New to keto and need help!



New and started keto on 9/3/2019 and have not list any weight. I think I’m overthinking this and concentrating too much on meeting my daily calories my fat, protein and net carb %. I will say that I have stayed under net 20 carbs per day.

My other issue is that I think I’m getting overwhelmed by reading too much about keto. I’m feeling frustrated and confused because every keto calculator is giving me different numbers to go by so I’m not even sure where to start.

I’ve experience a little keto flu with headaches and leg cramps but go some supplements which is helping. I refuse to quit because I’m not a quitter.

I’m 53F, CW 160, 5’ 2” with GW 135 lbs.

Any suggestions, advice and help would be very much welcomed.

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #2

You’ve been on keto for 2 weeks (interpreting your date as Sep 3). What did you expect? Keto is a health normalization regimen. Weight loss is a side benefit. A lot of things happen when you start eating keto: hormones and enzymes readjust, cells and organs readjust, overall metabolism resets, accumulated crap goes out, and many other things. All at the same time.

Eat sub-20 grams of carbs per day, don’t worry about fat and protein ratios for a while. If your goal is to lose weight, eat less fat and more protein. Don’t obsess over calories. Eat enough that you’re not hungry. Don’t use ‘calculators’ until you know what you (and the calculators) are actually doing.

To counteract carb withdrawal, make sure you get sufficient sodium, potassium and magnesium every day. Lack of any, but particularly sodium, are the prime suspects of feeling crappy.

Stick with it and you will eventually thank yourself that you did. :slightly_smiling_face:

(BuckRimfire) #3

It’s harder, but maybe you should aim for close to 20 g total carbs, not net, at least for now. You can relax a bit later after you are seeing some progress. (The Atkins diet called for two weeks of very strict eating, then relaxed just slightly.) Don’t try to cheat at first with things that have lots of total carbs and claim to be 80 to 90% fiber (particularly things that look like starch and claim to be low-carb; broccoli and brussels sprouts, OTOH, are probably fine in rather large quantities, at least in my experience).

For the time being, just worry about carbs and eating enough fat and protein NOT to feel hungry. Going over quite a bit on protein probably isn’t a big deal, but just don’t go crazy with lean meat. Stew some pork shoulder or ground pork (or sausage if you’re sure it doesn’t have much sugar) with cauliflower, plenty of butter, salt (including a pinch of food or USP grade epsom salt) and chicken stock. Have a 3-egg cheese omelet cooked in butter for breakfast (then skip lunch if you aren’t really that hungry). Give yourself a couple more weeks to settle in before you worry about anything else.

My wife took a year to lose thirty pounds, and now weighs what she did at the end of high school. It happened in fits and starts and she didn’t count anything except carbs. The magic of keto is that if you just eat what you need to feel satiated and keep the carbs down, you can expect eventually to lose excess weight that was kept locked in by high insulin. It just may not be as fast as some of the stories you’ve heard.

I suggest you do waist, neck, thigh and upper arm measurements every couple of weeks. You may find that even if you’re not losing weight, you’re losing inches.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #4

This is excellent advice. You’re still in the beginning stages. You can’t look at social media and expect to lose 30 lbs in two months. The less you have to lose, the closer you are to your goal, the slower things go. If you had hundreds to lose, you might see this.

I’ve been stuck at the same scale weight for months but I continue to lose inches and not only that, my body just moves it around so my composition is different, but clothing fits better, I’m buying smaller sizes and overall can move around more easily (thighs don’t rub together, armpit fat is less, etc.) The scale is a nice bit of information but you can’t measure everything by it.

How are you feeling? This is important. While many of us want to lose weight, we stick to it because we feel better during the process.


I appreciate all the responses and it certainly gives me a better perspective on how to approach this change of lifestyle. I will take what all of you said and put it into place. I think I was expecting more with little to no time invested. I need to be patient and giving keto a fair shot.

In the short time I’ve been doing keto I’ve seen some changes such as less bloated, feeling better in general and clothes are fitting better. I am much, much less hungry. I have learned to only eat when hungry which certainly is a change. I drink tons of water too.

I wanted to mention that I have an obstacle because I do not like cooked veggies. I’ll do eat salads with tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, peppers, eggs, romaine, iceberg, and spinach. This is what I’ve been doing so far with meat at lunch and/or night. I also do not eat any fish. I know that I have a challenge but am doing well eating the foods I like.

What is the difference between net carbs and total carbs? I have only gone over my net cabs once since September 3rd so I do keep a very watchful eye on this. A few times though I have gone over my fat and protein limit. Is this bad? On the few ties this has happened, I just closely monitor it to make sure I don’t go over on the days to follow.

I will update on my progress. I really appreciate your feedback, advice and/or suggestions.

(Katie) #6

First, my disclaimer…I am doing what everyone calls lazy keto, I do not count anything except carbs. My daily goal is zero carbs. I usually run between zero and 10 grams. I only count total carbs…(remember? Lazy?)

I try to eat more fat than protein… but I do it by guess and by golly.
I do not promote this. But, it is an easy way to get into ketosis without stressing about all the rest. The rest can come with time…first work on being a fat burner.

As for the all supplements…well, the electrolytes are really important. Extra salt (1/2 - 2 tsp a day) and magnesium are important because of leg cramps…regulate heart, etc). I just drink a electrolytes drink each day…if you do that…makes sure the one you pick uses stevia and not malidextrois .

