My intermittent fasting low carb journey


(Chuck) #1

Thank you for allowing me to join. A little about me!
I am a male 75 years old, been doing Keto/low carb since the first of September 2022, I have lost just over 30 pounds. I fast daily at least 16 hours. I have read a number of books on Keto and mostly looking for support. I am not a diabetic, but have mildly high blood pressure, and ever since I went to Navy boot camp and was introduced to a high carb diet I have had weight issues. I now weigh less than I did my 8 years in the Navy and have more energy, no brain fog, and sleep better. My goals is simply to finally keep my extra weight off. When I turned 21 and left for boot camp I weighed 167 with a 28 inch waist, up on graduation from boot camp I weighed 220 with a 34 waist. Today I weigh 209.5 with a 36 waist. My doctor say I should lose down to at least 180. My thinking is if I stick with the low carb, below 50 total carbs a day my body should find its equilibrium weight.

(Allie) #2

Welcome Chuck, sounds like you’re doing just fine so far :smiley:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #3

Welcome to the forums! Your experience in the Navy is typical of people eating a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet, and it is a real shame, because the military is now having trouble finding recruits and members who are fit enough to fight. If they could get away from the U.S. dietary guidelines, things might be different, who knows?

A couple of questions. First, do you know what your body composition is? People use the word “weight” indiscriminately, and this is a bad habit, because it is generally fat that we want to shed, not lean mass. Thus, a goal expressed merely in pounds might be misleading.

Second, how tall are you? This would have implications for the weight and body composition your body is most comfortable at. You may never get down to your 21-year-old pre-Navy weight, however, so don’t be disappointed. Just rejoice in whatever fat loss you do manage to achieve.

The limit of 50 g of total carbohydrate is not a bad one, but depending on how insulin-resistant you happen to be, you might find yourself having to lower that limit. On the other hand, you might find that you are metabolically healthy enough to be able to tolerate a bit more than 50 g. In any case, see what progress you make at your current limit before making changes. However, the poundage you’ve lost already suggests that you are doing fine.

At four months on this way of eating, you are almost certainly past the fat-adaptation phase. So if you feel motivated to exercise, have at it! It won’t help your weight, but it is good for general metabolic health.

(Joey) #4

@cvkemp Greetings, Chuck! Great to hear of your significant progress … strong indication of your self-driven and focused nature :+1:

As a guy in his mid-60s who is currently ~3 years into this low-carb “keto thing” I can join you in that miraculous feeling of being in far better shape and more energetic now than I ever was in my 30s, 40s, 50s eating a low-fat high carb diet - despite running 2-3 miles daily all those years.

Yup, there’s a “fountain of youth” to be found in here somewhere (as our family doc has remarked).

Keep us posted on your progress and don’t hesitate to ask others around here about their own experiences/tips that have worked along their own n=1 situations. :vulcan_salute:

(Chuck) #5

I am 6 ft, my body fat is just about 20%. I don’t expect to ever get back to 167, and I have my doubts about getting to 180 even. I have been down to 188, back before Covid hit, and I guess it depressed me with all the restrictions. I either workout on my exercise bike or I walk the trails in the area. I don’t do weights, I have always found that so boring. I was raised on the farm and my exercise was throwing hay bails most of the time.

(Chuck) #6

My dad was Navy, during WW2, my dad’s side of the family, great grandfather, grandfather, and my dad until I was about 7 were share croppers. I was raised by a strong stubborn family from my great grandfather down. I learned hard work, and it was beat into my head how important an education was. Not necessarily a college degree but the desire to learn, research and more importantly read. I was raised to be disciplined, and to stand up for myself and to survive on my own in the wild by the time I was 12. Not that I was abandoned but just survival skills. And I have come to realize I need those skills now, because it seems most doctors only want to push pills for symptoms and not give answers for cures.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #7

My dad was at his best at 180 lbs./82 kg, so if you can get there, that would be good. We have a concept on these forums called the “Phinney weight,” which Dr. Stephen Phinney describes as the weight we can get to without too much trouble and maintain without having to fight our body.

My Phinney weight is about 85 lbs. higher than I’d really prefer, but my goal for keto was not fat loss, but rather the restoration of metabolic health, a goal which I have achieved. And I did lose 80 lbs. of fat on keto (which is consistent with data compiled by Phinney and Volek), which has basically given me my life back, in many ways, so I’m not going to fight with my body to get it to go any further. I do get the urge to exercise from time to time, but I simply lie down until it passes (with apologies to Mark Twain).

(Chuck) #8

I don’t consider what I do as exercise, it is more like doing something to keep from being bored. I can ride the exercise bike and listen to audio books. When I am on the trails, it is my 4 legged partner and my time enjoying nature.

(Robin) #9

Twain never gets old.

