That seems at least low-key starvation to me. Maybe a very tiny person can pull it off but you should eat more. Your protein intake seems very tiny too.
This is the level where you easily sabotage yourself, I would worry about my metabolism…
That seems at least low-key starvation to me. Maybe a very tiny person can pull it off but you should eat more. Your protein intake seems very tiny too.
But those are the macros for keto
There are no “macros for keto”… If we eat low enough carbs, that’s keto.
Did you get them from some calculator? Don’t trust calculators. They always gave me ridiculously tiny numbers I couldn’t use even if I wanted. Even when I lose fat, I eat well as I need that.
Macronutrient ratio: 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs
The standard keto diet is the strictest. You’ll eat less than 50 grams of carbs each day, according to the IJMR. 13 So if you eat about 2,000 calories per day, you will get about 1,400 calories from fat, 400 calories from protein, and 200 calories from carbs.
STOP weighing yourself. Period. Full stop.
You need to give yourself a total break from the scale. We’re talking 6 months. Maybe a year. Maybe forever.
I’m 60. I have had weight/ dieting issues my whole life. Started keto almost 3 years ago. Lost nearly 60 lbs, then my body just stopped losing. Did much the same as you but then realized I didn’t want to live like that. The number on the scale doesn’t matter. It’s made up. What matters is how you FEEL.
Look, for ME, keto is the right way to go. I’ve never felt better in my life. Food doesn’t control me anymore. I like my compliant food and I feel good. I don’t restrict anything but the carbs and I just keep eating low carb and high fat. I don’t count carbs, just don’t eat anything outside of my “approved” foods. If I continue to feel good and my clothes continue to fit, that’s all I worry about. I’ve been doing this for about a year now and Jess worked very well. I want to weigh 170, bit my body likes me at 185. Ok. I can live, happy, with that.
Would I like to be 20 lbs thinner? Yes. But MY BODY doesn’t. My body likes it here, so I’ll embrace it.
Food, diet and ESPECIALLY “the number” needs to become so much less important in your life.
Please, be kind to yourself. Have some faith in the process. And get rid of that damn scale.
Thank! I don’t want to live like this either but I also don’t want to be in this weight. I feel fine and I love keto because I have never felt like this. I don’t have to go to sleep after lunch. I wake up at 4am and still have energy all day. I understand that all my teen live up until now I have been in the 200’s pounds and that is why is so frustrating.
An answer to my question from days ago. If you are not losing weight at 200 pounds on fasting or under 1200 calories, you have a very slow metabolism that thinks it is in starvation mode and imho, that is your problem. Your body refuses to let it lose weight in fear that you do not have enough calories available. The solution will not be easy as you will need to eat more than you are used too and increase your calories weekly until your body thinks food is available and starts to increase your RMR and also alllow for fat burning as no longer in starvation mode. I suspect that will be closer to 1800 or 2000 calories.
Separately, you have too many carbs in general. If you were doing 10%, go for 5% or less since you should increase your calories as well.
Many people will ignore this advice as it goes against the conventional wisdom of CICO but hormones matter more.
Many people have said the same thing about my body thinking that I am not eating enough and actually the days I have tried to fast and eat once a day I have gained 4 pounds but I am so scare of eating more and gaining more since getting out of 212 has been impossible for the past 5-6 months.
The macros for keto are dead easy: 20 g/day of carbohydrate, 1.0-1.5 or 2.0 g of protein per kg of lean body mass a day, and fat to satiety.
The carb restriction is for lowering insulin into the range that allows ketosis. The protein is for providing enough amino acids to repair and build tissues and to provide enough nitrogen to regulate blood pressure properly, and the fat is for energy to fuel the body’s activity. If you listen to your appetite, it will tell you how much food you need; counting calories becomes unnecessary.
It works for me, at any rate. Whether my appetite is high or low on any given day, my weight remains stable. I only get into trouble when I yield to my carb addiction and eat more than 20 g/day.
It’s one of the popular percentages, one of the worst ones as 10% carbs is way too high for most of us (unless we are starving but that is worse idea than eating much carbs).
