Can you help a Keto Climber please?



Hi there, Billy here. I’ve been Keto since last August to improve my climbing. I’m 50 years old and 168cm/5”7ish. I’ve gone from 76Kg/167lb to my current weight of 70Kg/154lb ish. I’ve been as low as 65Kg/130lb in between and stalled at 66/67Kg for a few months. I’ve always fasted intermittently and extended a few times over the Winter up to 5 days.

Power to weight was better at lower weights, but endurance dropped and the climbing didn’t improve overall.

I’ve tried counting calories briefly and unsuccessfully, preferring to eat as little as I think I can reasonably get away with, within an eating window. Doing this I’ve had a cyclical up/down eating pattern with very low energy, keto flu and limited sleep. I stopped EF and opened the IF eating window as I also stalled, started feeling cold most days and constantly in my thumbs.

I recognise these problems as signs of a failing strategy. These problems have resolved in the last month with eating more and I feel and climb much better, but I’m heavier and growing.

Throughout, I’ve followed a Keto diet with low carbs - sub 20g per day. I cook with nothing, Coconut oil or butter when I have to. Ive tried but can’t stick with Carnivore for long(1 week max), although this was long enough to realise the benefits of reducing weight whilst maintaining energy! I generally eat meats, sausage, eggs, mushrooms and zero veg. When super hungry it’s whipped cream and blueberries. I’m eating too much cheese most days as I just find I’m not full. I’m off the coffee and tea too, just water. No supplements apart from Vit D.

I couldn’t stick to Carnivore as I didn’t feel full and wanted to avoid a low energy phase again. Could this be insufficient food (275-300g of roast brisket & 4 boiled eggs (no oils) a day at 67Kg/147lb ish)? More willpower required? Different types of beef?

Could I not feel full as I’m thinking that inflammation feeling from other foods is satiety? Am I craving inflammation!?!

Do I need to accept that I’m not going to feel full in a or do I just eat more and wait for adaptation? Steak doesn’t fill me up either.

I’ve watched and listened to the YT Dave Macleod (pro climber) Keto video numerous times. I’ve read the Art & Science of Low Carb Living and one of the Fung books and the Matt Fitzgerald books too. There’s lots of Keto advice in the climbing community too. Any other source recommendations please?

I climbed my first F7b on Sunday and am climbing much better since opening my eating window to 8 hours a day and resuming Keto (leaving Carnivore attempts), but the weight is coming back on (67 to 70Kgish now). I’d like to keep the weight low/er, change body composition and maintain energy levels.

I train a couple of times a week and climb 2 to 3 times a week. Otherwise I’m a desk jockey 5 days a week.

Any advice appreciated especially the views on mistaking inflammation for satiety? Am I over thinking this?

Should I try CICO with more attention to detail or learn to trust my gut and accept weight will rise before it drops again with the body relaxing it’s grip and delivering the energy to exercise more?

I’ve been a silent but appreciative member of this site and would like to say thanks for all the motivation, advice and sense of community. Any advice greatly appreciated. We’ve got this!!!

(Bacon enough and time) #2

One question that may be relevant is whether the increase in weight represents added lean mass (muscle and bone) or added fat mass. Since lean mass is much denser, it is possible to add lean mass and still lose inches (it happened to me during my first 18 months on keto, anyway). So the fit of your clothes might make a good additional criterion for determining your situation. Of course, if your muscles enlarge past a certain point, your clothes are going to get tighter anyway, lol!

If you are not getting somewhere in the range of 2000-2500 calories a day, I’d give this question some serious thought. The constant hunger you mention suggests you are not getting enough food. The sensation of cold that you mention suggests you are not getting enough protein. Try eating closer to a kilo of meat a day, and getting enough fat to keep your energy level up, and see what happens.


Hi Paul, Yep I think I’m losing muscle and gaining fat. Nearly loosened the belt today! I generally carry weight in my legs and it’s evident there. On the limited carnivore tries though the muscle/fat ratio didn’t seem to change. If you keep your eye out you can see this in other people too unless I’m mistaken??


Hi Paul, thanks again I will try eating more. I will weigh out 2000-2500 calories of beef and see how it goes. Do you IF on Carnivore or is there no need?

(Bacon enough and time) #5

Generally, the carnivore sites advise against trying to fast, especially when new to that way of eating.

I believe most long-term carnivores still eat three meals a day, actually, but you’d have to look around on the Interwebz to verify that. And I’m sure that some of our carnivores here on these forums will add their thoughts.

I find that, on keto, I eat only twice a day most days, because I simply am not hungry, but there are days when I want more food. It all depends. But I don’t eat that way intentionally, but rather because I’m happiest like that. I tend to be hungrier when I’ve yielded to my carb cravings (which are distinct from hunger pangs), and I presume that’s because my insulin has risen enough to block the reception of certain satiety hormones in my ventromedial hypothalamus.


Wow that’s interesting so higher insulin levels can block satiety signals. That’s something to add to the self awareness repertoire.

I will look around and do the research into fasting too.

Thanks again