Gabe's - "eat more fat newbies" post and videos - Epiphany moment for me

(Art ) #1

So I am a total newbie to this and am having some success but not as much as I want. Gabe’s post and the two ‘you tube’ videos near the top of that thread had the same effect as the ‘stop eating sugar and carbs’ videos I watched 2 months ago did. Those videos had me changing my diet and reversing my Type II in less than 2 weeks.

The number 1 point - this is only about those wanting to lose fat. Not for those near or at their desired weight goal.

Here’s the reality as far as I can tell - when you first start Keto - you go in thinking “I have carte blanche to eat all of the bacon (nuts, cheese, salad dressing, etc) I want”.

This chart really drives the point home but Phinney is way too generous IMHO in the carbs @ 10%.

I don’t know what knocks me in or out of ketosis but I do know (at least for me) that once on this diet the slightest amount of sugar would skyrocket my BS in a way that entire plates of pasta and huge bowls of ice cream never did when I was type II. A few raisins, 1 bite of a banana and bam! 300+ readings. I learned that early on. Don’t cheat. You might as well tie your hands behind your back and stab golf pencils into your eyes by repeatedly slamming your face into the concrete.

Like most I started out eating a shed load of bacon and stopped trimming the fat off of steaks or eating chicken with the skin. I roasted 2 ducks and ate all of the skin from both before harvesting the meat for freezing. I ate whole avocados, small bowls of nuts and had frustrations because I wasn’t seeing the weight come off fast enough. “Of course not dummy” I said to myself… “if you really want to lose 20lbs of ugly unwanted fat you should cut off your head.”

Turns out the metabolic equation doesn’t magically change just because you’re on keto. Duh.

Look at the chart above - the “Adapt” stage aka the “lose fat” but not the “consume fat” stage. 1400 calories a day. Very little carbs ( I believe even less as they sneak in so many doors ) some dietary fat but… wait for it… wait for it… UNLEASH HELL! A shed load of body fat! Exactly what we want.

So keto at its essence is not only low carbs and sugar but low calories and EQUALLY SO and important… er uh… CRITICAL for those wanting to lose body fat.

I tend to stock up on things (besides the energy reserves I’ve been carrying around on my body the last 15 years) and didn’t really care how lean the bacon I bought was when I first started keto. But now I do again. Here’s a photo of 4.4 oz of fat I cut off of a 1lb of bacon.

I am making changes like this across the board. A whole avocado is now a half, protein intake is adjusted to my current weight, dressings are measured out, bacon consumption is cut in half, instead of 1 or 2 duck eggs it’s 1 only from now on, etc. etc.

And here’s the good news to the best of my understanding.

The body isn’t 100% efficient about putting weight on but is very efficient about taking it off. You can glutton out 3500 excess calories a day and won’t add a 1lb a day. But for every time you have a 3500 calorie deficit that’s 1lb coming off.

That little plate of trimmed bacon fat is more than 1000 calories or about 1/3 of a pound extra fat I will lose. (let’s not go down the ‘bacon grease on the pan, and paper towel’ wormhole right now - yeah we all know and get it Mr. Science)

Last but not least track your activity level. Buy any basic watch ( I have the Polar M600 ) and track and raise your activity level. The simple metabolic math really works well on Keto because it’s much more realistic when you eliminate carbs and sugars (aka bad calories).

(John) #2

No matter how you slice it, if you want to lose body fat, you have to get your body to use up your body fat stores.

The early phase of a low-carb / ketogenic diet is specifically intended to re-calibrate your body to where it can easily use fat (stored or dietary) as a fuel source after having been used to a constant supply of glycogen.

That early stage, which is also when people can feel fatigued and hungry, is when it is most important to give your body enough dietary fat to get you past that time, even if it means you won’t lose much weight beyond the initial water weight loss that goes as the associated stored glycogen goes.

It is when your body starts transitioning to being able to efficiently use fat stores as fuel that you have to then start creating that energy deficit. Assuming you are keeping carbs low, and keeping protein consumption steady based on your lean mass, then the only macro-nutrient you can adjust is fat.

So you have to cut back on the dietary fat to get your body to burn stored fat. Whether you do this by intentional counting of food grams, or just by going with a natural appetite suppression and eating less (if you get this effect, not everyone does), you do end up eating less food.

I have always understood that food-intake reduction is the key to weight loss. The reason a low-carb diet works for me is the natural appetite suppression and fairly constant energy levels once the fat-adaptation is underway.

(Art ) #3

Agree 100% with your post. But when you look at some of those plates of food photos stacked 4" high with eggs bacon and sausages - one has to wonder what stage exactly they are on. Just sayin…

(John) #4

They may be eating one meal a day. They may still have significant amounts of weight to lose and that is still enough to create an energy deficit for them.

