Nearly 2 months in, am I doing this right?


(Elliott Carter) #1

Hello fellow Keto people (not entirely sure what the collective term for us is, if such a thing exists!) I wasn’t exactly sure where this post should go but this feels like the right section.

I’ve lurked on the forum for the last couple of weeks after hearing about it through the 2 Keto Dudes podcast and now I’ve got a couple of questions about my own approach to keto. I guess in essence I’m looking for some confirmation that i’m on the right track and that the things I am experiencing are pretty standard for beginners.

Quick background on me, I’m a 26 year old male from the UK and officially started the keto lifestyle on the 28th January this year. I have always been overweight but my weight really ballooned when I went to university and but for a few months of attempting to rectify this with some fad diets (Weight Watchers, SlimFast etc the usual calorie deficit diets) every 12-18 months or so my weight has been on a rather rapid upward trajectory ever since. I got a HbA1c test done but this was on the 10th March so (unfortunately?) it won’t have shown the full extent of the damage I had done to myself in the 3 months before starting keto. The score was 5.1 which as I understand it puts me comfortably in the ‘normal’ range but I’m pretty sure it would have been in the pre-diabetic range if I had taken the test before starting keto. Constant thirst, waking up two or three times in the night to pee and fatigue were three fairly regular visitors that have now gone away thankfully! But my main goals are for fat loss, that’s what I’m really wanting to achieve above anything else.

I’m about 99.9% sure I am now fat adapted. My energy levels are way up, my sleep is incredible (I couldn’t remember the last time I slept through an entire night before starting keto and now I sleep straight through almost every night) I have much more mental clarity and can concentrate for longer. The only bit I’m not sure about is in relation to hunger levels. I’ve heard the Dudes, and others, talk about feeling full when you wake up to the point that you can just forget to eat. I’m not at that point yet. It seems to get a bit better with every day but I would say that as a general rule I now wake up in a morning not feeling hungry but within an hour, hour and a half I am aware that I’m hungry. Not ravenously hungry, need to eat something now levels of hungry, but I am aware of a feeling of hunger in my stomach that I can ignore until the time my 8 hour feeding window starts. I also find that i’m getting hungry at night just before bed. So i’ll be satisfied after my last meal of the day but then half an hour (ish) before bed I start feeling hungry. I can ignore this feeling and it doesn’t stop me sleeping and as mentioned when I wake up I don’t feel hungry again so this is a slightly strange phenomenon I can’t explain. I make sure I feel full when I stop eating my final meal of the day so not sure what the cause is.

At the point of starting keto I weighed in at exactly 152 kilograms which I kind of knew would be the case but had been desperately avoiding the scales at all costs in the hope that if I didn’t look at the number it couldn’t hurt me haha! Anyway, as I mentioned I have been eating keto since then and weighing myself every week (again I have since read a lot of articles, posts etc saying not to do this but I am one of those scale obsessives as a result of the fad diets and still psychologically find it hard not to weigh myself so have settled on roughly once a week as a compromise) and my weights have been as follows:

January 28th - 152 kilos
February 4th - 145.8 kilos
February 11th - 143.8 kilos
February 18th - 143.0 kilos
February 25th - 142.1 kilos
March 5th - 141.4 kilos
March 11th - 140.4 kilos
March 18th - 139.7 kilos

So I know that on paper most people would be delighted with over 10 kilos of weight loss in under 2 months but I already know that the massive loss from week one to week two will be mostly water weight. I’ve heard people talking about how you can expect to lose, on average, one or two pounds a week but is this a general rule for all people of any weight or age, gender, diabetic or non-diabetic status etc? I keep telling myself it took me 25 years to get to this point (an oversimplification but you get the point) so i’m not going to be able to undo that in 8 weeks but I thought the weekly losses might be a bit more substantial as an overall % of my starting weight.

I know I haven’t mentioned any specifics of what I’m eating/drinking, my activity levels etc but this post is already starting to feel like War and Peace and that’s coming from the author of the post so I apologise to you all for having to read this in advance. Happy to provide the information in replies if/where it is useful.

The one line summary is - I started nearly 2 months ago, non-diabetic, goals are mostly related to fat loss, feel I am doing well overall but slightly disappointed at the rate of weight (hopefully mostly fat) loss since then. Are there any obvious things I am missing or am I just impatient?


(Polly) #2

Well done on your loss so far.

