So I read the entire internet... and I think I'm doing everything right... but

(Bonnie Banerjee) #1

I’ve been on strict Keto for 5 weeks, which still classes me as newbie in the forum. I lost 4 kg in the first 3 weeks, then one of them came back and now the scale sits defiantly stationary. And I’ve not lost a single mm anywhere on my body.

Here is my info, I’m a 48 year old woman, 165cm (5’5"), 104 kg (230lbs or 16 and half stone in old money). I’m eating between 1500-1700 kcals daily… net carbs 20-25g, protein 66-75g… It’s all clean keto whole foods, I live in Fiji so there’s a lot of coconut foods (oil, cream, chips, coconut/raw cocao fat bombs… IF is up to 16:8… working on increasing that to 20:4… but I’m doing this progression as hunger and eating to satiety allows… I’m being kind to myself. My sleeping has improved since starting keto (6-8 hours with a loo break). My stress levels are pretty low but I’m still human and living through the 2020 shit show like everyone else. I’m also moving from sedentary to lightly active… I’ve introduced walking 3 times a week, 45 mins with my heart rate in target fat burning zone. I yo-yo dieted for decades prior to this and my metabolism is probably pretty messed up, one calculator put me as having the metabolism of a 76 year old woman. Yeeeeesh.

So here’s the big question(s)… I think I’m doing everything right… now do I just wait for my body to get fat adapted? It seems that can take up to 5 months? How long will it take to get my insulin and leptin responses normalised?

Eating my way into health is SO counterintuitive, I can’t cope. This article has blown my mind… are we taking this guy seriously?? … because the rest of the internet is still focused on creating a calorie deficit…

If your message is be patient padawan… I’ll happily oblige… but if I’m missing something and on the wrong track, please haaaalp! Thanks in advance.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

Keto is a metabolic normalization process, not a fast weight/fat loss diet. You’ve eaten SAD for 5 decades and keto for 5 weeks. Keto is not magic nor miraculous. The good news is that it won’t take 5 decades to undo the damage. But it will take at least a few months of remaining consistently in ketosis. Sometimes other stuff takes precedence and you have to let it happen and give yourself enough fuel to do so. But it will happen if you stick with it. Best wishes.


Patience is usually needed for not very active shorter women… But sometimes for big men too.

Yeah, you shouldn’t eat too much - but too little either. And in the beginning it’s most important that you get used to keto. I still would except a decent fat-loss with your weight but it’s not always that simple. And it was only 5 weeks and our bodyweight doesn’t change in a linear way even if we have very similar days… 1-2 weeks without a weight change isn’t a stall yet.

How a calculator guessed your metabolism is bad? Where that information came from? Yo-yo diets can mess up things but how do you know it’s truly the case? But I would eat as much as I feel I need then, definitely not worrying about calories, you need to heal first.

I’ve heard fat adaptation can change for a long time but some level is usually reached in some weeks, it was 7 for me, the changes were very sudden and serious. Ketosis did almost nothing recognizable but fat adaptation was cool. Many people has great changes in the beginning and little at fat adaptation and probably there are other cases as well. But 5 weeks is little time especially if you messed up your metabolism in the past so I would expect positive changes in the future.

(Bonnie Banerjee) #4

Thank you so much for your comment!
You mentioned being fat adapted did a lot and ketosis not so much… what do you mean?


I mean being in ketosis felt (almost) just like doing low-carb. My satiation, hunger, energy level and everything else stayed about the same as before (it wouldn’t be the case if I came from high-carb. High-carb -> low-carb was a huge positive change). I never felt when I went into and out of ketosis, some signs hinted at it eventually or in special cases but I didn’t actually feel it. Some people do.

But my level of fat adaptation drastically and very suddenly changed my hunger and satiation, it changed my life for the better. It’s much better even off keto but it’s really great when my carbs are really low too.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #6

Ketosis is a natural and healthy metabolic state in which fatty acids and ketones, which are simple derivatives of fatty acids, become the primary sources of fuel. You may or may not notice much when this transition from primarily glucose to primarily fat burn occurs. Whether you experience a smooth or rocky transition depends largely on your state of metabolic health. For many folks the transition from glucose to fat burn becomes an ordeal and they are subjected to various discomforts and miseries of varying degrees for varying periods of time. For many other folks the transition occurs imperceptibly.

Let’s be very clear, however. What we refer to as ‘fat adaptation’, meaning the efficient use of fatty acids and ketones for fuel, occurs only during ketosis. This is because insulin is stimulated by glucose and once above a low baseline, insulin shuts down ketogenesis and lipolysis. Humans have the innate ability to utilize both glucose and fat for fuel, but if the primary fuel is glucose then fat burning is not efficient; most fat consumed ends up stored, not burned; and once stored only with difficulty utilized as fuel. We can thank our brain for that!

