Help! I'm going under

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Lindy
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Help! I'm going under

Post by Lindy »

My theme song these days seems to be Paul Simon's "Slip Slidin' Away." I am really struggling to maintain my weight on the Ketoflex diet. I need to maintain my reserves for the grandbaby who's scheduled to make her appearance in September, and I'm not feeling my healthiest right now even though my energy level is okay and I'm moderately active. People who know me keep expressing concern at my progressive skinniness. My BMI keeps dipping into "underweight" territory despite concerted efforts to maintain my weight at a healthy level for my 5’3” (160cm) frame. No lower than 20 BMI is my goal - that's where I felt healthiest - but it's proving difficult to achieve. I need help from APOE4 veterans who have gone through this experience and found workable solutions.

I’ve been on Ketoflex 12/3 since late January. I adhere to at least the minimum 12-hour fasting period each day, even when I have family celebrations and evening receptions to attend, and I usually go beyond the 12 to as high as 16 hours a day of fasting. I don't mind fasting for this period of time because it gives my system time to process and try to get on top of what feels like immense amounts of food I'm eating. I can't imagine taking a whole day off to fast, my weight would drop like a stone and I'll have to push it back uphill like Sisyphus (picturing Sisyphus as skeletal-looking) for more than a week to get back to where I was. A week of fasting, as others here practice, seems downright suicidal to me.

I try to stick to an 8-10 hour window for meals and I try to limit myself to 3 meals a day. I log everything on Cron-ometer. I am uncomfortably full at every meal. I can't imagine restricting myself to two meals, and when 3 meals don’t get me to my calorie goal (often over 2,000 a day) I often cheat with an afternoon avocado/flax/hemp powder smoothie and then try to force more food down at dinner.

I'm limiting protein to 15-20% of calories, relying mainly on fish and tempeh (alternate days) and 1 or 2 eggs every other day.

I aim for 50-60% of calories from healthy lipids, and ’m trying to follow Stavia's limit of 7% of total fat as saturated fat. but even healthy vegetable fats have saturated fat content and I routinely exceed my saturated fat quota each day on avocados, tempeh, eggs, and EVOO. I’m also overshooting my omega-3 with relatively modest consumption of fish trying to meet protein requirements. And I'm often exceeding omega-6 with nuts, led by walnuts which I have to limit to 4 halves a day.

That leaves carbs at about 25-30%. As a vegan/vegetarian for many years I am used to consuming lots of veggies and fruits but I have cut down drastically on fruits (2 servings of low-GI fruit a day - if I ate more, or added coconut or bananas, I could up the calorie count more easily), eliminated former calorie stars 100% organic whole grain and seed bread and organic beans (the latter a sacrifice to Dr. Gundry, I miss those beans; and I have sandwich envy when I prepare those whole-grain nut butter sandwiches for my husband.)

I eat no added sugars or sweeteners, but I’m always surpassing my 20 g sugar limit through eating carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and modest amounts of fruit. I consume no salt or soy sauce but I always exceed sodium guidelines (1000 mg) from eating plain eggs, almond milk, fish, and the occasional plain nonfat yogurt which I take for calcium. Essentially, to get enough calories to try to maintain my weight, I am going over on these areas and that is an issue since I was hospitalized 8 years ago for heart anomalies and elevated troponin level; routine exams this year at different times turned up a suspected heart murmur and a somewhat long QT interval, so I have to look out for both my heart and my brain.

I am finding that the quantity of cruciferous veggies I eat is causing digestive problems so I'm lightly steaming those. Although my diet is pretty darned healthy by SAD standards, I still can't get all my vitamins and minerals every day from my mix of food so I take organic food-based supplements as needed.

I'm just tired out trying to plan for and balance and cram so much more food than my system is comfortable with every day just to maintain my weight. I’m hoping you can pick out something in this long droning narrative that I should or could change. I've been looking around for other sources about maintaining or adding weight on a low carb or keto diet and came up with Diet Doctor's advice here: https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/gain-weight. He says if you need to gain weight, eat whenever you're hungry or maybe every 3 hours, rather than practicing intermittent fasting. This would possibly be an easy fix but it would drop me out of my faithful, hard-fought adherence to Ketoflex. I’m considering it but loath to break the intermittent fasting if it would be harmful.