Be patient. Eat less than 20g of carbs per day and enjoy the huge variety of delicious foods we can eat, your health will improve and the fat will disappear.

This is totally made up. People lose fat at a variable rate there is no sensible expectation that it will go at any particular rate. See Zoe Harcombe talking about how much weight people following her managed carb diet can expect to lose:


(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #3

That’s fine. It was several months before I stopped wanting breakfast. Listen to your body. Eat when hungry, stop eating when satisfied, and don’t eat again until hungry again. As your average insulin level drops, it will stop interfering with the hormones that regulate appetite.


#4

Sounds like you’re doing good man, My only recommendation that will undoubtedly differ from the masses here as I started around your current weight is to become a tracker, figure out your RMR/TDEE and only eat at around a 20% deficit of that. For those of us that are bigger, we have a really high RMR (takes a lot to keep us going!) You can capitalize on that! Faster metabolism means burning everything off faster. BUT, if you’re deficit is too large combined with how satiating keto can be many of us will under eat and not realize it. We won’t be hungry and we’ll loose fat faster for a while but our metabolisms adapt. Plus, when you loose massive amounts of weight you’re loosing muscle as well, which we will, but you need to minimize it as much as possible because muscle mass is not only good for us both visually and metabolically because it keeps our RMR up. Make sure you’re getting in plenty of protein for your goals.

Just like people that do long term hypocaloric diets, we do the same thing. Then we have no where to go and stall out. Sometimes long term. Not a fun situation to be in when you’re still over weight. I started at your current weight and now I’m at 190lbs/86kg. Still at it, screwed my metabolism up bad and did a lot of reverse dieting to get it back up which means gaining a little back, now my main focus is on body recomposition for a while which is working out good so far.

We all want to loose it as fast as possible, but for those of us with a lot to loose, we gotta play it smart! You Working out or doing resistance training?


(Marianne) #5

First off, congratulations on your progress. :hugs:

Regarding the scale, my message is that you don’t have to be a slave to it. I think in the last year, other than when I’ve gone to the doctor, I’ve only weighed myself once or twice, even from the start. I HATE the scale. It is so destructive - to me. Keto has liberated me from that. What a blessing. If you are committed to this plan, what does weight matter? You can tell pretty much where you’re at by how you look and your clothes. I am comfortable in the knowledge that if I stick to my plan, I will lose weight while feeling great. No judgment, but I don’t cheat. I love keto food and that satisfies me enough to not want the other things I used to love. It’s all good. I can’t tell you how good it feels now to think about eating, food, my weight, exercising - any of that. Those thoughts consumed almost every minute of every day for 50+ years while I was eating SAD. Now, I look forward to dinner but don’t obsess in any way about it, or what the scale says. I just pull something out of the freezer for supper and pan sear it. I don’t want to make elaborate things or fuss, and I still find what we eat delicious and totally satisfying. If I am ravenous during the day, I will see if it passes. If it doesn’t, I eat something (cheese, eggs, pepperoni, leftover meat, etc.).

I hope to see more of you and read about your journey.


(Joey) #6

@Elliott1919 You’re doing great … and clearly feeling the benefits already.

I agree: tracking the nutritional composition of what you eat (at least for a while) is highly informative. After decades of eating without tracking, there’s a lot to learn that’ll serve you well for the rest of your long life.

The great keto paradox: Q: The hardest part about keto primarily for weight loss? A: It’s worrying about your weight loss.

Again, you’re doing great - enjoy these significant improvements in how you feel. And stay the course.

If you continue to eat in a healthy way, your body weight will eventually settle into whatever the “healthiest you” is supposed to weigh.

Adding enjoyable physical activities will also ensure you don’t just weigh the “right amount” but that your body composition (muscle/fat/bone mass) will also transition slowly to be the “right mix” for you.

Go for it - and keep us posted! :vulcan_salute:


#7

I don’t think everyone ever can expect that. We are individuals and our hunger works differently, it’s normal.
Some people always wake up hungry, no matter their woe.
I always wake up very much satiated with a negative appetite, no matter my woe and I had that as a little kid too.
Keto and fat adaptation can’t change certain things and it changes us differently.
Not everyone does IF on keto and not even every OMADer skip breakfast and there is no problem with that.

