I'm confused


Mine is to just eat healthier than I was previously. I feel like I am rare in the fact that even at the weight I am now, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life, mostly due to my wonderful hubby. This is the amount my doctor recommended but I know the value of wisdom from others. If I were to make food like this I would limit how much of the carb part I ate and focus on the protein/vegetables. I just wanted to hear from some other people what their thoughts were. Thank you.

(Stylee) #22

I sympathize with what you’re saying here. But you need to work with your husband to make sure that you’re successful in what you need. He should be understanding of your efforts to achieve better health, that’s what love is about.

I have had to deal with family members eating differently for years. My son is autistic and gluten free, and now even more extreme doing low lectin diet. And his mom was vegetarian for over 20 years. But I work around it and we eat together, there’s plenty of common ground between our ways of eating.

Why don’t you approach this something like: my husband wants pasta so I will make a keto friendly sauce and cook a small portion of pasta for him, and have my sauce over zucchini noodles or steamed broccoli. Or make him a baked potato and you have some extra veggies and protein instead. And there’s a ton of keto recipes that are delicious that anyone could enjoy, especially if they don’t know it’s low carb.

Your doctor may be recommending 50carbs daily but that is low carb and not necessarily keto. There are some who might be able to remain in ketosis eating 50 but they are usually young trim athletic weight lifters who eat their heavy carb intake before and following a workout. And they are thoroughly fat adapted from being strict with their eating for a longer period of time. You can get into ketosis at 30g. I have read but it will take a lot longer to become fat adapted.

Feed your husband and take care of yourself. In time he will hopefully see your improvement and be more supportive. And if he’s overweight he may see the light when you are feeling the improvement and looking more healthy too. I truly wish you the very best on your endeavor to become more healthy, and that you realize that this is not really meant to be a weight loss diet as much as a body and hormonal reset to turn around the effects of a poor way of eating which is the cause of so many health issues in our modern industrialized world. Weight loss is just a part of becoming more healthy and an awesome perk.

(Frank) #23

That generation ate much differently throughout their lives than what we tend to do today. Eating small portions of processed food and nighttime snacking didn’t even exist. Hell, that didn’t exist when I was a kid in the 70s. Take a look at the obituaries nowadays. You’ll see a lot of folks dying of ripe old ages in their 80s and 90s. What you’ll also see is an ever growing number of people dropping dead in their 40-60s. I’m seeing more and more people in my age group dying before their parents. Look at obese children. Their parents may or may not be obese but I see kids all the time who are in obviously worse metabolic condition than their parents are. Those parents will outlive their children and that is just sad beyond belief.


I am not looking to get into the lifestyle hardcore and obsessively like I tried to say in my initial post. I will be tracking my carbs and that’s pretty much it. I just want to eat more healthy in general. My healthcare professional recommended 50 grams a day or less. I understand how serious it is for some people. But for me it would be more relaxed. Thank you for your thoughts.

(Cindy) #25

You might be in the wrong forum if you feel that “going keto” is hardcore or obsessive. People here truly believe that excess carbs lead to insulin resistance and a whole bushel full of other health-related problems. It doesn’t matter that you can say your husband is healthy or your grandfather is healthy…you don’t honestly know what their insulin levels are doing or if they’re pre-diabetic, etc. As in, the carbs COULD be hurting them and they just don’t see it yet.

You either have to “do keto” or not. When you’re in the gray area (and yes, that’s 50 carbs), you’re setting yourself up for failure. There’s some good science supporting why that’s the case…such as, you’re still triggering insulin, you don’t truly get to a fat-adapted stage, etc. It’s like having 1 foot in the door, the other out. Doesn’t really accomplish much in either direction until you commit.

The other problem is that you’ll be restricting what you eat without all of the benefits of committing fully. So you’ll be passing up pasta and other carbs and NOT seeing much in the way of results…so you’ll feel like keto, as a plan, doesn’t work, when it was actually your lack of commitment.

I certainly understand not wanting to give up certain foods. I love sweet tea. I could probably rationalize a cup or two and have it be within my carb total, but sugar, plain and simple, is NOT healthy. Neither is pasta.

