Newbie with questions :D

(Jen) #1

Hi all,
I have been lurking a bit the last week and decided to join. I guess I need support more than anything.
I am soon to be 50, female, currently weigh 203 lbs. I have lost 30 lbs in the last 6ish weeks. I started with keto but now am more carnivore leaning.
I was heavily carb addicted and obese for over 30 years. Very sedentary due to arthritis and laziness, not gonna lie :wink:
Cutting out the sugar, processed foods, fast foods etc. that I have lived on has made a huge improvement overall. My infammation is better, my knees and hips hurt less than they used to and I have less aches and pains.
I am not craving anything, in fact I have to force myself to eat! I have been tracking daily, I like to know the numbers. I am not huge into CICO, but I like to have a gauge of where I am so I can make adjustments.
The problem is that I can only manage to choke down about 900 calories on average. Some days I am around 600, some days around 1000-1200. I am not too worried about it just yet, I know my body needs time to adjust, and I have a LOT of fat.
I am not sure if I am screwing up my metabolism though. I don’t want to get to a point where I finally start feeling hungry and gain just because I am eating too low right now.
At the moment, I am riding it out. I tried doing ribeye for the last two days but the fat makes me gag! I have tried to power through it, but I don’t want to eat stuff I am gagging up. That isn’t going to be sustainable for me long term.
My plan is to find what works that I can stick with for life, because I do have NAFL, knee and hip arthritis and sciatic flares.
I am in the experimentation phase right now, I am willing to try anything to help reverse the liver damage and get to a point where my arthritis and sciatica isn’t bothering me all the time.
The other thing I have questions about is vitamins and minerals. There seems to be a mixed opinion about them. I was taking vitamins but my urine looked and smelled pretty nasty. I have stopped taking them and that is getting better. I did start taking an electrolyte powder, too soon to tell about that as I just started that yesterday.
On another note…I stopped using shower gel and switched to home made soap, and I stopped using shampoo and have seen a big difference in my skin and scalp. My hair is short and usually really greasy with lots of flakes and I would get acne on my scalp that drove me crazy. Since stopping the shampoo (going on week 4 now) my scalp acne and flaking is GONE. My hair is a bit greasy but it is lessening and I had my husband sniff my hair yesterday and he said it smelled like nothing. When I told him it had been almost a month since I shampoo’d he was shocked.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as well as anyone else have these same issues/experiences?

(Bacon is better) #2

This may be an annoying question, but are you sure you’ve got your calorie total correct? :smile: Remember, it’s 4 cal/g for carbs and proteins, and 9 cal/g for fats. Roughly speaking, anyway. These figures are approximations, so there’s no such thing as pin-point accuracy where counting calories is concerned.

While 900 cal/day is considered starvation-level eating, if you are truly not starving to death (and I mean that literally) on that little food, then go with your instincts. You can try eating a bit more, to see what happens, but don’t force yourself to eat when you’re not hungry. How tall are you, what is your current weight—and do you have any estimate of your body composition, by any chance?

If you are eating real, whole foods, you should not need to supplement with vitamins, minerals, or electrolytes. Of course, if you know you have a malabsorption problem or other condition, that would be a different story. But under normal circumstances, our food should contain all we need, except probably salt (sodium chloride). Now that your insulin has dropped, your kidneys have returned to excreting sodium a bit more readily, at what is actually the normal rate (elevated insulin interferes with salt excretion, and elevated blood sugar causes water-retention, which also promotes sodium retention; with these factors removed, the body sheds excess water, and we need to get just a bit more sodium in our diet).

I never worried about soap or shampoo. My hair and face have stopped being so greasy and my acne cleared up, just because I cut my carb intake. When I over-indulge in carbohydrate, my face starts to get greasy, and I get blackheads and pimples again. So if you like your current routine, don’t feel you need to change it, but you could probably go back to using the old products, if you want to.

While my mouth often feels “brown” when I am in ketosis, it doesn’t appear to make my breath smell bad, and I notice that my body odour seems a bit sweeter, without the carbs in my diet. Elimination is a bit more irregular; I now usually go a couple of days without moving my bowel, and I don’t get constipated unless I forget to keep up my salt intake. And unless I overdo the carbs the day before, my bladder capacity has increased to the point where I can now sleep through the night. Even as a child, I used to have to get up to urinate a couple of times during the night.


