Low Carb Diet = Natural Appetite Suppressant


Eating carbs stimulates your appetite, so a low carb diet actually works as a natural appetite suppressant.

This always amazes me because I can put away some serious food. But the minute I start eating low carb, I am literally shocked at how little I seem to eat.

Not only does Atkins (or just eating low carb) suppress your appetite, but you’ll also find that it naturally curbs your cravings for all the foods you think you can’t live without.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “I could never live without bread” or “I could never give up fruit.” I’ve never been a fruit eater myself, so that wasn’t an issue for me, but I can tell you firsthand that a low carb diet kills your desire for things like bread and pasta and sugar altogether.

It’s like pure magic the way it works because it’s immediate and a complete 180 for most people. On the flip side, eating carbs (I’m referring to “bad carbs”) induces your cravings for bread and sugar and pasta – and basically all the stuff that makes you FAT.

This is why a low carb diet works so well for people, even if they don’t have any real weight loss motivation. All you really have to do is start eating low carb, and the diet takes over naturally – reducing your appetite, your cravings, and your desire for all the foods you think you can’t live without.

How does it work? Eating low carb affects your blood insulin levels. In fact, it drops them dramatically, which naturally suppresses your appetite. Eating (bad) carbs actually spikes your insulin levels, which induces both cravings and appetite. It can be a nasty cycle that not only causes you to eat more, crave bad foods, and gain weight… but it can ultimately result in nasty health issues, including diabetes.

There are tons of people searching for appetite suppressants, and even natural appetite suppressants, but I would much rather eat real food than take a pill or an herb or a supplement of any kind. That’s just my personal preference, but it doesn’t make any sense to me at all to take something out of a bottle when you can just EAT.

Real food should always be your first choice. That’s about as “natural” as you can get when it comes to suppressing your appetite, or achieving any other healthy change.

Another misconception about eating low carb is that it’s more expensive. I eat alone for the most part, so it’s easier for me to calculate my food expenses since I’m not cooking for a family. My experience has been that yes, some things are more expensive… but I’m actually eating a lot less, and without a lot of the add-ons that add-up.

It’s very rare that I’ve heard of someone “being hungry” on a low carb diet. Given that it’s a natural appetite suppressant, which is a result of proper “food combining”, if you’re starving on a low carb diet then you may not be doing it right. 😉

I would love to hear your experience, and whether you notice a major decrease in your appetite – and with cravings too – when eating low carb. Obviously when you first start out it’s usually a dramatic change to your diet, and it takes a few days for your body to adjust, and for those cravings to go away. But I find that it kicks in pretty quick, especially the lack of appetite…

Speaking of, you should never force yourself to eat more than you feel like eating. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it needs more food, and when it needs less.

About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
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53 Responses to Low Carb Diet = Natural Appetite Suppressant

  1. Bobbie Pilkinton says:

    When I started eating low-carb foods I definitely noticed that I wasn’t as hungry as I used to be. I could eat two eggs and two pieces of bacon and feel REALLY full. And I don’t crave potatoes, pasta, and breads like I thought I would. In fact, I hardly think about those foods. Instead, I spend my time thinking of foods I CAN eat, and trying new recipes. My cholesterol was high when I started LC, but now it has gone down considerably, along with my high Triglycerides. Amazing! It blows my mind when people say that LC eating is not “healthy”, and that I’m not eating enough food. So, those Pop-tarts and boxes of Cheez-its ARE healthy? Low-carb is all about eating healthy, natural foods. Nothing overly processed. And most important: NO SUGAR! What could possibly be wrong with that? Ok…rant over.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Rant away, Bobbie! I experience the exact same thing. I have had to bite my tongue a lot, lol. Congrats on sticking it out and seeing such great health benefits just by changing the way you eat, no matter what the pop-tart-cheez-it-eating folks are saying. 😉 *cheers*

    • Bobbie says:

      I am VERY new with this. My doc says it’s time to get myself under control, and I totally agree with him! I have problems with my kidneys. I sodium is way to high, and he says I have 15 lbs of fluid in my body right now, so, he definitely has my attention!!! I feel you wonderful people can help me. I started this Wednesday, July 24th. I desperately need the motivation! So, I have to go low sodium, and low carb…. I will make this happen!!!! 😉

    • Tecia says:

      I’m new to low carb, but very interested in starting Aug 1, my doctor has told me I have cholesterol and all my other numbers are high too. I really need to do this and can’t wait to see my results.

