Random newbie questions (training and heartburn)


(Malin Hallett) #1

Hello lovely people

I am now nearly four weeks into my keto journey (including a one week holiday which went really well). I’m 5kg down, I feel really really good on most days, and I am really enjoy the freedom of no calorie counting etc.

Saying all that, I have a few hurdles I’d like your help with please:

  1. Training - I have always trained a lot, I do it because I enjoy it and for my mental health rather than to “burn calories” and lose weight. I am obviously not fat adapted yet and I expected my performance in the gym to dip, which is has. I have also for the first time in years had some CNS fatigue (and related symptoms such as feeling very low) this week. I am feeling like I’m not recovering as quickly as I usually would, I am more sore etc. My question is, until I’m fat adapted, should I be reducing my training / train less intensively?

  2. Heart burn - this seems to be getting worse and worse. Does this simply indicate I’m eating too much? I know the body is slower to digest fats and protein and that keto works very well with fasting for this reason. I am worried to start fasting this early in my keto journey however due to my history of binge eating. Three square meals a day tends to work well for me to starve this off. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks all in advance!

(Marianne) #2

I would let your body be the judge. Do as much as you are comfortable with. I’d say at this stage, maybe weight training would be easier than cardio. I would make sure you are getting enough salt/electrolytes. You can mix a little bit of salt in your water and honestly, it doesn’t taste bad. Keep eating. Again, I found that a butter coffee or two in the morning helped with my fat adaptation and energy sustainability.

As far as the heartburn, I don’t know but I don’t think it’s related to how much you are eating. If anything and as a relative newbie, you probably are eating less than you could or may require. I’d give it more time before changing anything (including fasting). Maybe it is your body purging all the impurities it has stored up (?). I’ll be interested to see what others say. Lastly, I’d discourage fasting until you are fat adapted. I never cared for it. Don’t forget, “fasting” can be a 18/6 or 20/4 eating window, so you may have days where you are doing that. I think low carb eating eventually leads to that. It doesn’t have to mean a 24 or 48-hour water “fast.” Also, in the beginning and if working out, it’s important to demonstrate to your body that you will feed it amply and consistently, otherwise, your metabolism may begin to slow.

Glad things are going well!!!


Definitely take your training slow, let your body guide you and try not to push it to your pre-Keto intensity. Your body is undergoing a lot of changes and has a lot of repairing to do. It needs energy and time. If you overly compete with that you will feel wiped out and dragged down. It’s ok to let your training be more mild for a while to allow your body the time it needs for these other important matters.

As for heartburn, that is one of my primary health issues and it has been for decades. I had my gallbladder removed, and I previously relied on omeprazole just to be able to eat without vomiting, but it caused a very severe level of osteoporosis 30 years younger than this severity is usually seen.

Two years ago I learned of an alternate way to treat my condition without PPIs. It is about 80% effective, meaning I still have some days with bad acid or sharp gas pains, but it’s not every time I eat or every day. Maybe once or twice a week at most. Here’s what I do:

Every morning the first thing I eat/drink is an electrolyte drink made with an ACV cocktail.
Per 24-30 oz water I add 2T ACV (with the mother - I use either Fairchild’s or a locally bottled version by a Mexican store near me,) 1T lemon juice, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp fresh grated ginger, a pinch of sea salt, and a serving of Dr Berg’s electrolytes (I use his because I’m very deficient in potassium and his is the only one that has 1.000 mg of potassium in it. But any high quality electrolyte of choice would be beneficial.) I buy fresh ginger and peel then freeze in 1” sq chunks. It’s much easier and quicker to grate fresh frozen ginger and 1” cube is enough for 4-5 tsp.

To not have to mix this every single morning, I actually mix 5 servings worth of my ACV cocktail ahead of time in a 2qt size pitcher, which takes the entire 1” chunk of grated ginger and 5 tsp of cinnamon and 10T ACV and 4-5T fresh squeezed lemon juice, and 5 pinches of sea salt. Then each morning I pour about 13oz from the pitcher and top off with fresh water to equal at least 24oz of liquid. Then add a scoop of electrolytes to it.

