I came to keto because I started having hypos, looking back now Im assuming this is likely due to me having some insulin resistance. This is my 2nd attempt at keto having tried a few months prior and gave up quite quickly. The hypos only started after this when I went back to eating carbs so Im assuming that maybe I improved my insulin resistance a bit and now my body was responding more to insulin that it was now causing low blood sugar, hence why I returned back to keto. There was a period in the middle where I went and had my bloods checked and everything was fine, HBA1C 5.2. The 4 weeks following the blood tests I did lowish carb, 100g/150g. No hypos on complex carbs spreadout evenly and I lost 12lbs in 4 weeks. This is when I restarted keto. Ive been on keto now for around a month. So far I’ve only lost around 3lbs and that came off pretty much instantly (water weight) and since then the scales have not budged a bit. Im 5’11 and I have a sedentary desk job 4x long shifts, I walk my dog every morning before work about 1.5 miles and Im starting to get back into a HIIT barbell circuit 3x a week. On an average day I consume around 1900 calories, yesterday I run everything through cronometer to double check and got the following breakdown, 1862 cals + add a few more for a few cups of tea with a splash of milk, 120gP 134g F and 25g net carbs. I got a blood ketone meter and so far have tested twice, I got 1 around midday yesterday and 0.6 this morning. I know online calculators are garbage but my estimated BMR is around 2200/2300 so I expect to be losing some weight since I have a spare 50lbs. Historically I usually aim for around 1800 cals when looking to lose weight, throw in some exercise and it comes off without too many issues. Pre xmas I dropped 20lbs in a couple months doing 100g/150g then put it all back. Any pointers to get the scales moving would be much appreciated.
What else are you tracking, apart from the scale?
I have some body composition scales which like an idiot I didnt use when I started keto, I only noted down my muscle mass last week but I have got a measurement from a few months ago of 35, it’s now 37 so trending up. Apart from that I have a few photos which dont look any different to me, obv all my clothes fit me better but ive lost 15lbs between the 2 so thats not a surprise.
How much weight are you looking to lose? The less you have, the slower it comes off.
Do you notice your clothes fitting better? Are you enjoying what you eat? Are you eating clean foods?
It may seem counterintuitive, however, if you are eating at a calorie deficit, your metabolism might have slowed and with the higher carbs, may not have switched to fat burning. If you are enjoying this way of eating, I’d try to keep the carbs under 20, eat at least two ample meals a day, make sure you are getting enough fat, and let the days pass. I’d look to maintaining this way of eating longer term. Even if you get to goal weight on keto, you will likely regain most or all of it if you switch back to “regular” eating (high carb - standard American diet).
When I started keto, the weight came off steadily. I also had a desk job and was completely sedentary, and it still came off. From what I’ve learned here, the key to ketosis and fat burning/loss is low carbs (<20). I think the more consistently you can maintain that (versus low calories), you will see the scale move. If you can, try for sub 20 total carbs.
I have 2 primary goals, 1. fix my metabolic health which I believe is the key to overall health. In past 2 years Ive been diagnosed with asthma, GERD, SIBO and chronic prostatitis. This isnt a coincidence and a clear sign my body was struggling. I want to ease if not get rid of these and 2. Lose weight and keep it off. Im 225lbs and 5ft 11 which has be likely 50lbs overweight and I have a tyre round my waist that Ive has for as long as I can remember. I want it gone.
Yesterday I ate Yoghurt with some almonds, walnuts, chia seeds and sprinkle of cinnamon for breakfast. 3 eggs, avocado, 40g cheddar cheese and tomato cooked in olive oil and for dinner I had chicken, lettuce, tomato, avocado, nutritional yeast and a tbsp olive oil so I think im eating clean keto ( macros for yesterday above). I am starting to feel very normal with this way of eating and am no longer craving carbs, my gf is pregnant and is eating and craving a lot of junk food and ive gotten to the stage where this doesnt bother me at all. For nearly a month I was starving hungry all the time, this seems to have passed now. In my brain Im confused how I can lose good weight on 100g/150g carbs a day fairly easily on my current calories but with a net 25g carbs a day it doesnt want to budge. I expected my weight loss to at a minimum stay the same but likely increase but nothing…
You can’t tell all the good things that are happening inside, just stay the course. If you continue to maintain 25 carbs/day, I feel it’s just a matter of time before you start to see the scale move or your clothes all of a sudden fitting better.
