Newbie with some minor questions

(James Caffey) #1

Hi Folks,

New to the forum and to Keto… Now that I have been working on Keto for the last three weeks I was wondering about sugar along with other basics.

I read on the label “1g Sugar” here and “1g Sugar” there… they are not added sugars but I am curious how concerned I should be at having a couple grams of sugar when the day is done… How does this impact my maintaining my Keto-ness?

I’ve come to Keto via a desire to lose some weight, I am a 5’ 10" 249.3Lb 65 year old Male. I don’t have any form of testing whether I’m in Keto other than my breath smells like ass.

I am trying to hold my caloric intake at 1,500 Cal with an eye of losing +/-2Lb/week and am working on 70%-5%-25% Fats-Carbs-Protein. I have translated this to 120g Fat/ 24g Carb/ and 83 carb Protein. Is this what a Keto program is supposed to look like? I find that I have a hard time hitting this ratio, usually with an over consumption of Protein… typically I’ll have a 119g Fat 10g Carb and 105g Protein… Will the over consumption of protein impact my approach to reach the benefits Keto provides? In what way?

Net carbs vs. total carbs… I’ve been using “Loseit” to track my calories as well as my Macronutrients (I’ve set new “goals” with in the program that let me track my ratios and grams consumed). Apparently I’ve been tracking Carbs… should I be tracking Net Carbs instead?

I’ve kinda fallin’ into a “eat for 7 hours fast for 15 hours” only because I’m only eating when I am hungry and honestly once I started with this approach to eating I’m generally not really hungry until mid day.

Any advice or comments are all greatly appreciated.


(Laurie) #2

Hi Jim! Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in yogurt or canned tomatoes, are fine. Just stay under 20 grams (or whatever number you choose).

If you’re under 20 carbs per day, you’re almost certainly in ketosis.

People debate about too much fat vs. too much protein. Maybe it’s different for everyone. My advice would be not to worry about it unless you run into problems.

Tracking carbs vs. net carbs is another controversial subject. It’s up to you. Again, maybe don’t worry about it unless you have problems.

Best wishes.


Don’t worry about percentages. Eat little enough carbs (20g is a safe amount, usually but some people need to go lower and many people are in ketosis with way more… it doesn’t mean it’s ideal for them, I was in ketosis at 40g net and loads more total but the carbs messed with me. I don’t really care about carbs now just almost completely avoid plants on keto. and I don’t drink milk either, that’s a sugary thing without much use to me), enough protein (adequate to high, whatever works best. I do high but I am nothing compared to people eating 300g a day :smiley: I always stop at 220g but usually way earlier. my protein need is below 100g I am sure but I almost never am that low, not even on my extremely rare 1000 kcal days. how people eat little protein I can’t fully comprehend. especially on keto) - and some fat is needed too but that won’t be a problem. And you need enough calories to feel right and avoid slowing down your metabolism but I can’t tell you what is the right amount for you. If you aren’t very muscular, you have plenty of extra fat to get energy… With less fat, 2lbs/week may be a way too quick fat-loss. If not now, later you may need to slow down, even raising your calories…

Don’t care so much about percentages. Your body has its needs in grams, your calorie intake and zillion other things matter… I couldn’t pull off 70-25-5 without overeating. Too much carbs and way too little protein for 1500 kcal for me. But some people are fine with more fat. Find your ideal amounts, I say and be flexible anyway. You don’t need the same macros every day. And you may need way more food on some days. Maybe when you are more active but I always feel the need for the occasional higher-cal day, I have them while losing fat too. I suppose my body knows what it needs but it was nice for my mental state too.

Some amino acids may become glucose but the body doesn’t do it without a need. If it needs some, it gets it but the excess protein won’t become sugar and get you out of ketosis. Some people here go WAY over 200g protein regularly and it doesn’t affect their keto. But this old myth was debunked anyway.

