Does everyone lose weight on low carb?


Does everyone lose weight on low carb? Can you get a bad metabolic reaction to a high-sugar meal after being in ketosis? Should I eat fat even when not hungry?

Get the answers in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt:

Metabolic reaction to high-sugar meal after being in ketosis?

I’ve been in ketosis (LCHF) for 5 months, lost 36 pounds (16 kg) and am at my target weight. I couldn’t be happier with how this has changed my life. I eat <30 grams of carbs a day and my blood ketone level is usually around 1.2 mmol/L, although I don't check often. My question: I have no interest in sweets or foods like pizza, but I know there will come a day when I eat some birthday cake or a slice of pizza to be social. I'm really worried that when that day comes, it will really mess up my metabolism and all the work I've done to get healthy. What could actually happen if I ate a piece of chocolate cake right now? If I immediately got back to eating healthy food, how long would it take to get back into ketosis? Would I gain a bunch of water weight from one bad meal? Would it psychologically trigger me to go back to my previous diet and start eating junk food? I'm hoping it wouldn't be such a big deal but I'm so happy with the way things are now, I'm really concerned about it triggering a downward spiral back to my original unhealthy state. What would really happen in this scenario and how would my measurements be impacted? (blood ketones, breath acetone) David

– If I immediately got back to eating healthy food, how long would it take to get back into ketosis?

From hours or a day, to a week, depending on how insulin resistant you are (it takes longer for people with insulin resistance). Breath acetone would rebound faster than the blood level.

– Would I gain a bunch of water weight from one bad meal?

Some, perhaps an extra pound or two (max), but that would quickly disappear again if you went back into ketosis (within a day or two).

– Would it psychologically trigger me to go back to my previous diet and start eating junk food?

Only you can guess. Some can manage it fine, others (i.e. people with a food addiction) would be in big trouble. Most are somewhere in between.

Andreas Eenfeldt

Does everyone lose weight on LCHF?

Hi Dr. Eenfeldt

I have been following this way of eating since the start of the year and I am not seeing any real results. My diet before I started LCHF was still very low carb but more of an Atkins/high-protein style diet, but I only really ate real foods with the occasional piece of chocolate, fruit or bread.

I am now eating around 1200 kcal per day keeping my carbs around 15 g, fats 60-70 g and protein around 50 g and only eating good quality fats such as eggs, avocado, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil.

I don’t eat any sugar or fruits, only vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, zucchini and asparagus.

I am also fasting 2 days each week for 24 hours 7 pm to 7 pm.

I have been testing my ketones on a blood monitor and am reading between 0.9 and 5 each day so I believe I am in ketosis, however I am tired, especially in the afternoons, I wake up with sore feet every morning and I am not losing any weight – I have actually put on weight on the scales and have only lost a few centimeters from my waist.

I am 44 years old, 169 cm (5’5″) tall and weigh around 75 kg (165 lbs).

I am wondering if I am just not built for this way of eating or if there is something else wrong with me??

Thanks for your help and guidance,

No, not everyone loses weight on LCHF, especially not if coming from a similar diet. It may be that your body simply considers your weight optimal, as you’re close to average and quite some women at 44 struggle to get lower.

Here are other things to consider, but possibly it will be hard to get lower and still feel good.

Andreas Eenfeldt

Should I eat fat even when not hungry?

I have been following a strict LCHF diet for four weeks now and have managed to put weight on! I am loving the plan, my appetite is reduced, I have kicked my sugar cravings and am really enjoying the food I am eating.

I start the day with a cup of coffee with cream, drink water throughout the day, have approx 35 g of brazils late afternoon and then my evening meal (which is either a recipe from the website or chicken, cheese, veg and a good chunk of butter).

I am not eating more than this as I’m not hungry (only eat when hungry), so I’m pretty much fasting daily 16/8.

Keto stix readings are showing I’m continuously in moderate ketosis.

I suspect you are going to say I’m not eating enough fat, so should I be eating fat even when I’m not hungry? Any other suggestions as to where I’m going wrong?

Kindest regards,

Hi Sarah,

No, don’t eat any extra fat when you’re not hungry. That’s not going to help you lose weight.

Sounds like you’re doing it in a good way. LCHF tends to be weight normalizing so maybe your body feels you don’t need to lose? What’s your BMI or (even better) waist circumference?



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  1. Joanna
    Regarding Justine, perhaps one of her problems with sore feet in the morning is a need for more sodium in her diet. I had a similar issue and corrected it by having a teaspoon of sea salt in a glass of water before going to bed. She should try this if she doesn't have high blood pressure to see if she sleeps better and stops aching in the morning.
  2. Keith
    And, further to Joanna's comment, the numbers don't add up!
    Quoted amounts of carbs, fats and protein are way below 1200 kcals!
  3. Dalia
    Extended fasting may actually do the trick to trigger weight loss for Justine if she can try/handle it, health permitting. That maybe the kick in the pants needed.
  4. Bonnie
    I have a very similar issue as Justines
    I'm 74, 5.5, 170 lbs. I am former runner, low fat, no fat diet person and never had a weight problem. Recently diagnosed with copd and gained 15 pounds from medications.
    My doctor suggested keto diet and I love it. I'm doing 20/30 carbs daily for three months. Eating more fats than ever. Lost only 3 pounds, 2 inches in waist, 2 inches in chest.
    I workout six days a week and consider myself active but 15 pound too heavy.
    I do a 12 hour fast daily, Bayer Keto strips are in the 5/15small range daily. Sometimes skip dinner.
    Any suggestions received with gratitude.
  5. Thomas
    Joanna, I agree about the low sodium. I will have some chicken broth at night before bed. Gives me something warm to drink at night in the cold winter months and helps with aches and pains. At least that has been my experience.
  6. Martha
    It sounds like Justine eats too few calories per day. When fasting 2 x 24 h/week, it definitely sounds like she would benefit from increasing her total calories in her eating days. I have heard this problem discussed several times on the Fasting Podcast and also on Keto Talk. There have to be a bigger difference between fasting days and eating days! Other ways your body will respond as to as if you were calorie restricting, which definitely won't help you loose wheight... Tune in the named podcasts, up your calories and good luck Justine!!
  7. robyn ironmonger
    i've been on the diet for 9 months now and have lost 17kgs but some mornings i loose it and some mornings with out eating or drinking and i have been to the toilet i have gained weight,how is this possible ?????
  8. gmartin11276
    Water weight fluctuates throughout the day and from one day to the next. It's very normal.

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