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Old 07-26-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
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Stumped: NK for 3 weeks, no weight loss?

My wife joined me on a LCHF regime a week after me. Aside from the obvious differences between us, she is 15 years younger, taking in fewer calories and is more active chasing after the kids than I am at a desk job (and not on an exercise regimen). But she is losing weight and I am not. We are both definitely in NK if we are to believe the home urine test strips.

So, what I am trying to figure out is whether it's just me and I just need to stick with what I am doing but that I should see results sooner than later. Or am I going about this wrong and need to change something.
- I do not *feel* like I am over eating nor do I feel any hardship from it
- I feel no ill effects from the diet
- Although I could go on a restricted calorie intake regimen atop this, I would rather not and most things I have read says that this is not the right approach.
- I understand more exercise would trigger fat burning but I have joint issues and will do what I can there.

Here is what I am doing and profile:

- 210 lbs, 5'10", estimated BMI 30.1, 56 y.o., non-smoker
- Ideal weight is 160 to 175#
- Eating approximately a 70/25/5 ratio of fat/prot/carb.
- Consuming in the 2000 to 2300 calorie range
- Drink copious quantities of water
- Diet consists of:
* organic eggs
* grass fed butter & heavy cream
* organic cream cheese
* small quantities/occasional cheese
* olive and coconut oil
* pork sausage or bacon
* cooked broccoli, spinach, kale, etc.
* raw celery, avocado (1/4 daily), salad greens
* nuts: macadamia, pumpkin seeds, almond/almond butter, pecans, tahini
* various meats & poultry (beef, pork, lamb, chicken, liver) -- grass fed or organic whenever possible
* fresh fish
* canned, packed in olive oil, mackerel or sardines -- daily at lunch
* snacks, aside from nuts, celery: pork rind/cracklins, dry beef or pork sausage snacks
* beverages: water, coffee
* Alcohol: distilled (tequilla, vodka or whiskey), maybe four drinks per week; occasional glass of wine.

TIA,

Jim

Last edited by Greenporter; 07-26-2013 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:15 AM   #2
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Your first issue is believing the urine test strips. Showing ketones on those does not indicate that you are in nutritional ketosis. You are making ketones, but NK is defined as 0.5 - 3.5 mM blood ketones (specifically beta-hydroxybutyrate, the urine test measures a different ketone, acetoacetate).

The second issue is that simply being in NK does not guarantee weight loss. There are a few possible reasons for this, elaborated in several other threads. Also, the scale is not the only/best measure of fat loss. Have you taken measurements from several key areas of your body?

Your diet looks pretty good, except for the alcohol. I would cut the alcohol, as your body can't burn fat if it is burning alcohol. The amount you are consuming could be enough to prevent you from becoming keto-adapted. Also, make sure you are eating enough sodium, 3000-5000 mg/day.

ETA: Exercise won't help with fat burning. That's a myth. There are good reasons to exercise but weight loss is not one of them.

Last edited by Mistizoom; 07-26-2013 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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Thank you, Mistizoom! That was my first post here, so you are my first replier!

Urine strips -- OK, good insights. We only got them last night for the heck of it.

Weight loss -- in my case, I am pretty sure the measurements and weight loss will go hand in hand. I have not lost any inches off my waist and my wife even suggested last night that I looked bigger!

Alcohol -- I'll try cutting it out to see if it makes any impact.

Aside from the alcohol, could I be doing something else wrong? I really dislike the uncertainty, not knowing if I am progressing. Weight loss would be confirming indication of progress. Rhetorically: Is none a counter indication?
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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Nuts are what caught my attention.
Easy to overeat, and carby, too.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:43 PM   #5
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Ratios are all fine and dandy but what really counts are hhe actual grams of macro nutrients. For instance, I need to keep my carbs under 25g of total carbs and 55g of protein in order to stay in ketosis. The fat grams are the variable and they will always be a larger ratio of my macros due to the actual grams of the other macros.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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I'm with clackley: I don't find ratios particularly helpful, as they can change with caloric intake. I only concentrate on absolute numbers, particularly regarding carbs and protein intake (fat intake can vary more widely and still be effective). I eat under 20 total grams of carbs, and ~120g of protein daily, but my calories are flexible, therefore my ratios look like they're all over the place. I'm always in NK, and I'm losing.

