3 month keto newbie - hit a wall

(Nick Bourne) #1

Hi all. My first post, I have a tendancy of rambling a lot, hope to keep it somewhat concise.

This forum convinced me to start down the keto path. I have no regrets (other than missing cake and chips like crazy) - this is just enquiring if I’m being inpatient or if I need to make more changes.

About me: 41 yr old, 6’4, started at 265lbs (my normal over-weight is 250 but I purposely let myself / overindulged for a couple of weeks knowing I’d deprive myself of things I loved, like sugar, fruit and beer; stupid I know).

First week lost 12lbs and 2" waist, next week 8lbs, next 2 weeks 2lbs each, and for the last 1.5 months have been 242-244 lbs with same waistline. Within that 1.5 months, I’ve added everyday doing 10k steps / 1.5 hr walk, weights once a week, and last 2 weeks everyday 16 hr fasting.

I feel ok generally (fasting is still hard with just black coffee), energy is good, i drink lots of water, get enough salt and have been keeping carbs below 20g most days (i do cheat once every 2 weeks with chicken wings and fries). I stopped counting macros after a month, but am fairly confident I’m everyday around 20g carbs, with normal protein and too much fat (i do heavy cream a lot with coffee).

Should I be concerned about hitting a wall (not losing anything in 1.5 months). How does one know if keto or fasting isn’t for them. I am getting older, but as recently as 5 yrs ago I could drop to my more ideal weight of 225 and build muscle by eating freely and working out like crazy, starting to have doubts. Or should I tough it out for 6 months and then talk?

Thanks for anyone that read this, and for the forum and all of you kicking ass.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #2

The biology behind a ketogenic diet is that lowering insulin helps normalise body weight and composition. The way to lower insulin is to greatly reduce or even eliminate the carbohydrates, since they stimulate insulin the most, and insulin is, among its many other jobs, the fat-storage hormone.

Protein is essential to the diet, and most people pretty much get what they need, since we seem to have an instinct about it. Protein jacks up insulin when combined with carbohydrate, but in the absence of carbs, it has essentially a neutral effect. (More precisely, it always stimulates insulin, but in the absence of carbs, a competing hormone, glucagon, is also produced, and it is the ratio of insulin to glucagon, even more than the absolute level of insulin, that is important.)

Fat is the macronutrient that has almost no effect on insulin, other than the bare minimum for survival (we need some insulin; we just don’t want too much). So it is a safe source of energy to replace the energy lost from cutting back on all that dietary glucose (i.e., carbohydrate).

If you want to shed excess stored fat, not only must you lower insulin, but you must also eat enough food to prevent the body from entering famine mode. In famine mode, the body hangs on to its fat reserves, even though insullin may be low, so as to get us safely through the famine. (At some point before we die of starvation, of course, the body will start metabolising the fat, but it will consume a lot of muscle first.)

So be sure to eat to satisfy your hunger. Starving to death causes weight loss, but it’s not pleasant, lol! Most people who try to manipulate their bodies by eating less and exercising more find that at some point, the hunger takes over and they eat, gaining back more than they lost. A ketogenic diet causes the body to normalise, putting on lean tissue as needed and dispensing with excess stored fat.

Bear in mind that the last 20 pounds of fat are always the slowest to leave. Bear in mind that, given an adequate diet, your body may decide it needs to add lean tissue, and this may prevent the scale from moving, even though you are losing fat, so use the fit of your clothing as an additional measure of progress.

Bear in mind also that, just as the body can slow down our metabolism to compensate for inadequate food intake, it can also speed up our metabolism to compensate for abundant energy intake (there are of course limits, here, death from starvation being the limit on the low end). So the amount of calories we eat is not nearly as important as the types of food we eat. The body’s hormonal response has an enormous influence on whether we get fat, lose fat, or maintain our current status. As insulin drops, it stops interfering with the body’s satiety signals, and so appetite then becomes a reliable guide to how much to eat.

(Nick Bourne) #3

Thanks Paul, appreciate the response. I understand the goal is not weight loss - it’s a great benefit of keto lifestyle.

I do think I eat plenty, and am selective about what food to intake. I do think I’m maybe being too inpatient, 3 months is not a long enough time to truly gage progress. I was enquiring more on are there folks for whom keto just isn’t the answer (no fat loss / pants fit the same after months) and if yes how does one recognize that.

Was feeling discouraged to introduce fasting and exercise the last few weeks without any noticeable difference.


I wouldn’t ever expect any fat-loss while I eat too much fat (I tend to do that… and never ever lose fat while doing so, no wonder, only when I eat less than that. eating too little would be a problem but that’s not me)…
It’s about me and many others, I don’t say it’s the same for everyone, I have heard interesting cases… But eating too much is a problem for many of us.

If you feel better on keto, I would think it’s for you… :slight_smile:
Fat-loss is another thing entirely, tweak your keto to get it right if keto is for you. I personally need to be very close to carnivore and added fat and dairy (not satiating items for me) should be minimal to have any chance. It helps that I feel way better that way, just being is ketosis did very little (apart from fat adaptation). I needed much more than 20g carbs though, I still am totally unable to eat more than minimal plants and not going way over that… But the point is that we may need tweaks to get benefits, ketosis alone might not be enough, lots of people experience this.
Dairy, especially with lactose tend to mess with many people anyway. In my case it just boost calories but that’s bad enough as I eat enough using my better items.

Maybe your fat:protein ratio matters too, who knows? Or the type of fat or protein? For fat-loss while being perfectly satiated, I need really good food choices, even the kind of meat matters - many others say so as well. I seem to need high protein, not just adequate but the right kind of fat helps too. So it’s complex.

(I got bored of cakes on keto, I ate it so often as that was my least carby food that I could eat enough from… No, it wasn’t ideal but I couldn’t do it better, I did vegetarian keto and my options were limited. It’s good that you are able to skip cake even if it’s hard! It seems better to get over that desire as soon as possible. Some treat now and then is fine but if you badly miss something that isn’t needed and even bad for you… Sounds not good. Lowering non-animal carbs enough is effective for many of us. I don’t resist temptation but on carnivore? I just don’t have temptation to eat sweets. And it’s only one huge benefit. But I am on low-carb since a decade and did on/off keto years before I tried carnivore, I just can’t help to be enthusiastic as it is my own solution. Each case is individual and we may need or prefer different woe at different points of our journey. I love to experiment to see what works and realistic…)

Fasting is individual and mine changes when I lower my carbs. I still don’t know what to do about it but food choices seem being the key for me so I focus on that. Again, I think experiments and choosing what works best for us (at the moment as it’s subject to change) is a good thing to do…

Good luck to find your sweet spot that gives you success while feeling your best!

I forgot that sometimes we just don’t lose fat while doing what we should, the body may focus on more important things. I didn’t experience this one, I just heard but makes sense. Moderate fast-paced, stable fat-loss isn’t the most important thing and it’s often not realistic.

(Nick Bourne) #5

Thanks @Shinita appreciate the feedback. I hear you, if it feels right keep going and find ways to tweak things to optimize results.

I may get back to macros, hated counting but I should ensure my ratio is good (I know I’m good on carbs and protein, I’ll work on reducing fat intake; my weak spot is the keto coffee with mct, ghee and a tiny bit of coconut butter - it’s tasty but inflates the fat numbers too much).

Thanks again

(UsedToBeT2D) #6

Tough it out. You lost a lot of weight already. Many would be happy with that loss in a year.