Sunday, September 2, 2012


I have noticed in the past week that my hunger has pretty much disappeared. My goal is to eat 135g fat, 54g protein and 27g carbs every day. As you will see if you look at my update and menu below, I have not been eating enough. There was one day that I only made it to 110g fat, 40g protein and 22g carbs. That is way low on fat and protein.

It seems that after I eat my normal breakfast, I just can't get myself to eat the rest of what I "need" to hit my goals. At dinner time, I might need to eat 4-5 oz. of meat, but all I can manage is 3 oz, or I feel like it is too much.

I am experiencing NO HUNGER when I am at work, and I spend a lot of time there speed walking. If I have a meal break there, I just eat my tiny meal and I am set for the rest of the day. Sometimes when I get home, I look at my numbers for the day, see that I have not eaten enough, but do not want to eat any more. I'm just not hungry.

I have never had this experience before of trying to get up to a certain amount of food. I guess this is the effect of deep ketosis (2.2 average on the keto meter).

At this point, I have decided to up my fat and protein at breakfast so that I do not have to eat so much protein at night. I want to be done eating a few hours before bed, but oftentimes I am home from work around 10pm, and it's just to late to eat something to hit my goal.

I have also decided to up my daily protein from 54g to 57g to meet the Phinney/Volek minimum requirement. I know it's not much, so it shouldn't hurt.

I just read the part in the book that says that too much protein is problematic on NK, but too little protein is also. I think I need to concentrate on getting my protein up to 57g at least every day. Eating only 40g that one day is just ridiculous.

Any thoughts, Readers?

It's been eight weeks since I started my experiment with nutritional ketosis.  I am eating higher fat, lower protein and very low carb.  Here are my charts:

In summary, in the past 8 weeks:
I lost 1/2" around my neck
I lost 3/8" around my bicep
I lost 1/4" around my bust
I lost 1-1/2" around my midriff
I lost 3" around my waist
I lost 1-7/8" around my navel
I lost 1-5/8" around my hips
I lost 5/8" around my thigh
I lost 3/8" around the calf
Total lost:  11-1/2"

I lost 8.8 pounds on the scale (lost 10.2 pounds of body fat and gained 1.4 pounds of lean mass).
I went down 5 percentage points on my body fat.
I went down 0.043 points on my waist-to-hip ratio.

I tracked my food five days this week, but I ate on plan every day.  If you want to know exactly what I am eating, look here, and then you can click the page numbers at the bottom to see each individual day.

Here are the averages of what I ate this past week, not including the days I did not track:

1423 calories
123.9g fat (78.3%)
54.1g protein (15.2%)
23g carbs (6.5%)

My goal was a little higher, and I did not intentionally eat less:

1539 calories
135g fat (79%)
54g protein (14%)
27g carbs (7%)

I stopped testing my blood ketones and glucose because the results are always the same and the strips are expensive.  After a few weeks go by, I'll test again for good measure.  If something starts going wrong, I will test sooner, but for now, I don't see a reason to test.

I did test my blood glucose just one time this past week, and here is the chart since I started nutritional ketosis:


I will continue to post my results once a week until I hit my goal, which is this:

136 pounds scale weight
40.8 pounds body fat (30%)
95.2 pounds lean mass (70%)
11.875" neck
28" waist
39.125" hips
0.716 waist-to-hip ratio
To get there, I need to lose 3.8 pounds of body fat, gain 1.2 pounds of lean mass and lose 1-3/4" around my waist.


  1. Rebecca Latham

    Hello, Rebecca

    I only recently came back to low-carb after 20 years of vowing I would never again do Atkins or another ketogenic diet. I toyed with 'lower-carb' (100g net carbs) for the last 8 months or so & was able to lose some weight, but it's been a struggle to not overeat. It's a youtube video titled Low Carb Living featuring Dr. Stephen Phinney that impressed me enough to give VLC/HF another try. Finding your blog (from a comment you left on Tom Naughton's blog) has really helped me to start figuring out how I need to organize my eating in order to follow what Dr. Phinney recommends. I have been cheating almost every day so I am not yet in nutritional ketosis, but I am sure I will get there soon.

    I must say that I had a feeling when I first read your blog that your protein intake may be a little low so I think going up to 57 or even 60 may be beneficial for you; I doubt that it would take you out of nutritional ketosis.