That drink starts my day with a good 3 to 3-1/2 glasses of water and provides me with energy and appetite control to allow me to be able to IF and make it until lunch before eating. I also take any vitamins I may need to take at the same time, like my calcium and D3, vitamin Bs, etc.

In the evening I drink after dinner another 30 oz of water with nighttime supplements, of which Dr Berg’s gallbladder support is one of them, as well as my magnesium and Vitamin C and As. If I’m having breakthrough acid on a particular day, I’ll add 1-2T ACV to this night time water as well, but not the other stuff. Just the ACV. I rarely need to add it but it helps on a bad day.

I have also made sure I have one serving of a fermented food each day, which could be properly fermented sauerkraut or pickles or olives, or a good probiotic yogurt.

Oh, and I purchased Sodium Bicarbonate tablets from Amazon. Normally the problem is that we don’t have enough of the right kind of acid in our stomachs, so taking these would seem counter intuitive, but sometimes the burn can be so incredibly bad that taking two of these tablets really helps a lot in that painful moment, and my ACV drinks make sure I’m getting the right acid each day anyway. They are also completely safe to use. I’m sure a carbonated drink might also be helpful but I haven’t tried that yet in one of those painful moments so can’t report.

These regimens have allowed me to successfully abstain from PPIs for over two years now, something that was impossible in the prior 13 years.

I wish I had a golden bullet for you, but I don’t. I still struggle with acid, but it’s no where near as bad. I hope this helps. It gives you tools to try.

(Bob M) #4

Have you been tracking blood sugar, by chance?

That’s an interesting idea about lowering the amount of exercise. That’s a possibility. When I went keto for good, I actually reduced my exercise, while losing a lot of weight. I think I went from 3days/week to 2days/week. Now (many years later though), I’m at 5 days a week, and a lot longer in time. Probably from 2 days for about 1 hour or so per week to 3.5 hours of body weight training and 1.5 hours of “jogging” (with my dog – we’re ridiculously slow, 2.x miles in 45 minutes; a lot of sniffing, peeing, pooping, etc.).

Some people (even after being fat adapted) use things like smarties to give a few carbs during/after a workout; there’s a targeted keto diet, where you eat carbs around your workouts; and there’s a cyclic keto diet, where you go off keto for a while. However, I’d try to wait for those if possible, so you can get comfortable using body fat and blood sugar (which doesn’t go away because you’re keto) for a while.

(Geoffrey) #5

I think that’s a reasonable assumption. Your body is still transitioning over so it can definitely impact your workouts as well as other things.
Take it slow and be patient.

(Malin Hallett) #6

I am using MCT oil and cream, will that work as well? I am really struggling with the idea of butter in coffee, it turns my stomach just thinking about it 🫣

Thank you, I won’t, I’ll stick with my three meals a day as, except for the heartburn / reflux, it seems to work very well!

(Malin Hallett) #7

Thank you, this feels about right. I will dial it back a bit until I feel my strength and recovery coming back!

Thank you for this! I will see if I can make something similar up. I never used to have heartburn or acid reflux, which is the odd thing. Hopefully it is just my body getting used to no carbs and maybe it’ll settle down?! :crossed_fingers:

(Malin Hallett) #8

No I have just been closely tracking ketones using a breathmeter (not so much now I know I can and do remain in ketosis).

I don’t actually want to reduce my exercise, I love it. I don’t do it for weight-loss. But my recovery is poor and I feel a bit battered hence the question.

Thank you, I will definitely wait to try any of these and being honest I’m not sure I will, only because I thinking adding any carbs may be a slippery slope for me. It’s easier to be “abstinent” if that makes sense.

(Malin Hallett) #9

Thank you @Geezy56, I will do that :blush:


I was the same way, until I tried it. Omahgawd, it’s sooooo so so good. It adds a level of sweet richness to the coffee that HWC alone can’t accomplish unless you use at minimum 1/4C - 1/2 C of the cream. 1T of butter with 1T of cream is better macros-wise. Lately my acid flareups are causing me to forego the butter for now, but it’s a rich treat when I get to drink it. Think about it - butter IS cream really. :woman_shrugging:t3:

I do use a frothing wand to disperse well any butter or oil in my coffees. I hand stir in HWC at end.


