Some general questions

(Patrick) #1

Hello, I’m new here :slight_smile:
A little background so you can understand me better. I’m 50 years old, I gained weight last winter for the first time in my life. Mainly due to lifestyle change. I’ve been inactive due to severe back problems. I’m sure my cortisol levels are high due to stress and depression caused by this. I gained 50 pounds and I decided to start keto in May of this year. I lost 40 pounds by August, but it became harder for me to cook for myself and just had to stop because I just couldn’t do any meal prep/cooking lasting more than a few minutes without a lot of pain and needing to get off my feet. I live alone and I need to do everything for myself. So since August I’ve gained 13 pounds back and I want to start back on keto again.
I have difficulty finding things that sound appetizing to me that aren’t a big production to prepare. I just got a crock pot and instapot hoping to find keto friendly meals that can be easy for me. Not much luck. But I just started looking.
So any tips or links for easy crockpot/instapot keto meals would be helpful!
I did well last summer but I ate the same things every day because I just didn’t know what else I could eat that was ok, and that got old.
I had a few questions.
I just saw a YouTube video about the 7 biggest keto mistakes. And it was done by a doctor. He said you need to add more fat to your diet. Specifically saturated fat. Not knowing much about foods, how do I just add fat to my diet?
He also said that there’s no need to count calories or limit portions on keto. He said when you’re hungry…eat, and to eat until you’re full. There’s no need to limit your portions and still remain hungry. But…all summer I used the keto app. And this app limits my daily intake to 23g of carbs, 145g of fat, 117g of protein, and 1877 calories a day. So I was always having to keep track of those numbers and that severely limited my portions. I almost never was full and seemed to be feeling hungry often because of that. So who’s right here…the doctor saying I don’t need to count calories and limit portions, or the app that strictly limits my daily intake of carbs/fat/protein/calories?
Thank you very much for any help/advice/tips or encouragement. This is hard to do alone with a disability.

(Bob M) #2

If you think the app is useful, then by all means continue to use it.

As for your back, this may or may not help you:

I’ve found it to be very helpful, but I might not have the same issues you do.

Here’s one instant pot recipe we like, though we don’t use the magic mushroom powder:

She has quite a few more for the instant pot, though if you’re looking for a lot of recipes, you might consider a book.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #3

So don’t cook. Or cut back. Or simplify. I spend less time preparing food than eating it. And not much doing so. I don’t live alone but my wife does not eat keto, so I’m on my own foodwise. On a daily basis I make coffee in the morning as my breakfast and maybe 4-5 times per week I pan fry a beef burger for my supper. Occasionally for variety, I’ll put the beef burger in a casserole dish with red palm oil and medium Peri Peri sauce and cook it in the microwave for 10 minutes or so. A few times per year I’ll sous vide a steak or something similar which entails sealing the meat in a plastic bag and letting it soak in a bucket of hot water for a few hours. During the summer I bought a Ninja air fryer but still haven’t figured out what to do with it other than dehydrate thin beef strips.

As for fat. It’s out there! Lots of very nutritious foods contain significant amounts of good, healthy mono and/or sat fats. You just have to look for it, read labels and nutrition data - and ignore the prevalent fat phobia. There are some fats you should minimize or avoid: the mis-named ‘heart-healthy’ seed oils.

(Laurie) #4

Yes, there is conflicting advice out there. If you’ve already lost 40 pounds, you’re doing fine. Don’t worry about details such as how much fat, etc., unless you run into a problem.

Many recipes are too complicated. You don’t want gourmet, you want easy. So stick to the basics. How hard is it to throw a pork chop or steak in a pan? Or a roast in the oven? Eggs are also easy to cook in various ways.

I eat mostly ground beef. I used to cook it in a frying pan, but it made a mess. Now I cook 3 pounds of ground beef in a large pan the oven, with simple seasonings. One time it will be curry spices, another time Italian, etc. I eat 1/3 today, put 1/3 in the fridge for the day after tomorrow, and 1/3 in the freezer.

I never chop onions, peppers, etc. I use peri-peri sauce, garlic powder, and other easy flavors.

Always try to simplify things. Look for recipes that have “easy” in the title. Slow cooker recipes that have “dump” in the name might be worth a look (you just dump everything in together).

