The Real Reason You’re Hungry On Keto And How To Control Those Cravings
Isn’t a low-carb diet supposed to make me less hungry?
Why am I constantly daydreaming about potatoes and pasta and pastry?
If you’ve recently started following a low-carb or ketogenic eating plan, you might be able to relate to those thoughts.
Because the truth is that struggling with intense cravings and constantly feeling hungry on keto is actually a big reason lots of people go back to eating carbs.
But before you reach for another snack (or think about giving up), let’s talk about why you’re feeling so famished—because chances are it’s probably not what you think. Your cravings could actually be a sign that you’re doing something right, but they could also be a signal that something’s a little off. (How’s that for a confusing answer?)
Suffice it to say that if you find yourself constantly feeling hungry and thinking about food, there are steps you can take to eliminate those cravings for good and finally lose the weight you’ve been struggling with. After all, Thinlicious is all about getting healthy without deprivation. You really can get more energy than ever and lose weight without feeling hungry all the time.
So, if you’re finally ready to stop obsessing about food, keep reading! Let’s dive into the real reasons why you’re so darn hungry all the time.
You’re Not Eating Enough Food
One of the most common reasons some people feel hungry when starting a low-carb or ketogenic diet is that they just aren’t eating enough. And there are a lot of reasons we do this.
It could be that even though we’re told not to, we’re still focused on calories. After all, hasn’t diet culture hammered it into our heads that losing weight is all a matter of calories in and calories out? When everything we’ve heard our whole lives about losing weight has focused on restriction and calorie counting, it’s hard to actually believe that calories really don’t matter all that much.
Or it could be that we’re trying to do intermittent fasting before we’re actually Thin Adapted. We hear everyone talking about fasting and how great it is, and so, because we want everything to happen as fast as possible, we try to do everything all at once rather than giving our bodies a chance to adjust.
Or it could be that we’re simply miscalculating our macros…or worse yet, not counting them at all. We’re not eating enough fat or getting too much protein or still eating far more carbs than we should be, and it’s throwing everything off.
But here’s the deal, friend: food is not the enemy, and at Thinlicious we don’t count calories at all.
If you’re just starting out and trying to become Thin Adapted for the first time, the only macronutrient you’ll actually control or restrict is carbs. After that, you’ll be focused on making sure that 70-80% of your food is healthy fats and 15-20% is from protein.
That’s just a quick bit, but we have a complete guide to macronutrients if you want to learn more about them.
And don’t try other restrictions like intermittent fasting until after you are Thin Adapted. Your body goes through a bunch of changes as it switches from using carbs as energy to using fat. You need to make sure you are feeding your body the proper fuel so that all those changes can happen as easily as possible.
So, eat that food! Yup, you might be hungry because you’re not eating enough…and you also might not be eating enough healthy fats. Those healthy fats are what make you feel full.
You Need To Eat More Fat
Another reason you might be feeling hungry is that you aren’t eating enough healthy fats.
When you cut carbs, you need to increase your fat intake to make up for the energy loss. Otherwise, your body will start breaking down muscle for fuel.
This is why we suggest that you get 80% of your nutrients from healthy fats while you are in Phase 1.
It’s easy to focus on cutting carbs and calories when trying to lose weight, but healthy fats are essential for our bodies to keep running without breaking down muscle.
Increasing healthy fat consumption helps provide the energy we need when there is a decrease in carbohydrates. But don’t worry—not all fats are created equal, so you don’t have to always add spoonfuls of butter or deep fry your meals. Healthy cooking oils like olive and avocado oil, plus nuts and fatty fish, contain healthy fats that provide essential nutrients our bodies need! So take another look at those healthy fats—your body will thank you for it!
Still curious about healthy fats? Read all about fat, cholesterol, and keto. For now, just make sure you’re eating plenty of fatty fish like pan-seared salmon and mix in some nuts from our low-carb granola to feel completely satiated.
If you think you’re getting enough healthy fats and you’re still hungry, then maybe you need to look at another macronutrient. Maybe you’re not eating enough protein.
Your Body is Still Addicted to Carbs, and You Are Detoxing
Another possible culprit you’ll need to consider is that your body may still be addicted to carbs. You see, when you cut back on carbohydrates, your body has to detox from the sugar addiction it has been carrying around for years.
