Why’d am I suddenly so hungry on keto?

When you start feeling hungry suddenly or feel as if you are not getting satisfied, here are some mistakes that you might be making with your keto diet plan which are causing those sudden bouts of hunger:

  • You don’t intake enough fiber
  • You don’t get enough sleep
  • You are just thirsty
  • Not eating enough fats
  • Eating more than 20 grams of net carbs daily

A woman with a fork and knife sitting on a table with an empty plateFirst of all, check your fiber intake. Are your meals consisting of foods with a high-fiber content or not? If not, then that might be the problem. Eating foods that are ketogenic and at the same time rich in fiber content is very important. This is because dietary fiber helps one feel satiated longer.

One of the foods that one might try out which contain low carbohydrates and at the same time have high fiber content include sauerkraut, avocadoes, and leafy green vegetables. You can never go wrong with these choices.

Second, you might not be getting eight hours of night sleep. Since sleep is an important aspect of the ketogenic diet, getting less of it leads to a cascade of events. Your body will not produce enough of the hormone responsible for your satiety, the leptin hormone, and this, therefore, means an increase in the production of ghrelin. This will definitely lead to feelings of hunger. This is easy to reverse as it simply involves getting more night’s sleep. If this does not work out, then there may be another mistake that you need to figure out and solve.


That plant-based diary that you are so fond of might be your bane. This is because they contain less fat as compared to other sources of dairy. What you therefore need is a dairy that contains full fat so as to get the vital nutrients and which will also make you feel fuller.

Additionally, you might just be thirsty. You might be dehydrated from lack of hydration, which can show as hunger. To reverse this, you can take a glass of water and wait for about fifteen minutes and see if you still feel hungry. If the feeling subsides, it should serve as a pointer to up your water intake to at least eight glasses a day.

Also, you may be having a hormonal dysfunction where your body ends up producing so much of the leptin hormone that tolerance is built leading to leptin resistance. Consequently, you might not feel that you are actually full because of your body’s inability to signal to you that it is.

Lastly, maybe you are just not eating enough as per the ketogenic diet’s standards. There are the recommended daily dietary intakes and you might not be meeting this threshold. This might be stemming from the misleading notion that when on a diet, one should eat small food portions. This is not the case here and therefore if you feel that you are not satisfied or just hungry, then eat up.

Does ketosis make you hungry?

Women working out in a gym

The keto diet when strictly followed without any deviations or relapses should result in the overall improvement of one’s heath amongst other health benefits. When the body is in this state, it more often than not results in appetite suppression.

 A lot of people have reported experiencing decreased hunger while on this diet plan. One of the reasons why this happens is because of the increased intake of proteins and vegetables in addition to the changes that have been made to the body’s appetite and hunger hormones, leptin, and ghrelin. One often feels full and lacks the need to eat as often as before.

Furthermore, because the body is burning up fat for energy and producing ketones as a result, these by-products may end up affecting the brain to lower the levels of appetite and by extension feelings of hunger.

However, earlier on in the keto-journey, one may have appetite cycling, whereby it increases and decreases in turns. Initially, one will have increased appetite because the body is running on its last stores of glucose and glycogen. This will lead to increased production of ghrelin, and with it increased appetite that results in eating more food.


How do I stop being hungry on keto?

As one who is used to high intakes of carbohydrates, it is not uncommon to get slip-ups and pangs of hunger once in a while when on the keto diet. This is because before you switched to the ketogenic diet, your body had carbohydrates as its main source of fuel, and so on replacing its primary energy source with fats, you end up having hunger pangs. These are side effects that will last for a while and therefore should not be a cause of worry. However, if this persists, then there are mistakes you might be making or you are not adhering to the diet plan as required.

The good news is, that these hunger bouts can be toned down as there are effective approaches to taming those cravings.

Your diet should largely be made up of whole foods which are rich in nutrients such as eggs, low-carbohydrate vegetables, and beef. This is because aside from providing your body with the right amount of essential nutrients, they will also make you full for a good amount of time.