What are your carb and protein numbers?

Last edited by Ntombi; 07-26-2013 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clackley View Post
Ratios are all fine and dandy but what really counts are hhe actual grams of macro nutrients. For instance, I need to keep my carbs under 25g of total carbs and 55g of protein in order to stay in ketosis. The fat grams are the variable and they will always be a larger ratio of my macros due to the actual grams of the other macros.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
I'm with clackley: I don't find ratios particularly helpful, as they can change with caloric intake. I only concentrate on absolute numbers, particularly regarding carbs and protein intake (fat intake can vary more widely and still be effective). I eat under 20 total grams of carbs, and ~120g of protein daily, but my calories are flexible, therefore my ratios look like they're all over the place. I'm always in NK, and I'm losing.

What are your carb and protein numbers?
I assumed that becuase he is eating 2000-2300 cal/day and 5% carbs he is eating 25-29 g carb/day. (.05*2000 cal/4 cal/g carb = 25 g carb), and 125-144 g protein/day.

Last edited by Mistizoom; 07-26-2013 at 07:41 PM..
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:44 PM   #8
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I assume so too, but we know what they say about assumptions.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:22 AM   #9
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If you remove the nuts and alcohol you would be doing a perfect Atkins Induction. Maybe try that for 2 weeks and see what happens.

That fluid balance in our body is great for masking any fat loss. Perhaps you have lost fat but just aren't seeing it yet. Do you feel like you are retaining water? It's summer, it's hot, we can easily have electrolyte imbalances.

Are you adding sodium to your diet? When your body gets enough, it will release the extra water weight.

Did you experience a low carb flu or any crummy symptoms? Maybe it's just taking longer for you, don't give up yet.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
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My intakes are in ranges. My protein range has been 110 to 145, depending on how many calories and carbs i eat that day. Sodium, I have not been tracking but I am consuming it more liberally than normal.

As for nuts, I don't get why they would be a problem if I am using them to stay within my carb parameters. I am on a LCHF diet, not Atkins.

Ratios... I gather that those of you who are only interested in absolute gram counts rather than ratios are counting calories. I have been operating with the understanding that calories are unimportant. So I am shooting for 65 - 70% fat intake from various sources that have included nuts. Carbs at 5% or less. The balance is protein.

This has been my approach. I haven't been successful on the weight so I am open to modification.

Thanks,

Jim

Last edited by Greenporter; 07-28-2013 at 03:50 PM..
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:02 PM   #11
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Greenporter, are you keeping up with calories with a tracker?? That was the thing that helped me so much with NK. It's really hard to know if you need more or less fat in your diet unless you know how many calories you're getting. At one point I was eating too little calories. I didn't realize it until I started tracking.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenporter View Post
My intakes are in ranges. My protein range has been 110 to 145, depending on how many calories and carbs i eat that day. Sodium, I have not been tracking but I am consuming it more liberally than normal.

As for nuts, I don't get why they would be a problem if I am using them to stay within my carb parameters. I am on a LCHF diet, not Atkins.

Ratios... I gather that those of you who are only interested in absolute gram counts rather than ratios are counting calories. I have been operating with the understanding that calories are unimportant. So I am shooting for 65 - 70% fat intake from various sources that have included nuts. Carbs at 5% or less. The balance is protein.

This has been my approach. I haven't been successful on the weight so I am open to modification.

Thanks,

Jim
It's the exact opposite, actually. The point of asking for absolute numbers rather than percentages is BECAUSE percentages change when total calories change.