(Michael) #10

Welcome chuck. If you had more muscle when younger, you may find 167 not so hard to achieve after all. I now weigh less than I did at 19 and I am definitely stronger in my upper body but weaker in my lower body than my young buck self. I guess you’ll find out :slight_smile:

(Chuck) #11

I give that a lot of thought, I am really thinking of allowing my body reach its own happy state. I did it back when I was in my early thirties and on the Atkin’s diet. And I did get down to the mid 160s. Then I started eating carbs and I regained it all and much more.

(Chuck) #12

Made 22 hours of fasting today, I still wasn’t what I call hungry. I can remember being always hungry when I ate high carbs. Some days I eat more calories than I did on the high carb diet, some days I just don’t care if I eat much at all. While I am not losing weight quickly I am seeing at few tens of a pound loss almost daily. Yes I have read the comments about forgetting the scales. But I have to chart my blood pressure and weight daily for my doctor as I am hoping to finally become prescribing medication free.


Welcome! How did you eat on high-carb? It’s always a bit odd to me that others were hungry on it as I was very satiated, I just had very annoying sharp sudden hunger sometimes (and all my family was satiated on high-carb, it seemed to me it’s the normal…). But when I got hungry, I ate, of course. And I ate very, very high-fat and high-calorie, that was the price of my good satiation. Some others pull it off way better but carbs always made me hungry so I needed a ton of fat to balance the carbs out. (I didn’t track back then but there are multiple signs it happened. and I have memories too).
Sorry to jump this on you right away but I have read this “always hungry on high-carb” so many times and now I got very curious to figure out why when the people I know had no such problem. And maybe it’s the fat. For some people, it’s probably the protein (too). Even though not eating enough protein on any diet is even weirder to me… I can’t not eat enough, my body WANTS it and it tells me so. (And protein sources are often very, very tasty.) If one or two things my poor old high-carber body knew, it’s the importance of good fatty protein sources. It needed help with the carbs part and that took ages to realize :frowning:
And there is probably lots of other factors as well. My hunger is correlated to my macros but it’s not so simple, obviously, not even on average. Day to day, of course we change, we aren’t robots.

Some people can weigh themselves every day, some people shouldn’t do it ever or just rarely. I can do it but as my weight is pretty stable and I don’t care about it, I just focus on my pants, they are just a tad not comfortable enough so every little waist changes is apparent.

(Chuck) #14

I was trying to follow my doctor and a dietitian, which was high carb, very low fat. It made me hungry all of the time. I was doing as told and eating less and moving more. Back in August I fired the dietitian and told my doctor I have two choices, one I demand another doctor from the VA clinic or two you work with me and let me control my diet. I had read a number of books by Keto doctors and scientists and I was cleaning house as they say getting rid of garbage food items and gearing up to go keto. My doctor never flinched he said let’s do it, and he meant it. I saw him in mid December he had lost weight as well as me. And he confessed to being on the keto lifestyle with me. My normally 30 minute appointment was over an hour and we compared notes. I did have high zine, and low potassium levels and I have been working on that. I am off all medication except for on BP medication that I am weening off of. My BP is still low than he likes, and I am keeping daily charts on my weight and BP, along with a summery of what I am eating. I email him that information on Sunday night and he emails suggested or way to go Monday afternoon. My next lab work is in April.

(Michael) #15

Zinc and copper are related. If you have high zinc, you probably have low copper and vice versa. Might want to consider a ceruloplasmin test for your copper status.

(Chuck) #16

My doctor retested me in early January for a number of thinks. Still waiting for results

(Allie) #17

As happens in most cases, such bad advice, and combine it with the “eat less move more” narrative that’s so common, recipe for disaster.

(KM) #18

It’s wonderful you actually brought a VA doctor over from the dark side! Congratulations.

My personal experience has been that longer fasts (3-5 days of water / electrolyte only) drops the weight. I’ll drop a few scale pounds (in other words unknown composition), gain back about half to 2/3, then my body seems to normalize at the new weight and my keto diet will keep it there.

Good luck to you, may your keto journey be fruitful! Well no … Fruitless. Ummmmm… :joy: … Satisfying.


Lovely! :slight_smile:

I never knew anyone doing low-fat so I don’t know their experiences but I surely would be hungry like crazy there. It’s better when it’s low-carb but that’s either not sustainable or I consider “low” in my own way… I don’t know the fat intake of people on low-fat is, I consider anything below 80g low. It’s pretty low compared to the Hungarian average too…

I am sure HCLF works for some people. But not for most of us, probably. And it matters what the carbs are anyway (and the protein and its level etc.). Still, for many of us, both LF and HC is a very poor match.

Stupid dietary guidelines. I have read the one for my country some months ago and I still cringe if I think about it.

May Chuck enjoy the fruit of his efforts and the fruit of the labor of whoever makes the food! :smiley: In this sense, even some nice roast can be a fruit :wink:

(I have problems when I call some cute animal or lovely person sugar, I mean it positive but I don’t consider sugar positive…)

(Allie) #20

Low fat, in my experience, seems to be the same amount of fat grams as we encourage people to have in carb grams. I couldn’t even imagine eating 20g fats now, not that I think I ever had it that low.