It’s crazy to think that sugar has been proven to be more addictive (and more deadly in the long run) than cocaine, and yet it’s totally socially acceptable. We even feed it to our kids in large quantities.
Anyway, when you switch from using carbs for energy to using fat, your body has to go through a period of detox. This means you may feel really tired and hungry during the transition. This process can take up to several weeks and can cause intense cravings, so don’t feel too bad if you’re struggling.
The good news is that once you get past this stage, your cravings will disappear (you’ll actually get full faster). You’ll have more energy, better focus, and you’ll start to lose weight.
You’re Not Eating Enough Protein
A common mistake people make on the keto diet is not eating enough protein. This can lead to hunger and cravings as your body tries to get more energy from food.
You probably already know this, but it’s worth emphasizing: eating high-protein keto foods is non-negotiable! Even if you think you’re on the right track with your low-carb diet and high-fat intake, not having enough protein can lead to serious hunger pangs.
You know those times when all of a sudden, your craving for chocolate or an entire bag of chips flares up? Yeah, that could be because your body isn’t getting the high-protein foods it needs. So it’s important that when you plan snacks and meals on the keto diet, you make sure to include high-protein food options like grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, nuts, seeds, and eggs. Protein will keep hunger at bay and help prevent cravings big time!
We have a bunch of high-protein recipes in our Thinlicious recipe index. Our Orange chicken
is super popular! And our recipe for creamy beef and broccoli casserole is a fantastically filling recipe that contains high amounts of protein.
Don’t forget to eat lots of protein when you go low-carb! Your body will thank you for it.
Ok…so, what if you are eating enough protein, enough healthy fats, and enough food in general…but you’re still getting hungry. Look at how much water you’re drinking next.
You Need To Drink More Water
You’re probably aware that not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, but did you know it also leads to hunger and cravings? Yes, true story! And if you think electrolyte-filled sports drinks are going to fix the problem—think again. Your body needs H2O!
That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re drinking enough water on a daily basis, not just when you’re feeling thirsty. It may sound basic, but when we don’t take our hydration seriously, nothing else matters. Drink up those electrolytes and keep your tank full!
Our favorite drink recipe is this lemon electrolyte drink. It’s both refreshing and nourishing and can even help with symptoms of the keto flu.
See? Drinking enough water is so important! If you’re on the struggle bus with your hydration, then maybe try using one of these cute and helpful water bottles.
Reward yourself and get one (or all of them!). Make drinking enough water easy and fun. Infuse your water with cucumbers or lemon slices. Keep it cold. Carry it with you. Some people even put their water bottle by their bed to remember to drink water first thing in the morning.
Do what you gotta do to drink enough water.
And as important as hydration is, getting enough sleep is just as vital to your health. Did you know that not sleeping enough can also make you feel hungrier than you should?
You Need More Rest
Yup, just like drinking enough water and eating enough food, getting enough sleep can help fight cravings too. Not only can lack of sleep make hunger worse, but it can also really negatively impact your health.
Let’s think about why this may be. When you’re not sleeping enough, it actually causes your body to feel more stress. When your body feels stressed, it produces a hormone called cortisol. And guess what cortisol makes you crave? SWEETS!
This leaves you feeling hungrier than usual and craving things that don’t actually make you feel better or help your body at all. Before long, this can become pretty hard to break away from. So make sure that you’re giving yourself plenty of time for rest every night because it’ll be worth it in the long run!
See? If you find yourself feeling hungry or craving carbs, it might be because you’re not eating enough fat or protein, drinking enough water or getting enough sleep. You might also not be eating enough food period! Try these tips to avoid making these mistakes on the keto diet so you can succeed in your weight loss journey.
Make The Switch
Ready to finally stop feeling hungry and lose weight? We recommend starting with our Thinlicious™ 28 Day Metabolism Reset, which is designed to introduce you to the Thin Adapted System and help you retrain the way your body burns fuel in just four weeks. Get it HERE.
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Check out our 28 Day Metabolism Reset program! Our easy to follow program has helped thousands of women lose weight and feel great, without feeling hungry all the time. Now is your chance to get all the tools you need to succeed (even when your life feels crazy)!