I feel so sad at the moment. Before my keto journey, I have done 100 days low carb + OMAD + 48h fast every weekend. That was very hard period for me, especially fasting for 48h - even on the very last weekend I felt terrible, - every fast my blood glucose was around 60 - I could barely move myself around, there were probably maybe 2 weekends when I felt fine fasting. This was extremely hard but I had to reduce visceral fat fast and I did.
After this, I have started proper keto. I’ve read about it a lot and finally, having everything ready, started keto. Today is my 4th week of my basically failed keto. I have felt terrible all this time, unable to think, focus, always asleep, brain fog, muscle weakness to the point where I can barely walk (same like it was when fasting) - I am feeling even worse when fasting. I hit this ketosis thing or whatever, twice, for 10h each time. And then I am out again feeling like I am about to faint.
After meals, my sugar goes to something like 85 and at this level brain is fine, but still huge weakness in legs. And I am hungry all the time - last days I just didnt give a damn and ate and was still hungry no matter what.
So finally today, just now I ate 70g of carbs, of which maybe 15g net carbs - felt better just right away. My net carb intake today is something like probably 35-40. All other days I have maintained maybe even <20 total carbs.
Basically, when I was in ketosis those 2 times, especially first time - this was for sure a HUGE difference from a regular state - I felt like a machine with endless focus and power. At the moment I am feeling pretty much regular, so basically, when I am doing <50 net carbs daily for me its just a low carb thing and I feel the same if I will be doing no matter how many carbs daily. But if I stick to <20g total carbs daily - I am just dying. I fought 3 weeks and thinking of giving up. I have to mention I work 16h 7 days a week, no vacations, no nothing, tech job, and cannot allow any more delay of a brain performance.
I just feel mentally like crap but it seems that keto is not for me. It worth to mention, that I have the worst genetics ever. Before even going low carb, for me to stop adding regular white sugar - it took a half of a year, - I just couldn’t withdraw it, basically was fainting without sugar. Then to withdraw white bread - it took 3 months. Anyways, before even begin with low carb + omad, I spent 3 years withdrawing all crappy / highly processed food / sweets / pizza / etc. Yes, this is how long it took me.
I just hate myself so much right now why I cannot be just everybody else, fat adapted and happy - because I have never felt better then this time in ketosis - but I lost it.
Getting rapidly fatter, darn it
How much food are you eating on keto? Sounds like perhaps not enough. Or possibly a ketogenic diet is not for you.
The idea of a ketogenic diet is to keep insulin low by not eating very much carbohydrate. This means it is not necessary to cut calories; you should eat enough protein and fat to satisfy your hunger. If you feel that you wish to try to eat ketogenically, forget about fasting until it starts to come naturally. At first, let yourself eat as much as you want. This doesn’t mean stuffing yourself to the gills, but rather to eat when hungry, stop eating when the hunger goes away, and then not eat again until the hunger returns. (Don’t eat simply because it’s mealtime by the clock, in other words.) Most people find that if they get enough at meals, they can go several hours before they get hungry again. If you need to snack between meals, make it something low-carb and high-fat, and then eat more at the next meal.
My experience was that the first couple of weeks of low-carb eating I ate as much as I usually did, and then, one day in the middle of lunch, I experienced satiation for the first time in a long time. My plate was still half-full, and I was finished eating. Nothing for it but to put the plate in the fridge and have the rest for supper when I became hungry again. Eventually, I stopped wanting breakfast and began eating only two meals a day. Some people find themselves cutting back to one meal a day, and even fasting accidentally. At that point, fasting becomes a workable idea, but before that, be sure to eat. Especially, don’t cut calories, because that’s the signal to the body that there’s a famine going on. You’ll be a lot happier either fasting (once the time comes) or eating to satisfy your hunger.
If you’d like to post your diet and ask for a critique, people will be happy to offer their opinions. It also helps to know your age, sex, and height, your starting weight, goal weight, and reasons for wanting to eat keto (some people have metabolic health as their goal, while others are looking to shed some excess fat).
There can be a lot more to healthy eating, once you are ready to get into it, but the essential of a ketogenic diet is to eat very little carbohydrate and get enough protein and fat. The rest is all tweaking for maximum effect.
First off, thanks for a reply.
