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Old 01-18-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
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NK and Maintenance

I am less then 10 lbs away from my goal and I'm starting to try and think of ways to maintain. Since my loss has been in bursts I've never really tried to add carbs on a regular basis and I try to eat under 30 and usually under 20 daily. So I'm curious for those of you that have hit your goal how are you using NK to maintain?

Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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well I am trying to find my "carb tolerance" level. Meaning that I need to know how many carbs a day i can get away with, without over-eating. I already know that i need to be on a LC and HF diet, but I don't know exactly how many carbs and what type of foods I can get away with eating. So I am still in NK until I can figure this out. I am pretty new to maintaining, so far I think I am pretty carb sensitive, because it doesn't take much for me to dream about raiding our carb cupboard, or licking the inside of the food processor after making sunflower seed butter. I am also a bit confused about my optimal level of protein. I am a former exercise junkie so I think I have totally destroyed my metabolism over the years. I am probably going to have to work harder than the average person to maintain my weight.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:49 PM   #3
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Hi Jen! I use a blood ketone meter to test my limits on carbs and protein to make sure that I stay in ketosis. It's an ongoing experiment so I like having the ketone measurement along with my weight to track my progress.

What I've learned is that my thresholds for both protein and carbs are lower than I'd really like them to be.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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Punkin: Yeah I should do that it's just going to be a long process since I tend to lose only right after my TOM. Other than that it's stallville. I'm incredibly carb sensitive too I think. Over the holidays I had some tomatoes and onions in fajitas. My glucose was like 15-20 pts higher the next morning. I like to workout too but I don't do much cardio since I'm hypothyroid too. The protein part sort of confuses me too a bit but hopefully once I get my new test strips I can get that part nailed down pretty quickly. I also wonder if the timing of the protein matters.

Kristn: Congrats on an even lower weight! Yeah I had hoped I could maintain with a very moderate primal approach but I don't think I'm going to be able to do that. Nk sure helped me get this low though so I hope I'll be happy when I hit my goal. I carry my weight in my abs so it's hard to find a balance you know?
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Zyllah View Post
Punkin: Yeah I should do that it's just going to be a long process since I tend to lose only right after my TOM. Other than that it's stallville. I'm incredibly carb sensitive too I think. Over the holidays I had some tomatoes and onions in fajitas. My glucose was like 15-20 pts higher the next morning. I like to workout too but I don't do much cardio since I'm hypothyroid too. The protein part sort of confuses me too a bit but hopefully once I get my new test strips I can get that part nailed down pretty quickly. I also wonder if the timing of the protein matters.
I was listening to a Jimmy Moore podcast that I cannot remember the title of off hand, but the doc said that TOM was highly inflammatory for a woman's body and that was probably the reason for this common calendar stall for you all. Seems like the doc was thinking that if you could minimize inflammatory food in your diet particularly at that time you could minimize the effects of the monthly cycle. I'll try to find that podcast and post the title of it for you.

You might be able to figure out the protein thing with regular glucose strips because excess protein is converted to sugar so it should be a more direct measure than ketone strips.

I do not think there have been any clinical studies on timing protein consumption. However, Jimmy Moore did a podcast with a protein expert and that guy was adamant that it should be evenly divided over the course of the day. Dr. Phinney, on another podcast, when asked by JM about that very thing, said (paraphrased heavily) that it was a reasonable strategy to spread out protein intake throughout the day.

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Old 01-28-2013, 03:48 AM   #6
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I think you're right about it being inflammatory. I have noticed an improvement on symptoms since coming back to low carb. I'm also trying to space it throughout the day. Fortunately I've adjusted to where 3-5 oz feels like a meal. It's so odd to me though that I lost most of my weight not limiting protein at all. Thanks
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:20 AM   #7
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Does anyone have any suggestions on maintainance? I'm 20lbs from goal, but wondering how things should change. Can't imagine even getting to goal!
Do I reduce calories? Increase them? Go up on carbs? Biggest question, do I try to stay in ketosis?
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by elleng View Post
Does anyone have any suggestions on maintainance? I'm 20lbs from goal, but wondering how things should change. Can't imagine even getting to goal!
Do I reduce calories? Increase them? Go up on carbs? Biggest question, do I try to stay in ketosis?
Have you read the Art & Science of Low Carb Living? Phinney & Volek's recommendation is to increase carbs to a level that does not cause weight gain, then up the fat to make up the rest of calories needed for maintenance.

