Spinach dip and pork rinds for dinner? Heavy cream on everything? Yes.
October 18, 2014 5:11 PM   Subscribe

The "Keto Diet" is deigned to keep your body in a constant state of ketosis. Originally designed to help people with sever epilepsy, it has become quite a popular way to lose a large amount of weight in a short period.

Although similar to the Atkins Diet, Keto takes things a bit further and has very few rules.

In a nutshell: keep carbs under net 20g , and get at least 60% of your daily calories from fat. That's it.

A kind soul created a Keto Calculator if you'd like to know exactly how much butter you'll be stuffing in your face.

Weirdly, "Butter Coffee" or "Bullet Proof Coffee (BPC)" (previously) has had a weird moment in the zeitgesit. It is a popular "fat bomb" if you tire of eating eggs and bacon every day.

Reddit has been the cornerstone of the movement, and there are multiple (generally well moderated) subreddits with 100,000s of users:

r/Keto is one of the most active subreddits.

r/progresspics will probably explain why any person would even attempt this diet (and may be the only nice place on reddit)

r/xxketo is for women going on the diet. There are some effects beyond the initial "keto flu" such as extreme and prolonged periods and potential hair loss.

r/ketorecipes if you'd like to know just how many places you can stuff bacon.
posted by lattiboy (128 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
 
i started on this diet w/ my wife (she's consulting w/ a doctor for some medical issues) and it's been surprisingly easy. I'm interested to see the comments here :)
posted by akaJudge at 5:15 PM on October 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm going to stay out of the thread after this, but I thought I'd give my experience.

The first week is really, incredibly hard. I had none of the flu-like symptoms, but jesushchrist did I want a piece of bread or an apple or something. Five weeks in, I am basically over all cravings. I walked through Costco today by all the samples of sweets and pasta and just didn't care. I have a preposterous amount of energy and I'm not groggy in the morning. I'm so much.... clearer. Focused. It's weird as fuck.

I use "Fat Secret" app on my phone to log every piece of food that goes in my mouth. The barcode feature is really nice and they have info for any chain restaurant and "generic" stuff every restaurant does similarly.

Also, GET A SCALE! I knew I was losing weight, but now that I weigh myself daily it is shocking to see. Data is key to keeping yourself on it.

PS If you can't give up beer, you can have beer-like substances such as Michelob Ultra and Bud Light Platinum. Yes, they're horrible, but it helps if your friends hang out in bars. Also, because you basically lose the ability to process alcohol effectively, you become a cheap date. I'm basically wasted after 4 Michelob Ultras. I used to have to drink 12 PBRs to get buzzed.
posted by lattiboy at 5:23 PM on October 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


Atkins is protein. Keto is fat. Protein != fat. Atkins != Keto.
posted by stbalbach at 5:25 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would be all over this, and should be, but beer, dammit.
posted by eriko at 5:28 PM on October 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


This is a complex topic, and it's controversial, not because there's
much doubt about it any longer, but because it's not what anyone
(even me!) wants to discover is true . . . But I'm afraid that it is.
[emph. mine]

...

EDUCATION:

University of California at Berkeley. EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences) major with 4.0 average.

posted by invitapriore at 5:34 PM on October 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


And let's not forget "Reddit has been the cornerstone of the movement."
posted by invitapriore at 5:36 PM on October 18, 2014 [22 favorites]


There are some effects beyond the initial "keto flu" such as extreme and prolonged periods and potential hair loss.

All I know about the keto diet is from the wikipedia page linked here, but it was a bit vague on side effects. Is this something that people do safely over the long haul, or is it meant to be used as a short term tool in order to lose weight and then return to a more normal diet? (I'm just curious, I don't have any desire to change weights and I would be sad to be denied beer.)
posted by Dip Flash at 5:38 PM on October 18, 2014


YMMV, etc., I lost 20 lbs in September doing this.

A helpful tool is the ketosis strip, e.g. http://tinyurl.com/ogmq3fg. Having the ketosis strips change color gives an immediate "Atta boy!"/short-term reward that helps keep me going, i.e. unlike other diets, I don't have to wonder if what I'm doing is working. If the strip changes color, I'm in ketosis and I'm losing weight.