      • Lynn Terry says:

        Hi Tecia 🙂

        You and your doctor both will be VERY pleased with your numbers within 90 short days! My doctor was flat out impressed. 😉 Have you done research on how eating a healthy low carb high fat diet affects / improves your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc? If not, check it out.

  2. Mona Karel says:

    I still miss good bagels. But I’ve found when I do eat out, and order a sandwich without a bun, I’m satisfied more quickly than I ever was with a burger’n’bun. I pretty much ignore the few people who might question my diet. I don’t say much about their choices, unless they’re drinking a diet soda. Then I do have to vent!
    I’ve really enjoyed learning new and wonderful ways to prepare food. Parmesan zucchini is a great way to take in veggies!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      It’s interesting to me how much less I eat at my favorite fast food spots. Like you said, I am much more satisfied on less when I don’t eat the carbs. I’ve also enjoyed experimenting with new food choices. It’s fun, and I find I have a whole new range of tastes for interesting foods!

      I don’t judge. But that’s because prior to going low carb two years ago, I ate terrible. And I still smoke. So I have no room to talk about something like a diet soda (which I drink too, lol) or any other good or bad health choices people make.

      Life is a journey, and I’m making tons of positive changes – including regular exercise (finally!) – so it’s one step at a time toward changing negative habits into good ones, and I celebrate each and every success along the way! (: *cheers*

  3. Linda says:

    What I find weird is that before LC, I could easily polish off a big burger and fries. Now I’ll get the same burger without the bun and fries…and I can barely finish the burger! Now that doesn’t really make sense in a way because I’m technically eating less food…but I don’t have to know the WHY of things, just that it works!!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’m the same way, Linda. It’s shocking really, but I love it! 😀 Interestingly, most people who eat low carb get funny looks and sideways comments from their friends and family. We were just discussing that on the Facebook group recently – how to deal with it – specifically when people act “worried that you’re not eating enough.” You would think the people who love you most actually prefer you to be overweight and unhealthy with all their comments sometimes. 😛

  4. Michele Groulx Parker says:

    I was known as the HOT FRIES LADY>>>at Mc Donald’s as I would not accept them unless they were hot out of the fryer…am I the only one that thinks that is sad? The other day my brother and I stopped in at a local restaurant famous for their fish & chips…After ordering a side salad, because the waiter told me that the coleslaw was made with sugar I took all the breading off the fish and was very content…then the fries came and they were the steak fries…my favorite and she promptly places a full bottle of Heinz catsup on the table. Before switching to the low carb lifestyle, I would have devoured the entire plate and then had dessert, but now I had no desire for them plus there was NO dessert ordered…I would definitely say that eating low carb has diminished my appetite and I still am eating very healthy and satisfying foods. REAL food for REAL people with REAL appetites. I am never going to go back to my former way of eating.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      “REAL food for REAL people with REAL appetites.”

      ^ well said! 😀

      For anyone that thinks I’m not eating *enough* … did you really NOT think I was eating wayyyy too much before?! Funny that nobody really said anything then. 😉

  5. Protein is definitely an appetite suppressant! It’s amazing 🙂

  6. Rhond says:

    36 hrs in and I looked around in mild shock realizing I did not want anything to eat! A little lethargic but more mental than physical I think–how could I be not craving carbs and why did it take so long to start this? 49 yrs old and 240 lbs…… Will I self sabotage??

    • Lynn Terry says:

      How are you holding out, Rhond? 😀 It’s an amazing change, and so fast! Even your taste buds totally change in record time. 😉

    • Brenda says:

      I’d like to know how Rhond is doing now that it’s over a year later?