It’s late for me and I don’t have enough info anyway… Maybe you can handle the calorie deficit due to your excess fat - but you still need your nutrients and getting them all is way harden if you barely eat. It’s clearly not sustainable long term but maybe you will get used to eating on keto? (600 kcal is about nothing in my eyes, you can get your protein and some minimal fat and that’s it. And if I look at that much food, well that’s a few bites, it depends about what one eats though. It’s fine for the occasional day, probably but don’t do it often.)

If you gag from fat, don’t eat as fatty, it’s very easy when you eat/need little and not, like, 4000 kcal :smiley: When I started carnivore (and I was used to keto and I had been eating quite high-fat all my life but without my veggies it was different), I couldn’t handle the usual fat/protein ratio either so I ate a bit leaner.

I would try to figure out how to eat more, without forcing it at that. More meals, more tempting, easier to eat, less satiating items? Drinking calories?
Hunger or appetite aren’t needed for feeding, at least many of us easily do it without.
MAYBE 900 kcal on average works for you. I find it unlikely but possible but as I already stated, I don’t have enough information.

Wow, no shampoo :slight_smile: I couldn’t do that. My hair gets greasy, ugly and my skin is super greasy when I postpone my hair washing for too long, nearly unbearable (summer doesn’t help either). The other parts of my body get clean without shower gel, that is fine.
No more comment regarding that, do what floats your boat :slight_smile:

(Jen) #4

The calorie count could be off, I use the cronometer. I used the weight that was on the package of the meat and cut the meat into quarters and try to eat at least half. So it is possible I could be eating a bit more or a bit less.
I have tried to force myself to eat more but it results in me feeling pukey so I stop at that point. I keep hoping it is just my body regulating itself and that it will correct itself soon. I feel ok right now, but if I start to feel lightheaded etc then I will definitely be in worry mode.
I am 5’7" and 203lbs currently. My body fat percentage is probably mostly all fat other than minimal muscle and skeleton.

Side note* I did lose 90lbs about 13 years ago but that was mainly through walking and eating around 1300-1700 calories a day of whatever I wanted to eat. It was nice to drop the weight, but I felt like ■■■■ from the foods I was eating. I had IBS, bad sciatic flares and knee pain that would keep me on the couch for a week or more at times. It was frustrating. Since I gained almost all that weight back I have less sciatic issues (the dr. said it was because the fat cushions the nerves)

This is one of my typical days of eating. The calorie range is ridiculous because of the settings I have it at, I don’t really care about the calorie range, I just like to track the food to have an idea of what I am eating and a log so I can see patterns over time. I have been eating the brass roots sacha inchi seeds as extra calories. I was eating cheese, olives and pepperoni with spinach for a while but the spinach (although I love it) seems to just make my belly feel a type of way :confused:

My carb count is usually lower than this, the seeds are what put me over, and those I actually measure so it should be spot on.

(Jen) #5

I am thinking the excess fat is the only thing saving me right now. I do have a lot of body fat. The gagging is definitely something I am not willing to live with, so I will be buying less fatty meat or sticking to my ground beef and chicken. I have no issues with those thankfully.
As far as drinking calories, what is good? I only drink water and have for years. I used to drink coke and now I can’t stand it.
Everything seems to be full of sugar or tastes nasty to me. I don’t even like the elecrolyte drink I force on myself. Sweeteners really make me feel icky, but it seems they all have a sweetener in them so I just scarf it down and that alone fills me up for hours.
I am open to drink suggestions and maybe a different elecrolyte mix. I have been using Dr. Bergs because for the price it has higher level of minerals compared to some others I looked at, but there may be a better one out there.

Today I actually used a pea size amount of shampoo because we went to the lake and I got pretty sweaty and gross. I don’t know if I will stay off it long term, I think maybe just shampooing when my hair gets dirty will work for now. I still use soap and 0 aluminum deoderant…would love if I am one of those people that become zero stink with carnivore. I can dream lol

(Bacon is better) #6

That’s a good reason to stop. We get concerned when people possibly undereat, because the metabolism slows down to compensate, but if you are healthy and satisfied by the amount you are eating, you are fine. On a ketogenic diet, you should be able to eat to satisfy hunger, and then go hours before your next meal. If that’s the case for you, then I’ll stop worrying.

(Bacon is better) #7

You don’t need to drink anything other than water. If the electrolyte drink tastes bad, it’s because you don’t need electrolytes. If you did need them, the drink would taste fine. Many long-term carnivores have found themselves gradually giving up supplements, electrolytes, and even salt over time, because their system has adjusted to make more efficient use of what is already in their body.