    What I had understood from the Low Carb Living video was that Dr. Phinney was describing the difference between maintenance and weight loss; he was explaining that part of the fat during weight loss comes from body fat rather than dietary fat. So I don't believe that you should be force-feeding yourself any fat while you are still trying to lose weight. What it seems to me he said on that video and elsewhere is that you need to eat an adequate amount of protein for your body (height, lean body mass); then restrict carbohydrates to 25-50g per day (maybe needs to be lower for some people); then eat enough fat to satisfy your hunger. The rest of the fat required will be taken from your body fat reserves since your body is in nutritional ketosis and uses body fat as fuel. I have not yet ordered his books, but I have been studying everything I can find on the internet written or spoken by Dr. Phinney.

    Therefore, I may be mistaken, but I think you might benefit by cutting your fat intake (in absolute fat grams) to the level dictated by your hunger. If I understand correctly, it could even speed up the loss of your visceral fat.

    I feel like I am being presumptuous for speaking what I think, given that I am very, very new at this. It's up to you to know whether any of this is actually pertinent to your situation.

    I want you to know that I have enjoyed every posting that I have read on your blog and I was astonished when I read your posting titled « Where in the world is Carmen SanDiego? » that a reader could be so brutal in expressing his views. Your blog has been a great help to me.

    Here is the link for the Low Carb Living video I mentioned :

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Johanne! And welcome back to the Low Carb Lifestyle! I also thought the video you posted was really good when I watched it several days ago. I'm glad that it had an impact on you.

      As for my intake of fat, when I first started this eight weeks ago, I WAS force feeding myself fat, but I stopped that after a couple of weeks. At this point, I am eating 50 grams less fat than I was at the beginning, and I feel like it is a good amount. I no longer feel like I'm force feeding. And I am still losing, so I guess I am not eating too much any more. If I stop losing before I hit goal, I may have to cut it down a bit more.

      I'm glad that my little blog has been an encouragement to you, and that you found applicable advice. Have you decided to get a ketone meter?

  2. Oh for now, Rebecca, I am still struggling with eating too much carbs and protein (I'm aiming for 20g carbs daily and end up at 50 or even higher); I keep bingeing in the evening. Yesterday, it was the whole package of cheese. I expect that when I am successful at entering nutritional ketosis, the cravings will stop. Your blog is really giving me hope that I will get there. I admire the dedication that you have applied to getting and staying in nutritional ketosis.

    I want to check my local pharmacy about the ketone meter; I read on the internet someone in Canada saying he went to London Drugs, his regular pharmacy, and that they had strips for the Precision Xtra at $2 each. does sell the ketone meter, but the strips are almost $7 each on the Canadian site! I tried finding the 2 most recent books by Dr. Phinney in Canada, but it looks like I will have to order from I'm chronically ill and housebound almost all the time so it takes me a long time to purchase the things that I need.

    When I tried Atkins many times in the 70's, 80's and early 90's, it was the original diet with 10g of total carbs per day during the induction period. I did not eat high fat, so I ended up eating enormous amounts of meat, which I don't like. I found it horrible. So I was pleasantly surprised when I read Dr. Westman's book The New Atkins For A New You (TNAFANY), and then went on to read The New Diet Revolution that Dr. Atkins had written after I quit trying to do Atkins. TNAFANY even has vegetarian and vegan versions (although I am neither at the present time). But reading TNAFANY a few months ago, I had not understood that you had to increase the fat that much, I was still fat-phobic and I wanted to avoid ketosis so I chose to eat 60-100g of carbs and way too much protein. As I told you in my previous comment, it was the interviews with Dr. Phinney that have convinced me of the benefits of nutritional ketosis. I'm also convinced from my readings in the last 8 months (Gary Taubes, etc.) that low-carb is not dangerous for our health and will almost certainly be beneficial. So, I will keep trying and I will keep reading your blog to see how you are doing and it will inspire me.

    Thanks, Rebecca!

  3. Hi Rebecca,

    I am very much loving your blog! Thank you for sharing your journey. I have been inspired by you and Jimmy to do my own experiment. I'm not testing blood keytones, but I'm shooting to keep my carbs under 50 total grams per day. I thought I might be overeating protein, but when I started tracking my macronutrients, I found that I was eating WAY less than I actually should! After listing to the doctor on the latest "Ask the Low Carb Experts" show, I'm trying to eat at least 30 grams of protein at each meal. The expert said that is the minimum for everybody, regardless of size. I was skeptical, but I'm giving it a try. I make sure it happens at breakfast, and the rest of the day usually comes out close, based on following my hunger. I'm always under on my fat consumption (though I don't restrict it), which is fine because I have plenty of my own to use up :) Basically, I make sure to stay under 50g of carbs, eat at least 90g of protein (30g at each meal), and just eat as much fat as I need to satisfy myself. I wind up between 1550-1800 calories per day (max goal is 1900, but I never reach that). It's been great! Thanks again for posting your progress. It is so fun to read all about it. You're doing a great job!