It's worked like a charm for me (but I do miss beer).
posted by MrJM at 5:38 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


if you'd like to know just how many places you can stuff bacon.

I would imagine that there are several subreddits devoted to exploring exactly that question.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:39 PM on October 18, 2014 [18 favorites]


Yeah...

Moderation. Not much alcohol. As few processed foods as possible. Whole grains, nuts, seeds. Little or no red meat. Sea food (including canned tuna fish and sardines). Healthy fats (e.g., seafood, avocado). And exercise whenever you can, but at least an hour twice a week.

Trying to get back to some imaginary pre-civilization diet seems unnecessary when at least some benefits can be derived from simple, low-impact steps.
posted by the sobsister at 5:40 PM on October 18, 2014 [17 favorites]


Hard liquor and wine don't have carbs.
posted by chinston at 5:52 PM on October 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Atkins is protein. Keto is fat. Protein != fat. Atkins != Keto.
Similar != ==.
posted by Flunkie at 5:54 PM on October 18, 2014 [15 favorites]


I've tried keto a couple of times, and the mistake I consistently make is not to drink enough water. If that happens, I get nauseated, and nothing makes it better (except going off keto).
posted by LN at 5:55 PM on October 18, 2014


Hard liquor and wine don't have carbs.


Yes they do.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:59 PM on October 18, 2014 [25 favorites]


This made the rounds at Something Awful about three years back and was one of the more hilarious threads, in that it quickly became Jonestown-like in its refusal to listen to outside input and elimination of people who disturbed the consensus. People were having bread dreams as their bodies cried out for carbs, eating Costco beef chunk out of the can, and being prescribed statins for extreme cholesterol levels at 21 years of age.

The mockery thread on it was a thing of genius.
posted by Palindromedary at 6:01 PM on October 18, 2014 [32 favorites]


A few years back I was trying to understand how booze works with these low carb diets and got some good answers. Ask Metafilter: Is alcohol metabolized like sugars? Or something else?
posted by Nelson at 6:05 PM on October 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


Ketosis was what made anyone on Atkins have horrible corpse breath. I guess I could see this as an old-fashioned weight loss diet, but not something you'd want to do as a lifestyle choice.
posted by rikschell at 6:05 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hard liquor and wine don't have carbs.

Yes they do.


Some do, and some don't.
There are carbohydrates in all wines, even the driest styles, despite what some wine appreciation websites might tell you.
. . .
If you understand the processes of fermentation and distillation, you'll know that the end result of distillation is ethyl alcohol, a zero-carb liquid.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:07 PM on October 18, 2014


Coffee Creamers: re: Vegan ketosis -

I'm betting this thread will attract a lot of vegetarian/vegan low carb dieters who drink coffee...

I'm looking for recommendations for low-carb / dairy-free coffee creamers.

Favorite brands? Coconut? Soy? Almond?
posted by Auden at 6:08 PM on October 18, 2014


It's not really fair to call high fat / low carb a "reddit thing". If you're looking for someone more credible than anonymous internet strangers to learn from, I suggest Dr. Peter Attia
posted by the jam at 6:10 PM on October 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


No thanks, I'll stick with the chronic depression-based anorexia. That way when my body remembers that food is something you can put in your mouth and chew and swallow, my options won't be so restricted.
posted by Spatch at 6:10 PM on October 18, 2014 [31 favorites]


The average Englishman of the 16th-century drank nearly 8 pints of (relatively low-alcohol) ale a day, and ate mostly brown bread and pottage.


They were also lean as fuck.


Because most of them were agricultural laborers, and usually spent 10 hours a day or so engaged in manual labor.


Many also suffered from malnourishment due to a lack of certain vitamins and minerals in their diet.


Your mileage may vary.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:11 PM on October 18, 2014 [32 favorites]


If you understand the processes of fermentation and distillation, you'll know that the end result of distillation is ethyl alcohol, a zero-carb liquid.


