Needing some guidance

(Joel Lambert) #1

Hello all, this is not my first time doing keto and have great results with in a short peroid of this. this time around seems to be a little more dragging and well kind of a let down.
Current Stats Male, 5`11, 224lbs. intermittent fasting along with working 3-4x a week. heavy weight training 3x5 starting strength. weight increases 5-10 lbs on the bar at the end of each week. i have gone through the keto calculators, bmi and tdee, all say i need to be around 2500 cals a day to lose weight, however i am eating around 1800 cals a day. I have cut out artificial sweeteners aside from on days i work out which is a preworkout and some eaas. which has a little surculose. that being said most my days look pretty similar, 15-20g carbs, 120-130g protein, 130g fats. fats and protein comes from animal meats, nuts and dairy, and the left overs from the carbs. So issue, when i started 5 weeks ago dropped to 219 lbs, currently with everything i am doing its 224lbs. what am i doing wrong? any help would be greatly appreciated


Whenever I ran into this issue/question myself, I always ditch the nuts first for a couple of weeks and see what’s up. But if you’re staying at 1800 cals consistently it shouldn’t be that big of a factor here. I’d then rethink the artificial sweeteners. Have you checked/confirmed through either urine or blood that you’re in ketosis?

(Joel Lambert) #3

no, not recently, i have a ketomojo on order.
ill drop the nuts see if that works the only artifical sweetener is in the prework and eea and its only after the fasting they are taken. but ill look for other options. to complete take them out. but ill try the nuts first.

(Joel Lambert) #4

thinking maybe vaping might have an impact on blood glucoses?

(Robin) #5

Oh, that’s a new one. Haven’t seen that discussed on here. Is it flavored?

(Robin) #6

I think vapes are great for giving up cigarettes… worked for me. Gradually reduced the nicotine till there was none. Then I took about the same amount of time to give up the oral fixation addiction.
But I got there.


First thing you’re doing wrong is under eating, those calculators are just guesses, and sometimes they’re wrong, sometimes they’re VERY wrong, but you’re doing Starting Strength which is a rapidly progressing program and you’re not even getting your bodyweight in protein, so I’d fix that first, because you need that to fuel growth, as well as all the other processes in your body that require protein.

Unless you’ve positively identified an issue with the artificial sweeteners, that’s most likely not making a difference, most people tolerate them just fine. The sugar alcohols can cause some bloating and GI distress for some, but not most.

Stop caring about scale weight, take it so you can see trends, but you’re lifting for strength, so scale weight isn’t telling the whole story, you’re adding 5-10lbs weekly, of course the scale is going to see the muscle, take body measurements, pay attention to how your clothes fit and how you look. Scale weight is only one metric in the mix. I’m 5’ 10", currently 225lbs, so BMI on me and you would be nearly identical, I’m at around 9-10% bodyfat right now, are you? Point being, BMI is completely useless! I’m also not a fan of fasting when you’re trying to put on muscle, You can do it, but constant intake is way easier on your digestive system and staying in a positive nitrogen balance is much better for muscle recovery and growth.

Do you have a goal in mind as far as strength / physique? I’d be less concerned with scale weight and more concerned with bodyfat and strength goals.

Probably not, but makes no difference whether it is either way, you’re inhaling toxic chemicals either way. Dump it. There’s not a single goal it’s helping with, and can only make things worse health wise. If you started vaping to quit smoking, just go with gum. Nicotine in isolation actually has benefits, you don’t have to poison yourself to get it.

(Marianne) #8

Haven’t read through the other responses to you, however, I am going to say that you are not eating enough for your height/weight and activity level. I would also encourage you to not count calories - at least for now - just eat to satiety. You didn’t say how long you’ve been back on keto this time around, however, I would suspend the intermittent fasting for another 2-4 weeks (unless we are talking like an 18/6 eating plan and eating at least twice a day). Give your body a break and let it adjust before hitting it so hard with fasting, calorie restriction and exercise. When your body has stabilized to fat adaptation and burning, it will tell you how often to eat and how much. Just my two cents.

Good luck!

(Joel Lambert) #9

Goal- not look like a sack of potatoes(current bmi is estimated around 25% what id think is pretty close) that is already benching 230, squat 300 and dead 435. have around 15% bodyfat. have some muscle that isnt covered by fat.

