Stalls - Plateaus - etc. Looking back and being 100% honest


(Art ) #1

This is a question for those that have experienced a stall or plateau in their weight loss.

Given: in ketosis and normal metabolic functions, making adjustments in overall caloric intake according to weight and activity levels, having some semi-scientific way of tracking both (HRM, weighing foods, etc)

When you look back was your stall or plateau actually just caused by getting a little loose with your diet or activity level?

I’ve been ‘stalled’ the last few weeks and it was just a few sneaky carbs and a few IF and blatant cheats that were really the cause of it.

Too many cashews, roasted garlic and - yeah I should have known better - caramelized red onions and way too many of them! A few times, I ate a 3rd meal to be sociable. Sometimes, I sneaked a few raisins and craisins while making my sons lunch.

From everything I’ve read and seen the laws of thermodynamics don’t change. If you adjust your caloric intake or activity level to create a deficit while under ketosis the result will be body fat consumed.

Question is - when you’re 100% honest and looking back at your stall - was it really just a lapse of discipline or failure to make adjustments in calorie intake and/or activity level?


(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #2

I see where your going with this, but to answer your highlighted section, NO. This has not been the case for me. If anything, I have gotten even more obsessive with my Keto.

Honestly, I believe my body has just adjusted itself, and become more efficient at using what I’m giving it, to maintain my current weight. Now I suppose if I still had a bunch of weight to lose, this would be a major issue. But as it is, I really only want to lose maybe 10 or 12 more lbs on the scale anyway.

But to put it another way, at this point, I’m feeling like if I want to drop that last 10-12 lbs, I’m not going to be able to do it with “the same” effort, and adherence to keto that caused my first 30 lb loss, but rather, by stepping it up to a higher level… Both with more hard core fasting, and cardio excercise.


(Bob M) #3

So, you go on a keto diet and reduce your calories. The “laws of thermodynamics” did not change, but you lost weight. Why?

Because the body does not follow the “laws of thermodynamics”. You lost weight for a variety of reasons having to do with satiation, insulin, glucagon, hormones, etc. None of those are involved in thermodynamics (though there is the possibility that you lose slightly more calories when on keto).

Same with fasting. Your basal metabolic rate might increase if you fast. That means even if you eat zero calories, you could burn more calories than you normally would.

I can’t answer your question, though, as I’ve never attempted to do any analysis of a “stall” for the following reasons: (1) scales are useless and you may not actually be in a stall even though the scale weight does not change; (2) I don’t count calories or track any macro; (3) when I was taking my weight, my scale weight fluctuated so much as to be useless.


(Old Baconian) #4

In our terms, “a few weeks” isn’t considered a stall. A few months, however, would be. Fat loss is so variable, and the metabolic healing promoted by a ketogenic diet is so crucial, that it is difficult to imagine a straightforward fat-loss curve.

Very true. The part that gets omitted from this discussion (which we’ve had many times on these forums) is that firstly, the human body is not a closed system; and secondly, the hormonal impact of the diet affects how food gets partitioned; and thirdly, the body has mechanisms for adjusting expenditure to match intake.

Lastly, as Taubes points out, the arrow of causation can run both ways, and in the human body, the causation seems to be that putting the body into fat-loss mode is what causes expenditure to exceed intake, rather than the reverse. As an example, you surely are not going to claim that teenagers in the middle of their pubertal growth spurt are growing simply because they are eating more than they expend. We all know that hormones are dictating the growth spurt, and that the high energy intake is a consequence, not a cause, of the growth spurt. My point is that that fact doesn’t change in adulthood.

Apolgies, if this sounds impatient. It’s just that, as I mentioned, we’ve had this discussion many, many times before.


(Kelly Silverman) #5

Super good question!

Yes, I’ll be honest with myself. It’s the lapse of dicipline. I am not as STRICT as I was when I started 6 months ago.

When I first started it was…

  1. Black coffee
  2. Two meals a day between noon & 7pm
  3. No nuts, no snacks, no sugar alcohols etc…

Since that 6 months period have discovered sugar alcohols, low carb desserts, Lillys chocolate etc…and a variety of other keto friendly things. Although I still eat on the ketogenic spectrum… I didn’t loose not ONE pound in the month of July.

I need to go BACK to basics


(bulkbiker) #6

To turn it around I was stalled for 18 months eating a caloric deficit for all of them… moved over to a carnivore way of eating… so far down 15 more pounds on top of the 105 I had already dropped.