True- if you drink only vodka, with no mixers, you will absorb very few sugars, and live a long and happy life. Just look at Russia, and the joie de vivre that surrounds most things there.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:15 PM on October 18, 2014 [84 favorites]


"EDUCATION:

University of California at Berkeley. EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences) major with 4.0 average.
"

Yeah, from the opening sentences on this entire thing immediately screamed of Engineer's Syndrome. "I've studied how to solve a specific set of problems! Obviously this makes me an expert in all topics! Reddit will love this!"
posted by FatherDagon at 6:16 PM on October 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


True- if you drink only vodka, with no mixers, you will absorb very few sugars, and live a long and happy life. Just look at Russia, and the joie de vivre that surrounds most things there.

Like driving, for example.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:16 PM on October 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


Favorite brands? Coconut? Soy? Almond?

The coconut coffee creamer stuff is fine, and lasts...foreverish. Creepily so. I actually prefer to use canned coconut milk, which I cook with pretty often, and I just set aside a bit of a (shaken) can whenever I open one, for coffee.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:21 PM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


"There are some effects beyond the initial "keto flu" such as extreme and prolonged periods and potential hair loss."

Wow, that's how you know you're doing it right.
posted by travelwithcats at 6:25 PM on October 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


alcohol itself behaves similarly to sugar in the body. its a lot of calories.
posted by empath at 6:25 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


That being said, the alcoholic diet works for some -- lots of drinking, little food. Cigarettes optional.
posted by mr. digits at 6:28 PM on October 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


From what I remember of my anorexia days ketosis was hell. The yellowing tounge, stinky pee and sheer avoidance of carbs was a super bad idea. (Note anorexia is a super super bad idea). The yuck taste in my mouth was my notifier of ketosis. Annoyingly after my recovery I'd fall into ketosis really easily for a couple years. It always came with muscle aches and the tongue taste thing. Would not do again.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:29 PM on October 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


I have no doubt that this would help you lose weight. On the other hand, you'd also drop pounds by cutting off all your belly fat with a cleaver. I'm not sure how healthy either one of these things might be.

On the third hand being overweight is not healthy either so it's possible going keto temporarily, even if unhealthy, is better than carrying all those extra pounds for years or decades.
posted by Justinian at 6:39 PM on October 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't trust anything that "keeps your body in a constant state of ____" unless it's euphoric delirium
posted by gorbweaver at 6:42 PM on October 18, 2014 [48 favorites]


A lot of people do keto as bacon, eggs, cheese, steak, and bullet-proof coffee, which inspires a lot of horrified reaction, but keep in mind you can also eat lots of salad and still stay around 20g of carbohydrates (not counting fiber).
posted by skewed at 6:44 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


About half of my first comment got cut.

Anyway, the horrified responses are not surprising. I don't think this is a sustainable diet. I'm using it as a tool for about 3-4 months and then I'm going to go the more customary Ornish diet route. I will never go back to eating bread and beer in the quantities I did.

Obviously you need to be seeing a doctor and make sure to have your cholesterol levels checked. Also, there are a lot of key vitamins and minerals you will have difficulty getting eating this way. It's all in the various resources I posted.

Being fat is a prison. The pooh poohing and general animosity towards this is, I think, misguided. Carrying an extra 70lbs for a decade vs. a few months of eating this way is not a tough decision for somebody with obesity issues. The extra energy and confidence are a godsend.

On reflection, the title was far too tongue-in-cheek for the subject matter. You can (and I do) eat a tremendous amount of broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, spinach, and cauliflower. Also, I'm eating a much more fish and pork than red meat.
posted by lattiboy at 6:55 PM on October 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


I'm coming up on two years of doing keto (in six weeks or so), and other than a few cheat days (for specific reason), I've kept to it. I'm down about 95lbs, something I've maintained.

For the first eight months I was incredibly strict, weighing and measuring my food, logging everything, and being more than a little nuts. I needed it, because I needed to reevaluate my relationship to food, to better understand what a portion was, and what my body actually needed, as opposed to how much I ate. Since then, I've become a little less crazy about it, even allowing myself to eat certain things in smaller quantities. If only to make sure I maintain a health relationship with food, and don't go in the other direction. But also because there is only so long you can remain rigid before snapping.

