I really could use some help before I give up on Keto


This is my last, desperate attempt to make Keto work for me.

25 years ago I lost 70 lbs on the low-carb diet and hit 3+ lbs weight loss each week.

Now I’m older, have less muscle, I’ve gained it all back. I’ve tried low carb a half a dozen times along the way and it simply stopped working.

Keto doesn’t seem to be working either. I lost a quick 7 or 8 lbs of water weight and ever since, my weight has been maintaining… or slightly gaining.

I have been eating a lot of dairy, mostly cheese - as side dishes or snacks. I’ve read that too much protein can cause the body to process it into sugar? What???

Typical day:
2 cups of coffee with about 2g carbs each in sugar free creamer (HWC not an option personally)
Breakfast: 6 cracker-sized slices of cheddar or colby
Lunch: Frozen Atkins meal, usually about 6g “net” carbs
Dinner: Steak with brussel sprouts./butter OR a taco or fajita salad, cheese on the side
Late night snack: Pork Rinds and for a sweet tooth an Atkins bar

Ok yes I could cut a few carbs off of that but I don’t see it causing weight gain.

I keep reading things like too much protein is bad, or, calorie free sweeteners are bad, or, dairy is bad, etc. But when I lost all that weight originally I was killing diet sodas like a mad man and even cheating with croutons in my salads and eating whatever I wanted 1 day per week. I can’t see how, since I’m being pretty strict about this, that the diet would just stop working entirely.

One difference now as opposed to then is Splenda instead of Equal.

Here are a few issues I have and I’m looking for a way to sustain this diet and still have a decent quality of life.

I need convenient foods that are available at the local grocery store.
I don’t want to spend half my life cooking - so things like pre-packaged cheese sticks and pork rinds are necessary though I’m open to suggestions for other stuff.

Sorry I’m rambling. I’m so frustrated. I can succeed on a 1200 calorie diet but the problem is I get hungry at 10pm when I’ve already hit the calorie limit. So I switched to Keto, I’m giving this one last shot, so that I can eat some guilt-free food when I get cravings.

Thanks for any recommendations and advice.


(Jody) #2

Have you read any of Dr Jason Fung? His program is all about fasting. In his clinic, people follow all kinds of different diet protocols (that may not be a popular thing to say here lol). The way he tells his story is that he started with trying to have his patients do low carb but had problems with patients staying with it, so then he started fasting them. Some folks can’t/won’t do low carb. Our bodies and our paths are all different, it’s finding what works for you part of the journey, frustrating as it can be.

I started with fasting, then weirdly grew into low carb only because it made fasting easier. The combination is pretty powerful.

Check out his website or books! They have changed my life. I am down 2 pant sizes and off my T2D medication.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #3

Hi Tommy, you might not want to hear this but a keto diet can’t really work based on lots of cheese and pork rinds, in other words pre packaged foods. Atkins foods are junk foods. Some lazy keto practitioners seem to eat a lot of spam, sausages, bacon, cold cuts cheese, tinned fish like sardines, anchovies,salmon and tuna and throw in some hard boiled or fresh cooked eggs and you’ll be good to go. It works for some people but I personally can’t live a lifestyle like that for very long. It’s easy to stew some beef or pork in a big batch with a crockpot, cook one day a week for the week or other strategies that will still be easy and tasty. You can steam some broccoli and heat some pre cooked meat in 5-10 minutes for a meal and it would take longer to go out and get something less healthy for you.

Keto should be based on real single ingredient foods in my opinion to get the full benefits this has for someone older (like us). To reap the full benefits you have to adopt this as a new way of eating and living. If you go back to eating as you were it’s a downhill slope. Weight loss will come but your body’s metabolism is deranged at this point and needs healing. Give it time, you didn’t get where you are in a few weeks or months.

You should strive to eat a good meal and not snack at all. Eat enough to get you through. Snacking is habitual and not necessary. The idea is to keep insulin low as much of the day as possible. Keto is about fixing hormonal imbalances.