I do not count calories. I only count carbs, keep my protein within an appropriate range without counting, but don't count calories or fat at all, and mine can vary by as much as over 1000 (not a typo) calories per day.
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:46 PM   #13
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I use Removed by moderator. Please see link: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/ma...hone-apps.html to plan my day and update as I go along. It does not tell you how many *calories* of fat, protein or carbs you ate nor what they are as a percentage of total calories. So, yes, I do go by absolute counts.

But at the end of the day, you have percentages and I might check myself by dropping the grams consumed of each category into a little spreadsheet I have that will give me all the readings.

I care about carbs... the fewer the better but try not to exceed 5% of total. I also care about fat ~70%, which means I actually care about protein because there ain't nuthin left. A fixed 5% carbs plus xx% fat plus yy% protein = almost all the calories. the lower xx is, the higher yy will be given a fixed 5% in carbs.
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:51 PM   #14
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I feel like we're talking at cross-purposes here.

Of course it has to add up to 100%, that's not the point. The point is that, regardless of calories, if you keep your carbs and proteins to a fixed gram count (NOT a percentage of whatever calories you're eating that day--calories can be flexible), it's easier to see where things can be adjusted.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenporter View Post
My wife joined me on a LCHF regime a week after me. Aside from the obvious differences between us, she is 15 years younger, taking in fewer calories and is more active chasing after the kids than I am at a desk job (and not on an exercise regimen). But she is losing weight and I am not. We are both definitely in NK if we are to believe the home urine test strips.

So, what I am trying to figure out is whether it's just me and I just need to stick with what I am doing but that I should see results sooner than later. Or am I going about this wrong and need to change something.
- I do not *feel* like I am over eating nor do I feel any hardship from it
- I feel no ill effects from the diet
- Although I could go on a restricted calorie intake regimen atop this, I would rather not and most things I have read says that this is not the right approach.
- I understand more exercise would trigger fat burning but I have joint issues and will do what I can there.

Here is what I am doing and profile:

- 210 lbs, 5'10", estimated BMI 30.1, 56 y.o., non-smoker
- Ideal weight is 160 to 175#
- Eating approximately a 70/25/5 ratio of fat/prot/carb.
- Consuming in the 2000 to 2300 calorie range
- Drink copious quantities of water
- Diet consists of:
* organic eggs
* grass fed butter & heavy cream
* organic cream cheese
* small quantities/occasional cheese
* olive and coconut oil
* pork sausage or bacon
* cooked broccoli, spinach, kale, etc.
* raw celery, avocado (1/4 daily), salad greens
* nuts: macadamia, pumpkin seeds, almond/almond butter, pecans, tahini
* various meats & poultry (beef, pork, lamb, chicken, liver) -- grass fed or organic whenever possible
* fresh fish
* canned, packed in olive oil, mackerel or sardines -- daily at lunch
* snacks, aside from nuts, celery: pork rind/cracklins, dry beef or pork sausage snacks
* beverages: water, coffee
* Alcohol: distilled (tequilla, vodka or whiskey), maybe four drinks per week; occasional glass of wine.

TIA,

Jim
I would limit my carbs to 20 grams or less. Remember to count the carbs in cheese, eggs, and cream as well. Nuts can be a problem for some. They can add too much protein and carbs especially if too many are consumed. Also try to not eat too much protein. Too much can cause weight gain in some people. 8 to 10 oz would probably be enough protein foods in a day. You have a sedentary job, so you probably do not need too much. Up your fat instead. For me fat does not cause weight gain, and actually helps me lose. Alcohol can be a problem. Also it really is not good for you. It really takes several weeks to get just the right mix of foods so that you lose weight. Try to quit eating before you get too full. Once you are in ketosis, your appetite will go down.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:07 AM   #16
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There is a sticky thread here that will help you with calculating how many grams of protein you need. If you figure that out, keep your carbs at 20 and the rest fat, you should see a loss.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:39 AM   #17
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I really appreciate the feedback. I try to count everything, which is not too difficult to do if I faithfully record all my consumption in the FS app or website. Based on 17 days recorded there, I am averaging ~2200 calories per day and 27.5g or 6.25% carbs, which is higher than my 5% target or the 20 grams that you all seem to advocate.

