6

votes

14th Day Sugar Cravings- Symptom of a Lack of Keto-Adaptation?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 14, 2011 at 1:56 AM

Very interesting questions/posts lately concerning IF and extended fasting. I have read the books of Taubes, Wolf, Pilon and other assorted guru's blogs and have not seen a lot of data concerning extended fasting. Thanks to Paleohacker Rob Sacks for posting many links concerning extended fasting and especially his experience in healing migraines. With the season of religious fasting (for those who are into that) approaching I have been researching this topic with an intent to determine the following:

Why after about 12-15 days of good meat, fat, veggies etc, do I get intense sugar cravings that almost nothing will abate? I thought this was just a will power issue, but then this sentence from Rob Sacks sticks out to me

"It takes longer for the body to switch over to "fasting mode" than most people realize. The brain takes two weeks to fully switch over to using ketones. It's the brain's demands for glucose -- which gradually diminish as the brain switches over to ketones -- that make people feel bad when they begin fasting. People think they are "in ketosis" within a day. Actually ketosis is a matter of degree, and it takes about four weeks of continuous, complete fasting for the body to maximize its use of ketones."

http://paleohacks.com/questions/3814/longer-fasts-experiences#ixzz1DtMj14Sj

Could I be "caving in" because of my body's craving for glucose due to a lack of keto-adaptation? Why don't I crave sweets at first but after about two weeks will go to a lot of trouble to obtain sugar? (And although I am female, I don't think this is a menstrual cycle issue as the timing of my cycle does not make a difference) I thought being keto adapted meant that you show ketones in your urine, you could skip a couple a meals easily (I can) and work out fasted without getting light headed (I can). I guess this is way more complex that just "pee on the strip and watch it turn purple". If this is true, then am I completely destroying the progress I have made in the prior 14 days toward becoming keto-adapted. Any thoughts?

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

You're not weak. This is metabolic. I think it's futile to try to fight our appetites. In my opinion, the only strategy that works is to eat foods that cause our bodies to adjust our appetites properly.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 19, 2011
at 01:48 AM

I think you described the problem very well. If you had said "setpoint" it might have been misleading because you are apparently oscillating between two points, not one. There's a lower weight where the cravings get triggered and an upper weight where the cravings stop. Both points apparently change in response to dietary changes. One of the things I'm going to suggest is that you start putting your daily weight into a spreadsheet so you can draw a graph of this cycle and see how various dietary changes affect it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 19, 2011
at 01:38 AM

I think you described the problem very well. I think it's always best to describe what we actually see (the details of what happens day to day).

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 19, 2011
at 01:36 AM

I was going to suggest email too. I'll send an email tomorrow. Now that I know your address you might want to delete your last comment so spam robots don't notice it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 19, 2011
at 01:35 AM

I was going to suggest email too. I'll send you an email tomorrow. You might want to delete your last comment so spam robots don't pick up your address.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 19, 2011
at 01:17 AM

but yes please tell me what you think and point me to any information you think may help. email is [email protected] if the comment limit is getting annoying.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 19, 2011
at 01:15 AM

before introducing things like nuts, tubers and fruit in order to really force my body into the mythical evolutionary metabolic milieu where I have a normal body composition and I dont have to count calories.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 19, 2011
at 01:14 AM

i would love to hear them, and i realize that this is just an exchange of information and ideas and not medical advice, which is exactly what this forum's purpose is. I probably should have phrased my original question to concern the underlying issue of a setpoint rather than the symptom of cyclical sugar/carb craving, but that day I was very frustrated and had not yet considered that I could have accidentally discovered my set point. Maybe somewhere between 1000-1800 is my BMR and I may just have to stick with straight paleo for a very long time..

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:50 PM

I've come up with some ideas about what you might do next but I feel silly writing them down because I'm not an expert about these things, and what in the world am I doing giving somebody advice. Sharing info is one thing, but personal advice is something else. Still, if you want to hear my ideas, let me know and I'll tell you.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:47 PM

I've been thinking about your problem a lot and reading about it -- or more exactly, looking for things to read. I can't find a single article or forum post that describes periodic, cyclic carb cravings. Have you seen anything? You can't be the only one! Since the cravings aren't in sync with your periods I think they must be oscillations or lurches in the regulatory system that creates the appearance of setpoints. If returning over and over to 145.6 isn't a setpoint, I don't know what is.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:44 PM

I've thought up a bunch of suggestions but I feel silly writing them because I'm not an expert about these things. Still, if you're interested, let me know and I'll write it down ... it will be quite a lot of stuff.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:41 PM

I've been thinking about your problem a lot and reading about it -- or more exactly, looking for things to read. I can't find a single article or forum post that describes periodic, cyclic carb cravings. Have you seen anything? You can't be the only one! Since the cravings aren't in sync with your periods I think they must be oscillations or lurches in the regulatory system that creates the appearance of setpoints.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:37 PM

I've been giving your problem a lot of thought and reading about it, or more accurately, looking for stuff to read. I haven't been able to find a single forum post or article that describes periodic, cyclic cravings. Have you seen anything? You can't be the only one who has experienced this. Since they cravings aren't in sync with your periods, I think they must be oscillations in the regulatory system that maintains setpoints. Unfortunately, nobody seems to understand how that system works.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:27 PM

Isn't it amazing? During my long fast, I couldn't believe how normal I felt (for the first two weeks anyway). I think you're right that if you fast for a while it will probably shake things up a little. It can't hurt. The only downside I noticed to fasting was that after a while, your body starts making you feel tired so you'll conserve energy.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:52 PM

Aside from sleeping and then skipping breakfast (16 hrs), I am not sure that I have ever gone more than 8 hours without eating at least a bite of something. So this is a breakthrough for me. I don't know if this will be the catalyst that i am looking for that will improve my fat loss/storage resistance, but I am trying something different as suggested earlier. Eating around 1000 calories a day and still having as much body fat as I estimated I had at 128 lbs is not where I want to be.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:41 PM

i have been reading all of the material on extended fasting that you posted, and as of right now, I have not had any food for 52 hours. which is extremely amazing for me--I have never fasted (purposely healthy or accidentally sick) for more than 24 hours. I feel great, hunger has lessened each day. I planned to just fast for 24 hours like ESE, but yesterday I was surprised by how drinking water kept the hunger at a tolerable level and it dissipated throughout the day. 3 TBS of cream in decaf last night to read a book with, and here I am today-pushing toward another foodless day...