(Jen) #8

I just forced myself to eat 8oz of ground beef, so I hit almost 1400 if my calculations are correct. I am way stuffed though.
But, yes I do feel extremely full to the point of bursting and I am trying to train myself to accept more food.
I will try spreading out my meals and see if that helps. I was a bit concerned because I went over my food logs and there are too many days where I am under 900. In the last 6 weeks I have only had 4 days where my calories were at, or just over 1300.
I also may add some dairy back in and see how I tolerate that.

(Jen) #9

That is good to know! I will lay off of that unless I have cramps or other issues that I feel the need to use it.
I don’t like taking anything, but I don’t want to be deficient in anything either. It does seem there is quite a lot of for and against when it comes to supplements. I will play it by ear for now.
I guess I just need reassurance from people who have done this for a while and learn through their experiences. I appreciate the information.


I agree with @PaulL on this one. As long as you remain consistently in ketosis I suspect you’ll be OK. Folks eating huge caloric deficits when not in ketosis slow their metabolisms signifcantly. When in ketosis one is able to access stored fat easily and reliably. When not in ketosis, insulin makes it a much more difficult task, so the metabolism slows to adapt to the lower available energy sources. Best wishes.


We have so much more than that and moving that weight requires some more than minimal muscles :wink: The majority of your weight isn’t fat. Maybe you know that very well, just felt the need to say it. But it doesn’t matter, you have a significant amount of extra fat (if you would be super muscular, it wouldn’t be true though that would require steroids as a woman with these numbers…) and it’s healthier to lose at least a big part of it.

Why did you ate bad food back then? I always ate food I liked, it was very natural to me… I would lose fat eating 1300-1700 kcal on any diet. Why not to use a good one? Of course finding the right one may be hard and long but if you feel bad, it’s a good sign I suppose (some people have temporal discomfort and they power through it, I quit on the first day but I am healthy and feeling bad is a warning sign to me. if one KNOWS they should power through, that’s different. or if they are desperate. but not for long I think…).
Or you only could eat so little using those food? Still sounds sad :frowning: And as we kind of know, we should find a woe we can continue “forever”. I personally am sure some people can use one diet for losing and another to maintain, it makes perfect sense to me who maintain super easily and typically can’t lose fat but going back to the old, bad diet is rarely good. I know someone who beat the odds but they did more extreme and unbelievable things, for us normal people it’s way better to use a woe that is healthy and doesn’t trigger frequent overeating. And anyway, we should have health as priority, not merely having an okay weight.

I am sure mustard isn’t 0 kcal but it doesn’t really matter…

I wouldn’t worry about the carbs, it’s low. The protein might be borderline enough if you ate enough calories but I really would try to raise it. If you can’t now, in a few days?

Can’t you just eat another meal later? Or before?

Drinking calories… Many people like very fatty coffees. I dislike it but I can drink egg milk :smiley: Usually egg yolk(s) and butter/cream, I use mascarpone now, mmmm… It must be mixed or else the raw yolks is just not so nice.
But just having a coffee/cocoa with cream adds some fat…
If not drinking calories, eating it in a creamy, soft form helps me when I can’t stomach solids for some reason. Or I just love creamy stuff, that’s true but I really feel it’s easier to eat creamy sour cream or whipped cream or some fatty spread - but that needs something with it, at least my salmon spread is too rich to eat alone.
These bring some carbs but not much.

You don’t need to drink sweet ones, I very nearly never do, even my dessert drinks are unsweetened. Sweetening is overrated. And I always had a big sweet tooth. I still have just not on carnivore…? But it took ages to arrive here.

Do you need electrolyte drinks? I don’t feel I do but I would hate them anyway (I can’t buy no salt, lite salt or what here and salty water is super gross to me). Even if you need extra electrolytes, they can be comsumed differently. In water is the absolutely worst idea to me personally. Forcing it, that’s so sad and wrong to me.
WHAT your drink has icky sweeteners? Nope nope, don’t drink that if possible, find another way! That’s from me, I don’t know about electrolyte drinks.

But who can’t go hours before the next meal…? People who doesn’t work in an office must go several between meals sometimes, it was always the norm… People didn’t eat all day… Or my family or me. We had other things to do. Or does it mean several hours? That is individual, in my family the high-carber gets satiated very long term and I have 1-3 hours (1 only happens on carnivore).
But that’s us. I don’t think anyone should be satiated for long with a tiiiiny meal though. it’s sounds so abnormal to me. But maybe the OP’s body is confused, mine did that with carnivore for short term. And there are fat to use and the little food seems good.
But it would be very natural to get hungry soon when the body sorts out things. Or is that just mine?
Maybe don’t mind me.

