Author Topic: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge  (Read 34658 times)

jane x

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Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« on: January 07, 2018, 12:34:12 PM »
Anyone up for a keto or low-carb challenge?

I've been at 30 carbs for 2 days and I'm going to work hard to get down to 20 to make sure that I'm in keto and to see how the 20 limit works on my body.  I have a lot of weight to lose so I'm looking to do this for a while.  In time I'd like to see what my carb threshold is for continued weight loss.

I just had to defend/explain my decision to cut back on cabbage on the weight loss thread and it made me realize that I need a place to talk about the idiosyncrasies of low-carb/keto.  I realize it sounds pretty funny and a little crazy to talk about cutting back on cabbage in order to lose weight!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 01:21:28 PM by jane x »

SlowlyButSurely

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 09:33:21 AM »
I'm keto-curious, but not in a place right now where I think it's realistic for me. I'm a vegetarian (vegan for January), and I travel a lot for work, which means I frequently have limited food options.

But I'm thinking to give it a try at some point when I have several weeks in a row at home, just to see what it's like. I'd be curious to hear about your experiences, and I'm happy to cheer you on!

mxt0133

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 09:54:22 AM »
When you say 20, I assume 20 grams of carbs, is that total or net carbs?

Why are you trying to cut down cabbage, it's one of the lowest net carbs per 100g, lower than broccoli or kale?

Good luck on the kedo diet, if weight loss is your goal also give fasting a try or intermittent fasting, once your body is keto adjusted.


jane x

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 11:10:11 AM »
When you say 20, I assume 20 grams of carbs, is that total or net carbs?

Why are you trying to cut down cabbage, it's one of the lowest net carbs per 100g, lower than broccoli or kale?

Good luck on the kedo diet, if weight loss is your goal also give fasting a try or intermittent fasting, once your body is keto adjusted.

I think I was just doing cabbage because it's easy and tasty.  But I was assuming that cabbage was the same as romaine in terms of carbs so I was just really surprised to find out they are not.  Since then I have added broccoli, which is a little bit higher in carbs but a lot more filling and satisfying.  And I'm guessing more nutritious?  I've also added lots more salads which are good fillers, take a while to eat so they are good for snacks, and add water and fiber to my diet.  And I'm still eating a bit of cabbage too. 

So far I'm just tracking overall carbs because I'm not weighing or measuring my food so I'm pretty sure that my eyeball estimates are overly generous.  Once I get my kitchen scale I'll be tracking net carbs. 

Does anyone have good recommends for a carb tracker?

I've been using My Fitness Planner but it doesn't track net carbs. 


mxt0133

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 01:10:16 AM »

So far I'm just tracking overall carbs because I'm not weighing or measuring my food so I'm pretty sure that my eyeball estimates are overly generous.  Once I get my kitchen scale I'll be tracking net carbs. 


Before I got a kitchen scale I tried my best to measure how much I was eating, oz, cup, tbsp, ect.  Because I was estimating I added 10-20% to be generous.  When my scale came I found out I was way off, I was severely underestimating what my food intake was.  So I highly recommend using a scale to measure everything until you get a good feel of what amounts you are actually eating.  One way is to take small amounts, measure it, then put it in your hand and see how it fits and weighs.  After a few times visual and muscle memory will help your estimate improve.

I'm curious to know how accurate your estimates are vs measuring what you actually eat.  For most people they severely underestimate how much they think they are eating, I forget the study but it found that people are good at estimating small amounts but as the amounts get larger the amount we underestimate by increases.  So basically measuring 1 oz of something, most people get pretty close but when it goes to up 5 or 10 oz people begin to increasingly underestimate.


jane x

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 11:07:36 AM »

So far I'm just tracking overall carbs because I'm not weighing or measuring my food so I'm pretty sure that my eyeball estimates are overly generous.  Once I get my kitchen scale I'll be tracking net carbs. 


Before I got a kitchen scale I tried my best to measure how much I was eating, oz, cup, tbsp, ect.  Because I was estimating I added 10-20% to be generous.  When my scale came I found out I was way off, I was severely underestimating what my food intake was.  So I highly recommend using a scale to measure everything until you get a good feel of what amounts you are actually eating.  One way is to take small amounts, measure it, then put it in your hand and see how it fits and weighs.  After a few times visual and muscle memory will help your estimate improve.

I'm curious to know how accurate your estimates are vs measuring what you actually eat.  For most people they severely underestimate how much they think they are eating, I forget the study but it found that people are good at estimating small amounts but as the amounts get larger the amount we underestimate by increases.  So basically measuring 1 oz of something, most people get pretty close but when it goes to up 5 or 10 oz people begin to increasingly underestimate.

I suspect I'm underestimating by quite a bit!  I saw Costco has a scale on sale and I'm going to try to make it out there today.

Tomorrow is weigh in day and I'm nervous.  It will be one week of me being low-carb (not sure if I've been in keto) and even though Atkins warns that starting Induction before or during your period will delay weight loss, I'm still hoping to see some.  If I don't see any, I'll be disappointed.  I'm trying to lower my expectations today so that I don't go into a funk tomorrow if the weight hasn't budged.

On a separate note - I started logging with Carb Manager yesterday and so far like it better than MFP.  You can track net carbs, and other micro/macros (?), and you get a cool dashboard visual of all your food info.  There's a pie chart for the big 3, fat/carbs/protein, there's a running total of net/fiber/total carbs for the day, and you also get net carbs on every line item.  Plus, the food you eat is represented in pics so you get to see everything you ate for the day.  I'm switching over and will be using this from now on.  It also has other features for steps, exercise, and other stuff but I haven't used them yet.

jane x

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 05:35:08 PM »
I picked up the kitchen scale at Costco and it's very nifty.  Surprisingly, my estimated measurements had been pretty accurate.  So it hasn't really changed my portion sizes.  But I feel more comfortable knowing where I am, nutrition-wise, and that the numbers are reliable.   