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:35 PM

ahhh, the ancient chinese scale trick! i did not know that. No, cravings not in synch with my periods, and thankfully i have never been one to suffer any PMS issues such as that. I think that at 1800 calories, I slowly tend to overeat protein, then the appetite suppression weakens and at that level of calories the lost weight finds it way home :) what is interesting is that it seems that one serving cheats, treats or even full-on binges will keep me right at 145.6, and i will not gain any more...

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Just one more question, if you don't mind. (Sorry I'm asking so many!) Do the cravings stay in synch with your periods? In other words, two "craving cycles" take about a month. It might be the case that every other episode of craving begins exactly 4 days before your period, or 8 days after your period, or some constant number of days. Is that the case?

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:50 AM

On 1000 kcal/day, you were losing somewhere around 1/8 or 1/6 pound of fat per day. Your body had to burn that amount to keep you alive. Your scale may be the reason why your weight appeared to be unchanged for several days, then changed suddenly. Some scales (including mine) deliberately show the previous weight instead of the current one if the current one is close to the previous one. They do this to create an illusion of great accuracy. To force the scale to show your real measured weight, weigh yourself twice, the first time holding a heavy object, the second time without it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:47 AM

On 1000 kcal/day, you were losing somewhere around 1/8 or 1/6 pound of fat per day. Your body *had* to burn that amount to keep you alive. Your scale may be the reason why your weight appeared to be unchanged for several days, then changed suddenly. Some scales (including mine) deliberately show the previous weight instead of the current one if the current one is very close to the previous one. They do this to create an illusion of great accuracy. To defeat this, weigh yourself twice, the first time holding a heavy object, the second time without it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:40 AM

On 1000 kcal/day, you were definitely losing somewhere around 1/8 or 1/6 pound of fat per day. Your body had to burn that amount to keep you alive. Your scale could be the reason why you had to wait for this small change to add up over several days before you could measure it. Many scales (including mine) deliberately show the previous weight instead of the current one if the current one is very close to the previous one. They do this to create an illusion of great accuracy. To defeat this, weigh yourself twice, the first time holding a heavy object, the second time without it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:39 AM

On 1000 kcal/day, you were definitely losing somewhere around 1/8 or 1/6 pound of fat per day. Your body had to burn that amount to keep you alive. Your scale could be the reason why you didn't see the change every day, but only after the change added up for several days. Many scales (including mine) deliberately show the previous weight instead of the current one if the current one is very close to the previous one. They do this to create an illusion of great accuracy. To defeat this, weigh yourself twice, the first time holding a heavy object. This clears the last weight.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:35 AM

On 1000 kcal/day, you were definitely losing somewhere around 1/8 or 1/6 pound of fat per day. Your body had to burn that amount to keep you alive. If it had not done this, you would have died. The reason you didn't see the change every day was probably the way your scale works. Many scales (including mine) deliberately show the previous weight instead of the current one if the current one is very close to the previous one. They do this to create an illusion of great accuracy. To defeat this, weigh yourself twice, the first time holding a heavy object. This clears the last weight.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 18, 2011
at 12:50 AM

looking back, it would be safe to say that after 3-5 pounds of weight lost, i would start to crave sugar.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 18, 2011
at 12:36 AM

no i do not have a weight log, but I do weigh every morning. During the major weight loss last year when i first discovered paleo, 1000 cal/day, the loss was very steady, meaning each week i weighed less than the prior week, but the amount lost during each week would seem to be confined to one day-almost as if no weight would be released for five days, then hello! there goes 3/4 of a pound. then same weight again for another 7 days, and then another small loss. Steady, but stuttering/sporadic if you will...

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 17, 2011
at 05:25 PM

By any chance do you have a day-by-day record of your weight include the dates on which the urges occurred? (I'm trying to see if the urges are triggered by time or by a weight set point. If it's a weight set point, and if the set point moved down during the 1000/kcal/day period, that's a clue about how to fix this problem.)

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 17, 2011
at 05:25 PM

By any chance do you have a day-by-day record of your weight include the dates on which urges occurred? (I'm trying to see if the urges are triggered by time or by a weight set point. If it's a weight set point, and if the set point moved down during the 1000/kcal/day period, that's a clue about how to fix this problem.)

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 15, 2011
at 10:05 PM

yes, I continuously lost approx 15 pounds from February to June eating very low calorie (by my standards) low carb paleo. My staples were eggs, guacamole, skirt steak and salad. some days all i would want would be 3-4 oz guacamole and some salad.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 15, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Let me see if I understand. During that time (unlike now) you were continuously losing weight. Therefore, every time the craving occcurred, you were at a different, lower weight. Is that correct?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 15, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Yes it did occur usually after 12-15 days.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 15, 2011
at 03:46 PM

Hopefully nobody here needs to know this, but in case you ever find yourself on a medical keto diet and you have to force yourself to eat 200 g of beef tallow every day, here's the easiest way I've found to do it. Put 50 g of beef tallow in a bowl of hot beef broth and eat them together with a spoon like soup. It almost tastes good. I make the broth at the same time I render the tallow by simmering so-called "beef suet" from US Wellness. It's not really beef suet -- it's just fatty trimmings that include a lot of connective tissue -- and it makes a great broth if the temperature stays low.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 15, 2011
at 03:08 PM

You wrote, "...as if my appetite was more suppressed because my calories were so low." That's exactly right. Hypocaloric diets and restricted protein both increase ketosis, and ketosis suppresses appetite. The reason I'm asking you these questions now is to try to figure out whether you can use ketosis to stop the periodic cravings. You also write, "I could overcome the craving and move past it..." Okay, I have a precise question about this craving. Did it arise periodically (on a regular schedule) like the current 14-18 day craving?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 15, 2011
at 02:50 PM

no I did not feel as strong a need to eat sugar, I could overcome the craving and move past it, it wasnt easy, but i didnt feel the compulsion to eat an item I did not like (like a stale pastry or something gross like that), as if my appetite was more suppressed because my calories were so low. one thing that might be different is that I think I ate less protein then than I do now (just speculation from memory as i did not keep a food log).

