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Old 10-20-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
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Realllly Struggling to get into K

Hi all. I am just so confused and really struggling to get into Ketosis. I have been LCHF for about 3 months now. I've lost about 30 pounds but have been stalled for the last 3 weeks. NOTHING I do seems to put me into K. I even got a glucose/ketone monitor and have been testing my blood. Nothing. Upped the fat, cut back on protein. Nothing. Tried intermittent fasting. Nothing. Tried cutting back on cals and even upping cals. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing seems to work.

I am very careful with tracking my foods, so I know what I'm eating. My macros has never been below 75%/20/5 (F/P/C) and lately, my fat has been around 80-89%, pro about 18%. My carbs are BELOW 20. Not on any meds; just Mag and mutlivit supplements. I drink lots of water (10 8-oz cups/day) and have not cheated once. Yet I just can't seem to get the weight off and I have a LOT left to lose: about 80 pounds, so it's not like I'm "close" to my goal.

This is so frustrating that I'm in tears. Anyone have any suggestions?
I am desperate. I really enjoy eating LCHF, but at this point, I am close to throwing in the towel. Sooooo very discouraged. Help!!!
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:42 PM   #2
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Hi YannieLin, welcome to the boards. A lot of friendly people here who can help you and keep you motivated

I know seeing the scales not moving is very discouraging, I too am on a stall now, its been almost 3 weeks myself and except for the weight I lost initially (during induction) nothing has come off.
Have you tried measuring yourself or putting on clothes that didnt fit you before these 3 weeks? Sometimes, even though the scales dont move at all, our body is changing drastically and by measuring ourselves or trying on clothes that were previously tight we can make out a difference.
The scales will give in eventually, there are members here who went through 3 months of stall... but she lost 2 dress sizes instead. So change is happening.

As regards the blood ketone monitor, as I dont use one I cannot help you , however I am sure more seasoned HFLC-ers here will be able to help you out to let you know whats is happening.

What ever you do, dont give up. If you are happy with the overall feel you have (except for the stubborn scales) dont give up. Just think you lost so much, and are feeling much better overall from when you started. If you give up now, you would most likely put all the weight back and then some and then you might even wish you never gave up.
Its happened to me, thrice. It was only much later that I realized when I looked back at photos I took where I was losing inches but not weight that I had slimmed down so much. But by the time I had realized it, it was too late as I had given up because the scales werent moving and I had piled the pounds back on and I was no longer the woman in the photo.
So please, please dont give up. Your body is changing, you are losing body fat, the weight will come off eventually.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:30 AM   #3
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I'm not interested in percentages, as they can be misleading. What are the absolute values of the food you're eating, in terms of carbs, proteins, and fats? How tall are you, what's your body type, and how did you arrive at your goal weight?

Last edited by Ntombi; 10-21-2013 at 12:45 AM..
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:18 AM   #4
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Your most likely in ketosis. Which meter are you using? My Novamax rarely registered, and the PrecisionXtra did much better for me. But honestly, I don't think you need to measure, it's just another tool.

You've lost 30 lbs in 3 months, you're doing great. Your body is just trying to catch up, probably holding on to water right now, and in a short while it will most likely flush out and the scale will go down again.

And if Ntombi says something, listen...she's the smartest one here.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
I'm not interested in percentages, as they can be misleading. What are the absolute values of the food you're eating, in terms of carbs, proteins, and fats? How tall are you, what's your body type, and how did you arrive at your goal weight?
Absolutely agree. The percentages are meaningless. How many grams of fat, protein and carbs are you eating daily?
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:30 AM   #6
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The percentages are meaningless.
I used to be ALL about the percentages and then Rebecca suggested I count all the numbers instead. (Actually, if you stay within your numbers, your percentages will automatically fall in the ideal places).