    1. I'm glad you like the blog, Amelia! Everyone is different, and I know that if I ate 90 grams of protein each day, I would not lose weight, because I've tried it. But if you find that it is working for you, I say go for it!

      In the future, should it stop working, I would consider going to the low end of what Phinney and Volek recommend, which is 0.6 grams of protein per goal lean body mass pounds.

      There's lots of recommendations out there. You have to find what works for you.

      Thanks for reading!

    2. Rebecca,

      Your results have inspired me to follow the ketogenic diet as specified by Dr. Phinney an Dr. Volek. I read both of their recent books and started testing my blood ketones on September 1, 2012. I am 5 feet 3 inches and decided to follow the basic ratios which you have outlined.
      I lost 60 pounds after following a low carb diet since 2009 but have had a weight loss stall for the past 6 months.
      I tested my fasting morning blood ketones(0.7)and fasting glucose(101)on third day and decided to keep my total daily carbs less than 30 grams/protein 45 to 60 grams/fat 120-150 grams. This morning, on my sixth day, my fasting ketones are 1.1 and fasting glucose 88. This is the lowest fasting glucose level I have had in years (due to pre-diabetes). I seem to be heading in the right direction and hope to get my ketones to at least 2.0 in the next few weeks.
      I agree that finding the correct protein amount for our specific body seems to be one of the biggest challenges. How do we really calculate our "lean body mass" and multiply by 0.6? I am a research RN and we have a Dexa Scanner to compute Bone Densities. I know the doctors would laugh if I asked to have my Body Fat scanned, maybe some day in the future when a ketogenic diet has gained more acceptance.
      Your posts are extremely helpful! Let me know if you want to swap any recipes. I have found that small amounts of protein in a meal help alot. I made a Miracle Noodle Alfredo with 1/2 ounce smoked salmon for lunch today which was great! Now if I can just find more fiber sources besides my Flax Muffins and the limited vegetables allowed.


    3. Thanks for reading, Terry! It sounds like you are on the right track, for sure.

      Just out of curiosity, why are you trying to increase your fiber?

    4. I am trying to eat the lowest carb vegetables with the highest amount of fiber. I limit total carbs eaten to about 20 to 29, but still think that the fiber might help negate some of the effects of the carbs (as in "Net Carbs").

      I am on Day 17 now but my blood ketones have not stabilized yet. My fasting level at 4:00 am ranges from 0.4 to 1.4. I am going to increase my fat slightly (about 140 grams), keep protein about 60 grams and total carbs less than 30. I need to increase my exercise since I work 12 hours daily at a desk job.

      I just made a fat treat with coconut oil, ghee, liquid Vanilla Stevia and mint extract. I freeze them and try to eat at least 3 tablespoons of a fat combination daily.

      I just read Dr. Jack Kruse's posting on the epi-paleo optimal diet. He advises eliminating all dairy products and eating seafood as a main protein source. So many different opinions on the best diet composition.


    5. Hi, Terry!

      I would say that your ketone levels look good. The optimum level is between 0.5 and 3.0, so you are right on track. You say you have not stabilized yet. Just so you know, your ketone levels will go up and down naturally within a small range, and that's okay. Mine are not stable, either, but are within the range I want. If you want to see how mine wiggle around, look here and scroll to the bottom where the chart is shown:

      Personally, I don't try to eat fiber. There are differing opinions on this subject, and I subscribe to the one that says fiber is not necessary when enough dietary fat is being ingested. Many people think that too much dietary fiber is an irritant to the digestive system. Also, Phinney/Volek recommend counting total carbs and not net carbs. There are many (including Jimmy Moore) who don't go along with the whole net carbs thing. Besides, if you are eating less than 30 total grams of carbs per day, you do not have to worry about trying to reduce the "effects" of that small of an amount of carbs, in my opinions.

      You might want to try to keep your total carbs under 20 or 25 to see if that helps.

      You did not mention... How are you doing with your weight?

      Keep up the good work!

