I'm new: The more I learn the less I know


Greetings! It was suggested to me that I start my own introductory topic. I thought I was adapting well to keto in the two weeks since I started, but I’ve probably missed some things.
A few things about me: I am 61 years old, female, and have found it hard to lose weight for about 10 years. That’s when I quit smoking during menopause, and it was a disaster. I approached weight loss with CICO by calorie counting, and it worked. Until it didn’t. I had never had to “diet” before. Anyway, so began the cycle: Restrict & lose, binge & gain. I am a certified binge eater (I have a DSM-V # to prove it). It is a “red flag” when I begin to count calories or points because it can be so restrictive. I guess it is risky for me to count carbs, but I don’t see that as deprivation.
I also have anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and this factor into my eating disorder. I’m prone to snack and nibble, so I look for 0 carb foods for that. It isn’t really addressing those issues, though, and I’ll have to manage my mental health issues to get a handle on this.
In the two weeks I’ve tried keto, I’ve felt better. My weight has bounced around a 7-pound range, by pee sticks won’t turn colors, and I haven’t had keto flu. Otherwise this is great.

(Susan) #2

Welcome to the forum, Murrill (again!).

The only thing that you need to worry about counting is keeping your carbs at 20 grams or less. At this point, you don’t need to worry about calories at all. I only use the cronometer because carbs are sneaky, and I need to make sure that I am under the 20 so it helps me keep track. Keto is so freeing, as it lets you eat a lot of food and you feel full and not feel hungry or deprived.

I am almost 55, and have a history of eating disorders and yo-dieting for over 40 years before finding Keto this past February. I only wish that I had of discovered Keto years ago. It has been so liberating and delicious! As I mentioned to you in the previous post, please don’t worry so much about the pee strips, they were originally designed for diabetic people, so unless you are concerned for the reason, I wouldn’t worry too much about them =). Best wishes on your Keto journey =).

(Ilana Rose) #3

Can you give us an idea of what you are eating and drinking and how frequently? Maybe list what you had today? If you are showing negative readings on the urine strips at the start of a keto diet then you are likely not in ketosis. Have you been tracking your macros?


I use a Carb Manager app that tracks macros. Of course, that is only as good as the information I provide. It calculates my daily macros goal as 22 g net carbs, 135g of fat, and 109 g of protein.

Breakfast was a two keto waffles (eggs, mozzarella, truvia, almond flour) and prosciutto.
Lunch was a ground beef stuffed pepper topped with cheese. Dinner was grilled tuna, riced cauliflower with pico, and sliced cucumbers. I snacked (as usual) on gelatin cups (4) and Havarti cheese (4 oz). I spent 40 minutes at the gym between treadmill and stationary bike.
I remain aware of calories only insofar as I make sure I get >1200. I am satiated by day’s end, but snacking is a daily thing–a function of anxiety rather than hunger. I eat breakfast, go to the gym, have lunch, and begin snacking at mid-afternoon.

(Ilana Rose) #5

Your protein macro seems a bit high to me. Can you give us your stats: height, weight, activity level?

It’s possible that a lot of snacking and too much protein could be keeping you out of ketosis. Another possibility is that you are having too much dairy which is a problem for many people.

Also, are you making sure to add the carbs from cheese and eggs? Those can also be tricky foods that show up as zero but are really not.


I am 5’6" and weigh 215. I spend 30-45 minutes at the gym for cardio, probably considered light to moderate level.
I actually had snacking under control for a while, but it seems to have resurfaced since beginning keto. I mentioned I have an eating disorder, and one problem is obsessing about food. I had that under control for a while, but it seems to be here again now that I’m trying to align with keto.
I had a lot of dairy today, admittedly, which is not my usual, which may explain high protein. When I was a calorie counter I found it hard to reach protein goals. I log everything (including dairy & eggs) on my app, so they are accounted for. My app added carbs for both.

(Susan) #7

This is very low; no wonder you are hungry and snacking. If you up this to about 1800 you will feel a lot better =). The only thing you have to keep low is the carbs to 20 grams or less.