If you eat vegetables, try cherry tomatoes, pre-cut celery sticks, and so on. Forget about complicated salads. Broccoli and other veg can be bought precut and zapped in the microwave.

Good luck!

(Patrick) #5

Thank you!
That really makes good sense to me. The recipes seem too complicated. Keeping it simple seems the way to go. Last summer it was pretty much eggs for breakfast, maybe a small burger on a lettuce wrap for lunch and for dinner I liked making burritos with low carb tortillas, beef, cheese, a little sour cream, tomato and lots of avocado. It worked for me so I kinda just stuck to that. Now that I’m starting again I thought I’d try some new recipes but they just seem to be too complicated. I’m not at the point I can just have coffee for breakfast and a burger patty for dinner. I probably won’t ever be able to cut my food intake back that extremely. So I guess I’ll go with what’s worked for me so far.
Curry, now that sounds like a really good option! Thanks so much for the advice!

(Old Baconian) #6

The complicated recipes are better for experienced cooks who enjoy cooking, and who have someone to cook for.

As for simple foods, a pork picnic (shoulder joint) is dead easy—you just roast it for 20 minutes a pound, with the fat on top. It’s self-basting, and comes out very moist. I cook it so it’s still just a bit pink, and then when I heat up leftover portions in the microwave, they come out just right. One person can eat for a week on a picnic, and it’s something I don’t mind eating at meal after meal until it’s gone.

If you don’t mind the repetition, that makes cooking much easier, too. Cook a week’s supply of dinner at a time, and portion out the leftovers for each meal, to put in the fridge. If you buy frozen vegetables, you can just heat a serving at a time in the microwave, which saves a great deal of waste, as well as preparation time.

As far as quantities are concerned, “coffee for breakfast and a burger patty for dinner” is far, far too little food. Ideally, Dr. Stephen Phninney says, a ketogenic diet is eaten ad libitum (i.e., to satisfy hunger). Don’t cut back on the number of meals until it happens naturally (my second year of eating this way was when I suddenly stopped wanting a meal in the morning; now my first meal of the day is usually around two o’clock in the afternoon). And don’t skimp on the quantity of food, either, unless you enjoy the hunger that comes with telling your body there’s a famine going on. Remember that the metabolism adjusts, within quite broad parameters, to the amount of food we give it, so your ability to metabolise fatty acids can actually increase as your caloric intake increases (up to a point, of course, but that point is far higher than many people believe).

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #7

You’re new, others here already know most of the following but I should elaborate. I’m 76 years old and approaching my 5 year ‘keto-versary’ (started Jan 2017). I eat to macros, 2:1 fat:protein grams, 4.5:1 fat:protein calories. I also eat to a ‘caloric window’ of 2300-2700 cals per day. I’ve been in maintenance for 4 1/2+ years, weight 145 pounds and BF 14-15%. These numbers match my weight and body comp at the age of 18 and I’m very happy about that.

I weigh/measure all my food, although lots of others here do not. I maintain a spreadsheet with every meal and daily totals (if I ever have to answer a food frequency questionnaire I could actually do it with 100% accuracy!). As I mentioned above, I spend very little time on food prep, and that includes the spreadsheet. It’s just another tool that helps simplify my life.

My morning coffee is actually what I call Keto Coffee, a liter of coffee with a mix of various fats and proteins to my macros which is just a bit shy of 1/4 my daily calorie intake. Not like having a cuppa black coffee and I’m good for the day. Some folks do that, by the way! Not me. On days when my work shift at Walmart puts my meal break into the early afternoon I also eat 100 grams of my 20% keto yogurt. The burger patty is this. I’m currently using a 142 gram Angus beef patty, topped by 3 slices of Cracker Barrel Mozarella (60 grams total), fried in 19.7 grams of palm kernel oil. No walnuts. So the nutrient totals are different and the macros match my current. Just to say, I eat lots. It’s simple and I prefer it that way. I eat lots of dairy, including lots of cheese, some of which contains dairy carbs and some of which zero carbs. When I eat nuts, it’s macadamias. I eat a lot of Hormel Bacon Crumbles. My first couple of years on keto I ate a continuing and diminishing amount of vegetables. I eat none now and haven’t for nearly 3 years. I also eat next to zero fruit, only an occasional grape or two or an apple slice. Hope this helps.


