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Old 08-02-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
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Metabolism Boosting/Plateau smashing? Tips?

Hi All,

So I've been doing this thing since January, in 6 months I've lost about 35lbs. Nearly 90% in the first three months I seem to hang around the same 3lb range for a month then drop a lb or two then hang there for a month, repeat x3.

I understand the weight loss slows but it's not just slowing...my cravings are getting worse and my binge eating is also getting out of control again. I've been reading about set point theory and it really makes sense to me. Every time I diet I seem to lose about 30-40lbs easily and quickly but then I get stuck. I think I've hit the point where my body is fighting back and trying everything to keep me at this weight.

Any tips to reinvigorate my metabolism? Break past this set point/plateau? I'm thinking about joining a gym to start some strength training but I'm still trying to find a place where I can trust the child care and still afford it.

Thanks,
Dawn
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:16 PM   #2
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I've lost around that much in the same time frame and my weight loss is patterned like yours. I have a set time-frame within each month that I lose and it's dictated by my cycle. I have learned not to weigh myself outside of that time period as it just doesn't happen and I get frustrated.

I think from what you've said there are two issues. You want to lose faster and you want your binges/cravings to stop.

The first one isn't something you can change. To be honest, you're losing really well. You just need to reassess your expectations. Don't aim so high that all else is failure and a reason to get discouraged. Easier said that done, I know!

The cravings and binging are something that might be reduced if you lower your carb limit. Is there a specific reason you have your carbs set at 50g? Perhaps lowering them to hit ketosis will help moderate your appetite and cravings. Of course, experiences vary. If you want to give it a shot, try one of the keto calculators for your macros and calorie allowance. Be very strict for three weeks and see how you go.
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:59 PM   #3
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I agree with trying to lower your carb count so you get into ketosis. I've found that I have to write/journal what I'm eating. That way I can see patterns and also determine if I've allowed carbs to creep back into my woe. Also - there may be hidden carbs you're eating.

Good luck - it will work if you stick with it.
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:21 PM   #4
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You have two great answers here. I have asked some questions and found that it is possible that you are at a level of maintence carbs or calories. I agree if you are having cravings that you need to get into a "deeper" state of ketosis. Lower those carbs
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:09 AM   #5
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Low Carb Gal's journal has some pointers about her move into strength training and exercise after long believing herself to be the sort of person who doesn't exercise

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/we...ving-life.html

She's used the women's version of You Are Your Own Gym (YAYOG) (iirc, the women's is Body by You) which can be performed at home and without equipment although she's recently acquired a kettle bell to add to her routine.

You might find some information there that will help you to get started while you're researching gyms and childcare.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:56 AM   #6
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You don't have to worry about being unable to exercise. All the experts agree that exercise is excellent for health, but weight loss depends on what a person eats (or doesn't eat).

Studies show that a 'plateau' at 30-40 lbs lost is not the 'body' fighting back so much as the individual being too 'casual' with food choices. After a while, when we're losing steadily, we unconsciously begin to include more things than are wise--and the scale slows and appetite returns. Both Dr. Atkins and Dr. Eades have written that 'calorie and/or carb creep' was the major issue they found in their patients in clinical practice.

The return of your cravings and "binge eating" indicate that carb creep may be the issue. It is relatively easy to eat too many carbs--and low-carb is the most unforgiving weight loss plans because excess carbs will result in a return of appetite (which you are experiencing), which results in the tendency to eat more than weight loss allows.

In your situation, I'd survey my current eating to try to identify those excess carbs and eliminate them.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:51 PM   #7
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I think I've been where you are many times. Unfortunately for me, it always became so frustrating to me that I gave up -- always at the same weight, 202. I would get there in short order, and then months would seem to go by with no change. But...after about a decade of this cycle, I broke through it this past year.

I agree with the thought that weight loss is 90% + diet, and that exercise does little to that end. That being said, for me exercise is not optional, because it helps me to feel better, and feeling better is what keeps me able to manage my willingness to avoid all the foods I used to eat to make me feel better instead. To me, feeling good is the secret to success in everything, and we often overlook that. I also recommend, therefore, dressing nice, getting massages, seeking out people who make you feel important, stuff like that.