People here tend to say track total.
I always track net as total never seemed to matter to me (and it’s often easier to track only net). As a beginner ketoer, my total probably often was at 100g and I went into ketosis and get fat adapted just fine… But many people says they need to use net. Later I realized I should stay close to carnivore so my total and net is usually super close. But I always will track net.
You probably will figure out eventually which items aren’t good for you. Many of us should avoid sweeteners. Fiber is individual and probably our diet matters, carnivore with 0 fiber tends to work :wink:
So if you want to be very safe and you can do it, keep your total low. But it restricts your food choices, of course. I used lots of flax and some pure fiber in the past, sweeteners too… It turned out it isn’t the best for me but at that time it might have been. But I had no meat, it’s so easier with meat… You can go quite low with both net and total if you focus on animal products (not milk and not processed stuff with lots of sugar in it) even if you carefully add plants on top.

It seems you have no problem with your IF so no need to talk about that :slight_smile: Doing what comes naturally on keto sounds good to me, at least first. I continued my 16/8 when I went keto but fat adaptation made my eating window smaller, it was cool, more convenient :slight_smile: Sometimes one needs a little push to make it small enough but nothing forceful IMO. I consider proper hunger a sign to eat, not to be strong and endure…

I wish I was more concise.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #4

Hi, Jim, and welcome. Starting out, the most important thing is to keep your carbs sub-20 grams per day and the lower the better. That will get you into and keep you in ketosis which is where good stuff happens that otherwise won’t. Don’t get lackadaisical about this - it’s the key thing. Make a game of it, a challenge. Whatever else you do, don’t think in terms of what you have to ‘give up’ - think of what you have to gain: a new world of nutritious, varied and healthy foods you never imagined existed.

It may seem contradictory, but my advice is don’t worry about losing weight, even if it was your initial motivation. Keto is a process of metabolic normalization that takes time to fix what’s broke from decades eating SAD. Ultimately, that includes your weight/fat composition - but there may be other stuff that needs fixing first and you need to allow that to happen. If you get fixated on losing weight you risk losing sight of the long term goal: overall health and longevity. And you may do dumb things in the attempt to force it. If the weight/fat doesn’t come off as fast as you want or wish it to, don’t despair. Despite much popular nonsense, keto is not a quick weight-loss diet.

As mentioned already, percentages are useless for macros, use gram amounts. From what info you’ve provided I think you probably need to eat more protein and stop worrying about eating ‘too much’. When your body odor and breath have the aroma of ammonia, back off a bit. Until that happens don’t sweat protein.

Keto is not oriented around caloric intake - it’s centered around maintaining consistent ketosis. Assuming you have onboard fat, ketosis enables your metabolism to utilize it readily. What this means in the real world is that when energy from your plate runs out, your metabolism seamlessly switches to energy from your fat stores. So your overall hunger is reduced, simply because ketosis makes all that stored energy available. And as a result you probably eat less than previously, so you don’t necessarily have to ‘count calories’. Many folks here don’t count and lose weight successfully. You can eat too much, of course, but that’s a different issue for another post.

You can force weight loss by restricting calories, but doing so runs the risk of slowing your metabolism, which is something you do not want to happen. This is the primary reason why folks who use high carb low fat CICO diets to lose weight generally gain it all back and more within a couple of years. The follow up study of the Biggest Loser contestants showed that they all slowed their metabolisms by about 500 cals or more per day - that’s huge! It’s no wonder that every one of them gained all the weight back they lost and added even more.

Just keep in mind that ‘hungry all the time’ is not good; a little ‘hungry before meals’ is OK. Best wishes.


It Doesn’t, completely ignoreable amount. 20g isn’t some magical number where your head pops off your liver falls out and all your ketones burst into flames. It’s a good starting point for most to make sure they get into ketosis. That’s all.

That’s not a lot of calories at all, are you sedentary? I’d also ditch the percentages, they don’t work. If you eat over are you going to up the other two macros as well? Or lower them if you eat less? Go by grams and life it much easier.

Everybody has a hard time with percentages, you’re not going to over consume protein, that’s not a thing. You’d have to intentionally try to do that, and when you started to even remotely pull that off you’d know because you’d have the meat sweats and probably smell like ammonia.