I don’t know how accurate the BMR calculators are, but according to them, I now need 650 fewer calories per day to maintain my current weight than I did when I started. That is an entire decent-sized meal I have to cut out, just to maintain my current weight, compared to maintaining my heavier weight.

So clearly, some food reduction is required. I can’t keep eating the calorie load of a 320 pound person down here under 220. But I also can’t eat at a maintenance level here at 220 if I want to get to 180. So more has to go.

(Bob M) #5

Yes, you should not look at one plate of food and gauge anything at all.

I personally wouldn’t cut fat from bacon, in fact, I think that’s sacrilegious. I just eat less bacon. In fact, I rarely eat bacon now. I eat more ham (gotta find a variety with low carb). I don’t worry about protein, I eat as much of it as I want. But I also lift weights and do HIIT.

Personally, I think “moving” is overrated and just makes you hungry. I rode my bike 60+ miles every week in the summer, while gaining 90+ pounds. I parked away from the store and walked, did all those things you’re supposed to do and still gained weight. I stopped eating carbs, and lost weight. I reduced my exercise and still lost weight, especially when I added IF/fasting to the mix. I like to exercise and have increased my times for HIIT and even go – gasp! – jogging on the weekends, but I have no hope this will help me in losing weight. If anything, if you’re a slave to the scale, you might GAIN weight. If it does help me lose weight, it has nothing to do with calories, but with hormones.

(Art ) #6

Granted they could be OMADs but some of those plates are Cheesecake Factorish in caloric values. I don’t see anywhere in Phinney’s chart where those levels of caloric intakes are warranted. You’d really have to be training hard and training often.

(John) #7

I don’t pay much attention to what or how much other people are eating (including on the forums), other than to get some interesting recipe ideas. I can manage portion size for myself. I know what does and does not work for me.

They may be having great success with huge meals. Not something I spend time thinking about.


This is a great post, but let me ask the (at least to me) an obvious question. According to Dr. Fung and others, daily calorie deficit diets cause a loss of RMR and a slowing of weight & fat loss and hence the reason to watch carbs over calories. Am I missing something or (maybe more importantly) misunderstand something about calorie reduction diets and why they don’t work?


Impact of energy intake and exercise on resting metabolic rate

Does Dieting Increase or Decrease Metabolic Rate?

Dr. Fung - Counting Calories Is A Ridiculous Way To Try And Lose Weight

Dr. Fung - The calorie theory of obesity has been perhaps one of the greatest failures in the history of medicine.

(Karen) #9

Phinney He works with a slightly different population. Jason fung tends to work with those who are more metabolically deranged. Phinney works with athletes more I think or at least he did

(CharleyD) #10

Phinney doesn’t push IF or EF, and yes like @Keto6468 says, he’s spent a lot of time working with athletes prior to Virta. Fasting truly is not mandatory for Keto and he’d be one to argue that.

Yeah I eat OMAD as my default WOE and get the looks, too! Usually a comment of ‘This will last me until this time tomorrow’ gets the gears turning in those wise enough to listen. And I so enjoy not being hangry all the time.

(John) #11

Fung also acknowledges weight loss is from caloric reduction. He just does it by alternating periods of fasting.

He advocates periods of no food followed by periods of normal or above normal food. So figure alternate day fasting, where you eat zero one day, then 3000 calories the next. Average over 2 days is still 1500 per day, which for me would be a deficit of about 500 per day based on theoretical BMR (not counting other expenditure).

That’s certainly a valid approach if you want to do it that way.

From some of the linked articles, here’s an interesting quote:

In fact, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center study found that when participants combined a calorie-restricted diet with exercise, they staved off a decrease in RMR until the six-month mark.

So - still calorie reduction, along with exercise. So the standard “eat less and move more” advice, which is probably actually worthwhile advice for people with healthy metabolisms who just need to lose a small amount of weight - just to adjust that balance point downwards a bit. Note that they apparently had a decrease in RMR anyway, just delayed.

Fact is - your body resists weight loss. You’re going to reduce RMR when trying to lose weight. Some because of the normal “200 pound person needs fewer calories than 300 pound person”, but also part is the body’s attempt to resist the loss.

That is why it is important to maintain a loss for a full year, once you achieve it, to let your body’s RMR and set-weight point recalibrate to the new weight.

(Art ) #12

@Keto6468 This could be a reason Phinney appeals more to me.

@MD500_Pilot IDK - I am only trying to relay my experience, a few sources and the how and why it works for me and why I am making modifications.

