Karim's Extended Fast Tracker - come along for the ride


(Karim Wassef) #642

ok…
before dinner: 61G, 4.0K = 0.85GKI
after dinner: 74G, 2.4K = 1.7GKI

Pretty big ketone drop due to food, but glucose very much still under control.

back in the sweet spot… done eating for the day… just one more measurement before sleep.


(Karim Wassef) #643

looking at the overall plan and results so far, I’m not sure what I see… it seems that I always bounce up to the same level upon refeed, but each fast does take me progressively lower

I decided to take a longer look back to when I started tracking on my iphone app. I was previously tracking on another app but that developer stopped updating it so my data is trapped in there.

I am not really looking for weight loss… but I am looking for fat loss and lean mass gain, so I know that looking at total mass is not the best measure.

The DEXA/RMR should be informative for phase 2

And for phase 3, I’m going to a 4:3 cycle to avoid going to low or too high. There’s only 2 weeks left in this experiment… so I’m running out of time before I go to straight carnivore keto.

I don’t know if I should continue to track that in this thread since it will retract from an EF to an OMAD.


(Karim Wassef) #644

went back to look at measuring my GKI over time and the weight loss events… VERY clear correlation:


Just got into an argument about keto
Got myself a meter....what are my targets?
Are these normal ketone level fluctuations?
(Karim Wassef) #645

Ending the night with 78G, 2.9K = 1.5 GKI

Didn’t quite get to 3000 calories. It’s very hard to get there with the right protein build on vegan.

I did get to 180g of protein. That’s good. I didn’t get enough fat in, but frankly, it was hard to eat any more. Even my favorite macadamia and almonds (addictions still)… I just couldn’t eat one more… tried more tahini but I really just couldn’t eat any more.

If I hadn’t added so much coconut cream on my morning shake, I just don’t think I could have gotten close to 70% fat.

Maybe it’s also that I’m so used to OMAD that eating several times a day was just too filling.

Little excursion on the carbs, but not too bad. I expected glucose to go up a bit more … like 90? Also, no indication of an insulin spike except for the headache after the high pea powder soup.

I’m 2 weeks from exiting vegan protein and getting back to my natural carnivore state.

In case anyone ever tries to find sources for vegan protein (low carb keto) in the future - here’s my list of top sources sorted by protein % of total calories.

other than the processed sources (pea protein powder, vegan protein broth), you have to eat A LOT of material to get there… I don’t think I could do it without getting sick - it would be over 10 pounds of plants, every day…


(PJ) #646

When you talk about your glucose # how long is this after eating?


(Karim Wassef) #647

Usually an hour.

The exception was the pea protein soup where I felt a headache come on within minutes and I decided to measure right away.


(Mame) #648

Yes! I only have 5 months of data but my scale does not go down unless my GKI is 2 or under for more than a day… And I still have a good 40+ pounds to lose (plenty of fat). I am hoping as I heal this will change and I will let go of fat at higher GKI.


(Karim Wassef) #649

I’m targeting a GKI between 1-3. That seems to be the sweet spot for me. I am concerned that being too low (under 1) starts deep autophagy and that’s why I lost so much lean mass on my legs in phase 1.

I’m going to try to plot the data differently to try and see if I can find a relationship between GKI and weight loss.

It is unfortunate that I can’t accurately break that weight loss into lean mass and fat without a DEXA scan. That would have been even better.


(aka Nick) #650

It makes sense that GKI would be correlated with fat loss. What isn’t totally clear to me is why GKI wouldn’t remain in the 1-3 range just by eating OMAD carnivore/ZC. If 75% of calories are coming from fat, and 25% are coming from protein, shouldn’t ketones always be high and glucose low?

Sorry if that’s a dumb question.


(Karim Wassef) #651

Day 7, cycle 2, phase 2 - last day of this phase

Gained another 4lbs overnight bringing the total to 13.5lbs regained in 48hrs. If this holds, then the peak to peak refeed weight has dropped ~2.5lbs.

That would align with my 0.5lb per day estimate for the 5 day fast.

Today I plan to be OMAD but with the big pea soup again. That will be a new eating challenge.

I feel “big”. Not fat, but big. Thighs feel thicker and more muscular. Chest, arms feeling like they’re pushing against my sides. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but those squats, deadlifts and bench presses these two weeks had better have paid off. :joy:

Tomorrow is DEXA/RMR and all will be revealed.

Edit… food flux correction: only 3lbs gained for a total of 12.5lbs over the 2 days.

So the peaks are now 3.5 lbs down… looks promising for this past week’s results.

I lost 7lbs of real fat on the extended 3 week fast. If this 2 week cyclic fasting actually nets 3.5lbs of real fat loss, that would be quite good… unless the lean mass loss was a big confounder.


(Karim Wassef) #652

I wondered that too. If you look at my meteoric weight gain window just before phase 1, I was mostly carnivore with the exception of avocados and macadamia but still under 20g of carbs.

