I’ve been in a stall for almost a month now after losing 20 lbs. I’m not doing anything different but I’ve read that sometimes a 3-5 day fat fast will help get you back on track. Has anyone tried it and do you have any recommendations for a meal plan. I find several. They are usually around a 1000 calories a day and to set your tracker for 90% fat, 5%protein and 5% carbs. I’d like to try this, but safely without just eating a block of cream cheese throughout the day. Thanks for any help.
1000 cal is too low. Don’t get obsessed with “weight loss”. It is usually an unsustainable goal. Just eat real food and keep your healthy fat in the 70-80% range. Eating that way will heal your body and allow it to achieve a healthy weight, whatever that may be. The main question I ask my clients is “How do you feel?” If you have good energy and are in a good mental place, you are eating well. If you are overweight, your weight will eventually come down. If you try to force it, you may start screwing with your metabolism and hormonal balance which is no fun. Good luck and just keep doing good things.
If you are going to fast, I recommend you do a water only fast. You can search for Dr. Jason Fung for more info on that. When you mess around with calorie restriction, you do not get the full benefit of fasting and you risk slowing down your basal metabolic rate which will make it more difficult for you to maintain weight loss when you resume eating. You should also look into intermittent fasting or restricted eating window information. Of course, if you have a history of disordered eating, I do not recommend fasting at all.
It is tough to make specific recommendations without knowing more of your history but it seems like your daily calorie goal is low. Many people get hung up with the whole macro tracking effort. In general, my recommendation is to keep your “total” carb intake somewhere in the 20-50g per day range, eat an appropriate amount of protein with a bias to the higher end of the normal range but never less than 50g per day, and then add fat until you feel sated. Most people do not fully comprehend how much fat is really required. In the beginning, I feel it is better to err on the high side of the fat consumption and then bring it back down to the correct level.
You also NEED to get a blood ketone meter if you are trying to be in ketosis. You mentioned you had a test for ketones but having an occasional test may catch you during a window where you are out of ketosis even though you may be in ketosis most of the time. It also makes it difficult to do food sensitivity testing if you end up going down that route. If you are not getting enough fat calories and you are too calorie restricted, you can throw your endocrine system into crisis mode. This will result in hormone imbalance, with can stop weight loss. You can find the Precision ketone meter on Amazon for about $50 and you can get the test strips at universaldrugstore.com for about $2-$3 per strip. Once you have a meter, I recommend you test once or twice a week, first thing in the morning, to see if you are in ketosis (0.5-3.0 mmol/l).
If you are in ketosis and not losing weight, your next step may be to eliminate common foods that cause sensitivities like dairy, eggs and nuts.
I find that most people say they are doing it for “weight loss” but that is usually not the underlying reason. For example, I had a fatty liver and I wanted to reduce the fat stored in my liver so it could start working correctly again. Overall weight loss was kind of a side effect of that. You need to get to the root of the reason that you want to live a ketogenic lifestyle. You mentioned your husband has diabetes so it sounds like one of your motivations is to help him reverse his illness which is a great goal!
It may seem tough now but if you keep at it, the ketogenic lifestyle will be second nature a year from now.
In addition to the great points made above….
It is normal for the first 20lbs or so to drop off easily depending on how much you have to lose when you first go keto.
The initial loss is boosted by dropping excess water weight. Then when that is done, things slow down. It can be a little disheartening but it is to be expected. Sorry….
If you do decide to fast I might suggest including bone broth for hydration and electrolytes as well as some good fat and protein.