How I broke my 3.5 year stall


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #1

OK so I’ve been teasing this for a while. Hope this helps someone. Here’s my 7-day rolling average weight graph from 2017 (over a year after I started LCHF) to today:

If I may draw your attention to the right side of that graph, you’ll notice when I began a slight change of diet, as advised by my doctor. That steep cliff began just 37 days ago, or a bit over 5 weeks.

I wish I’d started earlier so I could show you more data. I also don’t have my blood results back but I’ll append them below as they come in. Tomorrow I’m checking insulin, CRP, ALT (and expecting a drop in all 3) and then in a couple of months I’ll have a more comprehensive set of blood panels so, if you like, you can learn from my self-experimentation.

Why did I put it off so long? My doctor put me on a low lectin diet, primarily because he saw that I might have some autoimmune issues resulting from my diet – but all the “flavours” of his diet begin with 2 weeks of strict carnivore. This seemed daunting, because frankly I like my cappuccinos, so I waited forever to begin, but I’m very glad I did. Following the initial carnivore induction period, you add 1 ingredient from an approved list every 3 days. And so I did. It’s basically an elimination diet.

What was I doing wrong before? Frankly, we’re still figuring out if the lectin issue is relevant in my case; I actually think the problem with my stall was a lot less exotic than all that:

  • 3 half-and-half cappuccinos in the early afternoon most days. Too much lactose. Might have been fine if I was just doing cream, but the milk is killer.
  • Snacking. Lots of grazing on cheese and peanut butter intermittently between “meals.” I was only really having 1 big meal per day, but lots of snacking.
  • Late night eating, late night snacking.
  • Cheating with high carb stuff too often.
  • Regularly consuming dark chocolate… that wasn’t dark enough. First I started with 100% dark choc, years ago. Slowly, that percentage of cocoa mass crept down!

So for the past few weeks, I’ve been eating meat, cauliflower, eggs, and I added goat cheese and goat butter and a couple of other things. No alcohol, no coffee, nothing. Super clean eating.

I am reminded of my initial weight loss in 2016, which is not included in the above graph. I dropped 10kg in 10 weeks and was eating super super clean. Feels good!

Not sure how long the rapid weight loss will continue, but I’ll keep you updated. Maybe this will inspire someone to recommit to really clean eating. It might just break your stall!


The last 10 pounds
My progress, saturated fat, cholesterol, and the long term
Troubleshooting after 4.5 years LCHF. Help?
(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #2

I’ve just bumped 3 old threads, because I thought some folks may be interested in an update. Hope this is ok!


(Butter Withaspoon) #3

Fantastic progress Gabe, especially after such a long stall. You must be pleased!


(Bob M) #4

Nice work! That drop certainly looks impressive, and if you feel good, that’s always a bonus.


(Bob M) #5

By the way, I’m trying to test the A1/A2 protein dairy issue. Lately, I’ve been eating goat cheese (A2 protein) at lunch (my first meal), to see what happens. I cannot tell any detriment.

Lunches the last three days: hamburger patties; beef suet (raw, from frozen); goat cheese; Tajin clasico seasoning.


(Robin) #6

Sounds like you finally decided to truly go keto. All of your bullet points show a non-keto diet. Congrats… You got this.


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #7

Pretty much. I’ve eaten very strict ketogenic before, though when I lost the first 10kg I was eating mangoes, so keto isn’t strictly necessary to lose fat. A year later, I went very strict ketogenic and dropped a few kg, but then stalled again. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again!


#8

This is so interesting. I’m kind of like you @gabe although I rarely eat chocolate and now almost always use heavy cream rather than half and half in lattes.

I haven’t lost more than a few pounds of water weight on the keto diet, after a year and a half. I don’t have much to lose so maybe this is not unexpected. And I’ve pretty much stayed in low ketosis the entire time, according to the pee sticks.

At some point, I will cut out the lattes, snacking and cheese. My guess is that this will also result in weight loss for me as well. I’ll report back if I ever muster the self control to do this!


#9

Awesome, Gabe! Glad you were able to pinpoint those factors and eliminate them. So glad you posted this, as it serves as a great reminder for others- myself included. Keep up the good work!!! YAY!


(Bob M) #10

I’d guess this will help. The only thing you won’t know is which one actually helped. If I had to guess, I’d assume snacking is the worst contributor. After that, it’s hard to tell.


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #11

Yep, I actually think dairy may be a challenge for me (as it is for many people on these forums). Certainly the sugar creep was an issue. But I suspect meal timings and snacking were particularly important factors impeding my progress.

I think we know when we’re not “eating clean.” While I may never find the perfect balance, I’m guessing that if I ever find my weight creeping up, I can always just go back to strict induction, or even carnivore. It just works!


