Frustrated

Hi! I'm still pretty new to Keto.  I started the diet on August 1 and have been having a hard timegetting into ketosis even though my net carbs are typically under 20g/day. I've been hitting my macros pretty consistently but feel like I'm not seeing any results. I only weigh myself and check my blood ketones once a week.  I've dropped about 4 pounds total and my ketones are consistently 0.4mg/dL every week.  I also attempted IF this week to see if that would help kick my ketones up but it didn't seem to make much of a difference.  Is there anything you recommend I adjust or change to help kick start my ketosis?  TIA

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  • FWIW, I don’t measure ketones, so not an expert, but it would seem to me that we have different body types, hormones, chemistries, etc. so what works great for one may not for others. You don’t have to be strictly in ketosis, and it may be that you are, your range is just different! As long as you stick to the plan you should be good. Plenty of people lose a lot of weight on VLCHF, which is essentially the Keto food plan without checking for ketosis.

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  • Increase your fat intake. It is ok to go over on your fats since this is what you need to drive your body deeper into ketosis. Also try intermittent fasting if you are not already.

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  • Urbanhiker that’s a good point that everyone’s level of ketosis may be different. Thanks!

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  • gretchenhulett I wouldn’t have thought to try increasing my fat intake. Thanks for the suggestion! 

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  • I second the advice to try upping your fat intake.  I track every day very carefully.  My best results tend to be on days where I'm 3% or less calories from carbs, and around 75% from fat.  100% of those carbs are from vegetables.  For me, the type of carbs I'm eating seems to make a real difference.  My best results are on days when almost 100% of my carbs are from things like spinach, Brussel sprouts, broccoli.  I eat 3 eggs most days and get a small amount of carbs from those.  On days where I've had something like a bulletproof coffee and end up going over on my fat macro I've never seen an adverse consequence, and often it's the opposite.  I've quit worrying too much about my fat macro from the standpoint of going over.  As long as it's over 70% I'm happy, and days where its 75% or more seem to be some of my best from a weight loss standpoint and how I feel.   It's a hard concept to grasp as we've been fed the thinking that fat is bad for so long.  When I'm solidly in ketosis though, and fueled by fat, it makes me feel great and drop weight. 

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  • Jeff Kruger Eating more fat is a hard concept to grasp! I think I am definitely going to play around with my intakes - it sounds like I just need to fine tune a few things and find the sweet spot.  I was feeling very discouraged but it helps to hear what works for people so I appreciate you sharing that.  I've tried the MCT oil in my coffee but it gave me tummy troubles.  I still think it's a great way to get in extra fat so maybe I'll give it another try but do a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon and just work my way up.  I could also try the MCT oil powder and see if that's a better option for me.  Thanks!

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  • I’m about 2 months in. 30 pounds gone. And no longer type 2 diabetic.

    one of the important things about the fat is that it needs to be good fat. Avoid processed food to the greatest degree possible. No partially hydrogenated this or that oil. No hydrogenated oil. I don’t use any supplements. I have some avocado oil I use for making mayo. Other than that the only other oil I have is olive oil.

    Going over on fat is fine. Going over on carbs is not fine. Protein should be kept close to what’s suggested but no panic if a little overmtoday, a little under tomorrow.

    if i’m REALLY low on fat, but the protein and carbs look ok, I eat a small salad with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and vinegar. 

    It does work and you’ll FEEL better when it does. Stay with it. 

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  • From what I've read, some folks do find the powder a bit easier on their stomachs.  I don't know if it's because it's bound to a fiber or what, but it's probably worth a try.  I think starting small, like a teaspoon of the oil, and working up probably helps too.  I've certainly been guilty of wanting to go all out right from the start of things and suffered because of it. Some times slow and steady is the right way, as hard as it can be.

