Lost trying to be healthy: Hello everyone... - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

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Lost trying to be healthy


Hello everyone!

My name is Haley, I am not new to the exercise portion of maintaining a healthy lifestyle but I am new to the healthy eating. I find myself feeling sick after I eat most of the time and I decided it was time to reach out and find some help. I am overweight and unhappy, I find working out to be easy but when i try to figure out what I should eat I get overwhelmed and give up.

I would like to learn how I can detox my body from these foods I am eating, learn self control and hopefully find healthy eating to be less overwhelming.

I tried the keto diet and it did not workout for me, I ended up gaining 15lbs and haven't been able to get it off!

I would appreciate any advice and maybe to just talk with someone that understands my struggles and wants to work to find solutions and not just complain together.


23 Replies

Hi halessmit,

Have you been tested for any allergies to certain foods? What did your doctor say about your symptoms? When was your last appointment?

I went to the doctor about 6 months ago to be tested for food allergies.. I was suspicious of gluten and dairy. Gluten because i have those small bumps on my arms (I've always had them) and dairy because it would mess my stomach up when i consumed dairy- my bf suggested I get tested. The results came back that I had no allergies at all, but I assume that with knowing my body that there is something up with the dairy.

Activity2004Administrator in reply to halessmit

Lactose intolerance is a possibility for dairy allergies/issues.

it didn't show up on the tests but i know that my body has a hard time handling it. I have tried to take it out of my diet as much as possible.

Activity2004Administrator in reply to halessmit

Has your doctor suggested that you go on digestive enzymes?

he actually didn't suggest anything. I told him about the food problems I was having and that I was having an intense pain in my lower left side stomach. I am starting a new job in Jan and will have insurance again and will probably try a new doctor.

Activity2004Administrator in reply to halessmit

Okay. Ask your new doctor about digestive enzymes and let us know what you find out.😀

Haley, I agree it might be time to talk to the doctor - it's really not normal to feel sick after eating. It may be, as Activity2004 said, that you have some intolerance or allergy.

However it might help to just step back a bit and breathe! "Healthy eating" is really not difficult. Self-control is not a factor. Unfortunately there's an awful lot of nonsense written about what we should all be eating, but the fact is human bodies are pretty adaptable. Across the world there are people surviving quite happily on anything from pure vegan to pure carnivore, and it's really only some specific features of the Western diet that messes people up.

Try to treat this as a technical problem rather than something to do with you. There is (most likely) nothing wrong with the way your body works, you're not a bad person, you haven't "failed", and you don't need to punish yourself with a radical diet plan. The goal is simply to get your appetite working properly again.

I've never heard of anyone gaining weight on a low-carb ('keto') diet. It's almost physiologically impossible. Can you describe what you were eating at that time? It might shed some light on the problem. Don't miss anything out! For example if you were having in-between snacks, or drinking anything other than water, make sure to include them. Also, is there anything specific that makes you feel sick after eating? Or is it food in general? I'm not going to sit here waggling my finger at you - but if we can pinpoint what's going wrong, it'll be a lot easier to set you off down the right path.

I don't think you are shaking your finger at me at all! In fact, I know I need to be called out on some of the things I eat. I do agree that it is very overwhelming with social media that I should eat this or that and I never know what is correct.

I had a friend get me onto my fitness pal and she was entering my food for me and having me make the food, this was mentally draining for me because she was very strict lol and told me that if i didn't eat the foods she put in that I was going to fail and always put me down that it was my fault things weren't working out for me.

As far as the Keto diet went, it was a while ago and I implemented my fitness pal into that as well and everything was ALWAYS spot on. I was eating the right about of protein, fats and carbs. I think stress was a huge factor in that one and my doctor advised that i should not continue doing the keto diet so i stopped.

I would have to say, boiling things down into protein, fats and carbs is part of the problem - we eat food, not macronutrients. There are (for example) many different types of food loosely classified as "carbs", but they each have radically different effects on your body. A glass of vegetable juice is not the same as a plate of stir-fried vegetables.

Can you remember what was actually in your meals when you were doing low-carb? I mean what were the actual food items on your plate? How did you decide on amounts? The aim of a low-carb diet is to get your appetite re-oriented towards proper food (vegetables, meat, eggs - maybe not dairy in your case!), and it just blows my mind that doctors think there's something wrong with this. The "keto" (very-low-carb) phase typically lasts only a couple of weeks, because that's all it takes to reset your appetite and get your metabolism firing on all cylinders.

