Need guidance after disappointing first month


#1

Hi there. I’m new here. I’m 70 years old, weighed 169 at last weigh in, and want to lose 40 lbs.

I started on low carb on May 1, '22 to transition hopefully to carnivore just to try to lose weight fast, because I lose motivation if I’m not losing. Tracked everything, was under 100 carbs for a week, then under 50, then for the past two weeks have been under 20, now I’m under 10. I don’t exercise

I’ve cut out all dairy except what is allowed on carnivore. I’ve cut out all grains and all sugar.

Still, no progress. Clothes aren’t looser. I haven’t weighed, because it makes me anxious. I don’t even own a scale, and never will again. Still, I thought after a month, at least my clothes would be a little looser, but no. My belly is still just as fat. the only difference I’ve seen is my neck being less swollen. I have a thyroid goiter, and had also started taking Lugol’s iodine, so that may be from that. My thyroid numbers are always within normal range, but low normal.

I still have diarrhea, but it’s getting better. It’s usually in the morning only now, and eases up as soon as I eat. Occasional headaches, but drinking more water seems to help. I’m taking all my electrolytes.

I don’t know what to do now. Should I go ahead and transition fully into carnivore? Is it my age that’s stopping me from making any progress, or the fact that I was a complete fruit addict and had a lot of sugar stored up in my body? I’m getting discouraged, and if I don’t start seeing some results soon, I’m liable to quit.

Really need some encouragement.


(Joey) #2

@anon24984088 Welcome to the forum - and congratulations on setting onto a path to enhance your health!

Yes, as we get older, our bodies become slower in every respect, including changing our metabolism.

Being 70 years old affords you lots of life’s wisdom. With that in mind, may I assume that it took you many decades to get to your current weight? If so, why would you reasonably expect to see results so quickly - or else you’ll quit?

I would propose that, along with the wonderful self-discipline you’ve tapped into thus far, you need to add a more realistic set of expectations for how quickly one’s body can adapt.

A lot of younger folks report immediate benefits in terms of weight loss. But much of that is water weight - which may or may not be healthy for an older person depending on her situation.

Stay properly hydrated, keep the carbs low, eat to your satisfaction level, and do not starve yourself. Your body will adapt on its own schedule - which is exactly what you really want.

Happily you don’t own a scale. Good for you! Meanwhile, continue to take good care of yourself and keep us posted when things change. :vulcan_salute:


(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #3

I gather from your username that you are a woman. If so, you should know that it takes a period of hormonal re-regulation before many women’s fat loss begins, so the fact you haven’t seen any is not surprising, and it should not be a source of discouragement.

The exact limit of your carb intake will depend on how insulin-resistant you are. Higher insulin resistance means a larger insulin response to a given amount of glucose (carbohydrate), and serum insulin must be below a certain value for fat loss to occur. Above that value, fatty acids are trapped in fat tissue by the action of insulin, insulin being the fat-storage hormone par excellence. So the lower you can keep your carb intake, the lower your insulin, and the more likely you are to be below your fat storage threshold. Cutting out all grains and sugar is good; and you will find it helpful to eliminate starches as well. Eat only leafy greens and vegetables that grow above ground. Careful with the fruits, such as peas, tomatoes, and the sweet fruits, because they can contain a lot of glucose. (They generally also contain fibre, as well, but too much of them—whatever that amount might be for you—is too much, regardless of fibre.)

You will find your thyroid hormones lower on a ketogenic diet. This is perfectly normal, and a number of researchers believe that the body in ketosis uses thyroid hormones more efficiently, so the level doesn’t need to be as high as when we eat a lot of carbohydrate.

If you are having diarrhoea, do you think you might be eating too much salt? There is a healthy range that we want to stick within. Also, if you are getting your fat mostly from seed oils (soybean, canola, sunflower, corn, safflower, cottonseed, etc.), you might find it helpful to switch to solid fats, such as butter, lard, tallow, and bacon grease. Also, don’t overdo the fat intake; you only need enough to satisfy your hunger. And remember that fat contains over twice the calories per gram as carbohydrate, so it only takes 133 g of fat to give you the same number of calories as 300 g of digestible carbohydrate (i.e., not counting fibre).