So let's say I go to a strict 20g carbs per day diet... Are all grams created equal? Atkins counts Net Carbs. In an LCHF diet, do I count all the 6g of carbs in a cup of broccoli, most of which are mostly Dietary Fiber, towards the 20g's the same as I would a quantity of seedless grapes that also has 6g of carbs but only trace amounts (~.3g) are Dietary Fiber?

TIA!
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:46 AM   #18
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Some people count net and some people don't.
Atkins 72 did not subtract fiber grams but more recent renditions allow that subtraction.
I have tended to subtract fiber, but I am rethinking this. In the case of nuts, subtracting fiber seems to make them seem nearly carbless, and I think that perception led me to eat too many. Well, they are trigger too.
How are you currently counting your carb grams?
Also, fyi, labels can differ among countries of origin.

Last edited by Patience; 07-29-2013 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:17 AM   #19
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Bella, I use the Removed by moderator. Please see link: Low Carb Friends - Announcements in Forum : Main Lowcarb Lobbyfor all nutritional counts. So far, I count all carbs the same. There is more uncertainty when I eat out, which I do at least once per day, particularly if I order a mixed salad, since it is impossible to gauge the quantities of various components.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:13 PM   #20
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I choose not to subtract fiber.

I eat out fairly often as well. Just do the best you can with that. If they have a nutrition menu (don't know where you live, it's required some places) or nutrition info on their website, use it, but otherwise, a reasonable estimate is fine.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:16 PM   #21
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I do net carbs and don't go over 20.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenporter View Post
My intakes are in ranges. My protein range has been 110 to 145, depending on how many calories and carbs i eat that day. Sodium, I have not been tracking but I am consuming it more liberally than normal.

As for nuts, I don't get why they would be a problem if I am using them to stay within my carb parameters. I am on a LCHF diet, not Atkins.

Ratios... I gather that those of you who are only interested in absolute gram counts rather than ratios are counting calories. I have been operating with the understanding that calories are unimportant. So I am shooting for 65 - 70% fat intake from various sources that have included nuts. Carbs at 5% or less. The balance is protein.

This has been my approach. I haven't been successful on the weight so I am open to modification.

Thanks,

Jim
Well, the better way to do it is to figure out your protein needs first.
For a goal wt of 170 lbs, I see 116 g protein a day as a good number. Anything in excess of that is treated like a carb---it turns to glucose (but not as efficiently as carbs turn to glucose).

Then your carbs. Phinney and Volek say that the carb sweet spot varys from person to person. You might have to tweak your carbs, but they look fine to me. So call it 26 total grams. I count total carbs because Phinney and Volek say that some people DO absorb some carbs from fiber, and some don't. Since it's easy for me to stay under 25 or 30 total carbs, that's what I do.

Okay. So that's 116 g protein (464 cal), and a little over 100 cal from your carbs. That's about 575 cal. The rest of your calories come from fat, adjusting those on days you have booze.

As far as the ratio versus absolute values for the macronutrients, I'm in the absolute value camp. One thing about ratios--- Phinney says that a macro for weight loss is going to look high protein sometimes because some of our fuel is coming from burning body fat, in addition to what the mouth sees.

So this is a long post, and the gist of it is to suggest that you decrease protein down to about 115 g per day and see how that does for you.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #23
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This all sounds good to me. My goal is 140 (eventually) so I am thinking I can eat something hovering around 80 grams of protein a day. I am good at keeping carbs below 25, most days below 20. And I am more than happy adding fat. But how do I determine what number of calories to shoot for? Should I just guess and adjust based on weight/fat loss? Start at something like 1500? I am not conscientiously tracking but my goal is to start doing this in September. I am 5'5" (unless I am shrinking), early 60s, weighing in for the last couple of days at 167. I have been losing just a bit under a pound a week for the last 6 weeks.

Last edited by Patience; 08-01-2013 at 10:37 AM..
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