“I’m Always Hungry on Low Carb, What Should I Do?”

AskDrAndreasEenfeldt-desat

What should you do if you’re always hungry when eating low carb?

The answer to this and other questions – what should you do if you’re losing too much weight, and can you eat low carb without a gall bladder? – in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt:

Can you eat low carb if you don’t have a gallbladder?

OK, I am coming back to low carb. I ate this way years ago and got really bored. I followed Protein Power, and I got great results. I’ve joined your site and I am ready to start again. My question is this: I had to have gallbladder surgery in 2007 and since then I’ve been concerned that maybe I should NOT do this kind of diet.

What is the outlook for someone without a gallbladder to start and finish well on this way of eating? Is it harder to lose weight low carbing? Should I cleanse because I don’t have a gallbladder? What to do? Thank you!

Tronda

 
Hi Tronda,

Just do it like anybody else. Most people tend to do great even without a gallbladder. However it’s possible that you may take longer to adapt when it comes to stomach issues, possibly you could initially have a tendency to stomach pains or diarrhea. If so you could have more but smaller meals, especially when it comes to fat. This should be temporary.

Best,
Andreas

I lose too much weight on low carb. What to do?

Hello Andreas,
Thanks for the great work!

I have done LCHF before, several years ago but had to stop as I became almost critically underweight (I am 193 Cm tall and got down to 63 kg). I didn’t know what to do, so started adding carbs but it made no difference until I was once again on my old, unhealthy carb-rich diet. Because of this, I have been slowly putting on weight ever since.

In April I was 92 kg and decided it was time to lose some weight, but this time I want to stay on LCHF indefinitely if possible, because I enjoy many benefits aside from weight loss.

However, it seems to be happening again. I lose about 1 or 2 kg each week. I started LCHF again in the start of May and I have since then lost 14 kg (very rapidly at first).

I have found my appetite quite low on LCHF, in fact most days I have a few creamed coffees in the day (some days I have two eggs in the morning) and don’t eat until my main meal in the evening, which is mostly meat. I am happy with this and enjoy it, but I recognise that I only eat a fraction of what I used to (used to have about four meals a day and snacks in between).

I didn’t intend to stop having breakfast and lunch, but I decided to try the intermittent fasting, but very quickly came to realise I didn’t need those meals at all. I considered “only eat when hungry”. I am not, by the way, starving myself. I genuinely don’t feel hungry till the evening time.

What do I need to do to prevent becoming underweight?

Thank you very much.

Steve

 
Hi Steve,

If adding carbs to stabilize your weight puts you back on the yo-yo rollercoaster I’d suggest instead voluntarily adding another meal or a couple of snacks to your day.

I know this is not fun and takes some extra time but at least it can be pleasurable and there are of course people who would enjoy having your problem.

Best,
Andreas

I’m constantly hungry on low carb!

I have been on a LCHF diet for more than 3 years but recently started to gain some weight. I’m a 62 year old woman. I have always been hungry – just thought I needed to take it. After finding your site (thank you!), I see that I am not supposed to be hungry. But my stomach empties about 30 to 45 minutes after I eat! So after watching the videos I started eating more fat, figuring that was my problem but now as I listen to the videos, I see I shouldn’t be having too much fat because there’s such a thing as too many calories? Now I guess I need to stop having cream in my coffee as I am having many cups in the morning? I’m so confused!

I can’t figure out how much of what (carbs/fat/protein) I’m supposed to be eating to NOT be hungry? I am doing 16:8 IF five days a week and lost most of the weight gain though…but still hungry…

Should I see a doctor about this, is there something wrong with me? Or should I just eat if I get hungry even if I just ate an hour ago? In all the testimonials they say that they are never hungry so it must be me? I would be happy with eating once a day if I just wasn’t hungry!

Andreas, thank you ahead of time for any advice you might have for me,
Janice

 
Hi Janice,

You’re not supposed to need to eat every hour to avoid hunger. If you do, most likely you’re not eating nearly enough at meals and you should probably try adding more fat to your meals.

On the other hand, do not constantly snack or lots of cream every not and then in your coffee. Try to keep to fasting between meals. Ideally no snacks. Small amounts of milk in coffee, ideally not more.

Eat a meal when you are hungry, eat until you’re not hungry. And eat enough so that you don’t immediately get hungry again. Then do something else – do not eat – until you, hopefully much later, get hungry again.

Does that make sense?

Best,
Andreas

More

Low Carb for Beginners

More Questions and Answers

Many more questions and answers:

Low-Carb Q&A

Read all earlier questions and answers – and ask your own! – here:

Ask Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt about LCHF, Diabetes and Weight Loss – for members (free trial available)

More About LCHF and Weight Loss

  • How to Maximize Fat Burning
  • Isn't weight loss all about counting calories?
  • Cindy lost 80 pounds on keto
  • "I'll do this or I'm going to die trying"

15 comments

  1. Benjamin Hays
    Eat more protein! If you are on a low carb diet you are most likely trying to lose weight. Bump up your protein quite a bit.
  2. Ellen
    I had my gallbladder out just a few months ago and found that in not having any issues with processing fat at all! If anything it's easier without my dodgy gallbladder causing super cramps. Eat up!
  3. Karen
    To Tronda from: Can you eat low carb if you don’t have a gallbladder?

