How is Keto Working for Others???



  • Interesting. Like I said, I’m coming on to a rest phase in my lifting; that will be a good opportunity to give keto another try.

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  • edited August 2021

    I went for a cycle ride with a buddy on the weekend. We stopped for lunch, I had crab, smoked salmon and prawn salad she had the veggie roast. She'd had cornflakes for breakfast, I hadn't eaten.

    A couple of hours later, we stopped at a tea room. She had a slice of cake, I had a coffee. On the train back home, she ate at least 2 cereal bars. I eventually had 30g of cheddar, 6 hours after lunch. She went home and ate a bowl of fruit, and I had cold roast pork and greens in mayonnaise.

    She was complaining a lot of the time about rheumatoid pain and arthritis. She is on anti inflammatories and often needs pain meds to sleep. She wished she was 40lb lighter. She's 10 years younger than me.

    I really feel my diet is very sustainable in every sense.

    (full disclosure: she's faster than me, and I flagged on hills more, but that was true when we both ate carbs!)

  • @p0wer_lifter

    GREAT question! And thanks for tagging me so I was able to find it. :)

    I typically recommend infrequent weighing for two reasons:
    1) Weight loss happens a lot slower than most people think
    2) It helps people to focus on behaviour change (in their control) vs. a metric (not in their control)

    If people treat their weight like a piece of data, then I'm all for daily weighing. But if it starts to influence how they feel about themselves (or they make rash decisions based on tiny fluctuations) I cease and desist with the scale.

    P.S. There's a lot of back and forth here so if there's anything else you (or others) would like me to comment on, please just tag me.

    Generally speaking, we know that many diets "work" but what matters most is the longevity and health-promoting effects of said diet. If someone is losing weight but they are so exhausted they can't engage in social or physical activities, I'm really not supportive of the diet they are following.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • edited August 2021

    Thanks for your response, @Susan_RD_101

    I think that we’re in agreement; worrying about daily weight fluctuations is counterproductive.

    The only thing that I do different from your recommendation, is to weigh daily, but analyze weekly or monthly. I ignore the daily weight and look at overall weekly or monthly average weight to know how the trend is going from one average to the next.

    Thanks for being a part of this forum. With your background, your insight is appreciated.

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  • I don't think 3 weeks is long enough for your experiment. It took me much longer than that to become fat adapted. I wasn't monitoring that specifically, but it was several months before I got back and then quickly surpassed my pre-keto exercise capacity. 3 weeks in, I couldn't push myself too hard without becoming nauseous - that might be me specifically, as low blood sugar has always made me nauseous. At that point I was not fat adapted at all, so every day there was a hangry time.

    But 3 months in, I could do 100km cycle starting 20 hours into a fast, going faster than I had for years. So totally worthwhile.

    Your weightlifting may change your calculus.

  • I get your point, @jefmcg , but, yeah, it’s about my lifting.

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  • IMO 4 weeks is sufficient to determine whether a diet "works" or not. You need to be systematic though; define your success criteria, be disciplined on your adherence (no cheat days!), and take both objective data points (weight, circumference around your navel, your food log) as well as subjective ones (weekly sleep score, weekly stress level, weekly hunger levels-- note: NOT how you look, or think you look in the mirror). After 4 weeks of accumulating these data you can look back and decide whether you hit your success criteria or not. If your adherence to your plan was good, you can draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the plan. If your adherence to the plan was poor, you can draw conclusions about how good a fit this plan is for you as an individual (poor adherence = bad fit -- not that you're a bad person, or the plan is a "bad plan").

    "Keto" absolutely can work. It really is up to the individual. I have a good friend who swears by keto. Whenever I've tried it though, the carb cravings have overwhelmed me. I've heard that I just haven't given it enough time -- but at this point I say "I don't care, I don't like it." Cutting weight takes time, effort, discipline, and work, and it's hard -- If you're trying to train for a marathon, take the time to find shoes that work for you. You can take shoe recommendations from people, but those people really can't tell you if the shoe fits you. And if you force yourself to wear shoes that don't fit, you're really going to have a bad time.

    It's ok to self-experiment. There are many ideas out there. Dialing in the plan that works for you will take time (it's taken me 10 years to get to where I am, sounds like even more for jefmcg). Try something, assess it, and iterate on your experience over time.

