Calories per day

(Ryan) #1

I’m a make currently 6’ 3” and 260 pounds and starting a keto journey. I have done keto before and lost 70 pounds only to gain it back once I stopped keto.

My question today is my maintenance calories currently is 2600 and it has be said to eat 500 less per day to lose 1 pound per weeks. However, when I eat healthy I find it hard to eat up to 2100 calories because I get satiated fast. My concern is muscle loss if I don’t meet my caloric intake for the day.

Should this be a concern?

A little about me I am type 2 diabetic and insulin resistant. No other lifestyle change seems to work for me other than keto.

How far can I restrict my calories down to? Also should I start fasting 16/8 or 20/4 maybe alt day fast 36 hours plus keto?

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

If you are keeping carbohydrate intake low, then your insulin level should also be low enough to allow you to be in ketosis. Dr. Stephen Phinney, one of the early researchers into a ketogenic diet, says that in his experience, when insulin stops interfering with appetite signaling, people who have excess fat to lose spontaneously eat at a caloric deficit, because their body is metabolising both dietary and stored fat to meet its energy needs. The point is that they are eating to satiety, not to some arbitrary caloric target.

The key to not losing muscle is to eat enough protein to support your lean mass. We recommend 1.0-1.5 g of protein per kg of lean body mass per day. Some researchers recommend up to 2.0 g/kg. Since you are limiting carbs to 20 g day, the rest of your caloric intake should be fat to satiety.

I found that for the first three weeks or so on keto I ate at the level of my carb-burning appetite, until one day, in the middle of a meal, I was suddenly finished. Had to put half a plate of food away for later. It was weird, because I had forgotten what satiety felt like. You don’t say how long you’ve been eating keto this time around, but it does sound as though it’s been long enough for insulin to have stopped interfering with your appetite hormones. As long as you are getting enough protein, you should be fine at your current appetite level. If you don’t see the results you are hoping for in another few weeks, come back and let us know, and we can help you figure out what’s going on.

(Marianne) #3

First time I experienced this, it felt weird, too. Before keto, “satiety” for me was when I couldn’t stuff one more bite of food into my stomach. My capacity for volume was amazing and I used to love eating until I was ready to burst. There was nothing satiating about it, however, as 2-3 hours later, when I had a little more room in my stomach, I’d go back for another couple slices of pizza, ice cream, bowls of cereal, etc. Then, I’d go to bed in a food coma and repeat the next day.
When I started keto, a couple of eggs and bacon in the morning with a butter coffee held me completely satisfied until dinner. I looked forward to every meal without being hungry or craving any additional food.

If you are just restarting your journey, I’d let this happen naturally. The longer you maintain this WOE and eating to satiety, the day will come (and not too far off), when your body will tell you how often you need to eat and when you don’t. In the meantime, go easy on yourself and your metabolism. You are converting to fat burning and healing yourself from the inside out. Be gentle on your body and feed it what it needs without forcing it. It won’t cause you to gain weight or lose weight more slowly; it will actually help you normalize to what is most restorative to your body. I found 16/8, 20/4 is a natural and painless progression.

Good luck and keep us posted.


If you have more fat to lose, you can get more energy from it so a bigger deficit isn’t that much of a problem as far as I know - but it still can be a bad idea, some people can do it fine, others don’t…
It’s good to know your actual energy need (though that changes every day, obviously) if you try to eat according to calories, at least vaguely. You can’t calculate it.

1lbs/week isn’t the maximum safe fat-loss, maybe for people with little to lose but probably that’s more complicated even there.

Fasting is easier. Do whatever is comfortable for you, I think. If you don’t fast already, don’t force it, definitely not in the beginning when your body has enough new things to adapt to. But if fasting gets easier than not fasting (or you are very sure you want it and it’s not too hard) AND you still can eat enough, whatever that means in your case, do it.
If you already have problems with eating enough, don’t reduce your eating window even if you are used to keto - unless if it’s a test to figure out if you eat more that way. As that is possible. I remember I had a time when I got super hungry if I fasted until late and could eat very much (I mean, even more than usual. I normally eat biggish meals already). It still didn’t feel so good and I typically eat too much, not too little so I went back to my more natural, earlier meals. So it’s complex. What you can and willing to do, how you feel, what your nutrient intake does…

IDK why you think alternate day fasting would be good for you if you can’t even eat enough if you eat every day… I would think that type of fasting seriously reduces the calorie intake in most cases.


But if I did that every 3 hours, I would have eaten above 10000 kcal a day… Wow, even I would have gain fat quickly there I imagine… But I ate fatty food and 2kg fatty food every 3 hours even with a 8 hour eating window, yeah, that wouldn’t have been pretty, even my normal eating wasn’t…

I almost never stuffed myself, I got satiated way earlier. Very high-fat and high-protein helped :wink:

But putting away a plate with food on it? I don’t think it happened until carnivore. I always could eat very, very much after I got satiated, my appetite was near limitless. It took a long time until I figured out carbs mess with me (even when fat adapted and in ketosis if they are too much and not from animals).

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

LOL! Are you my twin sister?

I ate three meals a day for the first 12-15 months, then one day I stopped wanting to eat in the morning. Most days, over the years since, I’ve eaten only two meals a day, one around 2:00 p.m., the other when the family ate dinner. Some days I want to eat earlier, or eat more often, and I figure my body knows what it needs. Very rarely, there will be a day when I want only one meal. For me, the proof that this is all okay is that my weight has remained stable for the past five years.


In real life it’s not that perfect, it is in a lab, but your body isn’t the lab. 500 cals is a large deficit, if you go that big, don’t do it for more than a few weeks.

YES! I lost a ton of muscle with large long deficits and fasting.

I don’t know your diet, but that doesn’t seem to make sense, assuming by healthy you mean keto, your fat is up, which is over twice as calorically dense as proteins and fats, so it should add up very quickly.

Being 6’3", hopefully you’re not trying to go below 225lbs or so, so even if you did the normal 1g/lb of bodyweight of protein, that alone would eat up 900 calories right there. When cutting and trying to preserve muscle, it’s not a terrible idea to go beyond the 1g/lb. Really shouldn’t be a problem. You also need to see what satiates you more, some people will say fat, I can eat fat all day long, protein fills me up though. You can also do shakes and drink your calories, way easier when you can’t do it as food and easy on digestion.


Not really but it depends on the person for sure. People usually say don’t go over 1000, 500 if one has little to lose… But some people can pull off 2000 (it’s quite extreme though but if one has enough fat to lose and some very lucky genetics or whatever…?).
I was very happy with my ~300 though :smiley: But tons of people loses fat way quicker than that without problems.

But I agree that whatever is a too big deficit for us, we shouldn’t do that more than for a few days. And IDK if it helped me but I automatically added a high-cal day about once every week, at least. I can imagine it had some benefit. My SO loses fat quicker so with a way bigger deficit, without higher-cal days and it’s pretty common among people. Many overdo it, though and that’s bad. It’s better to take our time especially if we have little to lose or if our body complains but 500 kcal seems quite safe.

It doesn’t matter how dense it is if one gets satiated quickly. Some people never get hungry and get satiated very easily on keto. The food may be tiny volume wise but satiating.
It may or may not be easy to add a bunch of extra fat. Many people says fat satiate them well… You tips are good though, drinking calories is easy for many of us and most people probably have less satiating items… Maybe timing can be changed… But it’s still not easy for everyone. At least not all the time.