There are various hunger signs, at least I have a “stomach hunger”, easy to ignore and I do that. I clearly feel I couldn’t eat a proper sized meal, my body is fine, no need to eat, no appetite… It’s just some odd type of hunger, no problem.

Before bed hunger, hm… Maybe your body doesn’t think you ate enough? I have way less fat to lose but it’s still substantial and I only can eat at a quite small deficit on my best woe or else I got hungry at night (or earlier). It doesn’t matter I am full or even stuffed after my meals, I need enough calories and enough protein to feel satiated at bedtime. I experienced this zillion times so now I strongly suspect how I should eat to avoid a big midnight meal… (I don’t KNOW as there are several factors, different food items result in different satiation and even I didn’t test everything.)
Eating only when hungry and stopping when satiated (if we have clear signs for these to begin with) doesn’t even work for all of us.

It’s not a rule. It’s a pretty nice pace for fat-loss, usually quite doable and normal but of course, there are zillion factors and it’s perfectly normal not to lose anything for some weeks. Some people loses nothing in the beginning. I totally couldn’t as I was hungry so ate a lot. I needed fat adaptation first but that wasn’t enough for long either.
Fat-loss isn’t automatic for everyone on keto but with your excess fat, it’s expected to have some nice paced fat-loss. And you have that, even ignoring the water weight loss. It’s not fast at all but not horribly slow either. Not everyone can easily have fat-loss just because they do keto and IF.
I wouldn’t want a much speedier fat-loss but some more is probably realistic with your weight, tweak your woe if you have some good idea what you can easily do then. Very determined folks do longer extended fasts but that’s not for beginners and probably not for most of us.

Your pace isn’t bad and you got great benefits, I wouldn’t be very displeased in your place :slight_smile:

There are no rules about weighing yourself either. If I want to do it twice a day, I do that and it’s perfectly fine (a bit silly, once is enough but I am a curious one even if the number isn’t informative. I haven’t weighed myself since December, no need, I have fitting pants to figure out if I lost anything. if I do, I will start to weigh myself now and then). But some people shouldn’t own a scale…
Once a week is fine but don’t worry if you see a bigger number one week. No weight-loss for a while is perfectly normal and as the body may decide on retaining much more water, the number can go up, it doesn’t means you didn’t lose fat. This bodyweight fluctuation is the reason I find more frequent weighing better but in the end, you just want to get slimmer, not seeing smaller numbers all the time so if you has any problem seeing, like +1-2kg from one day to another unlike me, you shouldn’t do it too often indeed. But one week is still too short to expect a definitely smaller number every week even if you lose fat just nice so don’t worry about the numbers if there is a little bump eventually.
Your body seem not to fluctuate much (mine is the same. I am a woman but my cycle does absolutely nothing to my weight. not even my carb intake nowadays), that helps. But one can never know.


(Elliott Carter) #8

Thanks man, do you have a recommendation of a reliable source for calculating RMR? I’ve looked at it online using some of the free calculators that appear and they suggest somewhere around the 2400/2500 mark but i’m not sure how much faith to put into them as they are based off of age, gender, height and weight and nothing else which seems a bit simplistic.

One of the things I was going to ask about in my original post, before I realised how long it had gotten, was if there was anyone of roughly the same starting weight as me who could give me an insight into what their weight loss journey looked like. Another thing I didn’t add in was that I initially started based on the ideas of Dr. Michael Mosley and his fast 800 work so although I was keeping carbs low, I’m confident I was below 20g net for the approximately three weeks I did this, I was sticking to an 800 calorie per day limit. Having caught up with all the science behind keto during those three weeks I now realise that the 800 calorie restrictive approach probably wasn’t appropriate for my situation. Hopefully this won’t have done too much damage to the speed of my metabolism as I have just eaten to satiety since then without tracking calories either so as not to get fixated on macros other than remaining below 20g net carbs each day.

I think I’m keeping my protein levels high enough, a typical day for me will involve something like 120g tinned tuna at lunchtime with plenty of mayo and some green leafy salad and probably a couple of slices of cheddar cheese and a handful of nuts. Evening meals involve eggs and bacon most days (with mayo or cream cheese, crispy bacon with cream cheese is not something i’d had in my life before starting keto and wow have I been missing out until then!) or if not I’ve been having lots of meals involving 20/25% fat beef mince or steak or higher quality 85/90% pork sausages.