      • Rhonda says:

        It’s now 3 1/2 years !I left the posts around Christmas of that year and literally did not know until this moment lyn and you had replied.
        I am grateful someone reached out and I wish I had a success story to share. I am now 52 and 240# still needing to get a grip.

  7. Michael says:

    I love when people criticize my use of artificial sweeteners. I by no means am saying they are good for you but they are certainly the lesser of two evils. They are by far the most rigorously tested product for food safety and and their links to health problems are inconclusive at best. WE KNOW SUGAR KILLS YOU!!! Time and time again sugar has been shown to be poison. So, at the end of the day, I think I’ll stay away from the known poison. Furthermore, to anyone who says that refined sugar is the natural choice, where exactly have you seen a pile of refined sugar in nature? It’s just as man made as anything else.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I agree, Michael. I lovingly refer to my Splenda as “rat poison” but enjoy it in my coffee in place of the TWO TABLESPOONS of sugar I used to use! 😛

      • Merris Custer says:

        Do you use cream in your coffee? I love cream in my coffee but afraid I won’t lose if I do?

        • Lynn Terry says:

          I use Heavy Whipping Cream in my coffee. It’s very thick so it only takes about 1 TBSP but it makes it very creamy. It’s the best low carb option for coffee creamer. 🙂

          • Debbie martinez says:

            I have been on LC for a yr. with some health issues the diet has been slow but great for me I have lost 50 pounds I stay on about 25 to 30 a day.I use the Atkins shakes for my creamer & also freeze them for ice cream.

      • Lyn Thompson says:

        I love using Xyletol. It’s a bit more expensive but very very good. In fact clinical research in Sweden shows its good plant value. In fact they give it to children to protect their teeth in Sweden.

  8. ELSA says:

    Lynn: so you think Splenda is the best sugar subtitute? i am so enjoying your blog. I am new to it and my daughter and I are so excited. We are determined to live healthy like never before.
    PS: Splenda won’t affect losing?

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  11. Casey says:

    I started a low carb diet with my boyfriend after watching “Fat Head” which was about how you can lose weight eating fast food and less carbs. After a few days on the diet i definitely noticed that my appetite had decreased A LOT and i am definitely more energetic. I can easily resist snacks and sweets or pretty much don’t care for them. Who knew eating less carbs is a natural way to supress appetite? I didnt!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I had no idea that would be a side effect either, Casey – but it’s great, isn’t it?! 🙂 I thought “I don’t think I can live without this or that”… and then, all of a sudden I could care less about any of it.

      It’s so nice for my life NOT to revolve around food, or wanting food, for a change. 🙂

  12. Jason says:

    My wife and I tried low carb for awhile. I was amazed by the appetite suppressing effects and found I could lose weight while not feeling all those negative sensations such as hunger and moodiness that I usually get with diets. However, after about 2 months we gave it up because its such a limiting diet. It also wasn’t convenient. I constantly had to be finding new recipes to keep me interested and give me variety. After a while I went back to convenience foods such as microwave meals, fast food and other snacks that required me to just open a bag. You are mostly limited to meats and veggies and some of my favorite foods such as Italian, Mexian, and Chinese. For breakfast I had to have eggs everyday because honestly what other breakfast foods are there that fit with low carb. Just my experience.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Jason!

      If you follow my low carb food journals here – my daily food diaries – you’ll see I usually include a lot of variety, and even eat out a lot. Including Mexican, Chinese & Italian. 🙂 I get my Chicken Alfredo over roasted veggies instead of pasta for example. And I love a Taco Salad (sans taco) with grilled chicken & shrimp, avocado, sour cream, etc. Yum!

      My favorite breakfast is a “cereal” I made up with pecans, berries & cottage cheese. It’s delicious. 🙂 Otherwise I tend to snack in the mornings – cubed cheese & pecans for example. I’m not a big breakfast eater, though.