Unlike a lot of others, I didn't get most of the physical "keto flu" symptoms. I rarely had a physical craving for things I couldn't have, just mental cravings. And I pushed past it. Lost 30ish lbs in the first few months, another 50 fairly quickly after that. I've been fat my entire life, since puberty, and after a few years of being 250, I had shot to 290, and then starting breaking 300. My high was 310 or so, and I started working out. When I started the diet, I was 295.

I've often described keto at paleo without all the libertarian politics. Both have plenty of broscience. But it's a diet that's worked for me for the last two years, in conjunction with daily exercise. It's been easier than expected, and harder than expected. I hate being the guy at a restaurant that makes things complicated or has to switch up an order. I was never much of a drinker, but going to a bar I don't even have a beer now. I am actually typing this having just returned from a friend's wedding and having decided on the fly to take the night off from keto. I've done cheat days before, and while they often have the tendency to turn into binge days, I know I can recover.

People have asked me how to do it, and I tell them. And I tell them that it can work for them, if they commit. I'll give practical advice and suggestions (and will here if anyone asks). But really, it's about finding a diet that works for you. This is hardly the first I've tried, but it's one that works for me.
posted by X-Himy at 6:55 PM on October 18, 2014 [31 favorites]


Oh, my diet is mostly veggies, meat, eggs, and cheese. My mom once asked me if I got my cholesterol checked. I had, and it was beyond fantastic. As I told her, "few things improve your health like dropping 90 extra pounds".
posted by X-Himy at 6:56 PM on October 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure that skinny with bald spots and halitosis is enough incentive for me to give this a shot. But when you guys find the fool-proof weight loss regime that largely consists of fruit, fancy cheese, fresh seafood, curry, red wine and Scotch, please let me know.
posted by thivaia at 6:57 PM on October 18, 2014 [23 favorites]


But when you guys find the fool-proof weight loss regime that largely consists of fruit, fancy cheese, fresh seafood, curry, red wine and Scotch, please let me know.


Actually- throw a carrot, or some spinach in there, and make sure you work off as much or more calories than you consume, and you should do fine with that.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:04 PM on October 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


Oh, hang on, Steve Gibson has anything to do with this?

Walk away.

It may work, and it may be the best damn diet in the world - but you really don't need to get involved with his special brand of batshit self-promoting lying crazy hucksterism.

Walk away, and find someone with a clue and slightly smaller ego to guide you.
posted by Pinback at 7:09 PM on October 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


X-Himy , best of luck to you, you rock.
posted by Auden at 7:09 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


In all fairness, r/progresspics predates keto, and is used by people on all sorts of diets, including those trying to gain weight.

"The first week is really, incredibly hard."
"I . . . log every piece of food that goes in my mouth.
"Reddit has been the cornerstone of the movement."
"I do miss beer..."
"horrible corpse breath"
"Jonestown-like in its refusal to listen to outside input"
"being prescribed statins for extreme cholesterol levels at 21 years of age"

Do tell...
posted by markkraft at 7:24 PM on October 18, 2014


Without going into keto, which I know nothing about. I'll just note that quick weight loss is not equal to permanent weight loss. There was a recent study that showed people lose a lot of weight quickly with Atkins, but they gain it back within a year. The best diet in the study for consistency was actually Jenny Craig.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:33 PM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ketosis is not a binary state. It's more of a spectrum, with mild ketosis beginning at around 50g/day of carbohydrates or less . A good rule of thumb is about 5% of caloric intake, which works out to be 20-30g/day for most people. Whether you get your remaining calories from fat or protein is irrelevant from the standpoint of ketogenesis, though obviously your choice of diet may affect your health in other ways.

Mild to moderate ketosis is pretty harmless. Your body's designed to do it. There weren't a whole lot of refined sugars on the African savanna, nor the promise of regular meals. Your body likes carbs but it'll run just fine on fats and protein.