Our protein need is in grams. Our ketosis carb limit is in grams. Percentages are irrelevant if it’s just about ketosis. They matter individually, sure (and anyway, obviously carbs are low on keto, we need more than minimal protein and normally fat is high… but low-fat keto is a thing too, I had such a day and it was quite okay. it has its conditions, it’s not the normal keto style and I doubt it’s sustainable but it’s still keto. and of course, fasting is keto as 0g carbs is below our ketosis carb limit), we all have our sweet ranges I suppose, it depends on many things. My protein should be 30-40%, for example but it’s only if my calories are in their currently “ideal” range as I need my protein to be in its good range in grams, not percentages. I am sure some people needs 90% or more fat (I never will be that active and actually I am glad, it would be way too fatty even for me and I love fat). I know some people should stay below 1% carbs if they want the best…
And it makes less than zero sense for me to suddenly eat twice as much protein and carbs when my calories double (they tend to do that sometimes). I definitely don’t have different needs for it just because my energy intake changes and I already eat high protein on my low-cal days. So my macros obviously should vary pretty much.
Hi Liz. Thanks for sharing your food tracking.
Here are some ideas based on the science communicated by Dr. Paul Saladino. I’ll acknowledge that he is not popular in all keto think tanks. I think he explains nutritional science in a way at least I understand.
You have your understanding of the ketogenic diet. It matches others with the initial body fat loss without hunger and then, for people who track their body weight without other bio-markers, there is the plateau. That’s the time we discover that body weight scales are not enough data, and can be psychologically damaging. By using other body measurements such as measuring distance around the abdomen, or around limbs and neck, other positive physical changes can be observed, acknowledged and even relied upon for indicators of improved health.
There is another dietary lever that can be pulled in the way you are eating. It is written here for your consideration and to add to the discussion. Improvements in food quality can be made.
I am loathe to mess with someone else’s coffee formula. But almond ‘milk’ is a processed food stuff. It would be interesting to see the ingredients label of the almond milk because their formulas vary. In another thread in the forum we discussed quite thoroughly the problems with coffee creamer. It’s another processed food mimicking agent that has complex chemicals and potential problems for people eating keto for body fat loss purposes. Base coffee is coffee and nice water. An alternative to almond milk and creamer are animal-based milk and cream. In steps it would be from base coffee and water, coffee water and cream, if that’s not to your taste, then coffee and milk depending on personal lactose tolerance, or varying quantities of milk and cream. Coffee is a recognised food addiction that is accepted as normal. I am a coffee addict. I have my coffee as coffee with fresh, local, cow’s milk cream.
The Ranch dressing and ice-cream are the other two standout processed foods that stand out in the plan. It would be interesting to read the ingredients lists for both to look at the quality of the ingredients. I acknowledge both of these things are also recognised food addictions as well, and I might not get a nice response if suggesting to find substitutes in a keto way of eating. But here goes. Plain vinegar and salt dresses a salad quite nicely. Some may squeeze some lemon juice with that. The acetic acid in the vinegar are available dietary short chain fatty acids, the citric acid in the lemon juice can bind some plant toxins, the salt helps maintain sodium balance and reduce loss of other electrolytes. Avocado is a nice high fat fruit, if it’s something that you like, that will add ‘creaminess’ as a texture. Use the wholefood rather than the processed products made from avocado. Maybe with food prices and geography, avocado is not on many shopping lists?
I dare to mention an ice cream substitute. Full fat non-sweetened Greek yogurt can work. Evening is the time to consider eating berries, if in season. Strawberries or blueberries are two common examples of easy to grow at home crops that can be added to yogurt. Alternatively, freezing berries in measured gram doses, and then pouring fresh cream over them creates the most delicious home-made ice cream in the world.
Anyhow, modifying the keto diet to wholefood-based ingredients may be worth a try.
I agree with the people who see that a plan based on 1200 calories is fraught because it is based on calories and it looks a lot like under nutrition - a real challenge to get the nutrients needed in that energy parameter.
Hope the crying has eased up a bit for you.
Agree with PaulL here. Reckoning things in terms of fixed percentages of overall energy intake doesn’t work so well. At least two of these macros are gauged in terms of absolute units (grams) rather than relative to your overall energy intake per day.
As they say, protein intake is a target - it tends to be best to get at least 1-2 g/kg lean body mass (LBM). But it doesn’t seem to help to go far beyond this for most people. So suppose you get 2g/kg LBM. Maybe that’s 120-150 g of protein per day. That target will be fixed and not change with energy intake.