But back to the main idea...you need to consider how much energy you no longer have to use in just lugging that 35 pounds around. Pick up a 35-pound weight and just imagine carrying that with you, all day long, all week long, all month long. You can see how over time your body just isn't using that energy up since you are lighter, so you may have reached a point where it does all even out and there is no more weight loss. Even daily exercise is no match for the calories you are not burning anymore. But all is not lost...

You really have 3 strings to pull in terms of diet - carbs, fats, and proteins. When you pull one string, it has effects on the others. For instance, if you raise your fat, you are likely lowering your carbs and protein. So, all three are interconnected because these 3 things are present in all of your foods, even if not enough to measure on a nutrition label. (Remember, meat has glycogen, just not enough to usually count as 1g carb.)

It sounds like you have taken a fairly moderate approach to LC with the little data that we have (50g carbs). I agree with the idea of lowering your carbs. Based on your increased cravings, this is my suggestion as well. This was the approach that helped me break through that 202 pound plateau. During this time, I ate very little carbs, and really loaded up on fats...tons of steak, butter, balongna...and it got me going again, until it stopped at about 188 pounds. And then....the same kinds of long-term (months) stall without more weight dropping. Lowering your carbs makes so much sense to me because you report cravings - lowered carbs should help that.

Later on, then, I started a different approach, lowering my calories, which meant lowering my fat and increasing my carbs and protein (mostly protein). And now I am moving again...for how long and to what plateau - I am not sure. At that point, I will have to reassess and try something new - or be happy with the weight loss I have achieved.

The point is that you can really adjust your macros (fat, carbs, protein) and find that at different points in your journey you have to take different approaches. For me it never was about counting anything, just making choices that fit into the approach until I was full. When I was breaking that 202 pound barrier, I was choosing fatty stuffy. When I lowered calories, I am having a love affair with chicken instead.

Just some thoughts...I hope it is helpful to somebody. Best of luck to the OP
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:05 PM   #8
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I agree with everyone who has said that eliminating as many carbs as you can for awhile can make all the difference in the world. It has for me.

I lost 65 lbs 3 years ago and was stuck. I was without really being conscious of it, definitely doing the carb sneak. People deal with varying degrees of being carb sensitive. I am extremely carb sensitive. I had to virtually eliminate them to start losing again. I lost 12 lbs in about as many days, now its slowed down to about 3 per week. I'm fine with that.

I've very slowly been adding carbs back in. I just feel better when my diet is as varied as possible, meaning at this time, adding a tiny bit more vegetables. I eat lettuce with homemade diet dressing, mushroom in butter, sautéed spinach and I've had broccoli once. I love it. And like I said, I am still losing at a respectable pace, for me.

I hope to be able to have a few nuts and berries some day, but that's not happening for awhile.

I wouldn't worry too much about exercise right now, unless you really enjoy it and feel the need to do it. Exercise is great, but its true that people are successful losing weight without it. Many add the exercise after they reach their goals.

And congratulations on the 35 loss. I know you want it to be more, but 35 is big!

Oh and what a cute baby you have! Nice picture.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:37 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your responses!

I actually track everything I eat and I've checked my entries for the first three months vs these last 3 months. I completely forgot, I actually started at 60gm and when things started to slow down I dropped down to 50g.

I chose 60g based on results. At 60g per day my blood sugars are normal, I was losing weight and most importantly it was a sustainable level. I've done this a few times already and frankly anything below 40g is just not sustainable for me, so I was hesitant to even go to the 50g. It's more important that I stick with this then that I lose super fast....although now that I'm losing super slow it's hard to keep that in focus LOL!

