Achieving satiety on the keto diet may seem challenging at first. And while this diet may seem a bit restrictive, expert dietitians suggest that’s actually quite easy to feel full on this eating plan, as high-fat foods and fulfilling proteins can keep those hunger pangs at pay.
To help you feel full on a keto eating plan, we spoke to a handful of experts about all the important dos and don’ts to keep in mind as you begin to prep your meals.
Make sure you follow the plan correctly
“When you are in a state of ketosis, one of the classic signs is feeling full,” said board-certified sports dietitian Kylene Bogden, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CLT. If you do happen to feel hungry, she suggested that you may not be following the plan correctly.
You should try to eat less
“When beginning keto, most people will actually realize that the amount of food needed to achieve fullness is far less than a typical diet,” said registered dietitian Jenn Fillenworth, MS. This is because fat, the main macronutrient component of the diet, is the most calorically dense per gram, she said, and it takes a very small amount of keto-friendly foods to achieve fullness when compared to carbohydrates.
Add low-carb vegetables to your plate
“For those that like to fill up on large portions, I always recommend adding low carbohydrate vegetables into your meals,” Fillenworth told INSIDER. This includes zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, or mushrooms, she said, and you can eat fairly large portions of these items as they provide very little carbohydrates.
Make sure you eat whole foods
“If a person wants to feel full on a keto diet, their meals should mostly be composed of whole foods,” suggested registered dietitian Summer Yule, MS, RDN. It’s best to avoid keto snack foods like pork rinds and treats filled with non-nutritive sweeteners, she added.
Make sure you get enough protein
“Aim to get enough protein and non-starchy vegetables in your diet to help you feel full,” Yule told INSIDER. Oily fish like salmon and tuna are a great choice because you get the filling protein plus heart-healthy fats, she said. In addition, she added that whole eggs provide filling protein and an assortment of nutrients that are critical for good health, including choline.
Eat some leafy greens
“Leafy greens are a really great option for keto dieters (and nearly all dietary patterns) because they provide some nutrients like vitamin C and folate that are harder to come by in meats,” Yule explained. They are also high in volume and extremely low in calories and carbohydrates, she added.
Fill up on fats
“Each meal should contain a substantial amount of healthy fats to keep you full,” said registered dietitian Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN. For example, for breakfast enjoy an egg with sliced avocado for healthy fats and a bit of protein, she suggested.