Portion sizes and "What did you keto today?" Developing food discipline

(Art ) #1

Added note July 14 - This post is about those doing keto for weight loss and not those trying to maintain current body weight. After watching Phinney’s video earlier today, I have a better understanding. That video and others in Gabe’s “Stop telling newbies to eat more fat” have convinced me to eat less fat and eat the right amount of protein as I am focused on weight loss at this time.

I was scanning the thread “what did you do today” and even at 300lbs I was a little shocked about some of the portion sizes some people are having.

Understanding that everyone’s needs and bodies are different but excess protein (as many of these massive plates of meat must have (and granting that many of these larger plate photos may come from OMADs)) can be turned into sugar through glucloneogenesis. (100g of excess protein (slightly more than 3 oz.) can become 50g of glucose)

This was my 1st lesson in keto when it wasn’t working and I realized it was too much protein and too many nuts that were keeping me in a low ketosis state. (0.5-1.0)

While I am new to keto and IF, I recognize in myself that many of my problems come from a lack of food discipline, largely in part because when I was younger, I could eat and burn off 10,000+ calories a day.

At this time, I see keto and restricted carbs as a step towards eventually developing a more balanced diet (the inverted pyramid) where I will be able to have a slice of toast with breakfast every day I want to but not half a loaf a day as I have in the past. (a true addict).

Do other people also see keto as a temporary crutch towards developing the discipline to eating a healthy balanced diet or as the permanent solution for their ‘until-I-die’ diet?


PS - breakfast this morning; 1 duck egg, 3 strips of bacon, black Illy coffee + a quart of water

(traci simpson) #2

I hope that this will be a permanent solution to being healthy. I worry about my portion sizes in particular protein because I was eating way too much and yes, it turned into sugar and raised my levels. Now, I think I might not be eating enough. I found a KETO group near my house and my hope is to get it all sorted out so that I can continue my journey.

(Pete A) #3

As of now this is permanent and Sept 1 will be two years…

I’m big on keeping my portioning under control, always a challenge!

CONGRATS on your progress and commitment!

(hottie turned hag) #4

My thinking is that for those who claim this status, reintroducing carbs will cause disaster, just like a drink does for an alcoholic. Paging @PaulL who has posted eloquently about addictive behavior.

I eat much meat at a sitting, never measure anything nor count cals and my losses have been swift, steady and sustained, and I’m a postmenopausal, sedentary, small framed female. Started Aug 2017 and am now almost at goal weight (110). An example of a typical OMAD for me: not-small steak, 1lb bacon, 8 oz pepperoni, salmon salad. At a sitting. I love gluttony :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Now I did stall at 122lb, then again at 116, but fasts fixed the last stall. I get that for some folks excessive protein may cause stalls, I know @Ilana_Rose has mentioned this. But as I always promote, all is case by case and for me, protein galore causes no issues.

(Jane) #5

Do you have a link for the basis of this statement? Carnivores would never lose weight if this were true for everyone.

I would blame the nuts before I blamed protein. Have you tested your blood glucose after eating excess protein to see if you are one of those it affects?

Also a ketone state between 0.5 and 1.0 is excellent! Higher ketones DOES NOT EQUAL faster weight loss.

(Art ) #6

Janie - it would be true for all humans. There are differences between us and how we respond but the process is the same for everyone.


Yes, checking BS 3x a day, in my case I isolated to excess protein.

I stopped focusing on ketone levels now that I’ve sussed out all of the hidden sugars.

(Diane) #7

Dr. Ben Bikman talks frequently about the fact that protein intake in folks consuming a SAD diet does not have the same physiological effects as it does in those eating ketogenically.

I also think that it’s surprising and worth noting that different folks have idiosyncratic responses based on their genes, dietary history and any metabolic disorders we might have developed after years of following poor dietary advice.

(Jane) #8

Sorry I wasn’t clear - that is what I meant - we all respond differently


Someone doing OMAD would have a lot more on their plate than someone doing three…as you noted later:

The key word being “can”. GNG is a demand-driven process, not a supply-driven one.

(Bob M) #10

I have tested my blood sugar using a CGM using massive (150+ grams) of protein per MEAL and have never seen a blood sugar rise. Never.

Could it happen? Maybe. Jimmy Moore actually gets hypoglycemia (LOW blood sugar) after too much protein, which might be because his glucagon response is messed up.

After being low carb/keto for 5.5 years, my morning ketones are usually 0.2 (by PrecisionXtra, 0.4 by KetoMojo). Every morning, I’m below 0.5. And I fasted 4.5 days and got up to a whopping 1.9 (Precision Xtra). If you’re new to keto, you can get higher ketones.

But should you? I personally think high ketones are an indicator of excess (exogenous) fat intake and may actually be detrimental to your weight loss endeavors.

I am now fasting and feasting, and have been for a while. So, if you came into my house yesterday, you would see me eat three pork chops, 1.5 of them with a small amount of BBQ sauce, a salad with olives, onions, cheese crisps, blue cheese, EVOO and two vinegars, macadamia nuts, and a sausage with onions and mustard. Maybe even more, can’t remember. You might think that’s a lot of food. But that’s all I ate yesterday, and Monday I did not eat at all, and worked out 1 hour (35 minutes lifting to failure the HIIT for 20 minutes), then ate two meals Tuesday. And doing this, I’ve lost around 60 pounds and gained around 10 pounds of muscle (will know more my next DEXA scan).

