On the struggle bus

(Liz Ellen) #1

People of Keto:

I joined your way of eating just before the beginning of the year – so about five months ago. In the first four months, I had a lot of positive reinforcement with my new eating habits in the way of weight falling off and a more stable mood.

I still feel great mentally, but I have noticed that since I went on vacation at the end of April, I’ve had a harder time mentally keeping this up, and my weight loss has halted. I remained keto on vacation – my husband (on keto, too) and I rented a cabin and we brought our own food to cook. We didn’t fall off the wagon, but we did allow more Lilly’s chocolate, macadamia nuts, wine and champagne. Damn, I love all those things.

Although I’m not eating those things as much, I haven’t nipped them in the bud entirely and, perhaps as a result, I’m having a harder time walking past all the carbage. I work at a university, and we just had commencement ceremonies. Cookies and cakes have been EVERYWHERE I go. While I haven’t slipped, I do feel I’m losing some of my mental toughness. A few times, I’ve almost reflexively picked up cookie. At a recent event, I brought string cheese and almonds with me as food insurance in case I couldn’t handle all the carbage being consumed in front of me. I felt like it was good planning for the occasion, but I also worry I’m losing my keto advantage of not giving a damn about the crap everyone else is eating.

I have tried a few 48-hour fasts and exercise sessions in an attempt to reset, but I’m feeling wary.

I generally eat two meals a day. Lunch is often a cobb salad and dinner is usually a piece of grilled meat and some vegetables. I have a feeling what’s tripping me up are the “extras” – nuts, the occasional glass of wine, an Atkins bar or fat bomb with Lilly’s chocolate chips.

FWIW, I’m down 40 pounds and just 15 pounds from an “overweight” BMI and not “obese.” I appreciate any words of wisdom you have to end bad habits and keep ketoing on. Although I haven’t gained, I’m just worried about the weight swing up that I’ve experienced so many times. I’ve failed so many times. I don’t want to anymore.

(Jacqueline Porter) #2

Well done for your progress so far. I think all of us have the odd wobble.
It looks to me like you are trying to cut calories? Why are you grilling your meat? Try going back to basics, have 2 or maybe 3 substantial meals a day.
I like to snack, and alcohol is sure to increase that urge. Don’t buy nuts, they can be lethal. I like olives and rarely overeat them, pork scratchings are better on the macro front. But have them as part of your evening meal!
Good luck.:slightly_smiling_face:

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #3

We all experience ups and downs from time to time. How you deal with it is what matters most: celebrate the ups and learn from the downs.

According to the late great:
“Winners never quit. And quitters never win.” – Vince Lombardi

Or as is said around here frequently KCKO (Keep Calm Keto On) :relaxed:

(Full Metal KETO) #4

Liz it sounds like you’re doing great, it took me over 8 months to drop what you did in five. I’ll bet you feel better now than when you were eating carbage. That’s what keeps me on the straight true path. A few minutes of pleasure isn’t worth the aftermath in most cases. If you’re going to eat off plan occasionally don’t fall for crappy cookies, make it a meal you’re really going to appreciate. I almost never do this but it can keep you from nibbling randomly on snack food that probably contain processed vegetable fat too. I feel much better when I stick to Keto foods, and see the sugary treats and junk as poisonous foods for me. I had to fight back pre diabetes so the health motivation is there for me. Keep your goals in mind when you get these urges, you’re a stronger person than you might think. I believe in you. :cowboy_hat_face:

(hottie turned hag) #5

Hm, to me this sounds like far too scanty of a lunch and dinner. No wonder you need snacks. Furthermore the snacks you list can be problematic for some (will cause cravings).
Have you tried gorging at dinner and foregoing the snacks? I do it this way and I have no cravings; when I eat more frequently -snack- cravings are unmanageable.

And this! I used to buy 16oz bags of shelled walnuts…erm…learned I needed to not ever do that again…


I think you’re doing fabulous! 40 lbs. in five months makes me jealous (I’m down 25 in the same time period). Also, while you’re being tempted by carbs and are surrounded by them, you still aren’t eating them! Another huge victory!

It sounds like you’re still losing weight, but are having a mental challenge with craving carbs. I’m wondering if maybe doing a strict “no treats” reset for a week or two might help? Try to ditch all the wine, Atkins bars, Lilly’s, and anything artificially sweetened to reset your palate and your brain.

It’s also possible that you could be reacting to some of the artificial sweeteners–some people have noticed they get an insulin reaction to certain sweeteners, but not others and it really varies from person to person. When you add those things back, try testing them one at a time and give it a few days to see how you feel.

Honestly, I struggle with these cravings, as well. Luckily, I’m not surrounded by it. Some things I have never missed, like rice or beans. But even watching people eat doughnuts or bread on TV kills me sometimes. And it’s got nothing to do with how much I’ve eaten that day.