No, you just need to consume enough fat, whatever it means for you. I had and have to do the opposite. As I ate way too much fat before just like so many people do. Even if one is different, eating fat unnecessarily and in big amounts may be a mistake.
I personally need to minimize my added fat intake (including dairy) but they would be super easy ways to add fat to my diet. I can get a lot of fat from my meat and eggs, I don’t need those unless my energy need raises drastically or if face way too easy satiation again. I like fatty meat and it’s a good thing on keto. I ate about 1 kg pork shoulders and some eggs a few days ago (so easy to eat this if I have more than one meal a day, not every day but quite often…), that’s pretty much fat (and way too many calories for me but I need such days sometimes, maybe does good to my metabolism too. make it 500g meat then but I am a currently not particularly active short woman, you probably could eat more and losing just fine…?). But you have so many options. For many of us, fatty proteins as focus is good. If you prefer lean protein, you can add fats but that’s not necessarily good enough. They don’t satiate me, triggering overeating. If you are the same, maybe try to find some fatty protein sources you enjoy.

Portions. Well it depends. Some people just eat to satiation and it works. Some people starve that way, some people overeat that way. Overeating on keto is trivial for me but really good food choices help and good timing does even more. I tracked to ensure my carbs is low enough but if you eat very low carb and know you can afford much more, tracking can be skipped (and yep, you can just track carbs. on my old keto, the two was almost the same so I tracked everything). But it may help if you are prone to eat too little protein or too little calories or whatever. It helps me to see if I ate enough to avoid night eating but if my timing is right, it’s automatic and I track out of curiosity, mostly. It’s still good to catch problems. I know what food to choose for which goals from my tracking as I saw which satiate me well and which not. But I dislike tracking so if you can avoid it, do it! But it IS very useful for some of us, at least sometimes.

1877 kcal rarely satisfies and satiates me… But if I do everything right, it may work. Sometimes. Another times I eat more, I am not a robot and have different days, it’s normal. I never trusted apps and no way I follow macro limits, I don’t even have that kind of control over my body… If it’s hungry, I eat, obviously…
What if you just eat to satiation and see what happens? It may or may not work for you, it may work but just after some changes… But we shouldn’t overcomplicate it first. You lost fat before, can’t you do something similar than back then? {EDIT: Okay, I read about that. You can start something similar but slowly add new recipes, maybe? Try out things! I experiment a lot, well it’s a must for me but it’s fun too and I found new styles with more benefits even when fat-loss didn’t happen.)

I can’t give you recipes, most of my food is just fried/roasted/boiled egg or meat, it’s super simple if I want that (I like cooking and baking so I don’t actually do it that simple but stews are great and simple too and I like them. I don’t even know what exactly a crock pot and an instapot is.)
Meat is so easy, you can make a big amount at once and eat it for days. I eat several eggs so I need less meat in average, even easier. But my meat doesn’t even need supervising, I set the time and temp and it’s pretty fine alone for long. Many dishes are like this. I need variety and even though my meat options are very limited (I still have some options, thankfully), eggs are super versatile. And there are so many other things to eat for you, probably. Even I eat other things just quite tiny amounts on my good days.

Even if I eat vegetables, they are raw, maybe pickled.

Most recipes are way too complicated even for me and I spend hours in the kitchen every day. I like 1-2 ingredients dishes the most so I make those. Eggs. Meat and salt. Eggs mixed with meat is already a complication and sometimes I add ground pork skin :smiley: And fry the result. Desserts are more complicated but still simple. Or I just eat sour cream from its bucket with a spoon if I think I can afford that unsatiating but great tasting fat. Not like we need desserts, per se.

Did I mention a big meal satiates some of us WAY more than multiple small ones? I know I mentioned timing as it’s very very important for me. Find what works for you.
IDK how much is one burger patty just that it’s tiny. I am more like the 20+ oz meat at once type, not always but if I want to get satiated with meat only, it’s a must. But then I am fine for a long time (as long as I had enough fat with it). Small meals just make me starving and my SO (who works very differently eating wise) is the same. We fast or have bigger meals and it doesn’t matter who thinks what, it’s OUR body and life. We are totally unable to eat 2 bites and call it a meal. And we don’t need to do that. You don’t need to do that either.

