Tinker my keto to help with hunger signals?


So I have been reading in this forum for a while now, finding a lot of support while I’m doing keto on my own, but it’s my first time posting anything. So I’ll start with a summary of my journey. [Warning long post ahead!]

I have successfully been on the keto diet for more than an year, by successfully I mean lost some weight, felt great and was able for the first time in years to eat a lot delicious things without guilt. I was a vegetarian for a couple of years, and not the healthy kind, my diet consisting mostly of wine and fruits (it was a stressful time and nutrition was obviously not my priority). At that time I was undereating and I was very skinny. When I managed to eat « normal healthy» again (LFHC, but also with meat), the weight came back really quickly and I realised my hunger and satiety signals were not working very well. I was never considered overweight, but the fact that all the extra weight following what was mostly a pure sugar diet was in my mid-section got me looking into weight gain and insulin problems… and I found keto!

Now, I went off the diet for a month while traveling (but still doing omad, which I always naturally do), I obviously gained some weight and since I’m back on my keto diet (around 3 months), I’m finding it very hard to get my hunger back in control. I typically never really feel that hungry, but when I start eating it’s quite hard to stop and I really have to overeat to feel full. And even on keto food, constantly overeating is making me gain weight. I know that years of undereating probably screw up my hunger signals, but going keto the first time helped a bit. It’s not just the weight gain that is bothering me, but the feeling of lack of control. I know some folks really never get the hunger signals back and have to just count everything and stick to it, some other advise to do carbs-up, or try extended fast, or should I just KCKO?
I think it’s Megan Ramos who said that omad is not ideal for weight loss, but when I try 2 meals a day, I just trigger more hunger and occasions to overeat. I’m thinking about trying carnivore for a while as a drastic reset to see if it helps getting in touch with my natural hunger, any thoughts or stories to share?

I’m a 27 years old female, I’m not overweight although I’d like to lose 15 pounds, I probably have some hormonal problems because I haven’t had a period in years. I do light workouts a couple times a week.

Sorry for blabbering so much and thank you for any insight!

(Bunny) #2

One method that has worked for me is to look at blood sugars[1] with a glucose meter before I eat my keto meal to see how they look when I am hungry, the reason I want to keep eating and not feeling full is because of leptin resistance, so I eat when I am hungry; when glucose is looking a little low; but not too much food; then mark down how long it takes until I get hungry again; then take glucose numbers again; that tells me my glucose looks fine[3] ‘don’t eat any more.’

What I am doing is making sure my hunger or wanting to overeat is not due to leptin resistance[2] or just in my head! Doing this I am able to space my meals farther and farther apart until I can go longer and longer without feeling hungry or feel like overeating and then I reach a point where I am intermittent fasting (OMAD) and everything looks good with glucose[3] without feeling ill (hypoglycemic; sluggish/tired; migraines, headaches etc.)! Looking at the ketones is nice but irrelevant if you really want to lose weight!


[1] “…Defects in glucose sensing also result in obesity. Glucose starvation inhibits the ability of leptin to stimulate tyrosyl phosphorylation and inhibits the activation of JAK2 and STAT3 in vitro (Su et al., 2012). Glucose dose-dependently enhances leptin signaling. …” “…Leptin is a 16-kDa protein hormone, which is secreted by adipocytes. Plasma leptin concentration increases in proportion to body fat mass, and regulate food intake…” …More

[2] “… “In leptin resistance, your leptin is high, which means you’re fat, but your brain can’t see it. In other words, your brain is starved, while your body is obese. And that’s what obesity is: it’s “brain starvation.” Not only is leptin part of the hunger system, it’s also part of the reward system, Lustig says. …” …More

[3] “… But my blood sugar levels are typically between 3 and 3.9 mmol/L, which translates into 50 to … or sorry 54 to 70 mg/dL. So, that 65 to 99 mg/dL is considered to be normal by government standards here in Canada, the 54 to 70 is considered to be common amongst ketogenic population. A lot of my patients too, who follow ketogenic diet, they’re getting sugars between 3 and 3.9 or between 54 and 70. …” - Megan Ramos

Newbie in need of help please

Have you seen a doctor about this? I’d say it’s absolutely a sign of hormonal issues & that could easily be behind your hunger.

Meanwhile if you give us an idea of the types/amounts of foods you’re eating & maybe some macro info we’ll be in a better position to try & help :slightly_smiling_face:


thank you for the links! I have been reading quite a bit about leptin and it’s indeed fascinating to see how many mechanisms are involved in weight and hunger management. Do you think it is possible that I am leptin resistant even if I was never overweight? I do suspect that the very restricted diet I was doing before, when I was purposely ignoring hunger signals, could have caused some damage.
I never experienced the symptoms of hypoglycemia you are mentionning and like I said in my post, intermittent fasting (omad) is not a problem for me. I don’t really get hungry until I eat and then get ravenous for some reason. Last time I monitored my blood glucose it was pretty stable but thanks for the tip, I will order some more glucose strips!