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:55 PM

Leah, when you were on the 1000 kcal/day diet, was there anything like the current fortnightly cycle? (I know it's 14-18 days approximately, but I don't know what else to call it.) In other words, during that time, did you feel periodic urges to eat sugar, and did your weight oscillate like it does now?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 15, 2011
at 01:26 AM

@Texasleah, you could also try getting your hands on some tallow. Put "tallow" in the search box and some interesting things come up. This one http://paleohacks.com/questions/5219/can-i-render-fat-in-a-slow-cooker-crockpot has the link to the cheeseslave post with good directions for making your own. I just got some beef tallow from a butcher here in Chicago and might be doing an all-meat experiment soon. There's also lard, but that has more PUFA and I don't like it as much. Bone marrow is also uncommonly filling for some reason. Slowcook things like lamb shanks.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on February 14, 2011
at 10:50 PM

Oh, I eat only very fatty meat. I eat ribeye as often as I can afford to, more often it's ground beef. I sometimes eat chicken thighs, though I'm aware the omega-6 content is high, and fatty cuts of pork. Those are the most typical meats I eat.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:41 PM

on a meat only diet, how do you get enough fat? I am thinking of the stories of "rabbit starvation"...what would a typical meat day for you be like? I feel just like you stated: one step forward, two steps back which has resulted in a set point and a body comp I am unhappy with.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:36 PM

three basal cell carcinomas removed from my back in the last year, now i supp with vitamin D. (long history of major sunburns) I take no medications, no birth control. take 2 tsp of natural calm before bed.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:29 PM

I feel very healthy, I recently had all blood work completed for a life insurance exam, i was rated in the top tier. I have no allergies, no sicknesses, and have not had even so much as a cold since paleo. no headaches or fatigue. I tend get cold very quickly, esp when drinking ice water and my finger tips and toes can turn lightly bluish and tingle sometimes but this is not uncomfortable or worrisome at all and only is a problem with super cold drinks. my doc tested my thyroid, due to the thinning hair last year when i was dropping weight and results in the "low normal" range...

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 08:15 PM

Do you feel healthy or do you feel like you might have a chronic lowgrade infection? Are there any symptoms of less than good health?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:13 PM

(ratio post above I meant to state ranges--30-35% protein and 5-10% carbs)

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:09 PM

I have majorly improved my sleep, i go to bed at 9:30 and get up at 5:30. I do boot camp style class workout 2x a week at 6 am fasted (I just started this in January after 7 months of no exercise. I used to exercise 4 days a week-weights and cardio-when i was eating less and dropped to 128) Even at 128, I would estimate my body fat at 28% or only marginally better. Family and job are great, no added or undue stress.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:04 PM

This is my best guess, I don't use a nutrition calculator, but i pretty much eat the same thing most days: approx 1800 calories, probably 60% fat (mainly from cream and pastured butter), 35% protein and 10% vegetable carbs. . A typical day: 3-4 free range eggs with some spinach and 2 Tbs of grated cheddar. 8-12 ounces of venison or GF beef cooked in butter (spread over lunch and dinner) with a salad (no dressing) or more spinach in butter. 3-5 Tbs of heavy cream in coffee and 1-2 squares of 90% chocolate.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:54 PM

And how many grams of carbs? And how many total calories?

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:51 PM

It's my pleasure. :) How much meat do you eat each day?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:49 PM

my appetite was fine at 1000 calories as long as I was not in a social setting that went on too long like a party. I would skip breakfast, have a large salad with 5 oz of steak and some avocado and no supper. even though my appetite was fine, that is not a sustainable plan for life. I was never what you would call FULL, but I never felt bad. I would be tired very early in the evening and my hair thinned out. I would crave food after a few weeks just as I do now, but I had a goal to attain and I stuck to it.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:40 PM

your assessment from the earlier question about the brain fighting for glucose really stuck with me...i had never considered that. thank you very much for considering my problem.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:39 PM

When you were eating 1000 calories per day and got down to 128, was your appetite so low that 1000 calories were all you wanted, or were you using will power and eating less than you wanted?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:39 PM

I never crave bread or wheat things. It will usually be ice cream if I really allow myself to have what I want. This is how I recognize a REAL craving if it is for something specific. If I don't get the ice cream and push past it, then I will eventually just get whatever is there even if it is something I dont normally want like a doughnut or crackers. it is almost like a blood sugar necessity. maybe i am cutting carbs too much, but eating tubers on a regular basis would be very weird.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:30 PM

You don't have to convince me that you have a problem that is worth fixing! Your body is supposed to stay at a healthy fat level permanently without effort on your part -- and it can! I'm sure this is doable.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:29 PM

Yep, the weight lost is not an exact number of pounds exactly, usually 3-5 pounds. It is more along the line of "lose weight consistently for about two weeks and then I want to eat anything and am not satisfied until I am back to where I started. I am 39, 5'4" and before I begain eating low carb in 2003 I weighed 170 at the maximum. Now I can eat low fat low carb around 1000 calories a day and get down to 128 pounds (which I did just last year), but any type of sensible maintenance diet will put me right back to 145 very quickly. Broken hormonal signaling at its finest!