Weighed in today and I'm down 3.5 lbs for my first week of Induction.  I have to admit I was hoping for more after hearing stories of people losing 10 lbs in their first week.  But when I take into consideration that I was on my cycle, and that I'm a 50 year old woman (all of which lead to slower weight loss), 3.5 lbs seems like very good progress.  So I'm declaring it a big success.  I want to stay positive and encouraging towards myself and my body.

Did some prep food last night - shredded a roasted chicken and prepped lots of veggies.  Today's lunch was a breeze.

Tonight I will do some prepping for breakfast things because that's been my sticking point.  I just don't get hungry until around noon and then it throws my day off schedule because I'm eating my lunch at 3pm and then I still feel full from dinner when I go to bed.  I'm hoping having some yummy food prepped (sliced mushrooms, chopped bacon, etc), that I'll be motivated to cook and eat breakfast earlier. 

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 05:07:02 AM »
Iíve been keto for a year now, so Iíd be happy to try and answer questions or help troubleshoot. Fair warning, Iím definitely close to carnivore keto, especially this time of year when I donít have my own homegrown veggies. Store veggies just arenít as satisfying, but Iím trying to be better about greens. Might start growing my own micro greens (I love sunflower and pea greens) when I donít need my grow light space for main season crops.

I donít do formal carb tracking, I do ďlazy ketoĒ which means I stick to the approved foods list and keep portions of anything like nuts or berries quite low. It works quite well for me as long as I keep my alcohol consumption down.

I also avoid all fake sugar, unlike many folks on keto. Iím very skeptical of the net carb approach with non-nutritive sweeteners, and besides my body canít tolerate any of them. Also, they donít help you get past your sugar/carb addiction. I eat only real foods and avoid all meal replacement products pushed by Atkins or other companies.

Most important tip for low carb is electrolytes! You need a lot of them. Keto gains has a good article about them.

For vegetarian/vegan keto there is also a Facebook group that Iíve heard is decent.

I have a copy of the New Atkins on my desk Iíve been slowly reading but Iím not super familiar with their induction and phases structure. I just started keto by eliminating everything carbs and starting to supplement sodium, potassium, and magnesium to avoid the keto flu. Iíve had to adjust that a fair amount recently.

If anyone is interested in a keto group on Facebook that has very high quality advice as long as youíre okay with some adult humor, etc, PM me.

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 06:11:06 AM »
I picked up the kitchen scale at Costco and it's very nifty.  Surprisingly, my estimated measurements had been pretty accurate.  So it hasn't really changed my portion sizes.  But I feel more comfortable knowing where I am, nutrition-wise, and that the numbers are reliable.   

Weighed in today and I'm down 3.5 lbs for my first week of Induction.  I have to admit I was hoping for more after hearing stories of people losing 10 lbs in their first week.  But when I take into consideration that I was on my cycle, and that I'm a 50 year old woman (all of which lead to slower weight loss), 3.5 lbs seems like very good progress.  So I'm declaring it a big success.  I want to stay positive and encouraging towards myself and my body.

Did some prep food last night - shredded a roasted chicken and prepped lots of veggies.  Today's lunch was a breeze.

Tonight I will do some prepping for breakfast things because that's been my sticking point.  I just don't get hungry until around noon and then it throws my day off schedule because I'm eating my lunch at 3pm and then I still feel full from dinner when I go to bed.  I'm hoping having some yummy food prepped (sliced mushrooms, chopped bacon, etc), that I'll be motivated to cook and eat breakfast earlier.

Everyoneís weight loss is individual. Iíve only lost 25 pounds over an entire year, for example. And my weight loss lately has been very slow, around a pound a month tops, despite easily having 20+ more pounds to shed. View keto as a permanent lifestyle change that heals your body from all of the inflammation high carbs causes, gives you more even energy, and improves overall health. The weight loss is a side effect, not the primary benefit :)

Eat only when youíre hungry. And youíre sure that youíre properly hydrated, as dehydration can cause hunger pangs.

Itís normal for folks on keto to not be hungry in the morning. Many folks in my main keto group drop morning meals altogether and donít eat until noon or sometimes even later. As your body adjusts to fat as the primary fuel, you have a much more stable form of energy in the blood than the blood sugar swings of higher carb eating. Because of how common dropping morning meals is, many people end up doing de facto 8/16 intermittent fasting because theyíre only eating between noon to 7-8PM.

Also, who says your first meal of the day has to be breakfast? Or, if you love traditional keto breakfast foods like bacon and eggs, but donít eat until noon - why force a lunch at 3? Etc.

The only time folks on keto need to force themselves to eat is that some peopleís calorie intake gets too low and they stall from being too far in a calorie deficit. This seems relatively rare but it does happen. Since youíre 1) losing and 2) very early on donít sweat it. Also, a stall is defined as a period of more than a month without weight loss.

I am up at 5AM every day. I used to be *starving* by 6:30 when was done with all my PT exercises and morning chores for the animals. But lately Iím not hungry until 8:30 at the earliest, so Iíve switched my morning routine around to accommodate that. This usually makes my lunches more of a snack, but every day is different. Listen to what your body tells you and donít force it into a schedule it doesnít want to be in.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 11:21:29 AM »
Jane x,

Are you testing to see if you're in ketosis? 

I've been doing a ketogenic diet for about ten months (down about 30 pounds).  In my experience, if you're trying to stay in ketosis, you can probably still eat as much cabbage as you want.  20 grams is a good target, but the real key is whether you are in ketosis.  If the ketostix say you're in ketosis, I wouldn't sweat the diet as much.  If you aren't, then you need to assess what you're eating. 