I unfortunatly don’t have a doctor and I haven’t seen one in quite a while, if I register on a list I think I can see one in a year or so (I’m in Canada). I definitly should stop procrastinating this :slight_smile:

Breakfast is coffee with half a tbsp of HWC, I usually have my one meal around 5 pm, typically 2 eggs with sour cream, an avocado, a bunch of low carb veggies (cabbage, asparagus, spinach) with some fat and spices, a big piece of meat (chicken thighs or pork or sausage) or fish, maybe an extra ounce of cheese and salami. Then I have a black coffee with a piece of 100% chocolate with salted butter on it (I would have never though I would dare do something like that in my low fat days, but it actually is very tasty!) and I’m back in fasting mode. I put « half-salt » (sodium + potassium) on everything. A normal day ends up being around 1400 calories, 70% fat 23 % proteins and 7% carbs mostly from veggies.
When I overeat, I keep it in the keto ratio, but it’s a little higher in proteins and way higher in fat. It often ends up close to 3000 calories. Once I feel ravenous, I mostly overdo it with the butter on everything and coconut oil because,« eat fat until satiety », but it seems like I can eat an absurd amount of fat before I feel satiated. On one hand, I really like the idea of listening to my hunger and not give a d… about calories, but, on the other hand, I am also pretty sure my body does not need that much energy.


First of all I’d do the doctor thing - if you have hormonal issues then all the tinkering in the world may not make much difference.

Having said that, if loads of extra fat is not getting the job done then I’d be inclined to drop it back (not low fat obviously!) & increase my protein. One reputable theory has it that If you’re low on protein you’ll keep eating until your body has what it needs. FWIW I eat about 30% protein/62% fat (I do lift weights so that makes a bit of a difference) & I feel fantastic on that amount

(Bunny) #7

Losing Weight Reduces Leptin, so The Brain Tries to Gain The Weight Back: “… Losing weight reduces fat mass, which leads to a significant reduction in leptin levels, but the brain doesn’t necessarily reverse its leptin resistance. When leptin goes down, this leads to hunger, increased appetite, reduced motivation to exercise and decreased amount of calories burned at rest (19, 20). Basically, the reduced leptin makes the brain think it is starving… so it initiates all sorts of powerful mechanisms to regain that lost body fat, erroneously thinking that it is protecting us from starvation. In other words, the brain actively defends the higher amount of fat mass, using strong biochemical forces that compel us to eat back the lost weight. The majority of dieters will be familiar with this… weight loss is often easy in the beginning, especially when motivation is high, but very soon hunger, cravings and a reduced desire for exercise set in. This is the main reason so many people “yo-yo” diet… they lose a significant amount of weight, only to gain it back (and then some). …” …More

(Bunny) #8

Not implying you are anorexic (below) but not having your period could have a likeness to it (amenorrhea)? There could be other reasons for amenorrhea also… Definitely see a physician?

  1. Do Anorexics lose their period? “… Eating disorders, like being anorexic and experiencing severe weight loss, can cause you to stop having regular periods. The absence of your period is medically known as amenorrhea. "Most often women with anorexia or those who participate in compulsive exercise may suppress their periods. …” …More
  1. “… Why does your period stop when you have anorexia? Eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa, can impact your menstrual cycle and even cause your period to stop. When your period stops due to eating too little or exercising too much, this is a warning sign that your body is not functioning correctly, and should not be taken lightly. …” …More
  1. My personal op-ed example to this: “… "Menstruation is not a normal health state. Menstruation is hemorrhaging. Hemorrhaging is a flow of fresh blood. Hemorrhaging whether it occurs in the brain, eyes, lungs or uterus, is not normal. Subsequently, menstruation is an abnormal condition. There are many views on the causes of menstruation. However, they are ill-rounded and totally wrong. Black African females on a wholistic diet of natural foods do not menstruate. …” - Dr. Imhotep Llaila O. Afrika


I am on the waiting list to see a doctor! A letter came to tell me I should expect to see one in approximatly 672 days… so patience, patience :slight_smile:

In the meanwhile, I will follow your advice and up my proteins and cut back on the fat. I was already above what most macro calculators are suggesting (50-60 grams, which I find just too low), but I recently switched my workout routine from bodyweight training to lifting actual weights, so I might have an excuse to eat even more proteins.
Thanks again for the support, even if the bursts of ravenous hunger are annoying at time, my mood and brain focus is way better on keto so I know i’m doing something right!


Crikey! That’s a crazy long wait. Hopefully it doesn’t actually take that long.

As to the fat vs protein thing - it really does vary from person to person so your best bet, long term, is to find what works for :slightly_smiling_face:

Definitely count that one as a win.


Wow that last article was heum, interresting and would I dare say very questionnable? It is possible that a past calorie-restricted diet contributed to my amenorrhea, but since a couple of years I am neither restricting nor exercising compulsively. I thought keto could actually help with hormones, but it could be more complicated than just food medecine. In any case, thank you for the information!