The Waiting Game

(Graci) #1

I guess I am going to bite the bullet (a low carb one of course lol) and post my info, embarrassing as it may be for me…

Female, 38yrs old, been overweight several times in my life, always post pregnancy had difficulty losing the weight. Close to a decade ago, a doc told me I had metabolic X syndrome after middle child was born and I was put on what I now understand was pretty close to a Keto eating plan (5 small meals a day though vs the one/two with IF). I dropped significant weight very quickly (+200lbs to 140ish) and maintained until a late miscarriage followed by a full term pregnancy shortly after where I developed gestational diabetes and gained an enormous amount of weight. After that pregnancy, my weight fell about 30lbs over time, but left me yo-yoing around 220’s at just 5’4. I tried to go Paleo and actually gained about 10lbs very quickly. A doc had me try Trulicity (which messed with my pancreas and made me pretty ill), but I stopped taking it after about 6 mo due to my new insurance denying coverage as I do not have a T2D diagnosis. Shortly after stopping Trulicity, I went to a Vegan eating plan to try to control hormonal issues with my cycle being a total nightmare (pain/heaviness, would lose weight during TOM and then gain it all back the following week when I would start ovulating, anywhere from 4-7lbs each time). When I cut dairy (was eating loads of cheese before daily), my hormone issues greatly improved and I lost about 5 lbs…fast forward, got the flu in early February of 2019 and simply could not recover and saw that the Vegan eating plan was just not supporting my body being able to heal itself at all - plus I was reacting to many nightshade plants, bean, legumes, and nuts which was not at all helpful and basically my entire diet on Vegan plan.

End of February I started Keto, using Carb Manager and most days end very close/similar to the following macros:
9g of 20 g net carbs
14 total carbs
5g fiber
91g of 101g fat
107g of 81g of protein
1313 of 1300 net calories

The foods almost constantly in circulation are ground beef, London broil, real bacon bits (regular bacon seems to be making my hands swell up), chicken made into salad with mayo/mustard and celery, eggs, pork rinds, butter, homemade bone broth (just made with turkey drumstick bones, garlic, ginger, salt, and water), coconut oil, ranch dressing (1 carb, no sugar), avocado (dropped for a few days, but no change so added back), in small amounts and much less frequently, cream cheese jalapeno dip, sour cream, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese. I have made what some would call “fat bombs” but they are very small and contain about 4g of fat each with no sugar/no sweetener and 1g carb - basically it’s coconut oil mixed with coconut butter with a tiny drop of peppermint extract, melted and then frozen in a miniature heart shape tray. Plenty of coffee…twice I have drank an entire pot, usually drink half a pot (I think this is about 30 oz judging by the cup I use), 1/4 in the morning with one tablespoon of heavy cream and 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut milk and then the same thing around 4 pm.

I am almost 6 weeks in (this Saturday) on Keto WOE, when I started I was right at 226 (had some water retention from taking ibuprofen during the flu, usually causes an increase overnight of about 5-7lbs - not kidding!). I am now fluctuating back and forth between 222 and 224, so essentially I have at best lost 2 lbs of water weight (this came off in the first 3 days) and nothing else in 6 weeks. Got super excited the other day as I thought I had lost 3 inches off of my hips - then I realized I measured the wrong spot and there were no changes in inches either. I do think I look slightly less swollen in the face since starting and the non-scale victories would be I have not had any sugar in 6 weeks which is amazing for me AND more amazing, I don’t want it, don’t crave it, and really don’t miss it much at all. I am only suffering major fatigue in line with my hormonal cycle instead of daily.

I don’t think I am fat adapted yet, because I still feel a bit out of whack at times emotionally, sleep-wise, and have random days where I feel great and super energetic, but then don’t the following day (so it’s not been consistent improvement yet). Also most days I only get hungry once or twice (eating one meal around 9-10 am and second/last meal around 4-5 pm daily), but will have a random day where I feel hungry sooner/more often and then I will eat something like mashed avocado with pork rinds to satiety. I am fairly sedentary, wear fitbit tracker and 3 days a week I only get to 5-7k steps, other 4 days I meet or exceed the 10k step goal.

I don’t at all find this way of eating difficult, just fighting the discouragement of overall weight/inches not disappearing yet. I can definitely handle and celebrate slow consistent loss, it’s that I have lost sooo little and it is not consistent, just bounces right back. I do weigh daily, because it is the only way I will be able to ascertain when/if fat burning has switched on for me, as I have not lost any inches yet. The ultimate question is do I try to mess with what I have been doing and attempt to fire up the weight loss OR stay the course and wait it out in hopes the switch gets flipped soon?

