Lots of questions, doubts and in need of advice

(Lesli Ross) #3

Thank you for reading thru that long post! Honestly, part of me doesn’t want to do keto. But before I quit, I wanted to reach out to a community who has done this with success. I find my body responds well to this, at least in terms of bloating. I haven’t lost anymore weight but I am to understand, that it’s healing. I also don’t have that 2 o’clock slump falling asleep while I’m rocking my child where I’m uncontrollably tired. I believe this diet is great for some people, I guess I’m just trying to learn more, and see if it’s right for me. I mean, it helps people beat cancer, so that’s awesome. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s during my second pregnancy, but never needed more than the most minimal dose and my body went hyperthyroid on the minimal dose after she was born, so I was taken off the meds. But besides that, I have no other medical “need” for keto, unlike my parents.

The reason I’ve made those dishes is because it’s only me going keto, and I didn’t want to force my family into it. So basically, I did take out the carb options so my husband could add them back in if he desired. So things like - taco casserole, would be thrown into a tortilla for my husband. But my girls did ok with most of my meals. I struggle with the idea of making my kids keto, because even breastmilk has carbs in it, and that’s legit the best thing I can give to my child. They are also still pretty young. I do acknowledge the difference in their behaviors though, when they’ve eaten carb heavy meals vs protein heavy, and I always have. I focus a lot on protein heavy meals. Both, luckily, are meat lovers, and have been since the introduction of food. I keep all proceeds foods away from them until age 1, and then they get things like organic bread or pasta. I’ve always found it interesting that as soon as processed carbs are introduced, they’d rather eat them though. Our brains aren’t always wired to want the healthy things unfortunately.

I can’t do just meat and veg for dinner every night. I get too bored, and it would be rough. No way I could continue to eat that way. If I could buy delicious steaks, maybe, but I can’t justify buying beef steaks if we have deer and elk. And I cannot stand the taste of them without bbq sauce or burying them in chili. I love that we have hormone free, chemical free meat but don’t like the taste.

I, by no means, mean to make any feel dumb for being on this diet. Everyone’s body, and metabolism is completely different. I guess I’m curious if people think it’s right for everyone. I sit here, typing this as my 13 mo old is chomping on an apple and struggle to think I’m damaging her body by giving her apple…

(Oppressor of Arctic Rodents) #4

You can eat a ton of veggies and still have net carbs close to 20g. Limit the high carb starchy ones like potatoes, legumes, onions etc. Bear in mind that 20g/day is to get started on keto. Different people have varying carb tolerance. Personally, I’m eating 50g/day and staying happily in ketosis, but I’ve been doing it for a year. Once you’re fat adapted and have a few months of keto under your belt, you can experiment with the best balance for you.

You don’t need any supplements with keto. The recommendation to get lots of salts really only applies to getting into ketosis, which can throw electrolytes out of balance initially. It’s a big transition.

Absolutely. Keto isn’t for everyone. Specifically, it’s not for people that don’t enjoy eating low carb high fat! If you don’t enjoy it, and it doesn’t make you feel better, you probably shouldn’t do it regardless of the reason. It takes a few months of adaptation to be able to really make a comparison though.

Generally speaking, snacks aren’t a great idea on any diet. Every time you eat, you’re spiking your insulin, which among other things inhibits fat loss and increases body fat storage. Prior to keto, I used to get hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if I went more than a few hours without food. I used to carry around candy for these events and had a glucose monitor to track it. After being on keto for a less than two months, that went away completely. I started eating 2 meals a day. After that became effortless, I started skipping eating days all together. It’s nothing to me to skip a day or three of eating. My energy stays high, my mind is sharp, and I have almost no hunger. That may sound unhealthy to you but it actually isn’t. Buy and read Dr. Fung’s “The Obesity Code”. It’s a truly amazing book that has helped thousands of us here get our metabolisms functioning properly again.

Eat whatever you like. Generally, I’m not a fan of fat bombs but do whatever works for you. At the moment, I’m only eating around 15 days/month, and on “feasting” days I eat 1lb of 73/27 hamburger with kidney beans, ginger, onion, and garam masala. That’s 125g of fat, 80g protein, 30g carbs and 1600kcal in one meal. Fat bombs not required.

Some folks like adding sweeteners, some don’t. Personally, they mess with my satiety signals and make me hungry when I otherwise wouldn’t be. It’s a personal preference thing, but monk fruit is perfectly fine.

