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Old 05-11-2013, 04:28 PM   #1
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Help switching from Stillmans to NK?

I have already posted this on the NK board, but figured I would also post here, as there's more traffic in the ML. TIA for any help you guys can give me.

I have been reading up on NK with interest, and am very interested in the NK woe. I have been doing Stillmans since the 1st of April (more strictly at first, but not as much now...still keeping carbs low, but have increased my fats from what they were.) I'm finding it very hard to maintain the strict eating style of Stillmans for so long.

My calories have been low, and even though I try to alternate them high-low (think: JUDDD), it's a struggle. It's just hard to eat enough calories when trying to eat so little fat. For example, this past week, I only cracked 1000 calories twice, the week before, only once, the week before that, twice. And, though I am getting some alternating, I'm afraid I'm just not eating enough. Add that to the fact that my weight losses have slowed considerably from what they were at the beginning of April, and I'm just not sure I can keep up Stillmans much (any?) longer.

Fast forward to today...I'm concerned with switching between two such drastically different plans. I'm not sure if I can just go from one to the other in a day? I'd like to just jump right into NK, but I'm worried about what my body is going to think about that. I don't want to make myself sick, or pack on pounds up front (could that happen?), but I'm just kinda done with Stillmans and feel like I need to move on.

So, I'm looking for thoughts from any NK vets. Do I just jump right in...?
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:31 PM   #2
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I would recommend starting ASAP and don't freak out if you see the scale go up a bit. It might be better to just skip the scales for a bit until you get adjusted. NK has been the best thing for me. I don't feel deprived all of the time and I don't stay hungry. Also, IMHO, calories still count, so I wouldn't recommend going too crazy on the fat. It adds up pretty quickly.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:36 PM   #3
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What's NK?
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:36 AM   #4
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I would think the hardest part would be dialing back the protein to NK (Nutritional Ketosis) levels. How many grams are you eating now?

Adding fat may add some additional problems as your "digestive constitution" adjusts to the different macros.

Maybe you should replace some protein with LC veggies, add fattier meats, and add fat grams and decrease protein grams over a few days.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:31 AM   #5
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No expert on NK, but it seems you would be jumping from low fat to high fat pretty fast. And it also seems you're struggling w/the "strictness" of the Stillman diet. NK may feel equally strict to you on the other side.

Perhaps you could just do a standard Atkins induction period of two weeks or so? This would allow you to up your fat intake more gently and w/more food choices and maybe be a good bridge to NK?
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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The strictness with Stillmans comes mainly from the boredom factor. Plain chicken breast (even the rotisserie, which I like), plain eggs, boiled shrimp, plain turkey burgers, plain fish...all without any kind of mayo-based/dressing-type condiment and super-limited on the cheese. I don't really care for mustard, but have been using some (Jack Daniel's brand), just to add some flavor.

I've done Induction before, the last time I barely saw any progress, and I was on-plan the whole time. I can stick with it, as long as I can enjoy my food.

I do appreciate the suggestions, though. I probably should do a couple of days of "in-between" to transition between basically low-fat to high fat. As it turns out, we went out for breakfast this morning for Mother's Day, and I had an omelet with cheese, ham, and onions, covered in hollandaise sauce, along with a coffee with a couple of those restaurant half & half creamers. It actually put my percentages right in line with NK (Nutritional Ketosis, for someone who asked), and I didn't feel sick to my stomach at all. I may just stick with this...
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:17 PM   #7
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I think there's a good chance you'll be fine. I was gonna say, maybe start of friday if you work mon through friday, but I think there's a 95% chance you won't be running to the bathroom or anything like that. lol I hope you love NK. I have felt really great on it and I'd say its the first time I have thought that I could do this one for life. I've been doing it solidly since January with a few failed attempts (bc I didn't know that it had a name or that other people were doing it until january, and I needed some advice) before that, including one that I lost 40 pounds with.

I also do not lose on straight up Atkins. I did it four about for years bc it was wonderful for my blood sugar. I lost something like 6 or 9 pounds in the first two weeks which I'm sure was 95% water and then slowly gained that back plus another few pounds over those years. I did induction for a long time in the beginning and then went up to 35 g per day since I wasn't losing. But NK has been a totally different story for me.

I do have the same problem that you've had with calories, though, like it's hard to eat a lot of them. I come in most days between 900 and 1300, usually on the lower end, though, like under 1100. But I have been losing okay, not super fast, but in the last month I've lost 8 pounds or more (hard to say exactly, bc if you count the FOUR pounds I've lost since yesterday, that's 12 , but I've been fasting the last 40-some hours, so I think 3.5 of that will be back once I eat.). I have had slower months of like 4 pounds, too, though. So, it could be that I'd lose faster if I was eating more. But I have such a hard time losing that I feel like if its working for me and I feel good and happy doing it, I can muster up the patience.

I hope it works for you! Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:51 PM   #8
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What's NK?
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:36 PM   #9
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There's a Nutritional Ketosis forum here: Nutritional Ketosis

It has a Basics of Nutritional Ketosis thread which is a good place to get started.

Basically, when you're getting your energy from fat instead of carbs, you'll have ketones in your blood. If your ketones are in a certain range, you'll burn fat faster than if they're lower. So you concentrate on keeping your ketones in that range.

Being strict about carbs is part of it, but some people find that they need to count protein grams, too.

I got interested after reading this article by Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt (he's a Swedish MD with a low-carb blog): Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

When I saw he'd lost ten pounds in two months, despite starting at a normal weight, I decided to give it a try myself.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #10
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I had a bad experience starting NK suddenly. I was on that forum (and they are so supportive and wonderful over there, by the way) but I started to have lightheadedness, palpitations, extreme fatigue. The palpitations really scared me. I was not certain that it was because of NK (other health issues may have been at play) but it was enough to scare me off NK (really missed my NK forum buddies though!).

I did Perfect Health Diet for awhile after that and felt good on that, but I just cannot tolerate so much carb. I can't keep to limited qualities of "safe starch" and I was gaining weight.

Now I'm back on low carb. I read that book Why We Get Fat (Gary Taubes) and highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it (I have never heard of Stillmans, but from what I can tell I suspect that Taubes would say it's not an optimal plan..., and Taubes has evaluated the research and is very convincing).

At this point I have set my carbs at 70g and protein at 90-100g (out of a total of 1800 calories) and I am tracking everything (I can't keep on track unless I track!). This is just sort of a maintenance/starting out plan. That level of carbs/protein is way, way too high for nutritional ketosis, but it is much lower carb than I had been eating. I'm already losing water weight and feeling less hungry between meals and feeling more energetic.

From here my plan is to first tweak carbs down, then tweak protein down until I start losing. I am starting to drink broth to keep sodium up and once I get down to 50g of carb I will be more religious about that (as that is very important for very low carb). If I start having any palpitations or lightheadedness like before, I will stop and maintain for awhile before continuing.

I know many people advocate going cold turkey and I don't want to suggest that that is not a good option for some people. I just wanted to let you know that some do prefer a slower approach, which can also work. The "low-carb flu" as they call it can be very difficult for some people, even if they keep their sodium up. Honestly, what I experienced when I started NK suddenly put me out of commission for quite awhile. As I mentioned, I'm not positive it was that. But even so, there is no way I will cold turkey onto that again!
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:58 AM   #11
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Oh hey, I noticed from your photo that you have two boys--me too! I think that's one reason the slow approach is best for me--I can't afford to be out of commission for any reason!
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