Keto/Low carb diet. is it working?
Weight: 59 kg (total weight loss of 10 kg. it has been a LONG process)
Body Fat: ~12 kilos (trying so hard to reduce this!!)
Training: religiously (5-6 days a week for almost 14 months) where; 3 days is weights and 2-3 days is cardio. (my 6th day is usually an outdoor jog, tennis, skateboarding or rollerblading... just to stay active but have fun with friends at the same time)
Goal: 57kg with a body fat of <10kg
My Diet Routine:
I have just completed my second week of the keto/low carb diet.
Week 1: I was doing keto where i was getting max 20g of carbs from veggies only and was having a VERY low food intake of 1300 calories.
By the time week 1 came to an end, I was so tired and literally had no energy to do anything. I was constantly dizzy and I couldn't lift or do anything I was normally able to do at the gym. I knew it was because of my very low carb intake. (20grams of carbs which equalled to 5% of total calories for the day, and fat came to about 70% and protein was about 23-25%)
Week 2: I did some research and found that the max carbs to be eaten on a low-carb diet was 50g MAX, so in my second week I upped carbs to just that. I was better at the gym, but for 2 days (tuesday morning through to wednesday evening i had SEVERE migraines and I was bed ridden).
Cheat Day/Carb-Up Day: Because I had increased my carbs by 30g in week 2, I thought I'd skip carb-up/cheat day, and I had also read that when first starting ketosis, carb-up/cheat days should only start after the second week as it takes the body 2 weeks to enter the stage of ketosis.
So, my carb up day starts tomorrow but I just couldn't control myself and had some pasta just an hour ago (it's 8pm where I am). I don't really feel guilty about it as I know people carb-up/cheat for 24-48 hours, and I am a regular trainer/clean eater. But I did find this odd as I never crave carbs and have always been strong. Maybe it's because I went 2 weeks without carbs and I had never been so long without them previously?
1. Previously when I did my 12 week low-carb diet, my trainer told me that on my cheat day I could eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING I wanted, but I have been doing a lot of research and everyone has their own opinions on this. Some say to do this, and others say that if you do do that, it'll just set you back further from your goals. What do I do? I have a VERY sweet tooth and crave sweets throughout the week and I always look forward to weekends to eat them. This is what used to keep me sane and strong. Am I supposed to just eat clean carbs or can I still have ice cream????
2. Should I go carb-less for 2 weeks or just 1?
3. I keep reading that when on low carb diets constipation is a common occurrence. Is it? I used to have such a fast metabolism where I would go 2-3 times a day but now I'm struggling to go once. I do pee like every hour or so. (Ps. I do drink 4L+ water a day)
4. Is gas normal?... Because I have a lot of it!
1. I can function quite well at around 50g of carbs (once over carb flu). I recommend eat as clean as possible. You can get some urine test strips so you know when you are in keto.
2. Some can function well at 50g or less for a long time. It took me 2 week just to get over the low carb flu. For me (46y male) I can sustain at 50-75g carbs indef. but I also intermittent fast most days with a 16hfast/8h feed window. So I'm in and out of keto nearly daily. Lots of low carb woman on MDA, look there.
3. I became more regular, once a day, every day, less IBS-ish when eating primal/paleo. When I first started I ate mostly meat and fat and not much veg. Now I eat the opposite, mostly foraging less hunting and 1or2 BMs most days.
I have read that when first starting low carb that as you burn off the glycogen in the muscle and the water that its stored with causes the extra urine. This should even out once fat adapted. Also be mindful to sea salt your food liberally. No processed food = low salt. Tiredness is a symptom of low potassium/sodium/water imbalance.
4. Gas is common as the digestive track gets used a new diet. Try a probiotic and add some fermented food. no beans ...right?
If you must carb re-feed sweet potatoes are fairly low GI. Try to hold out till fat adapted. Also cut back on the high HR aerobic exercise and heavy lifting. Try light jog or long walks till fat adapted then gradually add intensity (and carbs if needed).
80% + cacao dark chocolate can offer a nice boost to mood and energy.
marks daily apple
Mark's Daily Apple
A few observations:
1. Your 70%+ fat intake is good. Most people try to limit fat intake and make this "low fat" and end up feeling exhausted.
2. You shouldn't try to work out in the first two weeks. You already have, so there's no damage done, but really, you're feeling tired because your liver hasn't learned to produce ketones fast enough yet. Give it time.
3. Carb up days? 48 hours? What? It's like a smoker having just one pack a week on Saturdays. Skip the cheat days and you'll feel much healthier. Trust me. The only people I've heard of doing this with a real reason for it are bodybuilders.