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:29 PM

Which foods exactly do you crave when the urge kicks in? It just occurred to me that maybe your body is craving particular micronutrients, not sugar, and the foods just happen to be sugary.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:22 PM

and in order to reach optimal body composition, 80/20 like PB or re-feeds, or planned cheats, or whatever politically correct thing they are called does not work for me. Am I leptin resistant, or just weak who knows? And it doesnt really matter why, I just have to determine what to do fix it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:22 PM

Does your weight always get to the same low point before the urge to eat carbs kicks in? I'm wondering if the cycle is on a two-week timer or if it's triggered by your body fat level.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:20 PM

I'm sure this is metabolic. Appetite is regulated. When the body decides to make us desire food, it's almost impossible to withstand that desire with will power. One of the great things about ketosis is that it suppresses appetite. It gives us a way to turn the tables on the appetite mechanism and bend it to our will for a change instead of the other way around. I'm going to think about your problem. Maybe I'll think of something intelligent to say about it. In the meantime, I wonder if a fast might break through the biweekly "return to 145 pounds" urge.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:17 PM

pretty sure most days I am eating enough around 1800 calories

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:15 PM

(also for reference, I usually eat GF meat, no nuts or fruit, 3-5 TBS of cream daily, and one square of 90% Lindt chocolate a day, probably one bowl of greens/salad stuff per day, no regular use of tubers). This diet keeps me happy, full and craving-free for about two weeks like clockwork. Long term use of acne antibiotics, which I have been off 8 months, so there are some gut healing issues I should be patient with although I don't notice any digestive distress/issues. Suffice to say, I think I have to push through this two week mark to progress any further.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:04 PM

and from what others here post, once you have repaired this set point, then you are at that point of MAINTENANCE, where fat usage/storage/retrieval is optimal. This is what I am trying to reach. Now in my case, I don't think my problem is will power--and I understand that cheating will set back your weight loss. By this I mean that this constanct cycling back to the exact same weight, even when my sleep, diet and stress are optimal as my life will allow me to attain is a biological function that maybe only being 100% paleo for many months will cure.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 06:58 PM

i would not fight this number however if my body composition was more muscle and less fat. I dont know my exact body comp, but it is definitely fatter than healthy (30%). I think this is spot on with the Robb Wolf section on leptin sensitivity and what Stephan Guyenet at whole health source talks about your body fat set point.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 06:55 PM

yes, usually only takes two days for my appetite to disappear. the strange thing i have noticed is that when lose weight consistently for three weeks, then I get these strong cravings (sugar type things usually) for items that I don't even like. Even if i have a sensible portion, my weight will then jump right back up to where it was. Even if I continue to eat crap food, I will pretty much weigh this same amount. I have a long history of non-sensible crash dieting to weigh 15 pounds less than I do right now, yet imposssible to maintain, and I always end back up at 145

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 04:43 PM

At any time during your Atkins/paleo experience has your appetite become spontaneously suppressed, and have you found yourself eating very little because you simply weren't hungry?

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 04:36 PM

In my case, it took more than a year on a very-low-carb diet to lose carb cravings completely, but there was continual progress that whole time. The cravings got progressively weaker, less frequent, etc. If I understand you correctly, that's not happening for you. Things are completely static. If I were in that situation I would try something new. If something's not working, there's no point in continuing with it. Try something different. Deeper ketosis, whether through a different diet or by fasting, sounds like a good idea. If a fast appeals to you, sure, give it a try!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 04:30 PM

in my case, I only am considered about ten pounds overweight by "conventional" standards. however, i am most definitely too flabby and need to improve my body comp. Yet even with eating the most high quality paleo foods not much changes, (I do a boot camp style exercises 2x a week fasted) so I know that my body is not at ease with fat storage and removal yet as Eva stated above.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 04:26 PM

...and now it seems to me that it would be easier to overcome knowing the biological reasons for this happening i.e. this is something my brain is leading me to do for biological reasons instead of "this is a choice i am making to eat this dessert as a reward for how healthy i have been eating the last two weeks" if that makes any sense. This may not be the case for everyone, but if an extended water fast can heal cells through autophagy, can it also re-set your fat set-point (leptin sensitivity) and therefore induce keto adaptation and as a result kill cravings.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 04:08 PM

Thx for replying Rob. I have eaten low-carb atkins style for years (very similar to the way your described your taco bell friend above) and been eating paleo for one year now. however i never seem to get past a fortnight or so without a cheat. sometimes these cheats are binges, sometimes these cheats are just a small serving of a dessert. what is disturbing is that i have never been able to go more than say 14-18 days without this happening. the perspective of it taking months to be keto adapted is new to me, i had never heard this until you mentioned it..

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5 Answers

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82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 01:26 PM

Hi Leah. Thanks for mentioning that my earlier posts were helpful. I really appreciate it!

It takes a long time to lose carb cravings completely. In my case, over a year.

Like Eva said, ketosis and loss of carb cravings are two different things. It would seem logical that the more time you spend in ketosis, and the deeper your ketosis, the sooner your carb cravings will disappear. But this is only an assumption.

Ketosis can be extremely valuable for obese people who want to lose weight quickly. It's also useful as a treatment for neurological disease. But in general, for the average person, I'm not sure it's a good idea to remain in ketosis for a long time. Most people may be better off including starch (potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro, etc.) in their diets. Most likely, tubers were a big part of the diet for many of our paleolithic ancestors.

...am I completely destroying the progress I have made in the prior 14 days toward becoming keto-adapted.

No. It's like falling off a horse when you're learning to ride. Just climb back on. Eventually you'll get to your destination. (Luckily we don't break bones with this kind of horse!)

Everybody I know personally (including me) screwed up a lot in the beginning. A friend of mine used to avoid carbs for a couple of weeks, then lose control and go to Taco Bell and scarf down a giant cup of corn syrup and five bean burritos. She did this for two years. Despite the frequent backsliding, during those two years she managed to lose 30 pounds. When she saw that this had happened, she finally became convinced that low-carb diets work. At that point, finally, she stopped eating carbs completely and entered a state of constant ketosis. Ketosis suppresses appetite, so she no longer had much desire to eat, and she has been losing weight effortlessly and quickly ever since. It's a remarkable thing to see.

When you lose control and eat a sugary meal, I think the results are noticeable. For the next few days, carb cravings intensify. I noticed that, and everybody I've asked has said they notice it too. But then the cravings fade and you start marching forward again.