I even fasted Wed, Thurs, Fri except for the week running up to the fast.

But my GKI stayed higher and the weight went up correspondingly. This was very dense and high quantity food with protein pushing 140g a day and moderate lifting. I was eating ribeye, liver, eggs, bacon and HWC every day + avocados and macadamia.

The difference was that I was pushing way beyond satiation. I would be OMAD and it would take over an hour to eat. The last week, I hit over 6000 calories a day every day. If I was lifting as heavy as I was eating, that might have rebalanced and the extra protein would have been muscle anabolic.

This is my keto gain experiment. It was hard to eat beyond satiation but I wanted to see if keto in a massive surplus would accelerate my RMR enough to compensate. I understand what happens in normal keto that drives a satiation deficit and maintains RMR… but I didn’t understand the keto gains region where I would overdrive trying to push RMR way up.

And you remember that my starting RMR was outrageously high, so it worked… but only to 3500 or so in the most active range . while eating 6000. So glucose was in the 90-110 and ketones were in the 0.3-1.3… GKI went over 9… and I was anabolic


(Karim Wassef) #653

Also, you might notice a few points clustered right at the 12 GKI line. Actually, I truncate the data so any number greater than 12 is limited to 12. This is because 12 or >12 are equivalent metabolically in my view.

So, those days where there is a continuous cluster of GKI at 12+, the weight gain is markedly steep. And that occurred while still technically in ketosis.

So if glucose is 90 and ketones are 0.4 = 12.5 GKI… and you’d think that 0.4 is pretty much in keto… but it’s still in a building state because glucose is 90. And that glucose isn’t bad either… right?

Actually, anything over 9 is anabolic. So glucose of 85 and ketones of 0.5 = 9.4 GKI is still not there.

My simplistic view is that weight loss really isn’t happening under 1 ketones. That’s not what the experts say but you can be in ketosis and be burning ketones from food. To really get to real body fat burning (without “special” means), GKI needs to be under 3 … so ketones should be over 1.5 with a glucose of 80 or better.

Excess protein will drop ketones and raise glucose… and that’s what I think I was doing. It could have also been the fat, but my theory is that eating more fat would just upregulate RMR.

That’s why I want my own machine so I can run those experiments… eat very high fat (6000+) for a week and see how RMR maps… then eat high protein (6000+) and see how RMR changes. Then do it with precise amino acid mixes… Leucine. Then with specific fatty acid ratios.

One day, I’d like to see an RMR table with all foods and a formula can can translate a meal and the starting RMR into a projected RMR… I have a dream… well, this is just one of many other weird dreams. :smiley:


(Karim Wassef) #654

So 1.9GKI… on target


(Mame) #655

I don’t think any of these questions are dumb, I ask myself these and similar ones frequently.

Out of the past 122 days, my GKI has been 3 or under for 68 days (56.7%). In that same time period I was under 6 but over 3.1 for 50 days. I have great BG numbers and I am almost always in ketosis. One might assume that I am a fat burning machine and losing weight like crazy. I am not lean, I have plenty of fat to burn still.

I lost 23# in those 122 days. Is my overall insulin level still too high in my body? Is my appetite still so strong that the fat I am burning is more intake than stored fat? Did the winter season have an effect? Is my body going through a consolidation period from the 50+ loss? Is it stress levels? Perhaps even though it has been months I am one of those who take a very long time to be completely fat adapted on a cellular level?

Since it took 5 months for me to notice an improvement in my energy levels I am fairly sure I am still in the process of becoming fully fat adapted…


(PJ) #656

I would post this on my journal but Mame’s comment here makes it better here.

I was watching a video with Phinney last night. I fell asleep alas. Anyway, at one point, I was suddenly SO irritated. I have seen this with nearly every ‘expert’ in the lowcarb world – except Taubes who, at least as I recall, has never been this cordially condescending.

Essentially, it’s that someone will say they are legitimately lowcarb, and they are not losing weight (or usually, ‘anymore’), nor are their calories crazy.

And the expert will say something to the effect that they are just eating way too much on weekends (Phinney) or they are just eating too many nuts as a snack (Eades) or they are doing X and “don’t realize or remember” that actually if they weren’t being a pig everything would be working for them.

I was once a big Michael Eades fan, as a cardiologist’s ref to me got me to read his book which led to my eventually going LC and it saving my life. But when a guy on his blog – and at the time, me, and also at the time, Jimmy Moore, and some others – were saying publicly look, we lost a LOT of weight, and now we’re eating like sausage and eggs for breakfast and everything’s in the proper zone for macros but we’re having giant blood sugar crashes after that we never did before. And the guy courageous enough to insist this was true for him, and he’d lost a lot of weight on LC and knew what he was doing by now, Eades basically, not very indirectly just called him a liar (in blog comments section). I was SO offended that humans weren’t allowed to have legit experiences, because well that might make science have to ask a question about WHY, and how can we be experts if we don’t know everything already?! FFS man.