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 11:41:14 AM »
Jane x,

Are you testing to see if you're in ketosis? 

I've been doing a ketogenic diet for about ten months (down about 30 pounds).  In my experience, if you're trying to stay in ketosis, you can probably still eat as much cabbage as you want.  20 grams is a good target, but the real key is whether you are in ketosis.  If the ketostix say you're in ketosis, I wouldn't sweat the diet as much.  If you aren't, then you need to assess what you're eating.

Keto testers aren't particularly useful for a lot of people, at least from what I've read. Many folks, especially once fully fat adapted, don't actually have all that many ketones in the urine.

jane x

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 11:50:51 AM »
Everyone has been telling me to relax my approach, to not worry so much about veggie carbs.  I started a post about why I'm being so vigilant - I need to lose about 100 lbs - and then I stopped and wondered maybe everyone has a point.

I'll be back after I've pondered!  :)

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 12:03:19 PM »
Everyone has been telling me to relax my approach, to not worry so much about veggie carbs.  I started a post about why I'm being so vigilant - I need to lose about 100 lbs - and then I stopped and wondered maybe everyone has a point.

I'll be back after I've pondered!  :)

I don't think there's a right or wrong answer. If you're continuing to lose weight at a given amount of carbs, veggies give you some nutritional benefits and more overall culinary variety.

At the same time, I know a surprising number of very healthy-looking people who eat almost fully carnivore, no or practically no veggies. Some report that the very low veg is where they see a lot of the best anti-inflammatory effects of keto.

I'd say go with what works, don't stress it, but if you stall out for longer than a month than maybe revisit?

Jantoven

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 02:17:34 PM »
Anyone up for a keto or low-carb challenge?

I've been at 30 carbs for 2 days and I'm going to work hard to get down to 20 to make sure that I'm in keto and to see how the 20 limit works on my body.  I have a lot of weight to lose so I'm looking to do this for a while.  In time I'd like to see what my carb threshold is for continued weight loss.

I just had to defend/explain my decision to cut back on cabbage on the weight loss thread and it made me realize that I need a place to talk about the idiosyncrasies of low-carb/keto.  I realize it sounds pretty funny and a little crazy to talk about cutting back on cabbage in order to lose weight!

First of all, great work on the determination to make a change!  That's a huge undertaking, and you should be commended for taking that on.

Having myself tinkered with all sorts of random dietary approaches, what I will tell you from just my own personal experiences is that it's probably a good idea to maintain some level of carb intake in the form of "carby vegetables," such as cabbage, a modest amount of sweet potato, etc.

Again, this is just my own experience, and everyone's body responds differently, so definitely go with what works best for you.  But when I went keto and aimed for 30g of net carbs/day, I lost some weight and gained some strength, but my cholesterol absolutely shot through the roof to extraordinary numbers (my levels more than tripled).  Loving numbers and being fascinated by my body's response, I did some more testing and found that my thyroid function markedly decreased in response to the diet.  Amongst the main functions of the thyroid is to help clear out circulating cholesterol.

So I decided to experiment, veered from a keto lifestyle and instead engaged in more of a paleo lifestyle, and within a few months, my thyroid and lipid panel returned back to normal (my lipid panel actually improved compared to "baseline").  So again, I encourage you to experiment and try different things, knowing that everyone's body tends to respond differently.  I encourage you to do some regular blood tests along with the dietary changes too, as that helps you better track and understand how your body is responding.

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 06:00:32 PM »
I should do this . . . I need to drop some weight.

jane x

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 08:22:22 PM »
Today's meals:

Late breakfast & early lunch (ate half at 11:30 and other half about 3:30 when I felt a bit hungry):
Eggs with bacon, mushroom and tomato
Chai tea with a dash of heavy cream and 1 Splenda

Dinner:
Portuguese linguica with broccoli and napa cabbage

Snacks:
small plate of cheddar cheese, salami, olives and walnuts
Chai tea same as above

I like having the scale so I can start getting a feel for portion and carb quantities.  Was pleased to see that I can get a pretty good portion size of mushroom and tomato for a low carb count.  Dinner was a bit carby for Induction but it was very filling and by keeping my portion sizes moderate on both dinner and the snacks I was able to finish the day right on budget.

I've decided to continue with my efforts to do a full Induction keeping the net carbs at 20 because I want to see how it works for me.  Having the strict parameters is helping me right now by limiting the decisions I have to make.  I want to start adding in more exercise (for health, not weight loss) and put the diet on auto pilot a while. 

p.s.  Today I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror (face and neck) and I thought, "You look like you lost some weight." 

mxt0133

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2018, 12:43:32 AM »
@jane x I love my kitchen scale!  I just figured out how much I love measuring things.  Which explains why math was easy for me, why I love finance, and now counting macros and calories.  My wife likes the fact that I don't talk about finances as much now due to my focus on my health, but then I start preaching when the kids have carbs and sugar.

How does everyone test their ketone levels?  Urine strips or blood meter?  How often and how much does it cost?

I've only scratched the surface on my Keto diet research and I am very intrigued by everything I've read so far, but i'm still trying to be as skeptical as I can.  Some literature makes it seem like it will cure every ailment and let you live forever.  To be fair a lot of the fasting stuff out there is the same, which I have embraced hook line and sinker.

For now my main focus is on learning more Keto recipes.  My family loves taco night and I stopped eating refined grains and high carb foods, yes that include all processed sugars as well.  So I looked up Keto tacos and suggested I use lettuce wraps instead of tortillas, and IT WAS SO GOOD.  Tomorrow my son requested burgers for his b-day dinner, and found a Keto burger using porta bella mushrooms as the buns, well see how it goes tomorrow.  Then I found out about Keto pizza which blew my mind!

