The One Month Mark Low-Down on Low-Carbing
Trigger Warning for Eating Disorders/Body Image/Diet Talk
It’s been a month since I’ve actively induced ketosis in myself, so here is my check-in.
What I did:
- Consume 30 grams of net carbs a day or fewer.
- Track every bite and sip that passes my lips.
- Weigh myself often and track the results.
- Ensure appropriate macro levels (i.e. appropriate carb/fat/protein ratios).
- Refuse free cake.
The short of it is that a month of low-carbing has yielded results that are more confusing than enlightening to me. I did manage to reach a few tentative conclusions.
First off, I might have to differ from the more simplistic versions of the calories-in, calories-out model. My daily calorie average, 2350, was over 1000 calories more a day than I was taking in before low-carbing, and yet I gained no weight (this number takes into account my level of physical activity). This would go against the conventional wisdom that I should have gained, since my maintenance calorie level is 1600.
At the same time, I beg to differ from the low-carb fanatics who claim that calories don’t count. From the fourth day inward, my urine read moderate-to-large keto according to my test strips, and yet there was no dramatic loss of weight, or perhaps even none at all. In fact, I spent a month watching my weight fluctuate within the same five-pound range. To wit:
Obviously, weights fluctuate based on water and food and, ahem, solids, but compare January to the previous month:
Not as much in the way of the incredible up-and-down zig-and-zag, not by a long shot. I always ensured that I weighed myself in the same state (nude, right after waking up in the morning and using the bathroom, if you must know).
I still don’t know if I’ve lost much weight at all after a whole month of saying no to all kinds of delicious things, including my beloved beer (but for a six-ounce pour one day and a few guilty sips of others’ hoppy delights, which yes, I did count in my tracking). On top of that, the induction into low-carbing was brutal for me; I didn’t feel at all great for almost two weeks straight (and yes, I tried all of the tips for ridding myself of the “carb flu”). However, not gaining weight while eating lots of keto-friendly tasty things was nice. Based on this month alone, I’d say that counting carbs while letting myself go wild on the calorie front would be a great way to maintain weight. I don’t think that it induced any real weight loss, though.
The next phase of this experiment is for me to reduce calories and carbs to see if it speeds along the weight loss process. I’m lowering my intake to 1500 calories a day but maintaining keto (i.e. limiting myself to 20-30 net carbs a day). We’ll see what will happen.