  • If carb craving overwhelmed you, then you should understand that you have an addiction. If a smoker tried to give up and said the cravings overwhelmed them and "I don't care, I don't like it", how would you respond?

  • edited September 2021

    You might find this interesting. The authors did studies on cyclists in a metabolic ward.

    Note that you don't necessarily have to limit protein to follow a keto diet. Diet Doctor, who were my gurus are moving to a higher protein model. I am not sure what I make of that, but it might be useful


    Edit: actually, now I think about it, going keto is like starting weight training from sedentary. For the first few week you are going to be very sore, very tired. There will be few visible changes and you will be less capable than you were before hand. Last week you didn't get off the couch, this week you can't 💪🤕

    But if you push through that period, you come out the other side healthier and stronger than you were.

  • On that incremental change approach, I’m starting slow with low carb, rather than keto. And I think you were right in that 3 weeks isn’t long enough to pass judgement. So 75g net carbs for 12 weeks and I’ll retest 1RMs at the end of that time. That should give me enough time to judge current lifting and overall strength change.

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  • edited September 2021

    If carb craving overwhelmed you, then you should understand that you have an addiction.

    Nah, this is silly. There is no such thing as an "addiction" to carbs, and I am not "addicted" to them any more than there is an "addiction" to fat/protein, and you are "addicted" to them.

    If a person can self experiment with different diets or nutrition plans, find one that works for him then who are you to say anything?

    If a smoker tried to give up and said the cravings overwhelmed them and "I don't care, I don't like it", how would you respond?

    That's the wrong comparison. A better comparison would be trying different smoking cessation plans and deciding one way is preferable. Cold-turkey, gum, patches, e-cigs, slowly weaning down by reducing 1-2 cigs/week -- those are all effective smoking cessation methods, and adherence varies by individual preference. I do, in fact, have a friend who has tried them all, and has had the most success with cold-turkey. And what have I said? I said it's not my place to tell him what he needs to do -- I tell him I'm in his corner, and support his goals and the plan that he chose.

  • @p0wer_lifter I'm interested to hear what your experience with low-carb is. Are you in a gain or a cut phase right now?

    Have you heard of MASS ? A subscription is required. It's a monthly research review -- the authors (scientists & lifters themselves) publish a round-up of about a dozen of the several-hundred studies published each month on the subject (it's astonishing how much research is being done). Seems like it could be relevant to your interests.

  • Hi @wmarler definitely cut phase. I wouldn’t experiment with low carb when bulking :)

    And thank you for the link. I hadn’t heard of this and am quite interested.

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  • edited September 2021

    I am not sure of the value of this experiment. 75g is too much carbs to go into ketosis, so you won't be changing your fuel substrate - you will stay a glucose burner. But that's not enough to fuel your brain, which needs (if it's not switched to ketones) 130g per day. So your body is going to be looking for 60g+ of carbs to fuel your brain, and more for your muscles. It will get them via gluconeogenesis, either taking some of you dietary protein or your lean body mass to create what it needs.

    I think this plan will lose you some fat, but also more muscle than you would typically lose during the cutting phase.

    (I am not an expert, this is just my thoughts. Use it to drive your own research if you think it has merit.)

  • edited September 2021

    Thanks, @jefmcg Your description is exactly what I’m curious about. 12 weeks should give me an idea of how my strength is impacted by this approach. I’ve never gone this route before.

    Honestly, going into it, I believe that this will negatively impact my lifting, but I’m willing to see how it goes. I can tell you that I’ve lost 7 pounds in the first week with a calorie drop of only 500 - this is huge and not where I want to go. I’m sure it will adjust in the next week or so, but I do need to learn how to dial in my eating with this approach.

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  • I'm still confused. I thought you wanted to see the affect of the keto diet on your lifting. 75g of carbs is not keto.

    I think keto would - in the long term - improve your lifting. This diet though, I just don't know.

    Oh, don't worry about the weight loss in the first week. Lower carbs means your body will be using glycogen stored in your muscles and liver. The every gram of glycogen is accompanied by 3 or 4g of water, so the weight loss is explained. If it keeps going down, you can worry then. Make sure you monitor your fat as well (eg callipers or waist measurement) so if do lose weight, you can see where it's from.

  • I initially considered keto but decided to go with a simpler low carb. Keto will be next once I adjust to lower carb. And agreed on the initial weight loss. It will settle to a new normal.