And salty water is gross, no matter my needs. If I desire salt, I eat salt. But indeed, I like the taste of salt more when I feel I need it and I hate and feel some slight burning sensation from it when I overdosed it. But I don’t desire salt just because I lack sodium and potassium is even trickier, maybe some people need it but they don’t know about it? People aren’t as smart as animals regarding needs…

SIX weeks of undereating? Ouch, that isn’t good, I would try whatever I already wrote to raise the calories.


But it doesn’t help when you don’t have a huge amount of fat and the deficit goes over the limit the body can provide. The fat may be there but there is a daily limit. There is that formula, I understand it doesn’t work for everyone, even I can fast better than I “should” according to my fat reserves (especially if my final meal is carby therefore big) but somewhere we have a limit. And if we go over it, the energy must come from something else, not our fat… or we should conserve energy. So metabolism slowing and using muscles happen. Not nice. I wouldn’t risk that. But I am a tad paranoid about my precious tiny muscles too so there’s that. I still believe in the things above.

(Karen) #13

I went about 18 mnths without shampooing my hair, just rinsed it with water. All the previous itching completed disappeared. I used to scratch my scalp so much and I some days I could have just taken the skin off for relief. I would use a sulphate free conditioner on occasions when it felt very dry but that was nearer the end of the 18 months. Then I found a product which is just cleanser rather than a shampoo, free of everything and that really suits mt hair. I still go a week or so in between using it and really feel like my scalp reset itself during that poo free period. I did a lot of reading up on it and read that 6 weeks and the scalp should be rest but I couldn’t bring myself to start using anything on my hair after that time scale. I also bought a boar hair brush, expensive but well worth it and found when I brushed my hair it stuck to my head, lol but within a couple of minutes it would naturally lift and look fine.
It was just promoting the scalp to produce the natural oils. I am not an indoorsy person as I am very active and also worked all through that period (all during Covid lockdown) but thought to hell if anyone thinks I’m a mess (they didn’t even know till I told them) I was doing it for my benefit not theirs. My hair was short when I went poo free and I noticed it growing very quickly. It is very short again now, through preference.

Stick at it and you will be so pleased that you did.

I am also Carnivore. Come and join us on our carnivore thread for support, the title changes as we go month to month, this month is May the meat force be with you

Good luck in whatever you decide to do xx

(Bacon is better) #14

My feeling is that if we are eating right, our food will give us all the nutrients we need. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who do need supplements. But I encourage people to take only those supplements they have good reason to believe they need.

But a further thing to consider is that on a keto diet our need for many nutrients may well be different from our needs as carb burners. There is good evidence, for example, to suggest that our need for Vitamin C and for thyroid hormones is much less on keto, and I suspect that we are going to find the same holds true for other things. Dr. Robert Cywes, a bariatric surgeon in Florida, and who promotes a ketogenic diet to his patients, seems to have some good insights into this question.

I used to have such greasy hair that it required baking soda along with shampoo to get it clean. Nowadays, just the regular shampoo is enough.

It never occurred to me to stop shampooing my hair, and it seems just fine. Perhaps I’ll try just rinsing it for a while, to see what happens. During the lockdown I discovered that I could get away with showering only every other day, so long as I wasn’t leaving the house for any reason. One thing I’ve noticed on keto is that my hairline, which had been pretty stable up till then, started receding more rapidly once I started keto. I wonder if it’s linked to my testosterone level, because my libido certainly seems more active than it used to. Not that I’ve ever had any complaints, even as a carb-burner, but at my age it’s nice to know that there’s still fire in the hearth, even though there’s snow on the roof, lol!

(Marianne) #15


Your story sounds a lot like mine in the beginning, although I am 13 years older. I lurked on here for a couple of weeks before deciding to take the plunge, ask questions and actually start. I took to keto like a duck to water and couldn’t believe how easy it was (for me), and how deliciously I could eat and still lose weight. I lost all of the inflammation, aches/pains and other ailments that had plagued me for so long (flaky skin, pulled groin that would flare and take my legs out from under me, joint pain, fatty liver, etc.). Once I became fat adapted, I had so much energy and no hunger. I’ve never felt better. Keto was my miracle.

It sounds like you are way undereating. I think eventually, that is going to catch up with you and your metabolism and weight loss may slow. You may find, too, that you become hungry and less satisfied with the amount that you are eating. It may also be difficult for you to become fat adapted eating so little and with minimal fat.