Does anyone have any opinions on staying constantly in ketosis vs intermittent ketosis?  Something like intermittent fasting with some days I have 50-70g of carbs and other days below 20g for 36 hours or so.  I also plan on doing extended water only fasts, 7 days, a few times a year which will put me in ketosis for 3-4 days easily.




MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2018, 02:56:24 AM »
Keto is tough to maintain. You want to lose weight, walk at least 1 hr in the morning before you eat and then another hour of walking throughout the day. Every day, rain or shine. Thatís all for exercise. Eat meat and green vegetables mostly, palm sized portions every 90 min.

furrychickens

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2018, 04:56:10 AM »
I donít test ketone levels. Most of the successful ketoers I know do not. I think itís a waste of time. If you insist on testing, blood will give you a more accurate idea than urine because many people donít shed much excess ketones in urine once fully adapted.

Carb cycling can be really rough on your body, mainly GI upset. I have been much happier without any days higher in carb. Also, youíre constantly resetting your cravings each time you cheat. Carb/sugar addiction was a huge problem for me. It took many many times of cheating during my first 9-10 months of keto before I realized it made me feel awful. Now almost everything, even the delicious home baked stuff I make for my family, actively repulses me.

Iím not personally a fan of ďfastsĒ of any kind but some folks see benefit doing short duration fasts of 24-36 hours. Fasts longer than that strike me as dangerous or counterproductive. The research around the benefit of fasting all focuses on short duration day or two fasts, or even just 16/8 intermittent fasting.

For tacos, I love taco salads or bowls. Lettuce wraps are pretty good. When traveling, many restaurants will do this for burgers or other sandwiches if you ask.

Keto is tough to maintain. You want to lose weight, walk at least 1 hr in the morning before you eat and then another hour of walking throughout the day. Every day, rain or shine. Thatís all for exercise. Eat meat and green vegetables mostly, palm sized portions every 90 min.

Not my experience at all. Iíve found keto incredibly easy to stick to even with the rest of my family still eating a more typical diet (and me having to cook it for them). Thatís way more exercise than most people need. Diet is like 90%. You canít outrun your fork.

Thatís also more eating, or more frequently, than Iíve needed. What I love about keto is being able to be super active for hours on end (this happens some days on my homestead, mostly during the warmer season) and not need to constantly shovel food in my mouth to keep energy up.

jane x

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Re: Keto/Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2018, 11:03:06 AM »
Do you guys have a body scale at home?  And how often do you weigh?

I don't own one so I use the one at the gym.  Wondering if having one at home would be helpful or harmful. 

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Re: Keto/Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2018, 07:25:33 PM »
Do you guys have a body scale at home?  And how often do you weigh?

I don't own one so I use the one at the gym.  Wondering if having one at home would be helpful or harmful.

I have a scale. I weigh myself 1-3 times a week. Jury is out whether itís helpful or harmful.

jane x

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Re: Keto/Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2018, 08:10:43 PM »
Do you guys have a body scale at home?  And how often do you weigh?

I don't own one so I use the one at the gym.  Wondering if having one at home would be helpful or harmful.

I have a scale. I weigh myself 1-3 times a week. Jury is out whether itís helpful or harmful.

lol!  I keep thinking how much easier it would be to weigh myself first thing in the morning and have the conditions be the same.  But I totally see myself getting OCD about it. 

jane x

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Re: Keto/Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2018, 08:20:28 PM »
I just finished dinner and I feel so stuffed.  I was pretty active all day and when dinner came around was quite hungry so I made a large dinner.  Halfway through dinner I felt comfortably satisfied and considered stopping, but then I thought I'd just feel hungry in a few hours so kept eating.  Big mistake.  I feel so uncomfortable.  My stomach must have shrunk.  I also went over my carb budget.  Next time, I will stop eating when I feel satisfied and if I feel hungry later I can always eat a salad or have the rest of the meal.  But man, this is not fun (my stomach actually hurts).  Interesting how quickly the body adapts to different portions.

Today's meals:

Breakfast - omelette of eggs, bacon, cheddar, mushrooms and tomato

Lunch - chicken Caesar salad (homemade, no croutons)

Dinner - linguica with broccoli

Snacks - red Chai tea with heavy cream and 1 Splenda
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 08:26:39 PM by jane x »

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2018, 02:29:54 AM »
 eating.
[/quote]

Keto testers aren't particularly useful for a lot of people, at least from what I've read. Many folks, especially once fully fat adapted, don't actually have all that many ketones in the urine.
[/quote]

Harbinger,  My general approach to Keto is very similar to yours. 

I've also read that urine testing doesn't work for some people once they're keto-adapted, but about ten months in, I still find it helpful sometimes.  You are correct that as the body adapts to Ketosis you are likely to see fewer ketones in urine.  This means that the strips might indicate that you are not in ketosis when you really are, or show an artificially low level of ketosis.  I'm only concerned about whether I'm in ketosis, and my testing still consistently shows low levels of ketones.  The exact level of Ketones doesn't matter to me, so this level of inaccuracy is acceptable.  At this point, I don't test every day, but after a few days of eating more carbs over the holidays, I tested and found I was not in ketosis.  After a few days of restricted carbs and exercise, they indicated that I was back in ketosis.  Testing isn't as important to me as it was in the first few months, but I still find it worthwhile.  And I still have strips left...

MXT0133,

You can buy the test strips from Amazon very cheaply.  You should be able to get 250 for under $10 delivered, which means only .04 cents per test and would last me for years.  If you want to be a lot more accurate but spend a lot more money, you can buy a blood tester (which will end up costing you several dollars per test).  I gather there are also breath testers, but I don't know much about them. 