Please no grumpy attacks about my desire to see the scale move, for those of us with joint pain it’s not just vanity that makes us want to drop actual weight :slight_smile:

(Karim Wassef) #2

It’s always a journey and you sound dedicated.

Hugs and encouragement for you to get healthy. :hugs:

In terms of waiting and measuring progress, I found that I needed other markers so I could connect with my body’s biochemical adaptation.

I got a blood ketone and glucose meter from amazon for $100 and started charting my progress. Even when my weight wasn’t changing, I could see what’s happening behind the curtain.

I found out that there are foods that are keto that just don’t work for me… dairy, some veggies, some nuts…

Found out that too much coffee was hurting me, but a little was good …

Basically, it was like getting metabolic X-ray goggles so I can see the invisible progress and that helped… doesn’t work for everyone but that was my journey.

KCKO… :smiley:

(Graci) #3

Thank you Karim! I think I may be asking my fam for a meter for my birthday :partying_face: I would love to be able to know for sure if a food is setting me back (be it inflammatory response or otherwise), I have learned over time that cottage cheese and nuts are total no-no’s for me, they send my body into an inflammatory tizzy lol!

(Khara) #4

From your story, my “feeling” (totally non scientific) is that your body is healing. Give it time. I’d bet changes are happening behind the scenes. I’m at one month back on my 3rd time keto. My progress this time is considerably slower than my first two times. Like you I’ve had lots of back and forth days, especially with energy. I keep up with my electrolytes and just stay patient. I think my body is readjusting and healing. I focus on the non scale victories like feeling less bloated, my skin looking more vibrant, and getting control of my sugar addiction. With the non scale victories I figure something is happening, something is changing and working so I’m not yet at a point of tweaking what I’m consuming. It’s a way of life, not a quick fix and I do believe if I stick with it I’ll be much healthier as time goes by. Best wishes to you!


You look like you’re doing everything right. Sometimes it takes people longer to heal, get adapted and start losing weight. One thing you might want to look at is your protein and fat ratios. This always turns out to be an individualized thing.

I think you could up your fat quite a bit. 1300 calories is low. People often naturally come to be satiated on less food after being on keto for a while, but in the beginning, I think you really need to feed yourself a lot. Not forever, just for a week or two until your body is satisfied that you’re not going to keep starving it and you’ve replenished what you were missing on your other diets. Try bumping up what you’re eating to around 130g or so. I think after a week or two of this your satiety signals will kick in better to tell you what’s enough.

If you’re still stuck after that, then look at protein. Some people do better with slightly higher protein and others with more moderate intake or even low intake and higher fat. I’m a big advocate of getting adequate protein, but you could try nudging yours down to maybe 70–80g instead of the 107g. I wouldn’t do this at first though, since there’s a good chance you were under-eating protein on the vegan diet and you need to replenish.

(Graci) #6

Yes, I think maybe I do need to nudge down my protein, I seem to go at least a little bit over everyday most days, maybe my body can’t use it all right now :slight_smile:

(Graci) #7

I thought maybe it had been long enough since previous Keto like eating plan that it might not matter…but I am learning my body has a really good memory. It makes sense, I truly wish I would’ve stuck to a Keto WOE while pregnant with my youngest, I feel confident I wouldn’t have developed gestational diabetes if I had :frowning:


Please, please look at my message again. I suggested that you ONLY look at protein AFTER you try adjusting your fat UP. Fat first! 1300 calories is a tiny amount of food for someone weighs about 220. There’s a really good chance that you’re not losing weight because your body is holding on to everything it can get. Look, I’m female and weigh about 220. My average calories work out to somewhere around 1500 (I don’t restrict anything but carbs, just track all my macros) and I’m losing a couple of lb. a week. Everyone is different and this may or may not work for you, but under eating isn’t doing you any favors. Just try feeding your body really well for a week or two.

(Graci) #9

Thank you for pointing that out :):grin: Fat first! I would happily have more fat and not have to mess with the protein if that solves this, if not then I will look at my protein.

(Carl Keller) #10

Hello Graci.

You already have had some good advice given here. I just want to point out a few things to consider.

  1. Some medication can make losing weight difficult. Prednisone, for example, is synthetic cortisol (the stress hormone) and stress, whether from medication or real life problems, can prevent weight loss.

  2. Artifical sweeteners can complicate weight loss goals, moreso in some people than others. Keep this to a minimum if you are doing it.