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

  • Hi @A_Keto_Newbie

    I’m by no means an expert, but check your macros. Your protein seems relatively high and somehow metabolically excess protein can become sugars and prevent ketosis. I am a bit smaller than you, but also a workmen progress. Various keto calculators give me 146g (78%) fat, 21g (5%) carbs and 69 (18%) protein.

    Also, my experience and reading on the topic suggests it more important to stick to ratios and forget calories, especially at the start. Once you’re in ketosis your appetite will decrease as your fat stores are used.

    good luck!

  • @A_Keto_Newbie thanks for sharing your story.

    Reading through this discussion I am firmly in @p0wer_lifter's camp: weight change is driven by calorie balance.

    I would caution you against listening to the advice of someone who states "Calories are not important" as this represents a dismissal of a fundamental law of thermodynamics. Calories -- energy -- drive literally everything around us.

    Personally this is what I suggest:
    * Decide on a nutiriton plan. Any plan -- keto, kcal counting, macros -- whatever.
    * Commit yourself to sticking to it for 4 weeks.
    * Rate yourself at the end of every week on 4 subjective scales: sleep quality, hunger issues, fatigue levels, and stress levels (I use a 0-5 scale, where 0 is good, aka "no issues" and 5 is the worst -- like didn't-sleep-all-week / got-divorced etc.)
    * Record your weekly adherence to your nutrition plan. If your plan was to limit yourself to 10,500 kcals for the week (1500 kcals/day), and you ate 12,000, then your adherence was 114%. If you ate 10,500 then your adherence was 100%; if you at 8500 then your adherence was 71%.
    * Weigh yourself every day under the same circumstances (right after you get up & have your first bathroom break, underwear or nude, whatever, just be consistent).
    * Add your weekly average weight to your subjective assessment
    * Take your circumference around your belly button, in cm, once a week.

    During those 4 weeks of objective data gathering & subjective assessment monitoring do everything you can to ignore the data input. Just gather it. (In the past I've recorded my weight in white text on white background, and turned my back to the mirror every time I was in the bathroom. Just do. not. look. You can do that for a month).

    After 4 weeks you will have a collection of subjective and objective data to reflect on and analyze.

    The subjective data will tell you how easy/hard it is for you to adhere to the plan. If you consistently rate yourself on the high end of the stress scales, then you must consider that this plan is too hard for you to adhere to long term. We can will ourselves into action for short periods, but eventually the effort overwhelms us.

    Note: if you consistently rate yourself getting not good enough sleep, then no amount of diet/exercise is going to work. You simply must focus on getting more & better sleep. Make that your priority.

    The objective data will tell you whether/to what degree the plan works. A drop of 5lbs between yesterday and today is not indicative of a successful long-term diet/nutrition strategy (seriously, there are SO many factors that could cause this -- a particularly stressful day, a relative low weight one day & relative high next day, greater than usual salt intake causing extra water retention, the start/end of your cycle -- the list is really quite long). However a 5lb difference between the average of your first week of weigh-hins and the average of your last week of weigh-ins is indicative of an effective plan.

    What plan works for a given person is TOTALLY the preferences of that individual. There is no "objectively best" plan for all people -- but there IS an "objectively best" plan for you personally. Some people thrive on keto. Some people need a food scale -- for some, a food scale guarantees failure by non-adherence. Some people can do portion control using their hand as a reference (each meal has 1 thumb of fat, a hand of veggies, a fist of protein). At least one person just lives on bananas (if nothing else, it earned him a slot on Oprah!). The point is: you cannot listen to anecdotal stories from others to determine what you personally can adhere to. You must discover that yourself, experimentally. And in order to effectively interpret the resuts of your experiment, you must record the data.

    I really hope you find it. I know you can.

    About Keto ... it definitely works. Whether it works simply because you're in a calorie deficit, or because of magical ketosis chemistry ... well, does it matter? If you can adhere to it for 52 solid weeks (take 1-2 weeks 3-4x/year), and each week you drop 1lb, what difference does it make whether the active component was "overall kcal deficit" or "magical ketosis chemistry?" (side note: if you want to prove it was ketosis chemistry, you ought to get the keto tester kits, and test your blood for ketosis 1x-2x/day. If you're not doing that, then you can't really know whether the ketosis chemistry was even present in your body). For me personally, I can't adhere to Keto. After about 3 weeks my longing/lusting for carbs (which are f'ing everywhere) overcomes my will to adhere to Keto. A good friend of mine: no problem. For him after 3-4 weeks the lust for carbs just melts away. Go figure.