(Joel Lambert) #10

yeah, I eat 2 meals plus snack, basically a really late lunch(4pm), dinner(6pm) and than a snack(7:30pm). im pretty satisifed throughout day, not hungry until about 4ish. i was on reddit and got mixed calorie estimates as well some say 1800 with 20g carbs, 150g protein, 130g fats where what a few suggested. others said aim for 200g protein and 180g fats.

(B Creighton) #11

You may have become somewhat insulin resistant. Eating that much saturated fat when you are insulin resistant can definitely cause you not to lose weight or even to gain it. In that case you will have to drop sugar completely, and wait awhile - probably a month to become more insulin sensitive. A blood test can tell you what your fasting insulin is. I also wouldn’t eat saturated fat just to eat saturated fat unless it is MCTs. Other saturated fats are not an essential health factor. They are just energy storage - you are trying to burn your own - not take in more. The only essential fats are the polyunsaturated ones - Omega 3s and Omega 6s, but I believe you want to limit your Omega 6s to more natural sources that have not been processed like “vegetable oils.” Inflammation can cause you not to lose weight. But my suspicion is you have probably become somewhat insulin resistant if you were eating sweets.

I see no problem with intermittent fasting. I did it after my first two weeks of keto, by skipping breakfast and lunch 3 times a week on my workout days. The reason really was not to increase ketosis, but was to stimulate more stem cell production. More stem cells = more satelite cells = more muscle cells. More muscle cells = higher metabolism and fat burning. So on M, W and Fr I would fast and then have a coconut fat bomb prior to my evening workout, and then a protein smoothie and dinner. I actually stopped losing weight in this phase, but lost 2 inches around my waist, and even gained a few pounds. I roughly gained about 12 pounds of muscle and lost about 14 pounds of fat. Are you gaining muscle, and losing inches around the waist? I wouldn’t mind that at all. That was my goal, and I accomplished it nicely. Most would love that. Some of those new fangled scales are supposed to be able to tell you that kind of info. Mine tells me I am now at 7% visceral fat.

I never counted calories - only carbs, and I ate more carbs than you. One last issue. You are apparently not taking in a lot of sucralose, but it has been shown to kill off gut probiotics. Some probiotics turn plant fiber into butyrate which cells in your colon called colonocytes in turn make into ketone bodies. Ketones are what you want, so you don’t want to be killing off these gut probiotics with sucralose. Further, people who use artificial sweeteners generally have higher insulin resistance.

Personally, I would skip the pre-workout altogether. I used a fat bomb I made with melted coconut oil, peanut or almond butter, cocao powder from Costco, soaked chia seeds, erythritol/monk fruit sweetener, and GABA powder. I used about 9 grams of GABA powder which I stirred into the mixture, and then refrigerated until semi-solid like fudge. I then had about a third of the mixture as a pre-workout each of my 3 work out days. A study showed having 3 gr of GABA increase certain growth factors 100% - 200% about 30 min after consumption.

My protein powders varied. If I use a plant based one like Orgain with superfoods, I would add Leucine powder or BCAAs. Sometimes I used whey powder instead.


Exactly my point, your BMI is just over Obese (congrats, because everybody with muscle on them should be) At your height/weight and with your lifts, you’re not doing bad at all. I’d start upping calories, which will fuel you better through your workouts, which means more muscle, which means higher RMR, which means better fat burn.

If you’ve been going that low for a while, do it reverse diet style, up them by 100 a week, if you gain 2 weeks in a row (assuming you’re consistent) then back down by half, then continue on your progression. Also track your lifts, you’ll usually see a raise in body weight first, then that muscle kicks in and it’ll drop back down again.

For somebody that lifts, your height and weight are fine, just focus on the fat coming off. But get there smart, don’t sabotage yourself in the gym (or your metabolism as a whole) by constantly under eating.

(Bacon enough and time) #13

This seems to be par for the course, the second time around. Keep on ketoing on, and you’ll be fine.

Is there a reason for this? If you are simply not hungry, one possibility is that you have enough excess stored fat to be able to do without a higher food intake. Another might be that extended eating at a caloric deficit has reduced your metabolic rate. In the former case, you are fine. In the latter case, you might try eating a little past satiety (i.e., “reverse dieting,”) and see if your appetite picks up over time.