Exercise sabotages more diets than everything else combined. There are hundreds of threads here that start with variations of this sentence “I’m exercising 6 days a week and still not losing weight. Help!!!”. Exercise messes with satiety signals. The extent to which this is true varies by individual, but personally I can’t do a ton of exercise and continue to lose weight. My solution has been to experiment with duration and intensity. For me, I’ve found that two sessions per week of 20-30 minutes in duration is a good balance. You can get a heck of a lot done in 20 minutes if you’re doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) or HIRT (high intensity resistance training). Steady state cardio is time consuming, and it leaves me ravenously hungry. Everybody is different on this one though; find the balance that works for you. Don’t assume that more exercise is “better” for weight loss though; the opposite is true for most people.

I’m a former “whole food” vegan, so believe me when I say that I understand where you are coming from. My suggestion is that you suspend disbelief for a few months. Try eating this way and see how you actually feel. If you’re bursting with energy, happy, and your mind feels sharp, get a blood test to validate to yourself that you really are fit as the proverbial fiddle. If in two months you feel sluggish, depressed, and fog-brained, order yourself a pizza and never look back.

(Jack Bennett) #5

A few general answers:

  • I personally go very low in carb without tracking by using very little in the way of ingredients that contain carbs. For example, my workday lunch is a “burrito bowl” made from ground beef, sour cream, salsa, and spices. I also have a protein shake, a couple of eggs, and some string cheese. Total carb grams are probably about 10-15 g.

  • Because I do OMAD (see above) I eat a very big meal and don’t snack at other times.

This is a pattern that I converged on based on my own lifestyle and schedule. I didn’t always do things this way, and I wouldn’t necessarily suggest that others should either.

Trial and error and experiment will teach you what works for your own situation. It’s good to be skeptical and wonder about whether a given dietary choice is healthy - just don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis. Test something out and see if it works, then fine-tune it based on what you learn.

(Lesli Ross) #6

Unfortunately between nursing and planning on another pregnancy this year, IF is definitely not something I can do. Though, we generally eat at 5:30-6 and I don’t eat breakfast until 8ish usually, I feel like my body just naturally does short fasts and I have been waking up less and less hungry. Usually coffee with heavy cream and monkfruit does the trick, and a small breakfast, which was 90 grams of keto almond flour pancakes (because my daughter requested pancakes - and butter, plus my coffee is 737 cal but only 4.9 net carbs). Both my girls liked the pancakes but also ate a ton of frozen blueberries.

I have searched for meal examples in the forum and never really find any solid answers. I use the term “snacks” lightly, I just usually happen to get hungry as I’m headed out the door, and fat bombs are a great way to keep me from feeling hangry. But beyond fat bombs and avocado, I’m not going to eat a tablespoon of coconut oil or butter on the way out the door, so I guess I’m curious if there’s something else I’m missing in terms of “fat” I can eat.

May I ask, why did you switch from being a vegan to a meat eating keto-er? Lol

(Jack Bennett) #7

I neglected to mention the steps in between. I was vegan around 2008-2011. The failure mode of vegan for me was SAD - gradual drift away until I was eating SAD.

My wife knew a lot about Paleo and eventually I decided to give that a try in 2016, after a few years of uncontrolled SAD eating had added 40-50 lbs to my vegan weight.

I ended up reducing more and more carbs until I got more into a keto range and I’m happy with where I’m at currently - eating to satiety, no cravings, not missing bread, etc.


We are all different, let’s give you my own answers. I would have been more concise if I could, sorry for the length.

If you don’t feel particularly bad keto, I think you should continue. I am so happy I waited for fat adaptation or whatever gave me drastic positive changes after 7 weeks. Ketosis was nice too but I felt almost exactly like before on low-carb (I needed those times to be okay on keto).

It can be healthy because we don’t need fruits and vegetables. They are not necessarily wrong (I don’t go deeper, ask some carnivores, maybe) - as long as your body handles them well. Carbs mess with me. Keto didn’t help much, carnivore is still new but I am hopeful, it’s way better this far. Many real, long term carnivores feel the same. I probably will add some vegetables and fruits and other things later, now and then but I surely won’t back to my old keto despite I ate little vegetables there too (my 40g net carb limit didn’t allow much, I love my vegetables in big amounts. I had this high limit because of them but it’s ketosis for me and it was fine in the beginning).
I usually eat as much fruit on keto as I want and almost any kind, my favs were frozen banana and raspberries. Why would they need to go? I love my fruits in tiny amounts, usually (it took some time to getting used to on keto but it was fine, vegetable and fat was the problem, I wanted to eat way too much of both) so it was 1-2g net carbs per day, sometimes a bit more. I don’t get much vitamin from fruits on keto as you see… I get them from elsewhere. If you want fruits very much… Raw vegetables and raspberries helped me. Because I got so much joy and juicy flavor using just a bit carbs on them. For some reason, eating too little vegetables caused me wanting fruit like crazy. I guess I needed the raw, juicy stuff. I ate less vegetables if I focused on raw ones, I think it’s common, that helped with my carb intake.