I found testing to be extremely useful in the first few months of a ketogenic diet.  I tested every day initially, to see when I finally entered ketosis and to get a sense of how different dietary choices affected ketosis.  For example, when I read that excessive protein intake (I eat a lot of protein), could prevent ketosis, I was concerned, but testing showed me that it wasn't an issue for me.  Testing taught me that all the cabbage I'm willing to eat won't kick me out of ketosis, but a whole bagel will.  Testing lets me ease my discipline and eat (very small amounts of) carbs occasionally and remain in ketosis.  I find this easier and more effective than trying to count carbs.  These days, I test only occasionally to confirm that I'm still in ketosis, or if I've made a significant dietary change, like during holidays or traveling.  I exercise pretty seriously, which I gather effects ketosis.  Again, even imperfect testing gives me better information than guessing.   YMMV.


jane x

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2018, 01:46:44 PM »
I have not been testing for ketones, though I've noticed a definite change in my urine which I've been attributing to it.  It's fluorescent!  I read that's a good thing.  :)

I was pleasantly surprised by a 3 lb loss this morning on the scale.  I ignored the advice in the Atkins book about measurements and before pics but I've started to notice some visible changes which are probably due to water loss and not being so bloated. 

What's everyone eating?  It'd be fun to see different keto and low-carb menus for inspiration.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2018, 02:15:23 PM »
I tend to be very routine based, so I eat a lot of the same things over and over.

Breakfast: this is almost always eggs (homegrown as much as possible) with either bacon (increasingly I make my own, itís a simple project) or breakfast sausage. If sausage, itís usually mostly rabbit from my homestead with just enough pork added to keep it from drying out.

About once a week I make a treat of my version of keto pancakes with blueberries or some zero sugar homemade jam on them.

Lunch: often leftovers, sometimes salad (I really like my rabbit taco salads), sometimes just an assortment of cheese, sausage, and a little bit of smoked almonds. Iíll have a small amount of berries when in season.

Snacks are usually similar if Iím actually hungry - a bit of cheese, sausage, nuts, tiny bit of fruit, veg, etc. lots of options. 

Dinner: common dinners for me are taco salads, fathead pizza, burgers, brats, etc Mostly basic meats, then with a veg side or sometimes no veg at all. This time of year itís usually no veg though Iíve found I donít mind store seedless cucumbers and store green beans too much but in garden season I love veggies like cucumbers, green beans, and zucchini out of the garden.

I might look into growing my own sunflower and pea shoots. I love them but theyíre $$$ at the farmers market. Might be a fun garden related project in the long dark winters here.

Hope that helps! If you want recipes for the pancakes, pizza, or stuff like the taco, sausage, etc let me know and I can post them as I have time :)

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2018, 02:26:01 PM »
I have not been testing for ketones, though I've noticed a definite change in my urine which I've been attributing to it.  It's fluorescent!  I read that's a good thing.  :)

I was pleasantly surprised by a 3 lb loss this morning on the scale.  I ignored the advice in the Atkins book about measurements and before pics but I've started to notice some visible changes which are probably due to water loss and not being so bloated. 

What's everyone eating?  It'd be fun to see different keto and low-carb menus for inspiration.

High quality grass fed beef is cheap where I live, so I tend to do a very paleo oriented keto diet based on a lot of meat supplemented by a lot of green vegetables.  I also eat a lot of eggs.  I'm generally not a fan of trying to imitate carbs, and I don't use artificial sweeteners.  That said, I did just try a new recipe for low carb bacon and cheddar biscuits.  https://www.savorytooth.com/low-carb-biscuits/  If I were not on a keto diet, I'm sure I'd find them awful.  After ten months of the keto diet, however, I found them delicious.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2018, 05:30:43 PM »
@HarbingerofBunnies - I want to know what fathead pizza is and how you make it! 

@ROF Expat - I wish grass fed beef was cheap here.  I don't eat a lot of beef because of the high cost.  Even regular beef is pricey here.  Maybe you can ship me some?  :)

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2018, 05:47:26 PM »
@HarbingerofBunnies - I want to know what fathead pizza is and how you make it! 

It's pretty good! Here's one of the many recipes floating around: https://www.ditchthecarbs.com/fat-head-pizza/

My version of it, however, is as follows:

175g shredded mozzarella, freshly shredded works better than pre-shredded (there's a volume measurement in the link above if you don't have a scale)
85g almond flour (same comment re: scale)
1 large egg
1/4 tsp each sea salt, NuSalt, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 450F

Put this all in a food processor and blend until it forms a ball.

Roll out between two sheets of parchment paper to fit whatever size baking sheet you have. Some people like the results with a pizza stone better, if you happen to have one.

Pre-bake the crust for ~7 minutes. When you remove the crust, increase the oven heat to 500F

Top the pizza as desired. It works fine as just plain cheese, but I think it really shines with some extra toppings like pepperoni, italian sausage, peppers, etc. I have a great recipe for homemade Italian sausage if you want it.

Bake for ~9-10 minutes, or until the cheese is at the brownness you like. It's not a very crispy crust, though I think doing it on a pre-heated stone can help with that, but it is super yummy. I've been eating it every week since going keto :) Pizza night Friday and Saturday is a tradition with my family that goes back years.

If anything doesn't make sense, let me know.

*Worth noting that if you like cheese crackers, if you make just the dough rolled out, but use a sharp cheddar, it makes a good cheese cracker

**Also worth nothing that the almond flour is enough to give this a decent number of carbs. It's not something you can eat every day.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2018, 09:16:22 PM »
@HarbingerofBunnies - ok, that pizza sounds great!  I like pizza.  Do you have any problems with over eating it?  Since nuts are easy to overeat, I wonder about the almond flour.  But with all that cheese, maybe not?  :)  I would need to do the microwave method shown on the link you provided as I don't have a food processor.  This would be a really good treat food.