I realize we’re all n=1 people here but if something has worked for you, I figure it’s worth trying, and I would like to find a sustainable solution within the Bredesen protocol. If you have figured out how to maintain your weight on the protocol please share your thoughts or critiques.
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SusanJ
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Re: Help! I'm going under

Post by SusanJ »

Lindy, you have to eat what works for you. We're all different and Stavia's guidelines might not work for you.

Like you, when I eat high fat, I end up feeling stuffed, can't seem to eat enough and have trouble keeping weight on. I have to eat more carbs than probably most ketoflex followers on the forum. I eat a lot of root veggies, squashes and low inflammatory carbs like rice or buckwheat (occasionally). If I don't, my weight drops. Currently I'm 5'6" and 115 pounds. And it took me about 2 months to put on 3 pounds. I know the struggle.

If you have good labs in the inflammation area and are insulin sensitive, try adding more healthy carbs back in. Even Gundry is okay with things like beans (pressure cooked) if your markers don't change for the worse.

I'm sure others will chime in with suggestions. And let us know how it goes.
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Re: Help! I'm going under

Post by ru442 »

I agree with Susan.... I had to add more carbs because I felt too thin (and keep getting comments I look bad even tho I am at BMI of 21). Anyway, I've been adding on basmati rice (Gundry approved) and more sweet potatoes.
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Jafa
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Re: Help! I'm going under

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Hello Lindy, I feel your frustration. I am also 5ft 3 and have a BMI of 19.8 at present. I started out weighing 58 kg and dropped to 49 kg at my lowest point. I was traveling overseas at the time, walking a lot and obviously not using Cronometer. I was quite shocked when I finally found some scales and saw the result.

Like SusanJ, to arrest the weight loss I have had to increase both fats and carbs and now eat 3 or 4 times a day. I have berries most days with 1/4 cup oats, cinnamon, ginger and seeds topped with 1/4 cup kefir, and I do eat some starchy vegetables or a small piece of sourdough immersed in olive oil. Three or four days a week I have a smoothie with almond milk, 1/4 banana, kale, spinach, and protein powder. I will try to cram in a large rice or chia cracker with peanut butter. I eat 1/4 cup nuts a day as well.
My glycaemic markers have remained low.

I do resistance training with weights twice a week to try and maintain muscle mass. I have had to sacrifice ketosis which was never easy or particularly effective for me anyway. After a 16 hour fast and an hours walk I could achieve blood ketone levels of only 0.5 to 0.7, but would lose it as soon as I ate. Think I would have to have a very low carb diet to achieve ketosis over the day. SusanJ, how was your experience with ketosis on eating a few more carbs?
Lindy
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Re: Help! I'm going under

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SusanJ wrote:Lindy, you have to eat what works for you. We're all different and Stavia's guidelines might not work for you.
I realize even Stavia says this, so I need to take it to heart. Thanks for the reminder, Susan!
SusanJ wrote:Like you, when I eat high fat, I end up feeling stuffed, can't seem to eat enough and have trouble keeping weight on. I have to eat more carbs than probably most ketoflex followers on the forum.
Are you doing the fasting, just with lower fat intake? I.e. is the Ketoflex timing working for you, you are just adjusting the macronutrient balance, or is it the fasting itself that makes it so hard to retain the weight?
SusanJ wrote:I eat a lot of root veggies, squashes and low inflammatory carbs like rice or buckwheat (occasionally). If I don't, my weight drops. Currently I'm 5'6" and 115 pounds. And it took me about 2 months to put on 3 pounds. I know the struggle.
That is a great comfort - I'm not feeling like such a weirdo now. I have my Cron-o-meter set to adding 1 pound a week (1/7 pound a day), and it's so demoralizing when I force all those calories and can't even keep the weight I have. I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I kept resetting my activity level upwards (even though I work from home and don't have a concerted exercise program) just to try to account for it.
SusanJ wrote:If you have good labs in the inflammation area and are insulin sensitive, try adding more healthy carbs back in. Even Gundry is okay with things like beans (pressure cooked) if your markers don't change for the worse.
I will have to go buy one of those Instant Pots people talk about. In the back of my mind I was concerned about nutrient loss in pressure cooking, but apparently (having just looked this up) it was an invalid concern. http://www.eatingwell.com/article/15711 ... nutrition/
SusanJ wrote:I'm sure others will chime in with suggestions. And let us know how it goes.
Thanks, Susan. I really appreciate the suggestions! This list is worth far more than the subscription price. ;-)
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Lindy
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Re: Help! I'm going under

