T Nation

Ketogenic Diet


I've been on a ketogenic diet now for 3 weeks. I've lost about 6 lbs. I keep my carbs less than 30 grams each day and I eat fish/turkey/cottage cheese/eggs/tuna and fishoil/peanuts/peanut butter (6 meals a day) for my protein and fat sources.

My fat loss has stalled at this 3rd week.

Should I continue with this ketogenic diet? I'm 190 lbs and would like to reach 175 lbs (estimate I'll be around 8-9 % bf at this weight).

If I continue, for how long and then what should I change in regards to diet?

Training is basically related to CT's "War Room Strategies for Fat Loss" with 1 Heavy session, 2 metabolic sessions a week. Cardio is low intensity done 5X a week in the morning, afternoon, and post-workout.

Should my lifting & cardio change?


How many calories are you eating a day? You may have to eat less. You are already doing 15 (?) cardio sessions a week plus weight lifting. This is all assuming you workout with intensity. For a better answer, I need to know how many calories you eat a day, how much cardio a day you do (in minutes) and how intensely you've been lifting.


For calories, I don't know. I eat 6 meals a day, with pro sources either coming from tuna/fish/turkey/eggs/cottage cheese and fats from peanuts/peanut butter. I choose one protein source and one fat source per meal.

In terms of weight training, heavy lifting days (1-2 X a week) consist of a deadlift or squat variation (heavy) and then some bodyweight training e.g. pullups/dips. Lactate acid training (2 X week) consist of compound, barbell, and bw training. Sessions last about 40 min. max, so fairly intense.

After training and in the morning and after workout sessions, I do cardio... incline walking, cross country trainer, or biking for 30-35 min. each.


There's your problem.


You should do a better job with the calorie tracking. Just because you're not eating carbs does not mean you are going to lose fat. Your calories are what matter most here and you should always track them when dieting. With that said, I have two suggestions. Make 2 of your meals smaller in size and/or (or is probably better) make your morning cardio session 60mins.


Can't diet properly if you have no clue how many calories you're taking in.



Ok. Thanks for the info. Will keep track of calories.

If progress stalls, what should I change and how diet, cardio, lifting?


It really depends on what you are more comfortable with. If you figure out that you're eating something like 3,000kcals (for example), then lowering your intake won't be a bad choice. However, if you are already eating low amounts of food I would go with upping the cardio.


You tend to loose weight during the first week or two on a CKD anyway even if your calories are still high due to fluid loss. So, as stated by others, you need to accurately determine now exactly how much you are ingesting. At 190lbs, you could probably afford to drop to 2200-2500 calories a day easily.

IMO you are also doing far too much cardio. The Thibaudeau programme is excellent - and it doesn't include that much cardio - so you're simply eating too much. 20-30 mins after the circuits/lactate stuff (maybe after the strength sessions too) is ample cardio. Keep active outside the gym by taking walks, etc.


I've calculated I'm eating this week around 2100-2200 calories coming from fish/tuna/eggs/nuts and green veggies.

Ok. So I've done a ketogenic diet before for 4 months straight, prior to this, going from 225 to 200 lbs. After the keto diet, I took a 2 week break, ate more carbs e.g. veggies, fruit, and some crap foods like pizza and cake, but mainly kept it clean. I remained at my weight of 200 lbs by lifting weights X 3 and also doing some HIIT.

During my first keto diet, since I was closer to 18-19 % bf and in horrible shape, I lifted 3X week (heavy, with metabolic sessions as I progressed) and did low intensity cardio (incline walking, cross-country) 5X morning and 3-4 X in the evening. As I got down to around 210 lbs, I added HIIT sessions on my off days e.g. rowing, sprinting, and got down to 200 lbs.

Anyway, I'm starting my second keto diet (the post is about this), I'm 3 weeks into this now, I've lost about 10 lbs, now around 190 @ 13-14 % bf (estimated by mirror).

My diet is alot stricter, as I've stopped cheating (now and for the next 6 weeks) and also my carbs sources are only green veggies and an occasional piece of fruit.

Now that I'm the keto diet for the second time, lost about 10 lbs, what do you suggest in terms of lifting, cardio, and diet?