If you are eating to a target, don’t. Instead, eat to satisfy your hunger.

Is the extra weight fat or lean mass? If the latter, then you are fine.


Could you elaborate about the saturated fat stalling fat loss or causing fat gain with insulin resistance?

(Joel Lambert) #15

hard to really say, how does one measure that?

some reddit users suggested it, plus im usually well satisfied with it. usually satisfied with just 1 meal.

just got my keto blood meter, ketomojo today. reading stated 2.9.

(Bacon enough and time) #16

It’s insulin that causes our bodies to store fat and to stay hungry (think of a bear fattening up for the winter). Eating a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet lowers insulin, allowing our fat cells to yield up their excess store of fatty acids and allowing our satiety hormones to work properly. So unless there is something wrong with your hormonal system, you’ve been on a ketogenic diet long enough to be able to trust your appetite as a guide to how much to eat. Eating less than our body needs is the signal that there is a famine going on, and the body reacts by trying to conserve as much of its reserves as it can, in order to get us safely through the famine. Many forum members have reported that their fat loss did not begin until they started eating more, not less.

(B Creighton) #17

Paul touched on it. If we have been eating a lot of sweets or carbs, our insulin tends to stay high. Over time we can develop insulin resistance. This is going to hamper anyone trying to lose weight on a ketogenic diet - at least for a little while until their insulin comes down. The Ketogenic diet is really all about getting the insulin down by avoiding carbs. In insulin resistant people, this takes more time, and at first if they have higher insulin it is telling the body to store that extra fat they are eating rather than burn it. This is one of the big faults with the low calorie model imho. The source of the calories does matter. It is just nof a complete model, and the “calories in, calories out” cliche does not always explain results. I tried not to lower calories at all, and lost weight. I did not specifically count calories though, and probably did eat less calories by cutting out the sweets and junk food. However, I don’t think I decreased calories overall in my meals. Most of my actual weight loss on the scale came after I quit keto and had stopped my weight training. I just switched to higher MCT foods like goat yogurt for my morning yogurt and coconut milk for my protein smoothies, and eliminated sugar in the morning. I did eat a sugary dessert almost every night, and I lost 18 pounds in this phase. Part of that is because I actually gained muscle while doing keto which offset my weight loss from loss of fat. After stopping keto, my exercise came from walking so I did not have the muscle gain to offset the weight loss.

(Bacon enough and time) #18

The concept of food partitioning is what gets missed out on. The actual caloric intake is not as important as what the body does with what we give it. Since insulin is the primary energy-storage hormone, it signals fat tissue to take in fat and glucose and store it in the form of triglycerides. As long as insulin remains high, the triglycerides cannot be broken down into their component fatty acids, and they are too big to pass through the wall of the fat cell, so they become trapped. This fat-storage property of insulin is why some people can cut calories quite a bit and still put on fat, when they eat a high-carb diet.

It is only when insulin drops low enough that hormone-sensitive lipase is allowed to do its job and lipolyse the triglycerides, allowing the fatty acids to pass out of the fat cell (they are small enough to do so) and be metabolised by whatever cell needs them. The sign of insulin’s being low enough for this to happen is the presence of circulating ketone bodies, since the liver can only produce them when insulin is low enough for fat to be mobilised for the purpose.

So if we eat in a way that causes insulin to rise high enough, we are going to put on weight and feel hungry all the time. If we eat in a way that allows insulin to drop low enough, then we can use our fat store to feed our cells. And to a large extent, cutting calories on purpose is not necessary, since it happens automatically if we simply eat enough to satisfy our hunger. And of course as our excess of fat gets depleted, if we continue to eat to satiety, we will continue to eat enough food to meet our body’s energy needs. It is in this sense that calories are not as important as what we are eating. In fact, even on a keto diet, deliberately cutting calories can be counterproductive, since it signals to the body that there’s a famine going on, and it should conserve all its resources, in order to get us through the lean time.

(B Creighton) #19

Well put, but I have to point out that the liver can produce ketones from MCTs just about any time, which is why I try to get as much of them as I can. I could see the results even after quitting keto. I was no longer officially in ketosis as my carbs were too high, but yet the presence of ketones from the MCTs convinced my body to continue burning fat. I think I was burning glycogen and ketones. Maybe some call that ketosis, I don’t know, but I think my liver was making glycogen and ketones at the same time.