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ru442 wrote:I agree with Susan.... I had to add more carbs because I felt too thin (and keep getting comments I look bad even tho I am at BMI of 21). Anyway, I've been adding on basmati rice (Gundry approved) and more sweet potatoes.
Thanks for sharing your experience, ru442. I know Dr. Bredesen put sweet potatoes on the "green" list as a resistant starch, which helped me get over the culture shock of having to dump whole classes of foods (I love sweet potatoes!) but Cron-o-meter and others seem to think it's a starch, period, and an unhealthy one at that. Geez, half the battle is trying to figure out what's sound science vs. what's half-baked.

Nice to know basmati rice is Gundy approved - any other Indian food he supports? I used to eat Indian at least once a week. When I go with my friends and family now, I just get vegetables without the sauce. Not that fun really.
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Re: Help! I'm going under

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I'm another underweight person, and like Susan, have to stay on appropriate low processed carbs to keep my weight on. It's been a struggle to put 3-4 pounds back on, and I have 2-3 more pounds to go. I sympathize with the uncomfortable fullness, but still try to eat as much as I can stand at each meal. I eat a lot of nuts, and am trying to add more fish and eggs. If I remember I add more olive oil to food just prior to eating. I'm able to do a 12-13 hour overnight fast, but that's it. I eat when I'm hungry - 3 meals a day and usually one snack. I don't worry about crono meter or ketosis at this point. Under nutrition and underweight can contribute to cognitive decline.

Hang in there! You are not alone!
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Lindy
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Re: Help! I'm going under

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Jafa wrote:Hello Lindy, I feel your frustration. I am also 5ft 3 and have a BMI of 19.8 at present. I started out weighing 58 kg and dropped to 49 kg at my lowest point. I was traveling overseas at the time, walking a lot and obviously not using Cronometer. I was quite shocked when I finally found some scales and saw the result.
I had a similar experience when I moved to New York leaving my car with my son, and ended up walking or taking the train everywhere. When you are so active, it is incredibly easy to drop weight.
Jafa wrote:Like SusanJ, to arrest the weight loss I have had to increase both fats and carbs and now eat 3 or 4 times a day. I have berries most days with 1/4 cup oats, cinnamon, ginger and seeds topped with 1/4 cup kefir, and I do eat some starchy vegetables or a small piece of sourdough immersed in olive oil. Three or four days a week I have a smoothie with almond milk, 1/4 banana, kale, spinach, and protein powder. I will try to cram in a large rice or chia cracker with peanut butter. I eat 1/4 cup nuts a day as well.
My glycaemic markers have remained low.
Thanks for sharing your tips, it's really helpful! I did start with oats about a month ago (just the completely 100% guaranteed gluten free kind) to try to add calories and it did add a nice boost. I wasn't entirely sure it was within the protocol and decided I didn't care because it was helping me with heart-healthy calories. I topped it with 1/4 cup nonfat yogurt (though I know there are issues with American cows, even the organic free range ones) and berries and four kinds of nuts. It was one of the most balanced meals I have eaten.

What kind of chia crackers do you eat?
Jafa wrote:I do resistance training with weights twice a week to try and maintain muscle mass. I have had to sacrifice ketosis which was never easy or particularly effective for me anyway. After a 16 hour fast and an hours walk I could achieve blood ketone levels of only 0.5 to 0.7, but would lose it as soon as I ate. Think I would have to have a very low carb diet to achieve ketosis over the day.
I've been wondering about the effects of full-time mild ketosis, in general. When I first read Dr. Bredesen's book I thought that this was a first stage of the protocol and that it wouldn't necessarily be a lifetime effort. Doesn't ketosis in general cause people to lose weight? If so, isn't it necessary to break ketosis in order to maintain weight? I wish I were a scientist rather than a lawyer.
SusanJ, how was your experience with ketosis on eating a few more carbs?
I'm curious about that too.
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Lindy
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Re: Help! I'm going under

