Higher Glucose, More hungry?


(Leigh ) #1

Hi all. Newbie here. Catching up on the podcast. I’m still in 2017. I’m just two weeks in to eating strictly keto and have for many months mostly fasted until lunch time. Now my glucose seems higher in the morning some days (today 132, yesterday 97, the day before 133) and I’m ravenously hungry when it’s higher in the morning. I have done keto before, but have not faithfully tracked the numbers before. Just wondering if anyone knows the science here. Is my liver flushing out stored glucose during my fasting hours?


(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #2

The short answer is to eat more at mealtime, and not to fear fat.

One speculation I’ve encountered is that such elevated glucose and hunger mean that you might not be getting enough fat, so your body is making glucose to provide energy for your brain. The mantra of “eat less, move more” is so deeply inculcated these days, that it is hard to trust the advice to eat to satiety. And the same with our fear of fat. The notion of arterycloggingsaturatedfat haunts us.

The point of a ketogenic diet, however, is to eat in a way that works with, not against, the body’s hormonal response to foods. And the strongest hormonal response is insulin secretion to deal with carbohydrate, insulin being the hormone that blocks satiation and promotes fat-storage. (Think of eating carbs as being what you do when you want to put on fat for the winter hibernation.) So when we eat enough of the right kind of food, we can go long periods between meals without hunger, because insulin remains low and we have access to our fat stores for energy.

If you are no longer eating quantities of carbohydrate, you need a different source of energy in your diet. On a ketogenic diet, that source is fat, which has the benefit of not provoking an insulin response. Also, fat has over twice the calories per gram that carbohydrate and protein have (and protein is not used for energy by the body, unless the situation is pretty dire), so it takes much less fat to satisfy than the amount of carbohydrate we used to eat. For example, 133 g of fat provides the same amount of calories as 300 g of carbohydrate.

All this is a long-winded way of saying that if you are not eating carbohydrate, you will not be storing fat, and you will have access to your stored fat to supply energy to your body. Also, saturated and mono-unsaturated fat are healthier and more satisfying than polyunsaturates, so avoid the industrial seed oils and cook with butter, lard, tallow, and bacon grease. :bacon: :bacon: :bacon:


(Bob M) #3

I would try eating breakfast for a while. I stopped eating breakfast, but that was because I was no longer hungry at that time.

I do find it odd that you weren’t keto and could skip breakfast, but going keto causes you to want breakfast. It’s usually the other way around.


(Leigh ) #4

Thank you for the responses. I have been doing a set meal plan with lunch and dinner and not necessarily paying attention to macros, so I will start doing that and make sure I’m getting enough fat. I had a thyroidectomy on 3/29 and was severely hyperthyroid before that, even while medicated, so I suspect I was able to fast easier, even while being a carb burner, due to some of my hormone issues with that. I have to take my medication and then wait in the morning to eat, but definitely don’t have to wait until noon to eat, so I will add something in the morning to see if that helps. Also going to start testing glucose more through the day to see what my average is.


(Bob M) #5

A lot of us will develop a higher morning blood sugar, which then goes down all day. But yours is unusually high, and also you’re getting hungry.

Yeah, test your glucose throughout the day. If you can test one day without eating until, say, noon, then test by eating at say 9 am or whenever you eat, that would be interesting. Just note that the pinprick testing has a pretty high error rate, so don’t get too excited if you find some high (or much lower) values. They could be wrong. And see what happens to your hunger. I expect it to be abated if eating breakfast, but over time, I expect you should be able to go back to not eating breakfast.

Though I have no idea what a thyroidectomy does in this situation.