I have lost 36 lbs. since last September and beaten down pre diabetes. I’m almost 60 and a kidney transplant recipient and right leg amputee, I am feeling great again because of keto, weight loss as a pleasant side dish. :cowboy_hat_face:

(*Tame Those Ghrelin Gremlins) #4

Hello. Not going to add too much only elaborate on previous post, Keto should be real foods. Avoid artificial sweeteners, prepacked and preprocessed foods.

Try to avoid snacking, stick to eating at meals only. The longer between meals the better. I’ve learned you only get out of Keto what you put into it. If you’re not willing to make the effort of cooking and preparing natural foods it will be hard to lose weight imo.

(PSackmann) #5

Hi Tommy, I feel your frustration. Weight loss was so much easier when we’re younger.

Dairy can indeed be an issue, also look at the Atkins meals with “net” carbs. If they’re relying on sugar alcohols to bring it down to 6, that may or may not be true for you. Not to mention, artificial sweeteners do affect insulin levels, even if they don’t affect blood sugar levels.

I’ll second the recommendation of Dr. Jason Fung. Read The Obesity Code to get a good understanding of the science behind a ketogenic diet in combination with fasting of varying degrees. It’s worth the time

(Full Metal KETO AF) #6

@Azure I know, I started to feel like I was starting my own keto book! :joy:


Yeah, this can happen, if your body needs the glucose. But it’s not something to worry about.

Your carbs may be on track, but this doesn’t sound like a lot of food and very little protein. Sometimes, if people are undereating too much then their bodies just hold on to everything.

In how many weeks or months? Normal rate of loss is 1–2 lbs./week. So, if you’ve been at this a month, you’re doing okay. You aren’t going to have the same rate of loss that you had when you were young due to differing hormones and muscle mass.

I know a lot of of people are saying keto “should” be “real” foods. To be “keto” you need to eat few enough carbs that your body is in ketosis. Period. You don’t need to eat certain types of foods or avoid packaged foods or eat organic, grass-fed whatever to be keto. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. However, things like Atkins bars do contain sugar alcohols which are not included in their “net” carb counts. People who test regularly have noticed that these can boost their blood glucose levels, even though they’re not “supposed” to. If I would suggest cutting anything right now, it would be that.

Keeping going, eat well, and eventually things will start to work.

(Lori) #8

Hello Tom- Welcome! I am sure you will get all kinds of wonderful suggestions here, and they will all be very good advice and what has worked for each person individually. For me I am similar to you in I am not a fan of cooking, I like to eat, get it over with and move on. That being said the first thing I do notice is that I don’t think you are eating enough. I too eat an Atkins for lunch each day…I have eaten my weight in pork rinds…so much cheese I should squeak like a mouse and have lost 45.5 lbs in less then 11 months. I only eat the occasional Atkins bar if I am on the road, it should be IMHO not a dessert…go for some Low carb ice cream or berries if you must satisfy that “sweet tooth”. Eating at 10 pm should be off limits…for me I have to use strict rules…no eating past 3 hours before bedtime. I believe at 10 pm it’s habit not hunger. They say it takes 3 weeks to make or break a habit! You can do it!! All the best!! Lori (20 lbs to go!)

(George) #9

Hey Tommy,

I’ve been on it for 4 months now and down almost 50 lbs. Best advice I can give you is definitely cut back on the cheese. At most, I have the equivalent of about 3 slices per day, give or take. I don’t know what’s in a frozen Atkins meal, but I would replace that with something home cooked. Same for the bar, eliminate the sweets, at least for the time being.

I totally understand you not wanting to spend a lot of time cooking, so what I do is I spend 3 hours every Sunday prepping my food for the week. Trust me, this makes daily living way easy. I keep it simple, so a few boiled eggs and few slices of bacon with a string cheese for lunch, and dinner is usually 6 ounces or so of chicken or steak, cooked with butter, with vegetables cooked in butter or drizzled in olive oil, along with sour cream or other form of fat, and I eat an avocado with every dinner as well.