I am the same. I only supplemented magnesium (a very little amount) because my diet had little but it was true off keto as well, I just didn’t get cramps. Carnivore should solve this problem if I eat properly. I did almost vegetarian keto/low-carb before, without most green leaves as I dislike them. Choose your food wisely and it’s not a sure thing you need supplements. But most health-conscious people probably use supplements on each and every diet, what’s the difference? Yeah, we usually need to focus on electrolytes a tad better.
I am glad I won’t need that. I would never drink electrolyte drinks, actually. Yuck! I can eat my salt if I do an extended fast, thank you very much. The recommended amount of sodium is insanely high for me, I always ignored that recommendation as I am fine with my subtly salted food. But if I would feel the need, I would ate salt for the benefits of a good woe… Be careful but if you hate eating huge amounts of salt, I guess you can try eating less. Read what are the symptoms if you don’t get enough if you don’t know.

I am sure no diet is for everyone. Some people need carbs for their performance even though we all humans and our body survives on a very low-carb diet (except if we have some serious health issues).
But it’s survival, not eating optimally.
I am a healthy human and I theoretically should handle carbs. Well, I am not that good at it, it was never ideal. It’s not the same, of course but still… We are different and need different diets. Even the personal keto diets are highly different… There are vegan, omnivore and carnivore ketoers, after all. You can do it super unhealthy… But well, too, if keto suits you. You can get all your necessary nutrients on keto unless you have too much restrictions or maybe some insane needs due to some condition…?

I can’t track fat and protein if I eat fatty meat. Carbs are easy though. Maybe lots of work and zillion things to weigh (I learned how to skip much of them as the years passed, I used very many ingredients every day, multiple-course meals… it’s horrible for tracking. If I ate fruit, it was easily 6 different kinds too). I always envied carnivores, actually, no need to track carbs at all, we simply don’t eat lots of lactose and we are golden regarding carbs.
Of course you are above 20g carbs, you put carbs into everything. The first thing I learned my vegetable dishes (I always ate them before) must go. I may taste them and I kept my soup with drastically changed ingredients and especially amounts but if I want to satiate myself, I better eat some eggs, lactose-free cheese or now, meat. It was tricky on vegetarian keto but after some while, even 20g was theoretically quite possible, I just couldn’t do it often while I still ate vegetables, I lost control or something. Carnivore is super easy this far but I had to wait until I could stop eating vegetables and that took years for me. You seem to have a bit similar problems I had in the beginning… Except I never had a problem with eating 10 eggs in one sitting if I could do it. But I missed vegetables and put nuts and vegetables into everything (why of course, I didn’t eat even meat). I only could do my 40g limit because I ate lots of sweets and those were low-carb because I didn’t eat them with vegetables… I don’t actually recommend this, it wasn’t ideal but my best idea back then. And mostly harmless for me, not for everyone.
It’s the beginning for you, you don’t have the right habits, recipes, answers yet. It will get better, you figure out things.
Your food is complicated for me at the present but I did complicated things before. I needed those then and cooking is my hobby. It’s fine. I boil or fry egg or meat now, mostly. If I want fancy, I eat egg and meat or egg and cheese at the same time. I love simplicity now but my future diet never will be as complicated as my old ones were. It’s not too complicated or too simple if it works for you!
Lean meat might work if you eat enough fat from other sources. Egg, cheese, I don’t like too much added fat but your food probably requires some, some treats are very fatty but not everyone likes them or find them a good idea (sweets, fat bombs, butter or lard eaten with a spoon, heavy cream galore).

Snacks… I let the others answer that but it’s individual.
My normal keto: I ate whatever I wanted and fit into my macros and considered it healthy. This latter is very individual. I never had separate snacks, my snacks were in the end of my meals.
Carnivore: I don’t snack. I eat my food. Brilliant.

Every not insanely carby veggie is keto veggie to me (carrots, green peas, onions included, those aren’t that carby but so taste I need only a little). And garlic too despite being super carby. I eat it even on my not super strict carnivore. It’s spice.