The longer you do this, the easier it gets. It really does.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:15 PM

(also for reference, I usually eat GF meat, no nuts or fruit, 3-5 TBS of cream daily, and one square of 90% Lindt chocolate a day, probably one bowl of greens/salad stuff per day, no regular use of tubers). This diet keeps me happy, full and craving-free for about two weeks like clockwork. Long term use of acne antibiotics, which I have been off 8 months, so there are some gut healing issues I should be patient with although I don't notice any digestive distress/issues. Suffice to say, I think I have to push through this two week mark to progress any further.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:39 PM

When you were eating 1000 calories per day and got down to 128, was your appetite so low that 1000 calories were all you wanted, or were you using will power and eating less than you wanted?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 04:30 PM

in my case, I only am considered about ten pounds overweight by "conventional" standards. however, i am most definitely too flabby and need to improve my body comp. Yet even with eating the most high quality paleo foods not much changes, (I do a boot camp style exercises 2x a week fasted) so I know that my body is not at ease with fat storage and removal yet as Eva stated above.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 06:58 PM

i would not fight this number however if my body composition was more muscle and less fat. I dont know my exact body comp, but it is definitely fatter than healthy (30%). I think this is spot on with the Robb Wolf section on leptin sensitivity and what Stephan Guyenet at whole health source talks about your body fat set point.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

You're not weak. This is metabolic. I think it's futile to try to fight our appetites. In my opinion, the only strategy that works is to eat foods that cause our bodies to adjust our appetites properly.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:54 PM

And how many grams of carbs? And how many total calories?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:04 PM

and from what others here post, once you have repaired this set point, then you are at that point of MAINTENANCE, where fat usage/storage/retrieval is optimal. This is what I am trying to reach. Now in my case, I don't think my problem is will power--and I understand that cheating will set back your weight loss. By this I mean that this constanct cycling back to the exact same weight, even when my sleep, diet and stress are optimal as my life will allow me to attain is a biological function that maybe only being 100% paleo for many months will cure.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:40 PM

your assessment from the earlier question about the brain fighting for glucose really stuck with me...i had never considered that. thank you very much for considering my problem.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 04:36 PM

In my case, it took more than a year on a very-low-carb diet to lose carb cravings completely, but there was continual progress that whole time. The cravings got progressively weaker, less frequent, etc. If I understand you correctly, that's not happening for you. Things are completely static. If I were in that situation I would try something new. If something's not working, there's no point in continuing with it. Try something different. Deeper ketosis, whether through a different diet or by fasting, sounds like a good idea. If a fast appeals to you, sure, give it a try!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:39 PM

I never crave bread or wheat things. It will usually be ice cream if I really allow myself to have what I want. This is how I recognize a REAL craving if it is for something specific. If I don't get the ice cream and push past it, then I will eventually just get whatever is there even if it is something I dont normally want like a doughnut or crackers. it is almost like a blood sugar necessity. maybe i am cutting carbs too much, but eating tubers on a regular basis would be very weird.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 15, 2011
at 10:05 PM

yes, I continuously lost approx 15 pounds from February to June eating very low calorie (by my standards) low carb paleo. My staples were eggs, guacamole, skirt steak and salad. some days all i would want would be 3-4 oz guacamole and some salad.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 04:08 PM

Thx for replying Rob. I have eaten low-carb atkins style for years (very similar to the way your described your taco bell friend above) and been eating paleo for one year now. however i never seem to get past a fortnight or so without a cheat. sometimes these cheats are binges, sometimes these cheats are just a small serving of a dessert. what is disturbing is that i have never been able to go more than say 14-18 days without this happening. the perspective of it taking months to be keto adapted is new to me, i had never heard this until you mentioned it..

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:29 PM

Which foods exactly do you crave when the urge kicks in? It just occurred to me that maybe your body is craving particular micronutrients, not sugar, and the foods just happen to be sugary.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:22 PM

Does your weight always get to the same low point before the urge to eat carbs kicks in? I'm wondering if the cycle is on a two-week timer or if it's triggered by your body fat level.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:09 PM

I have majorly improved my sleep, i go to bed at 9:30 and get up at 5:30. I do boot camp style class workout 2x a week at 6 am fasted (I just started this in January after 7 months of no exercise. I used to exercise 4 days a week-weights and cardio-when i was eating less and dropped to 128) Even at 128, I would estimate my body fat at 28% or only marginally better. Family and job are great, no added or undue stress.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 15, 2011
at 01:55 PM

Leah, when you were on the 1000 kcal/day diet, was there anything like the current fortnightly cycle? (I know it's 14-18 days approximately, but I don't know what else to call it.) In other words, during that time, did you feel periodic urges to eat sugar, and did your weight oscillate like it does now?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 15, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Yes it did occur usually after 12-15 days.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:22 PM

and in order to reach optimal body composition, 80/20 like PB or re-feeds, or planned cheats, or whatever politically correct thing they are called does not work for me. Am I leptin resistant, or just weak who knows? And it doesnt really matter why, I just have to determine what to do fix it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:30 PM

You don't have to convince me that you have a problem that is worth fixing! Your body is supposed to stay at a healthy fat level permanently without effort on your part -- and it can! I'm sure this is doable.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:29 PM

I feel very healthy, I recently had all blood work completed for a life insurance exam, i was rated in the top tier. I have no allergies, no sicknesses, and have not had even so much as a cold since paleo. no headaches or fatigue. I tend get cold very quickly, esp when drinking ice water and my finger tips and toes can turn lightly bluish and tingle sometimes but this is not uncomfortable or worrisome at all and only is a problem with super cold drinks. my doc tested my thyroid, due to the thinning hair last year when i was dropping weight and results in the "low normal" range...

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 06:55 PM

yes, usually only takes two days for my appetite to disappear. the strange thing i have noticed is that when lose weight consistently for three weeks, then I get these strong cravings (sugar type things usually) for items that I don't even like. Even if i have a sensible portion, my weight will then jump right back up to where it was. Even if I continue to eat crap food, I will pretty much weigh this same amount. I have a long history of non-sensible crash dieting to weigh 15 pounds less than I do right now, yet imposssible to maintain, and I always end back up at 145

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:36 PM

three basal cell carcinomas removed from my back in the last year, now i supp with vitamin D. (long history of major sunburns) I take no medications, no birth control. take 2 tsp of natural calm before bed.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:51 PM

It's my pleasure. :) How much meat do you eat each day?