You know, when reading what you wrote I think maybe yeah, I’ll just go even more low carb then I was before and maybe at some point will enter proper ketosis. Maybe 40g net carbs daily, then lower, etc. I experienced the thing you have described long time ago, some years ago while being on a diet for the very first time (my BF % was around 40 that time - crazy). That happened after probably 4 month of normal diet - that wasnt even low carb, that was just normal food diet, because before that, so up until 3 years ago I was eating like this every day: alcohol was a must, + 3 packs of chips, 3 chocolates, pizza, 1 kg of cake, pepsi, and the list goes on, for years, because of mental state. No veggies, no nothing, not even pasta or rice - it was only processed food, booze + smoking.
Switch to normal food took me half of a year, 4 month I was eating 5 times a day and still was just thinking about food every second and then, yes - it happened. At some day I just felt I dont need to eat 5 times, 4 is enough. And then 4 was too many - 3 is enough. The was a break through, which happened seriously very late at the point when I thought I am doomed.
Fast forward to present time. I am male, 37yo, 6.3, 150 lbs (went down from 213lbs with 40% BF). Yeah that may sound like underweight but its not for me - I am extreme ectomorph type, very extreme to the point I still have 20% BF today. I am exercising everyday for a 4 months period and gained no muscle whatsoever.
What I eat now - everything what is so called keto. Eggs, avocados, lots of nuts - pecan, brazil, macadamia, meat, veggies(I fry them a bit, like 1-2 minutes) - pretty much everything that can be found in keto tutorials, I am baking some keto bread so to speak, out of almond flour and some other ingredients but always checking carbs / proteins / fats to meat the reqs of keto proportions. I do not eat meat every day - maybe like 2-3 times a week. Bulletproof coffee, etc.
Why keto? I can only feel satiated eating fatty food. The more I eat carbs - the more I want to eat to the point I can eat all day long and want to eat more - its just so unnatural. When I do fats - after some point I am full and do not want to eat. Next reason is ketosis - I’ve been there, I felt it - I want it now again - I can definitely make great profits out of this state of mind and body in multiple areas. Because it is simple - for the first time I cook myself, I know what to do it just feels so natural, I love nuts, eggs, this bread/ cake I am making - is just incredible, keto food is so tasty - I just love it. Health reasons for sure, a lot of reasons.
Even apart from this struggle when I am thinking about that food - I just feel love towards it. I dont want to give up.
Dude, how are you measuring this bodyfat%? I get that I can’t see you, but at 6’3" 150… no way. I’m 5’9" and if I was 150 people would be force feeding me.
On the muscle growth, you need to fuel muscle growth, if you’re under eating to loose you can lift all you want… it ain’t gonna happen! Putting on muscle with keto can be very hard, once I hit my limit I had to switch to targeted / cyclic keto to get more muscle on. But from a starting point it does still need some tweaks.
Hey there, thanks for a reply!
Yeah, that is strange but this is what it is. I did this body composition analysis and visually it is - almost all of it is visceral fat.Mutants are out there
In case of muscle I wanted to recompose, basically -5% fat +n% muscle while staying within my weight, but you are probably correct and I’ve used this calculator online for calc props for muscle gain and I am lacking protein I think. In case of eating- I was thinking that I was doing proper calories intake but due to the recent break down maybe I was wrong. Need to add probably just a bit more carbs and more proteins.
This is probably just a starting point for me so I need to put my sh*t together and fight.
As far as protein goes, we recommend 1.0-1.5 grams per kilogram of lean body mass, more if you are a body builder (in which case you also want to get enough of the branched-chain amino acids). Some experts recommend going as high as 2.0 g/kg, but our Dude, Richard Morris, does not, for various reasons. Then, as I posted earlier, eat enough fat to satisfy your hunger. Some people do better with a bit more protein and less fat, others do better with a bit less protein and more fat, so you may have to do some tweaking. Go with what makes you feel best.
The fat calories are intended to replace the calories lost from not eating carbohydrate, and they have a minimal effect on insulin, so they are “safe” calories. Fat is not magic, so don’t go overboard, as some people do, putting fat on everything. You will need less fat to get the same number of calories, since fats contain, on average 9 calories per gram, whereas carbohydrate and protein contain 4/g. (This is all approximate, and it’s also in food calories, which a physicist would call kilocalories.) Because of the energy density of fat, an equal amount of fat and protein by weight is 69% fat and 31% protein by their caloric value (whenever anyone speaks of percentages of food, they are always talking about percentages of total calories; this is a holdover from a century-and-a-half ago, when all we could measure was the caloric content of food).
