If you do continue to feel unwell you should see a doctor but here’s hoping things improve
I suggest bok choy. You can eat a lot of bok choy without paying a substantial carb tax. There are less than 2 grams of carbs per 100 grams of it. Bok choy is a ‘super food’, micro-nutrient dense. It tastes good, too.
That said, keep in mind that there is no ‘essential carbohydrate’ and there are no essential nutrients that you can not obtain from fats and proteins. Check out the link I added to your quote above.
Realistic about carbs - inspiration
Thanks for the bokchoy tip. Quick question: is the 20 g of net carbs forever or is it temporary rule until I get fat adapted? Will I be able to increase my carbs to, let’s say 30-40g in the future after being fat adapted without getting kicked out of Ketosis. And if I do get kicked out of Ketosis(when fat adapted) how long does it take to get back into Ketosis? Thanks again
 ”…Dr. Berg explains why people get tired after eating. It has to do with either insulin resistance or low stomach acids. If you have a digestive problem add Apple Cider Vinegar Plus, which has a combination of apple cider vinegar and betaine hydrochloride…”
 “…In this video, Dr. Berg talks about the 7 reasons why you are tired on Ketogenic Diet. He also talks about the ways to improve energy:
- You need more B Vitamins (especially B1 and B5) – these 2 vitamins are crucial in the metabolism and the ability to make energy.
- Increase Potassium (Large Quantities of Vegetables)
- Deficiency of Stomach Acids (Apple Cider Vinegar, Sea Salt, Betaine Hydrochloride )
- Hidden Carbohydrate
- Decreased Blood Sugars (Feeling Tired)
- High Blood Sugar (Tired After Eating)
- Needs More Sleep …”
@Sungl1025 Welcome to the forum. So sorry to hear your diligent efforts haven’t quite yet paid off for you. Hang in there and things will most likely come around with some minor adjustments (I’d put re-evaluating the potassium and backing off on exercise top on the list).
As @amwassil notes, you may not be staying in ketosis very consistently. Many healthy veggies (green leafy, above-ground growing) have only trace amounts of carbs and they’re superb to include in a well-balanced keto diet once you’re fat-adapted. But those carbs can add up quickly if you’re overdoing it.
Question: do you do any blood glucose and ketone testing? You might gain some insights as to what’s happening by checking your levels, both to confirm that you are in fact in ketosis and perhaps to explore whether you may be spiking your glucose from any particular menu item(s).
The 20 g/day carb ceiling is offered as a cap that will push virtually anyone into ketosis if maintained for a while. As for how high you can increase that figure down the road, everyone is different and it depends on your own unique situation (e.g., insulin sensitivity, general health, how long you’ve been fat-adapted, exercise habits, etc…)
And again, as for exercise, many folks going through the fat-adaptation process report that their normal workouts become miserably tough for some period of time (see: Phinney/Volek’s “Art and Science of Low Carb Performance”).
So, given that you’re not approaching any of this from a weight loss perspective (BTW, same with me), if these workouts feel awful, simply stop for a week or two and then try again. It will NOT hurt you to back off on the cardio and/or resistance training while you adapt. You don’t have to be superman with everything at once. For now, just focus on getting the carbs down - and eat only until you’re satisfied.
The fact that you’re sleepy after meals strongly suggests that (1) you are getting more carbs than you think and/or (2) you’re really eating more than would be required to satisfy your true hunger level. Are you feeling stuffed after you eat? If so, try to s-l-o-w down your eating and allow the satiety signals to work. Eating carbs is actually a different experience than not eating carbs… the hormonal signals from our digestive system are different than what we’ve grown accustomed to and you might be missing your sense of being full and satisfied if you’re rushing through to eat everything in front of you … like we do when eating carbs!
Hang in there and keep us posted on developments!
And that’s not going to happen by eating ONLY steak, hamburger and bacon continually for years on end?
Depends on what type of proteins we are talking about, does that include marine life (e.g. iodine), dairy, eggs, lightly cooked glandulars like thyroids (iodine; hard to get that even if you supplement with it) and adrenals (vitamin C), organ meats like liver (vitamin C), only then you are getting all the essential nutrients from protein through carbohydrates and fiber?
Carbohydrates are definitely essential or we would not be alive, animals we eat, eat grass, grains, fiber, bugs and dirt (vitamin B-12; soil based gut flora; plants do contain it depending on the quality of the soil it’s grown in?) etc. and they ferment it into other vitamins through the rumen, reticulum and omasum etc.
