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Old 07-04-2013, 08:26 AM   #1
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NK maintenance not weight loss

I lost my weight at a higher carb count and am now trying NK as a way to manage my migraines and of course to prevent many of the diseases that come along with a lifetime of high carb eating . I am assuming that primarily my calories need to come from fat but I need to eat enough protein. As of now , I am sticking to Atkins induction as Ketosis but have yet to buy volek, phinney or attia's books. What is the short answer? Do I need to keep my fat /calories high enough to stay in Ketosis and not lose weight or my protein just high enough to not let me lose weight. I do not want to lose more weight BUT want to remain in Ketosis . And what is the best book to buy. I am not an avid excercises though wish I was!!!! Hm. On second thought . Any of the books inspirational enough to make me want to work out?
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Spanilingo View Post
I lost my weight at a higher carb count and am now trying NK as a way to manage my migraines and of course to prevent many of the diseases that come along with a lifetime of high carb eating . I am assuming that primarily my calories need to come from fat but I need to eat enough protein. As of now , I am sticking to Atkins induction as Ketosis but have yet to buy volek, phinney or attia's books. What is the short answer? Do I need to keep my fat /calories high enough to stay in Ketosis and not lose weight or my protein just high enough to not let me lose weight. I do not want to lose more weight BUT want to remain in Ketosis . And what is the best book to buy. I am not an avid excercises though wish I was!!!! Hm. On second thought . Any of the books inspirational enough to make me want to work out?
I would keep my protein the same. I would probably increase my carbs a little and add more fat. If you gain, cut back on carbs again.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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They say to keep your protein and carbs the same, and add more fat until your calories are enough to keep your weight stable.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:45 AM   #4
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I'm similarly using a more ketogenic WOE to control migraines, albeit I'm using MCT oil as part of that.

As per Ntombi, the key seems to keep the carbs and protein constant and controlled and to increase fat intake to make up the number of kcals you need for maintenance.

We're in a slightly different position as I would like some body recomposition (reduction of bodyfat and increase in muscle mass). At 102lbs, I suspect that you don't have that much bodyfat As for working out, the books are rather more about quite high-end performance athletes. Various NK people recommend high intensity interval workouts and weight training rather than cardio or similar workouts.

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Old 07-05-2013, 06:59 AM   #5
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I really wish ketosis helped mitigate my migraines. No such luck.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:24 AM   #6
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Ntombi, I didn't manage to control my migraines in my first weeks of trying this when I was attempting to do it by manipulating the macronutrients (it's possible that I just didn't get them right).

This post is quite long because I was semi-discussing the issue of migraine in another thread on the main lobby: Ketosis and appetite

I took a look at some of the other flavours of ketogenic diet that are used by people with neurological conditions and there is one called the 'modified ketogenic' that relies upon a roughly 25% by calorie intake of MCT oil.

I've been following this MCT 'modified ketogenic' for a few weeks now and I have some interesting observations. The context of this is:
  • I have migraines that are related to TBI and skull damage from a couple of accidents;
  • I have a separate familial neuro condition that manifests as Meniere's Disease/Migraine Associated Vertigo.
I haven't had an episode of the 2nd sort in roughly 9 weeks. I'm cautiously optimistic but it may take longer before I'm sure that these are diminished in frequency.

When I have a migraine of the first sort, I typically bruise lightly and swell in the soft tissues around my face and head that were injured; my nose runs like a tap; I have some GI symptoms; then the pain starts (which is probably only too familiar to a number of you).

After I switched to the modified ketogenic version, with the MCT oils, after a few days I started to have the bruising and swelling etc. but I no longer had the pain set in. I had a few throbs but I didn't actually have a headache.

I wondered if I'd coincidentally begun a natural progression in the course of this sort of migraine which had nothing to do with the ketogenic + MCT but perhaps marked a transition to what are known as 'silent migraines' - some symptamology but not the pain.

Until. My re-supply of MCT oil was late so I had a couple of days when I was skimping on the amount and then I ran out. This was a pest, but it was an opportunity to observe what happened. Suffice it to say that after 4 days without MCT, it was obvious that I hadn't just spontaneously switched to silent migraines, as I was, again, experiencing the version with pain.

After my MCT arrived and I started taking it again, within 36 hrs, I was back to the bruising/swelling etc. but no pain.

These are only my observations about the type of migraines that I have. I've no idea how they correspond to other people's experiences. I'm interested enough to continue like this for some time and then I might feel comfortable enough to tweak it to accommodate other issues/concerns.

I'll post some links or how to Google for them in a separate post.

Last edited by SlowSure; 07-05-2013 at 10:27 AM.. Reason: link
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:34 AM   #7
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Oh, interesting! Especially with the two different roots of your migraines.

Mine don't seem to be related to hormones (at least not my cycle) or most foods, save a few like saccharine and red wine, or anything else we've tried. I do also have multiple sclerosis, which may or may not be related, but I've had migraines since I was a child (not always as frequent, thankfully). For close to a year now, we've been successful in keeping them to a lesser frequency with a combinations of meds right now, so I've gone from about three or four per week to about three or four per month, which is miraculous for me! They haven't been so infrequent for at least twelve years now.