Fat never helps. If I am hungry, I need a big, fatty but even more importantly, protein rich meal. Figure out what works for you!
Not like I am hungry when I eat. I don’t get hungry easily if I don’t eat too much carbs.
I already wrote fat options before. I don’t think you need to eat almost pure fat. Eat some eggs, cheese, fatty meat, lean meat with added fat, maybe nuts or whatever works for you.
But when I wanted to add fat (never, sadly), I ate some fried vegetables. Most of the calories came from fat but it depends on the vegetable. Eggplants are sponges, once I tried how much it absorbs. 100g fat for a single one. Maybe not the best idea for everyone but fried caulilflowers is nice when fatty too. Absolutely bad for my hunger but it’s good with eggs, I mixed them together.

Many of us like coffee with some fatty substance. It’s egg yolk for me but some folks use lots of fat in it. I don’t think it’s the right way to get your fat but whatever floats your boat.

I didn’t have problems with working out when I did that but I am a lazy one, never did it very seriously or long. Physical activity felt the same on keto, I always did my most strenuous ones well-fasted when I had most energy. But it’s very individual. If you are the type that needs carbs for a good performance… Maybe it will get okay later but maybe never…? I don’t know, hopefully others answer it. I am sure some people always will need carbs. Many people do some type of kind-of keto where they eat a significant amount of carbs before workout but use them all up. So they are in ketosis most of the type.
And as far as I know, extreme activity needs carbs too (even if it’s doable without, it has some negative consequences). But few people are that very active.


I understand. I love mutton but after a few days of eating it (not even much), I think I wouldn’t want it all the time. Or beef. Or chicken. Or anything, really. I need variety and preparation variety isn’t enough though it’s a lot especially that I add another things. You eat plants, they surely help more but it might be not enough. It’s good you have eggs and some cheese then…

I cook plant-based lunches for my SO and as he seems to be thriving on them, I am not particularly worried… I ate about 900g apple in every afternoon at some point of my life and I loved it. No idea if it was good for me but I stayed healthy. Now I eat 50g apple and probably feel it was less than ideal.
I wouldn’t worry much. It’s apple and a hopefully quite healthy little one. Don’t give them too much but it’s an apple, not lots of apple juice or sugary tea or a chocolate bar, people give such things to their tiny ones, it’s bad. I get it that it doesn’t matter what crimes people commit, you want the best for her but it’s so hard to decide what is healthy for whom! At some point, we just can’t be sure. An apple now and then seems to be okay, I guess? I probably would choose a less sugary one (most modern apples are so very sugary!) but it’s me, a non-expert without even a kid.
It’s unhealthy if we worry too much (I don’t say you do that, of course you are full with questions and doubts, I was similar, probably, maybe less so but I so totally would be that if I had a kid!) and it’s not good to keep the kids from all not absolutely surely perfect food items. It’s hard but we should decide on something, we need to eat and the food should be palatable, enjoyable too, especially for kids.
There is no perfect eating, our body should handle some negative effects and it will if we usually do our best to eat well (and our knowledge isn’t too off). I hope my message got across.

(Oppressor of Arctic Rodents) #10

Makes sense. Fasting of any type definitely isn’t necessary in order to be successful on keto. The majority of people here eat 3 meals a day and do just fine.

I read Dr. Fung’s “The Obesity Code”. After that, I gave extended fasting a try out of curiosity while still eating high carb vegan (legume centric). I found that I really loved the stable, high energy level and absence of hunger after the first day. The only thing I didn’t like was getting into ketosis/lipolysis. The first day of fasting was miserable as glycogen was depleted and my body switched fuel sources from carbs to bodyfat. My fasts were usually for 2-3 days.

The first time I tried extended fasting while fat-adapted I was amazed. It was effortless by comparison. Keto in conjunction with extended fasting gave me an effortless way to spend days at a time burning pure bodyfat. I started out at 280lbs, so I had plenty of fat to work with!

Like I said before though, I’m pretty unusual in that respect. Most people here don’t fast. It’s not for everybody, and it definitely isn’t necessary. For me though, it’s like pressing the fat loss “easy button” so here I am.

(Keto Cancer Fighter) #11

I just want to throw in here. Others have tried answering your questions, so I’m not going to do that just yet.

My husband and I both eat keto. I do the bulk of the cooking. I have 4 children, ages 9, 6, 3, and 16m. The baby still drinks milk (he’s off formula now) and he gets baby-bite-sized pieces of meat and other things for his food. I tend to make the same things over and over, or at least variations of such. We do lots of chicken (its cheap), or ground beef. I can throw them over keto-friendly pasta (shiritake noodles). As far as snacking goes…my kiddos love eating salami and cheesesticks. i also have to keep them away from the keto cheesecake bites I make (btw, I need to restock them).