So technically and realistically back in the world of reality carbohydrates and fiber are essential to life and anyone making such statements or parroting them as such needs to understand what’s wrong with that logic and needs to gain insight that it does not matter whether carbohydrates or fiber go through you or through the animal, you are still technically eating carbohydrates and fiber? (soil based gut flora is what is lacking in most humans?)
Again: Important distinctions need to be made between highly refined and processed carbohydrates and Whole Foods (natural carbohydrates that include vitamins, minerals and trace elements)?
 “…The human rumen: The cow is a ruminant, and cow’s milk has evolved to promote bacterial growth in the upper small bowel; whereas human milk has evolved to discourage bacterial growth. Examination of the constituents of the two milks shows that their differences can be accounted for in terms of this difference in function. Children who are fed a calf’s diet tend to develop a rumen? …” …More
Realistic about carbs - inspiration
When keto folk say carbs aren’t essential they aren’t saying they aren’t essential to the animals we eat.
They do the hard digesting work for us, and then we eat them . It’s fun being top of the food chain!
Hey Bunny! Go to my carb thread and name one essential carb that humans must eat to survive.
Just to survive?..lol I think I would be more concerned about the quality of my nutrition and life than being under survival mode conditions?
To add to what @SomeGuy said above in his response. My opinion is that concern about carbs is primarily, although not exclusively, a newcomer issue. For some it remains an issue. Because we all ate a high carb diet prior to keto we initially feel like we’ve sacrificed something worthwhile to adopt keto. Eventually, most of us come to realize that was not so. We gained something far better in the exchange and eventually lose interest in carbs. They contain no necessary nutrients. In view of that fact and all the nutritious and varied foods we eventually discover on keto, the concern for how many carbs you can get away with eating fades away.
Thanks so much for the reply. I actually stayed away from the gym after week 1 because it was obvious how bad my strength was. Nowadays I just walk for 1 to 1.5 hrs which is not taxing at all. However I feel the lack of strength in my legs especially when exerting even small but if strength going down stairs.
I will lay off potassium, get some ACV and eat slower.
Strangely enough, there was one day a few weeks back where my hunger was surprisingly low! However this lack of appetite went away completely the following day. I assume it was my body adapting then getting kicked out of Ketosis. Personally this is my least favorite side effect as i can’t afford to lose weight
As far as blood glucose monitoring, I thought about buying it but didn’t want to possibly “waste” money on a diet that wasn’t “working” for me. If 20 g of carbs doesn’t work for me, I will reconsider
@Sungl1025 To ping pong off of what @amwassil said above, this is so true for so many, but it can take time. The idea of not eating my “go to” sandwich breads, chips, potatoes, rice… would have been impossible for me to fathom pre-keto. Now, I simply have no interest nor appetite for these food items.
They’ve been likened to the shipping plastic and cardboard fillers on which real tasty delicious foods are delivered. When you think about it, they’re not the actual flavorful stuff itself. Ever crave a piece of dry bread? Or a plain dry baked potato?
Instead, I now savor all the toppings and fillings (meat, egg, cheese, fats) - not the tasteless packaging they used to arrive in (the bread, potato, etc.).
But this took some time before it finally struck me. And it doesn’t hit everyone the same way. Staying away from artificial sweeteners and not trying to fabricate “keo-friendly” breads and mimick foods as such will probably facilitate this switchover in taste buds, menu habits, and potential cravings.
But especially because you’re so lean (and losing weight is the last thing you are trying to accomplish), I’d simply encourage you to confirm carefully that you’re REALLY not eating too many stealth carbs to keep yourself out of ketosis - ideally measuring, in case you need to begin identifying which are the offending menu items. And of course eating as much healthy saturated animal fats as you can muster to stay well nourished. It’s likely - given your lean physique - you’ve had a fear of fats thus far. Many of us have been raised this way. Sounds like you can certainly afford the calories
Yeah, and give yourself an exercise vacation for a spell - won’t hurt one bit to let your muscles recharge while you focus on switching your metabolism from gas over to diesel.
@Sungl1025 In case you missed this (warning graphic images):
Thanks for sharing. To be completely honest, the more research I do on this diet the more restrictive it feels. Based on what you shared and videos of other YouTube experts, it seems like the keto diet only works if you can stick to it 100%. One cheat meal or day is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Steph Keto Person on YT says one cheat can throw you out of Ketosis for 5 days and make you miserable. This does concern me as I’m a musician who travels a lot and completely avoiding carbs 100% of the time on the road may be difficult for me. Luckily at the moment I have some time off and could afford to do keto for 8 weeks.