You also need to try to hone in on your perfect eating window, i.e., eating all your food within an 8 hour window, or a 4 hour window, etc.,

I switch back and forth between 2 meals in an 8 hour window, or 1 meal per day.

As far as the late night snacking, I too get a little hungry before I go to bed at 10pm, best thing to do, in my opinion, is just have a glass of water, or, eliminate snacks from your cupboard for a while to resist temptation. The only “snack” item I buy is peanut butter, and occasionally 2 tablespoons and a glass of water does the job.

I’m by no means a pro at keto or all the science behind it (although I’m familiar with quite a bit of it), but I can only share what I’ve tried and what has worked for me.



Are you taking any medication? So much as one little pill could stop weight loss completely. It depends…

Have you had a Thyroid Function Test lately? Keto assumes normal thyroid function otherwise all bets are off.

Artificial sweeteners can effect some people, yet not others.

Are you counting carbs with a decent app or giving it your best guess?

Don’t worry about protein and fat, make sure you nail the carbs. A steak/chicken/fish … with veggies will nail the numbers.

Less processed food is better than “bars”, right?

For the first couple of weeks I followed Dr Eric Westman’s regime. It’s a little more restrictive than most but he wants it to work “first time, every time”. I started with 20g Total (not Net) carbs and those carbs were mostly from green leafy vegetables, not keto cakes or keto ice-cream. No processed food, no artificial sweeteners, … yes the 1st week was a rude shock to my carb addicted system by soon my appetite and taste changed so then it became pretty easy and could hover near to 20g Net carbs …

Glad I stuck with it …

(Full Metal KETO AF) #11

You’re absolutely correct, especially if quick fast weight loss is your only goal.

My argument for single ingredient real foods is the best way to know exactly what you’re eating, and Tommy seemed like his way wasn’t working and that because of aging the usual low carb Atkins style approach wasn’t working. I think for real healing to take place everyone agrees there are good and poor food choices. We all agree no seed oils. We all agree that while technically keto it wouldn’t be healthy to eat 20 grams of sugar with 78 grams of protein powder and 9 tablespoons of crisco oil a day with a vitamin pill. My point is that food should be fuel and building blocks to support recomposition of your body to reap the full benefits keto has to offer us.

I forgot to say @TommyBoyy that the “lazy keto” comment that I made wasn’t directed at you or anyone as a negative, it’s a common term on the forum for people who don’t like either cooking or other times and more often people who only count carbs and eat to satiety. I do wish you the best. :cowboy_hat_face:

(Pete A) #12

I don’t know your height and weight etc but 1200 sounds pretty low! What is making you aim for that?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #13



Some suggestions to try.
The creamers likely have sugar even if they claim to be sugarfree (corn syrup probably) watch for that and find something that is truly sugar free
Cut down on the cheese - replace with eggs- you can cook eggs in minutes or you can precook boiled eggs and eat those. Add fat
I think the frozen Atkins meals are fine. They tend to be low on fat so do not be afraid to add egg salad or something to them
Good but add enough fats so you do not get hungry later. The fewer times you eat the better. Secret is to eat enough fats so that you can cut down on meals
Drink water

Other advice: Forget before this is now and now is different. And good luck


Thanks for taking the time (that goes for everyone). I lost the 7-8 lbs in like 10 days. Have struggled ever since.

Ok. So I will eliminate the Atkins bars and see if that makes a difference. But I’ve run directly into the problem I had before which motivated me to try Keto. My late night cravings. If I don’t satisfy them, I can’t sleep and if I toss and turn in the bed thinking about food, I raid the pantry at 3am and have to start all over again. That hasn’t happened since adding Atkins bars but I can see they can keep me out of ketosis. I’ve been on Keto for 3 months, taking a day or 2 off every 3 weeks, and I don’t think I’ve ever hit ketosis.

