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In ketosis but not losing weight?

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Updated September 16, 2014 at 8:07 PM
Created April 19, 2013 at 11:53 AM

I am eating a ketogenic primal diet and have been for the last week or so. I eat 20-30 grams of carbohydrates per day; I am getting a LOT of fat, like 70%-80% of my calories (I basically add coconut oil, lard, or duck fat to everything I can possibly think of). According to the ketostix I bought the other day, I was in mild ketosis yesterday and moderate ketosis as of this morning. I am not doing any cardio or weight training but am trying to walk a lot - according to my pedometer I walk between 12,000 and 20,000 steps each day.

I am super frustrated because the last time I did this, back when I first went primal, the weight started coming off right away; that was about a year ago. Then I got back to school and fell off the bandwagon, so to speak, and started eating junk again. I decided I needed to get back to eating well, and I'm feeling healthier overall. The last few weeks I have been eating strictly primal and the last week has been ketogenic because I'm trying to lose 10 or 15 lbs.

I know I am not at my body's "ideal weight" because last time I did this I started at my current weight and lost about 15 lbs fairly quickly, and it stayed off without any trouble.

I was having one or occasionally two alcoholic drinks (usually wine, sometimes "cheated" and had beer) most days until yesterday, when I decided to stop drinking altogether in case that was getting in the way.

I know I should be more patient but I'm nervous that I'm doing something wrong, and when I'm eating so much fat it's difficult for me to keep my calories up. I'm usually not hungry anymore by the time I've had 1200-1500 calories but yesterday I bumped up to around 2000 to try and tell my body there is plenty of food so it can let go of that body fat.

Any suggestions? Do I just need to keep going and hope the weight loss starts soon?

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9
0 · March 21, 2014 at 3:50 AM

I realize this is an old thread but it addresses my current concern. I have about 8 lbs to lose (in "old terms, anyway, although I've been very fit in the past and at a certain weight so I think I have an idea of it.) At any rate, calorie restricting--even if I'm already very hungry? I've tended toward a high metabolism (compared to others, not super high) in the past so it seems if I'm REALLY hungry, I shouldn't be restricting any more cals? Or do you think it's still possible I'll have to! I'm only on day 7.

894f77b706afae22722ab97522111bd8
0 · April 19, 2013 at 6:15 PM

That is a picture of me when I was about 15 lbs lighter than I am now... hence my wanting to lose those 15 lbs.

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10984 · April 19, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I agree with this. You already look thin Eliz, especially in what I can see of your arms. If you're trying to lose a gut then you aren't going to get that just by dipping into ketosis or doing a calorie restricted diet. You want body re-composition, not weight loss, since you already appear to be slim.

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5802 · April 19, 2013 at 3:14 PM

It depends on your personality. Some people do well just eating to satiety; others have more peace when they can track it. As long as you don't feel hungry, your body shouldn't think it's starving. You will probably hear your own hunger cues better; I certainly have days where I eat a lot, then the next day I'm not as hungry. I really think it was the alcohol holding you back, and you'll see results soon. Keep up the walking - that's a great tool for fat loss.

894f77b706afae22722ab97522111bd8
0 · April 19, 2013 at 12:43 PM

That makes sense about the water weight. I get my carbs mainly from vegetables but do have a few raspberries with my breakfast each morning. Do you think I need to worry about getting enough calories, or do you think it would be okay to just eat until I'm no longer hungry? Or is my body going to think I'm starving it if I only get in 1400 cals or so?

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · April 19, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I feel there's need for more data than you just provided. You told us that you regained the weight you lost last time but actually don't say which is your current % BF. By your picture and age, you don't seem overweight at all. Trying to cut bodyfat down when already more or less normal weight will need some effort, maybe just not walking. You could try more strenuous exercise, I bet it would work. If not, then first thing I'd suggest is to get blood work for lipid profile, hormones and thyroid status, salivary cortisol, HS-CRP and iron status then came back and post. Maybe something is off.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f
2944 · April 19, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Why do you think you need to be in ketosis to lose weight? Why not focus on eating the most nourishing diet possible for a while after your forays with 'junk', then maybe try to lose weight...?

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5802 · April 19, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Be patient and keep going. Definitely drop the alcohol! You may just not have the water weight on you to lose that you did last time. Give it at least 2 weeks without any cheats. If you aren't having progress at that point, you may need to reconfigure where you are getting your carbs (fruits versus starches) and fats (nuts versus animal fats), etc.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3
5802 · April 19, 2013 at 3:14 PM

It depends on your personality. Some people do well just eating to satiety; others have more peace when they can track it. As long as you don't feel hungry, your body shouldn't think it's starving. You will probably hear your own hunger cues better; I certainly have days where I eat a lot, then the next day I'm not as hungry. I really think it was the alcohol holding you back, and you'll see results soon. Keep up the walking - that's a great tool for fat loss.

894f77b706afae22722ab97522111bd8
0 · April 19, 2013 at 12:43 PM

That makes sense about the water weight. I get my carbs mainly from vegetables but do have a few raspberries with my breakfast each morning. Do you think I need to worry about getting enough calories, or do you think it would be okay to just eat until I'm no longer hungry? Or is my body going to think I'm starving it if I only get in 1400 cals or so?

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11254 · April 19, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Unless your picture is false, the reason you aren't losing weight is that you don't need to.
Sure, I understand there might be particular places that you don't like, but that is body recomposition stuff best done with heavy weights and extra calories. You can grow a figure that is sustainable rather than doing the roller-coaster diet thing. We all lose some muscle during these dieting phases, so, essentially you are now trying to lose some fat, but you've got less over all muscle, so it isn't as easy as it was before. You are attempting to be the ever-shrinking person, which, at the extreme, leads to death.

894f77b706afae22722ab97522111bd8
0 · April 19, 2013 at 6:15 PM

That is a picture of me when I was about 15 lbs lighter than I am now... hence my wanting to lose those 15 lbs.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5
10984 · April 19, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I agree with this. You already look thin Eliz, especially in what I can see of your arms. If you're trying to lose a gut then you aren't going to get that just by dipping into ketosis or doing a calorie restricted diet. You want body re-composition, not weight loss, since you already appear to be slim.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2
1
11682 · April 19, 2013 at 3:16 PM

If you're looking at losing the last few pounds, you'll have to calorie-restrict too. I was in ketosis for a while too but I didn't lose anything until I cut down calories. At least, that's how my own body reacted. I gave up, because I have malabsorption (I wasn't getting enough vitamins through while eating less), and my thyroid started acting up, and i got hungry all the time while calorie-restricted. Paleo and paleo-ketogenic might have saved my life by fixing a lot of my health issues, but they weren't particularly effective for my weight loss. I'm still obese 1.7 years later (Paleo for life, BTW). I know that my story is not the normal Paleo weight loss story, but from what I've been reading, for these few last pounds, you might have to calorie-restrict.

E32abdc9a483de43def522faf81ed4e9
0 · March 21, 2014 at 3:50 AM

I realize this is an old thread but it addresses my current concern. I have about 8 lbs to lose (in "old terms, anyway, although I've been very fit in the past and at a certain weight so I think I have an idea of it.) At any rate, calorie restricting--even if I'm already very hungry? I've tended toward a high metabolism (compared to others, not super high) in the past so it seems if I'm REALLY hungry, I shouldn't be restricting any more cals? Or do you think it's still possible I'll have to! I'm only on day 7.

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