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

For anyone who thinks otherwise, the laws of thermodynamics do not change. What changes are the inputs and outputs within the metabolic system. It is a complex system regulated by various hormones and enzymes some of which act in parallel and some of which in antagonism on specific types of input (ie carbs, fats and proteins; minerals, vitamins, etc). The error of CICO is to ignore the regulatory functions of hormones and enzymes and the near impossibility to determine precisely caloric intake and output, not thermodynamics. If you could in fact determine the precise difference, after all the regulatory inputs/outputs of various hormones and enzymes, on a precise determination of caloric input and output within the system you could theoretically predict precise results based on caloric values. Realistically, though, it is not possible to attain sufficient precision to do so. The fallback is trial and error - “what works for me, but not necessarily for thee”.


Stokies and CICO die/blow hards
Stokies and CICO die/blow hards
(Libby) #8

:+1: I like when people use “thee”.


(Libby) #11

thou art using thy thou wrong lol edt, one should say, “thee does?”


(Art ) #12

Agreed - and that is why I wrote ‘semi-scientific’

But it helps to at least try and measure what you can and to constantly re-examine and question what you’re doing.

A large percentage of the posts I see overall are people looking to find ‘cheats’ in the same way many smokers now vape.


(Art ) #13

To thee or not to thee, that is the question.


(Susan) #14

Mine was not enough calories and my body thought it was in starvation mode, so I stopped losing weight. I stalled for about 2 months, was fasting a lot, and the days I ate was eating always under 1000 calories, and some days on OMAD like 300 calories.

I am eating TMAD now and trying to eat over 1000 calories (which is still very hard for me) and losing again…


(bulkbiker) #15

really? large percentage like how many?.. you say you like to count after all…


(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #16

Hop off that high horse for a second, Art. Even the people who you claim are looking for a cheat are eating better than the SAD diet and that is their journey, to figure things out. Same goes for those cheating smokers who stopped smoking cigarettes with the help of vaping.


(Libby) #17

This gives me hope, it really does. I had been under the impression that one was fixing hormonal/endocrine issues, not calories in or calories out. In fact, my big whiny post about slow weight loss while being in ketosis all the time was kinda questioning this whole calorie thing. I HAVE cut down some but the idea of cutting way way down depresses me. I’ve always eaten twice a day and pretty much continue on doing so with only the occasional 24 hour sojourn from food. I just want to make a metabolism that actually does burn fat and lots of it. I could use more energy, you wouldn’t believe how much physical work I have and how deficient I feel my stamina is compared to what I want it to be. So, thank thee.


(Susan) #18

@David_Stilley was very kind and made me a KetoKarma thing showing me how much I should eat a day and I had made an account on cronometer.com a few months back but hadn’t used it ever until yesterday, and again today.

Not wanting to hijack this thread, I am in the process of posting today’s info on my Accountability and well other info is there, you might find interesting about what I have been going through and how I broke the stall, etc. =).


(Art ) #19

Mark - you go first. Give me the numbers when you’ve completed your analysis and I will let you know if they agree with mine. Very kind of you to step forward and offer.


(Full Metal KETO AF) #20

FIFY…:grin: :cowboy_hat_face:


(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #21

Mark, you are certainly walking on well traveled ground. And for many people, I’m sure hit the nail on the head.
I just wanted to make it clear, that i’ve become completely Obsessive with keto, and live by it more and more strictly as time goes by !
That said, I did hit a little flat spot… Lost close to 30 lbs in the first 5 weeks or so, then not 1 lb for a few more weeks. I didn’t even flinch though. Just got even more strict with between meal (keto) snacks, and upping the cardio workouts… And after a 28 hour fast yesterday, I finally dropped a couple more lbs :slightly_smiling_face:

And BTW, check back in a year or two, and I’ll either be super lean, with a substantial amount of muscle gain… Or I’ll be in horrible physical shape, or dead. No in betweens for me. I’m all in, or I’m out.


(Karen) #22

Yes I’ve been playing fast and loose with keto. Likely why I have stayed the same weight for a year. Additionally (according to Richard Morris on a recent Keto woman podcast, and Steven Phinney) to lose weight you must reduce your calories while keeping it strictly Keto. Your body is supposed to be pulling those extra calories from your fat. As long as you have a fair amount of fat to burn. Which I do. So less than 20 g carbs, higher fat and moderate protein, slightly fewer calories. And shake it up