The point here is that when you get your diet right, you'll feel that it's right, and you'll be able to stick with it forever. Whatever your friend was putting into your diet plan was wrong, because it felt wrong! Get rid of the apps: they really don't help. You can lose sight of the wood for the trees when you reduce everything to numbers and charts.

I honestly can't remember everything that I would eat but I remember doing a lot of research and asking a lot of people what I was suppose to eat and maybe that was where I was steered in the wrong direction.

I had MCT oil in my coffee in the mornings with "Skinny Syrup"( I actually still use this because I find it sweetens my coffee without the not so good ingredients that coffee creamers have)

breakfast I would eat 2 fried eggs and bacon

lunch would be normally a salad with avocado or in a pinch a fast food burger without the bread.

dinner I would usually have a vegetable and a meat.

I recently watched a video on youtube talking about how the Keto diet helps reset the body and I would love to do that as I feel like it is not running as smoothly as possible but I think I may need better guidance and that is why I am so nervous to try anything like that again....

OK, that's pretty odd.

I'm really quite upset that your doctor thinks eggs, salad, vegetables and meat are unhealthy and should be stopped immediately. It's a funny world we live in.

Just to be clear: you gained weight while eating the low-carb diet ... not immediately afterwards, when you stopped? How long did you stay on low-carb? How did you feel at the time?

A few possibilities I can think of:

- You weren't eating enough. Did you eat until you were full, or did you measure out your portions? One aspect of low-carb is training yourself to eat proper meals again, and trusting your appetite to say "that's enough, I'm full" at the right point.

- You weren't eating enough fat. During the first two weeks you should be getting roughly 70-80% of your calories from fat, which for most people means 120-180g fat. This is quite difficult, especially without dairy. Without it, you will feel deprived and irritable.

- You maybe just didn't give it long enough. For many people the results are immediate, but for others it can take up to a month before any weight loss happens, and the adaptation period (when you feel a bit rough) can be as long as one week. Female bodies in particular seem to begrudge giving up bodyfat! That doesn't mean it won't work - it just works more slowly.

- The syrup was/is messing things up. I had to google 'Skinny Syrup', but apparently it's based on sucralose. There's nothing wrong with synthetics as a temporary crutch, but sucralose specifically does cause a fairly large insulin response, which is exactly what you want to avoid; and unless you make a conscious effort to eliminate it, it perpetuates a need for sweetness in your food. I used it myself for about a month, and then felt no further need for it. But then again, I was putting cream in my coffee - not MCT, which I would guess doesn't taste as nice ;)

On that theme, don't buy "MCT oil". In general, low-carb diets discourage fake food in all their forms. Just buy some butter or cheese or virgin coconut oil. It's all basically the same thing, except cheaper and tastier! If your dairy-allergy test came back negative, it's possible that you wil tolerate butter and cheese in the context of a low-carb diet - it would be well worth giving it a go just to see what happens. Assuming you like eating these things, obviously. If you don't, then your next best option would be more animal fat (meat fat).

Don't worry about getting stuff wrong - there's always a learning curve as you find new ways of cooking familiar ingredients. Keto adaptation is very much a case of "do this and do not deviate", but after that, you'll start reintroducing carbs in modest quantities and you'll eventually be eating more-or-less "normal food", minus things like pasta, rice, bread, and suchlike.

I was gaining weight while I was eating this diet, I did it for roughly 1 month maybe a little longer. For the first bit I was doing a lot of the "fat bombs" (peanut butter, butter and coconut oil) I did restrict/ measure the foods out and make sure to stay within what I was allotted on myfitnesspal.

I came up with a lot of my meals by research on what other people were eating and what was successful, I do understand every body is different but that is where I got the syrup and MCT oil idea from.

So say that I do try the Keto diet again how do I measure my intake, if my fitness pal does not help? I have an overeating problem and I can't imagine eating ALOT of cheese could be good for me? the first week of keto I felt less bloating in my stomach but I did gain weight and I asked my "trainer" why I was gaining weight and he told me I was going to get bigger before I got smaller.....

Also, I really do appreciate you talking about this with me, I do need to learn where I am messing up so that I can correct it..

