Ketogenic Diet and Appetite
Keto Diet

Ketogenic Diet and Appetite

The hardest part of losing weight is controlling your appetite, which is the main reason why many people are plagued by weight loss. Many factors affect appetite, including the stress hormone cortisol, as well as leptin and hunger hormones, among other factors that may affect appetite. Today, let’s learn more about the relationship between the ketogenic diet and appetite.

Leptin, the Hormone That Makes You Stop Eating

The name leptin was coined by Friedman in 1995 and comes from the Greek word “lepto” meaning “thin”. Leptin is secreted by fat cells and signals the brain (hypothalamus area) that there is enough energy and no more food is needed.

It is normal behavior for children to stop eating when they are complete, but for some adults, this becomes very difficult. This is because some people develop leptin resistance, and once they do, they do not receive the satiety signal and must eat until their stomach is too full to stop.

Another important reason is that elevated insulin blocks leptin signals and our brains don’t receive leptin signals, so it’s easy to overeat when you’re eating a lot of refined carbohydrates for a long time. A ketogenic diet stabilizes blood sugar and lowers insulin levels, which will allow leptin resistance to slowly return and receive normal signals of satiety, and you will naturally eat less.

Inflammation is another important cause of leptin resistance. It may inhibit hypothalamic feedback to leptin signals, which means leptin signals that the brain does not give are also a form of leptin resistance. A low-carb ketogenic diet can be very effective in reducing inflammation, much better than a low-fat diet, and after relieving inflammation, it can also relieve leptin resistance.

Elevated blood triglycerides cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which can affect leptin transport across the BBB and inhibit the function of leptin receptors in the brain, thus promoting leptin resistance. The ketogenic diet is one of the fastest ways to lower triglycerides. Thus, the ketogenic diet improves leptin resistance in several ways, and you will receive normal signals of satiety after adapting to the ketogenic diet.


Other reasons for the Ketogenic Diet and Appetite Suppression

Stable blood sugar and smoother appetite

Blood sugar also has a significant impact on appetite. After a large high-carbohydrate meal, blood sugar rises and then falls back to a hypoglycemic state, at which point signals are sent to receptors in the brain and appetite subsequently increases. The theory behind this “glucose suppression theory” is that a decrease in the brain’s glucose supply leads to hunger, while an increase in blood glucose levels leads to a decrease in hunger. After ketogenesis, hypoglycemia rarely occurs and blood glucose is always stable, so there is no particular feeling of hunger, even when the stomach is empty, a comfortable feeling of hunger.

Continuous production of ketone bodies and reduction of appetite

The main principle of the ketogenic diet is to restrict carbohydrates, switch energy supply patterns, burn fat (dietary fat and body fat), and produce ketone bodies. Ketone bodies serve many purposes, and one of the biggest benefits is appetite control, allowing you to eat less naturally.

More stable levels of hunger hormones

The hunger hormone (Ghrelin) is a hormone produced by the gut and as the name suggests, it makes you hungry and tells you to eat, the opposite of what leptin does. When your stomach is empty, it releases growth hormone-releasing peptides that send a message to the hypothalamus telling you to eat. Typically, gastrin levels are highest just before eating and lowest about an hour after a meal.

People on a ketogenic diet, who eat nutrient-rich, calorie-dense foods, don’t stretch their stomachs, and even if they fast, they don’t secrete too much gastrin, making you feel uncomfortably hungry.

Cholecystokinin suppressing appetite

Cholecystokinin (CKK)

The release of this hormone in the intestines produces a feeling of satiety. Some diet pills add this hormone, but I do not recommend ingesting this exogenous hormone. Generally, after weight loss, this hormone decreases in the body, and appetite rises, which is why other weight loss methods often rebound. After ketogenic weight loss, this hormone will not change much and your appetite will not rise, it will stay the same.


The main reason for the growing popularity of the ketogenic diet is that it is effective in suppressing appetite, as it addresses a pain point for many people. Of course, you may start low-carb and not feel this effect yet, or you may not be fully in a ketogenic state and not have this effect. Be a little more patient and over time you will feel this effect as well, and you may be in better shape when you try light fasting without stress.