    I have no doubt you will find your sweet spot.  Some times, like for me, it takes going against the grain a bit with regard to what you think is right.  Who would logically think that eating more fat could help you lose more fat?  I think tracking things carefully helps a lot.  One, or even a few days may not mean a lot on their own, but it helps see trends.  Water weight and such can vary so much from day to day I think having a meaningful period of data makes it easier to zero in on what works for each person.  Over time it's become crystal clear to me that more fat works for me.  My best days are 75% fat and all of my carbs, other than 1.2 from 3 eggs, coming from veggies.  My best days are 10g of carbs or less, which I used to think was impossible.  Last evening while my family was enjoying pizza I had a grass fed New York steak with 20 sugar snap pea pods sautéed in grass fed butter.  Lunch was an ounce of a spinach salad mix with half an avocado and 2oz of chicken breast and a couple tablespoons of Newman's classic oil and vinegar dressing.  Breakfast was three eggs scrambled with a tablespoon of coconut oil, with 4 tablespoons of Kirkland real bacon bits, an ounce of sharp cheddar cheese, and some Tabasco chipotle hot sauce.   I ended up at 8.6 net carbs for the day, was never hungry, and enjoyed my meals.  I enjoy heavy whipped cream in my coffee, along with MCT oil or powder.    

    On days when my schedule allows it, I have had good results, and felt great, not eating after 6pm and not eating breakfast until 10am the next day, so a 16 hour, or 16:8 fast.  I drink a cup of coffee with a scoop of MCT powder in it prior to taking a 5 mile walk.  Some strict fasting folks would say having the powder in my coffee breaks the fast, but I don't feel or believe it does.  The MCT powder gives me a noticeable energy boost. 

    It's easy to get discouraged, but don't let it happen to you to the extent it causes you to ignore the positive things that are happening, and your overall trend of improved health. For me, I've found exogenous ketone's to be a big help at breaking through plateau's.  After five days or so of not seeing any drop in weight, or actually going up a few tenths, I'll take at least a half scoop of Keto Base in the morning, make sure I stay at 10g of carbs or less, and in 2 or 3 days I start seeing regular weight loss again.  For me, without the exogenous ketone's I've had plateau's last for two or three weeks.  Everyone is different, but for those that get frustrated by plateau's, as I certainly have been, they may be worth a try.  For me, sometimes they feel like my body trying to adjust or slow down my metabolism, or maybe going into a bit of a starvation mode.  The exogenous ketone's feel like maybe they are kicking up my fat burning a bit and keeping it going.  I've learned not to obsess to much about calories, as long as my macro's are where they seem to work best.  I worry more some days, because the MCT oil has such a filling effect, about getting enough calories.  

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  • I'm not sure what you eat/drink in a day, but I was having the same issues. I really looked at my diet and took my ketones about an hour or so after eating to see what was making me go in/ out of ketosis. I was drinking a lot of "zero calorie" diet drinks, using vegtable oils, energy drinks, etc and it was ruining my ketosis. I cut all the crap and just keep things simple, unprocessed and i have finally been in ketosis consistently. I would suggest really looking into the things you eat that could possibly be throwing you out of ketosis

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  • Following! I'm feeling the same way! 1 week I was down 6 lbs and could FEEL my tummy flatter....then I bloated up and gained 3 back. Trying not to give up!

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  • Charlie Wow! Congrats on your success so far! And thank you for the encouragement.

    I feel like I do a pretty good job of finding healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, grass fed butter) but I will try increasing my intake.  Most days I either hit or come just below my fats goals and I'm usually below on carbs/protein. 

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  • @@Joanna just posted  a link to a great article on Keto rules, WFKD blog.virtahealth dot com/well-formulated-ketogenic-diet/

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  • I seem to be pretty good with getting in full ketosis what I would suggest is upping the fat meanie taking MCT like coconut oil couple tablespoons a day that should  kick you right in eating more avocados leafy green and also only test at night your ketones are higher at night more accurate than it is during the day I test every night I got into Ketosis in 24 hours working out and eating a tablespoon 3-4  times a day of coconut oil seems to kick ketosis right into real purple hope that helps let me know - Oh how I got into ketosis best was when I got up in the morning first thing I take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on an empty stomach and then I walk for 30 minutes and then I’ll come back and have my breakfast and stick to the plan for the rest the day and test at night you should see a big difference quickly do that for a couple of days but it should only take a day to go beyond the  pink you r showing on the ketostix Everybody’s body is different but I am 46 yrs old pre menopause so is my body is very stubborn if I can do it I know you can do it