@JohnH I don’t care what others are doing either but I do believe that a rising tide raises all boats. There are people here that are ‘stuck’, plateaued’ and other “why isn’t this working?” states of being. I am trying to help others by paying it forward. If this helps you, great. If it doesn’t - nothing to see here.

Just as big sugar, big pharma defend their interests with repetitive messaging just short of brain washing. (Hell we’ve all been dry cleaned when you get down to it) I am not here to challenge anyone’s beliefs regardless how strong they want to fight for them and whether they’re right or wrong.

Maybe what I write helps someone, one person is all I need to pay my karmic debt for others helping me.

(CharleyD) #13

This lynchpin in Fung’s method is that serum Growth Hormone is increased while fasting, and not while eating a calorie restricted SAD diet. That HGH will spare lean muscle, and the lowered insulin from carb restriction will unlock body fat for usage.

His MO will always be that it’s better to eat nothing than too little.

(Art ) #14

Even as a giant fatty, I trained for and did a triathlon a few years ago. Being in Texas we often rode from 7:30 - 9:30 in the evenings when it was cooler and the sun wasn’t beating down on us. I’d go to bed with an elevated heart rate and burn 3000 calories overnight on top of the 4500 during the exercise. These are huge numbers but keep in mind we’re talking about a 370 lb man riding at 20-25mph. My genetics and fitness at the time allowed. RMR is a calorie burning monster when you have a 2 hour intense work out before going to bed.

(Carl Keller) #15

Exactly. When I realized i was fat adapted, I greatly reduced how much dairy and nuts I was eating. It worked out to around 300 calories less per day without affecting my hunger. I still ate fatty meats and way-more-than-suggested-amounts of protein and was able to lose weight at a steady clip.

(John) #16

Right. There is sort of a standard on-ramp for a low-carb ketogenic way of eating that pretty much everyone needs to follow. 20g of carbs per day, get plenty of protein, eat enough fat to not be hungry all the time, and ride it out.

Once you have merged into traffic, so to speak, you have to kind of find your own lane and speed that works for you. To overdo the analogy - We are all driving different vehicles, with different sized motors, fuel tanks, tires, more or less wear and tear, more or less cargo and passengers. We even have different destinations and reasons for making the trip.

So once you get on the road and start driving, you kind of have to figure out how fast and hard you want to drive, whether it’s worth getting off the road to see the world’s biggest ball of twine, whether you are going to go white-knuckle in the fast lane, or a slow drive and enjoy the scenery.

I am doing OK so far with daily eating what I consider moderate amounts of food, chosen from low and no-carb options. If that ever stops working for me, I will probably look at doing something more like 1x or 2x weekly 36-hour fasts, to provide the caloric deficit, while eating at full maintenance intake on the other days, to keep metabolic rate up. Right now, a 1x per month fast seems to be enough to recalibrate my eating habits.



I do understand IF which is why I was asking about daily calorie deficit diets which Fung does not advocate (or at least in all of the videos I have watched of him) which is what I thought this approach was advocating. I am very new to this so I am trying to gain as much understanding as possible.

@ArtMeursault - I understand that we are each different and that you were sharing what works for you, just trying to ride your coattails so-to-speak a bit in gaining understanding and more information.


This is a great analogy!

(PJ) #19

I think it’s that not-eating sparks growth hormone (mentioned above) which allegedly protects muscle and RMR where as *under-*eating does not.

(John) #20

Agreed, he does not advocate daily calorie restriction. He is about time restricted eating, allowing insulin levels to fall and stay in the “fat using” range for long enough periods to where you burn some stored body fat during those fasting times (whether that is just between meals, overnight, or over several days).

The other ways to avoid or at least minimize a reduction in metabolic rate are to exercise (in particular muscle-building exercise, to increase lean mass that burns more energy at rest), and to lose weight fairly slowly so your body can keep up with the changes.

Here’s a good article that at least explains the components of metabolism pretty well. Essentially:

  • It takes fewer calories to run a 180 pound body than it does a 300 pound body, so that is unavoidable slowdown
  • It takes fewer calories to digest less food, so you lose some the thermic effect of food

I don’t know of any magic cures. My plan is that when I get to a stable weight that I can maintain without heroic efforts, I will try to maintain that for a full year to hopefully make it a new set-weight point and that my metabolism will adjust to that weight.

Like I said several times, I EAT NORMAL AMOUNTS OF FOOD when I eat. Just not huge amounts. People tend to overestimate what a portion is until they spend some time measuring and weighing. I tend to eat 2 meals a day, mainly out of convenience. I don’t often snack between meals.

If you have some trick where I can eat my full daily calorie needs and still lose weight, I’m all for it. But I am pretty sure that SOMEHOW you have to create a deficit to get the body to give up those long-term stores that it put aside for a rainy day.