If you wish to cut out carbohydrate completely, most people find there is a separate adaptation, even when they started from keto. So you might want to give yourself a few months on keto to adapt to that, then switch to carnivore. But it is possible to go straight from the standard American diet (SAD) direct to carnivore, so you can do it if you really want to.

But be aware that fat loss will not be instantaneous on either keto or carnivore, so don’t expect miracles. The people who lost large amounts of fat right away all had large amounts to lose, and it is a truism that the first 100 pounds (45.5 kg) come off much more easily than the last 10 poungs (4.54 kg).


(Robin) #4

68 year old woman here. Trust me… patience is the key. I wouldn’t jump right into carnivore or try to drastically reduce calories. Your body needs time to adjust.
Your mind needs to be adjusted too. Forget thinking you will give up without fast results. Fight that feeling as hard as you are fighting for your health. It’s process. It works. Patience.
You got this!


#5

Thanks for the encouragement. I will not quit. I know that I’m on the right track, because all the gas and boating I used to have is gone.


#6

I was watching Dr. Ken Berry and he says the diarrhea is normal, and is your body ridding yourself of the extra water that it’s hung on to because of all the toxicity in your body. Of course, he’s full on carnivore, but I’ve read a lot of reports of people going straight from SAD to carnivore who had horrendous adjustment periods. Mine has been not so bad, since I’m trying to transition slowly. I just would like to know it’s working.

I read everything I could read about how your body adjusts to a keto diet, all the info on the hormones, electrolytes, etc. My 65 yo friend went keto and lost 17 lbs the first week, and 75 lbs in 6 months. I guess everyone’s metabolism is different. It actually didn’t take me decades to put on this weight. I was a size 8 for most of my life until I got involved with a man who was a junk food junkie. I gained 40 lbs. very quickly in my 50s and have had a very hard time taking it off, since I went into menopause soon thereafter.

I’m going to go ketovore, I think. I do like a few carb foods, so if I can continue to eat mostly meat and meat byproducts and keep my carbs between 10 and 20, I hope to see some progress soon.

Thank you so much for your very detailed and informative answer.


#7

Thank you so much. Nice to hear from a contemporary that it really does work for us older women. I won’t give up. I’m too stubborn to let myself fail! LOL


#8

I just had my 76th birthday yesterday. I started on this journey in July of last year although I did not move to keto until October, I had eliminated sugar and processed foods but my carbs were still high. I have a lot more weight to lose than you do.

In October, when I went to the doctor, I had lost 38 lbs. I too don’t have a scale. My clothes were now loose. In January, I’d lost an additional 20 lbs. I’d only moved down 1 size. In April I lost 18 more.

Keto works. Just stick with it. The thing is I really enjoy my new eating habits. I’m more satisfied, not snacking. I don’t feel deprived. I have a lot more energy and am sleeping better.


(Marianne) #9

Good for you! That’s the right attitude, and you are seeing benefits already. My suggestion is to find the clean keto foods you love (usually those are one ingredient but can be combined with other one-ingredient foods to make others), and use those to compile your meals. In the beginning, I’d eat three meals a day to quell any hunger, help with the metabolic conversion to fat burning, and lessen any carb cravings. Keep the carbs under 20g/day. Enjoy your meals, be patient and I believe it will happen. For inspiration, you may want to check out the success stories on dietdoctor.com. I think I read each one three times over. They encouraged me so much. I am 63 and do not exercise. Congratulations on giving up the scale!!! I wouldn’t dream of weighing myself at home - ever. The scale is the devil. I get weighed at the doctor’s, whenever that happens to be. That is enough.

Best to you!


#10

I’m only 56, but I am through and out of menopause fully. I was an early bloomer. Hee hee.

But I started keto three months ago. I wanted to reply to let you know what my first month was like. I am 5’2” and was pushing over 190 and having horrible health problems. After bearing children in my 30s my body never returned to its former 125-130lb self. Closest I got was 148, but usually I was up and down between 160 and 180. I am perpetually 9 months pregnant because I have little legs, and really tiny hips, and little arms, but I put all my fat on my belly and breasts the way a pregnant woman does. I hate the fat on my belly. Life is so hard when that’s where you carry weight. It’s impossible to wear clothes and ever look lovely. Especially if youre short like me. I suffered from insomnia every day too and was depressed and overly anxious all the time.