This patronizing condescension about keto and weight loss reminds me of that, where some expert is sure that anybody who is not reporting the rainbows and unicorns must be lying, either intentionally or out of blissful stupidity. I was irritated last night and was going to post on it today, but Mame’s comment is precisely what I’m talking about. She’s (?) tracking her stats, she’s always in ketosis, there is obviously more going on than macros.

I know a LOT of people who stopped keto because they were not losing weight anymore – especially older women like myself – I found I did better on a few more carbs and my hair didn’t fall out so much – but that was many years ago before I got sick/heart surgery etc., don’t know if it’s the same for me now as I am only just getting back to an intentional eating plan.

But it’s clear that something is up more than macros. The GKI seems like a big indicator. In part perhaps because by its nature, it does take into account overdosing on protein, since that has blood sugar/insulin side effects.


(Karim Wassef) #657

The real variables here are hormones.

When we measure glucose or ketones, or even weight… we’re really trying to once our hormonal state since it’s the real indicator of health.

GKI is a much better way of getting there but it’s still not perfect. It’s mostly around timing : if I consume a lot of energy, my ketones drop but it’s not because I’ve been hormonally shifted. It’s just taking time for my body to react. That’s the error that decouples ketones from glucagon.

Still - it’s the best we have now. And if I give it an hour after exerting myself or eating, it couples much better to my real hormonal state.


(Karim Wassef) #658

Stalls are the result of many variables: poor sleep, stress, inflammation, etc…

But my tried and true answer is adaptation.

Our bodies were not designed to be wasteful. They are intended to learn and be as insanely efficient as possible. If I’m doing the same thing and stop losing weight… it’s because I’m doing the same thing. My body figured out what I’m doing and is dialing everything down to be as efficient as possible.

The biggest one of these is probably reducing the metabolic rate. The other is to stop wasting ketones on generating heat. Then it stops making any excess ketones that end up in urine, sweat, or breath. It basically figures out the absolute minimum it can get by with and stops being wasteful.

So the honeymoon period when it was panicking and making way more ketones than you can use… is over. So now… you need to mess with it.

That’s why I started intermittent fasting… then extended fasting.

I think OMAD is really good - it really forces the body to reassess what it can “get away with” and it starts having to be a little more liberal.

It’s also why I switch things up with weightlifting… heavy/low rep light/high rep… then cardio… then sauna… then UV… then cold packs… then ice baths… then cold showers… then fasting for 19 days… then 5… then 3… then not fasting at all…

confusion is the path to inefficiency, and inefficiency is the path to fat loss & muscle gains

That sounds guruish enough but also silly enough that I don’t think it’s been said - so I’m claiming it :smiley:

Basically - don’t take the easy path. Keep messing with it.


(Mame) #659

I agree with this for the most part. Of course that is not the only way to lose weight, if one fasted for 300 days one would also lose weight even though the body would be well adapted to fasting way before the end. And muscle could be gained after.

I am not sure if you are assuming that I don’t mix things up and change or not. I don’t think you were assuming that but I am not sure

To be clear. I mix things up all the time. I know that homeostasis is the enemy of continuing weight loss and other things like muscle gain. I am my favorite science experiment.

However changing things a lot also increases stress levels, which can have the opposite effect one desires. One needs to walk a fine line with one’s stress levels and of course everyone of us is different at different times. There is only so much we can control, sometimes our bodies do things that make no sense to us at all

My main point of my earlier post is to show that while GKI can be a great proxy for many things including metabolic health that the ‘level for weight loss’ is just an estimate for the population. (and I am not sure how rigorous the science is on which the levels are based). When one are doing a n=1 experiment lots can be specific and unique to the individual. And that’s ok.
Sorry if this seemed like a thread hijacking. :smiley: I get excited about data and wanted to share some other numbers.


(Karim Wassef) #660

I assumed nothing :slight_smile:

Actually, I was responding to PJ’s post about stalling and how experts tend to dismiss it.

I don’t mind more topics on my thread. It gets boring when I’m just reporting out all the time and sharing my ideas or learnings. :smiley:

I agree that too much change is also stressful… so either get comfortable with discomfort of walk the line to your own balance.

I tend to enjoy pushing the boundary of comfort, but that’s my n=1


(Mame) #661

There is always the potential for something more to be up indeed. And it can change at any time and it can be very different from one individual to another.
I think it is always so important to remember that population level data and info may not work for one on the individual level, or it may work differently or only some of the time.

And sometimes with the best info we have and using all our brains and wills we still can’t figure things out completely. Our bodies do what they need to do or what they are habituated to do or… whatever.

Also – The blaming the individual instead of simply acknowledging that the science may be incomplete is an infuriating thing for sure. There is so much we don’t know!