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  • ldKeto18 Like has been stated above, everyone's body is different. You have gotten some great tips from the good folks here and you should try what makes sense for you. The one thing I would say is that you mention twice in your posts that you USUALLY stay below your carbs. That my friend is the MOST important of the macros to track if you want to get into ketosis. you can hit all of the others and still miss ketosis if you go over your carbs. Ketosis is difficult to achieve and soooo easy to lose. Also, things like strenuous exercise and stress can affect ketosis. I have been keto for a month and a half and down 20lbs and brought my blood glucose from an avg in the 200's when I started to avg of 92. And in all of that time, my keto levels never got above moderate (on my keto strips bottle that's between 4.0 and 8.0 but closer to 4.0 i.e. not very dark at all). For me what has worked is I quit everything that made me overweight and diabetic in the first place. I track meticulously every day, eat only that which is keto friendly as per all of the research available online and drink tons of water. Best of luck to you in finding what works for your body. 

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  • Just wanted to send out a quick update and a thank you to everyone that has given me some great tips. The last few days I tried increasing my fat intake from 70% to 75% and it helped tremendously. For my macros, that works out to be about a 30 gram increase from what I was consuming before but it has helped boost me into ketosis and I’m also feeling less lethargic. I think I’m honestly a little surprised that such a minor adjustment can make so much of a difference. But I’m going to stick with it and see where it goes. I’m so thankful for this supportive and helpful community! 

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  • WAY to go IdKeto18, and congratulations!  Glad upping the fat intake worked so well for you, I know it has worked for me. The way you are feeling, less lethargic, is a big tell.  I would guess your body is getting fat adapted.   If you get to a point where it feels like a bit of a stall, you can try kicking your fat up a little and doing a few days where you go very low on carbs. That has worked for me too. 

    Something I find invaluable is MCT oil.  I use a pure C8 as it's believed to be the most beneficial of the MCT oils. Tasteless and odorless.  I take at least a tablespoon a day, but on days when I've enjoyed some especially lean protein and my macros aren't in line I will take more as it's an easy, healthy source of fat and nothing but the fat.  

    Don't let daily weight movement concern you too much.  It can be discouraging to get up after a day of nailing your macros and being low on carbs and seeing no movement, or a bit of a gain.  Calories and weight gain/loss are basically pretty simple math, and if you know you were good on carbs and macros what you are probably experiencing is some water retention.  A little more sodium one day, some carbs or fiber that may absorb a bit more water, etc. and it's easy to temporarily weigh more.  That's why you read about folks that stay the same or go up slightly over a couple day period and then get up and they've lost 2lbs or more.  Keto works.  Track carefully and find what works for you and don't be afraid to adjust as needed.  I personally think a blood meter to track ketones and blood glucose is invaluable, and you're obviously doing that.  You are set for great success!  

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  • Jeff Kruger Thank you!  When I first started Keto I was adding 1 tbsp of MCT oil to my coffee but it gave me tummy troubles.  So I found a keto creamer with butter, MCTs, and Himalayan salt that I add to my coffee every morning and it's been a great addition.  I am also doing intermittent fasting (16:8) and that been going well too.  

    I agree with you about the weight movement.  In the past, I've been so focused on the scale so it's a bit of a shift to rely on macros and ketones/glucose results instead.  Do you know when is the best time of day to test blood ketones?  I usually do it first thing in the morning once a week. 

    I'm seeing that this is a journey with lots of learning along the way so I'm trying to be patient with myself and the process.

