How do you break through a stall? Calvin’s weight-loss experiment

calvin

Calvin

Calvin, our most popular success story of 2017, has written back to us!

After some fantastic accomplishments like reversing type 2 diabetes and losing 140 lbs (64 kg) on the keto diet, Calvin ended up on a plateau. But instead of feeling discouraged, he decided to start experimenting with different weight-loss factors and got the scale moving in the right direction again. Here he shares his important insights:

Friend of mine listened – and he and his wife switched to the keto diet. They’ve been on it for 45 days – and he has lost 22 pounds (10 kg) and she has lost 19 pounds (9 kg), and they both love the diet.

At this point several friends have given keto a try – and so far – it’s worked for everyone.

Now I started the diet because of my diabetes (Calvin’s Keto Experiment 1 – Getting rid of diabetes) – which has worked perfectly and my glucose reading continue to be great (my 90 day average is 110 mg/dL or 6.1 mmol/L – not too shabby for a guy who started out at 475 mg/dL or 26.4 mmol/L).

So, diabetes was my focus – and not specifically for weight loss.

Once I started exercising again – I noticed I started to put on weight. Part of that made sense – because muscle weighs more fat – but still (I thought I would have been doing better).

Weight loss stall did not bother me – but weight gain did. I decided to get a keto blood meter – and made a discovery – I wasn’t in ketosis!

Why??? – I wasn’t eating sugar or a lot of carbs (or at least I thought), and so I needed another method – and tried eating even less carbs – but still I was gaining.

It was frustrating!

While my blood sugar was perfect (even gaining weight), and I’ve felt great ever since I started on the low-carb high-fat keto diet.

So what going on – why was I gaining weight????

Now everyone’s body is different – and what works for one – does not have to work exactly the same for everyone. Some people have food allergies, or some other genetic predisposition or medical/medicine issue – that makes their weight loss (or gain) different for them – even if they eat the exact same thing as someone else.

So how do you know what’s working for you – Calvin’s Keto Experiment 2 (weight-loss factors).

Step 1: Get information. Go to DietDoctor.com – go to the search bar – and type “Mistake” – and you’ll get all the info you need to get started.

Step 2: Measure. I downloaded and app for my iPhone called SENZA to help track my calories, carbs, protein and fat intake. Having an app that I could carry with me – put in my common food choices and recipes helped me to see what I was really putting into my body – versus what I was thinking. Our ability to fool ourselves is quite amazing – and your tummy may be causing you to alter reality to fit your appetites.

Step 3: Weigh what you eat! Kitchen scales can be a great help in figuring out what’s going on. Eyeballing your intake is difficult (especially for past sugar/food addicts like me). You find ways to simplify this over time – but you might be surprised how similar a 6 or 8 ounce (170-227 g) steak look alike. Weighing is the best way to be sure – and a good kitchen scale is pretty inexpensive – and trust me – the extra effort will pay dividends at the bathroom scale.

Results

So what did I find out?

Discoveries/results so far putting what I read on DietDoctor.com to use.

Tracking/weighing
I found out I was eating far more than I thought.

  • Sneaky carbs like nuts (are probably for when you get to your ideal weight and not before.
  • My protein intake was way higher than I thought and too much protein it turns out – is like eating sugar (though not a disastrous to your health as sugar – there is such a thing as too much of a good thing).
  • I was not eating as much fat as I thought! Low carb, high protein, and low fat is a bad combination. I was not in fact getting most of my calories from fat as I should – and this was messing up my ability to get into – and stay in – ketosis.
  • If you think you’re eating well – but are not losing desired weight – blood ketosis meter well help you narrow down what takes you out of ketosis.
  • Follow the recipes as closely as possible – and make sure you track any additional things you put into your meal. Beware – there is sugar in things that say sugar free – or have some ridiculously low nutritional measurement that hides doesn’t match normal use.
  • Food intake tracking (calories, carbs, protein and healthy fat) – absolutely helps to narrow down and specify your specific food issues – and help get of any food delusions you may have. Phone apps are a great way to do this – and you’ll be surprised how much better you make food decisions when you can put it numbers in you app and see what that food is going to cost you. For example, 2 ounces (57 g) of blackberries is 19 calories, 3 net carbs, 1 gram of protein. But 2 ounces (57 g) of salted peanuts will cost you 320 calories, 6 net carbs, 14 grams of protein, and 28 grams of fat.