(Carl Keller) #7

I suppose I’m fortunate because I can now look at all the things I used to enjoy in a completely different way. When I see someone eating a donut or a pastry, I’m no longer envious. I actually feel sorry for the person. What helped reshape how I look at food was research. The more I learned, the more it made me angry that I had been duped into believing that being hungry all the time was normal. I was angry that Big Food had made a fortune off of me and everyone I knew at the expense of wallets and our health.

Watching videos like the one below help teach me to look at processed foods as if I am allergic to them. The inflammation and misery they cause is just a whole lot sneakier.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #8

Congrats on your success so far. It sounds like you’re in a routine eating similar or the same thing for each meal. I think I would switch things up. Prep something this weekend you can take for lunch every day. Plan on eating a different meat/veg at dinner. Have something other than the Atkins/Lily chocolate for snacking and discontinue the alcohol for a week. When you’re feeling into it again, add what you enjoy one thing and sparingly.

For me I say X is okay in small quantities and that quantity grows, meanwhile I say Y is okay every once in a while but that becomes more often and before I know it I’m having X and Y daily as part of the whole plan when they were supposed to be occasional. It sounds like you just need a reset. Best wishes!

(Liz Ellen) #9

Thank you! What are some of your go-to meals?

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #10

I don’t snack, when I eat I eat. That said, I have incorporated into my meals some items that are commonly associated with snacking, to list a few.

per 100 gr total weight:

  • pecans: 4 gr carbs net; 72 gr fat; 10 gr protein
  • walnuts: 8 gr carbs net; 66 gr fat; 16 gr protein
  • macadamia nuts: 8.8 gr carbs net; 76.5 gr fat; 8.8 gr protein
  • GV Real Bacon Bits: 0 gr carbs; 28.6 gr fat; 42.9 gr protein
  • McSweeney’s pepperoni sticks: 2.5 gr carbs net; 60 gr fat; 22.5 gr protein

Walnuts are a major portion of my overall diet and I frequently (3-4 days per week) consume more than 100 gr per day in one or two of my meals. I gladly pay the walnut carb tax and do not exceed my current daily carb target of 17 gr when I do. When I add macadamia nuts (2-3 days per week) I use 50 gr so the carb tax is pretty low. Pecans are a once in a while treat because they are very expensive, but even 100 gr carries a low carb tax.

The GV (Walmart) bacon bits are self explanatory! The McSweeney’s pepperoni works out to 2 gr of carbs for two 40 gr sticks. When I start work early (2-3 days per week) and get my coffee at 7/11 on the way to the bus stop, I often buy a couple of pepperoni sticks as well. No, I don’t think nitrites and nitrates are a problem at my level of consumption.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #11

For a while I was prepping an egg bake and cutting squares to take for lunch. Then I got lazy and started taking rotisserie chicken. This week it’s string cheese, avocado and cheesy sausage. Dinners are rotated between pork chop/fish/steak with broccoli/brussels sprouts but one night I usually have a gigantic salad to eat up everything before the grocery shopping on Saturday. Also, sometimes I just have some yogurt and hot tea for dinner. I find changing it up keeps boredom at bay and tricks my body too!

(Natasha) #12

40lbs in 5 months is great, don’t get disheartened!

My first thought when I read your post was that perhaps you need to up your fats and the ‘density’ of your meals so you are feeling fully satiated after eating. Maybe adding mayo, olive oil based dressing and/or extra cheese to your salads, butter on your vegetables, fattier cuts of meat for dinner etc? I find that if my fat drops then I definitely start to feel hungrier and snackish.

Congratulations on your amazing weight loss so far!

(Hyperbole- it’s the best thing in the universe! ) #13

Purely observationally, it seems 5 months is a wall for a lot of people. The excitement is over, but there is still work to do, I think. But you are doing really well. Don’t forget that. I think the advice to mix it up is good, and push through that wall to the other side.

I’m about a year in. My goal is to get to where I don’t even think about it anymore. Thankfully, I’ve never had a problem with being an oddball. My biggest temptations now are when someone has made something special to share. Not because I want the thing, but because I don’t want to seem unappreciative. But that also becomes less of a problem over time as my friends slowly start to understand what I’m doing and why it is important.

(Karen) #14

I periodically fall off, so stay full. Stay very very full on keto. Chocolate and cookies don’t really look all that great when you are urpy full

(Libby) #15

I’m 5.5 months in and have only lost 10 pounds scale weight. However, my biceps and other muscles are getting bulkier than one would have thought possible for a 55 year old woman and am way shapelier. My posture, lately, is outstanding. Still have 45 pounds to go to be not-obese, though. Technically. I suspect/hope my bones themselves have increased density.

I too have been feeling kind of looser about the whole keto thing; flashing back on posts I’ve read where skinny people talk about “carb loading” and how it seems to cause whooshes for them. Other posts where people talk about leptin resets etc. … it all makes me feel more tempted than I should be to indulge. Quality of Life! But I know, I really do, that slow and steady and strict-ish will eventually get over my “finishing line”. I spend too much time on this forum, trying to keep motivation up.

I’m looking at your 40 pounds lost and feeling rather envious. You are one of the reasons I come to this forum. Keep on keeping on. I’m right behind you…