You’d said you want to be healthier…at 5’6" and 240 lbs, you’re probably already insulin resistant. I was probably 210 lbs, 5’7" at your age. It doesn’t get easier to drop the weight as you get older…it gets harder. The longer you’re overweight, the more damage you do to yourself.

You’re going to do what you want to do, but I CAN tell you that eating keto does NOT have to be about tracking macros, planning month long menus, etc. I don’t track. I also don’t plan my food, other than having things in the house to eat. Tonight, I think I’m having left over steak and some creamed spinach. Or I might have some taco meat with sauteed cabbage, cheese, and salsa. Not sure yet. I don’t know what those macros are…I do know that I try to keep my carbs to as few as possible each day.

More than likely, if you tell yourself you can have up to 50g of carbs by eating pasta and other VERY non-keto foods, you’ll push those boundaries and then be having 75 g, then 100, etc…and then you’re just doing LC, and not keto. So don’t blame it on the keto concept if it’s not working.

(Bethany) #26

Hey springfire4 – welcome! I started with about the same stats as you. If you are looking to become healthier, having a carb limit of 50g a day is definitely good. If this is what you think will work for you to make the lower-carb lifestyle shift – go for it! There are plenty of studies to show the benefits of this level of low carb for health and wellbeing. I think everyone here would agree that 50g of carbs is better than the Standard American Diet. Some people can even get into ketosis with that level – but it depends on where your body and hormones are at. I can get and stay in at 50g now, but that’s over 3 years into significantly lowering insulin and depleting glycogen stores. I’m not sure if it would have been enough for me in the beginning. Maybe? I never tested with that in the beginning so I honestly can’t say. But if ketosis isn’t your goal, no problem, 50g will still lower insulin from where you are at now, and you may dip in and out of ketosis now and again – which again, studies show can have benefits (vs SAD). There are other tricks you can weave in to help keep your insulin low – intermittent fasting, exercise etc.

I tracked what I ate when I started, but stopped about a year in, and don’t think it’s necessary at any point unless it helps keeps someone motivated. It only worked out because it didn’t stress me – it made me excited about a lifestyle change, it also gave me a baseline understanding of how many carbs are in certain foods. Eventually it stressed me out, so I dropped it. Now I stay motivated by soaking up research on insulin and ketones. I periodically test my blood with a ketone meter, but again, not everyone needs to do this – this just motivates me personally. There is no one-size-fits all, there is no one-path. Find out what motivates you and enjoy the process. Good luck on your journey towards health!


Hmmm, Now I’m confused are we talking about 50 g per meal or per day?

It’s 20grams net carbs For all the food in that day. But you could probably be in nutritional ketones with 40 maybe 50. It’s just that 20 virtually guarantees it.

The simple formula for me was to stop eating all forms of sugar, bread, rice, pasta and replace those with vegetables butter on top. Because I was already eating pretty well the right amount of protein.

I was so close yet so far


(Now known as "DR JUICE" - it's just that easy! JUICE DC (Doctor of Comedy)) #28



Thank you so much for your thoughts! My main goal is to be under the 50g mark. If that means ketosis, that’s a bonus, but I would be fine just knowing I am eating healthier. At my last appointment my blood sugar/pressure/etc was perfect. I was tested for diabetes and other conditions related with weight and everything came back clean (yay!). But obviously I am concerned and so is my HCP, and so here I am on this forum haha. Thank you for your time.


50 grams a day.

(Scott) #31

I aim for <50g carb but I don’t obsess over it. I don’t count, measure or try to limit calories at all. This to me is the easiest way of eating. Lots of flavorful fat and and adequate supply of protein. The only things I don’t eat are fruit, root vegetables, potatoes, bread and pasta.

Like has been said the potatoes bread and pasta are so carb dense they will have an effect but if you are okay with that than I am okay with it. By the way you don’t have to be keto. You can do LCHF (LowCarbHighFat) and still get benefits.

(Now known as "DR JUICE" - it's just that easy! JUICE DC (Doctor of Comedy)) #32

Yeah, but you didn’t only start a week ago.