As far as veggies, broccoli w/ cheese and bacon bits is good… brussle sprouts w/ salt, garlic powder, and olive oil (in a broiler) is also good. Asperagus is also good. Oh, and butter on veggies is good :slight_smile:

Make simple dishes that you feel good about. Minimize processed foods, but don’t stress if you can’t eliminate them. I’ve just added in pepperoni to what I’m eating (I’m experimenting w/ less heavy cream). My kiddos will eat ham & cheese for lunch. Just ham & cheese… no bread :slight_smile: Just stacks of ham & cheese. They eat carby if we are out of the house, but otherwise are low-carb. I do let my 9-year-old have treats of peas sometimes…but I also load them w/ butter and some salt (I miss buttery, salty corn).

(Paulene ) #12

Maybe instead of ‘going keto’ you should try just reducing and replacing carbohydrates in your diet and forget about macros, ketosis, etc… and just see how that goes. You can always transition to keto when you are mentally prepared for it.
As I have posted elsewhere, a friend of mind lost 13 kg just by cutting sugar and not eating bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, etc… She doesn’t count carbs and doesn’t even know what macros are. She didn’t even know what ketosis was until I told her. She cooks for her husband and 4 children and can manage low-carb for herself without changing things for everyone else.

(Jane) #13

Having been here a while I would challenge that. The majority here eat 2 meals a day to keep their insulin low and some even less.

(Lesli Ross) #14

I can easily see how people can only eat twice a day. Today I wasn’t nearly as hungry and almost skipped through a meal. But I’m still learning my body so I ate 6 oz of pork tenderloin, lol. Such good pork fat!

(mole person) #15

If you have keto flu then by definition you are in ketosis. But you don’t have a lot of weight to lose and it might be very slow or even nonexistent at the level of carbs you are eating. Being in slight ketosis does not guarantee weight loss especially when you aren’t very big. I started at the same weight as you and could actually gain weight while being in modest ketosis.

If you really want to give keto a good try I recommend dropping carbs to 20 grams. Personally I’ve never lost a pound while consuming things like almond flour, sweeteners, or fat bombs and was far more likely to go the other way.

(Scott) #16

I haven’t eaten a piece of fruit in 18 months and although I like fruit I really haven’t missed it. My exercise (running and weights) suffered badly at first. I had three months of “I don’t know if this keto thing is going to workout” and after that it was “hey I feel great now”. No need to snack, smaller meals but still eat veggies with dinner. I did increase my fats but have never concocted a “fat bomb” yet. I go out to eat and can always find something that will fit my WOE even in a Mexican restaurant. They lay the chips down and I don’t touch them but my wife can’t resist, that’s okay we both went keto 18 months ago and there is no right or wrong way to do it. If you get the results that work for you and you like it you must be doing it right. If you don’t like it change something or do something else.

(Lesli Ross) #17

Ok. So here’s a day 12 update. HOLY ENERGY! Yesterday I felt AMAZING. I stuck with it, lowered my carbs again (basically no veggies) and felt unbelievable. Maybe because my period finally started (7 days late) and maybe because I lowered my carbs (still 23.7 net carbs though) and everything is just finally coming together. This morning, I was also down to 134.2, so which makes it 4.6 lbs in 12 day, which is crazy.

Three more cool things - I started a jar of bacon nectar this morning!

And I listened to this great podcast about the keto diet from the perspective of a chiropractor who has felt the benefits himself. https://www.learntruehealth.com/ketogenic-diet/

Yesterday I worked out for the first time since starting keto and I had so much energy. I haven’t worked out that hard that effortlessly since college.

Ya’ll should listen to it if you haven’t already. So affirming!!

Thank you everyone on this thread for the encouragement and help!

(Bob M) #18

After 6 years on low carb, I supplement with Vitamin D. Once a week, maybe, with Vitamin K1/K2. Sometimes, rarer these days, with magnesium. That’s it.

I do add salt (a lot of salt) to my food, though.

(Bob M) #19

It takes a while. You need to get your insulin low enough that you can access your fat cells. That takes a while. I always thought the 2 week period should be more like a month.

(mole person) #20

I’ve been keto 3 years and ketogenic-carnivore for 1 year. I supplement nothing, not even salt.

I recently told my doctor about my diet and she ordered every test in the book thinking that I was likely on my way to having scurvy or something similar. The blood work was the best I’d ever had. Everything in normal range, including vitamin C, and B12 so high it exceeded the measurement range.

(Lesli Ross) #21

What was the doctor’s response to that?

(mole person) #22

She didn’t call me since everything was normal.
I got the results directly from the lab. The doctor only calls if there is something of concern.