My suggestion is to develop a list of the foods that are higher in fat that do not skeeve you - maybe eat a leaner cut of meat but put bacon grease on it or have it with a sour cream or blue cheese sauce. Chicken with dipping sauce, cheeseburgers (I love 73/27), pork chops with a fatty sauce, deviled eggs, bacon & eggs, soup made with sausage and some cream cheese/HWC to thicken, etc. If you don’t like fatty meat, get a leaner cut and add fat to it. I haven’t eaten anything out of the ground for over a year now, but I used to enjoy brussels sprouts and did not tire of them. I loved them with bacon grease and a lot of salt. If you do eat some veggies or salad, use them as conduits for fat and salt.

Good luck to you and congratulations on your weight loss. You will find your stride.

(Jen) #16

:slight_smile: I just mean that I have a very large body fat percentage, when I say minimal muscle I am saying that as far as my muscle to fat ratio goes, my muscle is minimal in comparison if that makes sense?
The “bad food” I ate was a lot of chips and m&m’s and things like that. I ate a lot of garbage when I lost the 90lbs. I just ate a LOT less garbage than I wanted to. So instead of eating the whole entire bag of doritos I ate a handful etc.
This time around I am trying to stay off that stuff. If I realllllly want it I will allow it once in a blue moon, but if it makes me feel crappy, then it isn’t worth it. I haven’t tested it out yet.

I am still struggling today with eating. I ate ground beef last night a few hours before bed and that was a mistake. I felt it for hours when trying to sleep. I felt ok when I woke up, I wasn’t hungry but ate another 6oz of ground beef anyway. I made 8oz but had to force myself to finish at least 6oz of the 8 I cooked. I was full after just a few bites. It is frustrating. I could literally go until tomorrow without eating, but I will try and have something in a few hours.

The mustard comes up as 0 in cronometer and on the back of the bottle. I am not worried about it, it only seems to have sodium in it which is fine with me.

As far as drinking, I don’t like milk or coffee…I know, I am weird. I feel like the only person on the planet that doesn’t like coffee lol
I could try some heavy whipping cream and see if it bothers me. I do like sour cream and some of my meals have been ground beef with taco type seasonings with sour cream and cheddar cheese so I may make a batch of that and overload the sour cream. I don’t like fish, but I have tried to eat things I don’t like to see if I can overcome it, and for the most part it didn’t work. I am always willing to try. At this point I could try eating a stick of butter haha

I am not sure if I need the electrolyte drinks, I just figured that because people have stressed in some youtube videos it is important that I should, but then I saw others say you don’t need it, it is confusing to know what to do sometimes. Today I am not taking it and will stay off it until/unless something happens where I feel I need it.
The one I have has stevia in it and I can taste it and I don’t like it, I try and chug it down fast as I can to get it overwith but the aftertaste yuck.

(Jen) #17

I used to do the same, I would constantly be scratching and picking at my scalp! It is amazing how it cleared right up when I stopped using the shampoo. What is the cleanser you use, I am looking for something I can use for when I feel it is “dirty”.
I also bought a boar bristle brush, and my hair is pretty short right now. It does kind of stick to the scalp, like you said, but then I finger style it and it looks like maybe I put a little product in it and did it on purpose. Works for me lol
I will go check that thread out!

(Jen) #18

Sorry, I just realized I can multiquote smh.

I love watching Dr Cywes, I like Dr Berry too. I am still wading through a lot of their videos. I think I will have to stop thinking about all the extra fluff and only deal with it IF it becomes a problem. I am one that tries to think all the way around something to be prepared before it happens kind of thing, I need to chill :persevere:

You should definitely try the no shampoo, my hair was pretty greasy before, and I did try this years ago and the grease was too much I quit. Since I am currently out of work I figured it was the best time to try again and I like what I am seeing so far.

Ok trying to see if I am doing the multiquote right, here goes :smiley:
I think I may try that too, I tend to prefer the taste of leaner meats so I may try the bacon grease and cream cheese. I wasn’t sure if I was having issues with dairy so I cut it out, but I am going to try adding things back in and see if I do ok with them. The process can be a PITA haha I hope this all regulates and I can find what works that I can stick to for life. I wish I liked more things!

(Eric) #19

Interesting I have had a similar experience with my hairline receding post Keto at a more accelerated pace and I chalked it up to my testosterone levels as well due the changes in libido. Interesting.

(Bacon is better) #20

There is a genetic component to hair loss, of course, but my understanding is that higher levels of testosterone tend to accelerate hair loss. I was resigned to being bald by my mid-forties, since that was the case with my maternal grandfather (whose genes are supposed to be the controlling factor), but I have kept a reasonably full head of hair into my sixties. I made a promise to myself, many decades ago: (a) no comb-over! and (b) no cheap toupée!