4. Your migraines are dehydration. Eat a pinch of salt with a tall glass of water, and you'll feel better in 15 minutes.
5. I don't know where you got the 50g max number. You eat enough to stay in ketosis, period. The only reason it starts at 20g is because practically everyone will go into ketosis at 20g. Then you work your way up, testing your tolerance with ketosticks.
1. Am I supposed to just eat clean carbs or can I still have ice cream????
You can make your own ice cream with splenda and cream. But the false sweetness will trigger cravings the next day.
Try refraining from sweet things for a month cold turkey, then allow yourself a cheat day... and you'll see how sugar really is an addiction.
It takes a LOT more willpower to have cheat days than not. Plain old low carb is a breeze. The food is awesome and there are no withdrawal cravings.
2. Should I go carb-less for 2 weeks or just 1?
I don't understand this question. I hope you're not going carbless at all. If you're asking about cheat days, I'd suggest every 4 weeks or none.
3. I keep reading that when on low carb diets constipation is a common occurrence. Is it?
Sometimes. Take magnesium (you are taking a multivitamin, aren't you?) and eat plenty of fat.
4. Is gas normal?... Because I have a lot of it!
I never had gas. It could be the fibrous vegetables, if you're not used to them. Especially gassy ones like cabbage.
Are you eating a lot of junk food with artificial sweeteners? They can really muck up your digestion. Note that any sort of processed thing on this diet (shakes, bars, cured deli meat, etc) is only low carb on the label. You might as well be eating Cheetos. Go for healthy whole foods like salads, steaks, veggies.
Overall it sounds like you know what you're doing, but I'm just going back over the basics in case there's something you missed. I wish you tons of luck!
From what I read you will not be burning ketones (which you want to do) if you carb up every so often. It will set you back.
When you get though your first 2 weeks, your strength and energy will come back.
I take magnesium and never have a problem with constipation.
I was a real sweet tooth type also but now 1 square of Lindt 85% chocolate is my fav dessert and is very low carb.
I am just starting Atkins and am keeping my carbs to 20 gr. per day. This morning I was down 3 lbs., so that is exciting for me. I need to shed 130 lbs., so I have a very long way to go. Normally I do not struggle with getting enough water in each day, but it is so dang cold that I find that I want to avoid drinking as much. Today I am going to warm some water on the stove (not the microwave) and see if that helps me drink more. I have never been a person who has enjoyed salads, so this is another challenge for me. I am committed to changing my eating habits though and will do whatever it takes to be successful. I am hoping that I will learn to LOVE veggies.
The diet is working for me and I feel great!
I started about 10 days ago at 284 lbs and the scale is 274 according to the doctor's office. I lost a lot of weight quick--probably because I also already weigh a lot.
I've been using ketone strips to check if I am in ketosis as of a few days ago and the strips turn as dark as possible. I also checked my fasting glucose as something extra since I am epileptic and I hear a ketogenic diet may help with my seizure threshold, it ranges from 60-75... except today when I started taking the temporary 12 day steroid, prednisone for some other problem unrelated. Unfortunately, that effects glucose and I hope I don't get knocked out of ketosis.
I've been keeping my calories between 1500 to 500. I've lost my hunger with this diet so I've had to force myself to eat something healthy. I also use the atkins shakes and have replaced dinner a few times with their frozen dinners. My calories are very low the days I do that. They're a great alternative when you're on the go.
My goal is to get under 200 lbs--199 right now. I definitely see it possible and also see the health benefits for me. Reduced seizures when meds aren't working, insulin levels normalizing so I do not become diabetic, and not extremely overweight.
I highly suggest the ketone strips in the diabetic secton of the pharmacies. Also, I did a 24 hour detox on this diet with only drinking water and my medicine. I started at 6pm and didn't eat until the next day at 6pm. It really helped jump start me into ketosis. I followed this based on John Hopkins' procedure for epileptics, for following the ketogenic diet. I will admit, I felt horrible the first 2 days. Had no energy, had headaches... I was told by a neurologist and professor who specializes in the ketogenic diet for cancer research and epilepsy at Boston University that this would be normal. He specifically told me to monitor my glucose because of my disability and to keep it within the range of 60 and 75. That may seem low, but I am eating enough food and it automatically gets that low. I stay under 20 carbs a day. :-) BTW, he wrote a great book: Cancer, the Metabolic Disease. Talking about changing our diet to treat Cancer and examples, research..etc. Apparently, he believes and some others involved with him that cancer cannot grow without glucose due to its abnormality--they believe but are not sure of that specific reason. So, when the brain is operating of Ketones, the cancer cells are not receiving energy. Eventually the cancer stops growing and starts shrinking. Then at that point one might be able to remove the tumor when its controlled. Isn't that interesting? This diet has some evidence of helping with cancer, epilepsy, blood pressure.... and who knows what else that we have yet to discover! Amazing!
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