Abruptly restrict your dietary intake of carbohydrates. This is because your body must have emptied its glucose reserves for it to start using up fats as its energy source. This might just be difficult if your net daily intake of carbohydrates is still above 30grams.

Frequent cheat meals will cancel your efforts. They will trigger your carbohydrates craving which will be even stronger than before. Also, this will interrupt your journey of being keto-adapted as your body becomes confused about the energy source that it should be running on. Is it glucose or fats? Instead, save them for much later on once you are fully ketogenic-adapted. This is because those who have fully adapted to this type of diet have increased metabolic flexibility and can therefore easily recover from sessions of cheat meals and cheat days.

Stay hydrated. As someone on the keto diet, make it your habit to finish a bottle of water when you wake up in the morning and when you suddenly start to feel hungry. Those bouts of hunger at times are just a sign that you are dehydrated and not necessarily hungry. A good way to know if you are hydrated is by checking the color of your urine. If it is either amber or clear, then you are on the right track but if it is dark yellow, then it is a sign of dehydration.


As a beginner on this keto journey, eat at a surplus. This will help you stay full for a little bit longer and also allow your metabolism to shift from glucose (in the carbohydrates) to ketones(in the fats) as its primary energy source.

Lastly, give your body time to fully adapt to the ketogenic diet. This will take up to a month and after this, your carbohydrate cravings will reduce and you can say goodbye to the hunger pangs.

How long until hunger goes away on keto?

These bouts of hunger that come with being a newbie on this keto journey tend to subside once you are fully keto-adapted. And just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, it will take time, up to a month even, if you follow the diet plan correctly and have no relapses, for your body to fully adjust. This is because it needs to have time to switch from one main source of fuel to another and the side effects seem to be the hunger pangs and carbohydrate cravings that you are experiencing.

Should I go to bed hungry on keto?

There is absolutely no reason why you should sleep on an empty stomach while on keto. What is of importance is that the caloric intake and macronutrient ratios of the meals are met. This means more dietary fat and proteins and fewer carbohydrates. This will also depend on your goals for taking on this diet; weight loss, weight gain, management of a medical condition such as Alzheimer’s disease and weight retention, and how your body responds.

How do you get full without eating carbs?

BBQ steak
BBQ steak

Because the keto diet centers on high-fat and low carbohydrate meals, you might start worrying that you will not feel full. However, there are ways to feel full without eating carbohydrates.

First of all, ensure that you stick to the diet. This is the most important because when your body is in the state of ketosis, you tend to feel full.

Eat less. The amount of food portions needed to get you satisfied is less compared to your typical diet. This is because the main macronutrient component of the diet is fat and it is rich in calories per gram, and therefore all it takes are small portions to achieve satiety in comparison to carbohydrates. However, if you must have large food servings, then they must be vegetables that are low in carbohydrates.


Additionally, have sufficient protein intake. Salmon and tuna are great examples as they not only have omega-3 but are also protein filling.

Leafy green vegetables are a good choice as they not only provide you with nutrients such as Vitamin C and folate but also have low carbohydrates and are high in volume hence will make you fuller for a longer time.

Also, eating whole foods that are dense in nutrient content is better at getting you to feel and stay full as compared to those foods that are rich in sugars.

Drinking lots of fluids will help you get full and help your body function smoothly. A good way to achieve this is to try and drink at least half of your body weight in ounces.

Lastly, another great way to fill up without having to consume carbohydrates is to eat lots of healthy fat. You can ensure this by having all meals containing a sufficient amount of healthy fats such as having a combination of eggs and avocadoes for breakfast.

Not hungry on keto should I still eat?

When on the keto diet, the following statement should guide your eating habit, “only eat when you are hungry and never eat when you are not hungry.” This is because when you are not feeling hungry, your body burns fat for energy and so there is no need to force eating. However, you still need nutrients and therefore having a structured meal plan would be the best way and then gradually adapting as you go.

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