“I’m still hungry on a keto diet!”

askdrandreaseenfeld

Does MCT oil help with weight loss? Why are you still hungry on keto? And can you get too high ketones?

Get the answers in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt:

MCT oil to help weight loss?

I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I’m 55, 5’3″ (160 cm) but 135 lbs (61 kg). Have been on strict keto diet for 3½ weeks. Not counting carbs but avoiding all foods not on the low-carb spectrum. No weight loss yet! Should I take MCT oil?

Marilyn

 
No. MCT oil does not help with weight loss. If you want to speed things up I recommend adding intermittent fasting instead. Bonus: it’s free.

Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt

Hungry on keto

I have been on the ketogenic diet for almost nine months. I eat between 120-140 grams of fat, 84 g protein and 20-25 g of net carbs per day. I’m very hungry! My weight loss has stalled so I have attempted to reduce to 100 g but feel soooooo hungry! I started supplementing with B5.

What could this hunger mean? Any tips?

Giulia

 
Hi Giulia!

Hard to say without knowing more, like your height and weight. For some reason, it seems like your body feels you’ve reached your ideal body weight and it does not want to lose more. So perhaps you have? Or, if definitely not the case, there may be other hormonal issues involved. Also – if applicable – remember that women 40+ sometimes may have to accept that they don’t have the same body weight as when they were younger, for hormonal reasons. The alternative can be a need for starvation that is rarely sustainable or empowering.

For more options see our guides:

Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt

 

Is it possible to have your ketones go too high by IF and a keto diet?

I recently lost 40 lbs (18 kg) on keto and then it stalled out and now I am gaining weight doing the same keto diet. My ketones are consistently around 2.0. When I did three 24-hour fasting days consecutively, the ketones hit 4.9. Now I have gained 8 lbs (4 kg) back eating three times a day. Please help me figure this out. My blood work has been amazingly good, but I seem to still need insulin. What do I do? Do I fast?

Ron

 
Hi Ron!

As long as you feel fine, 4.9 in ketones should not be any cause for concern. Regarding fasting, we generally do not recommend fasting more than 24-48 hours. This can be highly effective and there is rarely a need for longer fasting than that.

Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt

More

Keto for beginners

Intermittent fasting for beginners

How to lose weight

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).

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14 comments

  1. 1 comment removed
  2. Irene logan
    Is it beneficial to take in ketones? Thank you
  3. 1 comment removed
  4. Susan
    I had a problem with still feeling hungry, even though I was in ketosis (per blood test by doctor). Not only was I hungry, but I was also having hypoglycemic episodes almost every morning. And I wasn't losing weight, nor was my A1c coming down. What I discovered is that I was eating WAY too much protein for my height and ideal weight -- probably twice to three times as much as I actually could utilize. When I moderated my protein intake to an amount appropriate for my height and ideal weight, I started feeling better immediately, and the weight/A1c came tumbling down.
    Replies: #5, #16
  5. Kathleen
    Good to know. Thanks.
  6. Kathy
    Susan, how did you come up with a protein number for you height and ideal weight?
  7. rosie
    Hi I was trying to lose weight with a Ket diet with not a lot of success until I dropped my carbs to zero and the weight has been coming off consistently. I do have a few leaves now and then but I find keeping my carbs really low my hunger is abated and I am satiated. Watch Dr Ted Naiman interview 'why more protein is better '. I'm 59 and this approach has worked really well for me .
  8. Gizelle
    Rosie, thank you for your advise, that maybe the way I have to go also. I am also 59, healthy and fit, 5.2" high and 144 pound when I began keto. I was vegan previously, on keto I eat eggs, fish and low carb dairy, low carb green vegetables, coconut oil or butter, cream in coffee. Was on keto for 4 months, lost 1.5 kg in the beginning then nothing for a month. Started HCG injection trough a weightless clinic and that helped me to louse an other 2 kg in two weeks. Continue with keto and zero weight loss. Fasted about 10 days with no result. After four moths I ended keto as I was filling ill, fisically and mentally. High exsaity, fast heart rate kept me up at night, week and tired physically, very stressed and inpatient with people. I felt my skin hanging from my face. Had blood test that showed high cholesterol level, low white blood cells and some other issues I am not familiar with. The symptoms I experienced are completely goes agains keto diet's supposed benefits.
  9. Bradley
    Re: Hungry and not loosing weight...

    Through my exhaustive trials and tribulations I have found that if you loose a substantial amount of weight your body wants to protect itself, so, you stop loosing weight. In time your body kind of goes hey, no crisis here and the weight starts to disappear again. Along with this I have also found that I will level off, and then gain weight (muscle increase), then loose weight. If I may, measure by physical size and scale not just scale.

    As for the hunger, my experience has been, and continues to be, if Im getting hungry I was not eating enough fat or protein. I would find new was to increase the fat as much as I could while only increasing the protein modestly.

