hungry man and his jelly donutVirtually everyone who I’ve put on a low carb or ketogenic diet tells me that they lose their hunger drive somewhere along the way.  I’ve experienced it and I love the fact that I’m no longer controlled by a raging task master telling me to eat every time I walk by the pantry.

I explain it teleologically to patients with a simple analogy.  Imagine the irony of a semi truck transporting gas to the local gas station running out of fuel on the side of the road.  His engine ran low and became ‘hungry’ as evidenced by the low fuel light coming on.  What would happen if he connected is engine’s gas tank to the 9,000 gallon tank he’s hauling?  Would he ever get ‘hungry’?  He would be able to drive across the country several times without stopping for a fill up.

We all carry around thousands of calories worth of stored fuel even if we are very lean.  Turning down the insulin levels on a low carb diet allows those stored fuels to be accessed.   This allows us to live for days and weeks without fuel if necessary.  Eating carbohydrates raises insulin and inhibits the access to fuel.

Here’s a review paper on the molecular science behind it all if you are interested.  I am.  I love this stuff.

Ketosis, ketogenic diet and food intake control: a complex relationship

 

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