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For most people who start the ketogenic diet, they feel like they’ve finally started on a diet they can sustain. After a few weeks, most ketogenic dieters find that cravings are gone, the weight is melting off, and they’ve finally conquered their mental obsession with food.

With so many reports that make it seem like keto is a borderline magic diet, it can feel incredibly frustrating if you’re still hungry all the time. If you’ve been counting your carbs and eating plenty of fat and protein, yet you still feel your stomach growling constantly, the cause of your hunger might be one of the following.

You’re not getting enough sleep

If you’ve been staying up late binge-watching Netflix, you’ll likely feel much more hungry in the morning. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body reduces the level of a blood hormone called leptin (which is responsible for inhibiting hunger) and increases the level of ghrelin (which is responsible for triggering hunger).1 Try aiming for a solid 8 hours a night, and let your body do the rest!

You’re dehydrated

Is it food that you’re craving, or are you really just dehydrated? Some foods act as fast-tracks to water; for example, foods loaded with salts help our bodies to preserve water, and our brains often mistake this dehydration for hunger. If you find yourself craving salty snacks or daydreaming about potato chips, try reaching for a tall glass of water instead.

You’re stressed out

If you find yourself unsatisfied with lunch when a big deadline is approaching, you’re certainly not alone. Stress causes a spike in the hormone cortisol, which has been found to trigger excessive feelings of hunger if the stress is present for a long period of time.2

If you think that your hunger is actually due to stress, try dealing with your rising cortisol levels in a healthier way. Meditation, exercise, or even talking with a friend or loved one have all been shown to lower cortisol levels, helping you to feel less hungry.

You’re pregnant

There’s a reason why they say you’re eating for two when you’re expecting! Reports from pregnant women have found that many experienced a sharp increase in hunger as little as two weeks into their pregnancy.3 This means that it’s entirely possible that you may be pregnant without even knowing it yet, and your increase in appetite is one of your first symptoms. If you are a woman who has been having unprotected sex, taking a pregnancy test may reveal a surprising reason behind your hunger!

Remember, if you’re still early in the ketogenic diet, you may be confusing hunger with the “keto flu.” If this is your situation, up your electrolytes and hang in there! If not, double-check your protein and fat intake to ensure that you’re getting enough calories to keep yourself charged up through the day!


The content on this website should not be taken as medical advice and you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. We provide nutritional data for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. We use Total Keto Diet app software to calculate the nutrition and we remove fiber and sugar alcohols, like erythritol, from the total carbohydrate count to get to the net carb count, as they do not affect your blood glucose levels. You should independently calculate nutritional information on your own and not rely on our data. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. This website shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on the Website or actions you take as a result. Any action you take is strictly at your own risk.

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