  3. Avoid snacking and eating many small meals. Eat larger meals instead. The longer we go between meals, the more inactive our insulin is and the more likely we are to burn fat.

  4. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are approaching satiety. Understanding your hunger and making the appropriate response is crucial to healthy weight loss and controling your eating behavior for the rest of your life. This is probably the most valuable thing I’ve learned while eating ketogenically.

(Graci) #11

Thank you Carl, I do have a diminished appetite for sure, but I have noticed recently and need to work on sensing ‘approaching fullness or satiety’ because despite eating smaller quantities of food, I seem to suddenly feel overly full. For example, I had an avocado and some pork rinds earlier and still felt a little bit hungry, had about a 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil and a few drinks of water and suddenly felt super full and uncomfortable (like Thanksgiving past lol). I am not sure how exactly to approach this issue but definitely need to figure it out to avoid future discomfort! I have avoided sweeteners and currently no medications but lots of personal stress…

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #12

I agree with what Karl mentioned. Some medications can have a real impact on weight loss attempts. Not only corticosteroids, but anti-depressants, meds for nerve pain, hormones, etc.

Have you researched any meds you’re on? I ask because it sounds like you’re on the right track otherwise.

(Carl Keller) #13

Once I started eating real food regularly, it took some practice for me to figure what satiety meant. I’ve decided it means stopping when I can still eat more… but about 15 minutes later I’m completely content. I often have to fight the desire to continue eating delicious food even when I’ve had enough. To reduce temptation, I try to make exactly the amount I think will satisfy me. If I am cooking several meals worth of something, I portion out what I think is enough and put the rest away before I start eating.

(Graci) #14

Hi Peta, currently I am not on any meds at all…last meds I took were back in February (pre-keto), I was using albuterol breathing treatments for about 2 weeks and ibuprofen for the flu. Outside of the flu episode, I usually avoid even OTC meds because they cause a lot of water retention (even Tylenol and aspirin).

(Carl Keller) #15

I blame @juice for this. :stuck_out_tongue:

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #16

This is reasonable CARL, my bad. We should blame juice for most things, though. Anyway.

(Elena Serrano-trigila) #17

Hello Graci,
First I want to tell you that my heart and support are with you. Remember that this is a new LIFESTYLE, give your body time to heal. You have been using it in a way for 38 years, don’t expect to reverse everything in a few weeks.
2nd I agree with all that KarlKeller mentioned. Medications are a B-I when it comes to weight loss, avoid artificial sweeteners and snacking.
But I will add, just like other people have mentioned that 1300 calories is not a little low, it is DANGEROUSLY low. With your long history of dieting it will not be a surprise to you that your hormones and metabolism are probably really affected. Give them what they need to heal. This is the thing, when you eat only 1300 calories your body is STOCK in a perpetual state of emergency. It will store everything that you give it because it is NOT enough. When we do keto, we are MIMICKING a fasted state but at the same time providing the body enough fuel to burn excess fat. I will highly recommend for you to increase your calorie intake.
Slowly, but surely. Maybe 100 calories more per week, until you arrive to closer to 1800 to 2k calories. Low carbs are great but I will give priority to your fats, followed really closely by your protein intake. Ideally you are eating .8 g of fat pear lean mass (or if you prefer, calculated based on your ideal body weight).
After your body reaches homeostasis, then you can do short “keto cuts” where you can cut SAFELY some of the calories with the intention of weight loss.
The other thing I want to mention is that as woman that are close to perimenopausal phase (I’m 42) Cortisol and hormones are NOT our weight loss friends. Research about how to use keto to your advantage as a tool to regulate your hormones. My primary sources are: Dr. Anna Cabeca, and Ali Miller.
In order to help you with nightshade free cooking, Cristna curp from the Castaway kitchen is a most!
It is a process, but we are here making this journey with you…We got this!

(Complete legend) #18

It’s Karl™ #DEADSET


(Graci) #19

Thank you for your thoughtful reply and for providing a way to raise calories safely. I did wonder if what Carb Manager calculated was a bit low, but worried about eating more than that after following it for several weeks. Cortisol is one of my biggest concerns and barriers I think. I am going to dedicate some time to researching natural ways to lower those levels! Can’t wait to check out those nightshade free recipes :blush:

(Jill F.) #20

Hi @BeStill welcome! This is a lifestyle change for me, not a diet. I am slowly undoing years of yoyo dieting and emotional eating and I gained it slowly and it is peeling off that way too especially in the beginning. I only lost 4 pounds 1st month. Eat plenty of fat at 1st and just keep carbs under 20 a day. You will get there.