I do consume coconut oil as one of my main fats, but I don't track my usage (save this week, of course), so I don't have an idea of correlation. Hmm…
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:46 AM   #8
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I looked at several sources of information about ketogenic diets for neurological conditions - understandably, a lot of this information is skewed towards epilepsy and the parts of children with epilepsy.

Both Charlie's Foundation and Matthew's Friends have overviews and descriptions of ketogenic diets (along with some recipes).

GOSH (Great Ormond St Hospital) has a decent overview: Ketogenic diet in the management of epilepsy - Clinical guidelines - Health professionals - Great Ormond Street Hospital

Good review of the MCT assisted ketogenic diet: Medium-chain Triglyceride Ketogenic Diet, An Effective Treatment for Drug-resistant Epilepsy and A Comparison with Other Ketogenic Diets Liu YmC, Wang HS - Biomed J
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:07 AM   #9
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If you look up Johns Hopkins ketogenic diet, you will see a high fat low carb diet and research all the way back to early 1900 as methods for controlling Seizures in children. It is a common practice today especially for children whose seizures are not responsive to medication. Many similar triggers for seizures trigger migraines. I noticed when eating vlc that I STILL had migraine BUT they responded to medications (imitrex/relpax) much better. The triptans actually worked! I also didnt get them as frequently nor cluster headaches . I am not on a study nor anything specific but did speak to my neurologist who wanted to put me on topomax ( which I am not opposed ) however he suggested not staying on a ketogenic diet while starting topomax. Anyway ... I decided to try this first !
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:32 PM   #10
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Topamax didn't help me but had annoying, minor side effects. I used to have migraines almost every day, but they're gone now that I'm eating low carb. It may have been a sensitivity to grains rather than the effect of being in ketosis; I don't know for sure.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:43 PM   #11
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Topomax made me psychotic. It was the worst med I've ever taken, and I couldn't even stop immediately when we realized it, I had to taper off. I was so scared and out of control on it. I know some do have good results, but even thinking about it freaks me out a bit.

Also, soda tasted like ass.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:12 AM   #12
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Ntombi! Really now! I keep getting such extreme feedback about it worth the side effects to deathly fear! Kind of like ketosis! Except you can come out I'd ketosis. Right now I am dealing with the fistfuls of hairloss that I got before with ketosis that people complain about with topomax and also that funky mouth taste. That's funny you say that soda tastes bad because soda tastes bad to me in ketosis! Wonder if that's one of the reasons topirimate is off labeled prescribed for obesity.

Still, migraines are a beast. Hoping long term ketogenic diet will see some improvement before I take the plunge
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:01 AM   #13
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We've been having high temperatures in the UK (by our standards - it's consistently 30C+) and I'm remaining headache-free.

I've upped my intake of MCT oil because I did have a couple of episodes of throbs a couple of nights ago but no headaches have set in. This is despite my face tissues bruising/swelling, nose running, temple and cheek veins standing out etc. - all the usual corollaries of a migraine for me.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:48 PM   #14
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That's wonderful!
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:43 PM   #15
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I've never had a headache, except for 2 migraines when I was pregnant. It was weird though, both times, I threw up and the headaches went away. I just wanted to say that you all have my sympathy. I can't imagine having those all the time.

Also Ntombi "Also, soda tasted like ass."
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:55 AM   #16
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Just as an update, the hot temperatures continue (I realise that this is relative for you in the US, but 30C+ is plenty hot for the UK).

I get a series of throbs from time to time, but no headache settles in. This is despite the fact that not only all of the other symptoms that accompany the migraine are present to the degree where *TMI alert* I have facial and nasal tissues that are so swollen/bruised that my normal nasal outflow of too much fluid is being diverted down my throat and I'm even having the occasional nose-bleed but I still don't have a headache as such.

Interestingly, I have to calibrate how long I can go without an MCT top-up. I ended up walking a lot the other evening after yet another train cancellation and I had a couple of episodes of severe head throbs - but, it was >4hrs since I'd had any MCT and nearer 6hrs by the time that I got home. And MCT is said to be metabolised within 3hrs.

I have several speculations. One is that I'm still transitioning to using ketones and FFA as my main fuel, so I will be caught out occasionally until I am adapted. The 2nd is that although I'm eating a modified ketogenic diet (using the categories for the epilepsy diets), I'm not yet in substantial enough nutritional ketosis to be producing sufficient BOHB etc. of my own? The 3rd is that I'm in the awkward BOHB -> FFA transition that I think Attia, Volek and Phinney discuss in various places.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:53 AM   #17
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It's a weekend of 32-35C+ in the UK and I've been out on the water in a kiwi boat. Now, I did have a low-grade headache but not a migraine (as most of you will know, there's a vast difference between the two). Added to that, whereas I'd normally have a shade hat when outside, I had to wear a helmet (Paddle Club rules and always advisable when you're out with a lot of beginners, which we were yesterday) and this made my head very hot, so it's hardly surprising that I was headache-y.

I wonder if I'd not taken enough MCT oil before going on the water to carry me through the energy expenditure/duration of the trip. I normally take no more than 1Tbsp at a time but maybe I should up that slightly if I know that I've scheduled something like this.

I weighed-in today to check that I'm not gaining despite the extra MCT oil (I'm currently taking 4Tbsp per day), and, so far, I'm not, which is a relief.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:58 AM   #18
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I almost always have a headache. Half the time, I don't even think about it anymore. One can never say that about a migraine. Ever.
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