Behavior factors

  • If you exercise too much – you will just want to eat more (or at least that’s how it is for me).
  • Moderation: Sleeping, eating, exercise is all good – but it has to be done reasonably to keep things in balance.
  • DON’T SNACK!!!!
  • Stay busy!!! I eat if I’m bored.
  • Fast if possible. I eat breakfast and dinner – but not lunch. This won’t work for everyone – but I spend most of my time on a computer writing, or in meetings and conference calls. As long as I stay busy and engaged – I don’t get hungry after breakfast – and so I skip lunch. I have some hard boiled eggs with me in my cooler just in case – but mostly they go uneaten (soon I’ll stop carrying them to the office altogether). I’ve found that eating lunch was just a habit – and that habit (more than hunger) decided I needed lunch. A small hot water and bouillon cube takes the edge off of my hunger until dinner, and keeps me from feeling sluggish during the work day. So for me, lunch was just a habit (so is eating breakfast probably – and who knows – maybe someday I’ll only eat once a day).
  • Sleep more. Unless you go to sleep with a drumstick in your hand – you’re probably not eating when you sleep. Sleep also helps stress levels – and for me – stress and a lack of sleep never works out well. By the way – gaining weight is stressful – just saying…
  • If you’re thirsty – drink water!!!! Coffee and tea are nice – but water is better. If you drink water first – it stops you from reaching for something potentially worse. And I find that sometimes I thought I was hungry – when I was actually just thirsty!!!
  • If you can’t go a reasonable time without eating – add more fat at meal time. This has been really hard for me – and even knowing the truth about fat – doesn’t take away all the years of warnings I had been given. I’m getting over this one – and pouring good olive oil over my vegetables, or some extra butter is pretty darn good!
  • Find a way to be honest about your eating – even if you just suspect it may not be in control. I’d love to tell you everyone will be supportive – but there are people who see LCHF keto – as a fad.
  • DON’T GIVE UP!!!! Minor weight fluctuation – and even stall will happen. Your body is changing – and adapting. I’ve found I’ve got to give not just the diet – but myself time to heal from past behaviors. It’s hard – but don’t compare yourself to others – just find out what works for you!

My results:

I’ve been doing the LCHF diet for 7 months now. I feel great and as stated above, my blood glucose level remains well under control, and I don’t take any medicines – BECAUSE I AM NOT DIABETIC!

Adding the recommended changes I found on DietDoctor.com and get weighing and tracking have brought me some much needed insight – and I lost 5 pounds (2 kg) in less than a week – and going…

My ketosis level when from virtually nothing – to 0.8 mmol/L (not optimum – but I’m getting there).

It really is hard in a world that only wants good news – to talk about your struggles. You feel so isolated at times – but life is a journey – and there are going to be bumps. What has made DietDoctor.com a good resource for me – it there is enough information to help guide you – and help you get over the hurdles and hopefully miss the food traps (hidden sugar, and faulty food labeling) and help us understanding that being overweight does not make you a bad person).

Even though I felt great – when I started gaining weight – it gave me some doubts – but you just have to be willing to hang in there – and work the problem. To work the problem – you need information – and if there is a better place to do that than DietDoctor.com – I haven’t found it!

I trying to be an encourager – and share my experience with LCHF keto lifestyle. I was down on myself for gaining some weight – until I put on an old sports coat from last year – and it was so ridiculously big it made me laugh out loud!!! In this journey – it’s good to keep the perspective that you’re better than you were before – and if finding and acknowledging that you are off-track – is just the first step of getting back on track!!

For me – hearing about success is wonderful and gives me something to shoot for – but how people endured and broke through their struggles – is what inspires me to continue to move forward.

Thanks you DietDoctor.com and everyone who was willing to share your journey with me. You are all a part of my success story.

Sincerely,
Calvin

Update

By the way – got to add – Ketones up to 1.7 now – 7 pounds (3 kg) loss this week – glucose average for last 14 days is 109 mg/dl (6 mmol/L) – and if possible I feel even better!!! Keeping carbs under 20 a day – getting my protein down and my fat up and in the right balance – has me experiencing more benefits (especially NO DIABETES AND A FAT BURNER FOR SURE NOW!!!).

Friend of mine said it best – “The only way the LCHF KETO plan doesn’t work – is if you’re really not working the plan!!!

But I had to do up to number 16 of the “Top 18 weight-loss tips” article to put it all together!

Can’t wait to see where I am at a full year!

Calvin’s earlier stories

The keto diet: “It’s unbelievable that it could be this easy”

Keto diet proof

Comment

Thank you for sharing your insights Calvin, I’m certain they will help and inspire others who have reached a stall!

I also couldn’t agree more regarding weight loss and exercise. My personal experience is that I get hungrier and eat more if I work out, so I better stay out of the gym if I want to lose weight :-)

Get started

Do you want to try what Calvin has done? Sign up for our free 2-week keto low-carb challenge!

Alternatively, use our free keto low-carb guide, or for maximum simplicity try out our keto meal planner service with weekly delicious keto menus and shopping lists – it’s free to use for a month.

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PS

Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to andreas@dietdoctor.com, and please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.

It would also be greatly appreciated if you shared what you eat in a typical day, whether you fast etc.

