Mixing it up, but still at a stall! Keep Calm and Keto on?


(Kayla J Hower) #10

Thank you all so much. I think there might be a bit of carb creep happening. Sometimes I get a bit carried away with nuts or dairy. Those are often my go to “lazy keto” foods.
I think being more intentional about the actual carb content of keto foods will be important to monitor, but also relaxing and giving myself a break --that a month isn’t really a stall!
Also, the info that @akirby83 shared helps me to chill out, while I make a few little adjustments.

(Liz ) #11

Hey you are getting good advice here already but I will also jump in to say, be sure you aren’t eating between meals! Any time you eat you spike insulin. I feel like DON’T SNACK (after the first two months, say) should be part of the standard Keto credo.

But also I’ll add that I saw the scale stall out for months but my body continued to change composition so that I went down TWO SIZES, keto is mysterious and magical lol. So even though I have more weight to lose I’m happy to keep trying the things like lowering protein, fasting, changing my eating window up, changing up my caloric intake until my basal insulin rate falls enough that the scale starts to move again because probably other good things are happening I can’t measure with a scale. KCKO!


Your observations from your own experience are so helpful!! The snacking thing is key and something I missed for the first 6 weeks on Keto.
I am curious, what were your eating habits like before Keto? I might be mixing you up with someone else but I think I read that you were following low carb/Paleo for a bit? I’m just curious if people have more success coming into Keto from a carb heavy diet, or already having gained momentum from cutting carbs, or not.

(Liz ) #13

Yes that’s me! Thanks for the kind words :blush: I lost 60 pounds on Atkins in 2003 but that left me at 200 pounds (at 5’8”). Atkins “stopped working” but I stayed lowish carb even so because I knew I had a sugar addiction. Over the years I gained 20 pounds, lost 40, gained 30 til I started Keto one year ago. With the adoption of Paleo a few years ago I let carbs back in in the form of sweet potato, fruit, honey, & maple syrup, a carb creep which triggered my addiction. So I still had to make that leap to go Keto even though I knew all the principles of low carb & why it was better for me. I still went through withdrawal. Had to carefully plan meals. Let go of foods that were harming me. Break the spell. But I didn’t have to unlearn low fat, for example. I already didn’t believe the bullsh*t about cholesterol. I knew sort of why carbs were harmful but it was with Keto I learned about the role of insulin and meal timing/fasting. And that science is the game changer.


I’d done low carb versions before, so giving up serious carbs was not that great a leap. All of 2017 I did lazy keto with reckless abandon. I vaguely kept carbs low, but indulged in keto treats, and HWC past reality. I don’t know that I ever enjoyed food so much. Love the fat!!! , I gained 10 pounds.

This year I started in seriously about Jan 10. I write everything I eat down. and for me weight loss is still slow, but it is happening. Fat never has and probably never will ‘melt off’. But over the past couple months, as an old female, I have had to mind every nook and cranny in keto to make slow progress. But what alternative is there? None.

So now, No snacking between ‘meals’, closely monitoring the difference between real hunger and ‘wanting to eat’, dropping keto treats, dropping most HWC in too many coffees, … and what others above have said.

There is still much to learn about the nuances, and it is hard to find consistent answers… it is a bit of a wild west in KetoLand. But I absolutely know this is the way to go.

It may be easier going for younger males to lose weight, but for many mature women? Not quite so much.


Side thought: I hate that whole “Keep calm and {insert blank} on” meme that has been floating around the internet the last couple years. I wish this community hadn’t embraced it, but oh well…

(KCKO, KCFO) #16


(Not a Chef) #17


It’s also hard because everyone reads a plan and adopts portions and has it work well.

Keep carbs below your limit, tweak from there. The only consistent advice is to keep carbs low.

(Kayla J Hower) #18

Now that I read your comment, I identify with this so much. Not really feeling hungry but just eating because I want to. This has been a big barrier for me when it comes to fasting. I will get to a certain point and just sabotage because I don’t like to be uncomfortable I guess.

(Not a Chef) #19

Tuning your appetite to internal cues (I feel hungry) rather than external cues (my plate isn’t clean) is a revealing exercise. I highly recommend it, not even for fasting but general eating.

(Ethan) #20

Right. I have often summarized @richard’s theory as follows:

Let x be the number of Calories your body can reduce its BMR to when fasting
Your body will strive to keep storage of y pounds of fat such it can draw x Calories from that fat for z days of fasting.