(Robin) #9

@Irishluck Okay, brace yourself. I am likely gong to get some backlash here.
BUT… when I first became keto and for many months, I ate mostly meat from the deli (sliced salami, roast beef, ham, turkey, pre-cooked bacon!, etc) and cheese. I didn’t even mess with the eggs, cuz I am lazy and simplicity is my best friend. (Many call that deli processed meat “crap”, and it is… compared to the meat you buy in the meat department. But it got me through the withdrawal from carbs and away from urges/craving.
I eventually graduated to making roasts in the oven and have a brisket in the crock pot right now. And I love me some rotisserie chicken. I still sometimes resort to some sliced “processed) meat from the deli, in a pinch.
Your pain is a major factor in food prep. My need for simplicity (aka laziness) was a major factor for me. In the beginning I too used an app for carbs and macros and calories, just to figure it all out. I don’t any longer, but they are daily tools for many folks on here… and more power to them!
You didn’t mention your current weight. Please be sure you are getting enough calories! Significantly restricting them makes the whole process harder.
I hope hope hope that you will find your way with keto… as it may play a part in managing your pain and any inflammation. Please stay in touch and keep asking questions. You’ll get ten answers for each question (LOL) but you’ll be able to find the ones that are a fit for you.
Best of luck. We’ve got you. And You got this!

(Marianne) #10

Oh, dude, I haven’t read everyone’s responses, but I’m sure people have given you great advice already!!!

Your post resonated with me for several reasons. When I started, and even now, I detest “cooking.” I never wanted to, nor did I ever make a keto “recipe.” Screw that. :laughing: I’m not spending an hour making something with ten ingredients and wind up binging on it anyway because it tastes too much like the “carbage” foods I used to love. Your slow cooker is a great idea, although I don’t use one. In addition to that, you may want to invest in a large, cast iron skillet and youtube how to season one (if new). I make ALL of our meals in ours, every night, and it doesn’t take me more than 20 minutes (and 3/4 of that time, I’m sitting checking my phone, except when I get up and turn the meat). Get it screaming hot with ghee and just pan sear a big 'ol piece of meat. We find pork steak has a good proportion of meat to fat, is the cheapest of meats, and cooks the fastest. Before I became carnivore, I’d make those for my husband and I and have them with a steamed vegetable (usually brussels sprouts) with added bacon grease and/or butter. Salad is another good alternative with home made blue cheese dressing that you can have without any bad oils or additives. If you like beef, get an inexpensive roast and cook it in your crock pot, instapot or oven, low and slow.

That is a wise doctor! He is right! Get your fat from meat and natural sources (heavy cream, butter, heavy fatted cheeses, eggs, etc.). And no, you don’t need to limit your portions, count calories or exercise. In fact, when just starting again, I’d eat three times a day to eliminate hunger and cravings. When your body says “no more!,” don’t eat as much or as often.

You are on the right track and in the right place for advice, tips and support. Another great resource is Fabulous website (not-for-profit), and most of their content is free.

Please keep us posted on your journey!

(Little Miss Scare-All) #11

I think I lived off of hamburger patties for months. At first I was making all these recipies, then I got lazy and my entire diet consisted of either omlettes, hamburger patties, chicken thighs or salads. It did the trick but then I wanted to slam my skull on various hard objects.

I would say try to stick to healthy fats. Olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, butter. I started out being clean keto, then I went lazy dirty keto, and now tbh I’m clean low-carb because for me, the typical fat:protein keto ratios were making me feel like butt. I cut back on fat and added some healthy carbs back in, i.e. quinoa, chia seed, small amounts of black beans, and I feel waaaay better. Night and day.

Good luck!!

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

One my quick & easy options:


Thank you for sharing the McGill resources for back pain. I’m adding yet another item to my list of things I was so sure were good for me that I am now learning were not…

Here’s an intro video for those who aren’t sure about spending 50 bucks on the book. (And there are many more similar, informative videos on YouTube.)

(Edith) #14

This is one of my go-to responses for joint and back pain, but do you eat a lot of dairy? Dairy causes lots of joint inflammation for me, especially in my lower back.

Also, you might want to try carnivore. It’s the ultimate elimination diet. Meat is also really easy to cook and takes very little time standing in the kitchen.