It’s not a given you need butter in your coffee… I tried it and disliked it (well it wasn’t bad, per se but not my idea about having a really tasty coffee. a blender was needed to make it foamy and it can be better than nothing - got old very quickly though - , I couldn’t drink black coffee at that time, at least with the coffee at hand but with butter it was a bit better) - but if I just want to consume butter, I snack on butter, THAT is enjoyable! :smiley:
I don’t think mixing it with coffee does something special… Does it?

(I am a creamy coffee fan through and though! Butter gives a tiny hint of that but cream is zillion times better to me. It only works if I use egg white in it as well… I put very different things into my coffee in the last several years and my tastes changed. I went from yolk to whites, full eggs in the middle. But cream is the ultimate one, it’s just too fatty for me on normal days with zillion coffees.)

So it’s individual but try it, you make like buttery coffee. It’s not as bad as it sounds, even I say that. But the blender is important, to me, at least.

(KM) #12

Funny, the idea of buttery coffee doesn’t sound bad at all (but I’d much rather use cream), but I’ve also heard about coffee with olive oil in it, which sounds revolting to me.


I think I have heard about it too and agree.
Butter doesn’t clash with coffee at all, it’s a close relative to cream (and cream and coffee is a match made in heaven), it’s just I need something else too, coffee with just fat isn’t my thing.

(Marianne) #14

I think MCT oil and cream are fine, too. Same principle. I felt the same way as you about the butter coffee - skeeved me until I tried it. It is really rich and indulgent and I think the salt in the butter makes it especially tasty. If you decide to try it, put it in a plastic container that you can vigorously shake. It comes out really creamy and frothy.

(Malin Hallett) #15

I have just ordered a frothing wand :grin:


It’s so amazing how different people are :slight_smile: I typically can’t stand salt in my desserts (and coffee is borderline dessert to me), I already can’t put (more than minimal) yolk into my coffee as its natural sodium content makes it disturbingly salty… (Sweetening may help but I don’t sweeten my coffee since ages.)
BUT maybe it works with butter as salty butter is nice… Maybe it’s like salty caramel, I do like that for some reason.

Either way, we should try out things and then we can figure out what works for us :slight_smile:


Well cream IS fat.

And you are correct, butter or mct oil alone is not adequate. I always use a couple Tablespoons of HWC along with butter or mct oil. It’s the combo that makes it perfect and allows me to use a tad bit less HWC since the butter is rich. I also add a few drops of vanilla sometimes or a cinnamon emulsion. Mmmmm making my mouth water just typing this. :rofl:


Question 1). Yes, reduce your training and effort. Becoming fat-adapted is not a race. You state your performance has declined; this could be a lack of calories. You also state CNS fatigue, and you are sore and not recovering as quickly as you did in the past. For these reasons, I would take it easy and become adjusted to keto.
Question 2). Do you know what the couprit food(s) is causing your heartburn? Keep in mind that it could be a combination of foods. Is it in the morning or at night? Have you suffered before? Increasing fat can do this for some.
Why fasting? It is not necessary for keto. Furthermore, you state that you are doing keto not for weight loss but rather for mental health. Fasting is not necessary for this process.


Cream has fat, protein and sugar, big difference for me even if it’s mostly fat. I typically use egg and cream in my coffees though. But cream alone is nice too.
Pure or almost pure fat like butter (I know it has protein and sugar, I would dislike it without but it’s tinier than in the cream) just doesn’t work well enough for me. The small difference apparently matters.

I put vanilla and clove into most desserts :slight_smile: Whipped cream usually get the treatment. It’s already great without but why not to raise the level a tiny bit more?

(Edith) #20

I would try skipping the MCT oil and see if that might help your heartburn. MCT oil does not agree with some people.

Also, if you are fasting and trying to workout and get fat adapted, you are probably not consuming enough calories to fuel your workouts or recovery. Be kind to your body during the fat adaptation phase. When you hit the six to eight week mark, your will notice your muscles become less and less lead-like, but it is not switch that suddenly gets turned on. It is a gradual improvement.