Dr. Phinney has stated in interviews that he has been in ketosis for years. I don't know if it's necessary, especially if you can tolerate a higher carb level, but it doesn't seem to be harmful long-term.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elleng View Post
Does anyone have any suggestions on maintainance? I'm 20lbs from goal, but wondering how things should change. Can't imagine even getting to goal!
Do I reduce calories? Increase them? Go up on carbs? Biggest question, do I try to stay in ketosis?
I'm struggling with this right now too... I'm not at goal yet, but I'm a pound from my first goal and pretty close to my second one. Right now I'm not sure if I'm going to consider 150 my GOAL and then take the 140-145 goal as pre-maintenance or what. But I'm kind of scared of maintenance after seeing how badly it turns out for a lot of people. That seems to be where most people fail is in maintenance... not in the weight loss portion of things.

I liked the advice Darin gave me... have a goal in mind after you're done with your weight loss goal. Maybe it'll be inches? Maybe you want to lose a couple more inches off your waist or your arms or your thighs? Maybe it'll be fitness... maybe you'll want to be able to do a mile in a certain amount of time, or be able to do so many reps on a favorite exercise.

Just HAVE a goal. Because Darin was right... when you're in weight loss mode, you're SO determined to see that goal number that it's a focus for you. And once people get there, I think they sort of have one of those, "What now?" moments, and they lose that focus. When you don't feel like you have a focus or a purpose to what you're doing, I think it's easier to get lost. Never stop feeling DRIVEN. That's great advice

As far as maintenance goes though from a food perspective... I think it's important to realize where others fail too, to learn from their mistakes. Granted what's a mistake for one person may NOT be a huge mistake for someone else, but if we're aware of what snags other people along the way I think we'll be in a much better position to maintain.

The biggest thing I've realized is that people tend to add in foods that they probably never should have again. Some people when they hit maintenance think, "Oh, well I can probably have ONE slice of bread. That won't hurt, right? After all, I'm not trying to LOSE weight anymore." Or maybe it's rice, or maybe it's noodles... or maybe it's even fruit or candy for those with a sweet tooth that can't be controlled. But one way or another if those trigger foods find their way back in, so will the pounds. Carb creep is an evil thing too, but those foods are even MORE sinister

What I plan on doing is taking maintenance SLOW. I'm not going to wake up one day, weigh myself, celebrate, and then have a free for all trying out everything I possibly can to see if I gain weight... because I guarantee at that point I WILL GAIN WEIGHT I plan on taking a look at what smart and HEALTHY foods I've cut out since starting NK, and taking one or two items a week max... and just trying them to see what happens. I'm still scared to do that because of the potential consequences of what'll happen if I can't handle the foods (not the weight gain potential, but the cravings coming back and the overeating potential) but I figure if it's done slowly enough I should be able to recover if I do have a bad reaction to something, and if I do I'll know EXACTLY what food caused it... and that food will be put on my permanent ban list pretty much, and I'll just have to accept it

For instance... I think my first add-in when I hit maintenance will be beans. I LOVE beans, but haven't had a single one since starting LC. I won't overdo it. I'm going to have a very small portion of them along with other foods that I would normally eat in a meal, and then see what happens. If I don't get cravings from them, and I don't seem to be shaky or abnormally hungry... I'll wait a day or two and see where the scale goes. If the scale doesn't seem to react to the beans, I'll count them as something I can have in small quantities on occasion instead of a perma-banned food

So for me, carbs will definitely go up a little (though I'm only at around 10 total per day lately so that won't be hard to do ), protein will go up sometimes as well just because I'm eating so close to the bottom of my numbers lately because that's where I lose best, and calories will certainly go up. My fat MAY go down as a result of that, but not much. Right now I'm struggling to determine just where my calories should be for maintenance because I am so metabolically screwed up... but I guess that'll be a trial and error sort of thing!