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 04:43 PM

At any time during your Atkins/paleo experience has your appetite become spontaneously suppressed, and have you found yourself eating very little because you simply weren't hungry?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:49 PM

my appetite was fine at 1000 calories as long as I was not in a social setting that went on too long like a party. I would skip breakfast, have a large salad with 5 oz of steak and some avocado and no supper. even though my appetite was fine, that is not a sustainable plan for life. I was never what you would call FULL, but I never felt bad. I would be tired very early in the evening and my hair thinned out. I would crave food after a few weeks just as I do now, but I had a goal to attain and I stuck to it.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:13 PM

(ratio post above I meant to state ranges--30-35% protein and 5-10% carbs)

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 04:26 PM

...and now it seems to me that it would be easier to overcome knowing the biological reasons for this happening i.e. this is something my brain is leading me to do for biological reasons instead of "this is a choice i am making to eat this dessert as a reward for how healthy i have been eating the last two weeks" if that makes any sense. This may not be the case for everyone, but if an extended water fast can heal cells through autophagy, can it also re-set your fat set-point (leptin sensitivity) and therefore induce keto adaptation and as a result kill cravings.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:29 PM

Yep, the weight lost is not an exact number of pounds exactly, usually 3-5 pounds. It is more along the line of "lose weight consistently for about two weeks and then I want to eat anything and am not satisfied until I am back to where I started. I am 39, 5'4" and before I begain eating low carb in 2003 I weighed 170 at the maximum. Now I can eat low fat low carb around 1000 calories a day and get down to 128 pounds (which I did just last year), but any type of sensible maintenance diet will put me right back to 145 very quickly. Broken hormonal signaling at its finest!

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:04 PM

This is my best guess, I don't use a nutrition calculator, but i pretty much eat the same thing most days: approx 1800 calories, probably 60% fat (mainly from cream and pastured butter), 35% protein and 10% vegetable carbs. . A typical day: 3-4 free range eggs with some spinach and 2 Tbs of grated cheddar. 8-12 ounces of venison or GF beef cooked in butter (spread over lunch and dinner) with a salad (no dressing) or more spinach in butter. 3-5 Tbs of heavy cream in coffee and 1-2 squares of 90% chocolate.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 07:20 PM

I'm sure this is metabolic. Appetite is regulated. When the body decides to make us desire food, it's almost impossible to withstand that desire with will power. One of the great things about ketosis is that it suppresses appetite. It gives us a way to turn the tables on the appetite mechanism and bend it to our will for a change instead of the other way around. I'm going to think about your problem. Maybe I'll think of something intelligent to say about it. In the meantime, I wonder if a fast might break through the biweekly "return to 145 pounds" urge.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 14, 2011
at 08:15 PM

Do you feel healthy or do you feel like you might have a chronic lowgrade infection? Are there any symptoms of less than good health?

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:39 AM

On 1000 kcal/day, you were definitely losing somewhere around 1/8 or 1/6 pound of fat per day. Your body had to burn that amount to keep you alive. Your scale could be the reason why you didn't see the change every day, but only after the change added up for several days. Many scales (including mine) deliberately show the previous weight instead of the current one if the current one is very close to the previous one. They do this to create an illusion of great accuracy. To defeat this, weigh yourself twice, the first time holding a heavy object. This clears the last weight.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:35 AM

On 1000 kcal/day, you were definitely losing somewhere around 1/8 or 1/6 pound of fat per day. Your body had to burn that amount to keep you alive. If it had not done this, you would have died. The reason you didn't see the change every day was probably the way your scale works. Many scales (including mine) deliberately show the previous weight instead of the current one if the current one is very close to the previous one. They do this to create an illusion of great accuracy. To defeat this, weigh yourself twice, the first time holding a heavy object. This clears the last weight.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 15, 2011
at 02:50 PM

no I did not feel as strong a need to eat sugar, I could overcome the craving and move past it, it wasnt easy, but i didnt feel the compulsion to eat an item I did not like (like a stale pastry or something gross like that), as if my appetite was more suppressed because my calories were so low. one thing that might be different is that I think I ate less protein then than I do now (just speculation from memory as i did not keep a food log).

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 15, 2011
at 03:08 PM

You wrote, "...as if my appetite was more suppressed because my calories were so low." That's exactly right. Hypocaloric diets and restricted protein both increase ketosis, and ketosis suppresses appetite. The reason I'm asking you these questions now is to try to figure out whether you can use ketosis to stop the periodic cravings. You also write, "I could overcome the craving and move past it..." Okay, I have a precise question about this craving. Did it arise periodically (on a regular schedule) like the current 14-18 day craving?

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Just one more question, if you don't mind. (Sorry I'm asking so many!) Do the cravings stay in synch with your periods? In other words, two "craving cycles" take about a month. It might be the case that every other episode of craving begins exactly 4 days before your period, or 8 days after your period, or some constant number of days. Is that the case?

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 15, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Let me see if I understand. During that time (unlike now) you were continuously losing weight. Therefore, every time the craving occcurred, you were at a different, lower weight. Is that correct?

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:50 AM

On 1000 kcal/day, you were losing somewhere around 1/8 or 1/6 pound of fat per day. Your body had to burn that amount to keep you alive. Your scale may be the reason why your weight appeared to be unchanged for several days, then changed suddenly. Some scales (including mine) deliberately show the previous weight instead of the current one if the current one is close to the previous one. They do this to create an illusion of great accuracy. To force the scale to show your real measured weight, weigh yourself twice, the first time holding a heavy object, the second time without it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 17, 2011
at 05:25 PM

By any chance do you have a day-by-day record of your weight include the dates on which the urges occurred? (I'm trying to see if the urges are triggered by time or by a weight set point. If it's a weight set point, and if the set point moved down during the 1000/kcal/day period, that's a clue about how to fix this problem.)