#12

First… Congrats on the breaking your never ending stall, been there and it sucks! BUT… don’t you think this stuff probably had a lot more to do with it that the dietary change itself? I left out the cappuccinos because I drink milk regularly now (raw) for the benefits of it, hasn’t caused an issue for me, and I’m lactose intolerant (allegedly). Grated we’re all different, but for me cheese, peanut butter and chocolate were absolutely killing me when I ate them more regularly. Especially peanut butter, HUGE binge trigger for me.


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #13

Yeah, maybe I wasn’t clear, but I was trying to foreground the most important things that I think I was doing wrong before I started the latest doctor-prescribed dietary change. I guess what I’m saying is that I can’t be sure which of these was most important. Like, if I’d continued drinking coffee+alcohol but stopped snacking and late night eating, would I have had the success I’ve had? I’m reintroducing things slowly, but I may never know, because the effects are subtle and longer term, so it just seems easier to say, ok, now I’m back to eating clean and being very strict for the moment. You know?


#14

that is the biggest issue right there.

we all let the carb creep come and sometimes we literally choose things we think are ‘less destructive’ like alcohol and fancy drinks and more that seem oh so less than eating a ton of actual crap food but you add it all up…boom

cleaning up your menu is key. You weren’t in a stall at all :slight_smile: You were fighting to gain back cleaner eating but luckily you did ok thru it all and now you cleaned it up and took back your control…great job!

I did it on carnivore. I let ‘a few things’ back in I could handle and ‘pretend I could get away with’ and in the end ya can’t and once I cleaned up my menu like you did I just started losing again and hit my stride again.

Nice thing about strict carnivore as elimination diet is when you add back you can truly again see how things effect you.

Keep up the great work in progress that is you!!


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #15

I’m actually finding that berries, 100% dark chocolate, and late-night eating may be contributing to another mini-stall. So I’m calibrating again. Agree completely about carnivore elimination diet as a global reset.

The 4-year graph is deceptive:

The 6-month graph tells the real story:


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #16

Update: the fat loss continued until I gave myself permission to go back to some old habits during lockdown. The weight “gain” has been a few hundred grams so it’s no big deal but it’s very clear these old habits have had an impact.

Those habits:

  • Late night snacking
  • 90% dark choc with allulose
  • Not eating just 2x per day
  • Plenty of alcohol
  • Coffee with heavy cream
  • Dairy reintroduced, notably cheese

Very hard to say which of these has been the biggest contributor. If I were to guess, I’d say the alcohol and food timing are culprits. I intend on returning to 2x/daily eating, no alcohol, no coffee, no sweeteners, no dairy in the coming weeks.


(Laurie) #17

Thanks, Gabe! I do some of these myself, and I seem to be doing them more and more. Comfort food, stress eating, food as entertainment … I need to change my ways.


#18

I have similar points except the alcohol (I never put any limit on it as it’s negligible) and I barely eat chocolate and that is homemade, no sweetener (or just a little, like 10g for a jar that lasts for months?). Those are surely no culprits.
And the others are limited so they should be fine but if they all happen at the same time or when I get too relaxed, that’s different.
Not like I couldn’t stall my fat-loss on pure carnivore, I have (over)eating skills but it would require some serious effort or bad food choices not to lose fat slowly then. But if I relax my ways here and there, I should be very careful. It’s better to do it very occasionally while my default woe should be some stricter carnivore-ish (I rarely go for 100%, that’s not my style, unnecessary and too strict).
I really suspect dairy is a potential tiny problem factor. As it adds too much fat without satiation. I do keep it low but things gets add up and I have very little room to be relaxed. Unless I go for OMAD, I can afford (and often need) some not so satiating food then, in moderation. So I actually have slightly different rules for OMAD and TMAD days.


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #19

Yes. I now think that the standard protocol if someone complains of a stall is to go to a strict 2 meals per day protocol, and in fact the carnivores may enjoy hearing me say that a 2 week pure carnivore induction period may be the best way to go. If that’s not tolerable, then carnivore + 1 or 2 low carb veg.

In my case, in future I think I will revert back to what I know works: carnivore (no dairy!) plus cauliflower and a couple of other green veg, some berries, and that’s about all. A bit of garlic if I’d like to spice things up. Perhaps eggs. 2 meals/day. No late night eating.


(Bob M) #20

Dairy is one of those things I’m still unsure about. For instance, I’ve been testing A2 cheeses (goat’s milk, sheep’s milk), adding them to certain lunches (of meat). If there is a detriment, I cannot find it.

But I know of many who say even this is bad for them.