Here is my analysis:

Clearly, y is determined largely by insulin level. If a person’s insulin level is consistently high, he or she does not have access to draw Calories from fat; thus, his or her y is relatively high. We don’t know what z is. I heard @richard speak about it as 1 day. It may be easier to fix it at 1 day when analyzing how to solve the problem. (I think it actually isn’t 1 though, since the body needs to be restricted for a while to drop its BMR, which is used in the calculation of y.) If we hold z at 1, though, we can address the problem with only a focus on insulin level and BMR:

  1. Fast more so that insulin drops (hopefully reducing it permanently)
  2. Decrease BMR so that your requirement for y Calories is also decreased!

I think everybody here is on board for the first solution. If we fast more often, longer, or differently, we can hopefully reduce our basal insulin levels so that less fat is required to get the same Calories out of it.

I think the second solution is going to hit people like a ton of bricks. We tend to talk about increasing BMR or at least not reducing it so that we don’t stop losing weight. However, I posit that a high BMR results in more need to keep more fat reserves on hand. I have experience with this, too. The times I have lost weight in the past never resulted in a stall–except this time. I think it’s because I am not Calorie restricting this time. My body has kept its high BMR, so I keep gaining back losses after my extended fasts. My body wants to keep some fat storage to keep the BMR functioning. I am curious what the @dudes, Dr. Fung, and @meganjramos think about that theory.


I struggled a bit with the high fat at the beginning, but the more I educate myself the more I feel reassured that it all makes sense and I’m doing the right thing by my body. Loving this community!

(Stephanie Pettinella) #22

Story. Of. My. Life.

(Linda M Au) #23

Still in a stall here. Started mid-January. Lost 15 lbs. quickly. Stalled since then. No real inches lost anywhere. Finally lost another 3 lbs. this past week (ironically, after being mostly OFF the diet while out of town at a conference), but still in a basic stall.

My thought is to look at my dairy intake (I love my cheeses and HWC mason jar ice cream), but I have a question about that: Assuming my stall is dairy-related (I’m going to isolate variables till I figure this out)… do I have to ELIMINATE dairy for that variable to work? Or can I just severely reduce the dairy intake?

In other words, when I’m testing a variable, does it have to be elimination or will reduction do it?

(Liz ) #24

That’s an experiment you will have to do on yourself, I think. Everyone is different.

Do you use sweeteners though? They can cause stalls.

(Dan Dan) #25

But which one or all :thinking:

Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause an Insulin Spike?

"There are multiple types of sweeteners, all of them chemically distinct from each other. A more useful question would be “What effect does [specific artificial sweetener goes here] have "

(Kayla J Hower) #26

@LizinLowell and @Dan_Dan Thank you for the information. I do use a Monk Fruit/Erythritol blend (not everyday) and occassionally enjoy some Halo Top ice cream or a diet soda here and there. So I could just cut those out for a couple weeks and see what happens.
My stall that caused me to write this post was broken by a 60 hour fast, and then having the stomach flu… I have about 40 more pounds that I would like to lose so any little stall feels like a big deal! :slight_smile:
I guess it’s time to do some self experimentation.


There’s another aspect to this, which is that a high BMR might not actually be great for long-term health and longevity. Fast-burning engine, lots of metabolic byproducts…
It seems to me that once one is at a healthy weight, keeping energy needs low is a good plan in the long run.


A true “elimination diet” for the purpose of identifying the specific foods that cause a certain response in your body requires two things for each candidate food: 1) eliminate it for an extended period of time (usually a week or two), and 2) introduce it in major quantities on a single day. I did this years ago to identify allergies. For two weeks I abstained entirely from every food I thought might be a problem. Then, starting with the most likely candidate, I consumed a large amount of that item in all three meals for one day, and recorded the results. Waited one day, then did the same thing with the next candidate. Etc. Etc. For me, “dairy” was too broad a category. I tested milk, cream, butter, hard cheese, soft cheese, and yogurt all as separate items, each on its own day. Milk was a very serious problem, butter was a minor problem, all the rest were fine. I stopped drinking milk for several years until I got over my intolerance to it.

(James H Shaffer) #29

I would say to just be patient and try some things, til you figure it out. I just broke a stall today, I cut my intake across the board and it seemed to work. also cut way back on nuts, slightly less dairy and less sweet stuff like drinks and jello and it seemed to work.