You want to eat in a way that keeps your insulin low, or you have no hope of shedding excess fat. (I am presuming it’s fat you want to lose, not lean mass.) And if you are looking for metabolic health, a low-insulin diet is definitely the way to go. Carbohydrate needs to be avoided, because it causes the greatest insulin response. Protein and fat in the absence of carbohydrate do not cause an insulin response worth worrying about.
Be careful of the nuts and chia seeds; you may be getting more carbohydrate from them than you realise. Also, the fibre in the chia seeds is not likely to do your intestines any good. Further, how much carbohydrate was in the yoghurt? Most brands of yoghurt have added sugar, especially if they are low-fat varieties.
Also, double-check the yeast supplement for extra sugar. If you live in the U.S., they are legally allowed to manipulate the serving size in such a way as to say 0 g of sugar on the nutrition panel. Fortunately, they are still required to list the sugars in the list of ingredients, which gives the game away. In such cases, I assume sugar content of 0.49999999 g per serving and multiply by the number of servings I’m actually going to eat. That’s a much more realistic indicator of how much carbohydrate I’m getting from that product.
There are a number of factors involved. First and foremost is your degree of insulin-resistance. If you are highly insulin-resistant this time around, you will need to restrict carbohydrate much more strictly than the last time, until you regain your insulin sensitivity (and this may take months or years). Your goal is to keep your serum insulin under 25 μU/mL for as much as the day as possible, so that you have access to your stored fat.
But there are other factors, as well. One of them is the amount of calories we eat. If we don’t eat enough, our body will think there’s a famine going on, and will try to hang on to our fat store. As Amber O’Hearn has remarked, “We need a caloric deficit in order to shed excess fat, but we don’t need to restrict calories in order to achieve such a deficit.” While this may sound absurd, it is true.
Dr. Phinney has found it possible for his research subjects to eat an ad libitum ketogenic diet and still shed excess fat, and the key is that once insulin drops it stops interfering with the brain centre that regulates appetite, so people spontaneously eat at a level that allows their body to metabolise both stored fat and dietary fat simultaneously. But they are not picking a caloric target to hit; they are letting their body tell them how much to eat. Therein lies the difference. So keep to your carb limit and eat protein and fat to satiety.
It was only 4 weeks ago that I had a month on 100g/150g and lost 12lbs then I transitioned straight into keto so I dont see how my insulin resistance can be worse now. I am waiting to see endo but no idea how long I’ll be waiting, Im hopeful they will test my insulin as thats my only real option to get that checked. Crazy really that it’s so difficult to get checked. In the meantime I have also considered going and getting my BMR measured for a more accurate picture. As for the extra carbs, I downloaded cronometer as I read thats much better for tracking net carbs, it’s also really good for tracking nutrients but obv a few grams of carbs here and there can always sneak through. Will check the labels. Thanks Paul, insightful as always.
My initial red flag was not much meat. But that’s maybe just me. I would try dropping the seeds and nuts, just to see what happens. Give it at least a couple weeks. Your body will give you the answers if make changes (eliminate or add) and give it time to respond.
I ended up losing nuts and veggies. Wish that wasn’t the case. They are two of my fave foods. But I lost the weight and feel so much better. MANY health issues were cleared up also.
Another guess might be that you have perhaps put on some lean mass, even while shedding fat. This is more common with women, since they are more conditioned to restrict calories, so on an ad libitum ketogenic diet their bodies often take advantage and put on the lean mass they’ve wanted to put on for a long time, but it can happen with men, too.
So the question then is what is your clothing size doing? If you are losing inches, even though not losing pounds/kilograms, then the diet is working as advertised. However, if your clothes are getting tighter or just feeling the same, then, we’ll have to look for another explanation. At any rate, I don’t believe that the solution is to eat more carbs, but perhaps you actually need more carbohydrate; I don’t know.
The clothing question isnt really possible for me to answer with any accuracy due to me losing 12lbs the month before keto. I am now getting into clothes that I wasnt wearing a few months ago but Id attribute most of it down to the 12lbs loss the previous month. I am going to measure my waist, arms and legs and make a note alongside what my scales have my muscle mass at and see if things are trending up on that front. I suspect they are, like I said earlier I have a note from a few months back of muscle mass at 35, I dont even know what that 35 means tbh but its now 37. Will likely continue as is for another couple of weeks and see what happens. I have seen 1 or 2 people on here say that a really high fat macro doesnt equal fat loss for them but they usually make it up with protein I think not carbs. Im currently at around 65/25/10.
But you weigh less now, I had a sudden stop once and lowering my carbs (okay, much later) did nothing. It’s frustrating indeed.
BUT I had a tiny deficit while you probably should lose fat eating only 1900 kcal.