Carbs are a ceiling. Depending on your own carb sensitivity, you might cap it at 50, 20, or even 10 g/day to remain in nutritional ketosis. That depends on the individual and their sensitivity more than their energy needs (therefore grams, rather than % of calories).
And then it’s common for people to describe fat as a “lever.” Because you aren’t going to vary protein intake too much, and carbs are limited to a very low level, fat is the only macronutrient that you can adjust up or down to any degree. If you’re not hungry after meeting your protein goal, no need to eat more. If you are, you can eat more fat and protein while avoiding carbs as usual.
You’ve already received all the best advice here.
Here’s my last…
Forget macros, try to stay under 20g carbs.
Eat enough real food to get enough calories. You don’t have to eat too many carbs to reach the needed calories. Thinking that you need to restrict calories is sabotaging yourself.
You got this!
I just now studied the carbs… Oh my, that ice cream is super carby! Is that net? Why does an ice cream have much carbs? Crazy. My strawberry ice cream was that carby per 150 kcal and it had a lot of strawberries…
And the creamer is a super carby, pretty much needless stuff. I get it that most of us have our weaknesses but creamer? It’s so easy to replace with something better.
@liz_santiago Sorry to hear about your struggles. I’ve been doing keto since March, but it’s something I’ve done off and on over the years. Stalls can be tough emotionally. I do really try to pay attention to how my clothes fit, my belt and what notch I’m on, and things like that. But, I still can’t help weighing myself every once in a while.
Not sure if you are following this other Weigh-In thread, but I had quite the stall in Sept (gained weight) and Oct, but I’ve been able to get back on track in Nov. One thing I’ve been focusing on is getting enough calories (I stopped IF for the most part) and reducing my veggies and increasing meat/chicken/fish/eggs. I typically have eggs, ham or bacon, and mozzarella for breakfast, pork chops, turkey burger with cheddar, or leftovers for lunch, and a healthy, fresh protein with a good green veggie for dinner. The protein covers more of my plate than the veggie now, which I didn’t used to do. I sometimes have 2 to 3 squares of a Lily 85% dark chocolate if I’m wanting a little sweet treat.
I know we all have what works for us and it varies by individual, but just hoping to provide a little encouragement.
If you haven’t yet added intermittent fasting, that would be my next step. Start with a daily 16:8 (16 hours of fasting, 8 hours of eating). Once you’re comfortable with that start reducing the eating window (18:6, then 20:4). If you can end up at 22:2 (which is essentially one meal a day) you should be in great shape/ For reference, I am currently at 20:4.
You’re not doing anything wrong Liz except maybe focusing on your weight. Maybe focus on how you are feeling? Maybe focus on how you are looking (In which case ‘inches’ might be a more appropriate metric). I’ve been in and out of keto for 5 years now to lose ‘weight’ but I mean ‘inches’ because my clothes were getting too tight and I’m too cheap/poor to buy new. I’ve been in keto for the last two weeks, with this aim in mind and I haven’t dropped a pound! In that two week period I only ate 7 meals. No snacking, but I have been exercising… lots. However, I have, in that same period lost half an inch on my neck and 1.5 inches on my waist. It’s wonderful! I love fasting and exercise while in keto. It is so effective.
So, my advice, ditch the scale and focus on metrics that really matter. Good luck going forward.
Really nothing is rock solid in keto except carb limitation. Several people have commented on this issue, but I thought I might add some things. My wife couldn’t maintain ketosis at 50 g of carb anywhere past the first week. The advice of Paul and others in the forum was to drop carbs to under 25 g/day, and then she went back into ketosis, and has lost about 50 lbs and several inches. However, now it has been over 4 mo, and she has stalled again. She has thyroid disease, but I don’t believe you have to have thyroid disease to produce reverse T3. That is one of the body’s mechanisms to prevent it from dying. A prolonged drop in calories is interpreted by the body as a threat to its survival and the thyroid will begin producing some reverse T3. It is an inactive form, but blocks the active T3 from its receptors in the body, so that the metabolism slows. There are probably some other mechanisms at work too.
Anyway, those percentages are nowhere near immutable. I and many others probably eat no more than 50% of calories from fats, and are successful in keto. I don’t think in keto in terms of calories, but just gr of carbs. In fact for this and other reasons, I think trying to cut calories is a mistake. You will end up fighting your body’s own survival mechanisms. However, I do try to prioritize protein and not fat.
