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Old 02-21-2013, 07:47 AM   #1
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Skeptical of Ketosis

Someone I know is skeptical about going into ketosis. She understands that it is healthy, but she is not super overweight and just needs to lose some belly fat. She is afraid to stay in ketosis because she is afraid she will turn to binge eating. She also says that "all" of her friends who have been in ketosis and then gone off a low carb eating plan have gained all the weight back and then much more.

I argued, well, 1. look at me--I've been on/off for many years and I've never gained back more than 5-10 lbs and that's from eating poorly in general, so I would have probably gained a lot more had I never gone onto a low carb diet. 2. look at my parents, who have maintained a LC lifestyle for years and are doing great. I also argued that her friends might have gotten fat anyways, regardless of their attempt at a ketogenic diet. But, she's terrified that being in ketosis for a month and then going off of it will make her fat.

How can I convince her otherwise? (I would not try to convince her, but she asked me for help and wanted to do a ketogenic diet, so this is where we're at now)
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:53 AM   #2
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It is easy to get spoiled by the lack of cravings that come from ketosis, and then when you jump off your body wants to overcompensate. I'd argue that probably has less to do with ketosis, and more to do with you indulging in your cravings in large quantities. It's important to make the point that getting out of ketosis on a LC plan isn't a license to eat whatever you want. I've never been to the point where I hit anything like maintenance, so I don't know the feeling, but I'm sure that one of the reasons most of the LC books out there apply a pre-maintenance type of phase is to pull the body out of ketosis slowly without inducing heavy cravings. Hopefully that helps a little.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:56 AM   #3
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Point out that what she says about ketogenic diets are true of *all* diets. Whatever the diet is, if you go whole hog off plan you will gain back and then some.

Unlike other diets, LC is a low inflammation healthy way to live.

Maybe get her Why We Get Fat to read. And Wheat Belly.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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The recidivism rate with obesity and "overweight" (which is an adjective, and it drives me nuts when doctors use it as a noun) is close to 100%. LC does not make you MORE likely to regain when you go off. Instead, it gives you the tools to STOP that gain.

I agree with the Taubes recommendation ("Why We Get Fat"). You know I'm already on-board with LC 100%, and didn't need him to convince me... But reading him last month was an eye-opener, and if anything made me MORE dedicated to this lifestyle.

I think that's another important word: Lifestyle. This is as much a long-term choice as going vegetarian. Most of the people I've seen who succeed embrace it as a lifestyle, rather than a quick-fix diet.

My husband, for example, doesn't need to lose weight. (He needs to get fit, but that's a different matter.) He's not eating in a ketogenic way MOST of the time... But he eats much closer to LC than most Americans, because he knows it's healthier and makes him feel better.

My son is 8. Again, he doesn't need to lose weight... But he eats a very LC diet because when he eats high-carb, he has mood swings and doesn't feel good. (Can you say, "hypoglycemia"? Yeah... he'd lose his flipping mind on me... Then we started cutting back his carbs and upping his fats, and his world's a better place.)

The other thing is that most of those who "fail" on this diet, and then go binge-eat, do it at around Week 3. Ask her how long "all" of her friends were doing it before they quit. I'll bet they hit induction flu, decided it wasn't working for them, and dived into a cake.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:08 AM   #5
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I don't quite understand the situation. If your friend wants to 'try' a ketogenic diet, then being in ketosis is a given. It happens as part of that WOE. If she is worried about regaining lost weight, then that's also practically guaranteed if she thinks she can 'do' the diet and then return to SAD eating.

Does she have a history of binge eating that is causing her concern? If so, studies show that any form of restrictive eating can bring on binge behavior in those with such tendencies.

If she simply wants to lose a little weight, there's nothing magical about either a ketogenic diet or ketosis. People lose weight in a variety of ways and according to various plans. The key is keeping the weight off, and your friend needs to understand that as the true measure of weight loss--maintaining that loss.

It's a given that most people can't eat very differently once they lose the weight, and the high rate of recidivism is due to the common delusion that 'dieting' is a temporary fix, and the person can return to former ways of eating as soon as the desired weight goal is achieved.

So there are a variety of issues for me in the OP beyond the question of ketosis.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:10 AM   #6
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It's very frustrating because she wants to lose her tummy fat and then go back to eating her "healthy" way because she's really "not unhealthy at all." So, she only wants to do it for a month. She really doesn't understand and when I try to give her some scientific explanations, she goes back to, "I don't want to get fat like 'so and so'." Can't help those who won't help themselves! I have strongly recommended that she read several books and blogs, including Taubes. It's frustrating when someone asks you for help and then they don't listen.

My reasoning for helping her is because I am pretty sure that once she starts, and especially if she actually reads any of the references, she will become really into it and learn a lot about how metabolism actually works and she won't want to go back after a month. But you have to put the foot in the door first, so I have been "on board" with her trying it for a month. We just need to break the barrier...
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:22 AM   #7
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I would ask her what her plan B is. If it is "do nothing" is her plan B, I'd support her in that. There's good reason to believe that diets of any kind are counterproductive and leave you worse off than when you began. If she's really not overweight but just has a little pudge on her belly, then maybe she should just learn to live with it.

I might also tell her that she shouldn't start out planning for a month. I can certainly see wanting to try something before committing, but I think she'd be way better off just getting on plan and sticking with it. She will likely just gain the weight back the minute she goes off. But if she tries it and feels good and learns how good it is for her and stays on, that will be a huge boon for her.