>> a lot of the "fat bombs" (peanut butter, butter and coconut oil)

ohh ... that might have been a problem. Peanut butter (even the low-sugar stuff) is very carby. It's fine when you're in "maintenance mode", but not during adaptation.

>> So say that I do try the Keto diet again how do I measure my intake

You don't. You might initially over-eat, but this will rapidly correct itself. In fact that's the primary mechanism by which low-carb has its effect; it stops you over-eating. Restricting calories can have precisely the opposite of the intended effect: it'll cause your body to crank down its metabolic rate to conserve fat; plus you'll feel hungry and inclined to snack on ... well, peanut butter :)

Cheese (for example) is self-limiting. While most people can easily pack away 300g/1000kCal of cheesecake, 250g/1000kCal of cheese is quite difficult! Consider, for example, eating a three-egg omelette with cheese and mushrooms. You'd add maybe 60-70g of cheese, right? Because any more that would just ruin the omelette. You could serve that with salad and ranch dressing and just know that the macros are right ... and you'd feel very full afterwards.

Similar principle applies to most meals, when you're using proper ingredients.

So, basically, just make sure you only have things on your plate that are inherently low-carb and high-fat, and eat until you're full. There's a nice pictorial guide here:


There's really only one critical point where you need to count stuff, and that's the two-week induction cycle. You goal is to keep total carbs less than 20g if possible; 25g at the outside. Green leaves can be eaten ad lib (you don't need to count them). Eat as much fat as your are comfortable with: it's virtually impossible to eat too much. Protein will mostly take care of itself.

You absolutely should not gain weight during this process. If you do, there's something wrong with the diet. I've noticed that men have an easier time of it; they seem to lose weight effortlessly on keto. For women, they do need to stick strictly to the 20g carb limit, and keep to it for as long as possible. Weight maintenance is a whole lot easier, but the loss phase is quite sensitive to excess carbs.

Did you use ketone test strips? I would really recommend them. They're not expensive, and they're a very simple way of being certain that you're on the right track.

wow! that is probably what happened, i thought i did good research but I guess not....

That was a great article you linked! & I do have the keto test strips!

Is this a diet you would recommend I only do for a couple months? Ive seen where people say 30-90 days max?

You do it for a lifetime. If you get it right, you'll simply lose all interest in having a daily dose of rice or bread.

I've been eating low-carb for nearly 15 years now.

You can stay 'keto' for as long as you can put up with it, but most people get bored with it after a few weeks. It's just too limiting. The aim is to let your carbs rise gradually (fruit, root veg, possibly a little bread as a treat) until you feel that your weight loss has stopped or slowed to a crawl. For most people, that's around 50-100g net carbs per day; at that level, you have few restrictions on your diet except for the obvious ones ('white carbs'). You'll find that your fat calories naturally stabilizes around 100g/day too, without you needing to think about it.

This bit is purely my opinion, but I suspect humans in the wild would have "carb cycled" with the seasons. There are certain times of year which are conducive to 'keto' and other times when mostly carbs are naturally available. Just something you might want to try, but there is absolutely no evidence that low-carb is bad for you. The Australian health authorities recently endorsed it in a massive about-face on public policy.

oh... just check the date on your test strips. They tend to absorb moisture and stop working once opened. If they're more than a few months old, I'd get some new ones.

So today, i decided to try Keto again.

I wasn't hungry this morning (never am) so I am going to add in IF. I broke my fast at 12:00 with 2 fried eggs, bacon and a few slices of cheese.

My next meal will be a lemon butter mahi mahi and broccoli with cheese.

So the fish includes butter, lemon, garlic, onion and olive oil.

Broccoli with butter and cheese.

Then I am going to snack on some more cheese.

I know you gave advice to not track but I wanted to at least watch my carb intake to keep it under 14g net carbs and with all this food entered I am way under at a total of 9g for the day.

However, my protein is just as high as my fat levels.

How can I correct this? Do I need to eat more cheese or what?

mahi-mahi eh? You're in Hawaii?

It's fine to count carbs while you're doing induction - it just becomes progressively less important.

The most effective method of increasing fat without protein is to add more veg that can be stir-fried, roasted, or will otherwise carry some oil/lard/butter. In fact most of what's on your plate should be veg (exactly as it would be a with a "normal" meal). This is often the biggest hurdle with LCHF because you have to learn a whole load of new ways of cooking vegetables! Salad with a fat-based dressing (eg., Caesar or Ranch), perhaps with some bacon bits or shredded chicken, is always a good standby. You'll probably have to make the dressings yourself though because the ones in the supermarket are invariably "low fat" variants loaded up with rubbish.