My first two weeks on keto I lost nothing!! And by the end of my third week I had only dropped 1.4 lbs. By the end of my first month I had only lost a grand total of 2 lbs. :rofl: I’m shocked I didn’t quit. But I was tenacious because the science behind keto resonated with my logical mind. I also read on this forum way back then a fantastic post by a veteran giving advice. He said some wonderful things that helped me to stop comparing myself with others and stay focused. Our bodies have a lot to repair and it only likes doing one thing at a time. Some days it is going to refuse to burn fat because it’s busy with muscles or hormones. And it can take quite a few weeks to learn to burn body fat as fuel. I learned I’m a tortoise. When I was younger I could drop pounds in the snap of a finger, but no more. I’m the other extreme now. But - I am 15 lbs lighter after three months, and it slowed to a crawl the past three weeks. But I’m not discouraged by it one bit because of how much I understand now, and because of how amazing, absolutely amazing I feel. I haven’t had my current level of energy since I was in my 20s. It lasts all day long and I never have mid-day slumps anymore. I sleep great! Long hours and uninterrupted. I wake up well rested for the first time in over 30 years and just lay there happily! My depression and anxiety is gone, and my ADHD no longer needs medication. My mind is so vivid and sharp, and it’s faster and more alert. It’s like someone wiped off the grime on a foggy plastic window in my first month, and then removed the plastic completely in my second month and everything is crisp clear. (Not talking eyesight, I still need glasses. Lol) I’m awake, and alive again.

After feeling this way nonstop for the last two months, I realized I’m no longer motivated and committed to this diet for the weight loss, I’m in it now for how I feel. I don’t ever want to stop feeling this good. If I had to choose between losing fat or feeling this way, I would choose the latter in a heartbeat. And that was the biggest surprise in all this.

I wanted you to know there really are other things worth having far more than losing our bellies. Shocking to hear I know, and three months ago I would have shut the door in their over-enthusiastiic face and rolled my eyes had anyone said this to me. The great news is we don’t have to choose, losing weight comes with the territory, and you will lose it. I may be losing slow, but I have lost a total of 6” off my waist and 4” off my gut and chest. I can’t say yours will shrink at the pace mine did, I just know it will.

So…maybe you are a tortoise like me for weight loss? How do you feel though? And if you’re not feeling more alert and energetic, then maybe there is another underlying medical condition interfering. I had surgery in December to cure my hyperparathyroidism. Had I not done that I’m pretty certain I would not have lost the 15 lbs I have or been able to repair my sleep or my mental health because the condition seriously screws with that stuff regardless of diet. So it’s important to know what conditions we have, do better research than our doctors about them and learnt how they can interfere as well as what the latest accurate science is behind them, and take charge of curing ourselves.

Oh and I also am traditional keto. I love my meat immensely, steak on a stick! LOL But I also love variety and I love blackberries and raspberries, and ocassional homemade keto baked goods or treats. I also love my romaine and spinach salads and tomatoes and onions and garlic. :joy: I can’t see giving any of that up if I don’t physically or medically have to. So I’m going to stay regular keto for as long as I possibly can, and hope I get lucky and never have to change it.

I wish you a ton of success, but mostly I pray you will be feeling as good as I do soon.


#11

We are all different, our bodies, our keto, metabolism and everything.
I went keto when I was, IDK, 40? Lost nothing. Ever. My weight is more than 8 years ago due to a stress gain (it was unbelievable but apparently happened). But it’s normally the same all year, every year, stalling/maintenance is my superpower.