Yes, can I get your sausage recipe?  I've never made sausage before, or bacon either and I saw that you make that too.  And you're an urban homesteader!  Very impressive.  I'm an urban dweller.  :)

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2018, 09:25:44 PM »
I've been in ketosis and feel horrible every time. The doc said maybe I need more good carbs than the average person. My goal is not weight loss. I've been using a diet called the Fast Tract Diet and counting fermentable carbs. This has worked well for me. The diet is similar to keto with regards to fewer carbs, but they don't talk about how too much protein turns into sugar like the ketos do.

So I want to transition to moderate protein, high fat, and low carbs.

I'll join you in this, because I want to restart with some revisions to my plan.


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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2018, 09:34:29 PM »

So I want to transition to moderate protein, high fat, and low carbs.


This is what my eating looks like on my tracking sheet.  So far I've felt good on it.  Glad you can join us!

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2018, 11:08:47 PM »
Today's meals:

Breakfast - nothing, not hungry.

Lunch - delicious omelette of eggs, bacon, cheddar, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomato

Dinner - linguica with broccoli, and a big salad of romaine, cabbage, red bell pepper, cucumber and homemade full-fat dressing

Snack - red chai tea with heavy cream and 1 splenda; a couple of olives and a bite of sharp cheddar

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2018, 05:05:26 AM »
I've been in ketosis and feel horrible every time. The doc said maybe I need more good carbs than the average person. My goal is not weight loss. I've been using a diet called the Fast Tract Diet and counting fermentable carbs. This has worked well for me. The diet is similar to keto with regards to fewer carbs, but they don't talk about how too much protein turns into sugar like the ketos do.

So I want to transition to moderate protein, high fat, and low carbs.

I'll join you in this, because I want to restart with some revisions to my plan.

Horrible how? Flu like symptoms? That could be keto flu, need more electrolytes. Thereís a good article on keto gains about it.

@jane x yeah, you can overeat the pizza. Eat it slowly. Itís much more filling than you realize. Reheats well as long as youíre okay with it not being crispy. In the summer I often actually eat the leftovers cold when out hiking.

I havenít fully dialed in my bacon yet. Trying a new cure right now, got a couple more days to go before I can smoke it.

Hereís the sausage recipe, itís scaled per lb of meat. For use on pizza I cook it loose and drain most of the fat and juices off, otherwise it can make the pizza a bit soggy. Iíve made it with pork, rabbit, and a mixture of the two. Ground chicken or turkey would likely work well.

I donít like fennel. If you do like it in sausage, Iíd guess 1/2 tsp would be a good starting point

* 3/4 tsp salt
* fresh pepper (I grind it out of a pepper mill, eyeballing about the same amount of pepper as salt)
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1 tsp basil
* 1/2 tsp oregano
* 1/2 tsp paprika (smoked is great if you have it)
* 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Taste it after itís  fully cooked and adjust as desired. Every batch is different, but I frequently find myself adding  a bit more salt and garlic.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2018, 10:26:47 AM »
I've been in ketosis and feel horrible every time. The doc said maybe I need more good carbs than the average person. My goal is not weight loss. I've been using a diet called the Fast Tract Diet and counting fermentable carbs. This has worked well for me. The diet is similar to keto with regards to fewer carbs, but they don't talk about how too much protein turns into sugar like the ketos do.

So I want to transition to moderate protein, high fat, and low carbs.

I'll join you in this, because I want to restart with some revisions to my plan.

Horrible how? Flu like symptoms? That could be keto flu, need more electrolytes. Thereís a good article on keto gains about it.

@jane x yeah, you can overeat the pizza. Eat it slowly. Itís much more filling than you realize. Reheats well as long as youíre okay with it not being crispy. In the summer I often actually eat the leftovers cold when out hiking.

I havenít fully dialed in my bacon yet. Trying a new cure right now, got a couple more days to go before I can smoke it.

Hereís the sausage recipe, itís scaled per lb of meat. For use on pizza I cook it loose and drain most of the fat and juices off, otherwise it can make the pizza a bit soggy. Iíve made it with pork, rabbit, and a mixture of the two. Ground chicken or turkey would likely work well.

I donít like fennel. If you do like it in sausage, Iíd guess 1/2 tsp would be a good starting point

* 3/4 tsp salt
* fresh pepper (I grind it out of a pepper mill, eyeballing about the same amount of pepper as salt)
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1 tsp basil
* 1/2 tsp oregano
* 1/2 tsp paprika (smoked is great if you have it)
* 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Taste it after itís  fully cooked and adjust as desired. Every batch is different, but I frequently find myself adding  a bit more salt and garlic.

Thanks for the recipe, I like that there are no sugars and all that stuff that store bought sausage has.   Do you use a meat grinder or food processor for the meat?  And do you mix in the seasonings before or after you grind the meat?

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2018, 10:44:27 AM »
I decided to give myself a weight goal for the year.  After looking online at some recommendations based on height and age, I've decided on 120 as my goal weight - that's a 75 lb loss from where I am now.  I think this weight is a bit on the generous side (I'm 5'2" at best), but if I work out and develop muscle and toning, I think it can be a good place to be.  If I find it a bit high I can always do more next year.

And I've decided to aim for reaching this goal by the end of the year.  I know it's an aggressive goal, but I think it's doable.  That breaks down to roughly 6.5 lbs per month (I can't believe it's already the middle of January!  Youza, time flies as you get older). 

It feels nice to have a goal to work towards, I'm excited about it.  Eager too.  I'm devoting this year to my health so I'm not going to let anything else get in the way.  Any other project or endeavor will take second place to this.

2018 Goals:

12/31/18 = 120 lbs.

Monthly = 6.5 lb loss

Anyone else would like to set some goals?

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2018, 11:07:15 AM »
I was going to post about this on one of the other forums but I don't have the energy to decide which one and then start a new thread so I'll just post here.  Hope you guys don't mind.

