Keto is the anti-hunger diet. Eating lots of satiating fat, protein, and fibrous but low-carb veggies means that your stomach should feel full 24/7. This is a big contrast to most diets where hunger is often a constant companion.
Nonketo diets rely solely on calorie restriction for weight loss. You eat less, and that creates a calorie deficit. Eating fewer forces your body to use stored body fat for fuel, and that usually means more hunger. You don’t need to cut your calories so much on a low-carb diet, but some people are still hungry on keto.
With keto, you eat 20-30 grams of carbs per day, and that puts your body into a state called ketosis. When you cut your carb intake to this level, your body has to use more fat for fuel and, as a result, you lose weight faster. You still need to eat a little less, but you won’t need to starve yourself. Good news, right?
Unfortunately, some people are still hungry on keto. If that’s you, there is no need to worry we are here to help.
What is hunger?
The dictionary definition of hunger is discomfort caused by a lack of food. Skip a few meals, and you’ll soon know what hunger feels like. Hunger is the result of several different mechanisms that signal to your brain your body needs (or wants) food. The main hunger mechanisms are:
Low Level of Blood Glucose Before Ketosis
Your brain preferentially uses glucose for fuel. It gets that glucose from your blood, and your blood glucose is dependent on your liver glycogen and the carbs you eat. If your blood glucose levels fall, as they do during the transitional phase of keto, you will feel hungry. However, once you enter ketosis, your brain will have an abundant supply of ketones, and this issue ceases to be a problem.
The stomach is a muscular bag surrounded by a network of stretch receptors. As you eat and your stomach expands, those receptors send messages to your brain to tell you that it’s full. As food digests and leaves your stomach for absorption and elimination, your stomach relaxes and shrinks again. This triggers hunger.
There are two main hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is produced by your fat cells. As you lose weight and burn fat, leptin levels start to fall. This can trigger hunger. Ghrelin is known as a satiety hormone. It is mainly produced in your stomach. Increased ghrelin production stimulates your appetite.
Hunger can also be caused by your mental or emotional state. In a lot of cases, hunger is not a physiological need for food, but a psychological need instead.
Tips To Beat Keto Hunger And Cravings
Even if you have established that you aren’t nutritionally hungry, hunger can still feel very real. You might be able to tough it out, using your willpower to resist the gnawing sensation in your stomach, but it can sometimes be so powerful that you are tempted to break your diet and eat. That’s not too big a problem if you eat keto diet-friendly foods, but if you eat carbs, you’ll be out of ketosis and won’t burn fat or lose weight. Here are some tips to beat hunger and cravings on the keto diet:
1. Eat More Frequently
From a caloric point of view, it doesn’t matter if you eat one big meal per day or four smaller meals. However, to beat hunger, more frequent meals are often the best. Providing your body with a steady supply of food means you should experience less hunger and more stable energy levels.
2. Fiber Up
Fiber contains no carbs or calories, but it’s filling. Fibrous foods like non-starchy vegetables stay in your stomach for longer and cause greater stomach distension. Both of these characteristics mean that fibrous foods are filling and can help ward off hunger.
3. Stay Busy
One of the best ways to avoid hunger is to stay busy. Distracting your mind means you won’t be able to think about your stomach. Do anything that will occupy your mind and your hands so you can’t reach for food! Mow the lawn, go for a walk, make a phone call, write an email, or play a video game. Do anything that will take your mind off food.
4. Avoid Hunger Triggers
Hunger can be triggered by lots of different things. Walking past a bakery and smelling bread, drinking alcohol, or even specific people may be associated with eating. If you notice your hunger is always worse in certain situations, avoid those situations like the hunger triggering plague they are!
5. Eat Properly
It takes about 15-30 minutes for your stomach stretch receptors to tell your brain you are full. That means your hunger window can remains open for longer than it should, allowing you time to overeat. Eat more slowly and mindfully so that the “full message” has time to reach your brain. That way, your hunger will be satisfied sooner, and you are less likely to consume more food than you need.
6. Don’t Starve Yourself
Going on a diet invariably means eating less, but that doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself. It’s great you are dedicated and determined to lose weight, but overzealous food restriction will invariably lead to increased hunger. Eat less, but don’t eat so little that you feel constantly hungry. If you are so hungry you break your diet, you will have defeated the entire purpose of eating less.
7. Cut Down on Stress
Stress is the leading cause of non-nutritional hunger. Eating makes you feel good, and many people turn to food when they are stressed. Modern life is often very stressful, and that means comfort eating can be a constant problem.
Stress also encourages fat storage making it a double whammy for derailing your weight loss efforts. Be aware of how stress affects your appetite and take steps to avoid it wherever you can. Look for non-food ways to alleviate stress, such as taking a walk, talking to a trusted friend, or drinking chamomile tea.
8. Get More Sleep
Your body needs two things for energy – food and sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, it’s only logical that your body will seek an alternative source of energy; food. If you are hungry all the time, you may be sleep-deprived. Make sure you get at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night to avoid hunger. As an added benefit, you can’t eat while you are sleeping.
9. Adapt your Diet for Exercise
If you are an ardent exerciser, you may experience more hunger. This is especially true if you are trying to get by on fewer calories. Very strict diets and intense workouts are not compatible. If you are training hard, you may need to eat more food, so you have the energy you need for your workouts. Eating a little more should help prevent hunger.
10. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners and Sugar Alcohols
Cutting carbs can make you miss foods like candy bars, soda, and desserts. Luckily, there are lots of sweet-tasting keto-friendly foods you can eat that contain carb-free artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols. Unfortunately, these substances can stimulate hunger and trigger cravings. You may experience less hunger if you quit these foods altogether rather than trying to replace them with “fake” alternatives.
So, these are some of the useful tips you can apply to your daily routine to get a flat belly and achieve your weight loss goals. Keto diet is healthy and rich in nutrition it helps your body to cut down extra kgs and strengthens your internal body structure.
Go easy on your crash diet and exchange it with a keto diet to get optimal results in less time. Eat and shed pounds!