  • edited September 2021

    Of course will fails eventually, and that is why CICO fails eventually. Continually eating less food than your body is demand becomes untenable.

    The trick is to change your biochemistry. "I still eat everything I want, I just want different things now"

    But changing you metabolism takes more than 4 weeks. 4 weeks in, I joined a morning exercise class fasted. I pushed myself and ended up with my head between knees, nauseous, a familiar feeling of hypoglycaemia. But I trusted the process, understood I wasn't fat adapted at that point. Now I can do anything fasted that I used to be able to do fed. If I had followed your plan, I would have given up and still be fat and sick now.

  • @jefmcg

    I was nodding my head yes at your post about your doctor's advice years ago. Back in the 70's my internist had me take a 6-hour insulin sensitivity test (drink sickly sweet cola and the blood is then monitored for sugar levels). I didn't last more than an hour or two before I started literally shaking! I had to stop the test and was told to go get some orange juice as an emergency. After that my doc told me to eat several small meals a day, always, always with protein. I kept that up for decades, even with different dietary regimes, never eating anything with sugar or high carbs unless there was protein included. I'd probably be diabetic by now if not for that.

    I no longer feel the need to eat so frequently, now focused on more nutrient-dense foods. That plus (for me with an autoimmune issue) giving up eating anything with wheat [wheat allergy specifically, not necessarily gluten], and all highly processed foods.

    I think the level for keto carbs can vary a lot for individuals; I can go into mild ketosis and lose weight with just under 80-100, less than that is unsustainable for me. But with Cronometer tracking my calories and nutrition as well, it's been a great tool for me.

  • Of course will fails eventually, and that is why CICO fails eventually. Continually eating less food than your body is demand becomes untenable.

    Right ... you run down your reserves of stored energy (fat) to the level you want, and then you eat at maintenance. That's not "CICO failing" in any sense.

    The trick is to change your biochemistry

    Yea, I don't agree with this. I don't actually think it makes any sense.

    If I had followed your plan, I would have given up and still be fat and sick now.

    @jefmcg what you described was exactly what "my plan" was -- pick something (could be keto, could be counting), stick with it 4 weeks, evaluate. I gave an example of how to evaluate if you were watching kcals, but that was certainly not me saying "you must count kcals."

    I'm glad you've found what works for you.

  • p0wer_lifter have you considered a carb cycling diet to cut body fat? Powerlifting is a extremely type II muscle fiber dominant regiment which places heavy demands on the glycolytic energy cycle. I can promise you that you will do much better when you have sufficient glucose to fuel the muscle fibers. Glucose is also very important in the hypertrophy process, more especially around training times. Most pro BBs even have switched to this type of diet to cut BF with out sacrificing muscle mass or training intensity.
    Here is an example:

    When trying to lose fat
    Protein (1.5g/lb) and fat (0.33g/lb) intake remains constant during the week. Only carbs fluctuate up and down. During high carb day are 1.5g/lb of body weight. During medium carb days, intake is lowered to 75% and low (er) carb is lowered 25%.

    You can easily tailor you high carbs days around training days, the medium carb day on your rest days and the low carb on the weekend.

    Using the 200lb guy as an example"

    High(er) carb days = 1.5g/lb (330g Protein), 1.5g/lb. (330g Carbs), 0.33g/lb (73g Fat)
    Moderate days = 1.5g/lb (330g Protein), 1.25g/lb (250g Carbs), 0.33g/lb (73g Fat)
    Low(er) carb days = 1.5g/lb (330g protein), 0.94g/lb (206g carbs), 0.33g/lb (73g Fat)

    Good luck!

  • @wmarler Hi, I was reading your comment waaaay up there about trying keto and sweets/carb craving. Reminded me of the information I have been reading about carbs being addictive. I did not read further down, you may have commented further about it. I just feel bad that you decided to not like keto due to cravings. It is my understanding (we shall see) that getting away from them also stops the cravings. I am a junk food junkie so am working through these issues for myself. They'd better work, LOL because I am bound and determined to BEAT the (&H%^OO out of diabetes.

  • @lovinlocks "I just feel bad that you decided to not like keto due to cravings."

    Thanks for your empathy. I like how I manage my weight now, it works for me. If keto works for you, I'll be very happy for you.

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