  13. Amanda says:

    I’m just 2 weeks into low carb eating and I’ve already dropped a full dress size. I haven’t felt hungry and I’m definitely eating a lot less. I’m feeling really good. I hope it lasts!!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That’s awesome, Amanda! 🙂 It does last. It’s such a healthy way to eat, and easy to sustain long term. Congrats on your success so far, and kudos for taking control of your health!

  14. Donna Wonnacott says:

    Terry can you help me when I read a product how many carb on a product should be safe I know how to count the carbs but I am a little confuse like if it say 9 g is that to much

  15. Mom In Nevada says:

    Does EVERYONE experience reduced hunger? I’ve been under 30 grams per day of carbs, Intermittent Fasting/skipping breakfast and exercising 30 -45 minutes 5 days a week. Been at it several weeks now. I’m always hungry and having a hard time staying under 1800 calories per day. I’m not dropping weight rapidly or easily in my opinion either. Am I an anomaly somehow? I have 15 lbs to lose.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Mom in Nevada 🙂

      You are dieting too hard. You should never be hungry on a Low Carb High Fat diet. Are you tracking closely – and eating at least 70% of your calories in healthy fats?

      Drop to 20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum.

      Don’t skip meals, don’t count calories. Eat when you’re hungry.

      You’ll lose slower since you have less to lose too – those last 20 are the most challenging. That’s the same zone I’m in. 😉

  16. Lucy says:

    I have definitely noticed a reduction in my appetite since starting a low carb diet last week!! On other diets I have found myself sitting doing work or watching TV and not being able to focus because all I could think about was the food I was craving. This has not happened at all so far and has made sticking to the diet so much easier. Although it’s still early days I can honestly see myself sticking to this way of eating and am exited to start seeing the benefits it brings.
    Thanks for all the info and tips, have found it really useful!! 🙂

  17. Christine says:

    Woke up this morning after a bout of what is apparently low carb flu with no appetite; that is a miracle for me. I can eat serious amounts of food anywhere anytime. Sitting here wondering what is wrong with me I managed to google your blog. Love it! Thank you for your down to earth writings and the comments with your great answers, they help a lot. Regards

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you Christine & Welcome! 🙂

      I used to be the same way. It was shocking how much I could eat, lol. Now I eat very small portions… just have MUCH less appetite. But I still eat PLENTY of calories, as you can see in my daily food diaries that I share here. You can get those free by email too if you prefer. Most people do.

      I look forward to getting to know you!

  18. rita says:

    I am SO happy with my low carb diet. Around 10 years ago I tried a NO carb diet at someone’s suggestion and it was a disaster. Wish I had tried low carb instead. I can’t believe how my appetite has decreased. It feels like a miracle!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’m glad to hear that Rita – it really DOES feel like a miracle. And it REALLY helps that it curbs your appetite AND kills your cravings. It just makes it EASY. 🙂 *cheers*

  19. Vivian says:

    I would like a copy of your food journal Lynn Terry, please!

  20. Joy says:

    Just wanted to know if anyone uses the Atkins bars. Are they a safe bet or can they stall weight loss?

    • Lynn Terry says:

      It’s different for everyone, Joy. My favorite Atkins bar is the Peanut Butter Granola bars – and those don’t stall me at all. But some people have a different experience with different bars so you just have to test it out…

  21. Paula says:

    Hi Lynn I am truly enjoying your blogs. I am now on day 5 and I am still not in ketosis. I’m wondering if that is normal? I turn 69 next month and besides losing weight I want to get off insulin. Thanks bunches

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Paula 🙂 Welcome – and Kudos for taking control of your health!

      It’s different for everyone. How do you know – are you testing with strips or sticks? I have never tested, I can just TELL the difference in my body, and it usually hits me on Day 3.

      Are you tracking your macros, and doing 20 net carbs max and 70% fat minimum – or what exactly?

  22. Brenda Raines says:

    Lynn, what do you consider healthy fats? I want to get on this plan but have trouble shopping for the correct foods.

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