What do you guys think about a low carb high fat diet (100g of carbs) as an alternative for those who can’t commit fully to a ketogenic lifestyle? Is it going to lower insulin enough and be enough to fuel workouts and performance?
I’m not saying I’m going to throw in the towel yet, but if I don’t start to improve within the next 2-3 weeks at 15 g, I may start eating some carbs.
Lower carb is better than higher carb.
If you’re metabolically healthy then I think that’s entirely doable & possibly even best in your particular situation. It might be worth going full keto for a few months to ensure you’re fully fat adapted & then slowly adding in some healthy carbs to find your sweet spot.
EDIT TO ADD: As luck would have it, Amy Berger has a new post about keto/low carb & skin issues - there might be something in it for you http://www.tuitnutrition.com/2019/09/insulin-and-skin.html
I think it boils down to how attached you are to what you’ve been eating on SAD. I’m not portraying myself or my personal experience as necessarily typical or exemplary. Then again, I’m sure I’m not a singleton. Briefly here’s my experience.
I started keto in Jan 2017 with a 4-day water fast. I then commenced eating per keto guidelines which included sub-20 grams of net carbs per day. Prior to that I had been eating standard SAD which included fave carb-loaded foods such as: ice cream, frozen yoghurt, potatoes, rice, bread of all sorts, pasta of all sorts, fruits and juices, pizza, corn, potato and veggie chips, beer (I have been a home-brewer my entire adult life!), macadamia cookies. I was never a fan of chocolate, so I never much ate sweets and candies per se. But from day 4 I dropped all of it cold turkey. I never ate any of my fave carb foods for a full year. By then I didn’t miss any of it. Now I have an occasional beer, but none of the other stuff. Don’t even think about it.
I never really had any issues with food. I was never ‘attached’ to food emotionally or psychologically. It was and remains simply ‘fuel’. I eat what I need to function, not to ‘feel good about myself’ or anything like that. The foods I eat on keto are just as likeable and satisfying as all the carb stuff I ate on SAD.
Thus, to me, it’s primarily an attitude adjustment. Unless you’re dealing with real and serious metabolic issues. Fortunately, I never had to do that.
You’ll get out what you put in. If you’re in ketosis or eating low carb almost all of the time but eat carbs sometimes because you’re on the road you’ll still be eating better and after a while you’ll have metabolic flexibility (not so hard to get back to fat burning after having a carb meal). Now if you eat mostly carb meals and then do a keto day here and there, that probably won’t work although I’m sure your body will do well to have a break from sugar/grains on those days.
If you constantly switch back and forth you may feel crumby more often, depending on how easily your body makes the switch. It isn’t true that if you don’t follow it 100% of the time then you shouldn’t even try. Do your best, makes the lowest carb choices when you’re unable to eat keto and listen to your body. Best wishes.
Thanks for the responses guy. I’m so glad I made an account here! Makes me feel like I’m not all alone on this journey.
I just finished dinner and failed to drop carbs under 20g, but managed to keep it at 23.5g. No crazy blood sugar crash but I did feel a slight lull/ light brain fog after lunch. I think this is good progress. I will try cutting carbs further tomorrow.
On the upside, my acne has improved noticeable since going keto, and improves even more when I eat in a tight 19/5 window. And even further with my 48 hr fast. The clearer skin is the primary reason I have remained on this diet despite the struggles. At times, I have felt temporary moments of mental clarity where it felt almost like a mild euphoria? If I could feel like that consistently and get my energy levels up, this diet will be 100% worth it.
The drawbacks are post meal sleepiness, heart palpitations and feeling weakness, all symptoms which I hope will subside when I get fat adapted. Cheers, will continue to push through!
I do want to say that I had a Green Tea (with MCT Oil and Butter) before noon. My glucose is currently around 79 (I’m not checking ketones until supper), which is at the upper end of my average for last week. But, its still a good number, and I seem to have recovered from last night’s accidental sugar consumption. And as of around noon my ketones were around 2.6 mmol. Down from what they were before breaking my fast, and only down a little bit from before the “sugar incident”.
Really, I think the length of time it takes to recover is highly individual. You would need to do experiments to find out where the line is for you. Also, remember, it could vary depending on how pure of a sugar (carb) you are eating. Eating more veggies (or milk) could be totally different from eating the same amount of carbs in donut form, for how you react to it.