I know that is low, but since keto I’ve had trouble getting calories. Prior to keto I reached 1500-1800. I was doing better by loading calories early in the day so I wasn’t hungry at night. Night eating is a symptom of my ED. I’m glad you pointed it out.
BTW, my Carb Mgr. has my carbs at 22g. Which is it?

(Susan) #9

We suggest to everyone on the forum to do 20 grams or less. The 2KetoDudes (that own this forum) suggest this number, so it is what we normally work with.

My cronometer let me adjust the numbers, I am not sure if your carb mgr also allows you to do that. This is what I ate today, and it is working for me:

Personally, I am not able to handle any artificial sweeteners, so I avoid them as much as possible, and that helps reduce cravings for me as well, but everyone is different. Some people have no troubles with them.

It will give you an idea, anyway. I eat lunch at 1pm. and then my supper at 4:30 because I do 20:4 IFwhere I don’t eat from 5pm-1pm.

We generally suggest people eat 3 meals a day to start out though, I did at the beginning as well, I didn’t go to the TMAD until May.

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #10

Hello Murrill, welcome :slightly_smiling_face:

I’d say, whatever works for you. I’ve never counted anything. I did check labels and do a lot of nutritional facts searches for different foods, just to make sure I wasn’t going over my 20 gm’s of carbs per day, but other than that, no counting. I also don’t worry about artificial sweeteners, or low carb wheat replacements… LOVE my keto bread :slightly_smiling_face:
Haven’t worried about my macros much either. I eat all the protein I want, and make a conscious effort to bump up the fats, with butter, heavy cream, cheese, etc

…and have basically lost all the weight I wanted to. 40 lbs, mostly in the first 10 weeks of the 20 weeks or so I’ve been doing keto.
But this WOE has been so easy for me, I really feel like I will do it for life :slightly_smiling_face:

(PSackmann) #11

Hi Murrill, and welcome! You’re a few years younger than me, otherwise you’re right where I was when I started in January. I can totally relate to the slow weight loss, I don’t even speak to my scale. I do, however, speak to my measuring tape–make good friends with that one.

When I started, I focused on keeping carbs low, and eating only whole foods. No chaffles, no substitute foods. I did use artificial sweetener in my coffee the first few months, outside that I was super-clean. The first month or so I allowed myself to eat something whenever I was hungry or thought I was hungry, as long as it was fatty. My favorite go-to became butter with some salt on it. And I spent time researching, on this forum, watching videos, reading. I was laid-up for 2 months, no weight bearing at all, and lost the entire time, so I had plenty of time to research.

If you’re still at 2 weeks in, give yourself some time. Not everyone goes through keto flu. You’re still adapting and need to take it one step at a time. One day, and this will happen, you’ll realize you weren’t hungry for a longer stretch of time, say 6 hours or more. That’s a good time to consciously remove snacks from your eating pattern. Just as in quitting smoking, your body will still have the habit of snacking, even if it doesn’t need to. I go down a list; Thirsty? Need salt? Bored? Need fat? In that order. If I find myself being really hungry, and it still happens, after the list I go ahead and eat a meal.

You’ve got this. Your scale may never budge more than a pound in a month, that’s not important. The body recomposition is the biggie, especially at our time of life. Realizing your joints have more range of motion, your skin looks younger, your brain functions better…all those NSV’s (non-scale victories) are the real prize. Focus on those and KCKO

(Scott) #12

Snacking is definitely something you need to work on stopping. Even after a huge breakfast my body was conditioned to need a midmorning snack. It took me months to break the habit but I did.

(Ilana Rose) #13

One of the main ways that a ketogenic diet works is by NOT counting calories. That means NOT trying to artificially keep them either low or high. If you’re stuffing yourself with fat to get to a set calorie number then you are actually working against your body’s natural ability to lose your body fat. Every extra gram of fat that you eat is one that your body won’t deduct from your fat stores for fuel needs.