I’m getting the feeling after reading everything everyone’s saying that our body’s are different. Sugar alcohols might mess me up while they don’t affect the next person. Or lots of cheese may cause me trouble but not the next guy.

Again, I can succeed with low calorie and it’s much easier to do, but the problem is late night hunger. And now it’s my problem again. Sardines or a boiled egg don’t exactly cut it late at night with the munchies.

I appreciate your consideration and advice! I’ll keep at this.


I’ll remember this… thank you!


I think I’m going to try something new but it will be difficult at first. I am going to try pushing all my meals later. Especially lunch and dinner. I’m a late niter and go to bed a midnight. So maybe I should eat a bigger lunch and a little later, so I won’t feel like eating dinner until 8 or 9pm. That way I’ll be full until I go to bed and no more horrible late night cravings. I’ll tinker with this!

(Khara) #18

Hi. Lots of good stuff in the replies above. As you gathered, yes, everyone is different! It can be confusing and overwhelming to try and implement it all. My suggestion would be to just, breathe.

Next, stop comparing your current self to your younger self. You just simply aren’t the same physiologically anymore. Look ahead, not back.

Now, keep it simple. A suggestion was made above for simple one or two ingredient whole food meals. This is an excellent simple way to get started and get some time under your belt. I know you’ve got 3 months in. Start now, again. Keep it simple. Simple foods. Eggs and bacon are a great meal any time of day. Steak or roast or chicken thighs (any fatty meat) and a veggie with lots of butter are also an easy meal. Find a couple or few easy options and just stick with those for a good amount of time. Like a month, then tweak and add more options in. Find something you can make plenty of leftovers of and maybe replace the frozen dinner.

Next, try to lessen and eliminate that midnight snack. Do this by eating plenty during the day. Eat when hungry, stop when satisfied but not stuffed. It will take time. Some days will be better than others. Just keep trying. If you do have a restless night, have a bunch of hard boiled eggs ready in the fridge. If really hungry, have one of those with salt/pepper. As time goes by the midnight snacking will probably disappear. As for the other snacks like cheeses, I too needed these early on. I’d suggest eat them if absolutely hungry and unable to get a meal going. But, keep in mind trying for meals most often. As time went by, my need for cheese snacks went away all together.

Good luck!


The cravings are because you’re not eating enough at your meals, and there’s a good chance you’re not getting enough protein. 1) Eat more. 2) When you have cravings, don’t eat sweet things, even things that should be “safe.” Eat protein, like leftover chicken or steak, maybe some cheese or some nuts. I’d suggest you try to stop eating anything that tastes sweet until you no longer have food cravings. It’s vicious cycle.

This is a big part of the equation. We get that people aren’t perfect, but until you’re truly fat-adapted (no more cravings!), every time you “take a day off” you set yourself back several days.

Well, the best way to know what you’re eating is to track it. Also, Tommy isn’t asking about healing, he’s asking about weight loss. There’s a huge assumption on these forums that everyone has diabetes or other serious health issues. Some of us are just fat.

Personally, I prefer eating whole foods, but lots of people like the convenience of prepared foods and that can be just fine for what he’s trying to accomplish. I don’t disagree that eliminating vegetable oils and other things can be beneficial, but all of this food perfection can be very over-whelming for some people. People can reap the benefits of limiting seed oils, sugar, wheat, etc. and not eat keto. It’s confusing to many people to conflate the two things. One step at a time!

And there’s no sense in overly dramatizing–he’s not eating 20 grams of sugar and crisco oil; he’s eating steak and broccoli for dinner, which is exactly what you’re suggesting anyway.

@TommyBoyy, check out some of Dr. Ken Berry’s videos. He’s a well-known keto practitioner who has a family practice in a poorer, rural area of Tennessee. His patients are used to eating the usual basic stuff they can get at the local grocery and don’t have a lot of money to do it. He’s referred to this as “hot dogs and mustard keto.”

(Scott) #20

I see too much dairy and snacking