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Cravings and Hunger NOT Going Away on Keto and Fasting

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

So you started keto and intermittent fasting, but you still feel hungry and have cravings all the time. What is going wrong?

If this sounds like your experience, you are not alone. This is a very common problem that I see coming up over and over again. So let’s talk about what to do when cravings and hunger are not going away on keto and fasting. With just a few simple changes to your habits, you can say goodbye to hunger and cravings for good.

In this article, I will cover:

Hungry young woman holds white plate and bites on it, showing hunger and cravings for food.


 

When consistent with the right plan, you should have zero cravings or hunger

You should not be hungry on keto and intermittent fasting.

In fact, if you are doing the exact plan that I lay out for Healthy KetoTM and intermittent fasting, you will get rid of all your cravings and your hunger will go down to zero between meals.

Consistency with these diets is key. It will result in you feeling better than ever with no bothersome cravings or hunger to deal with but as your body starts fat adaptation some side effects are normal like feeling cold while fasting or mild symptoms of the keto flu.

I know from personal experience how amazing you can feel on these healthy eating plans. Just yesterday, I didn’t eat until 3:00 pm. It might be hard to believe, but I felt absolutely no hunger while I fasted and I felt completely satisfied. I had no desire to eat, because my body was burning fat and I was in 100% ketosis.

I actually feel way better when I don’t eat compared to when I do eat. My body thrives while fasting and doing the Healthy KetoTM diet plan.

You might think that you need to eat meals often or consume glucose or carbohydrates to keep your body going. But that just isn’t true. When you have converted to 100% ketosis, your body will make glucose if you need it from protein, ketones, and fats.

So here’s the thing you need to remember: if you feel a strong desire to eat certain foods or have feelings of hunger with keto and fasting, something isn’t right. Hunger and cravings are the best way to know if keto and intermittent fasting are working or not.

Stick figure drawing of person with thought bubble thinking about cake, food cravings and hunger.


So if you do have hunger and cravings, you’ll need to make some adjustments to fix the problem.

 

How to stop hunger and cravings on keto and IF

If your cravings and hunger are NOT going away on keto and fasting, then there is a high chance that you aren’t being totally consistent with your eating habits.

Here are the top tips that can help you find out why you are feeling hungry on keto and how to fix the problem:

Tip #1: Reflect on what you ate yesterday

It often seems like hunger pangs come out of the blue, and you find yourself suddenly hungry on keto and craving certain foods for no reason. But it usually isn’t out of the blue, and it usually isn’t random.

In fact, the vast majority of the time hunger and cravings come back to what you ate the day before.

What you ate yesterday creates hunger and cravings today.

Thought bubble filled with cartoon drawings of unhealthy carb cheat foods like fries, cake, sweets.


So reflect on your eating choices yesterday. What did you eat? Were you only sort of following the keto guidelines? Was there anything you ate that you shouldn’t have eaten? Did you eat something you thought was keto friendly but really wasn’t?

Here are some of the usual suspects when it comes to what causes feelings of hunger the next day:

  • Not being consistent, consuming “cheat” foods, and only sort of following keto
  • Maltodextrin
  • Tapioca
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Fruit
  • Dates
     

It nearly always comes down to too many carbohydrates the day before. So make sure to really stick to the eating plan and follow it consistently. Read labels of so called “keto-friendly foods” and make sure they don’t contain harmful ingredients like maltodextrin or tapioca that you aren’t aware of.

If you follow the plan as it is intended and are consistent every day, you will find that your hunger and cravings will completely disappear.

Tip #2: Address your stress

Stress can also be related to hunger and cravings.

Stress releases glucose that is stored in your liver, which can produce blood sugar fluctuations and make you feel hungry.

Young stressed out woman holds hands to her temples, doodles of work, time and stressful things.


So make sure to address your stress levels and practice stress management techniques to get your stress down. A stressed out body is not a healthy one. If you want to get healthy, lose weight, and stay healthy, you must learn to manage and address your stress.

Here are some resources to support you:

Tip #3: Take a look at your sleep

Another reason you might be feeling hungry on the keto diet is that you are getting poor sleep. When we don’t sleep well, it can affect our blood sugars and result in side effects like feeling hunger and having cravings.

So take a look at how you’ve been sleeping. Have you been getting enough hours per night? Have you prioritized rest? If there are sleep problems present, you’ll need to address them to get your body back on track and to get rid of the cravings and hunger.

Woman lying in bed with white sheets and lamp, peaceful sleeping, good night’s rest.


Check out these resources for ideas on how to get a better night’s sleep:

Suffering from constant lack of sleep is very hard on your body. It can affect everything from your weight to your immune health – and yes, your hunger and cravings. So get started now fixing poor sleep.

Tip #4: When you crave salt, skip the carbs

When you crave salt, you may need to eat some salt to satisfy that craving. But you can choose to consume salt without any carbs whatsoever.

So instead of turning to hold favorites like French fries or chips, get your salt from healthy foods like vegetables, salads, or keto-friendly snacks like these Keto-Friendly Onion Crackers. You don’t need to eat salt with carbs, so adjust your approach and satisfy your cravings without the unhealthy choices.

 

Keto and IF: a sustainable approach to a healthy diet

I just can’t imagine what it would be like to try to stick to a long-term diet where you are hungry and having cravings all the time. Unfortunately, that is the reality for many people who are on various diets trying to lose weight.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. It just doesn’t make sense to feel hungry and crave foods constantly when trying to make healthy choices.

That’s why keto and intermittent fasting is such a great option. You can follow this eating plan, get healthy, lose weight, and not have to battle any hunger or cravings along the way.

Once your appetite goes down and your cravings disappear, it is so easy to stick to keto and intermittent fasting. This makes it a very sustainable diet that you can follow for a long period of time and see great results with.

Happy young woman smiling in yellow shirt standing on scale, healthy weight loss.


 

Conclusion

If you are wondering, “Why am I feeling hungry on the keto diet?” there are several possible explanations.

In most cases, hunger and cravings on keto and intermittent fasting are a sign that you aren’t quite sticking to the keto diet plan as recommended. You’ll want to reflect on what you ate the day before to see what kinds of carbs, cheat foods, or non keto-friendly foods you might have let slip into your diet.

If you are doing keto and fasting correctly, are consistent with your dietary choices, and keep your carbs low, then you should see your hunger and cravings go down to zero. For those of you new to keto who need an overview of what to do to see success, go here for an introduction to the Healthy KetoTM plan.

Other possible culprits of hunger and cravings can be poor sleep and high levels of stress, so make sure to address those as needed.

If you find yourself suddenly hungry on keto, give the tips above a try. Then go ahead and leave me a comment below letting me know how it worked for you.

References

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

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