Since I have paid attention to my actual numbers, I have started losing. For the first time in several years. Goodness I hope this is a trend!
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:27 AM   #7
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Glad to hear that, Monica!
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:54 AM   #8
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Glad to hear that, Monica!
Thank you, Rebecca! Your suggestion encouraged more and more reading and researching on my part. It really helped and it makes sense!
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:21 PM   #9
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Food tracker data

Here's my latest tracker via ***********.com:
NUTRIENTS: GOAL 10/15 10/16 10/17 10/18 10/19 10/20 TODAY
Calories: 1,300 - 1,562 2,156 1,654 1,906 2,354 1,686 1,128
1,400
Fat: 77 - 92 130 197 143 170 205 159 103
Protein: 95 - 114 88 79 74 69 76 59 43
Carbs: 10 - 20 9 28* 20 41* 62* 7 8

* Carbs from avocados - attempting to up fats

Other than adding avocados (which really raised the carb count), the above is pretty typical, with most days carbs being at or below 20. I had been pretty religious with keeping carbs in check; no problem there. But I read where upping fat and/or calories can sometimes help, thus the increase in both. Before the avocados, my fats mostly came from bacon, eggs, butter and coconut oil, with an occasional treat of coconut butter. My carbs are truly green (broccoli) and those found in the coconut butter. I don't do "fake" breads, cookies or baked goods and try to only buy cheese that is 0 carbs (a challenge for sure).

If there are out of line, I would certainly appreciate suggested counts. Thank you all for the encouragement! I'm really anxious to hear your suggestions!
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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Your meter may not be functioning properly. It seems you were doing well prior to your 'slump' in weight loss. As a already stated, it is very normal to have a pause in weight loss. The general advice is to give it 6 weeks or more of no loss of inches or lbs. and then attempt to make changes. In other words, why not just go back to what you were doing and wait it out?
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:23 PM   #11
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Your meter may not be functioning properly. It seems you were doing well prior to your 'slump' in weight loss. As a already stated, it is very normal to have a pause in weight loss. The general advice is to give it 6 weeks or more of no loss of inches or lbs. and then attempt to make changes. In other words, why not just go back to what you were doing and wait it out?
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
I'm not interested in percentages, as they can be misleading. What are the absolute values of the food you're eating, in terms of carbs, proteins, and fats? How tall are you, what's your body type, and how did you arrive at your goal weight?
Well, mostly, I have been staying well below 20 carbs, about 90 or so on my protein and the rest fat until this weekend when I tried to up my fat and cut back on the protein by adding avocados (yeah, that blew the carbs through the roof). Here's a better breakdown of my food values from my food tracker:

10/15 Cals: 1,562 Fat: 130 Pro: 88 Carbs: 9
10/16 Cals: 2,156 Fat: 197 Pro: 79 Carbs: 28*
10/17 Cals: 1,654 Fat: 143 Pro: 74 Carbs: 20
10/18 Cals: 1,906 Fat: 170 Pro: 69 Carbs: 41*
10/19 Cals: 1,686 Fat: 205 Pro: 76 Carbs: 62*
10/20 Cals: 2,354 Fat: 159 Pro: 59 Carbs: 7
TODAY Cals: 2,128 Fat: 103 Pro: 43 Carbs: 8
* Carbs from avocados - attempting to up fats

Other than the avocados, my carbs are all green (broccoli, mostly) with a few from dairy, although I only buy zero carb cheese. I do get a few from almonds, but I am very careful to portion them out as they can be addicting! My fats have come from bacon, eggs, butter, heavy cream and coconut oil, with an occasional treat of coconut butter (a few carbs there, too). I do NOT drink diet sodas (ever), don't do fake sweeteners (they give me headaches), or "low carb" processed breads, cookies, etc. I sweeten my Bulletproof Coffee (dark roast, 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, 1 Tbsp. butter, 2 Tbsp. heavy cream) with 1 tsp. agave or coconut sugar. I know those are not the best choices, but I only have coffee in the morning and since I can't tolerate any other sweeteners (believe me, my pantry is full of unused Swerve, stevia, erythinol (sp?), and xylitol) I indulge there. Even so, that's only 5 carbs, as are the occasional (once or twice a week) dark chocolate (70% cocoa and only 1 piece) I allow myself. I have not cheated even once, as I know it's so hard for me to get back into K. Yet, I just don't know where I'm going wrong. I am a big breakfast eater and that's my main meal of the day - usually 3 eggs, 2 or 4 slices of bacon and maybe a slice of swiss cheese (0 carb); having only broth (before this week, with 2 oz or so protein and 1/2 c. broccoli) for lunch and then usually eggs or beef for dinner with a spoon of coconut butter or a small homemade cheesecake (really, just 1 Tbsp. cream cheese and 1 Tbsp. heavy cream whipped to a pudding consistency) for dessert. I try to eat before 7 p.m. and go to bed around 10. I am an early riser - 5:30 a.m. - have to be to cook a big breakfast!