I would, our bodies don’t treat all carbs equally. Whether it doesn’t process them at all like a normal carb (think fiber and most sugar alcohols) or whether they’re just low GI carbs (think cauliflower) pretending that all carbs are cupcakes is nuts.

Pay close attention to that one! If you know that you’re less hungry than normal, keep in mind you can slow your metabolic rate by under eating. I was literally NEVER hungry when I started fasting and destroyed my metabolic rate. If you know you’re eating way less than you used to to maintain weight start paying attention. Same goes with being cold all the time, having cold hands / feet or lowered body temperature. All of that is usually a sign of a metabolic slowdown. Last thing you want when you have fat to loose.

(Joey) #6

@Columbia_Jim You’ve gotten solid replies above so I won’t belabor the same points.

Just wanted to say: it sounds like you’re off to a great start… keeping your carbs as low as you are, not being hungry until mid-day, breath that smells like ass … these are all signs that you’re changing your metabolism for the better.

As noted by @amwassil above, the weight will take care of itself.

Keto onward! :vulcan_salute:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #7

PS: @lfod14 ‘s advice about feeling cold is bang on! Some of us don’t have normal/reliable hunger and satiety signals. I almost never feel hungry or satisfied. In my case I count calories because from trial and error I know how much to eat to maintain. But cold, weak, tired are all reliable signals that I need to eat. It’s good to pay attention to yourself.


I am never cold (at least not due to eating little). I get weak and dizzy sometimes (and see black, lose balance for a moment) when my body wants food and my hunger is nowhere to found. It’s good as I get a sign I need to eat.
I like to track to figure out if I ate the right amount for the day (maybe I can stop it eventually when I get used to the new style, just like in my old low-carb times where I automatically ate at a cute deficit without problem and tracking). It’s better to eat right during the day then having an extra bigger meal at 1am or something… As I can’t undereat for long, my body doesn’t allow that.

Satiety signals can be seriously affected by the chosen food items. Just eating until satiation may be too little or too much food.

(Take time to smell the bacon) #9

If you eat to satiety, as recommended, the quantity of food it takes to satisfy you during the first few weeks after going keto may seem like quite a bit of food. This is perfectly normal.

As your serum insulin drops and stops interfering with your appetite hormones, you are quite likely to find yourself suddenly wanting less food. The body usually pegs the appetite at a level that allows both dietary fat and excess stored fat to be consumed.

As others have mentioned, some people have trouble recognising hunger and satiation signals, but most people on a ketogenic diet can trust their appetite as a reliable guide to how much to eat. The sensation of satiation is one of “I’ve had enough,” not “Boy, am I stuffed!” Before you decide your hormones are broken, however, eat to satisfy your hunger for several weeks. In my case, it was in the middle of the third or fourth week after I cut my carbohydrate intake to ketogenic levels that I suddenly found my satiety signal cutting in. If, after four or five weeks, you still find yourself filling your stomach to the bursting point, then you can conclude your hormones are not working properly.

Eating to a target number of calories risks putting the body into “famine” mode. Better to fast altogether, than to do that. In famine mode, the body hunkers down, slows or turns off non-essential processes (sex drive, hair and nail growth, etc.), and lowers the metabolic rate to match the energy intake. This is self-defeating if the goal is to shed excess fat. On the other hand, eating an abundant amount of food causes the body to get generous with its energy expenditures and to ramp up the metabolism, even sometimes actually wasting energy. Under these conditions, the body is far more willing to part with its energy reserves (i.e., excess stored fat).

(Marianne) #10


Also agreed. It’s so counterintuitive to not count calories, however, keto is not like a conventional “diet.” Eat to satiety and don’t track calories or anything but your carbs. Keep them as low under 20 as you can. I believe if you maintain this way of eating, you will lose the weight you want, without extraordinary measures like tracking ketones or other values, counting calories, or exercising. I lost 75 lbs. and it was the easiest “diet” I had ever been on. For three years, this has been my preferred lifestyle, and my weight has never fluctuated, unlike with any other weight loss method - and my health is so much improved. I am a keto-er for life.

