You’re following a ketogenic diet and those hunger pangs show up with a passion. So, what do you do if you feel hungry on keto? Check out these top keto diet tips for satisfying those hunger cravings and staying in control of your health, weight loss, or fitness goals!
1. Try Appetite-Suppressing Foods and Drinks
Certain food and drink items are known to reduce hunger, such as:
Those hunger pangs might just be thirst. Drink plenty of water and make sure you’re staying hydrated.
Some research shows drinking water can help you to feel more satiated, so you might consume less food at your next meal.
If you’re feeling hungry, drink 16-24 ounces of water, wait around 15 minutes, and see if you still want to eat. Try a light and refreshing keto beverage like a berry-infused water or a keto-friendly soda replacement like Zevia or La Croix!
3. Find a Distraction
Those hunger pangs might actually just be sweet, salty, or sugary cravings instead. Find a distraction and something else to focus your time and energy on, so you’re less likely to comfort eat or get kicked out of ketosis.
4. Are You Eating Enough Fat?
Of course, the ketogenic diet is renowned for the higher intake of healthy fats, but you still might not be consuming enough fat to feel nourished and satiated. Many keto dieters become too focused on ditching the carbs, and the healthy fat intake falls to the wayside. With fat being your main source of energy and fuel on a keto diet, you’ll feel hungry on keto if you aren’t getting your daily macronutrients. Over 70% of your daily calories should be from fat.
Boost your fat intake with fat bombs, healthy fats and oils like coconut oil, and other fatty foods like fish, meats, nuts, seeds, and avocados. You can also make your own salad dressings with herbs, lemon, salt and pepper, and fatty oils like olive, avocado, and walnut.
5. Butter Your Veggies!
Veggies are nutritious, and coating your veggies in butter makes them taste better, so you eat more and you also get more fat in your diet! Science shows consuming fats high in omega-3s, (like grass-fed butter, olive oil, and other animal fats) reduces body inflammation and improves overall health. Cooking with healthier oils like coconut oil and animal fats like tallow and duck fat also increases the amount of fat in your diet.
6. Don’t Deprive Yourself!
If you’re hungry on keto, it might just be time to eat. Make sure you’re not depriving yourself and give yourself plenty of food to feel full. Go for foods you love and recreate a keto version of your favorite comfort foods. Don’t stress too much about rapid weight loss and short-term excess body fat. Results will come in time, as long as you feel satiated enough to keep going and continue your efforts. Have an extra avocado, fat bomb, or a few more bites of chicken if you need to. Your body will thank you for sufficient nourishment.
7. How Are You Sleeping?
You might just be craving a good night’s rest. The amount of sleep you get can actually determine your appetite. Sleep deprivation is associated with overeating. Two hunger-regulating hormones, ghrelin, and leptin are also affected by the amount of sleep you get every night. When your body doesn’t experience optimal sleep, leptin levels fall, and ghrelin levels rise, giving way to increased appetite and food cravings.
Most health experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep. If you’re not sleeping enough, try improving your sleep environment. For example, try disconnecting from electronics and ensuring your sleep environment is dark and quiet. Health advocates believe the blue lights from electronic devices can disrupt the natural circadian rhythm.
8. Ditch the Artificial Sweeteners
When you say goodbye to sweet sugar, it’s easy to turn to the artificial alternatives like sucralose. For many keto dieters, these sweet substitutes give your body false hope and can actually increase your cravings for sugar! Most health experts recommend avoiding or limiting artificial sweeteners. Research shows sucralose has little to no effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, but this could depend on several variables like diabetes. Some research shows these artificial sweeteners can elevate insulin and blood sugar levels in certain people.
9. Too Much Protein or Carb Snacks
With the growing push for healthier food items, you can choose from lots of healthier, convenient, keto-friendly snacks. Carb and protein intake can creep up without you even realizing it if you’re eating too many snacks with a little too much protein or carbohydrates. Stick to safer keto-approved snacks and try meal-prepping to get more control over your snacking and eating habits. You could even try intermittent fasting to help you become more metabolically adapted.
Exercise supports your weight loss efforts and boosts your general health. It’s also useful if you’re hungry on keto. Research supports the idea that exercise suppresses production of the hunger hormone called ghrelin. Exercise has also been shown to increase feelings of fullness.
11. Change Your Mindset!
Instead of mulling over the foods you can’t eat on a ketogenic diet, it’s best to think about what you can eat. Focus on the positive and get motivated to eat healthy foods you love. Once you embrace the plethora of tasty options and recipes available to you on keto, you’ll never want to go back to low-fat fad foods or tasteless snacks and diet shakes.
What Do You Do When You’re Hungry On Keto?
Share your top tips for satisfying those hunger pangs on keto! Do you have any specific recipes that you like to have when you’re hungry on the keto diet?
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