I’m not working out yet, I’m, trying to keep things simple for now and not add any of the bells and whistles so I can try and work out what impact they have on me if I gradually add them one by one. So at the minute I’m working from home but go for a walk a couple of times a week. I have different routes but they tend to be at least half an hour each and sometimes up to forty five minutes or an hour.

I plan to use a 16/8 eating window each day and have two proper meals but normally break my fast with either a BPC or some tea with a big serving of heavy whipping cream and a tablespoon of MCT oil in, sometimes this ends up being a shorter window if I get hungry earlier, some days it ends up being an 18/6 if I can go later in the day without wanting to eat or have my evening meal earlier. I tried a 24 hour fast early on and that was a mistake as I felt horrendous and gave up after 20 hours. Planned to do a 24 hour fast minimum last week and see how far I could go with it, made it to 30 hours which I was pretty happy with but those are my only attempts at going a full 24 hours or more with no food at all at this point.


(Elliott Carter) #9

Thanks Paul! I think that’s one of the things that has confused me most at the beginning stages of this way of eating. I’ve heard people with a couple of years or more of keto experience explain that once you become fat adapted your hunger levels will drop considerably and that forgetting to eat is almost a regular occurrence and also that (for most people) fat adaption occurs around the 6-8 week mark. To me, and it may be my interpretation is wrong, this is often made to sound as if once you are fat adapted you will immediately experience the sensation of going for hours without feeling hungry after you wake up and this hasn’t quite been the case for me.

I normally resist the hunger slightly when it comes on just to make sure it isn’t a psychological hunger from having been awake and not immediately assaulted my body with orange juice and toast or any of the other things I used to eat on a daily basis. Or to try and stick to my 16/8 feeding window but I’m not rigid about this, if I feel what I believe to be true hunger before that point I will break my fast with a BPC or tea with heavy whipping cream and MCT oil.


#10

There isn’t one. You can either have it measured which is the easiest and pretty inexpensive to do, or you can figure it out by tracking and seeing at what point you loose/maintain/gain.

For me, I blame fasting for my metabolic slowdown even more than under eating. That’s me and I can’t prove it, but the timeline fits perfectly. At your size I wouldn’t start at anything less than 3000cals/day. See if you can loose or maintain there, do 2 weeks at a time, when you know, drop if you need to by 100-200 and give it another 2 weeks. When you stop loosing, drop again by 100 and ride it out. You want your metabolic rate as high as possible for as long as possible.

It’s hard to figure out muscle mass when your bigger but know that you have a lot more muscle than you think you do. I’d get at least 200g protein a day if you can. You don’t want to give your body any excuses to start attacking what you have, you’ll loose muscle either way but you want to keep it minimal.


#11

Please read my post “My Plateau Life - Wanna Join Me?” I go over this A LOT. In synopsis, the best weight loss is SLOW weight loss. 1/2 pound per week is absolutely fine and the weight that you lose at this rate will stay off. If you’re a life-long dieter, you know this. We all just want to “get the weight off quickly” and your body really doesn’t work that way.

Please read the post. It will help you.


(Bob M) #12

Hunger levels dropping? True. Forgetting to eat? Ha! Maybe for someone who is not me. I have NEVER “forgotten” to eat.

I have had times when I’ve not been hungry, but ate anyway. Hard not to eat dinner with the family. Particularly in a pandemic, when karate and dance were all online.

What I found, when trying Atkins multiple times before finally sticking with it, was that at some time during the day, I’d say to myself, “You know, I’m actually not that hungry right now. And it’s lunch. What’s up with that?”

But I think the people who forget to eat for an entire day or more are like jackalopes: probably mythical, but could be true.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #13

I don’t have reliable hunger signals. What I experience are very slight and fleeting. Often, I’ll get involved in something and not notice or just think in passing that I’ll eat ‘in a while’. Then forget that I didn’t eat and suddenly realize that it’s already too late to eat. I don’t like to eat past about 8 pm. I’ll do it sometimes, though, generally only if I’ve eaten less than about a total 2000 calories that day. But even if I don’t, I won’t feel any more hungry the next day. If I miss my target one day, I generally try to hit it the next or at least get closer to it. When I have a work shift that ends late in the day, I have the most difficulty eating as much as I want. Regardless, my ‘hunger’ doesn’t change. I appreciate that I’m likely an oddball.

Pre-keto I had fairly normal hunger and satiety signals. But they’re long gone.