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 18, 2011
at 12:50 AM

looking back, it would be safe to say that after 3-5 pounds of weight lost, i would start to crave sugar.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:40 AM

On 1000 kcal/day, you were definitely losing somewhere around 1/8 or 1/6 pound of fat per day. Your body had to burn that amount to keep you alive. Your scale could be the reason why you had to wait for this small change to add up over several days before you could measure it. Many scales (including mine) deliberately show the previous weight instead of the current one if the current one is very close to the previous one. They do this to create an illusion of great accuracy. To defeat this, weigh yourself twice, the first time holding a heavy object, the second time without it.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 17, 2011
at 05:25 PM

By any chance do you have a day-by-day record of your weight include the dates on which urges occurred? (I'm trying to see if the urges are triggered by time or by a weight set point. If it's a weight set point, and if the set point moved down during the 1000/kcal/day period, that's a clue about how to fix this problem.)

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:27 PM

Isn't it amazing? During my long fast, I couldn't believe how normal I felt (for the first two weeks anyway). I think you're right that if you fast for a while it will probably shake things up a little. It can't hurt. The only downside I noticed to fasting was that after a while, your body starts making you feel tired so you'll conserve energy.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:47 PM

I've been thinking about your problem a lot and reading about it -- or more exactly, looking for things to read. I can't find a single article or forum post that describes periodic, cyclic carb cravings. Have you seen anything? You can't be the only one! Since the cravings aren't in sync with your periods I think they must be oscillations or lurches in the regulatory system that creates the appearance of setpoints. If returning over and over to 145.6 isn't a setpoint, I don't know what is.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 19, 2011
at 01:38 AM

I think you described the problem very well. I think it's always best to describe what we actually see (the details of what happens day to day).

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 18, 2011
at 12:36 AM

no i do not have a weight log, but I do weigh every morning. During the major weight loss last year when i first discovered paleo, 1000 cal/day, the loss was very steady, meaning each week i weighed less than the prior week, but the amount lost during each week would seem to be confined to one day-almost as if no weight would be released for five days, then hello! there goes 3/4 of a pound. then same weight again for another 7 days, and then another small loss. Steady, but stuttering/sporadic if you will...

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 19, 2011
at 01:36 AM

I was going to suggest email too. I'll send an email tomorrow. Now that I know your address you might want to delete your last comment so spam robots don't notice it.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:35 PM

ahhh, the ancient chinese scale trick! i did not know that. No, cravings not in synch with my periods, and thankfully i have never been one to suffer any PMS issues such as that. I think that at 1800 calories, I slowly tend to overeat protein, then the appetite suppression weakens and at that level of calories the lost weight finds it way home :) what is interesting is that it seems that one serving cheats, treats or even full-on binges will keep me right at 145.6, and i will not gain any more...

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:52 PM

Aside from sleeping and then skipping breakfast (16 hrs), I am not sure that I have ever gone more than 8 hours without eating at least a bite of something. So this is a breakthrough for me. I don't know if this will be the catalyst that i am looking for that will improve my fat loss/storage resistance, but I am trying something different as suggested earlier. Eating around 1000 calories a day and still having as much body fat as I estimated I had at 128 lbs is not where I want to be.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:44 PM

I've thought up a bunch of suggestions but I feel silly writing them because I'm not an expert about these things. Still, if you're interested, let me know and I'll write it down ... it will be quite a lot of stuff.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:41 PM

I've been thinking about your problem a lot and reading about it -- or more exactly, looking for things to read. I can't find a single article or forum post that describes periodic, cyclic carb cravings. Have you seen anything? You can't be the only one! Since the cravings aren't in sync with your periods I think they must be oscillations or lurches in the regulatory system that creates the appearance of setpoints.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 19, 2011
at 01:14 AM

i would love to hear them, and i realize that this is just an exchange of information and ideas and not medical advice, which is exactly what this forum's purpose is. I probably should have phrased my original question to concern the underlying issue of a setpoint rather than the symptom of cyclical sugar/carb craving, but that day I was very frustrated and had not yet considered that I could have accidentally discovered my set point. Maybe somewhere between 1000-1800 is my BMR and I may just have to stick with straight paleo for a very long time..

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:37 PM

I've been giving your problem a lot of thought and reading about it, or more accurately, looking for stuff to read. I haven't been able to find a single forum post or article that describes periodic, cyclic cravings. Have you seen anything? You can't be the only one who has experienced this. Since they cravings aren't in sync with your periods, I think they must be oscillations in the regulatory system that maintains setpoints. Unfortunately, nobody seems to understand how that system works.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:50 PM

I've come up with some ideas about what you might do next but I feel silly writing them down because I'm not an expert about these things, and what in the world am I doing giving somebody advice. Sharing info is one thing, but personal advice is something else. Still, if you want to hear my ideas, let me know and I'll tell you.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 19, 2011
at 01:35 AM

I was going to suggest email too. I'll send you an email tomorrow. You might want to delete your last comment so spam robots don't pick up your address.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 18, 2011
at 11:47 AM

On 1000 kcal/day, you were losing somewhere around 1/8 or 1/6 pound of fat per day. Your body *had* to burn that amount to keep you alive. Your scale may be the reason why your weight appeared to be unchanged for several days, then changed suddenly. Some scales (including mine) deliberately show the previous weight instead of the current one if the current one is very close to the previous one. They do this to create an illusion of great accuracy. To defeat this, weigh yourself twice, the first time holding a heavy object, the second time without it.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 19, 2011
at 01:15 AM

before introducing things like nuts, tubers and fruit in order to really force my body into the mythical evolutionary metabolic milieu where I have a normal body composition and I dont have to count calories.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 18, 2011
at 10:41 PM

i have been reading all of the material on extended fasting that you posted, and as of right now, I have not had any food for 52 hours. which is extremely amazing for me--I have never fasted (purposely healthy or accidentally sick) for more than 24 hours. I feel great, hunger has lessened each day. I planned to just fast for 24 hours like ESE, but yesterday I was surprised by how drinking water kept the hunger at a tolerable level and it dissipated throughout the day. 3 TBS of cream in decaf last night to read a book with, and here I am today-pushing toward another foodless day...

