enough glucose to function correctly without turning to muscle tissue.

Why Should I Consume Fats?

Fat intake is another priority for keto dieters. 

As it makes up over 70% of your daily calories, it’s good to make better choices by choosing healthy fats. 

Being able to eat fatty meals is part of the fun with keto. You can indulge in fatty meats and other animal fats, butter, coconut oil, and olive oil. You can even eat bacon, although it is best to avoid processed meats. 

High-fat foods are a must. Including a good portion with every meal will reduce hunger and leave you feeling satisfied for longer. It’s no good sticking with low-fat foods.

You won’t get enough calories to sustain the keto diet without enough fat. You will feel hungry, develop food cravings, and risk filling up on non-keto-friendly foods as you try to relieve hunger pangs.  

Keto Hunger Pangs? 5 Tips on How to Feel Full

If you constantly feel hungry on keto, something is going wrong somewhere. It’s easy to curb hunger while on keto when you know how. 

Health Insider edit


#1 Hydration is key

Not a lot of people realize that drinking enough water is just as important as consuming the right foods. 

Often you might think you’re hungry when you’re just thirsty.

Drink plenty of water or other fluids to reduce hunger and aid your weight loss efforts. 

It can make you feel fuller and prevent you from accidentally increasing your food intake. When hunger strikes, grab a glass of water and see how you feel a little after. 

#2 Don’t be afraid of fats

For once, fats aren’t the enemy.

The ketogenic diet promotes the consumption of fats. 

That said, you should make a conscious effort to choose the right foods.

Many processed fatty foods come with health risks. Opt for healthy fats for optimal health benefits as you drastically modify what you eat.

There are lots of ways to include more in your diet. For instance, fat bombs are the perfect keto snack. Choose them over carb snacks and foods containing artificial sweeteners.  

A fat bomb is a small, satisfying snack that is fat-rich while low in protein and carbs. Think of them as a hit of energy to fill you up and suppress sugar cravings. They’re a convenient way to ensure you get enough fat on keto. 

#3 Don’t forget protein-rich foods

An adequate amount of protein-rich foods will keep your body functioning, give you more energy, and help fill you up on keto.

If you try to cut down too much, you risk muscle and tissue loss as your body tries desperately to meet its protein needs. 

Quality protein sources include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and cheese.

Health Insider edit

#4 Eat low-carb veggies

Vegetables are essential nutrient-packed foods that you shouldn’t go without. 

As many are relatively high in carbohydrates, it’s essential to differentiate between low and high-carb vegetables. 

Keto-friendly vegetables include spinach, lettuce, kale, celery, avocado, and tomato. Generally, you can fill up on these as much as you like without breaking your keto journey.

You can usually identify the higher-carb, starchy veggies as those that grow underground. Think sweet potatoes, beetroots, carrots, and corn. 

Health Insider edit

#5 Try BHB supplements

BHB supplementation can be a good idea for keto dieters. 

BHB stands for beta-hydroxybutyrate, a chemical found in the body that is also lab-manufactured into dietary supplements. They are often considered keto supplements as they provide the body with exogenous ketones.

The chief claims behind taking BHB supplements are to increase fat burning, improve energy, suppress appetite, and help you return to ketosis when you eat too many carbs or foods that aren’t keto-friendly.

Health Insider edit

What Is the Keto Diet? 

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet driven by the desire to induce ketosis

Ketosis is a process triggered when your body is starved of an adequate number of carbs. Ordinarily, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, later used for energy. 

When the glycogen stores are no more, your system begins to break down stored body fat, creating ketones that fuel your body instead. It’s a technique that forces you into a fat-burning mode, meaning you lose weight. 

The key aspects are to swap carbs for protein and fats.

A Word From our RD

Losing weight is tough on anybody, but the ketogenic diet is considered a productive method to support weight loss. 

As with any low-carb diet, it has rules and restrictions that may not be sustainable for everyone. 

A common complaint when people start keto is feeling overly hungry. However, you can manage it by mastering the diet with the correct calorie intake, appetite-suppressing foods, and keeping hydrated. 

Once you understand how to navigate the eating plan, you can begin to burn fat and reach your goal weight without suffering through hunger periods.

Another way to prevent hunger and overeating on keto is to get enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation influences the two hunger regulating hormones. Without optimal sleep, the hunger hormone ghrelin levels rise, while leptin levels fall, resulting in increased appetite and sugar cravings. 

So, the top general tips to avoid hunger on keto are to track what you eat, drink plenty, and sleep well. 

Remember, limiting calories too much will leave you hungry. Sometimes, you need to eat more without preventing ketosis.


Why am I hungry on keto?

You’re not the first person to ask the question. Keto is challenging, but it’s about finding the method that works for you.

Calorie restriction is not necessarily the way forward with keto. Instead, a healthy keto lifestyle calls for a calculated balance between fat, protein, and carbs. 

When you eat the recommended foods in adequate amounts, you can avoid the uncomfortable feelings of hungriness. And when you’re not battling with cravings, you can progress with weight loss as your body naturally begins burning fat through ketosis.

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

Why Am I Hungry on Keto? A Common Question Answered

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