Spaceace your point about the energy it takes to haul around that extra 35lbs is really resonating with me, thanks! Slowsure Thank you for the link, I'll be sure to give that a read

Again Thank you everyone for your input
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:48 PM   #10
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Hello,
I have been on a 7 month plateau and just this week I finally was able to do it. I had originally tried cutting the carbs to almost 0, thinking that maybe I was suffering from a carb creep. I cut out any dairy and stuck with basically meat and very little veggies. That didn't work. I still wasn't losing weight and was also miserable because I did not get to enjoy the cream in my coffee haha.
This week I tried cutting back on calories. I had taken the advice that some of the members had posted previously. Much to my surprise, calories can and do matter once you have lost a lot of weight. My weight came off very fast in the beginning and slowed down a lot then came to a complete halt even though I was eating the same stuff every day.
This past week I simply tried eating a bit less. I decided to eat until I was satisfied and not completely full. I didn't cut too many calories. For example: instead of having 4 eggs for dinner i opted for 3, instead of my 7 pieces of bacon I cut down to 4.
I have lost a total of 4 pounds in one week.
I hope this helps
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:48 AM   #11
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Congratulations Emily! I also find that calories and carbs matter for me. I need to watch both in order to lose.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:33 PM   #12
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Intermittent fasting, continuing your low-carb lifestyle when it's time to chow down. Or carb cycling. Not carb cycling with a Dunkin Donut in your hand, but maybe a half a green apple, and maybe a few ounces of sweet potato.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:18 PM   #13
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I think it is quite possible I had been consuming way too much protein. However, I was also consuming way too much calories. I think by lowering my calories, or at least just having an awareness of how much I am consuming, then I automatically reduce my protein intake. It is really hard to say if I have started losing again due to calories or less protein.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:04 AM   #14
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I have also been stuck for the past month or so at the same weight. If I saw 138.4 on the scale one more time, I would have screamed! Last week I decided to go very strict and limit my diet to meat only, up my water, up my exercise. This morning I was down to 137.6. I don't count either calories or macros and tend to eat when I'm hungry and forego eating when I'm not. I'm interested in this conversation about gluconeogenesis....I've never heard of anyone surviving with a blood glucose level of "zero", and I think this process is used by the body to maintain a level of blood glucose necessary for life when a person is not consuming sugar in any form. I'm not sure the protein is necessarily converted into an excess amount of glucose, but only enough to maintain a livable level of blood glucose. Of course if you're eating an entire side of beef or a pound of bacon, you may find it difficult to lose weight, but I'm not convinced this is due to gluconeogenisis, more likely excess food in general. I've been doing some pretty intense working out for the past three months and if I wasn't eating enough protein, I'm pretty sure I'd be damaging my muscles instead of building them. Even though I haven't been losing for the past four weeks (until today! yay!) I can definitely see more definition and I've gotten a LOT stronger. Just my two cents.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:46 AM   #15
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I started in January, and dropped 40 pounds very quickly. The next 15 pounds took a little while, but I had lost 55 pounds in less than 4 months. I'm now over 2 months at the same weight, give or take 2-3 pounds. I've been "stuck" for 8+ weeks now. I haven't given up though. I added exercise and weight training. I still feel and look better...even though I know I still need to lose 15-20 more pounds. I think it will eventually happen, I just don't know when.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:03 AM   #16
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Cheeky, I'd still try to cut the carbs and increase the fat a bit . . . as one of your struggles is binging and cravings and the extra fat could help with that.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:51 AM   #17
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I understand not wanting to lower carbs because of sustainability but for me, every time I start to feel cravings, exessive hunger, start overdoing it before bed, and my weight loss stops, the fix has been lowering my carbs.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:36 PM   #18
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I didn't want to touch this part because I wasn't sure I could explain it well enough BUT the cravings/binges I'm having are very different then the kind I get after eating high carb. I don't think craving is the right word for what's happening.

If I eat a donut I will start craving foods, either specific items or whole food groups, like fruit or sweets. This is more like an strong drive to eat until I'm so full I could burst. In trying to stay low carb I think my calories are getting too high (2500-3000). That's why an article I read about set point theory resonated with me. It makes sense to me that now that I've hit the magical 10% weight loss mark, my body might be driving me to eat because it thinks I'm starving.