Today I woke up feeling tired and lethargic.  I took a shower to wake myself up but no help.  Last night I woke up with some nightmares and I think that as a result of the bad dreams I got bad sleep.  I watched a tv show before bed, I think it was called I Am Not Your Negro.  It was a tough show to watch.  There was footage of the Rodney King beatings, and some photos of men and women who were lynched.  Even now, typing this my stomach turns remembering it and thinking about it.  I've always had this reaction to violence.  In particular, the abuses against African Americans are very painful. 

I dreamed that my younger brother was the one being tortured and mutilated and that it was my father doing it.  So we had no recourse.  We were also both young.  When I woke up I felt horrible - terrified and devastated by the violence inflicted on my brother.  In reality, my father was a very gentle man, so the dream is metaphorical.  I do feel that every human being is my brother and sister.

In the past, this lethargy and residual pain would be numbed and soothed by food.  Today I will not use food as a numbing and soothing agent.  I will find other (more healthy and helpful) ways to process and release these painful feelings and emotions.  I also have a challenge to find a way to deal with my tiredness and lethargy that is not focused on food or ruminating on what is causing my distress (ruminating leads to depression for me and I need to protect against that).   

Feedback, ideas, suggestions, support are all welcome.  Thanks.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2018, 11:35:30 AM »
I have a meat grinder and mix the seasonings in after grinding. Since Iím cooking it loose I just add them in the pan after the meat is starting to brown but not yet fully cooked. You can also just use already ground meat.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2018, 10:29:54 PM »
Today's meals:

Breakfast - nothing, not hungry

Lunch - big omelette of eggs, bacon, cheddar, mushrooms, green onion, green & red bell peppers

Dinner has been weird, I get hungry around 3-4 pm (but get full quickly), and then get hungry again a few hours later.  This is what I did today:

4 pm - one small serving of our Quick Soup:  homemade bone broth, shrimp, pork and veggies (tonight it was mushrooms, zucchini, napa cabbage, cilantro, green onion, serrano pepper, and lemon juice)

6pm - small snack of olives and cheddar cheese (while watching tv)

7 pm - linguica with broccoli (small serving); green salad with ranch dressing and walnuts

Drinks - chamomile tea with 1/2 Splenda

I'll probably need to play around with dinner for a bit till I find something that works well. 

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2018, 09:01:31 AM »
Here we go, as so many others I've been a long-time lurker on the forum, but first time posting.

This thread caught my interest, I am also just in the beginning of my keto journey.

Day 11 now and so far sticking to it fully. My motivations are not so much for weight loss. I'm more interested in the long term health benefits, having said that I still wouldn't mind losing a few pounds :).

I've had some kind of intention to be paleo for the last few years, but strong carb cravings and a fairly weak commitment to the diet made sure that it never stuck fully. Most of the time i've stayed off bread and pasta, but way too many sweets. I've come to the conclusion that at least for now I cannot eat sugar in moderation, and add to that the knowledge that it's basically poison for our bodies: keto seems like a good option for me.

Simply deciding that all those sugary things are not for me has made it surprisingly easy to resist! I thought it would be much harder after all the chocolate and other sweets I binged on over the holidays. The first two work days of the week were spent in a conference center with all-day meetings, right in front of me both days: a big pile of chocolate, but milky and dark! Morning and afternoon breaks included muffins, donuts, cinnabuns and such... there was some temptation of course, but all of it was resisted!

My starting stats (i'm 191cm/6'3ft):
92kg (203lb)

After 11 days:
88.5kg (195lb)

Today's meals:
Breakfast - bulletproof coffee
Lunch - went to a restaurant with my wife, buffet-style so I could pick a nice salad and poached cod in a saffron sauce
Dinner - Ham stew with broccoli, zucchini, champignons and golden chantarelles in a heavy cream sauce

How are the rest of you doing on energy? First few days i was feeling quite tired, but now that seems to have passed. In the gym i'm easily 10-20% below where I were before, so not really keto adapted as of yet.

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this journey!

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2018, 09:08:11 AM »
This is my way of eating as well and it has been very effective.  I'm 5'11", male, age 48.  My highest weight, about two years ago, was about 205.  My current weight has been a steady 170 for about the last 6 months. 

For those of you who are struggling, my advice would be 1) keep your carb count 20g or lower, every day, no exceptions; 2) avoid all sugars, all pastas and bread, all starchy vegetables, no exceptions; 3) add in extra fat until satisfied.  If you are stalled, don't be afraid of intermittent fasting.  Last spring I did 3 36-hour fasts per week, currently I am doing a 20/4 intermittent fast most working days and I feel like a million bucks.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2018, 02:38:26 PM »
@northener80 yes, I had a very similar reason to try keto. Itís almost impossible for me to moderate carbs.

On energy, itís probably a combination of the time it takes for your body to adapt to its new fuel source, but also make sure you are getting enough electrolytes. I have to add salt and potassium to almost everything I drink just to get enough, it seems crazy but thatís what I have to do.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2018, 06:03:33 PM »
Anyone have experience with fasting or intermitten fasting that they'd like to share.  I feel like that's where I'm headed based on my eating patterns lately. 

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2018, 10:09:28 PM »
Iím not personally a fan of ďfastsĒ of any kind but some folks see benefit doing short duration fasts of 24-36 hours. Fasts longer than that strike me as dangerous or counterproductive. The research around the benefit of fasting all focuses on short duration day or two fasts, or even just 16/8 intermittent fasting.

@HarbingerofBunnies May I ask what you see as dangerous or counterproductive of extended fasts?  I am genuinely interested in all the data, formal studies or anecdotal, positive or negative on fasting.

I have personally had a good experience with it, meaning that even all the negative effects I experienced were known before going into my fast.  However, I completely understand that every person reacts differently.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2018, 10:39:18 PM »
Here we go, as so many others I've been a long-time lurker on the forum, but first time posting.

