Why Does Ketosis Suppress Appetite

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Ketogenic Diets Suppress Appetite Despite Weight Loss

Ketosis may explain why appetite is not increased despite weight loss in obese patients. A review of evidence supports that ketogenic diets suppress appetite despite weight loss. Alice Gibson, of the University of Sydney in Camperdown, Australia, performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that evaluated appetite before and during adherence to very-low-energy diets (VLEDs) and ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets (KLCDs). Visual analog scales were used to assess appetite in energy balance (before dieting) and while in ketosis (during dieting). The researchers found that individuals on VLEDs had less hunger and greater fullness/satiety. Those on KLCDs had less hunger and reduced desire to eat. Whereas energy restriction typically increases appetite in obese people, individuals on ketogenic diets experienced small absolute reductions in appetite. Individuals on ketogenic diets may feel slightly less hungry, or more full or satisfied, despite weight loss. The authors write, “Ketosis appears to provide a plausible explanation for this suppression of appetite.”– Nov 17, 2014 in Obesity Reviews DOI: 10.1111/obr.12230 Continue reading >>

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  1. Modernpreacher

    I've not seen a lot of discussions on the why this happens. There are days where I barely get hungry all day, and others when I am ravenous.
    Curious if anyone has studied what physiological effect of the Ketogenic lifestyle causes the hunger decreases. I've read about the various hormones that cause satiety, but that doesn't strike me as the same thing.
    I was reading in one site, that it has to do with adrenaline release, but I would have thought that would lead to increased heart rate, inability to sleep, etc. And none of those factors seem to occur.
    So... smart people. Why aren't we hungry?

  2. Naonin

    I've read a ton of literature on it and frankly if you're looking for that exact physiological mechanism that creates satiety on keto, we don't know yet.
    It may be a mix of 10 small things, carbohydrate restriction, protein increase, eating more solid foods instead of liquid calories, fiber increase, hormonal changes, rate of digestion, getting "the right fuel", etc.
    But when it comes down to it, the literature hasn't proven if keto is more satiating than other diets. We experience better satiety generally, but it could be either one thing per person (such as glycine stimulating GLP1) or something else in another person altogether (such as sleep correction).
    It's very odd that it works so well for so many people simply by changing two or three large things: reducing carbs, increasing fat, slightly increasing protein. These many be the satiating things but really I haven't seen a decent explanation of why. Just that it happens.

  3. causalcorrelation

    this is not necessarily a literature-based explanation, but if you haven't tried fasting while in ketosis (and I mean, literally, go and eat nothing for 40 hours) you'll be surprised by the results.
    I think it has a lot to do with the fact that starvation and ketosis share some of the same physiological adaptations. Someone eating an ordinary diet has to go through "carb withdrawals" or "keto flu" (I still can't agree on a good name for this thing...) when trying to fast, and part of that is miserable hunger. Those of us in ketosis already get to skip that step.

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