Also, as one of those tweaks I mentioned earlier, it turns out that the guy who insisted that saturated fat caused heart disease was manipulating his data, and because of that, plus new discoveries about the effects of polyunsaturated fats on the body, it turns out that the healthy fats are saturated and monunsaturated, so stick to butter/ghee, lard, tallow, and bacon grease, and avoid seed oils (canola, rapeseed, soy, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, etc.). If you want to use an oil, stick to the fruit oils: avocado, coconut, olive, and palm.
Thanks, yes, I am following everything you’ve said, except for proteins - which should be corrected. But, yeah, like, I was eating yesterday and today without really counting calories but only after having those 70g carbs I felt fine. It seems that craving was specifically for carb, weakness, brain fog - went away. Until this, even if I was eating - nothing was helping.
Considering such case as mine, maybe the gradual approach to keto diet is a must for some people, so lets say without going right away less then 20g either total or net, but to 50g of carbs. Then lower, then lower then lower, to find a point of breakdown, then go up again and stay there for some time, just above a breakdown. Give time, then go again below breakdown, test oneself that way, try fat adapt. Yeah, I think I will follow this protocol from now to some point.
I’ve read some papers, that there were failed trials on some people - they just could not fat adapt, broken mechanism or something. There might be something, very small amount of people doing keto - if we put everyone on a planet do keto - probably half of population would fail just of biological reasons.
I’d go with like 175-200g protein minimum dude, if you’re gonna wind up being a hard gainer you need to keep that up there. I hurt my gains for a long time keeping protein too low. But you still have to get those cals in. Don’t forget building muscle burns fat, and more effectively (long term) than cutting the calories. I’d track your intake and make sure your hitting your goals.
Try this calc, once you get your numbers you can drag the carbs down and it’ll readjust the others to be inline with what you need.
@csrss So sorry to hear what you’re going through. Keto “should” be a lot easier than you’re experiencing. You’ve gotten some well thought-out advice above so I won’t pile on.
I am curious regarding this comment …
Can you recall where you spotted these papers? I’d like to read them myself to see what I can discern.
Thanks and best wishes!
If you really weigh 150 and you want to get rid of visceral fat then you need to do a fat fast. You still have high insulin resistance if you have a gut. You don’t have enough mobilizable fat to fast very long with no calories.
I would definitely ask a real fasting doc. I am a fat guy so don’t listen to me.
Back to your post, have you looked at Dave Asprey’s kryptonite foods to avoid? I ate keto forever and was always starving but i ate plenty of kryptonite foods. Super helpful.
Hi, sounds like you’re having a rough time. And that’s what stands out actually. With working 16 hours a day, exercising most days, and unable to gain muscle; my guess is that your body is stressed. Stress hormones will mess with your insulin and make it hard to achieve good fat adaptation and to put on muscle.
Take care of yourself, maybe exercise LESS while you are adapting- this works for many people. And your idea of a gradual reduction in carbs may also be less stressful. Looking at your food list, if it were me I’d eat meat more often. If you’re feeling stressed by it all you could stop measuring altogether and follow a basic keto plan of:
Start with animal protein, add some low carb veg, add enough fat to feel not hungry anymore. That’s a meal. Repeat a few times a day, listening to your hunger and energy signals.
It was somewhere here: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Cannot recall what exact paper it was, because at that time I was looking for something different and got there by accident.
That is exactly my case - very slim guy with a gut.
I am eating only best foods, none of Dave Asprey’s kryptonite foods, following keto tutorials and really not saving cash on that. Ive spent about 3 months doing research about foods and recipes and started 100% prepared knowledge wise. Buying only organic / bio stuff, paying attention to every possible detail out there.
Thanks! However, this calc is not keto oriented - I’ve used the one which was keto oriented, what it told me is: 220g fat, 100g protein and 20g carbs for building muscle. I am definitely below those values, probably like this: 150-170g fat, 50-70g protein and around 15-20g total carbs. So, yeah, but there is maybe one thing, I am still doing IF, not OMAD, but 4/20 and most of the time its just fine - hunger was OK for the first 2.5 weeks, but then a breakdown. I can even go OMAD but its hard to consume all of this fat at one go.