Post by Lindy »

Jafa wrote:Hello Lindy, I feel your frustration. I am also 5ft 3 and have a BMI of 19.8 at present. I started out weighing 58 kg and dropped to 49 kg at my lowest point. I was traveling overseas at the time, walking a lot and obviously not using Cronometer. I was quite shocked when I finally found some scales and saw the result.
I had a similar experience when I moved to New York leaving my car with my son, and ended up walking or taking the train everywhere. When you are so active, it is incredibly easy to drop weight.
Jafa wrote:Like SusanJ, to arrest the weight loss I have had to increase both fats and carbs and now eat 3 or 4 times a day. I have berries most days with 1/4 cup oats, cinnamon, ginger and seeds topped with 1/4 cup kefir, and I do eat some starchy vegetables or a small piece of sourdough immersed in olive oil. Three or four days a week I have a smoothie with almond milk, 1/4 banana, kale, spinach, and protein powder. I will try to cram in a large rice or chia cracker with peanut butter. I eat 1/4 cup nuts a day as well.
My glycaemic markers have remained low.
Thanks for sharing your tips, it's really helpful! I did start with oats about a month ago (just the completely 100% guaranteed gluten free kind) to try to add calories and it did add a nice boost. I wasn't entirely sure it was within the protocol and decided I didn't care because it was helping me with heart-healthy calories. I topped it with 1/4 cup nonfat yogurt (though I know there are issues with American cows, even the organic free range ones) and berries and four kinds of nuts. It was one of the most balanced meals I have eaten.

What kind of chia crackers do you eat?
Jafa wrote:I do resistance training with weights twice a week to try and maintain muscle mass. I have had to sacrifice ketosis which was never easy or particularly effective for me anyway. After a 16 hour fast and an hours walk I could achieve blood ketone levels of only 0.5 to 0.7, but would lose it as soon as I ate. Think I would have to have a very low carb diet to achieve ketosis over the day.
I've been wondering about the effects of full-time mild ketosis, in general. When I first read Dr. Bredesen's book I thought that this was a first stage of the protocol and that it wouldn't necessarily be a lifetime effort. Doesn't ketosis in general cause people to lose weight? If so, isn't it necessary to break ketosis in order to maintain weight? I wish I were a scientist rather than a lawyer.
SusanJ, how was your experience with ketosis on eating a few more carbs?
I'm curious about that too.
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Lindy
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Re: Help! I'm going under

Post by Lindy »

slacker wrote:I'm another underweight person, and like Susan, have to stay on appropriate low processed carbs to keep my weight on. It's been a struggle to put 3-4 pounds back on, and I have 2-3 more pounds to go.
Slacker, what would you say your macronutrient balance is? 50% carbs maybe?

I remember feeling more vigorous on the Zone diet which aims for 30%-40%-30% (protein/carbs/fat). I was a vegan at that point and felt pretty great, though the nitpicky balancing act was kind of difficult. I know people are extremely skeptical about Dr. Sears' theories, but if I was able to balance the food blocks to achieve that ratio at every meal, I really felt good. That feeling went away with this protocol and I have yet to feel like my energy is being balanced. I even have tried replicating the "food blocks" with this protocol but it's so labor-intensive I gave up.
slacker wrote:I sympathize with the uncomfortable fullness, but still try to eat as much as I can stand at each meal. I eat a lot of nuts, and am trying to add more fish and eggs. If I remember I add more olive oil to food just prior to eating. I'm able to do a 12-13 hour overnight fast, but that's it.
I pretty much extend the fast in the morning by drinking herbal tea, which settles my stomach and helps me ignore the fact that I ate so long ago. It only goes so far, though. I do like the idea of finishing dinner three hours before bed part - that makes a lot of sense to me.
slacker wrote:I eat when I'm hungry - 3 meals a day and usually one snack. I don't worry about crono meter or ketosis at this point. Under nutrition and underweight can contribute to cognitive decline.
That is a very good point and I'm thinking I might try going back to eating when I'm hungry and maybe reverting to the Zone idea of spacing three meals and two snacks through the day - I never felt my energy flag on that plan).
slacker wrote:Hang in there! You are not alone!
Thanks, slacker! It's good not to be alone.
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