(The remembrance of bacon past.) #7

Don’t worry, it can sometimes take women a while to sort out their hormones and start losing fat. As has been mentioned, the primary effect of a well-formulated ketogenic diet is to restore metabolic health, by reducing blood glucose and insulin; as one of the many benefits, people tend to shed excess fat because of the lowered insulin level. Keeping your carbohydrate intake under 20 grams a day gets most people into ketosis and lowers insulin sufficiently to promote fat loss.

There is one other requirement to get started losing, however, and that is getting enough calories. Because the body operates differently in ketosis, it needs enough energy to take care of its needs. The easiest and simplest way is simply to eat enough protein and fat to satisfy your hunger; at first this means eating what may feel like too much food, but as soon as your body sorts out your insulin level, your hunger will drop to a level that will allow it to shed some excess fat.

Your body may also put on some muscle and make your bones denser, even while shedding excess fat (this can happen especially to women who have restricted their calories for a long time). More muscle and greater bone density are very good things, even though the added weight may offset the weight lost as fat. So keep track of how your clothes fit, and if they are getting looser, then you know things are moving in the right direction.

But as I said, you body may need some time to get all your hormones regulated before it can start shedding fat.

(Marianne) #8


Yes, it can be overwhelming when you are first starting because there is so much information. It’s very positive that you are keeping the carbs below 20. What worked for me is:

  • get a starting weight; then weigh yourself every two weeks (yes, you can do this). The scale can really take the wind out of your sails, if it isn’t where you think it should be. If you are eating enough fat and keeping under 20 g carbs, it is working - maybe you can’t see it yet, but internally, lots of good stuff is happening on the metabolic level.
  • calculate your fat macro only. Meet this number - or surpass it - every day. I find ample fat and keeping carbs low are the two most important things to keto. You need fat, which is contra-intuitive to what we are used to with conventional dieting.
  • Don’t count calories.
  • Eat three hearty meals a day (even if you never did). It won’t be long, probably 2-3 weeks, or less, where you’re body won’t need/want you to do that. Then you can eat two meals a day, or one meal a day - whatever you are comfortable with. (After a while when I was ready to eat less, I’d have a bulletproof coffee [sounds gross, but try it once before making a judgement - delicious!], in the morning, and that would hold me nicely until my next meal, which was dinner.) If you try this and find you are “hungry,” or wanting to snack in between meals, it’s not time yet to cut down on your meals. When your body is ready, you won’t be hungry when skipping meals. In my opinion, three meals a day to start will alleviate your carb cravings and hunger.
  • Don’t snack.
  • Don’t eat processed keto food, just whole, clean foods.
  • Get enough salt. I drink salt water in addition to salting our food. Not my favorite thing, but you get used to it.
  • Live your life and let the days pass. Don’t concentrate on keto as a “diet.” You will lose weight and start to feel so much better.

Good luck - post your questions, experiences and concerns on the forum. We would love to hear about your journey!

(The remembrance of bacon past.) #9

@Dlew99 Gingersmommy’s advice is really excellent.

The reason eating fat as a source of energy works is that it has the least effect on insulin, which is our main fat-storage hormone. So don’t fear it. Eating saturated and monounsaturated fats (butter, tallow, lard, bacon grease—all the fats they tell us to avoid) is actually healthier than all the polyunsaturated fatty acids they claim are so good for us (Crisco oil gave a huge sum of money to the American Heart Association in the late 1940’s, and the AHA has been endorsing Crisco ever since). Avoid the vegetable oils on the market, and if you use oil, stick with the fruit oils (avocado, coconut, and olive).

(Marianne) #10

I agree with @PetaMarie; this is great advice. At a minimum, I’d get a waist measurement, if that is where you carry your weight the most. I didn’t do this and I could kick myself. My belly was huge (and my butt), and it is what I was the most self-conscious about. I’ve lost 50 lbs. now and my belly is better than normal for where I am. And I’ve lost more weight in my belly this time around than when I “dieted” before with a conventional diet. When I was thin before, I had fat in weird places - like the sides of my knees - that is gone now! My legs are back!

Good luck!

(Charlotte) #11

Everyone has such go advice so far, Its hard to add to that!

Keep It Simple Silly.

You got this! Take a deep breath and don’t over complicate it. Switch it up to total carbs and you’ll see a huge difference in your carb count. I don’t eat fish either, so I take fish oil supplements instead. Make sure you’re keeping up your salt intake. I usually stick to 1.5 - 2 tsps a day. You can also try magnesium supplements or just take a long epsom salt bath and see if that helps with the cramping.

Don’t eat to fill your macros. Macros are tricky because they are “one size fits all” estimations without the benefit of taking your body’s idiosyncrasies into account. They are a guide and nothing more. You have to experiment with them to find the right mix for you, and even then, listen to your body first and foremost before what a calculator tells what what to eat.

I also agree with measuring your body. I didn’t do that when I started and I wish I had. Its a lot easier to have a solid perspective when you know exactly where you started from.

You got this! :heart:


I would have said the above about protein, not fat.

I have plenty of stored body fat, ready and available for use. In fact, I want it to be used. If I’m not hungry, I don’t need to be force-feeding myself more fat.

My body also has stored sources of protein, but I don’t want those to be used if I’m not getting enough protein in my diet.

(Marianne) #13

Me neither - yuck.



I truly appreciate all the good advice from everybody here. I feel like I have a better understanding now. I feel like I will be more confident as well as being successful to starting keto. I will keep you all posted, if you want, on my journey.

Thanks again!

(Marianne) #15