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pikachu

Are you keto-adapted? How long did it take?

Hi everyone,

I'm in my third week of zero carb, and have been doing well at staying with it. I haven't had cravings for carbs and the thought of a nice juicy steak sounds delicious even though that's practically all I've been eating.

I read in Bear's comments that it takes 3 weeks or more to become keto-adapted, and in the research, that the Inuit were not in ketosis. This stage is something I am definitely looking forward to, since I've been feeling kind of blah.

I was wondering if it is a gradual process to become keto-adapted, or does it just "boom" happen one day? Just for kicks I peed on a stick and came up in big ketosis. Will it really happen that one day the sticks will come up clear, and I'll have this amazing feeling of energy and well-being?

Thank you so much for the insights of your experience.

PS I am painfully shy so it's very hard for me to participate on message boards! Please bear with me...
adwred

Honestly, Pikachu, this whole keto-adaptation thing is a bit of a mystery to me. All I can say is that I have been zero-carb for almost a year (Aug. 16th is my carniversary) and I feel wonderful and full of energy, but do I still spill ketones? Yes. Always? No. When I go too long without eating or if I eat a particularly low-calorie day, then it's ketone-city, but if I eat lots, then my ketostix go unchanged. I wouldn't worry too much about the ketones - just go by feel. How are you feeling now, energy-wise? Are you noticing any improvement over time?

Welcome, by the way!
Scout Finch

I think the sticks vary from person to person. Some people just excrete more ketones in their urine than their breath, for example, so they have purple sticks. Others might not show anything but they have to be in ketosis because they are not eating carbs.

In my experience, I was doing Atkins at give-or-take induction level carbs when I went to zero. Within about 3-4 days I had the energy surge. That's all it took, completely bottoming out my carbs for it to happen, but I had been low carb for years prior.

I always think of keto-adaptation too in terms of what you want to accomplish. Do you want to run long distances? Bike long distances? If so, it's going to take a while for your body to efficiently burn body fat so you can accomplish these things. I think 3 weeks for this is a minimum. A minimum.

But the energy thing happens before 3 weeks in. You'll get there, though.

Eggy, we need to have a party for you on the 16th for your carniversary! I will bring the party hats and toot-horns. Yup

Line Cheer
Cavemate K

Carniversary. I love it! Laugh
Cavemate K

Scout,

I forgot to ask, what ratio of protein to fat do you eat at meals? Do you add fat via butter, cut-offs, oils, etc.?
adwred

Cavemate K wrote:
Scout,

I forgot to ask, what ratio of protein to fat do you eat at meals? Do you add fat via butter, cut-offs, oils, etc.?


Yeah, Scout, I've always wondered that about your meals, too! And roughly how much you're eating in one sitting, calorie-wise. Can't be that much if you're only having one meal consisting of a smaller steak and a piece of fish or chicken, or a steak and a few shrimp.
Scout Finch

My meal is probably 1/4 to 1/2 again larger than the dinner meal I ate before IF. It's fewer than the total calories I was eating before, but larger than the prior dinners.

5-6 ounce steak maybe? Plus a good-sized piece of salmon or a large chicken breast or a couple of thighs (with skin). If I eat eggs, I'll have 2 scrambled in butter plus the steak.

Yes, I use butter, eat the skin on chicken, cook in butter and spread butter and blue cheese on my steaks. I figure I am getting the same ratios as before IF but haven't done a fitday on it. I think my ratios before were 75 fat, 25 protein, probably hovered around there most of the time.
adwred

I bet your calories are a lot lower than you realize. That meal you described, assuming a 6 oz ribeye, 1/4 cup of cheese (probably a generous assumption), a tablespoon of butter (again, generous), and a 6 oz salmon fillet only equals to 935 calories. No wonder you lost weight when you started IFing. I'm surprised you're not still losing weight, honestly.
Scout Finch

That sounds about right. I don't think my calories were that much higher when I was doing 2 meals a day. I dropped my long run, which was burning a lot of calories. I don't weigh myself that often, but I did drop about 4# after IF.