(Bethany) #33

Glad all of your tests were good! I didn’t have anything out of range when I started either. I just got to the point where I realized my health was getting in the way of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do.

If it helps, after taking them away for a short period, pasta and breads just taste like bland fillers to me now anyways – no deprivation in taking an extra serving of the meat sauce and leaving the pasta behind (people rarely notice if I do this at a group dinner, or laugh it off when I say I love meat – they get their carbs, I get my meats)! Knowing more of the physiology behind these, and feeling the difference now, I’m glad I invested in trying this out.

I hope you continue to look into and testing out the impacts of low carb, low insulin, and ketones on health and wellbeing. It was absolutely life-changing for me.

(Carl Keller) #34

This ^^ sums it up perfectly. I will just add that keto is about changing the behavior of our hormones and once you can accomplish that, then your tastes (cravings) for pasta and potatoes could become a thing of the past, like they are for me. I used to love those things but now I don’t, because they didn’t love me. I won’t say that I won’t ever eat them again, but I am not tempted in the least.

It’s possible. For me, 50 total carbs did get me to start producing ketones and have some benefits of keto… but dropping it to 20 net made me see the best results.

I read an article about a husband and wife who both started keto together. The husband started making ketones when he got under 50 but the wife had to go down to 30 before she saw results.

When I started keto I was very leery about giving up my carbs and thought I would be starving myself. But I can assure you that if you give this a good effort, EVERYTHING gets easier once the rewards start coming to you. One of the best things about keto (and there are so many things) is that I now have control of what and when and how much I eat. It takes so much less food when you are eating right.

(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #35

If you want to reduce your weight, you will NEED to focus on macros and ketosis, long enough for your body to become fat adapted that it can begin fueling itself on your body fat rather than the dietary fat you are putting in your mouth.

I think you need to focus on limiting those carbs to 20g a day and actually giving this a real proper go.

You cannot flirt on the sidelines of Keto, it does not work that way, you cannot have the best of both worlds and continue eating the way you did before. Pasta is not Keto, not even if the serving size is below 50g a day.

(Cari McAskill) #36

I am right there with you as a newbie–I’m 5’7, weigh about 310 now, just lost 10 lbs or so in the initial water weight phase. For me, this first month has been all about learning to cook and getting literate on the science. And also learning that when I avoid starches and don’t send my blood sugar on the carb rollercoaster, I just plain FEEL better.

Carb “limits” vary in terms of what’s effective for people, but in general women need to go lower than men to really get weight loss going. The science behind this is really about how your body fuels itself, and especially your brain : I’m not sure how black and white it is, but from what I’ve read, your metabolism is either running on glucose (what has been the “recommended” American diet for 50 years plus) or on ketones. So yeah, the ‘halfway’ thing most likely will not help in the way that a fully ketogenic diet will.

In a lot of respects I am with Cindy on this one: science wise, low carb (i.e. under 50g per day) will not get you the weight loss results you want in the long term. As a woman who’s overweight at 21, you probably will get huge benefits from under 20g. But that is a large change to start out with, and maybe a more modest goal will help you get started toward keto, and help you see if it is right for you. (See psychology babbling later on).

The general consensus I’ve seen is that switching back and forth, or going halfway, isn’t a good idea in general. (Cycling is a different subject, and is more about busting plateaus… most people recommend starting with the simple goal of “very low net carb intake.”) My hunch is that it might even be harmful for those of us in the “obese” category, in the same way that yo-yo dieting is harmful. From personal experience… It also really didn’t feel good to eat carbs after my body and brain got used to low-carb.

If someone replying can recommend a basic book or source, go for it. I think the Diet Doctor website has a good explanation that might help?

I’ll say right out that this community is a huge help, too. I only just signed up and I’m really learning a ton.

Personal experience: I started a month ago at “under 50” and can now achieve “under 25.” I think under 25 is a good target to aim for, for a lot of reasons. If you’re tracking net carbs (carbs minus fiber) you can still have plenty of veggies. In order to throw this metabolic switch, though, you really do have to eliminate the starches completely in order to have room for the “good” stuff like broccoli, spinach, etc. Even starchy vegetables might need to go; I’m eating jicama as a yummy fiber-rich food, but I still have to watch my quantity.