I believe very nearly everyone has a good method where they can reach their goals comfortably enough. Finding it and sticking to it is another matter…

Ketovore sounds good if that works. I need to be quite strict if I want a chance to lose very, very slowly (no way I lose quicker. I am almost envious of the great pace of @Just_Juju :smiley: but I am physically unable to gain quickly too so it’s something. comes handy when I get disheartened and not caring and overeat for a while, with or without carbs… nothing happens with my weight).
Maybe you need to be careful with some items? It happens. Some people says they can’t lose when eating certain items, either because it does something to their hormones or because they can’t resist to eat too much of it - or they just mess them up mentally or make them hungry (that’s me and carbs. hunger and mental changes. I have a good reason to avoid vegetables. but a TINY amount is fine. and it’s nice to have something non-carni sometimes even if I don’t actually need it. it doesn’t matter that it’s super tiny, it’s often just the right amount for me. but some people can’t afford even that because they are sensitive to plants, apparently).
Timing may be important. But there are so many factors, stress, sleep, whatever. Humans are very complex and different so don’t compare yourself to other people.

Keto isn’t magic, it doesn’t guarantee fat-loss even if you stuck to it, it’s very possible to eat way too much to lose fat. I do it all the time (I have my good method but it takes a little self control and focus to do it, every day and I am not so good with that, it’s tiresome) but I have read worse stories, heavier people sticking to it properly (I always did it on/off for reasons), doing it stricker and still nothing. They probably had some metabolic problems, I consider myself very healthy as never saw any reason not to.

But some people just need to be patient and maybe do some tweaks. In the beginning the body needs to make changes and it seems it may focus on that and some people don’t lose weight until later. I did things gradually and anyway my fat-loss is controlled by calories as far as I can tell, all my experiences show that. I didn’t lose any fat in my first months because I was normally hungry before fat adaptation so ate accordingly. Fat adaptation brought some nice change hunger wise. This is a big milestone, wait patiently at least until that :wink: Some people get lots of benefit from mere keto. Some of us notices some tiny change or not even that but fat adaptation or the right style of keto is different. To me, high-carb -> low-carb brought benefits, low-carb -> keto did about nothing except fat-adaptation and carnivore (or something very close to it) brought BIG benefits. It was another world! But many others don’t have this, they need some other tweak for things to click and get way better. So I don’t say carnivore is awesome and people should do it. Trying if it sounds comfortable is good but each to their own, it’s not for everyone. (Not even for me, hence my on/off carnivore-ish. But my default chosen woe is carnivore. With some tiny extras here and there. As my body loves it the best, by far.) Some people don’t need to be that strict. Some people need to be stricter (than mere carnivore, I mean. I badly need my special rules there - but I can add tiny extras without problems. I figured out what I need and what I can afford).

Oh and first get used to keto, don’t add extra rules unless they aren’t a burden at all. I never add rules I find hard but even easy things can be annoying if we need to focus on them on top of other things.
Just do keto and wait for fat adaptation and a bit more… Maybe it will be all right. If not, you can tweak things but it’s probably early at this point.

And enjoy the other benefits if they exist. I did that. Keto was a huge jump for me and I wanted to lose fat. I didn’t but I still was pleased. Fat adaptation is AWESOME :smiley: And my mental state (I mean my attitude to food) when I keep my non-animal carbs very low is great. Apropos carbs, animal carbs don’t seem to matter to me. 20g feels just like 3g. Plant net carbs seem to be the problem. And it’s not only my experience.
Many people stick to total carbs, by the way because that works for them. I go for net as only that seems to matter (and only for non-animal carbs, animal carbs are fine, I don’t have a limit for them) but it’s a moot point on carnivore where my total and net is the same. (I just wish to experiment because I live for experiments, apparently… They are fun and I learn from them.)

Good luck!!!


#12

Thanks so much. My body really started changing in my 50s when I got into a relationship with a junk food junkie. Started putting on weight then, went from an 8 to a 12, then just kept eating crap and my weight went up and up. I was shocked when I had to buy clothes for my son’s wedding and found myself at a size 16, but at least I’ve been able to stay at that size. My doctor is no help. He says grandmas are supposed to have “fluffy laps” and if I want to feel better, to go see the people in his waiting room who are 265 and up. He wants me on Mediterranean, but I tried it, and it’s just too tempting to fill up on fruits. I have no willpower, which is why I thought carnivore would be great, because I don’t have to count or track, just eat. I do love my meat too, but I don’t like all the cooking, that’s for sure, and my kitchen is so greasy all the time on carnivore. Grease everywhere!