Incidentally ... when you say 'slices of cheese', you do mean proper cheese as opposed to the laminated stuff used for burgers? Just checking :)

Of course you have to line up ingredients for meals, but try not to plan too rigidly - if you're hungry, eat, and if you're not, don't. Your breakfast decision was an example of the right way to do it. In particular, don't plan for snacks, and don't snack as a substitute for a meal unless you feel at the time that it's truly adequate. It's fine to allow your calorie total to fall if that's what your body is demanding, but if you attempt to force this it'll end in tears. If you feel the need for a second helping, go ahead and eat it.

I know that's counterintuitive because it conflicts with everything we've always been told about "portion control", but what's happening here is this: if you feel full, and have adequate energy, your body will have no impetus to adjust its metabolic rate downwards. You'll carry on burning energy (fat) at full throttle, and a large fraction of that will be your bodyfat. Conversely, when your body hunkers down into eco-mode, its metabolic priority is to conserve bodyfat, and you don't want that.

Hope it works out a bit better this time. Induction is one of those things you have to follow rigidly at first, but once you've got the hang of it, everything just falls into place. You'll see what I mean when it happens!

Not in Hawaii! haha just like fish and I made sure to cook it with fats!

Normally when I eat my dinner (usually carb based) I feel sick and have stomach pains and then snack the rest of the night. I didn't do that last night and I actually fell asleep at a good time! I also didn't feel the need to snack all night and thats a HUGE win, I did wake up a little sick but I drank some electrolytes and was fine after that!

I actually talked to a friend as well that was on keto and she gave me great ideas for meals as well. THIS go around I'm incorporating a lot of veggies for sure!

and yes the hunk of cheese cutting into slices :)

That's a fantastic result so far! Most people notice a change in mood and eating behaviour. Well done with the electrolytes btw ... I forgot to mention getting enough sodium and potassium (meat soup if possible). It sounds like you know most of this already. I'm sure whatever went wrong the first time just boils down to a few tweaks.

Presumably you've been through it before, but just remember you'll experience a few days of "carb withdrawal" in about two days' time. This affects different people in different ways. For me it was barely noticeable but a friend of mine had a rougher experience. Just stick with it and 3-4 days later you'll wake up in the morning feeling just fine.

I'm so glad you seem to be on track. The veggies are key, so it's great you've got some ideas for that. Let us know how you get on!

So it is now Day 4, I am feeling much better! I don't have much of the keto symptoms... I just ordered a new box of keto testing trips and I tested in a small amount of ketones. Is this something I should be concerned with? I want to make sure I am doing everything right this time!

I have not cheated even though there are lots of Christmas temptations but Ive been strong!

I also want to add that my bloat is gone in my stomach and I am down 6lbs now I know this is all mostly water weight but I want to make sure the keto reading with the sticks has me on the right track! :)

Sounds like you're doing really well, although I have to say ... starting a diet at Christmas time, what were you thinking? ;)

Any reading above zero on the keto sticks indicates that you're doing fine. What did you get? Somewhere around the 5mg/dL mark?

Just bear in mind though that your body doesn't normally excrete ketones for the same reason it doesn't excrete glucose: it's making ketones for fuel, and excreting them in any amount is wasteful. Over a period of weeks, you'll see your readings slowly drop until they're close to (or at) zero. This doesn't indicate a problem: it shows that your body is completely fat-adapted.

In other words, the test is only meaningful during the first few days of the diet. As long as you keep eating the same food, it doesn't matter what the sticks say after a couple of weeks.

Anyway, well done for sticking to the plan! Yes, the 6lb loss is mostly water, but you should see some similarly impressive fat loss hereafter. If you do feel the need to indulge over Christmas/New Year, don't feel guilty about doing so. You'll have to go through the induction process again afterwards, but it will happen a lot faster and (most likely) with no noticeable symptoms.

That makes me feel a lot better getting ready for all of the Christmas parties!

I am going to do my best to not cheat I've had a lot of willpower this time! haha

The reading I got was at the 5mg mark and I have since "gained" 1 lb but I know that is from me not drinking enough water yesterday so I'm not freaking out- just yet. Happy Holidays!

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