15 Comments

  1. 1 comment removed
  2. BYRON PAILLE
    Great job, although muscle does not weight more than fat. A pound is a pound is a pound a pound of fat is less dense than a pound of muscle, as a pound of lead is more dense than that. So nothing weighs more than anything else, 100 lbs of fat and 100 lbs of muscle both weigh 100 lbs.
  3. Melanie
    Great Story and congratulations. Great non scale victory too with the coat being so big. Keep going.... you can't have far to go.
  4. Calvin
    I agree a pound is a pound - but I’m preferring muscles!
  5. Calvin
    Thanks for the encouragement All!
  6. Judith
    In the beginning this all sounds so simple. Just stop eating sugar, carbs and starchy veggies. No calorie counting, etc. BUT as you can see by Calvin's story, it's no easier than any othe D I E T. BUT the results are miraculous if you can stick with it and be willing to constantly tweek your own program to suit your body's needs. It is not simple and not easy. Dr. Westman always did say that you do have to watch calories and I'm hearing more keto "experts" coming around to that realization. LCHF/Keto is not a food free-for-all.
    Reply: #11
  7. Kimberly
    Hello Calvin: I really appreciated that you remarked in your story that while you like to hear about individual success stories, it’s also important to you to hear about others’ struggles and how they resolved them. I agree. There is so much wisdom in your remark. It makes room for everyone!
    Reply: #9
  8. clive phillips
    Well done but why mention calories? Calories are completely irrelevant when it comes to weight loss. I've lost about 80lbs (I rarely get on the scales these days) and most likely consume thousands of calories each day. Very disappointed to even see the word "Calories" mentioned. Read "Eat yourself slim" b y Michel Montignac to get the truth about calorie counting and why it's irrelevant and why the misinformation is still poured out by Governments and diet clubs
    Replies: #10, #12
  9. Calvin
    Thanks Kimberly. It is not easy for everyone - my body and metabolism was pretty messed up - but there has not been anything that has worked as well for me as LCHF KETO! Really appreciate the support!
  10. Calvin
    Hi Clive - sounds like you have done great!!! Really happy this has worked so well for you!

    Tracking has worked better for me. Because I thought my type 2 diabetes being under control - automatically meant I was in ketosis.

    I also thought I was eating more fat than I actually was!

    By tracking I was able to get from quickly from a no-to-low - and now I stay in ketosis - my highest reading was 3.1 mmol/L.

    I just think that it’s okay not to think that it has to work for everyone the exact same way!

    The app I use measures calories - but getting my fat intake and protein in balance - got me fasting - but the end result was also less calories.

    But if you struggle - or not - I believe the path to success - is finding what healthy choices work for you on KETO!

    I’m new and just learning and healing and sharing!

    -Calvin

  11. Peter Phelps
    Keto opens the door, Calorie counting moves you through it!
  12. Peter Phelps
    Sadly Calories are not irrelevant.

    They are not as important as some would have you believe and they are certainly not the whole story but to pretend that they do not play a part is naive.

  13. Peter Phelps
    Thanks for sharing Calvin. I love these self experimentation stories as they are educational and informative. Whilst one cannot always prove some of the relationships and outcomes discussed, one does not always need proof to set one on the right path. At the end of the day, if it works for you then it works and absolute scientific proof simply becomes a nice to have..
    Reply: #14
  14. Calvin
    Thanks Peter!

    I believe simply - we are not all the same.

    If you are older, or can’t handle dairy - their is still away to make Keto work for you!

    I’m so thankful to have a place like DietDoctor.com that makes it easy to find the resources you need to find out what works for YOU!!!

    -Calvin

  15. Lindy Flynn
    Hi Calvin, and all who read this. THANK YOU for the time, effort and thoughtfulness you took to write your successes and struggles. I'm thrilled with Keto. Have been on since the 1st of May, lost 6 lbs. But more than anything it is the shift in not feeling like something was Wrong With Me on multiple levels. Have eaten really healthy good organic not processed food for 20 years, but still started this at 200 lbs. Carbs - nobody had ever talked carbs. My daughter has been really into good fat. But I didn't put it all together until now. Thanks to my friend Wanda who turned me on by showing me her awesome cookbooks. Cookbooks for a Food Plan? Wow.... Then I watched "The Magic Pill" on Netflix and that helped round out the picture. Yeah Calvin, and all of us. Thanks so much Dr. Eenfeldt. The vibrant pictures on your website are what intrigued me first. Sincerely and with Joy
    Reply: #16
  16. Calvin
    Thank you Lindy - and I agree - DietDoctor.com has been the best resource - and Dr. Eenfeldt (and team) have done a wonderful job in providing a great place for us all to be a supporting community! A place where there is both direction and guidance - and enough freedom to find what works best for you!

    Congrats on your weight loss - and your journey to a healthier you!

    -Calvin

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