Yes, I have felt better, had more energy, but I slipped yesterday. I won’t beat myself up. I just went to WalMart and could not pass up the baby watermelons and bought one Granny Smith apple, which I haven’t even finished. I figured the watermelon might throw me out of ketosis, but it will go right through me. It really was nice to have a treat. Thing was, I didn’t feel that compulsion to eat the entire watermelon in one day or the apple in one sitting. I still have 1/3 of the apple left and half the watermelon. Before I started this, they would have been gone in a couple of hours.

I also bought a few bags of different flavored pork skins, some beef sticks and summer sausage to have as snacks. I usually don’t want snacks, but yesterday, I was craving something other than meat, meat, meat, so I figured they were better than giving in to my fruit addiction.

Thanks for the encouragement!


#13

Thank you! When I first started, I felt so deprived, but now I don’t even crave the candy and cakes I used to crave. I’ve come a long way over the past year when I decided to cut back on sugar. I used to be so addicted, I would go to the store in the middle of the night for candy if I had none in the house. Haven’t had candy, cakes, donuts or anything like that for months and don’t miss it.


#14

Shinita, thanks for the tips. After being completely addicted to sugar for years, I finally have nearly kicked that habit. I still crave fruts, and have my little slipups there, but when I get a craving I can’t resist, it’s usually when I’m at the store, and I’ll just buy one apple and be done with it. I don’t even have the compulsion to eat it all at one time anymore.

I have a hard time with some of the keto veggies, mostly the brassicas, because of the oxylates in them. Oxylate crystals build up in my body and cause kidney problems for me. I have lupus, so I have to be very careful about what foods I eat that may affect my kidneys. I really hate salads. Don’t know why, but the only “salad” I can eat is a chopped veggie salad with many foods that aren’t allowed on keto. Plus, all the food prep on keto annoys me. That’s why I’m moving to carnivore. it’s just easy, and I’m lazy. It’s easy to throw some meat in a pot/pan and cook it. It’s a bit more trouble to chop up veggies for a salad AND cook meat.

But I even have problems with carnivore, because I don’t really like eggs that much. I’ll eat my eggs and meat for breakfast for awhile, then stop, then start back. Sometimes I just eat a whole package of bacon for breakfast instead of adding eggs because I’m sick of eggs.

I’m also not good at rules, which is why I can’t do CICO, because there is too much counting and tracking and it’s more like work than eating. Same with Mediterranean. Too easy to overeat if you can eat anything. Keto is simpler, but still a bit too complicated for me to do for a long time, which is why I want to just get to doing carnivore. I’ve read so much about this WOE, and I’ve read where there are some people who cannot lose on regular KETO and have to go carnivore to lose fat at all.

Thanks for the encouragement!


(Marianne) #15

If you are craving snacks when you normally wouldn’t, I suspect you may not be eating enough at your meals. For now, I’d suggest eating three ample and satisfying meals a day - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast could be three eggs and 3-4 pieces of bacon. You may consider throwing in a butter coffee. I thought the concept of that was gross, but it is actually delicious. Shake it in a tupperware container and it gets nice and frothy. Delicious!

I’d confine your vegetable consumption to lunch and dinner, and minimally. Maybe have a salad with your lunch with home made blue cheese dressing. Easy and you don’t have to be concerned about any bad stuff in it. Have a steamed vegetable with dinner with salt and butter and/or bacon grease. I never wanted to “cook” either, and I never made a keto “recipe.” My meals consisted of stuff out of the fridge, or what I could cook in a frying pan (eggs/bacon), and pan sear or cook on the grill for dinner (pork, hamburger, beef). After you do this for a while, your body will tell you when it’s too much or too often. You will naturally lose the desire to eat that often, most likely. The purpose of three meals a day is to feed yourself enough to carry comfortably from meal to meal, with no snacks in between. Also, eating sufficiently will sooth your nerves to your new way of eating and giving up the former foods you used to eat. It will also help to eliminate or lessen the carbage cravings where having those things becomes just a passing thought you can dismiss easily. I’d stay off the fruits because they just spike your insulin and awaken the sugar demon.

Trust, eat well but on plan, and let the days pass. It will happen for you.