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 19, 2011
at 01:48 AM

I think you described the problem very well. If you had said "setpoint" it might have been misleading because you are apparently oscillating between two points, not one. There's a lower weight where the cravings get triggered and an upper weight where the cravings stop. Both points apparently change in response to dietary changes. One of the things I'm going to suggest is that you start putting your daily weight into a spreadsheet so you can draw a graph of this cycle and see how various dietary changes affect it.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 19, 2011
at 01:17 AM

but yes please tell me what you think and point me to any information you think may help. email is [email protected] if the comment limit is getting annoying.

4
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 14, 2011
at 04:46 AM

Being in ketosis is not the same thing as being fully ketoadapted. In the first condition, it means that you have switched to a basically different energy burning state and ketones are showing in the urine. In the second condition, it means that your body has gotten most of the kinks out and the system is now running much more smoothly. For most people, the majority of adaptation happens early on and the longer you go, the better adapted. I have heard some people say that 3 months is a better time frame to look towwards for really decently settled adaptation to fat burning/ketosis modes. And I am not sure it is possible to become as well adapted as you would if you had eaten healthier since birth. I think after decades of eating sugar, the body develops around that fuel and develops compensation mechanisms to work with that fuel. So not surprising that just a few days of dropping the carbs is not going to change all that overnight.

I also might add that it is common lore in the lowcarb community (which is mostly not paleo, just lowcarb), that if you let too long go between meals, such that you get really hungry, then this will often trigger carb cravings. ANd I did find that to be true in the beginning especially. YOu will see a bit of this in paleo communities when they say, if you feel a carb craving, you can often kill it with eating fat. After decades of eating sugar, with the body not yet fully adapted to ketosis, I am not surprised that the brain still falls back on the fastest energy source that it knows, and that source is glucose. I suspect that in many of us, storing and removal of fat from fat cells, a process that should be natural and easy, tends to get skewed towards easier storage and slower removal. It takes a while to fix that system, such that you can easily extract fat from fat cells and comfortably use it for energy without feeling weak or tired. I think for many, that ability does not come back in the first weeks of the diet, and so they feel hungry a lot and have to eat regularly. It may take some months to get to that point.

Suffice it to say, that what you feel and how you react in the early days of paleo is not always how you will feel 3 or 4 months down the road. Give your body and brain some time to adapt.

3
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:01 PM

There was a period of a couple of years during which I couldn't get my low carb diet under control for more than a few weeks at best. This was after successfully low-carbing for a long time, but in a different life situation. I was very slowly gaining weight, because I would lose very slowly on VLC, and then go two steps back with a binge or merely a moderate-carb day or two. It wasn't until I went to eating only meat that I was able to get this fully under control. After that, sugar-cravings were an absolute non-issue, unless I experimented with adding a small amount of carbs back (and during pregnancy, which was a completely different ballgame).

I don't know how much carbohydrate you are eating now, but you might try lowering it further, even to just meat for a three-week trial and see how it plays out.

Another possibility, is that there is some particular food item (dairy and nuts are common culprits, but it could be anything you are sensitive to) that is causing the problem. You could try simplifying your diet to just a few foods, and see if it resolves then. A food journal could really help.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 08:41 PM

on a meat only diet, how do you get enough fat? I am thinking of the stories of "rabbit starvation"...what would a typical meat day for you be like? I feel just like you stated: one step forward, two steps back which has resulted in a set point and a body comp I am unhappy with.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 15, 2011
at 01:26 AM

@Texasleah, you could also try getting your hands on some tallow. Put "tallow" in the search box and some interesting things come up. This one http://paleohacks.com/questions/5219/can-i-render-fat-in-a-slow-cooker-crockpot has the link to the cheeseslave post with good directions for making your own. I just got some beef tallow from a butcher here in Chicago and might be doing an all-meat experiment soon. There's also lard, but that has more PUFA and I don't like it as much. Bone marrow is also uncommonly filling for some reason. Slowcook things like lamb shanks.

82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 15, 2011
at 03:46 PM

Hopefully nobody here needs to know this, but in case you ever find yourself on a medical keto diet and you have to force yourself to eat 200 g of beef tallow every day, here's the easiest way I've found to do it. Put 50 g of beef tallow in a bowl of hot beef broth and eat them together with a spoon like soup. It almost tastes good. I make the broth at the same time I render the tallow by simmering so-called "beef suet" from US Wellness. It's not really beef suet -- it's just fatty trimmings that include a lot of connective tissue -- and it makes a great broth if the temperature stays low.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on February 14, 2011
at 10:50 PM

Oh, I eat only very fatty meat. I eat ribeye as often as I can afford to, more often it's ground beef. I sometimes eat chicken thighs, though I'm aware the omega-6 content is high, and fatty cuts of pork. Those are the most typical meats I eat.

2
D04cf109e443df341633847c0fd739d2

on February 14, 2011
at 06:12 AM

After the three-day withdrawal, I found getting past the second week the next hardest. I found dark chocolate helpful, and cheese. The next hurdle I found is six weeks. After a few months, I can do without the chocolate and cheese most days. It just takes time to work through.

If you are trying to exercise, this could be back-firing on you, it takes time to adapt. Here is a quote from Dr. Kurt Harris

"Once you are adapted to low carb intake (it may take 6 weeks or more, so go slowly) your mitochondria, including in your muscles and your brain, will literally proliferate and be more energy efficient. Gradually start doing your workouts with less and less carb consumption prior to exercise, to the point where you are solely working out in the fasting state."

Here is the link to the entire article--I highly recommend reviewing it:

http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2009/5/18/there-are-no-essential-carbohydrates-even-for-athletes.html

0
25ed4acfb632d928507f8673bcb0923a

(650)

on February 14, 2011
at 05:05 AM

Perhaps you just aren't getting enough calories. The only time I really crave sugar is when I haven't been eating enough or have increased my activity level.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on February 14, 2011
at 07:17 PM

pretty sure most days I am eating enough around 1800 calories

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