Thank you! Yes, the daily amount of stress is actually a huge issue in my case, a lot of sleeping issues as well, lots of times I sleep just 2h, wake up, cannot sleep, that makes me more angry and stressed out and the cycle goes on.
But those exercises are in fact helping to reduce stress in some way, maybe not 100% but at least 30-40%.
But yeah. Heh, that is actually my second time when I am near giving up keto but will try to maintain it just without being so strict on carbs and amount of meals at this point, fixing proteins, probably fiber as well. As it turns out there is a whole science behind it
Doesn’t need to be, as I said, when you get your numbers you drag the carbs down to where you want then and it’ll readjust. Use whatever calc you like, I’ve used every popular one there is, the MAPS one uses a combo of different methods and has also proven the most accurate guesses for me and from what I hear everybody I’ve recommended it to. Me and a buddy have both compared that to our metabolic testing results and it’s near dead on. Every “keto” one I’ve used over shot a bunch of stuff and I wouldn’t loose. But good luck either way.
On the Fiber, Ya, many of us fall apart without it in the diet, for me I ignored if for a long time and believed the “you poop less on keto” and there’s “less waste” when eating no carbs. That ended with a colonoscopy in my 30’s! Fibers back! No issues anymore. My digestion is also way better, less bloating etc. Keto has as much cookie cutter dogma as SAD does. Did you know that more salt and more fat is the answer to every problem you have? LOL!
Yes, my bad, yet still this calc gives 170g protein for me - thats huge difference from my current intake haha, that means eating way more then I do at the moment. Heh, I finally took out the scale again today and measured everything and damn, I was unintentionally undereating, so probably stayed just at MBR level.
Yeah, the fiber thing - it seems like an easy trap to fall into, on keto we cut on carbs as much as we can but fiber mostly comes from carb ingredients as far as I have learned, so seems like net carbs is a way to go, not total, total can stay at 40-50g easily.
Oh my. Yes, eat more protein!!! 50-70g is maybe for tiny girls who are afraid of muscles or people who can’t handle protein well… I might be a tad biased, I love and need my high protein (my lowest-cal days may have adequate protein… but my protein need is tiny, probably a bit below 100g. I can’t eat that little protein, I tried long ago and failed). I hardly can get satiated without 120+ g protein and eating some nice fatty protein is the most enjoyable anyway.
There is science and it’s good to know things but most things are individual.
Some people need fiber, others are thriving with zero (carnivores). My body doesn’t care at all. I had very much, little and zero, no noticeable change.
It’s the same with salt, some people salt everything, even their water and others don’t even use added salt at all (some carnivores, again). We all need sodium, of course but some people are fine with the little in their food naturally.
You change your keto and your needs may change too. So you don’t need exactly what others do with the same stats as they are different, with different pasts and probably a different keto.
You can add fiber without adding total carbs too (pure fibers). And some normal items have a high total and low net carb content (flax seed). But I’ve read it’s not necessarily that clean and anyway, some people need to focus on their total… But many of us are fine with a very high total, net is the important part. And our actual food choices… It’s not all about macros.
Here’s my opinion: something is blocking your body using its own fat stores. What do we know that blocks the body using its fat stores? Insulin. Have you had a fasting insulin test done?
IMHO, it’s likely that you have high insulin resistance, maybe pre-diabetes. For folks like this, it will take a while doing keto to get insulin down, and if it stays high, the symptoms will be exactly what you describe.
Also, another hormone that will keep your insulin high: cortisol, triggered by stress. I have to say, if you are working 16hrs a day, 7 days a week with no vacations, you are asking for big trouble.
It’s difficult to say anything not knowing what your goal and current condition are. But what I can say for sure, you could do with a good integrative nutritionist, just to help you tweak your diet a little bit for you. If you need to lose some significant weight, then, probably, your thyroid needs some support. How do you sleep? What is your cortisol level? Do you work out a little bit? How do you manage your stress? From what I’ve read I think you are perfectionist, and probably you are too stressed out. It means you need to drop these 48 hours fastings, eat 3 times a day and add some moderate workout like yoga.