I'm stabilized now, at least I think I am. Roll Eyes I just can't put away more food than this in one meal. To be honest, I thought I would slam down enormous amounts of food on IF, but it just hasn't happened. When I eat out in restaurants, I'm eating the 8 or 10 ounce steak or whatever they are, so that's the normal sized steak I used to eat.
Cavemate K

Scout and Red: when IFing do you get irritible when you skip meals? I understand that one of the benefits of no carb is that hunger isn't as intense, so maybe going a while without food isn't as hard as before? Thanks.
adwred

I did when I was IFing and my meals were random, but I haven't actually had any real irritability since starting the Fast 5 thingy. I think it's because I know when the meal is coming, there's no psychological stress to it - just the bodily stress of actually being hungry. I have had moments of iffiness, but they pass pretty quickly, particularly if I have a cup of tea. I'm thinking they go away completely after a while.
pikachu

Scout Finch wrote:


I always think of keto-adaptation too in terms of what you want to accomplish. Do you want to run long distances? Bike long distances? If so, it's going to take a while for your body to efficiently burn body fat so you can accomplish these things. I think 3 weeks for this is a minimum. A minimum.


Oh I am totally not an athlete - my goal is more to feel good enough to get up off the couch and play with my kids! And definitely to get rid of the excess weight I am carrying.

I haven't even completed 3 weeks yet, so I won't feel discouraged. I'll keep it up longer for sure!
cicley

It took me about 4 weeks of zero carb before I adapted. I never did measure ketones. I'm just going on the fact that after four weeks of lethargy I started having huge mounds of energy, without the lows of carb loading.
Cavemate K

cicley wrote:
It took me about 4 weeks of zero carb before I adapted. I never did measure ketones. I'm just going on the fact that after four weeks of lethargy I started having huge mounds of energy, without the lows of carb loading.


Out of curiosity, did your lethargy actually make it tough for you to sleep at night? It's sort of a strange Catch-22 that I've heard of from others on this WOE.
Nicola

Scout, I can't understand how you can keep on that little; doing sport and IF I do have to eat much more and even then the weight can go down and I have to tell my self "you need to eat more"; what you eat is nothing to what I "must" or "try" to eat.
cicley

Cavemate K wrote:

Out of curiosity, did your lethargy actually make it tough for you to sleep at night? It's sort of a strange Catch-22 that I've heard of from others on this WOE.

Indeed, I experienced lots of tossing and turning. Which in turn led to needing a lot more sleep to feel rested. I slept a lot during the first few weeks, ten or more hours a night.
adwred

I don't find I need nearly as muc sleep now, without carbs, especially on IF. I'm up at 7 am no problem and I never used to be a morning person at all. Shock
Cavemate K

adwred wrote:
I don't find I need nearly as muc sleep now, without carbs, especially on IF. I'm up at 7 am no problem and I never used to be a morning person at all. Shock


Do you feel sufficiently rested, though? Is it an "I'm ready to start the day" kind of feeling or an "Oops, I woke up too early" one? I think it'd pretty cool to not need as much sleep! Smile
adwred

"I'm ready to start the day" feeling. Yup
woof_woof

I agree. When my diet is clean (it means 0 carb and some other don'ts) I need only 5-6 h of sleep.
Viking Dan

You're keto-adapted when you add a cup of heavy cream to your coffee and don't think to yourself:

JESUS CHRIST! I JUST PUT A CUP OF HEAVY CREAM IN MY COFFEE!
barb0324

Yup, me too. Wake up 5 am, not tired, ready to go!
jl53563

Viking Dan wrote:
You're keto-adapted when you add a cup of heavy cream to your coffee and don't think to yourself:

JESUS CHRIST! I JUST PUT A CUP OF HEAVY CREAM IN MY COFFEE!

Then I'm adapted. Laugh
ReddyMcMeaty

Well I've only actually managed to be zero carb for 1 week so I can't answer. However, I am finding find that IF and low carb (avg. 12-17) seem to have given me a huge burst of energy, I wake easily, and have energy all day long despite 2-4 hours of interrupted sleep on average. I honestly do not see myself at zero carbs any time soon, esp with the food supply I have access to now but I hope that IF has some similar benefits. I FEEL like there are benefits.
Viking Dan

ReddyMcMeaty wrote:
Well I've only actually managed to be zero carb for 1 week so I can't answer.


The longest I managed was 3 weeks I think. I felt great, but very restless. Super aggressive, too. All I felt like doing was fighting or...*cough*...tiring the wife out. The anger was a bit much for me though, so I backed off of it.

ReddyMcMeaty wrote:
However, I am finding find that IF and low carb (avg. 12-17) seem to have given me a huge burst of energy, I wake easily, and have energy all day long despite 2-4 hours of interrupted sleep on average.


I feel that low carb eating in and of itself is not enough to repair insulin resistance. Fasting and feasting just seems to make more sense from an evolutionary perspective. Since lc-ing I've rarely eaten because I was actually hungry...just because "Hey. Its <insert time of day>. I guess I should eat."

