Needing Help Confused

(Joanna Mikkelsen) #1

I have struggled with this diet for actual years. This year I cut out dairy. I cut out keto treats. I ate minimal amounts of artificial sweeteners. After two months I was exhaustedand I gave into cravings. I am back “on” but I am so confused. I took magnesium and potassium supplements. Why am I exhausted?

I exercise alot. When I first started I did not exercise, ate tons of fat and gained 30 pounds.

So, now I work on a slight calorie deficit, exercise, and keep hoping that the “fat adaptation” will happen.

Why isn’t this working for me?


After years, you are clearly fat adapted since ages. It doesn’t give more energy to everyone, I had the same low energy after fat adaptation… I am not exactly exhausted but I never gained more energy or the mysterious mental clarity from keto.
But maybe your woe is still not right for you… There are so many factors. Have you got checked by a doctor to see if you have some health problem that can cause this…?

Why did you struggle, what was your problems with the woe? If this was physical, maybe you had something you shouldn’t or you just needs more carbs, there are people like that, surely… Even keto isn’t for everyone. But it’s quite possible you don’t eat enough of something or you should skip something else… When I switched to carnivore (not like I am able to stick it for long but the changes are quick) from vegetarian keto/low-carb, huge changes happened. As it’s a big, complex jump, I don’t know what changes caused this but lowering carbs and adding meat clearly was important. Eating less, as well.

What do you eat now? Maybe some people here will have some tips…

Even the calorie deficit may be a culprit (unless you had that before too, maybe). Do you really know your energy need? Even if you do, I can imagine your body dislikes the deficit even if it’s little and you have fat to lose. Mine complains on almost all woe if I give it a bit less than what it actually needs. Very rarely the reaction is extreme, worse than some exhaustion.

(Laurie) #3

I “struggled” for years too, but my problem was denial and lack of commitment.

Great that you’ve gotten rid of dairy, keto treats, etc. I’m sorry that it isn’t working for you so far.

As Shinita said, we might be able to help you better if you post what you actually do eat in a typical day.

Also, what/how much exercise do you do? I think exercise is great, but some people believe it can backfire at times.


Too much exercise and not enough nutrition can make you tired.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #5

To answer usefully we’ll need a lot more information.

I interpret this to mean you tried keto for awhile then quit. Multiple times. If not, what? If so, then you just set yourself back to square one every time.

Did it help reduce any problems for you? Dairy causes problems for many folks, either the lactose, the casein or both. But dairy is also a great source of nutrients so if you stop eating it and your problems stop, OK, that’s better for you. But if you stop eating dairy and your problems don’t stop, then you may very well be blaming dairy for problems caused by something else. Not so good because in addition to giving up the nutrients in dairy you’re still eating the real problem.

Good. So-called ‘keto’ treats are frequently/usually not keto. What are minimal amounts? You don’t need artificial sweeteners in any amounts. Various of them cause problems of different sorts for many folks. Until you learn from experience that one or another artificial sweetener does not cause any problems, do without.

As I said up front, we’ll need a lot more info on what and amounts you’re actually eating to give you any specific advice. However, your body/metabolism has only two ways to tell you to ‘eat more’. The first is hunger, although many of us don’t have reliable hunger signals so this doesn’t always work as designed. But if you’re ignoring hunger, that could be at least part of your problem. The second, and way more serious, is to slow you down by making you weak, tired, lethargic, exhausted. I say this is way more serious because by the time you get to this, you’re essentially starving yourself to death. This is how CICO diets ‘work’ until you decide you don’t want to die and start eating normally again. The weight comes back on simply because your metabolism slowed to stave off starvation and starts storing everything you eat.

As noted above by @FrankoBear exercising could be part of your problem. “Eat less move more” does not work long term. In itself exercise is a good thing, but you need to feed yourself well to benefit from it.

Fat adaptation only happens when you remain consistently in ketosis. In and out only retards the transition. Sure, you can burn fat while not in ketosis, but it’s not efficient and not consistent. How are you determining the amount of carbs you’re eating? Do you weigh and measure food portions? Do you have any health issues like high BS, low thyroid function?

Based on what you’ve described so far, my guess is you are not fat adapted and not consistently in ketosis. Possibly due to eating too little of the right stuff and too much of the wrong stuff. But, as I said, we’ll need details to help more specifically. Hope this helps.

Is Exercise Necessary?
(Joanna Mikkelsen) #6

Thank you all for replying and trying to help.

Breakfast : salted almonds and 3 T of butter
Snack: protein shake with sugar free cashew milk and vega chocolate protein powder. About 2 carbs per serving
Lunch: chicken and greens . The chicken is sometimes baked chicken breast, sometimes it is rotissierre chicken from walmart. About 8 -10 ounces.
Two T dressing, high fat, no sugar.