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  • IdKeto18, what brand is the creamer? I may have to try some of that.  I usually put some vanilla or chocolate Perfect Keto MCT powder in my morning coffee, some times with some grass fed butter, and other times I add a tablespoon of heavy whipping cream.    The MCT powder is supposed to be a bit easier on the stomach for folks that the oil causes problems.   I'm fortunate the oil doesn't cause any gastric distress for me, but I started really slow with it.  

    When doing 16:8 do you often find you aren't even super hungry when it's time for your first meal?  That's often the case for me, and it really surprised me.  I just finished my first 24 hour fast yesterday.  I actually really felt great during the last several hours.  I wasn't feeling really hungry at the 24 hour mark, but once I started actually eating, it tasted great and was very satisfying.  With the potential benefits of things like autophagy and such I figure the 16:8 and other fasting probably won't hurt anything and may have some real benefits.  

    I'm honestly not sure about a best time to test ketones.  I've read that things like the normal release of some cortisol when you first get up can skew glucose and ketones a bit.  There are times when I will check my glucose several times per day just so see how it's reacting to what I've eaten.  I usually do my ketones on days when I'm going 16:8.  I don't eat after 6pm the nigh before and don't eat breakfast until 10 am the next day.  I'm up around 4:30 most mornings and wait until about 8am or so to check my ketones and glucose on those days.  I like keeping track of my GKI as I feel like it gives me a bit better idea of how things are going.  Just my feeling, not based on anything other than some reading and personal opinion.  I think the relationship between ketones and glucose is probably important.  

    I'm sure with you on the frustration, it can be hard to avoid at times, but is self defeating. Once I wrapped my head around the fact that eating the calories I'm eating, the exercise I'm doing, it's not actually possible for me to put on something like a pound of fat in a single day, the frustration went away. It's easy to retain some water for a day or two and see other improvements but the scale show up a bit, or flat though.    I've started going a lot by how I feel too.  If I end up with lower energy for any reason I try to look at what I've eaten, and when.  A tablespoon of MCT oil gives me some pretty quick energy.  

    Best of luck on your journey. It sounds like you are kicking butt and taking every reasonable step you can.   Though every body is different, there are certainly some common things, and common frustrations that seem to hold true for all of us. 

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  • allisha:) You bring up a good point.!  I find that if I consume a moderate amount of artificial sweeteners  (mostly from protein bars) that things really slow down for me.  I do much better on days when I eat whole, fresh foods and aim to hit my 75% fat goal.  So I agree that taking a look at what I'm consuming can make a big difference.  As far as ketones go, I may try testing at various times during the day just to see what kind of results I get.  It's a bummer the strips are so expensive but I think it'll be worth it to gain a little more info into what my ketones are doing.

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  • Jeff Kruger The brand of creamer I use is Keto Cafe - Ketogenic Creamer.  I found it at TJMaxx Homegoods store but I'm sure they would have it on Amazon.  

    When I first started doing the 16:8 I found it hard to break the habit of having breakfast in the morning but that was more habitual than hunger.  Most days I'm not very hungry and kind of have to force myself to eat so I hit my macros.  In a couple of weeks I may try doing a 24 hour fast.

    I've seen a couple of articles about GKI.  I need to do some more reading and research to learn more about what it is and what information I can glean from my results.

    Thanks for all of your very helpful posts!

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    • Keto4Vets
    • Stop Grinding and Start Thriving!
    • Keto4Vets
    • 1 yr ago
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    gretchenhulett  You could always try Exogenous Ketones to boost your Ketone levels.

    If you are not in Ketosis  "burning fat for fuel",  be prepared you will go potty!

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  • Keto4Vets exogenous ketones don't work for weightloss Dr Berry did a video on them. Those that sell it are stealing money from unsuspecting despite people.

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  • And why are you tagging me. I am in ketosis and have been for 2 weeks.

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    • Keto4Vets
    • Stop Grinding and Start Thriving!
    • Keto4Vets
    • 1 yr ago
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    gretchenhulett  Wow! Great news. Keep up the good work. Stay positive!

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  • Urbanhiker I'm new to Keto and you have FWIW and VLCHF,  what is that?

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