Just as a general thought though, this is a very general sort of idea of what I'm doing with mine I think:

Foods NEVER Allowed Back In: breads, wheat products of any kind, noodles (non-shirataki/sea tangle of course), gluten products, processed foods, sugary sweets, PROBABLY rice even in small quantities unfortunately

Foods I'm going to TRY Allowing Back In: beans, corn in small quantities, more veggies in general instead of tiny portions, some fruits in small quantities, almond flour/flax for baking, aspartame sweetened things (it stalled me before), LC protein bars in a pinch (same, made me stall before)
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:41 AM   #10
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Melanie--Being so close and yet so far from goal is why I'm starting to think about it. Actually, PANIC!! I worked so hard to get here, I don't want to gain anything back. I"m really scared I'm going to screw this up. I did maintain my weight for almost a yr (stalled really) so I guess a good start would be looking at those numbers. I didn't realize that I could stay in ketosis long term. Like you, there are so many foods I would never allow back in, but I am looking to have some fruit!!! I actually enjoyed flax and almond meal muffins, but have stayed away from them when I started NK since fiber isn't subtracted from count. I guess I'll have to play and relax-just a little and up my protein and carbs and still keep fat at higher percentages.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:04 PM   #11
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For maintenance you will be able to increase your calories to expenditure levels. There are three macros to tweek. It will depend on your goals.

Do you miss carbs? - try adding some back
Do you need the benefits of being keto-adapted, for sports etc? - add fat
Are you at the low end of your protein requirements? try adding some back



I want the benefits of ketosis and keto-adaptation AND I MISS MY BEEF, so increasing protein will be my first change. If that knocks me out of ketosis, I will have to reconsider and add fat instead.

Being in NK helps so much with hunger, I really don't want to lose that, even in maintenance.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:16 PM   #12
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For maintenance you will be able to increase your calories to expenditure levels. There are three macros to tweek. It will depend on your goals.

Do you miss carbs? - try adding some back
Do you need the benefits of being keto-adapted, for sports etc? - add fat
Are you at the low end of your protein requirements? try adding some back



I want the benefits of ketosis and keto-adaptation AND I MISS MY BEEF, so increasing protein will be my first change. If that knocks me out of ketosis, I will have to reconsider and add fat instead.

Being in NK helps so much with hunger, I really don't want to lose that, even in maintenance.
Did you stop eating beef to lower your protein intake? I would rather increase protein than carbs when I get to maintenance too.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:30 PM   #13
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And ounce for ounce, chicken has more protein than beef. I lose better with beef and pork than chicken and fish.

The podcast is #23, and it's with Dr. Phinney, entitled something like "ask the low carb experts: long term stalls," or similar. Easy to google. He does talk about TOM being inflammatory, and also peri-menopause.

I plan to stay in ketosis when I get to goal. I believe it's best for me, especially with some of my auto-immune diseases, to take advantage of the anti-inflammatory nature of a good ketogenic diet for life.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:39 PM   #14
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No, I didn't stop eating beef. I used to eat about 3x as much meat in general. Smaller portions of pork and chicken are tolerable.

I just love my beef and these puny, little, NK style portions are killing me. It's just not right when my nice juicy steak is now three meals.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:54 PM   #15
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No, I didn't stop eating beef. I used to eat about 3x as much meat in general. Smaller portions of pork and chicken are tolerable.

I just love my beef and these puny, little, NK style portions are killing me. It's just not right when my nice juicy steak is now three meals.
See, with me... I don't have tiny amounts at every meal usually. I usually have no protein with breakfast most of the time, some at lunch, and my biggest meal for dinner. I've been known to sometimes save ALL of my protein for dinner sometimes actually, and have none or very little the rest of the day
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:00 PM   #16
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And ounce for ounce, chicken has more protein than beef. I lose better with beef and pork than chicken and fish.