It probably is counterproductive to eat when you're not actually hungry.
barb0324

Restless is a great word to describe how I feel with zero carb IF. I think I keto adapt really quick.

Dan, was wondering how much you've lost, are you at goal, and so on. I find it very helpful to read about other's success and journey, for comparison and also motivation. I think I've seen you post on other websites, were you on the old Protein Power baord?
ReddyMcMeaty

That is interesting Dan. It might have changed over time but that one week I was really really snappy. Right now I am really impressing myself with the amount of patience I have! Things aren't phasing me as much. Everything feels right, I'm just waiting for the weight loss to happen. I don't know if restless is how i would describe how I feel, zippy is more like it. I don't just sit and chill out, I don't need to very often and I find myself always looking for things to do and multitasking. After I eat I'm ready to go to sleep.

Last night my one son was up every half an hour being very noisy and demanding for the entire night. I got to the point where I was really really really angry by 330am, but I never lost it with him.. it had taken less to make me lose my temper in the past. Today I am acting normally and don't feel like the walking dead. I'm a little zippy even though there is a tiredness in my head the body isn't tired. So weird, it feels unreal.
Viking Dan

barb0324 wrote:
Restless is a great word to describe how I feel with zero carb IF. I think I keto adapt really quick.

Dan, was wondering how much you've lost, are you at goal, and so on. I find it very helpful to read about other's success and journey, for comparison and also motivation. I think I've seen you post on other websites, were you on the old Protein Power baord?


I'm somewhere around 12% bf now. As for weight lost, I went back on lc with a vengeance New Years '06 at a weight of 290. I got down to as low as 196. I couldn't get lower so I started going much heavier on my weight lifting and put on about 20 lbs. of muscle, so I'm about 220 now, but its a pretty hard 220. With a bit more effort, I think I can get a six pack going.

I have been on the PP board. Not so much lately.
ReddyMcMeaty

Viking Dan wrote:
....so I'm about 220 now, but its a pretty hard 220....


Yum. Yup Why are there no pics of you in the pic section?
Viking Dan

ReddyMcMeaty wrote:
Yum. Yup Why are there no pics of you in the pic section?


OK. But don't say I didn't warn you.
ReddyMcMeaty

There could be a good market in here for a screensaver rotating naked Simian, Jeff and Dan pics.
brklx

Re: Are you keto-adapted? How long did it take?

pikachu wrote:
Hi everyone,

I'm in my third week of zero carb, and have been doing well at staying with it. I haven't had cravings for carbs and the thought of a nice juicy steak sounds delicious even though that's practically all I've been eating.

I read in Bear's comments that it takes 3 weeks or more to become keto-adapted, and in the research, that the Inuit were not in ketosis. This stage is something I am definitely looking forward to, since I've been feeling kind of blah.

I was wondering if it is a gradual process to become keto-adapted, or does it just "boom" happen one day? Just for kicks I peed on a stick and came up in big ketosis. Will it really happen that one day the sticks will come up clear, and I'll have this amazing feeling of energy and well-being?

Thank you so much for the insights of your experience.

PS I am painfully shy so it's very hard for me to participate on message boards! Please bear with me...


Strict zero carb for over a year now (meat, eggs, cheese, butter), it took me about a month to stop spilling ketones, and yes it was kaboom, no more ketones.
I do not cheat since I have no desire for carb foods and cannot imagine to ever go back to eating any.
As for the duration of my sleep, I like to sleep and do so for 8 to 8 1/2 hours a day, just like before, the only difference being that now I fall asleep immediately as soon as I lie down.

I also added a lot more exercise to my daily schedule.
ReddyMcMeaty

brklx, did you have any sleep trouble initially? In my 0 carb week I had insomnia
brklx

I used to have occasional mild insomnia prior to embarking on zero carb.. As soon as I stopped eating carbs I entered sleeper heaven... immediate falling asleep and uninterrupted nights.
But then, as with everything, individual experiences differ, your may react differently.
BlackLabelSimian

ReddyMcMeaty wrote:
There could be a good market in here for a screensaver rotating naked Simian, Jeff and Dan pics.
Trust me...The way I am looking these days, you do NOT want any pics of me in that rotation.
I am what one would call "totally carb-adapted" (to put it mildly) at this point. Wow Laugh
(And no, I am not exactly proud of that...But I might as well get a cheap laugh out of it. lol)

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