Hunger and keto
Feeling hungry on a keto diet is seen as something that is interrelated since keto is a diet plan and a diet plan is always taken to be something on which you have to avoid food and stay hungry if you desire to lose weight. With the keto diet, feeling hungry is not mandatory but it is a possible thing.
Is it normal to be hungry while on a keto diet?
No! In normal case, you should not get hungry while on a keto diet because keto, unlike typical diet plans, does not direct you to cut off all the healthy food rather it is one hunger free diet which allows you to consume proteins and fats and whatever you like with an exception to few nutrients that act as the key triggers for putting the body into a state of ketosis.
Then why do people feel hungry on a keto diet?
There are several reasons due to which people feel hungry all the time on keto. As hunger pangs are not supposed to be there on keto, but when they do, for sure there are some causes that have a hunger effect.
Reasons for feeling hungry on keto
The most common reasons for feeling hungry while on keto have been discussed here. These will help in developing a better understanding of the hunger situation on a keto diet. Once you have a clear picture, only then you can work on getting rid of hunger pangs.
Leptin, a hormone is produced by body fat (adipose cells). Besides many other functions, one of its important roles is to send the signal to the hypothalamus part of the brain that enough fat is stored in the body so instead of getting more fat, stored fat should be burned to get the energy. Leptin, in a nutshell, induces the feeling of fullness.
However, in people who have so much body fat, more and more leptin is manufactured and resistance is developed against it which in turn makes you hungry. Thus a lot more leptin has to be made that is enough to overcome the resistance and stops you from feeling hungry.
With fewer carbohydrates and more proteins, the body runs low on different nutrients such as electrolytes. Most important of these are calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium. Not only more water is lost on a keto diet but is not enough stored in the body to meet its requirements. In such a case, you feel like eating something. Not because you are actually hungry but because your body needs certain electrolytes. Therefore, whenever the feeling of hunger arises, first drink water and wait if the feeling fades away, if it does not go away, then eat something. Also, add salt to your water so electrolyte balance is achieved.
You probably think what does sleep have to do with feeling hungry. What you do not know is sleep has to do everything with hunger pangs. When you do not sleep properly and stay awake for most of the time, the human body faces issues in manufacturing enough leptin and ghrelin. When these hormones are not produced, the feeling of fullness is not generated and as a result, your brain sends signals to eat something. Hence you go on eating one thing or the other thing without being hungry for real. It is, thus, imperative that you get enough sleep and stay in a normal state of ketosis. This is probably why you are hungry at night on a keto diet.
Less water consumption
The body loses a lot of water when you are on a keto diet. Not only the body runs low on hydration but also on electrolytes that are present in water. Throughout the keto diet, there is a dire need to drink lots of water so that the lost one is replenished. When you do not drink enough water, dehydration happens. In such a state, your brain keeps sending signals to eat something. When this happens, drink lots of water, and wait for half an hour, the feeling of being hungry will subside. But if you still feel hungry even after half an hour, you probably are hungry for real.
Stress eating is more of a habit. Some people sleep a lot when they are stressed, some people get fresh and new haircut while others start eating abnormally. If you are a person who has a stressful job, a tough routine, and many interlinked issues that give you anxiety than you need to be extra careful when being on a keto diet. Stress eating will not only increases your hunger pangs but will also affect your ketosis.
Some people have a fast metabolism. When they exercise, metabolic activity rises, and it becomes super fast. People with fast metabolic activities not only digest food quickly but also spend fat stores rapidly as compared to a person with slow metabolic activity. This is why they feel hungry soon afterward they have eaten and performed some activity.
Low carb diet
Since the keto diet is all about cutting carbohydrates from food, its low levels may induce cravings. Of all the nutrients, carbohydrates are something that the body is used to. And among all the foods that are rich in carbohydrates, whole grain foods make the routine meals. Thus, on a keto diet, the body craves carbohydrates and you feel hungry.
To add salt to the wound, some people start having carbohydrates cheat meals. They think it is okay to have carb food once in a while on a keto diet. This does not only severe hunger pangs but also puts your body out of ketosis. If you completely stay away from carbohydrates and follow keto religiously than you will feel that you are not hungry on keto diet anymore.
Hungry on keto intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is all about the timing of your food consumption. it shows that not only WHAT you eat is important but WHEN you eat is also significant. It is all about skipping meals and eating after fixed hours. It is therefore imperative that you do not eat randomly but consume food according to a set pattern. Chewing gum will help a lot as your body would be receiving the signal that you are eating something but in reality, you will not be doing so. Moreover, in order to curb hunger, avoid alcoholic beverages, processed food especially processed meat, candy bars, and sugar-containing beverages.
Other lifestyle factors
Lifestyle equally influences the keto diet. Lousy and bone idle lifestyle revolves around eating and sitting only. If you have this lifestyle and you are on a keto diet, you may find it difficult to fight the hunger pangs. Your body is used to one routine, so you will have to fight this battle on two ends, one about changing your lifestyle and being a bit active and the other about controlling hunger and eating systematically according to the requirement.
When hungry on keto, what to do?
There is absolutely no need to panic if you feel hungry on a keto diet. There are some tricks and treatments that help a lot in fixing this bug and keeping you going through the keto diet. Even when you feel hungry you cannot just eat anything. Here is what you need to do, just relax, keep following your keto diet, avoid carbohydrates, and wait till your body successfully completes transition and gets adapted to ketosis.
What should I eat when feel hungry on a keto diet?
If you are hungry on keto and are wondering what to eat or when will you stop feeling hungry on keto, this section is definitely for you! First thing first, STAY AWAY FROM CARBOHYDRATES, this is the thumb rule of the keto diet.
- You should start consuming bigger meals so that they stay inside you for a longer time. This also helps in avoiding frequent snack meals throughout the day
- Your meals should have more fats. There are two important reasons for this. Fats do not only induce the feeling of fullness but also increases the process of ketosis.
- You must drink lots of water. Staying hydrated while being on a keto diet is crucial. It will not only provide your body with the amount of water it needs but also supply required electrolytes. Keep drinking water after regular intervals especially during intermittent fasting
- Add lots of green vegetables in your meals. You can either take them in the form of salad or add them to whatever you are eating. Green vegetables are rich in fibers and also have a lot of water content. Therefore, they will contribute to reducing your hunger.
- Another important hack to reduce hunger feeling is to increase fluid intake. You do not have to drink water all the time. Coffee, keto friendly smoothies, sparkling water, lemon water, soda diet water, and coconut water are few of the liquids that support a keto diet
- Take enough salt. Salt provides the body with important electrolytes. When the body has enough electrolytes, it will not seek more food in the form of hunger pangs