I had not measured myself before LCHF but I am now "shopping the back of my closet", wearing clothes that haven't fit in years! I can even see some slimming in my face, neck and hands. But sadly that progress has slowed, too in the past few weeks.

My vitals: I am 54 yo, 5' 2" and my starting weight was 269; I estimate my current is about 239 or so (in a shameless fit of rage, I killed my scale. hard. bad. not pretty). I am surgically post-menopausal but take absolutely no meds at all. My daily supps are a multi-vit and Mg (to help with the "go"). I really would like to get down to at least 150 before next summer. Confession: I only sporadically exercise and have planned to step it up. I should prolly do that instead of killing the scale.

My meter is new (just got it Friday) and it is a NovaMax. My readings have been about 0.1 first thing in the a.m. but only rising to a high of 0.3 before dinner (with only broth for lunch). On the other hand, this LCHF has done amazing things to stabilize my blood sugar (which I've always struggled with LOW glucose - hypoglycemia). My a.m. BG is about 100 (the high) but after breakfast it reads only 103! Before dinner, it's 84 and rises to 90 post-meal. So that's a big plus and explains why I don't get the low-sugar shakies anymore! From what I've read on Dr. Attia's website, "optimal ketosis" is 3.0-5.0, so I'm waaaayyyy off the mark. That site and others have recommended cutting back on the protein and upping the fat to try to get into OK, thus my avocado experiment.

Thanks again for your input and I really look forward to your suggestions on my target nutrients. And thanks to everyone else for the lovely support and helpful hints!
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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Just keep working on it, you aren't far off, seriously.

What I see is that in the past week, you had 3 higher carb days, and 4 VLC days. Those higher carb days are canceling out all the good work you do on the very low carb days.

Get each and every day under the 20 g carbs for now, maybe a few weeks. Then you might find you can go up a bit more, but only occasionally.

You calorie count does seem to be higher than what most women (at 5'2") can lose weight at. Don't fret about adding in so much fat, there is fat on our bodies to burn.

Also, you might find your protein needs are only around 60g a day or so.

I bet if you dropped that down a little, dropped the carbs down, and then the fat goes down a little....we'll, there is some restriction needed most likely, then the weight will come off again.

You've lost 30 lbs, that's awesome. Now your body had a little break, tighten it back up and see what happens.

(and I should listen to my own advice!!!!!)

I had horrible reading with the NovaMax and from my experience would not recommend it to anyone. And the information most of us follow here is from the "Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" with 0.5 being the start of Nutritional Ketosis (as measured in a morning fasting state.)

Rebecca has a great formula for calculating out protein requirements.

Hope some of this might help. Wishing you all the best.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:25 PM   #14
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For a 5'2", 54 year old post-menapausal woman, I think 90g of protein is probably too high, and your calories may or may not be too high as well.

Google "keto calculator" for a calculator that might help you. It's the first result. When I ballpark your stats, I get about 60-75g of protein as a good starting place.

Also, even if you're doing perfectly, weight loss isn't a linear thing. It goes faster and slower, and comes off in inches or scale weight, or neither, or both, at times. Just because you've had a slowdown in the last couple of weeks doesn't mean you're not doing well!

I'm going to show you my chart from January 3 through September 1.



See all the ups and downs and fits and starts? I haven't changed the way I eat, this is just how the fat is coming off. It is what it is, but if I let myself get discouraged in a period of slower loss, I wouldn't get to the periods of faster losses. Keep moving forward, keep eating as you know is best (maybe lowering your protein for a start), and it'll start coming off again.

And I'm with Annette: I follow Phinney and Volek's recommendations of aiming for anything higher than 0.5 in terms of nutritional ketosis.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:01 AM   #15
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Feeling MUCH more hopeful - thanks to you all!!

