What should I expect after the first month on keto

(Jason Rodger) #21

Hi Everyone, newbie making a first post so go gentle on me.

I have been lurking for a couple of days and the 1600 kcal element of this thread brought a question into my mind.

Background: 10 days in, have hit Ketosis Eating around 20g net carbs a day.

I am a cyclist and trying the Keto approach to help me with long-ride endurance, I have always struggled to eat on the bike, and I have been curious about having the instant ability to metabolise stored fat.

I am not a stick thin racing snake - around 200 lbs at 5’10, but I am not super fixated on weight loss.

But I find that without carbs in my diet I am struggling to eat much more than 1600 kcals a day. I am completely satisfied at this level and not going hungry, but this is way below the accepted BMR for someone of my size.

Is it possible that I have done some metabolic damage in the past that is causing this? On a carb led diet I was eating a bit over BMR to accommodate training loads. I don’t really feel like force feeding myself another 700 kcals a day just to hit a number.

Not weighed myself yet, but there is a slight difference in clothes, so something is happening.

Any thoughts on this are welcome.

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #22

If your appetite is such that you don’t want more, then go with it for a bit. It took several weeks on keto before my appetite hormones started working properly and my appetite dropped, but it could already have happened to you. We worry about people who don’t eat enough, because that can put the body into famine mode, where it hangs on to its resources. But if you are letting your body tell you how much to eat, then you should be fine.

Bear in mind that there is an adaptation period to restoring fatty-acid metabolism. Years of sugar (carbohydrate) have damaged the mitochondria in your muscles, which need some time to heal, and certain cellular pathways have been deactivated from lack of use and need time to become active again. So you are going to notice a lack of endurance for a while. Just don’t overstress yourself during that period. Your endurance will gradually return over the next several weeks, possibly even to better than pre-keto levels.

On of the premier researchers in the field, Dr. Stephen D. Phinney, is an avid cyclist, and he says that on a ketogenic diet, he is essentially bonk-proof. Several well-known endurance runners have found the same thing. So once you are fat-adapted, you should find bike excursions a lot easier to manage.


If it’s only short term yet and you feel okay, I wouldn’t worry. I had times after drastic dietary changes when my body suddenly wanted less food (okay, still not too little or just very temporarily), it happens sometimes. You have some extra fat to get energy from, it seems, not very much so huge energy deficits would be a problem, maybe the current one still works…? We can’t be sure, people manage to undereat and mess with their metabolism sometimes but I tentatively would trust my body for a little while and tried to figure out how to eat more. There are easy ways for many of us. Liquid or very soft food is easier to me and many others, at least after I got satiated enough with solid food. Or before.
If you really need 700 kcal more, that won’t be okay if your fat reserves are smallish so even if it’s okay for now, eventually you should eat more. But maybe it is okay now and you will get back your ability to eat normally.
Okay, I stop, not very helpful but there are so many unknown factors here…

(Jason Rodger) #24

Thanks for taking the time @Shinita and @PaulL , very much appreciated.

I finally got on the scale this morning 12 lbs down in 11 days, I am aware however that a significant chunk of this is water, although oddly my Garmin scales suggest that my water content has gone up. Interesting side effect for me as I have not been exercising really (See below.) my tracking would indicate a loss of about 1.5 pounds would be about right over the last week or so would be expected from the kcal deficit - I am through the looking glass here. :slight_smile:

I knew I would be weak on the bike while the transistion took place, but I had not grasped quite how much of an impact it would have - I took a 10 mile, almost completely flat ride on day 6 and it completely destroyed me, what normally would take 40 minutes took 90. lesson learned there.

I will look up Phinney, so far I has only read Taubes, but I know that he really only stands on other peoples shoulders, it would be nice to read some actual science on this.

I will take you advice and continue eating by feel. The notion of satiety is a new one on me;

“Wait, you mean that it is possible to feel full?”

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #25

Yeah, just go easy for now. You’ll find your energy building up, as your mitochondria heal and create new ones. You’ll be back to where you were in no time. So you won’t be surprised, endurance returns first, and explosive power lags behind that. But it, too, eventually returns to normal.

I love that question, because I find it interesting. I used to fill my stomach with pasta to the literal bursting point and still feel hungry. Now, I don’t get anywhere near that point, but I find myself having had enough. “Enoughness,” satiety, is a great feeling.