This thread caught my interest, I am also just in the beginning of my keto journey.

Day 11 now and so far sticking to it fully. My motivations are not so much for weight loss. I'm more interested in the long term health benefits, having said that I still wouldn't mind losing a few pounds :).

I've had some kind of intention to be paleo for the last few years, but strong carb cravings and a fairly weak commitment to the diet made sure that it never stuck fully. Most of the time i've stayed off bread and pasta, but way too many sweets. I've come to the conclusion that at least for now I cannot eat sugar in moderation, and add to that the knowledge that it's basically poison for our bodies: keto seems like a good option for me.

Simply deciding that all those sugary things are not for me has made it surprisingly easy to resist! I thought it would be much harder after all the chocolate and other sweets I binged on over the holidays. The first two work days of the week were spent in a conference center with all-day meetings, right in front of me both days: a big pile of chocolate, but milky and dark! Morning and afternoon breaks included muffins, donuts, cinnabuns and such... there was some temptation of course, but all of it was resisted!

My starting stats (i'm 191cm/6'3ft):
92kg (203lb)

After 11 days:
88.5kg (195lb)

Today's meals:
Breakfast - bulletproof coffee
Lunch - went to a restaurant with my wife, buffet-style so I could pick a nice salad and poached cod in a saffron sauce
Dinner - Ham stew with broccoli, zucchini, champignons and golden chantarelles in a heavy cream sauce

How are the rest of you doing on energy? First few days i was feeling quite tired, but now that seems to have passed. In the gym i'm easily 10-20% below where I were before, so not really keto adapted as of yet.

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this journey!

Hi @northener80 - welcome!  Glad you can join us.  I'm on day 13 so we are both newbies.  I can't do sugar in moderation either.  Looking forward to hearing about your progress and new things you discover along the way.

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Re: Keto Challenge
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2018, 05:02:42 AM »
Iím not personally a fan of ďfastsĒ of any kind but some folks see benefit doing short duration fasts of 24-36 hours. Fasts longer than that strike me as dangerous or counterproductive. The research around the benefit of fasting all focuses on short duration day or two fasts, or even just 16/8 intermittent fasting.

@HarbingerofBunnies May I ask what you see as dangerous or counterproductive of extended fasts?  I am genuinely interested in all the data, formal studies or anecdotal, positive or negative on fasting.

I have personally had a good experience with it, meaning that even all the negative effects I experienced were known before going into my fast.  However, I completely understand that every person reacts differently.

Intentionally starving yourself isnít healthy behavior, to my mind. There are known benefits for short duration fasting, but going past 1-2 days strikes me poorly. You go past the dietary reset that a small fast gives you and into your body radically altering metabolism to cope with starvation. I donít have evidence to bring for my opinion.

Lots of cultures have a tradition of fasting regularly throughout the year, usually based around religion, but I canít think of one that has a zero food fast for longer than a day. Usually theyíre all either of the intermittent fast variety or are about fasting from certain things.

Nassim Taleb, no nutritionist of course, had some interesting commentary about the benefits of fasting in Anti-Fragile.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2018, 09:30:58 AM »
Right now I'm naturally eating in a 16/8 fasting pattern. Not intentionally, that's just when I feel hungry.  I've tried to change the pattern by eating breakfast when I'm not hungry and what happens is I just end up skipping lunch because, again, I'm just not hungry.  I do get hungry between 3-7 pm.  And I get hungry for mostly fat and some protein.  If I eat salads, I stay hungry until I eat enough fat and protein, then I feel satisfied. 

I'm thinking of doing a 24 or 36 hour fast at some point, just to see how I do on it.  And I wondered if anyone had experience to share.  I'd still like to hear it if you have it.  Good or bad. 

I did read on Mark Sisson's blog some years ago that men tend to do better on fasts than women, especially younger women of child-bearing age.  I'm probably in perimenopause (50 yrs old); I've only had the occasional hot flash, but age-wise this is when menopause normally starts for many women. 

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2018, 09:40:10 AM »
I'm always down for a Keto challenge. I went from ~380 down to 213 over 14 months many years ago. I kept it off for about 5 years, then became a competitive strongman and gained some weight on purpose, plus some more not on purpose.

This year my goal with keto is to find the right level for me. No carbs and training as hard as i do is a no go. I'm at ~140g of carbs a day right now and still in ketosis, and that's working will. I'll slowly dial it down to 100g a day over the next month and see how that goes.

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2018, 09:46:51 AM »
I'm always down for a Keto challenge. I went from ~380 down to 213 over 14 months many years ago. I kept it off for about 5 years, then became a competitive strongman and gained some weight on purpose, plus some more not on purpose.

This year my goal with keto is to find the right level for me. No carbs and training as hard as i do is a no go. I'm at ~140g of carbs a day right now and still in ketosis, and that's working will. I'll slowly dial it down to 100g a day over the next month and see how that goes.

Dude, how much are you training to be able to stay in keto on 140 g?  And how tall and old are you?  Men def have a metabolic advantage, especially younger men compared to older women (me!) 

Welcome.  I'm glad you can join us.  Would love to hear how you went from 380 to 213 in just over a year.

jane x

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Re: Keto & Low-Carb Challenge
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2018, 09:50:41 AM »
Question for those of you who've been in keto for a while:  Do you drink caffeine?

I've been caffeine-free for a while and this past week I've been craving it.  My energy has been a bit sluggish, I don't think I"m fat-adapted yet.  I have a mug of Lipton brewing right now.  Ideally, I'd like to be caffeine-free, but I also want more energy.  Maybe I can do caffeine till I'm fully fat-adapted and get the energy burst from that....

ETA:  the reason I've been avoiding caffeine is that it messes with my sleep.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 09:57:20 AM by jane x »