You can’t judge anything by looking at one meal.

(Bob M) #11

This is why I think when people eat more protein, their blood glucose goes up. Prior to eating more protein, they were starving their body of protein and blood glucose. After eating more protein, their body finally has enough to create the demand it wants.

I also believe that fasting glucose for people (like me) who have been on low carb a long time might actually go UP, as might HbA1c. And that might not be a bad thing.


Since going keto, I have “Dawn Phenomenon”. My morning BG reading will typically be 10 to 20 points higher than it was the night before, even if I’ve had nothing to eat in between.


I admit, I was surprised at some of the portions just as the OP was. But then I realized some are OMAD as you say. Or maybe longer and then they feast?

I’m finding it hard to eat as much lately (6 months in) as I did before. I would easily eat a while subway sub and chips for lunch and be hungry for dinner. Now I just ate a hard boiled egg and a couple flowers of broccoli with 2 oz of guac and I am stuffed.

I even “accidentally” did a 26-hour fast yesterday (broke it with a small homemade hamburger patty and 1/4 cup of sauerkraut and was very full). I was surprised that accidental fast wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Although my stomach was putting on a concert!

I still have a mental block on extended fasting though.

(Art ) #14

I also have dawn phenom and/or Somogyi - it’s aggravating


An interesting theory, but if it wants more glucose for replenishing glycogen for example, then it should be in the muscles and not hanging out in the bloodstream. Insulin, glucagon, glucose, ketones all interact to form a homeostasis depending on metabolic quirks and demand. PIR being the key here in a long term keto context. It could be keeping a higher supply on hand as a buffer. That fits with the theory elevated cholesterol is doing the same thing for readiky available fat.

You can’t really force more ketones by increasing fats unless your using ketogenic fats that go straight to the liver, like MCTs. The peripheral tissues get first shot at fat coming from the intestines via the lymphatic system (chylomicrons), then it’s re-esterified. The liver doesn’t use that but generates ketones and glucose from FFA released from adipose tissue and regulated primarily by insulin levels. Just swapping out long chain fats for protein, the primary driver of hormonal reaction that starts the GNG ball rolling is the protein and your body’s response to it. (I’ll leave carbs out of the equation because that skews everything)

What types of exercise you do and the types of muscle fibers engaged changes the mix of whether your body wants glucose or fat. Ketones also supply a source of ATP to muscle. How healthy your fat cells are - whether they are leaking FFA or not - makes a difference in total energy too. If insulin isn’t suppressing fat release but glucagon is still stimulating GNG, you’ll have an energy surplus like in T2D.

(It's all about the bacon, baby) #16

“Can be,” but it has been shown conclusively that gluconeogenesis is driven by demand, not by supply, so the fear that excessive protein will spike glucose, and therefore insulin, has been superseded (see Prof. Bikman’s presentations on insulin and glucagon). The body has no need for more than about 4-5 g of glucose to be circulating in the bloodstream, and it actively works to keep the level in this range.

One of the key principles Dr. Phinney and others emphasize is eating to satiety and not beyond, which is a naturally self-limiting process. If people stop eating when they are no longer hungry, and refrain from eating until they are hungry again, they will naturally not consume too many calories. It is worth bearing in mind as well that the body is capable of ramping up the metabolism when provided with ample caloric intake, just as it is capable of cutting the metabolic rate to compensate for inadequate intake. It is therefore more effective to choose our food content to manipulate the body’s hormonal response than it is to try to exert control through caloric targets. After all, the human race evolved over two million years, with no knowledge of what a calorie even was, and yet our ancestors seem to have survived, somehow.

Because a well-formulated ketogenic diet is a “healthy balanced diet,” I see it as essential to my metabolic health. The fat loss I have experienced was incidental to achieving that larger goal (in the face of so much obesity running rampant in our populations, we tend to forget that keto is not so much a weight-loss diet as it is a weight-normalization diet). Given our society’s irrational fear of fat as a cause of heart disease (a hypothesis that was never backed up with valid data and which has long since been disproved), it is worth bearing in mind that the human body has no need whatsoever for dietary carbohydrate, no matter what we are told by soft-drink and processed-food manufacturers and by nutrition experts with agendas.

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #17

The liver can synthesize glucose from fat just as readily as from protein. Yet we are never warned about eating too much fat because it’s going to spike glucose.


Probably because fat has a negligible effect on insulin, whereas protein increases insulin and glucagon simultaneously to keep blood glucose steady. Problem lies in what happens when these forces are unleashed in someone who has an imbalance between them. [Or the effectiveness of them]

(Annja) #19

I believe what is balanced depends on the person.

(traci simpson) #20

Think about this statement. I can eat something and no longer by hungry after the second or third bite. Do I stop there? if so, I’d surely be hungry again very shortly thereafter and have to eat again, which will spike my insulin and it keeps looping around. Now of course, I’m playing the devils advocate here in this scenario, however eating until I’m satisfied doesn’t take long and doesn’t take much so that makes eating “ENOUGH” tough at times.