Eh, but truthfully, I find her annoying! Don't tell her I said so, though.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:36 AM   #8
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Like other have said. Low Carb is a life style change. Ketosis is Low Carb by definition, but Low Carb WOE dosn't necessarily mean a ketogenic diet.

Couple of other points:

(1) Traditional/High Carb WOE cause "Insulin Resistence" (Metabolic Syndrome) over long periods of time for the majority of people, which result in the syptoms of obesisty, diabetes II, etc.. On the other hand, Low Carb WOE reverses Insulin Resistence and actually makes you "Insulin Sensitive". Naturally, the more insulin sensistive you are, the easier it becomes to put fat back on - - IF - - you start spiking your insulin by eating high carb again.

(2) As Ketosis causes shedding of water weight, there are some phantom lb loss, which naturally comes right back when ketosis is stopped. That may account for some of the percieved weight gain too.

(3) Most people on traditional/high carb WOE will continue to get fatter over time as they age and their metabolism slows and thier insulin resistence builds. So doing "nothing" can just as easily result in being heavier in the future due to the automatic changes in our bodies that take place as we age and continue to fuel our bodies off glucose.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:37 AM   #9
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I don't think you can.

We all create our own reality by what we choose to focus on.
Am I correct in understanding that she has asked for help with a ketogenic diet and then goes on to tell you why she should not do it?
You are so kind to try and help her however, It does not sound to me like she is serious about this WOE.
I think sometimes people just enjoy being on the other side of a argument or discussion.
May I suggest you save the frustration and change the subject.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:08 PM   #10
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I think she puts so many doubts into her mind and she is her own worst enemy! In my opinion, she's not at an unhealthy weight, she could lose a few (15) lbs. However, she *was* obese for a good portion of her life, like 50lbs heavier than she is now, so she can go back there. So she was all for it for like an hour, and then she started getting really self conscious and saying all the typical negative things--"I can't give up carbs! I like rice too much! I like candy too much!" And I said to her, "I used to eat pasta every day, but I did it." And that was when she said that she was afraid she was going to get fat if she went off plan. It's like she's got all of these built in defense mechanisms to deal with her fear, so instead of facing it and getting past it, she argues with me about this nonsense and then she hits a brick wall and does nothing. And the more I say, the more defensive she gets even though to me it is a no-brainer.. I just wish there was something I could tell her or show her really fast to change her mind, but I think she'd probably come up with some other excuse, that's how it usually goes, right?
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:19 PM   #11
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Hmmm... how did she lose and how long did she maintain? I wonder why she doesn't just go back to that.

I think it sounds like she's not ready. I know that each time I have tried to start LC (each of the 400 times I have started, that is), I have either had some horrific wake up call (like seeing the most horrid from the side sitting down with horrible posture picture you could possibly imagine) or himmed and hawwed for a good few days or weeks first. Sometimes I think you actually kind of need that time (though cutting it down would probably be best) to wrap your head around it and prepare and in the meantime look at what you're doing to yourself and build up a little motivation to stop. OTOH, maybe that is just the part of me who'd like to get in a few more days of mashed potatoes and cake. At any rate, though, I don't think you can have any effect on that. She's really got to come around to it, yk?

I think all you can do is be an example. Maybe she will eventually get jealous of your woe.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post
Hmmm... how did she lose and how long did she maintain? I wonder why she doesn't just go back to that.

I think it sounds like she's not ready. I know that each time I have tried to start LC (each of the 400 times I have started, that is), I have either had some horrific wake up call (like seeing the most horrid from the side sitting down with horrible posture picture you could possibly imagine) or himmed and hawwed for a good few days or weeks first. Sometimes I think you actually kind of need that time (though cutting it down would probably be best) to wrap your head around it and prepare and in the meantime look at what you're doing to yourself and build up a little motivation to stop. OTOH, maybe that is just the part of me who'd like to get in a few more days of mashed potatoes and cake. At any rate, though, I don't think you can have any effect on that. She's really got to come around to it, yk?

I think all you can do is be an example. Maybe she will eventually get jealous of your woe.


I agree it sounds like she's not ready. I knew for at least 3 years that I should be eating low carb before I gave it my full effort. I had tried it for a month or so at a time and gave up...and the 10 lbs. I lost each time did come right back. Something clicked inside 3 months ago when my DH was diagnosed with type II diabetes that I needed to do this...and now I can't see any other way.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:46 PM   #13
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I think she is very close to being ready. I hate saying this, but she lost the weight because her now husband wouldn't let her eat anything (ie, he starved her and shamed her into starving). I'm just speculating, but that's what I and others saw. She lost most of the weight while she was breastfeeding her first baby, but then gained a bit back with the second. She says she eats normal healthy meals that are not huge in carbs, but she is mainly vegetarian, and then she binges on candy.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:29 PM   #14
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Oh gosh! That's just awful. I hope it isn't how it actually happened. I did lose a ton of weight in the first nine months after each of my kids were born without any sort of dieting, so nursing could have been a big part of it.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:44 AM   #15
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Please don't give up on her! My son in his 20s had some financial troubles he came to stay with us for s while. He was over weight and I told him about going low carb. He said he could not give up carbs. He was very depressed. I guess he did listen after awhile, and started to ask questions. He has lost 35 pounds and now shows me how to cook low carb. It has changed his life. He looks great and is so happy! ( just a proud mom). Sometimes change is scary, you maybe the only one that can help her. Just keep trying.
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