So I don't think I could keep this up with an across the board drop in carbs but some of you have mentioned Intermittent fasting and carb cycling. I also read some of LoCarbGal's journal, so I think I'm going to try maybe some kind of JUDDD + Low Carb. I guess that would be a type of carb cycling. Maybe if I'm doing Down days I could make that a fat fast day.

You've all definitely given me some things to think about and my library card is going to get a good work out tomorrow! haha

Thank you all!
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:23 PM   #19
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I understand not wanting to lower carbs because of sustainability but for me, every time I start to feel cravings, exessive hunger, start overdoing it before bed, and my weight loss stops, the fix has been lowering my carbs.
The only thing that has ever, in any circumstances, helped me to resist temptation of indulging in extra calories when I shouldn't is intermittent fasting. I have to limit my window of eating. My optimal eating window is about 5-9 or so. You might want to try it for a day or two to see if it gives you the willpower that seems to appear out of nowhere like it does for me. Not sure if it's the effect on my blood sugar, other hormones, food addict tendencies, or just what the mechanism is...but it works for me.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:29 PM   #20
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Going down to ketogenic levels of carb consumption, reduces appetite in general, for most people. It's not necessarily a craving for a specific food/type of food that is reduced, although carbs become less appealing. That's why people have suggested that it might help with the overeating.

Having said that, can you give us some idea what your fat and protein targets/macros are? If you're really hungry, I wonder if your fat consumption is a bit on the low side. It's easy to overeat protein because you're hungry and want something substantial but it's fat that gives energy and reduces appetite on low carb.

If you don't have macros/targets, can you tell us what you want/intend to eat and what you're (over)eating now? It might give us better insight to help.

The only other thing I could think of is that it's some kind of nutritional deficiency. A doctor's trip and a blood test might help with that.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:50 PM   #21
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I track everything I eat but I don't really pay attention to all the numbers. I have noticed though, thanks to a handy little chart at the bottom of my food logs, that I average 65 to 70% fat with the rest evenly split between protein and carbs. Not sure if that's good, should the protein be higher?

I'd rather not get into what I'm eating specifically because there is a lot of back and forth on these forums about what is too much or too little of things and things can get out of hand. I know from previous attempts where I did track my blood sugars, that I tolerate grains like Wasa crackers far better then fruit, even berries. I know that's not true for everyone. I've been trying eliminating things which may cause a stall but so far nothing seems to be the issue....I've tried eliminating diet soda, nuts, cheese, and my protein bars have malitol in them so I went without them for a few weeks. I also gave up cheesecake muffins months ago...thinking about bringing those back LOL MMmmm

As far as nutritional deficiencies....I take a large dose of Vit D for that reason as well as a supplement for B12. Beyond that my Doctor doesn't see any reason to test for anything else as she thinks I'd have more symptoms if I were deficient in any of the major vitamins/minerals. I'm not sure I agree but I wouldn't know what else to test and insurance won't pay for us to test everything without cause. She said if I wanted to dig that deep I'd probably be better of with someone in holistic medicine as that's not her field of expertise. I've had my thyroid tested and my current medication seems to have that under control, so that shouldn't be causing an issue either.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:45 AM   #22
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Dawn, without sounding like a nag, I would still highly recommend the Atkins' fat fast. It is 3 days of being absolutely rigid about your food consumption but it may well get you were you want to be. Just saying....
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:39 PM   #23
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The only thing that has ever, in any circumstances, helped me to resist temptation of indulging in extra calories when I shouldn't is intermittent fasting. I have to limit my window of eating. My optimal eating window is about 5-9 or so. You might want to try it for a day or two to see if it gives you the willpower that seems to appear out of nowhere like it does for me. Not sure if it's the effect on my blood sugar, other hormones, food addict tendencies, or just what the mechanism is...but it works for me.
Thanks Skinny Train. I am trying it now, with some BPC to sustain me. I will let you know how it goes!
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:00 PM   #24
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I agree with the suggestion to fat fast - it is a great way to reset your body, get back in ketosis. A 3 day fat fast should cut down on cravings.