    For me this was done through fat loaded scrambled eggs:

    2 eggs;
    1/4 cup 35% cream;
    1 cup cheese (cheddar Shredded);
    2 TS of salted butter to cook in;
    Salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.

    2 g of carbs
    34.5 g of protein
    83.5 g of fat

    This always filled me up for hours and eventually was no longer needed as a boost. It is now Saturday or Sunday breakfast. Yes, it is a lot of dairy but I found that some time after removing breads and the like I had no issues with dairy.

    Hope this helps or lends itself to an idea or two.

  10. Jen
    Your comment on hunger I believe is wrong. To say "remember that women 40+ sometimes may have to accept that they don’t have the same body weight as when they were younger, " that's just negative. Maybe people have lost muscle mass but to say they need to basically settle. Wrong.
  11. Warren
    I like Jen, great comment rebuttal. I agree totally. Women are resilient and amazing. They do way more than any man does with their bodies. I believe if a gal puts her mind to being regimental about a ketogenic diet. Follows the macronutrient guide for her height weight and age. She can go back to exactly what she looked like in her prime. Unless in her prime she was struggling, in which case she can get to her optimal weight no matter what. Ketones will always burn the fat stores that are on our bodies no matter what and when there is no more fat stores. we will either have to eat enough fat to keep ketones motivated in our liver. or we will slightly have to change our diet and reduce the amount of fat intake. Remembering to remain on a low carb budget, and drink lots of water. And how are you post it
  12. Rajan Rajan
    Hi i started the keto diet and im body building. Im not getting full always feeling hungry. Any suggestions
  13. Shaz
    I feel hungry all the time even if I have 3 meals on keto diet haven't lost wieght what do i do i feel very hungry on a night can't sleep pls give me advice
  14. Edgar
    While Keto has helped me lower my fasting blood glucose, I haven't been able to lose weight and I'm about 150 pounds overweight. I will lose like 6 to 8 pound the first week and then that's it. I guess I probably fall in that category that needs to eat 20 grams or lower of carbs. I eat around 50 to 70. I do eat breaded meats, drink wine but also since I am not eating starchy carbs, i tend to load up a lot more on protein, cheese which might be derailing my weight loss efforts. Dr Fung states that protein also raises Insulin and for my condition I have to keep insulin low. I have tried intermittent fast skipping breakfast and the best results is that I maintain my current weight despite over eating in the protein department. Should I do complete 1 day fast and work towards a 3 to 5 days fast so I can lose weight?
    Reply: #15
  15. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    While Keto has helped me lower my fasting blood glucose, I haven't been able to lose weight and I'm about 150 pounds overweight. I will lose like 6 to 8 pound the first week and then that's it. I guess I probably fall in that category that needs to eat 20 grams or lower of carbs. I eat around 50 to 70. I do eat breaded meats, drink wine but also since I am not eating starchy carbs, i tend to load up a lot more on protein, cheese which might be derailing my weight loss efforts. Dr Fung states that protein also raises Insulin and for my condition I have to keep insulin low. I have tried intermittent fast skipping breakfast and the best results is that I maintain my current weight despite over eating in the protein department. Should I do complete 1 day fast and work towards a 3 to 5 days fast so I can lose weight?

    Before jumping to fasting, you may wish to try lowering your carb count first. You can try our free two week challenge to get a good idea of how to start with very low carbs. You can find some good additional tips here as well.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-lose-weight

  16. Maria
    Hi Susan was
    I developed T2 diabetes on 14.5yrs of Atkins, switched to keto A1c started coming down BUT it was only when I reduced protein did all my blood glucose return to normal values and no more dawn phenomenon either.

    For those of us that are hyperinsulinemic [causes hypoglycemia] aka insulin resistant then excess protein IS an issue converted to a process glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis.

    I'm now the lowest weight I've been in 30 yrs [lower protein fixed my weight stall by controlling insulin response better]

    Still 20lbs to go but weight be up and down 5lbs for the past 7 months. However as diabetes in remission and also reversed mild retinophy the health benefits far out weigh a number on the scale.

    I had a problem with still feeling hungry, even though I was in ketosis (per blood test by doctor). Not only was I hungry, but I was also having hypoglycemic episodes almost every morning. And I wasn't losing weight, nor was my A1c coming down. What I discovered is that I was eating WAY too much protein for my height and ideal weight -- probably twice to three times as much as I actually could utilize. When I moderated my protein intake to an amount appropriate for my height and ideal weight, I started feeling better immediately, and the weight/A1c came tumbling down.

    I had a problem with still feeling hungry, even though I was in ketosis (per blood test by doctor). Not only was I hungry, but I was also having hypoglycemic episodes almost every morning. And I wasn't losing weight, nor was my A1c coming down. What I discovered is that I was eating WAY too much protein for my height and ideal weight -- probably twice to three times as much as I actually could utilize. When I moderated my protein intake to an amount appropriate for my height and ideal weight, I started feeling better immediately, and the weight/A1c came tumbling down.

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