Brilliant, you wisely decided to adopt a low-carb, high fat diet to trim down and feel good. You’re enjoying real, unprocessed food and don’t have to count calories, so happy days. You were told that after a while cravings will go, but you find yourself feeling hungry. Not to worry, this is not uncommon and can often be explained by one of the following:
You are not eating enough.
When people switch to low-carb diet, they often eliminate high-carb foods they were eating but don’t increase the amount of low-carb foods like green vegetables, proteins and fats. It can be quite difficult to let go of the idea that fat is bad and clogs up our arteries, myths that have been sold to us for so long. Even if you have read all the studies that dispel these myths and on a rational level you accept that we need healthy fats for optimal health and that fat does not make you fat, on an irrational level the fear of fat often lingers on. Add good fats, like olive oil, coconut oil and butter to every meal. It will help you feel satiated and you will find that it will not make you fat, in fact it will help you stay or become lean.
You are eating too much protein.
Because of the irrational fear of fat, often people add more protein to their diet. Protein makes you feel fuller for longer but our bodies can only process around 30% of our daily calories from protein. If we consume more protein than that, we will not get any benefits from it and we are likely left feeling hungry. Keep the amount of protein within 30% of daily calorie intake and if necessary increase the amount of vegetables and healthy fats.
You’re not eating enough carbs.
Low-carb doesn’t mean no-carb. People with unimpaired metabolism will feel hungry if they don’t eat enough carbs, especially if they are physically active. To fix this add some squash or sweet potatoes to your meals.
You are adapting.
It takes a while for your metabolism to be fixed and your hormone levels to be balanced. How long this takes varies from person to person and among other things depends on how messed up things were before you improved your diet. Once the nutrients that were deficient have been replenished and your hormonal balance has been restored you should start to feel less hungry.
There are several other reasons why you could be feeling hungry and it is worth finding out the cause before giving up on a low-carb diet, because most of the time once you know why, it can be fixed.