It sounds much more intimidating than it is - you just buckle down and do it. Not fun, but entirely doable. I have been fat fasting about a day a week to recalibrate my ketone levels.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:30 PM   #25
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Ok so I'm trying to get a plan together for a fat fast starting on Monday..might as well do something good while I'm reading up on other things. If Monday goes well I'll try to go another day or two. As a fat fast "virgin" I'm probably making this a bigger commotion then it needs to be but I figure being over prepared can only help.

I'd start right now but we'll be traveling and then I need Sunday to put everything together. I want to make this as automatic as possible, so I just grab what I need and get out of the kitchen

Here's what I've got for meal ideas...

Breakfasts
Coffee with Heavy cream (can I use Torani syrups here?)
1oz pork sausage with 1 egg scrambled in the grease

Snacks
1oz macadamia nuts
1/4 cup heavy cream in 12oz diet root beer
Whipped cream flavored with either SF Jell-O or cocoa and sweetener
3 Almond Joy fat Bombs (168 cals/90%)

Lunch/Dinner
1oz chicken with 2tsp mayonnaise
Cream cheese or peanut butter in a celery stalk
Pepperoni and green olives? (180 cal/86%)? Good enough?

I think I'm good for breakfasts and snacks but lunch/dinner I'm blanking. I can't eat tuna, hard boiled eggs or avocado which seem to be popular choices. Any other ideas?
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:48 AM   #26
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I think fat fasts are great and I think easing into your first one is a good idea - and if Monday is a better controlled day, then do it. I was intimidated my first time - now, I just bite the bullet, drink BPC, maybe 1 egg with mayo and buffalo sauce and macadamia nuts - I keep macadamias bagged in 1 oz servings for fat fasts. I do a fat fast 1 day/week.

Shirataki noodles with cream cheese, butter, garlic and mushrooms
Easy fat bomb - 1 T. CO, 1 T. butter, 1 T. Chocolate PB2 - I melt it a bit and then portion it out into 3 cupcake liners and chill in the refrigerator for 3 little candies.

Fat fasts are not fun - but, the results are great.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:42 AM   #27
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I vote for IF and a ff. IF'ing will teach you that you WILL NOT die from not eating. It just may also teach you to recognize your hunger/full signals. It was not until I started to IF that I truly learned what the full signal they tell you about was. It was an ahha moment for me and I had lc'd for many years by the time I began eating that way and really experienced the feeling. I just ate slowly when it was time to eat and like magic I felt the full feeling! Now if I am not done with my plate I put it on the side and if I feel hungry before bed I eat what's left on my plate. The ff will teach you that you do not need buckets of food to feel full (not saying you eat buckets of food lol just an expression I'm using) Good luck and one more naggie thing, sorry. You may also want to try eating 'clean.'
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:23 AM   #28
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For me, I have to eat a lot more. I have to have fresh veggies at least once per day. One ounce of meat would never keep me satisfied as I need at least 3 oz. per meal.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:13 PM   #29
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Okay...our bodies do need fat, and the good, healthy kind...but I have to ask, whyif an overweight person, who is in ketosis, needs to keep putting any kind of fat in their bodies? I mean, if the body is using the fat for fuel, and is keto adapted, what is the purpose of the addtional fat? Wouldn't that stop the fat burn from the body and go for the fat burn from the food your throwing in? Just asking. Wouldn't the addition of food fat stop them from burning their body fat? So why would someone want to add fat if they stop losing? Would't they want to drop calories and fat? Again, just wondering...I only know what works for me, can't speak for anyone else.
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:09 AM   #30
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You need to get your calories from somewhere . . . . if you are keeping carbs very low, and eating just enough protein to maintain lean body mass, then you meet the remainder of caloric needs from fat. Sometimes our bodies consume dietary fat and sometimes body fat . . .

That's my understanding.
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