But maybe you aren’t a simple one regarding this and some item interferes, your body is busy with something and it changes things, I don’t know. I heard various stories, sometimes people do exactly the same thing for long and the bodyweight does interesting things…
But your keto is still so new, it’s not hard to mask fat-loss changes when you just measure your weight on a scale…
I would be a bit more patient for a while.
You can lose weight on 300g of carbs a day, no rule saying it takes keto to do that, if the other numbers are right and you’re at a deficit, you’ll lose. I’ve lost more fat doing Targeted/Cyclic keto in the last year than I did my last year doing standard keto
Hardest part is getting the numbers right. I’d raise your protein and drop your fat, but that aside you need to find your tipping point. Takes playing around with and being real accurate with your tracking but once you know that you can plan the attack. I wound up getting my RMR measured and it was WAY below what I thought it was, don’t assume it’ll even be remotely close to what it should be.
My adult son (Matt is Autistic) recently learned he was T2D. Our doc wisely told him he had 3 months to control it via diet. Dad and I are both keto. Doc trusts us.
Matt’s main weakness was desserts and sweets. So we told him to simply begin by cutting out sweets and stuff like sugar in his tea. And to eat when hungry, so he didn’t feel deprived.
In 3 months, he’s lost 20 pounds. He still eats crap like Chinese buffets with all those sauces. BUT… simply cutting out obvious sweets has his blood glucose under control. So the moral of the story is yes, you can lose weight and be healthier with simply lowering carbs.
We are hoping this success will lead to more dietary changes. But thrilled he has made such progress.
So I went back through my tracking apps during the time I lost good weight after having my bloods taken at docs and I wasnt tracking religiously at the time but my staple breakfast seemed to be overnight oats. I have decided to run with the experiment for the next couple of weeks. I will stick to fat being a minimum 50% of my calories but I will add a few more carbs and see how my body responds. I started yesterday and woke up to FG of 6.1 which is what I expected having put some carbs back in and hopefully that will settle a little bit as my body gets used to eating a few carbs again but interestingly 30 after eating my oats I was 5.9. I have no clue what this means tbh so will just continue to track everything and see how my body responds and if it’s more willing to shed fat with a few carbs/lower fat.
I am six weeks into the journey now and have lost around 25lbs. However I have now come to a hard stop, absolutely nothing in the last 7 days. Looking at my tracking nothing has really changed, still on 20g net carbs a day. (1500-1600 kcals a day, I struggle to eat more.)
However what has fallen off dramatically is my Ketone levels, I went from a consistent 5 every morning to now 1 or 2, so barely in Ketosis.
However as I have said elsewhere, what I was really interested in achieving was better cycling endurance and this does appear now to be happening - I did 4 slow hours at the weekend with nothing but an electrolyte drink, I wasn’t particularly hungry afterwards. It is an odd sensation having used what I had in my legs that day, but not feeling particularly tired afterwards - it’s hard to describe.
There is no way I could have supported that with 20g of carbs in my system so I can only conclude that fat adaption has begun to happen. I also suspect that the low ketone readings on the sticks is down to me now being able to use the ketones produced rather than just passing them out.
The point that I am making really badly here, is that there doesn’t appear to be a clear path, the numbers will not always be what the science tells you it should be. I had been intending to try to up carbs to around 30g a day so I could enjoy some more of by favourite vegetables, but it seems that is out of the picture for a while.
Good luck with everything, reach out to me if you want an accountability chat.
Since you say above that “nothing really has changed,” diet-wise, then you’re still in ketosis and the reason your ketone levels have appeared to drop is that you’ve been in ketosis long enough such that your body is more efficient at making/burning them than you were initially. In other words, there are fewer excess ketones circulating in your system (ketone measuring devices measure those excess ketones). So, this reduced ketone level (assuming as you do above that nothing changes), is a natural/good sign that things are working as they’re supposed to. Don’t get discouraged on this point…
P.S. are these readings on a blood-based testing meter?
This is probably the case. Many people experience a drop in circulating ketones as they become fat-adapted. We hypothesise that this is because the liver starts matching production better to need, especially since the muscles prefer fatty acids to ketones, once fat-adapted, so they don’t need ketones in great quantities.
By the way, Phinney and Volek define nutritional ketosis as a level of circulating β-hydroxybutyrate of 0.5 mmol/mL, so at 1 or 2 you are doing very well indeed. Phinney says that in his experience, 1.0 might be more beneficial than 0.5, but levels above 1.0 don’t appear to confer any greater benefit.
Yes, you’re right and knew this already. Sorry, I missed it when I was replying. You’re on the right idea/track.