The podcast is #23, and it's with Dr. Phinney, entitled something like "ask the low carb experts: long term stalls," or similar. Easy to google. He does talk about TOM being inflammatory, and also peri-menopause.

I plan to stay in ketosis when I get to goal. I believe it's best for me, especially with some of my auto-immune diseases, to take advantage of the anti-inflammatory nature of a good ketogenic diet for life.
I prefer beef and pork also, I just have to limit quantities. The podcast with Dr. Phinney is great, I would have liked to hear him speak more about the anti-inflammatory effect of low carb. It does seem to have helped my monthly cycle and my knees are better too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drjlocarb View Post
No, I didn't stop eating beef. I used to eat about 3x as much meat in general. Smaller portions of pork and chicken are tolerable.

I just love my beef and these puny, little, NK style portions are killing me. It's just not right when my nice juicy steak is now three meals.
I haven't eaten steak at all on NK, mostly because the good cuts are priced out of my budget. I might splurge after I lose the first 20 lbs.

I got a good deal on 80/20 ground beef yesterday and divided it up into 5 oz portions. I rarely eat more than that amount in a meal.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #17
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I buy the family packs of 73% ground beef, divide it and freeze the patties. Makes life much easier. Helps that the cheapest ground beef is also the fattiest. I do splurge on ribeye steaks when they go on sale. Honestly, I buy all my meat on sale. I can't imagine paying some of these full prices, they're bananas!

I would love to hear more about the anti-inflammatory aspects myself. I don't feel a physics difference when I'm eating ketogenically, but I know it's better overall. I wish I could get some of the increased energy and better sleep that some people report!
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:34 PM   #18
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I bought 1/2 a steer and it is YUMMY! It worked out to less than $3/lb -- steak, roast, or burger. I LOVE beef.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:28 PM   #19
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I'm a huge lover of beef. Especially now that the warmer weather is here and I can grill again! I used to eat 12+oz of steak every nite ---Costco ribeyes are so good. Now, I have been cutting them in half. Really missing the big steak! I'm usually too hungry in the morning to not eat breakfast--tried co and coffee with hwc, but barely holds me. Bacon and eggs lasts me the whole day!. Being a meat lover, cutting my protein totals down has been the hardest thing for me to do on the woe. Hoping it will get easier.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:09 AM   #20
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^^ That's what I'm sayin'!! ^^
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:15 AM   #21
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So I'm curious for those of you that have hit your goal how are you using NK to maintain?
I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but here goes. I only had about 18 pounds to lose, and I think the dynamics and strategies are different when you have more. But I didn't really change my diet much between loss and maintenance, in large part because I deliberately chose a method which I knew I could live with long-term. My reasoning was that whatever I did to lose the weight - if I wasn't willing to keep doing it then I would just gain it all back. So it had to be something I could keep doing indefinitely. Therefore, I didn't drop my carb intake as low as a lot of people do, I kept it around 35-45 grams (net) per day. That's a level that I knew I could live with comfortably. And luckily it is also a level at which I could lose when I was over my target weight, and which keeps me comfortably around 130-132 pounds now. (I probably COULD go lower if I wanted to restrict more, but I think this is a good weight for me.)

When I was losing, I had not yet read Art and Sci of LC Living, so I was simply doing low-carb rather than NK, and I wasn't tracking my protein or fat intake. I suspect that I was probably eating a bit less fat when I was losing, and now I eat more. I just ate to appetite on fat and protein. But while my body was burning up excess fat stores, I suspect my appetite for fat was a little less than it is now. Now I love me some fat bombs. I didn't eat them back then.


ETA: Zyllah, I did not mean to claim that my strategy is necessarily different from yours since you had more to lose. I don't know how much you had to lose! I've just learned from these boards that those with 50+ pounds to lose have some very different challenges than those of us who had less. So I was only trying to be sensitive to that. Hope it came across in the way I intended.
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