Plateau Buster - Has anybody attempted LCHF to Vegan cycling?



For those relaxing on a nutritional health plateau. This is something to consider.

We understand that diet change produces body responses.

I just listened to a debate involving self-identified WOE leaders in LCHF, paleo, vegetarian, keto, and vegan approaches. The salespeople are convincing.

In my middle age social group I make an observation that most of my peers are aware of health and nutrition and seek to live a full healthy life. People who saw the keto information tried keto living and improved their health from a previous place, same for paleo. A bunch seem to suggest they are doing well on a Mediterranean diet. It seems that people who saw the plant based information tried a plant based approach and improved their health from a previous point in time.

All the methods required changes in dietary approaches from the government standard recommendations. Individuals then found/find what works for them. Often the changes are dramatic and people are excited for 6 months to a year.

Then, longer term, things change, we have changed, our health has changed. We seem to hit health plateaus more often than health targets, or discover unwanted side effects to the mindful way of eating (WOE) that seemed so wonderful initially.

Is that a correct observation?

The logical approach is then to reassess and tweak the WOE as one’s health settles in a plateau. A biomarker plateau, especially if it is multiple biomarkers (body measurements, HbA1C, lipid profile ratios, major organ biochemistry, CAC etc), is a great time to reassess and apply some logical change to the WOE.

Unless the plateau is optimal health we seek to find its edge, an edge for further health improvement, and step off on a new path to seek the most healthy plateau for us. For example, we tweak, within the dietary WOE in which we found initial health improvements…

Maybe we could consider an n=1 of shifting and adapting from keto to wholefood, safe fats plant based (vegetartian/ vegan) for awhile. Maybe 1, 2 or 3 months. In so doing, monitor biomarkers and general subjective well being. And then readapt to keto as a known WOE that works and share the experience?

Before I step off the plateau edge, has anyone tried cycling between healthy wholefood animal based ketogenic eating and a healthy wholefood plant based way of eating?


BBC's Zarla Gorvett: Common Negative Impacts on Vegan Brain/Intelligence
(Jane) #2

Not me. I feel so freaking good on keto and maintaining my goal weight that I have no interest in experimenting with other WOE

(Jane) #3

But I’ve tried gluten-free, low-fat, vegetarian, etc.

Keto works best for me. YMMV

(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #4

Ya lost me.

(Omar) #5

maybe not all humans created equal

I tried vigitables only and thought I will die.


I tried all those and many more, I am healthier, at goal weight without trying hard, and happier with this WOE. Wish I had done it the first time I picked up Atkin’s book in the 90s. I wasted a lot of time putting on weight and taking it off again and never reaching my goals.

So keto/lchf is what works for me.

(Robert C) #7

All of the WOEs you mention are going to seem good for six months if moved to from the standard American diet because all remove processed foods and focus on real food.

But - they are definitely not all equal just because they all show improvement in a short timeframe.
I believe keto is several steps above vegetarianism.

If you take a keto adapted person that has cycled up their metabolism up to 3500 calories a day with great blood numbers (maybe even reversed T2D) and make them eat only vegetables - they would have serious trouble keeping their metabolism that high. Carbs would creep in because you can’t eat 3500 calories of leafy greens each day. They would go down hill (I think) and might lose weight over the initial month or two due to calorie restriction but I feel they would diminish their fat burning ability and lower their metabolism by like 1000 calories (or more) pretty quick. They couldn’t intermittent fast because their insulin would regularly be high and the actual vegetable quantity to be eaten would be very large.

On the other hand, if you take someone that has been vegetarian for 6 months and move them to keto - I think you would see the opposite. Energy would increase, metabolism would increase, blood numbers would improve etc.

People really want the vegetarian lifestyle to work for them (their significant other does it, spiritual reasons, not wanting to hurt animals etc.) and many try to stick with it for a time. But (from what I have read on the internet - from people like Robb Wolf) it just does not work long term for a lot of people - they develop problems, try coping strategies with supplements and finally fail.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #8

Seven months in keto. At goal weight - 114. HDL up tp 67, LDL down to 87. Fasting blood sugar at 87. Was a vegetarian for years, and though I was younger, and thinner, had crappy lipid panels.


Well done Jane. How long keto?


Yes. I’m sure it is a common experience. To try something and feel it doesn’t work. Then keep trying other things until finding what works. In the process it is hard to remember the benefits that may have occurred in a previous WOE. I’m talking about keto plateau people, changing out to another WOE for benefits, only for a while, then returning to a base keto diet after the change.


Just wondering if anyone has tried the cycling between health WOEs for any effect?


Well done Regina.

(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #13

Not myself, my stalls have not lasted long enough. I’ve never actually stalled to be honest. Whilst weight loss is linear and it has gone up and down, it always continues to go down regardless so I have never been able to complain about stalling at a particular weight for however many weeks.

Keto has really worked for me and I love meat, I have no need to try another WOE. But if I had to, I still wouldn’t, to me that would mean that I’m still doing something wrong within this diet and I’m too committed to figure out what that is before considering another diet.

(Jane) #14

I tried other WOE much longer than keto and they sucked.

I am plateaued on keto, as you say, but it works so I am not [spoiler]fucking with it[/spoiler] at this time.

Not the answer you are looking for, but my n=1

(Empress of the Unexpected) #15

Thank you! I am lucky to have a responsive body - and keto was the answer for me. Before keto, I was drinking 8 glasses of milk a day! How crazy was that, though I still miss milk! Went cold turkey in April. Have cheat meals every couple of weeks, but need to stay keto for life!

(Jane) #16

Coming up on one year. 3-4 months at maintenance weight


I expect it is many ketogenic eaters experience. I’ve had significant health improvements at 4 years of ketogenic eating. But the plateaus are extending as I get good at this WOE, Have added in intermittent fasting and other hacks in trying to become more optimally healthy. I’m in that group of keto eaters that look over weight but have healthy biomarkers on blood tests. I’d like to improve my surfing fitness in the enjoying healthy life goal.

(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #18

What type of stall are you experiencing?
Being on Keto for that long, you should be entirely fat adapted, have you considered extended fasting?

(Empress of the Unexpected) #19

I have been keto for seven months - I need a minimum of two meals a day, most days three. Because of GI problems cannot carry out EF. Katie, please remember, we are all different. I am at goal weight (113 lbs.Yaay!) without any type of fasting. True fat adaptation can take up to a year. The mitochondria take a long time to heal. This is not a six to eight week process.


Thanks Rob. There is a lot of information to unpack. But it looks like it comes from a good knowledge base.

I’m wondering if this thread will stay alive long enough to find someone who has cycled in and out of animal based fats eating to a plants based eating, and what effects they found?

Timing would be critical. I think of the paleo style eaters who eat local foods only in-season. With that guide, then eating a salad or vegetable plant based diet for a restricted eating window, maybe 4 weeks in a year, may be to induce a hormetic response that benefits an overall ketogenic WOE.

I thought with the Ketotarian (keto eating vegetarians) information becoming more available. Someone may have stayed ketogenic but exercised some variability in eating by repeatedly swapping between animal fats and plant based eating on healthy whole foods?