Oh, thank you all so very much! What encouragers you are!! I will back off on the protein - aiming for 60-70 and I think that would be doable, still keeping the hunger away. Do ya'll have any suggestions on whether 3 meals a day is optimum or just one big meal? I've read theories on both (which maybe I read TOO much! Lol) and was just wondering what works for ya'll. I like a big breakfast and could almost skip lunch, but get reeaallly hungry when I get home from work. Thanks again. I really appreciate your taking time to answer my questions and offer hope. I seriously had nightmares about giving up and eating crackers!! *ugh!!! Can you imagine?! Haha!

Feeling sooooo much more hopeful - thanks to each of you!! Have a beyond-blessed day!!
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:13 AM   #16
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Whatever works best for you, whatever you can stick with, that's what you should do, IMO. I tend to eat two meals a day, but sometimes I have hungrier days and eat more, sometimes I'll have a meal and a snack, I count it good as long as I get my protein in and keep my carbs below 20g.

The only caveat to that (again, IMO) is to know how your body reacts to different protein amounts. Some people have noticed that if they eat more than a certain amount of protein at once, it adversely affects their level of ketosis. If you're only going to eat one meal, that means you'll need to have all your protein in one shot. That can potentially affect blood glucose, and in turn, blood ketone levels. Getting adequate protein is as important as not eating too much, as protein is vital to feeding and keeping your current lean body mass. Just something to keep an eye on.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
Whatever works best for you, whatever you can stick with, that's what you should do, IMO. I tend to eat two meals a day, but sometimes I have hungrier days and eat more, sometimes I'll have a meal and a snack, I count it good as long as I get my protein in and keep my carbs below 20g.

The only caveat to that (again, IMO) is to know how your body reacts to different protein amounts. Some people have noticed that if they eat more than a certain amount of protein at once, it adversely affects their level of ketosis. If you're only going to eat one meal, that means you'll need to have all your protein in one shot. That can potentially affect blood glucose, and in turn, blood ketone levels. Getting adequate protein is as important as not eating too much, as protein is vital to feeding and keeping your current lean body mass. Just something to keep an eye on.
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:36 PM   #18
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Glad you're feeling better about the diet. Just getting the carbs and protein in your best range is the best start, and then eat as needed.

I enjoy days off of work (like today) when I can truly just eat to my hunger and appetite. It's always a good learning experience.

Just keep trying different things, if the idea seems right to you. Me personally, I couldn't eat just one meal a day. I can't eat a large quantity at a time. I do best on 3 meals and 2 snacks. I keep trying to skip the snacks, but it doesn't work for me. But I have learned I can skip breakfast, but I have to have my coffee and cream (about 3 T worth). I have never skipped breakfast a day in my up till a few weeks ago. Go figure. Does it help anything? I don't know, but now I occasionally don't eat before work, as long as I have a good snack along. And I feel "safer" eating a smaller meal. I'm not as afraid of my blood sugar these days.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnetteW View Post
Just keep working on it, you aren't far off, seriously.

What I see is that in the past week, you had 3 higher carb days, and 4 VLC days. Those higher carb days are canceling out all the good work you do on the very low carb days.

Get each and every day under the 20 g carbs for now, maybe a few weeks. Then you might find you can go up a bit more, but only occasionally.

You calorie count does seem to be higher than what most women (at 5'2") can lose weight at. Don't fret about adding in so much fat, there is fat on our bodies to burn.

Also, you might find your protein needs are only around 60g a day or so.

I bet if you dropped that down a little, dropped the carbs down, and then the fat goes down a little....we'll, there is some restriction needed most likely, then the weight will come off again.

You've lost 30 lbs, that's awesome. Now your body had a little break, tighten it back up and see what happens.

(and I should listen to my own advice!!!!!)

I had horrible reading with the NovaMax and from my experience would not recommend it to anyone. And the information most of us follow here is from the "Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" with 0.5 being the start of Nutritional Ketosis (as measured in a morning fasting state.)

Rebecca has a great formula for calculating out protein requirements.

Hope some of this might help. Wishing you all the best.
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