What type of progressions should I use given that my progress stalls (I would like to lose another 10-15 lbs in the next 6 weeks)?



Don't go off the mirror, get some calipers or one of those handheld devices that tell you your bf%, you could wake up dehydrated one morning and look shredded, this isn't a good measuring stick.

Your second question, IMO i would stick to the Thibaudeau program, you can always up the intensity by doing more reps or adding more weight or minimizing time between exercises and thus burning more calories. The same goes for cardio. Diet wise, don't even eat fruit or greens, take a fiber supp for what youll lose w the greens and if youre not already, take a multi so you're getting your raw materials in a caloric restriction phase. Your carbs should come from the small amount in your fat/protein sources. If you take in less or around 30 grams of carbs a day, you should be able to lose that 10-15 lbs if you bust your ass.


How did you go about incorporating carbs back into your diet after your first round of keto? and were you able to keep/maintain your new bodyweight/leanness?


Kevk010, thanks for the post. Plan to not to eat greens & fruits for a re-feed every 3 weeks or so. Main sources should be tuna/tilipia/eggs/cottage cheese/chicken & nuts/olive oil.

In terms of your question, I dieted very hard with absolutely no greens or fruits, and mainly just fish/chicken/turkey/tuna/eggs/cottage cheese & nuts/cheeses/olive oil for the initial four months. When I introduced carbs back into my diet for 3 weeks, it was done with no planned macro nutrient background. I just ate alot of veggies: greens & beans everyday, for 5 meals a day. I ate fruit ocassionally and a cheat meal (pizza, etc.) once a week. I very much maintained my leaneness and I can even say that I looked leaner after my cheat (due to carb up or whatever). My weight fluctated due to glycogen/fiber/water day to day, but I still maintained the same leaness, as long as you trained daily (I did little cardio. but heavy & metabolic sessions).

Hope that helps.


It does, thank you, i appreciate you taking the time. One thing, IMO, i would substitute the nuts for a protein powder, you already have a good amount of healthy fat sources and the protein-carbs ratio is much more favorable in a protein powder than in nuts.


How many of you found low intensity, aerboic cardio e.g. incline walking, biking, cross country trainer, or running to be effective on fat loss, whether early in the morning on a empty stomach, post lifting, or anytime?

I've been doing low intensity e.g. incline walking, biking, and cross country for 4 months before, when I went from 225 to 200 lbs. I think my body has adapted to the exercise, and make the cardio sessions and longer seems not to do anything?

Is there a point in the keto diet, when you should do less low intensity cardio and then switch to more high intensity cardio?

Also what types of low intensity & high intensity cardio you guys use?



Just a question--are you testing for ketones every day? Are you testing in the morning or at night?


All I ever do is low intensity cardio. Incline walking. It is generally agreed upon that high intensity cardio is not a wise idea while on a keto diet, although I've never seen evidence suggesting this assumption was right.



I was doing 2 lactate circuits sessions per week, which elevated my heartbeat to 170bpm sometimes higher. I don't see how HIIT would have been any more stressful on my body during a CKD. However, I didn't attempt to experiment further because the x2 lactate followed by 20-30mins steady state did the job. Like Elusive, I would err on the side of caution and go for low intenity.


Can't say I've ever done this because I was always confident I wasn't ingesting any hidden carb sources. What I would suggest, if you're following Atkins, is to be way of their own 'low net carbs' products. I came to grief with these before after discovering alcohol sugars that DO effect insulin levels, although to a lesser degree than standard table sugar. I was eating a lot of Atkins bars and knew something wasn't right.


I'm an endomorph-mesomorph. I think this may differ because you guys maybe ecto-meso. Meaning I can change my diet up, lift weights hard, expect fat loss to occur for 2 weeks and then I need to add cardio. Progressively I will add more cardio, in terms of low intensity, until fat loss stalls again.
My body likes to retain muscle no matter what, but has a hard time burning fat.

I don't feel like 50-60 min. sessions on the treadmill or cross country are doing anything for me anymore. That is why I asked, whether I should cut out low intensity cardio, and add more HIIT instead.