One thing I know for sure… protein is not going to put on fat. As a matter of fact you can starve to death or at least to malnutrition on protein. There is thing called rabbit starvation. Wild rabbit is a very lean meat, and if you try to survive on it, you will get in trouble. The body has to use a lot of energy in gluconeogenesis of glucose from protein, and would much rather use fat for this. So, I simply prioritize protein, and eat whatever natural fats come with it. That is the way it comes in nature, and I am not scared of that. I am def more worried about the processed and refined fats, and avoid those as much as possible. Anyway forget about calories except to the extent that you don’t want to cut them because quite often at the 4-5 month mark your weight loss will stall when the body slows its metabolism to maintain an equalibrium with caloric intake. To the extent that you cut calories from carbs you probably need to replace them with fats and proteins unless it is some massive amount which for women is probably over 4000 calories.
The calorie counting thing is at the heart of the Yo-Yo diet. Years ago my wife did lose weight on the low fat, low calorie type stuff, but felt horrible, and then developed gall bladder issues. She did an “olive oil cleanse” which seemed to work… Probably not so much because it “cleaned” the gall bladder, but the fat sufficiently stimulated contraction of the gall bladder to empty out enough to feel better. I now believe the low fat thing is at the heart of gall bladder issues, because without sufficient fat, the gall bladder is not sufficiently stimulated to empty itself and gall stones develop. By age 75 nearly 50% of American women have gallstones. You basically have to stop any processed foods. Many are low-fat or non-fat, and what fats they do have are almost always processed trouble.
Anyway, I am suddenly feeling preachy, and I don’t mean to be. I am just trying to help you not worry about calories. If your stall continues, you might consider resetting by going low carb for awhile, and then trying keto again. Indeed, this is probably advisable for people with thyroid issues like my wife.
It sounds like your friend might be right. You lost 60 lbs in 6 months, in my book that is a super responder. I have seen your situation or something similar play out with a number of female friends after a year or 2 on Keto. Some switched to OMAD, (starvation in my books) others went to Carnivore. Most gave up and gained back all the weight they had ordinally lost and more. Only one seemed to do it sensibly. She decided after 6 months of not losing any weight to transition to a low-carb diet, about 100 grams per day (she was not measuring) with lots of veggies, some fruit, animal protein, and the occasional piece of sourdough bread. Organically grown fruits and veggies when possible, chicken is 100% free-range, salmon is always wild and the beef is always grass-fed. She does not eat any pork. She walks a total of two hours per day (am-pm) it helps she has two dogs and is in the best shape of her life and is happy. Food has become a non-issue for her. She fully recognizes the benefits of being on keto for the first 8 months she was doing it, however, for her, the Keto diet had stopped being an effective weight loss tool. She decided she wanted a more balanced approach.
Hi Liz, one thing I wanted to ask was, how are you feeling day to day and how are your stress levels? Whenever I’m going through a period of stress I get very weepy and hungry and my weight loss stalls or I gain weight, even if I don’t change what I’m eating. I have PTSD so I get regular bouts of acute stress and the impact of stress on the nervous system definitely affects my metabolism. I’m not exactly sure of the biology behind bit, but my guess is that the increase in stress hormones impacts insulin sensitivity. Fasting can also increase stress hormones so I’ve found I do better on 2 meals a day than OMAD, I now only do OMAD or longer fasts if I’m too ill or stressed to eat or unable to access suitable food.
I notice I can run fine on 50g/day carbs or approx. 10% carbs when I’m in a grounded and thriving place, but I have to drop to max 35g/day carbs or closer to 6/7% carbs when I’m stressed or ill. Right before my period my carb tolerance is worse also, I think because of progesterone dominance.
It can be incredibly stressful to be trying so hard with diet and seeing no results, and then add that to the stressors of life, for me at least I can get into a really negative and self-loathing sort of place with weight loss where the more I focus on my weight the less it budges. The suggestions to measure or use clothes to track progress is one that’s really helped me. I’ve also noticed that if I eat at least 1/2lb of meat and a day I get a lot less cravings. Extra thick double cream with a dash of cinnamon is my go to for dessert.
Also after a while, it was like, if I looked directly at my weight it wouldn’t budge, so I found that putting my focus onto other areas of my life for a few months helped me recentre. Easier said than done I know! X