If I were to eat 1800 calories every day I would gain weight pretty fast. My maintenance seems to be around 1400 calories. But when I have a few extra pounds on my body and I’m eating ketogenically I do not even eat this much because my satiety kicks in earlier due to the extra fuel that I have ON my body. At 30 pounds overweight I was satisfied under 1000 calories. As my weight got closer to my goal that number trended higher and higher as my body’s need to supplement the fat coming off of my body increased. I never had any metabolic slowdown and I’ve been doing this for years now.

Eat to satiety, not to any calorie number. Eat less then 20 grams of carbs a day. Eat the correct amount of protein, and ONLY eat as much additional fat as you need to satisfy your hunger. Do not try to fill a fat macro when you aren’t hungry for it. That will just keep you fatter for longer.

(Ilana Rose) #14

With respect to protein people’s needs are pretty variable and what is fine for some will utterly stall others and even prevent ketogenesis. I’m 52 and 5’5 and am never in ketosis at protein over 100 grams. My ideal range is around 70 grams.

As others have said you are still in the early days but if you continue to not lose weight you might try bringing that macro towards 80 grams and see if that helps.

But first give up the snacking. It’d be the first suspect. Get down to three meals a day with no other calories anywhere. Give your body a rest from insulin production and a chance to enter ketosis. That will also get rid of four ounces of cheese. That alone might account for your lack of progress.


Thank you all for your replies and input. It seems that several came in overnight, so I was not able to reply individually.
I mentioned having an eating disorder, and while I am not trying to turn this into an ED discussion I cannot ignore associated behaviors. I began treatment about 10 months ago, made significant behavioral changes through trial & error, and was feeling pretty good about my progress. I was no longer counting calories, was avoiding sugar, and ate minimal simple carbs. Unfortunately, I was not losing weight. I tried not to make the number on the scale a measure of my success. In fact, I put away the scale for several months. My therapist told me that I might be at “set weight” where my body will hold onto a specific weight. I’ve tried to accept that, but to be honest, I hoped keto was jump start me.
Anyway, since starting keto I have noticed old behaviors have reemerged. Eating excessive amounts of cheese is out of the ordinary these days, but it is an old behavior. Snacking is another. I do best when I eat three meals per day, although two planned snacks have suited me. Recently I’ve resumed long-term snacking. It is as though I plugged one hole only to have others spring leaks.
I have to be mindful without being obsessed. I think it is a good thing that I found this forum: You have provided feedback that I need to address behaviors before they become habits. Thank you all for your time.

(Marianne) #16

Me, too, although not officially. I just know that I am. Also over 60.

For me when I started, I ate three hearty keto meals a day, even though I had never eaten so often before. I made sure to meet or exceed my fat macro, for the sole purpose of knowing that I was getting enough fat. In the beginning, I attribute these two things to removing all of my cravings for former binge foods, compulsion to binge, and also wanting/needing to eat between meals or snack. After a short while when my body adjusted to burning fat (not same as fat adapted), I didn’t need to eat three times a day and still enjoyed the same benefits (no hunger, no craving, no bingeing and no snacking). I never tracked with pee sticks or anything else and don’t weigh myself at home.

Sounds like you are doing great - please keep us posted!

(Susan) #17

I think that this is great advice, if you eat three very satisfying Keto meals a day, that it will be much easier to stop snacking, as you won’t be hungry in between =).

(Bob M) #18

I think this follows you throughout. I’ve been doing low carb/keto for almost 6 years, and think I know less now than when I started. :wink: For instance, how much protein should we eat? How much fat? If I get “hungry”, am I really hungry? (And note there are many physical mechanisms, including hormones, that can cause “hunger”.) Should we eat plants at all? (I’m beginning to think, maybe not.) Oxalates no problem or killers? Etc.

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #19

Murrill, I think their are a lot of binge eaters here. I don’t know if I would have been diagnosed as a “binge eater” or just a gluttenous pig :grinning:
But I would eat a good breakfast, then junk food, chips, king-size candy bars… Then a good sized dinner (sometimes healthy, sometimes not) then donuts… And more donuts… Icecream… And donuts…

I know I often ate close to 5000 cals a day, much of it sugary starchy carbage.

Needless to say, I feel SO much better now :slightly_smiling_face:

(Marianne) #20