Am I fasting right? Ketone Levels, OMAD, etc

(doggonnit) #1

OK, have tried fasting. Not really as hard as I thought. Have been monitoring my ketone levels too. Here’s my ketone levels for the last two weeks.

My fasting has been nothing but coffee with splash half and half in the am. ( Have seen both sides of the argument of coffee with cream or not. Morning coffee is my one vice.) I know I fell off the wagon August 24/25 by eating carbs and got back at a keto diet after that. I’ve been fasting by skipping breakfast and eating lunch at 1pm and dinner at 8pm. For the past four days I tried skipping lunch and only eating dinner around 7-8. Not as hard as I thought to not eat. I drank water all day and if I thought about food I’d drink water. Never really had a grumbling stomach. (Been low energy and disinterested in most things but can’t necessarily blame it on the fast, as I’ve left that a lot during the pandemic and unemployment.)

Looking to kick start some fat loss. Since starting keto have not been able to exercise as I usually go to the gym, which is closed. I recently bought some dumbbells , and have been working out in the am using them. Have been looking for some kind of other thing I can find, possibly crossfit, if I can find a place that is open.

Since beginning my keto journey have not really seen big results. No keto flu, no dramatic weight loss. Don’t feel much different. Though I have been using a scale that I think is prone to innaccurate weight readings. (How can I gain 3 pounds overnight?)

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #2

How long have you been eating a ketogenic diet? If you started on August 17, that would explain why you are not yet feeling effects. It can sometimes take a while for the body to get itself sorted and start responding.

Other relevant variables are your age, sex, height, weight, and fat-loss goals. Not to mention your metabolic health status.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #3

That’s a typical acetone plot. If you take more readings during the day and plot them on a spreadsheet then graph the data, you’ll get a much nicer looking display that more closely resembles how acetone varies gradually during the day. From something like this:

To this:


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #4

BTW graphing your plots also give you the ability to compare plots, like this:


If you’re intersted, you can read my interpretation of that huge BrACE spike here:

(doggonnit) #5

I started keto before the readings shown, 10-14 days. I didn’t own the meter at first, and was transitioning into the diet. Finding out what to eat, what carbs are there. I’m 6’1, 204-7 (scale range over the last few weeks), 49, Male. How do I look at “metabolic health status”?

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #6

As far as your metabolic status is concerned, do you know such numbers as HbA1C, fasting insulin and glucose, HS-CRP, C-peptide, ferritin, WBC, etc.? It might also help to know your lipid numbers, triglycerides, HDL-C, HDL-P, LDL-C, LDL-P, and NMR results. If none of this makes sense, don’t worry about it.

At your height and weight, you don’t have all that much to lose to reach a healthy weight. In fact, your body might think you are there already. So if your body is going to shed any fat at all, it will take some time (the last 20 pounds take longer to come off than the first 200). But you can expect changes in body composition on a well-formulated ketogenic diet, so your weight may not change all that much, because you might be adding lean tissue while shedding excess fat. Keep track of the fit of your clothes, in addition to the number on the scale, therefore.

While we enter ketosis almost immediately after cutting carb intake, there is an adaptation period, in which muscle cells have to reactivate the metabolic pathways that handle fatty acids. During this period, the muscles are utilising ketone bodies, but they really prefer fatty acids. Once the pathways to handle them are reactivated, your muscles will be able to handle fatty acids in place of glucose, and you should start noticing a difference in your energy levels. It is hard to be more specific than that, given the high degree of individual variation.

(doggonnit) #7

NONE of that first paragraph made any sense. Honestly I’m been sort of confused about how many calories to eat. Some people have told me I may not be eating enough and my body is holding on to everything it can. Hard to determine how many calories I should eat, so I know what a deficit limit is for me. Though with OMAD, I seem to be in quite a deficit. That’s been over the last few days. How long does one stay with OMAD? I’m also worried about slowing my metabolism by not eating. I want to rev it up to burn fat, don’t I?

I want to put on muscle, but without being able to lift weight I’be been trying too lean out (hence keto) until gyms are open and safe to use.

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #8

That is possible. And it’s the reason we advise eating to satisfy your hunger, rather than to a target number of calories. As long as you keep your carbohydrate intake low, you will not be stimulating a significant insulin response. The insulin response to protein depends on whether we eat too much carbohydrate with it or not, and the insulin response to fat is the bare minimum required for survival (insulin is essential to life; we just don’t want chronically elevated levels). If you are eating enough, your body won’t mind parting with its stored energy reserve (i.e., fat). And the way to be sure to get enough is to listen to your body. As your insulin drops, your appetite signaling will return and will regulate how much you eat.

I would suggest not restricting how many times you eat until it starts happening naturally. For example, if you eat to satiety, you might one day (soon) find yourself skipping breakfast, because you are simply not hungry. People move naturally into OMAD the same way. I am not big on forcing the body, but rather on working with it. You do want to rev up your metabolism, yes.

To put on muscle, eat foods with plenty of branched-chain amino acids, in particular the essential ones (leucine, iso-leucine, and valine). And plenty of fat to give your body the energy it needs to build muscle. Then, by exercising properly, you can build up your muscles.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #9

I know this is probably going to make some folks cringe, but it worked for me so I’ll share it with you. When I started keto my main intention was health not fat loss, but I decided that in the process I may as well lose the extra 20-25 pounds that made me feel uncomfortable. I knew next to nothing about anything then, assumed my daily energy requirement was about 1800-2000 cals so decided to reduce that to 1500 per day.

Yes, I lost weight. On ave about 1.5 pounds per week for 3 months. So as I approached my initial target of about 20 pounds, I decided to stop the loss by simply eating more. So every week or two I upped daily calories by a couple hundred. It took an additional 3 months to stop the loss. I ultimately lost a total of about 35 pounds over about 6 months.

When the loss finally stopped I was eating 2500 calories per day. That means, when I started keto I was eating a 1000 cal per day deficit! That’s a huge caloric deficit and we are continually warned by folks on this forum, including me(!) now that I know better, not to do this since you run serious risk of slowing your metabolism doing so.

In my case, however, at the age of 71 with no metabolic health issues, maybe a little insulin resistant, but otherwise healthy, and I only ran the 1000 calorie deficit for about 3 months, nothing bad happened. As soon as I started eating more, the loss continued just got slower until I finally hit 2500 cals per day.

I should also mention that even at a 1000 calorie deficit I did not feel hungry. Even now, 3 1/2+ years on keto I seldom feel hunger and/or satiation. That’s why I weigh and measure and count calories. I use my weight as a measure.

So that’s my story of keto initiation. Take from it what you might.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #10

I also want to concur with @PaulL that eating based on hunger/satiation is the way to go - IF you have reliable hunger and satiation signalling. If you don’t, like I don’t, then you have to go by something else. In my case I go by weight gain/loss and whether or not I feel cold and/or weak. By trial and error I have determined the caloric range and macro ratios that work for me to maintain my weight at 145 pounds +/- a couple pounds and have done so for 3 years. During winter, if I feel cold I know I have to eat. During summer if I feel weak and/or dizzy I know I have to eat. Do what you have to do.

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #11

Those, as I understand it, are symptoms of inadequate protein. Just thought I’d add that to the mix. :smile: