Stop telling newbies to eat more fat!


Are we at war with our self?

Doesn’t keto WoE, the process not the ingredients, resurrect the mind body oneness?

(Zach) #350

I disagree with your original post. Or at least how it is apt to be interpreted. If a newbie is told to “eat more fat”, you say that advice should be ignored. But this lacks context. More than what?
I would hope you agree that a newbie should eat more fat grams than before going Keto. Say they had 400 grams of carbs, 70 grams of protein and 50 grams of fat and now cut carbs to 20 and maintain protein. Wouldn’t you advise them to EAT MORE FAT? I certainly would.
Or what if someone has had plenty of protein and has also hit their carb limit for the day but still feel hungry? I would advise them to EAT MORE FAT, wouldn’t you? There are only three macronutrients and they have had 20 grams of carbs and 80 protein.
Finally, many newbies are still in the “skim milk/low-fat cheese/chicken breast/ground turkey” culture. I would certainly tell them to EAT MORE FAT.
You seem to be advising a very particular newbie, one who is attempting to get over 70% of their calories from fat. I don’t doubt there are some out there. But that is not every one.
I agree that macros are unnecessarily complicated and can get in the way of satiety signaling. But I also think you underestimate the anti-fat conditioning out there.
I think that grabbing a piece of bacon or avocado is better advice for a hungry newbie than a slice of turkey or low-fat cheese.
“Avoid sugar and starch. Eat whole foods containing fat until full.” If you want to go one deeper: “use fat bombs, artificial sweeteners and other processed Keto-food sparingly.”

(Susan) #351

When I started Keto I didn’t lose weight for a while because I was not eating enough fat; so I don’t think it is terrible to include telling them to eat more fat… as long as they are eating enough healthy fats.

I wasn’t getting enough fats from my food; and I don’t like Keto coffee, or the whipping cream, or butter (haven’t bought any ever actually I don’t like it). I am not a big Bacon fan, when I buy it, my family that isn’t doing Keto eats it more than me. I mention the fats in the equation because that was what I was lacking and needed to add to get into Ketosis and lose weight.

(Parker the crazy crone lady) #352

I totally agree with you. I wasn’t afraid of eating butter or cheese before keto, but I certainly used to limit them severely. I ate low or non-fat dairy. Lean cuts of meat. Lots of complex carbs. When those carbs are removed, where the hell are the calories to come from, since we’re not to artificially limit calories? Well, from full-fat/high fat foods, that’s where. Three months in, I’m no longer driven by hunger, and am eating less food by my body’s decree. So, very few carbs, obtained mostly from above ground vegatables, and protein from fatty fish, meat, eggs, some nuts, and some cheese. All of which give me fat as well. As my appetite lowers, the balance of fat (calories) is coming off my body’s fat stores.

TL:DR: I needed to hear “Eat more fat” at first.

(PJ) #353

This is an interesting thread.

I suppose all people are different. I have learned some hard lessons about me and keto over time that relate to this thread. Things like:

  1. My appetite is severely disregulated. I was anorexic for probably 25 years – not skinny (huge!) or psych-affected, but so malnourished (part food, mostly heart condition) and that’s one symptom of malnourishment. So advice like “eat to satiety” means nothing to me – even now, with a great deal of experience on keto. I can skip eating for days, my body’s usually like, so what. (I fasted for two weeks a few months ago. I had 10 minutes of hunger on day two. I’ve fasted for 48 and 72 hours a few times just in the last <2 weeks. Zero hunger.) On the other hand, if someone hands me food and it’s grains, I could eat it all day. All night. Into next week. There is no OFF switch whatever on my appetite UNLESS it is protein/fats. Not on carbs. Which was, of course, a disaster for my health.

  2. I am prone to undereat. This is not only because of #1, but because LC food is filling and satiating. I can eat one meal I consider totally gigantic, <5% carbs, don’t need to eat anything else, often CAN’T eat anything else for many hours or a day – and do the stats and realize it was about 900 or 1200 calories, and so of course, low on the macros. Even at lowest activity rate my MSJ TDEE is about 2800. I don’t want to cut more than 4-500 calories. So it’s exasperating.

When I first began LC I griped about this a lot – that I had to live on bacon and mayo in order to get enough calories/protein/fat into me without being stuffed full. Currently the way I manage that is (a) I don’t, which is a problem, or (b) I mix up my diet with a lot of liquid-food (protein drinks), a ridiculous amount of cheese, and whenever possible, bacon and mayo. Sometimes citrus fat bombs.

  1. Yes it is true there is no hard rule about your quantity of fat or your % of fat, either one. But I will tell you what happens to me when I really screw it up by not caring:

a - my calories are much too low. My body loses more lean mass than it would otherwise as my ‘diet’ becomes much more severe. Since bodies structure everything to regain weight until you have regained lost mass, that is the last thing I want. But of course in my early days I was just like, “Hey, so I’m eating even less, and I’m ok, so I’ll lose more weight faster, yay!” That was… incomplete knowledge on my part. I’d have preferred to lose fat slower… and less hair.

b - I lose energy. I don’t notice at first. Then I realize that the normal constant fidgeting is gone and the inclination to get up and do things, check something, pick up something, is gone, and I am dramatically more sedentary all the sudden. (This is the NEAT factor in metabolism, non-formal-exercise.) Which is also reducing metabolic burn rate.

c - My brain and body get a lot more interested in noshing, specifically for the “highest energy foods.” That doesn’t mean conscious carb cravings… probably part of the lack of appetite, I seldom get those. But it does mean that I am vastly more mentally open to eating things offplan, or even on-plan but inappropriately much of them.

In my early days I obsessively tracked everything – I am talking everything, including black pepper on my meat or salad, shreds of carrots in salad mixes, with a micro-gram scale, and USDA database and to the second decimal in spreadsheets. (Because anything worth doing is worth overdoing, haha!)

And what I saw in retrospect is that every time I have gone offplan – made some excuse to do so – it has invariably followed a period where I did not eat enough fats. And it caused my subconscious/body to basically throw its “persuasion” into the ring of my dietary choices. Since this tends to happen a few days after (usually a gradual accrual) it is not usually obvious.

d - My psychology is hugely tied to my energy. Maybe that’s normal. But my optimism, my creativity, my patience, my humor, my interest in my environment, in home/property projects, in other people, literally everything is affected when my energy starts reducing. And it’s easy to not see it, not realize it, until the situation is to the point where I don’t give a damn… because that takes energy.

And all of this comes down to not eating enough – of either protein or fat, but especially fat, because protein is easy to eat enough of – nearly everything lowcarb is protein – and the body self-regulates protein to at least some degree, much better than my body does fat. When my body lacks protein it wants food. When it lacks fat it gradually wants energy. And energy… is carbs.

Lastly: I do think it is easier for many people new to this plan to do it somewhat “dogmatically” as someone mentioned. That doesn’t mean they preach at other people. It doesn’t mean they can’t be flexible if they want. It does mean that when something is new, sometimes confusing, has a million new details you’re just learning, and you don’t yet know all the “reasons” for something, it is good to take the rules you are given and follow them faithfully until you actually know WHY they exist – what the side-effects or follow-ons are of NOT following them (like not eating enough fat, as noted above) – and then you can mix it up however you like. But mess it up in ignorance, and you’ll be telling your lowcarb buddies you’re gonna restart Monday 'cause you’re having pizza now… or whatever. :smiley:


(Diane) #354

Thanks for sharing your experience, your story is very interesting and informative. I bet a lot of people have similar experiences, but maybe not as dramatic or obvious. But it’s good to keep in mind.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #355

Well, sure but that’s not what’s happening on these forums. People coming to these forums are usually quite well-informed about keeping carbs low and having a high proportion of their energy (calories) come from fat.

What happens too often is a newbie comes here and they are probably eating far too much fat and as a result they’re not losing any body fat. This community has a tendency to tell such people to eat more fat. Which is, imho, bad advice.

When you have a lot of body fat to lose, you’re not going to be eating 70-90% of your calories as dietary fat. What happens when you’re first on LCHF is you get satiated by fewer calories. You’re only on ~20g of carbs, your protein must remain relatively stable, so the caloric deficit comes from a reduced fat “macro.”

Telling such people to continue eating 70-90% of their calories as fat calories is actually deeply misleading. That macro ratio is for a weight-stable person. (See Phinney on this subject.)

What happens while you’re dropping body fat is you’re eating what looks like a high protein diet by % of caloric intake. The shortfall in your energy requirements is being made up for by body fat. So you are “eating” a lot of fat, but at first lots of that fat is coming from body fat reserves.

If you tell newbies (most of whom want to lose fat) to eat more fat, you are guaranteeing their failure. You are pushing them to eat past satiety. This is a serious error.

I’ve had this conversation for a long time now, so forgive me if I sound a bit tired of talking about it. I haven’t contributed to these forums for a while because I find the dogmatism of some contributors to be off-putting.

I’ve been eating low carb for 3 years and I have a very good layman’s understanding of the science and practice of low carb. I started this thread because I thought it might help some newbies. Now that keto has gone mainstream, I realize I’m probably just pissing into the wind. It’s just my 2 cents, take it or leave it! No worries if you disagree.

(PJ) #356

It is important people with views that do not support the politically correct culture around internet-keto as I call it (atkins-induction-forever) ARE heard and DO participate. I was responding as much to the overall discussion (everyone) not just you. I agree jacking up calories and fats just for the mere sake of a number on paper is likely not wise – here’s hoping that by the time people have been doing this even a few weeks, the so-called ‘rules’ are no longer doctrinally-paramount and they’re starting to work on their own N=1 approach. Maybe it’s a lack of emphasizing that individuality and “experiment around the edges and see what works for you” that is part of the risk.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #357

Really appreciate this reply. :clap:

(Art ) #358

Sincerity is hard to send across the internet as it sometimes appears to be sarcasm. But seriously, this is one of the best reminders of just WTF you’re trying to do on keto. I’m coming on 60 days and losing a little less than .5 lbs a day. (I wish I had tracked % of body fat because I am certain I am also putting more muscle on) I watched the OP videos, went on a you tube tangent and learned some additional things and am already modifying my 2MAD - less bacon, less added fats (butter, salad dressings, olive oil) more lean protein, reduce avocado consumption in half. Additionally, going with the recommendations on protein based on body weight. Thanks Gabe!

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #359

Thanks to you, Art! Wishing you continued success and good health!

(Bob M) #360

As someone low carb/keto 5.5 years now, I have never tracked a macro ever. Ever. Never even heard of a macro until I came here. I just keep carbs low, and I have transitioned from high fat (based on Jimmy Moore’s recommendations at the time) to higher protein (based on Ted Naiman). I like higher protein better for me at this time.

(Bob M) #361

That’s really not bad. I lost about 30 pounds in 1.5 years.

(PJ) #362

See, that’s awesome. Seems to me that would be the ideal way to do things.

I had no idea what the heck a carb even was before I started low-carb, so I had to obsessively use a little paperback nutrition counts handbook, and package labels (not many because when I began LC there were few special LC foods and not many of the things we take for granted now – you just ate ‘meat and eggs and minimal cheese and non-starchy veggies’), and eventually the USDA database, and a food scale, to have the first clue about what “low carb” would even be. If this was ever taught in school apparently I slept through that class. :smiley:


(PJ) #363

Gabe I found a pic that fits your thread :smiley:

(Wendy) #364

I know what’s wrong with the second picture. Too much coffee! :grin:

(Chris Wolfgram) #365

Hello Gabe. This is quite interesting. I really don’t have a lot more to lose, maybe 8 or 10 lbs. Of course even just starting, I only needed to lose 40’ish lbs. I really haven’t counted much of anything, but would have to guess my macro balance has been around 55% fats, 43% proteins, and 2% carbs… and Im doing great, so no desire to change anything drastically. I am fasting harder, and trying to work out more, so that broke my recent stall. But yea’, I feel great :slight_smile:

(Zach) #366

I see that you were addressing a particular group that I was not familiar with, namely new keto people who were eating 50% or more of their caloric intake in fat AND were being told to eat more because of a plateau.
This group is rare in my experience but apparently common in yours. I bow to your greater experience with forum members especially when it just started. Perhaps now the audience has shifted and newbies don’t necessarily eat 50 percent fat or are told to eat more than that?
The audience I had in mind is the general one which has been told to keep fat under 20% all their lives and live in a world where “low fat”is synonymous with healthy. For example, it can be hard to find full-fat yogurt, cheese, ground beef, cuts of beef or pork, etc unless you look carefully.


That’s a typical straw man meme for those who want to discredit the lower protein, higher fat version of keto for people with hyperinsulinemia. Yeah sure, sometimes I butter my coffee, or MCT it, if I’m feeling like a slug in the morning. I guess showing a spoon handle sticking out of the mug doesn’t look quite as appalling on Twitter though, so they have to make it a whole stick and call us “butter chuggers” or whatever. :roll_eyes:

(Cathy) #368

I believe that fat shaming is alive and well even in the keto sphere. And I am talking dietary fat. I believe it comes from the low fat era. Hard to overeat straight out fat.

I rarely sit down to a stick of butter however, a pat of butter can tide me over for hours. It my dietary fat is consumed with protein and/or carbs, it can and does change the situation. What is the logical conclusion?