(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #7

We enter nutritional ketosis as soon as we lower our glucose intake (carbohydrates are long strings of glucose molecules) low enough to trigger ketosis. (The high insulin levels resulting from high glucose/carbohydrate intake inhibit the process of ketogenesis (the making of ketone bodies in the liver).

Ketones are partially-metabolised fatty acids, much the same as charcoal is partially combusted wood. Many organs in the body do extremely well metabolising ketones, but the skeletal muscles prefer to use actual fatty acids. The problem is that on a prolonged high-carbohydrate diet, the fatty-acid metabolic pathways get shut down, because they are not being used. They take a certain amount of time to be reactivated, and during this adaptation period, the muscles limp along on ketones. However, once the fatty-acid metabolic pathways are reactivated, we are what is called “fat-adapted” or “keto-adapted.”

We enter ketosis pretty much immediately after dropping carbohydrate intake, but fat-adaptation generally takes somewhere around six to eight weeks in most people. The benefits of a well-formulated ketogenic diet begin when we enter nutritional ketosis, but they really take off once we become fat-adapted.


That means something different to different people. To me, it means you’ve determined your macros and are tracking them, understanding that the proteins macro is a lower limit, while the carbs and fats macros are upper limits.

As @amwassil said, it’s a metabolic normalization process. Although I disagree with the comment about it not being magic nor miraculous. In nearly five decades of trying to lose weight, I’ve never followed anything longer than 6 months. For me, the “miracle” of keto is that I’m no longer ravenously hungry all the time. If I had known decades ago what I know now…

I see keto as simply “Minimal carbs. Adequate proteins. Fats as needed (for satiety).”

So, two priorities:

  • You need to keep carbs low to stay in ketosis.
  • You need to make sure you get enough proteins. Your body needs them. Being significantly low on them over an extended period can cause the body to get it elsewhere. That may mean break-down of muscle tissue. Not good.

After that, ideally, it should be hunger that determines how many fats (and thus calories) that you need to be eating, if only because leaving yourself hungry all the time means keto won’t be sustainable. You don’t need to eat all of the fats macro if you’re not hungry, because the body can make up the difference with stored body fat.

(Bonnie Banerjee) #9

Thank you for your comment… I’m enjoying the NSVs enough that it’s keeping my lack of scale movement freak out at bay… lack of hunger is a particularly enjoyable NSV…

You mentioned eating enough protein… I’ve used the 0.6-0.8g/kg rule for the protein macro… is that adequate in your view?

(Bob M) #10

The easiest thing to do if you’re tracking is keep that protein level, then change it (up or down) and see what happens.

Of course, it’s never “easy”, as unless you’re strictly eating lean beef then adding beef fat to that, you can’t really just change protein without changing what you’re eating. But you may be able to get an idea as to what you level you like.

(Bunny) #11

One thing I could suggest is starting backwards, starting out at 20 grams of carbohydrates is a shock to your metabolism (unless your let’s say diabetic?) thus the inferred “creation of a calorie deficit”?

Gradually cut down carbohydrates or your going to feel like your starving to death? Your just going to keep giving up and eat like Cookie Monster…lol

Metabolism is like a rubber band if you pull it back too far and let it go it’s going to hurt (hunger pangs)?

My two cents:

I see a lot of stories on the internet on how a person goes from this to that…lol

This is what it would look like to give you a visual on a calories deficit, I really like this (infographics below) because what it explains is how that overweight individual now looks like a dream model or whatever, is because they are dropping the addictions slowly if you want to talk in terms of dropping your caloric intake especially carbohydrates? It is a slow process but could likely result in long-term results to become caloric deficit adapted besides fat adapted?

If your body building or your goal is to build more muscle rather than lose weight vs. losing body fat your going to need more food? Then you would go in the opposite direction to feed muscle rather than limiting yourself to a deficit?

image image
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[1] “…A caloric deficit is any shortage in the amount of calories consumed relative to the amount of calories required for maintenance of current body weight. A deficit can be created by reducing input/calories consumed. A deficit can also be created by increasing output without a corresponding increase in input. …” Wikipedia


I actually use the 0.6-0.8g per POUND of lean body mass.

(Give me bacon, or give me death.) #13

It’s probably adequate if that’s per kg of your total weight. If you are going solely by lean mass, then it would need to be higher. If you are craving meat, then you need more protein, but if you are satisfied by what you are eating, then don’t worry about it. It is believed that people have an instinct (certainly other mammals do) for getting enough protein. Protein is generally not needed for energy, under normal circumstances (though it can be metabolised at need, say during advanced starvation); its primary use is to be broken down into its component amino acids and reassembled into other proteins for use in various ways in the body.

Just so you know, people need, on average, a minimum of 0.6 grams of protein per kg of lean mass, just to replace nitrogen lost to deamination of the amino acid supply. (The body has no real way to store amino acids, hence the need for daily protein.) But that figure of 0.6 grams is the mean average, and the data plot from the study from which this average is derived is all over the place. Some people need less, but many people need quite a bit more. It’s very individual.