  4. Hi, Rebecca!

    I sent you a response a couple of days ago; I assume you did not receive it. Unfortunately, I did not save the text. So, I will at least answer the question you asked me. No, I did not yet purchase a ketone meter, but I started looking into it. Here in Canada, has the Precision Xtra for only $13.50, but when I looked closer, it's sold by a NY company and the shipping is almost $30. My neighbourhood pharmacy sells it for $90. (Yep, that is not a typo!) But they sell the ketone strips for $25 for 10, which I think is reasonable. So either I would order my meter from where the shipping may be free or from (located in Canada) where I've seen a lot of people buy their ketone strips for $2 USD each (there the meter sells for "only" $46 USD and if I order enough strips, I'll get free shipping). I read on another blog that they are quite slow at filling orders.

    In any case, this morning I decided to dial down the fat and try to follow the guidelines from the Duke University Medical Centre, which are very similar to the newest Atkins book by Dr. Westman. I've been ending my days having eaten too many calories, even though I keep losing weight. So for now, I won't worry about how much protein or fat I eat and will concentrate mainly on trying to get my net carbs below 20g and eventually total carbs below 20g.

    I am eager to read your posting next Sunday to find out how your week is going and whether your appetite is back.

    Take care,


  5. Hi, Rebecca, I just want to let you know I sent you many messages & it seems you did not receive them, except for the first one. It is possible that you will receive fewer messages if there is a technical problem. Mind you, the 'technical problem' may be I'm not doing this right because of my lack of knowledge about computers.


    P.S. I would like to comment about your most recent blog posting but I will wait to see whether you get this message. You're really doing well! Congratulations!

    1. Hi, Johanne! It does seem as if some of your messages did not reach me. I'm getting them now, though. Thanks!

  6. Rebecca,
    I have been eating about 20 total carbs for the past few days and developed Hypokalemia symptoms (rapid pulse, weakness). I had not eaten my half of avocado for two days and I have had this happen to me in the past on a very low carb diet.
    Susie T. Gibbs (Fluffy Chix blog) told me that she cannot tolerate a ketogenic diet due to a "cortisol like reaction" every time she has tried it. I ate a whole avocado last night and added 1 cup of swiss chard and kale to my breakfast today, so I am feeling better.

    I have only lost 1 pound while on this ketogenic diet for the past 20 days. I have been on a weight loss plateau for at least a year even while eating a low carb diet. I thought that I might benefit from reducing my protein intake with the Volek/Phinney recommendation but so far I have not had dramatic results.

    I have not eaten more than 35 total carbs daily since 2009. I want to stop my progression towards Type 2 Diabetes but my fasting blood sugar for the past 2 days has increased to 115 and 119 (usually 103-108). I think that my body is stressed due to the lack of potassium and trace minerals, so I am going to buy some ConcenTrace liquid trace minerals today. I heard Jimmy Moore say that he had started taking "liquid minerals".

    I have not given up yet, but I do need to be sure to get enough Potassium from food. I cannot tolerate most supplements due to Gastritis. I use Magnesium Oil which you apply to your skin but it seems that I will have to eat more avocados and swiss chard to get my potassium. I use the Diet Power nutritional program to track my food daily but I have been ignoring their warning about the low potassium intake.

    I am thinking about decreasing the dairy products also. I am lactose intolerant but have no problem with organic cream cheese, organic aged cheese, organic sour cream. I don't eat more than 2 ounces of cheese daily but I might eliminate dairy to see if this helps with weight loss. I only drink one cup of unsweetened almond milk daily so I would not miss dairy except for the daily tablespoon of Parmesan cheese I now eat on my Miracle Noodles for lunch.

    Thanks for your advice! I need all the help I can get.

    1. I'm sorry you are struggling so much, Terry! I know how frustrating that is, to feel like the answer is just out of your reach. You may be on to something with the dairy elimination. It has not caused me problems, but I have heard of people who have had blood sugar problems while eating dairy, even in small amounts.

      Let me know if eliminating dairy helps. Hang in there!

  7. Hi Rebecca,
    Thank you for sharing your journey on your blog. It has helped me a lot and I'm about 10 days into a keto-esque diet and loving it so far. Just curious, what kind of profession are you in? You said that you speed walk at work, that sounds awesome!

  8. Sorry for the delay in answering, Kerry! I am the Education Coordinator at a Jo-Ann Fabric store. While I am at work, I am usually dashing around the store!

    I'm glad you are doing well with your ketosis!