(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #16

Be sure to eat enough food. Cutting calories can be counter-productive, since the metabolism slows to match. Many people on these forums have reported their fat loss didn’t begin until they started eating more, not less. We find that the body’s hormonal response to food trumps the amount of calories we eat. The situation is a lot more complex than “eat less, move more.” The advice should really be, “Eat right, and don’t worry about how much; your body will take care of that.” I find that if I keep my carb intake low, I am satisfied with far less food, so that if I eat to satisfy my hunger, I get enough food, but not too much.


#17

I find it helpful to avoid snacks almost completely. A great benefit of keto is that I can eat to satiety, really and truly, day after day. I never get up from the table hungry. But for me, at least, snacking throws the system out of whack, even when the snacks are carb free. Of course, sampling during meal preparation doesn’t count. It’s a cook’s prerogative, essential to quality control.


#18

I am following the “eat until you’re comfortably stuffed” adage. It seems to work. Yes, already I don’t want to eat as much or as often. When I first started, I could easily kill a pound of meat in a meal, but now I have to force myself to eat that much. No way will I ever want 2 lbs. at a meal like some people do!


#19

I can’t eat the brassicas because of oxylates, and I’ve decided to try full-on carnivore now to see how I do. Not too crazy about eggs or bleu cheese. I do eat eggs, but only cheddar and parmesan cheeses.


#20

I have willpower I just don’t want to waste it on focusing on my eating… I have super tiny self control though and it’s fine, carnivore is awesome for me, it solves problems automatically.
I like cooking but I cook for a high-carber with a sweet tooth. My own food is usually super simple, yay! I like simple and I like when I can choose if I fancy more elaborated cooking on the day in question or not.
I track out of curiosity but it’s good to know I can skip. Now I know what I should be careful with so I won’t accidentally overeat fat - or I will be aware of it without tracking.
I eat less fat than in my past especially added fat so the grease is usual business :slight_smile:

Happens to most of us. Happened zillion times to me… It suits my personality that I gradually change and don’t try hard.
I avoid watermelon though, not the fruit that supports eating little of it… And it’s insanely sugary.

You don’t need to do food prep on keto if you don’t want to (and don’t have some special reason that keep you from getting away with it)… A significant part of my plant eating on keto was grabbing some raw vegs and nuts. And my egg dishes were often simple. But I like to cook and I had no meat so I am familiar with time-consuming dishes. Certain vegetable dishes were especially demanding… Of course, some people just buy a bag of frozen mixed vegs and fry it so there are simpler options.

I was a huge veggie lover but hated salads :slight_smile: I just grabbed a tomato or pepper or something.
A salad is a chore…? :smiley: Try cooking a veggie dish on open fire using various woody items from the garden after getting out a ton of peas from their pods (that was 1 hour alone. it was my SO, he does the outside cooking, I just help with the fire)… HOURS of work. Okay, the end result was great and even satiating as it was full with eggs, not just vegs but still… I just toss 2-3kg meat into the oven with some salt, sometimes look at it and turn and voila, food for days, I just need to add some eggs as I can’t eat only meat, I like my eggs. Super simple. Sometimes I fry my meat, that’s quicker and I don’t need to stand next to it all the time…

Oh many carnivores don’t eat eggs. If you are fine with meat and maybe dairy, you don’t need to ever add any eggs. I LOVE eggs so I eat them. And I probably need them too, now I can eat meat just fine but some variety helps. Not like one can’t have variety without eggs but mine would drastically lowered without them. I eat eggs all the time, no meal without eggs for me! Or super rarely.

Calorie counting has no rules, it’s just a bit annoying to weigh everything (WAY simpler on carnivore by the way). The calorie counting where one stops eating at some fixed point, that has rules but I am totally incompatible with it. If I want to eat more, I eat more even if I am over twice my energy need for that day (that’s rare especially on carnivore but happened. tracking was useful as I figured out it happened and that what was the culprit).

I am the opposite (at least if I wait until I really need food, meat can be pretty satiating and I almost always start with eggs)… But 2 lbs is much for me too. But it’s overeating territory for me anyway so it’s better that way. I barely can afford a pound of meat a day. I went a bit higher today, ate unusually few eggs and I still ate more than ideal IMO and significantly more protein than what I need… 2 pounds of meat would be excessive. But this is individual.

I use too many buts. Sorry.