FYI, many of us here are over 60, so you are in good company.

Best to you!


Only if one chooses it unwell - or if the body wants more but fails giving proper signs or the host simply ignores them. Or other reasons, maybe. But some of us needs to focus on calories too (even if we don’t track them).
I figured out how many calories I should eat and I need to go into that range to lose fat, it never happens otherwise (okay, high activity surely could help but I don’t do that) and always happens when I do it, no matter my carb intake. I am still fat as I almost never manage to eat that little but I will do my best effort in 2022 and it should work this time. It’s very normal, many of us are like that. One simply can’t know that number in the very beginning though (not like it’s a fixed number, of course :slight_smile: we never can know our energy intake but we may have a good guess after some time - if our fat-loss is pretty immune to the other factors or if those factors are similar). I never followed calculators, just my hunger and satiation and indeed, they were extremely off in my case. So I personally am wary when one chooses to eat little just because diet advice always says so or an unreliable calculator gave that number (oh, the number of women I saw who thought 1200 kcal is the right way for a female… no matter what. amazing, how can do they think that? and why don’t they think it over when their body complains? they must want being slim 10000 times more than I do, I am not particularly vain, don’t feel unhealthy but can’t stand hunger so it’s possible…). 1500 kcal is the lowest I consider safe for many (as I saw success stories like that and anyway, it’s not too low for so many people if the goal is fat-loss), of course it’s too little and sometimes serious starving for many others, these things are very individual.

Just as a start, I am all for eating to satiety, if it doesn’t work, eating more satiating food, change timing, never forcing things unless that is needed for serious health reasons… But it’s my hedonistic approach and I sacrificed everything else, even much results in the first decade to avoid hardships. If one wants to go quickly even if it’s less pleasant, I understand it, I am merely against going too low and messing with their metabolism. Even if starving people inevitably lose fat (maybe there are a few odd cases in the world who can’t just like there are people who can’t gain fat or muscle but it’s something extremely rare), the price is too high especially if the starvation is longer term. And it’s not pleasant, of course. The right woe can make fat-loss somewhat easy for so many people, maybe most if things are done right, why to be so desperate? There’s no need.

Many ketoers and even carnivores lose nothing or almost nothing doing it for years (while they have fat to lose) so sometimes we need some tweaking. Very low-carb doesn’t mean we can’t eat too much even if we try not to.
(Even if I said we, I never could try extreme low-carb keto for a longer time, not even my carbier one - it’s harder than low-carb and never was good for anything after fat adaptation so my motivation is tiny, it’s good I tried out carnivore, that’s a whole another world, easier and cooler. well, carnivore-ish is easier, I like my tiny extras sometimes - so the experiences are from others. But I saw many and it’s very understandable to me that not everyone starts to eat little enough on keto ever. And surely most of us can’t lose fat while eating very much.)

(James Caffey) #13

Everyone, thank you for the comments; my takeaways; focus on the Carbs, Naturally occurring sugars are accounted for in the Carb number, and in general relax about the numbers. I will also relax about the calories… a word on that, the 1,500 cal/day was a target I created when I was following a “Calories In Calories Out” approach a number of years ago… and I never ate more than 1,500 cal/day so I lowered it to 1500… I did a little more reading after seeing your comments on slowing my metabolism… and have relaxed about focusing on that number. I have lost the “hunger signals” for the most part… I did notice that I tend to get “Hangry” if I go too long without eating… (with apologies for grumbling to my bride). I can rework my menus and timing… It feels weird not having hunger pangs per se, I could set my watch by my hunger pangs before starting Keto. As another bonus, I’m brushing my teeth more so that’s good. I truly appreciate everyone’s input here… it is a tremendous help. Obviously, this is all pretty new to me, but after watching the Documentaries “That Sugar Film” and “Fat” it seemed well worth the try. And having started, I’m not disappointed. thank you again.