Snack: nuts and another protein shake

Dinner: same as lunch

Exercise is 30 mins lifting per day, 20 mins gentle cardio.

Menu Changes - What do you think?
(Bob M) #7

Do you like beef? Eggs?

Are you hungry at the times you eat the snacks?

From my perspective, you’re eating a ton of PUFAs: almonds, cashews, chicken, salad dressing. And I gave up eating nuts years ago (I always overate them).

Just for comparison (and I’m not saying you have to eat this), I had:

  • Lunch around 10:30am. 6 eggs, blue cheese, some salsa. Was still hungry, so I ate some thinly sliced ham with a chunk of pepperoni.

It’s 5:36 pm now, and I’m not hungry.

I probably will eat with my family around 6:30 pm, though. Probably bacon-wrapped chicken.

That’s it.


Everyone does keto a little differently, so do feel free to take or leave this advice.

My advice would be to eat on fewer occasions, but eat more at those meals. It’s a strange concept to get used to, because you were probably like me and into nutrition when the popular advice was ‘eat small meals every 2-3 hours’.

I like chicken but I always think it’s quite a ‘light’ protein - it might be worth trying to sub one of those out for beef or lamb (if you like those meats).

I also used to do a lot of protein shakes and nuts. They’re both ‘good’ in a food tracker, with high levels of proteins and fats, but I never really found that they satiated me very well. If I eat the equivalent protein in beef instead of having a shake, I am satiated.

So that would be my take; eat breakfast, lunch, dinner - and make them into full, proper meals. Don’t finish eating until you’re satiated - then you should be able to carry over until the next meal because you’re full and content.

I can understand you being wary if you put on weight previously. I am always a bit cautious when it comes to calories - I think they can be misleading. There’s lots of posts on here about the concept of feast, fast, and famine - feast is when the body thinks there’s an abundance of food, and fast is how the body can cope when there’s none but anticipates that there will be a feast again soon. Famine is a scarcity of food, the low level diets we’re all convinced to go on, and can scare the body into not losing fat, because it holds onto reserves, assuming that there’s unlikely to be food soon.

But I appreciate that’s a hard thing to move past given your experiences. It might be something to consider in the future, especially as it sounds like you’re working hard with your exercise. If you hang around, you’ll see other people going through similar things, and hopefully you’ll be able to learn from those shared experiences.

Good luck!

(Jane) #9

I echo some of the advice given already.

Ditch the nuts, protein shakes and snacks.

Three meals a day with dense nutrition and real protein.

Then work on skipping breakfast and narrowing your eating window. Don’t force it - it should happen naturally as you reduce your insulin response by cutting out the snacks.


Perhaps your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is very low due to some low calorie dieting in your past.

For many people, low cal causes their RMR to decrease. The effect can last many years. Perhaps the rest of your life. We don’t know, because there’s no longterm research on it. The longer research I know of was 6 years.

If your RMR is lower than what your weight would suggest, perhaps due to past low cal dieting, it could explain why it’s so difficult for you to lose weight.

I suspect many of the people who keto and don’t lose weight could be in that situation.

The problem is that if you do low cal again, very low carb or not, it could further damage your RMR.

I’d be cautious. I’d find a WOE that’s sustainable for maintaining my weight. Then, once I knew my meals, I’d stop counting, stop weighing myself, stop thinking about food and hope my body would eventually go through some change that would allow me to lose weight.

Whatever you do, good luck!


Are you tracking your dietary intake with something like cronometer? What are you doing for exercise and how often? Please define “Exercise a lot”. if you’ve struggled for years and couldn’t fat adapt in a couple months something is fundamentally wrong with what you’re doing. Do you have macro goals you’re shooting for? What are your exercise goals? Just fat loss? Lean muscle gain? the more info the better.


OK, some of this answers the questions I asked above

That’s not a breakfast, why 3TBSP of butter? That’s insane. Don’t forcefully eat fat for no reason at all. Ketosis is from low carb not from high fat.

Nothing wrong with that.

Those Vega proteins are million ingredients super hyper processed shakes for vegetarians, I saw above you’ve pulled dairy, but unless you actually have a problem with it I’d just do normal whey shakes, 3-4 ingredients, not the 50 from weird sources that the Vega is giving you. Plus, plant proteins are less bioavailable.

Would still like to see your current macros / goals you’re shooting for though.

About 50 years worth of knowledge on exactly that thanks to the bodybuilding community. It’ll stay low until you fix it, and you do that with reverse dieting.