On this site, we recommend eating protein in the range of 1.0-1.5 g/kg of lean body mass/day. There are various means of determining your lean body mass, but even the most accurate (a DXA scan) can be fooled, so don’t go bonkers trying to figure out what yours is. If you go by total body weight, you could probably cut back by about 30% or so, depending on how lean or fat you are. If you are trying to build muscles, then you might want to go as high as 2.0 g/kg LBM. If you measure in pounds, the equivalent of 1.0-1.5 g/kg is 0.45-0.68 g/lb. There are about 7 g of protein in an ounce of most meats, by the way; or about 250 g/kg.

Some researchers say that too much protein will halt ketogenesis in the liver, others say there’s no such thing as too much protein. However, if you start to smell of ammonia, or other people tell you you do, then that’s definitely a sign of far too much protein, because it means that your uric acid pathway is being overwhelmed and you are risking ammonia toxicity. Proteins are collections of amino acids joined together and then folded in a particular way, so when we speak of “protein,” we are really speaking of amino acids (much as when we say “carbohydrate” we are really speaking of glucose). These amino acids are the body’s source of nitrogen (fat and carbohydrate contain no nitrogen), and nitrogen has uses throughout the body, in addition to being essential for building proteins.

(Bob M) #14

I think if you had to err, erring on the side of more protein rather than less is better. But I’m also a relatively muscular male. Not ripped like Ted Naiman, but with quite a bit of muscle. My go to “snack” (something I eat when I’m hungry after dinner) is lean meat, like ham. Not pepperoni.

It may be different for those who don’t have (or want) a lot of muscle.


This is my attitude too. 1-2g/lean kg sounds good as a protein source to me but 1.5-2 sounds safer (I get this from a serious and muscular hobby bodybuilder who actually knew it’s silly to go for way higher, it won’t make extra muscles)… So 1.5-2 is my target. I wouldn’t worry about a smaller number with little activity but I wouldn’t go very low unless I were someone who experienced lower is better, there are such people.

It’s somewhat individual how much protein we need and can tolerate, I have little activity, little muscles and my average is a bit more than 2g/kg since ages and it works well. It’s not so much protein (though surely a bit unnecessarily much for me), it’s a small lean bodyweight… Using 1-1.5 g/lean kg gives super tiny numbers for short, not muscular ones. Not realistic for everyone on their chosen woe.

(Bunny) #16

Depends on what you want it to do?

The more protein you eat besides low insulin engagement is it being stored as sugar or glycogen especially by the release of cortisol.

I’m still trying to understand this also, less protein is going to release glucagon or stored sugar but what seems to be a bit of a mystery is can it come from muscle and liver glycogen or just stored (glycogen) sugar in the liver? Some scientist say it can come from muscle glycogen and into the blood stream and back into the liver others say it can’t?

Then there is the loose skin thing some people experience from (rapid body fat loss without skin reduction or catabolism), where you would want to cycle protein intake when fasting or fasting intermittently if protein (amino acids) is high on the insulin index then your going to be growing something (skin? primary growth factor from the pancreas), but at the same time you have IGF-1 (insulin like) coming in from the liver?

Another thing that sits in the back of my mind is about glycogen; is it a different kind of glucose once it’s converted into glycogen then back into glucose and can it be differentiated from dietary sugars into glucose?

Types and combinations of sugars has an endless subdivisions and combinations that not only fuel us but gut our microbes, I also wonder if there is a perfect or ideal combination and order?


[1] “…Purpose: It is usually stated that glycogen is stored in human muscle bound to water in a proportion of 1:3 g. …” …More

(Bonnie Banerjee) #17

Wow. Okay, thank you everyone for weighing in… the gist is I can have a bit more protein… which is great because I do fancy a bit more.

I’m going to have to google some of the nutrition science you’ve given me and absorb your comments more fully before I know whether I’ve understood it LOL … but I’ve got to go to work now… so thank you and laters x

(Donna) #18

Thank you for this. I’ve been using the phrase “metabolic correction” in my mind.


To me, total weight makes no sense. Having an excessive amount of fat on my body is little to no reason to need extra protein.

I started at 650 pounds and my goal is something in the 200’s. I hope/expect my lean body mass to stay somewhat stable in between, unless I choose to start building muscle by doing more exercise. If anything, I would expect my lean body mass to increase, simply because I may become more active. If true, it would mean my need for protein increases as my total body weight decreases.

(Bob M) #20

Don’t forget that you’ll lose some muscle mass that was there to “hold up” the old mass. In other words, if you go from 600 pounds to 300 pounds, your body won’t need the “muscle” it needed at 600 pounds, so you’ll have less “muscle”. This is a common mistake even researchers make when looking at weight loss and DEXA scans, for instance. OMG! They lost weight AND muscle! Of course they did, if they don’t exercise.

Adding lifting into a study, or even for you, will make things more challenging to interpret.