    I follow a low-carb lifestyle and I also don't have a Gallbladder (since 1999) - you might want to try taking Digestive Enzymes (I use Now Foods brand, but, have no affiliation with it, and there are many brands out there to try) and also Ox Bile supplements (I use Nutricology brand, but, have no affiliation with it either) along with your meals (you can find them at any health food stores or online at Amazon.com).

    Good luck.

  4. Sandie
    Hi Janice, if you're constantly hungry, it may actually be thirst. The body confuses these signals. Try increasing your water intake. Good luck.
    Reply: #5
  5. bill
    ...and salt intake.
  6. Kim
    I also had my gall bladder out, after about 2-3 years eating LCHF (but had had gallstones for 20 years at that point--the problems were not related to my diet). I worried about ill effects after the surgery, but had more problems due to the painkillers than the diet. (Tylenol with codeine causes constipation, and when you stop taking it...look out!) I've been continuing with LCHF for at least three years since, and can eat anything I could eat before with no problems.
  7. Rose
    Janice, just a thought, you might have a tait worm. Might be worth looking at, couldn't hurt .
  8. Chris
    I'm pretty shocked that your response to someone who's becoming dangerously underweight is to say that some people would love to have this problem... being underweight carries as many health risks as being overweight, if not more, but we live in a culture which assumes there's no such thing as too undrweight. This is a dangerous comment.
  9. Ambrose Jerko
    There are three phases to the Always Hungry? weight loss program. The first phase conquers cravings. The second phase is designed to retrain fat cells. The third phase is to lose weight permanently.
  10. angela
    i always feel hungry even i dont skip meals since I started my Low carb diet. I replaced white rice and white bread with black rice, oats and whole wheat foods and stop eating foods with fried with oil last 3days
    Reply: #11
  11. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Angela!

    You actually don't eat Low Carb.

    Read more here...

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb

    i always feel hungry even i dont skip meals since I started my Low carb diet. I replaced white rice and white bread with black rice, oats and whole wheat foods and stop eating foods with fried with oil last 3days

  12. EvgeniaBB
    I've been trying to be lchf with my husband for a month because his weight is really frightening.
    He's always saying he is hungry and that he can't see all that fat any longer. He really had some results during that month though, and now I'm afraid he might give up. He's also complaining about digestive problems and heartburn.
    What am I doing wrong? Should I reduce fat and increase protein?
    I'm trying to choose only fatty meat with clearly visible fat + add butter to our meals.
    Is it possible that the reason is his poor digestion of fats? He never liked fatty food and complained about too much fat even before. Shall I add some kind of medication?

    Please help he's so discouraged now and I'm afraid he'll have diabetes in a year if he stops the diet. His weight is very high and uncontrollable.

  13. Michael
    What if you don't need to lose weight? I am in good physical shape always have been. Weight has never been an problem at all, but I have other issues going on. IBS (since I am a child, now I'm 46 yo), Migraines, Candida(toe nails, little bit starting on the finger nails, Vertigo, Recently had a gallbladder flare up(second one in 6 years), ringing in my ears( this began more often 2 mos ago). I know what it's from- I have eaten massive amounts of Pasta, Pastries, Cookies, Ice Cream ,Burgers(basically comfort type foods). Eaten in a lot of - Italian restaurants, Steakhouses ,Bakeries, Sweet Shops(you get the idea) my whole life.

    I have been doing the LCHF diet for the past two weeks along with intermittent fasting( anywhere from 16 hours - 24 hour fast( the Gallbladder happened right before I started( it has been coming on for a very long time). Am I eating too low carbs at 20 Grams a day ( I started receiving delivery from KETO Fridge and I like it a lot but I'm thinking i might need some more carbs?

    btw-I have not had a migraine since I started, but the other morning I did start to have the aura and I grabbed my trusty pink Himalayan sea salt, and the migraine literally never started. when I took half a teaspoon, it only took maybe 20 SECONDS to stop it. That was pretty amazing!

    To everyone on this forum-- forgive me for the long drawn out comment, Thanks!

  14. LIZA
    First thank you on your site,I lose 6 lbs for 3 weeks,but why I am suffering in severe stomach pain?I do fasting 24hour fasting 2x a week,I followed 18:6 eating.I want to give up now,please help me.
  15. Christine
    I have been on the ketogenic diet for 4 days and have not lost any weight. In fact I have gained weight. Please tell me what I am doing wrong? I am drinking more than 2 litres of water and eating less than around 30g carb per day.Thanks.

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