The glycemic index of foods will show you whether a food causes your insulin to go up. So the foods you want are the ones with the lowest GI. That’s the huge issue with the starches.

Spoiler: cheat story below

Once I was a couple of weeks in, I was feeling great… And then I had a couple of bad cheating episodes as a result of not eating / getting too hungry. And I learned two vital things:

  1. Do not let keto newbie self get super super hungry during the first few weeks, because this will result in cravings for those easy, yummy, addictive carbs!

  2. Giving in and eating those carbs means that not only will I probably have to go through withdrawal again afterward… But also, eating those carbs made me feel physically yucky.

I’m also a big fan of tracking. Even if you don’t think you’ll want to do it long term, consider trying it for a finite time just to learn about portion sizes of things like nuts and veggies. Also it will show you, in a concrete way, where your carbs are coming from (and where they’re hiding!)

If you don’t feel like you can stick to 20 or 25 grams, maybe start out and aim for under 50 for a couple of weeks. I started out in the 40s and as I learn to cook better and find those carbs I can do without, I’m steadily dropping toward my 20g goal. Behavioral science suggests that when people are making changes, we’re more likely to succeed if we aim for intermediate goals, right?

Re: family eating, I started with the Keto for Life cookbook and she talks about it a bit. Try doing curry where the hubby has rice and you have cauliflower “rice” …or pasta where you have zucchini noodles. Or soups, chili, stews, etc. where your husband can have bread.

You might find (as I did) that eating less than 40g of net carbs is pretty doable and makes you feel better, and those first ten pounds–even if that’s just water–make a huge difference for energy and knee pain and whatever else. Then that positive reinforcement can carry you forward and inspire you: hey, I bet if I get down below 30g I can feel even better and have more energy, so then I can get back to long walks and strength training.

(Cindy, I totally get where you’re coming from and you are absolutely right on the weight loss and science – from a behavioral standpoint, though, I don’t think it would hurt to do “under 50” for a week, then start dropping further week by week until achieving the 20-25g goal. Mainly because of the positive reinforcement aspect, and the fact that major weight loss involves big life changes. I think psychology is a huge deal when tackling weight loss, and the small success of ‘I CAN regulate my diet in this way’ really helped me get on the path and feel empowered.)

Just deciding to prioritize my health was a huge step for me-- big high five to you for doing the same.


I think anyone who wants to decrease their carbs, cut processed foods or eat whole foods should be applauded. Not everyone wants to deep dive into 20 grams carbs or less a day and that’s ok. Many people start out low carb, start feeling great and losing weight and one day feel ready to take the plunge. Others are perfectly happy going in and out of ketosis. And honestly, if you were someone eating over 300 grams of carbs a day then going down below 50 might be a good starting place for you.

I think you may find you’re feeling good and then you have some higher carb meal and get the blood sugar drop afterward. Keep a food journal and note how different foods make you feel. The best way to know how something will effect you is to experiment on yourself and take note.

Stick around, you’ve opened your mind to lowering carbs. Some things may not apply to you but you sure can learn a lot and the community is helpful and friendly. Welcome!

(cheryl) #38

My husband is not Keto – neither are my kids – I just add a carb for them and skip it for me. But the main meal parts like meats and veggies are perfect for me. Lots of folks are able to stay Keto even though their spouse/partner have different diets. So I’d totally recommend doing this! It’s a Win Win!

(Regina) #39

Even if it fits within your macros - the answer is no. Keto is about blood glucose management. Those foods will spike BG.

(Whole Lotta Rosie The Riveter ) #40

Threads getting long but I’ll add my two cents anyway.

Even if you’re not keen to do the macro tacking/20gm thing a day forever it would behove you to do so for at least the first 4 - 6 months so you can be sure you are fully fat adapted. After that initial hardcore keto period you could then play around with adding in a few carbs here & there & see where it takes you.