I'm five weeks in and have not experienced any unusual fatigue, cravings, halitosis, muscle aches, or hair loss (!). About the worst I can say is that I miss cereal and pasta sometimes.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:35 PM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


"It may work"
Absolutely. If you adhere stringently to it and keep track of everything you eat, you will lose weight... just as you will with any other measured, portioned diet, where you consume fewer calories than you burn.

"...and it may be the best damn diet in the world"

Diet? As in "food you can or should actually live on"? No, it's absolutely not.
posted by markkraft at 7:35 PM on October 18, 2014


I'd missed the whole bulletproof coffee thread, having now read it and this one, I'm not convinced it's for me. The idea of so many fats rings an alarm bell for me. Besides, I like my coffee not to be messed with.
posted by arcticseal at 7:45 PM on October 18, 2014


" The best diet in the study for consistency was actually Jenny Craig."

Actually, no. That's not what the paper you linked to says.

"The best diet (after a year) — although only by a tiny and certainly not statistically significant margin — is the Ornish diet, which is low fat."

Oh, and did I mention that Ornish's diet can also reverse heart disease, and may prevent -- or slow the growth rate -- of cancer?

Even in the short term, a diet like Ornish's is nearly as effective as Atkins. And in the long run, it's more effective, and might just save your life.
posted by markkraft at 7:47 PM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


What happens if I'm already underweight? Will I disappear?
posted by desjardins at 7:56 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't trust anything that "keeps your body in a constant state of ____" unless it's euphoric delirium

what about "disco inferno"
posted by poffin boffin at 7:56 PM on October 18, 2014 [31 favorites]



What happens if I'm already underweight? Will I disappear?


hannibal lecter harvests your engorged fatty liver for a dinner party.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:00 PM on October 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh god. Well, ok. A ketogenic diet can be helpful for *some people* under very particular circumstances, while being monitored by a professional. For most, it's just another crash diet that leads to muscle loss that ratchets down your body's ability to maintain weight loss in the future, because when you gain back after these diets you gain back fat without regaining the lean body mass. And it's no big secret, it's been around for decades. For those susceptible to eating disorders, it's triggering (and having worked with the population, I wish this thing would go away as something people pass around on the internet as gospel because it makes it so much harder to get folks with a problem back on track). For some it will send their cholesterol sky-high. Not everyone, just those genetically susceptible. But they will hear from the paleo and keto communities that they're just not doing it right, will try to double down, and make their problem worse.

There are better ways. Less punishing ways. Ways that are more effective in the long term, and that won't hurt your ability to keep your weight down in the future. Ask your doctor for a referral to an RD.

And as far as paleo goes -- our ancestors, including Neandertals, ate grains including varieties of triticum (wheat), barley, and lentils. The canonical paleo diet is based on older, discredited theories of what our diets used to be.

FWIW, my education: masters in nutrition, Registered Dietitian, certified to practice as a dietitian/nutritionist in the state of New York.
posted by antinomia at 8:01 PM on October 18, 2014 [120 favorites]


I did the low/no carb thing about a year and a half ago, for about five months (since I gradually tapered off, hard to pinpoint the end). I combined this with excessive exercise, and lost about 75 pounds in six months.

Now, I truly eat whatever I want, and I don't gain any weight. In fact, sometimes I have to force myself to eat so as to avoid losing weight (since I lift, that would be a bad thing). It gets to the point where I make my protein shakes by mixing the powder with melted vanilla Haagen Daz. Please do not hate me for this.

What's the secret? Sometimes it helps to go to extremes. In the process, I completely reset my metabolism and hunger response. Lifting weights four times a week really helps. I have been shocked by how many calories that consumes. Ultimately, exercise shouldn't matter, because its supposed to be about calories in and calories out. But I find the hunger induced by activity so much easier to control than the hunger that comes from deprivation. I really have no idea why.

Although I wasn't doing keto-specific, I was definitely in ketosis - I had the strips and everything. I think it really does work, but to this day I'm skeptical if there's anything to it more than sheer caloric restriction. Despite the fats, I think it's really hard to keep those calories up without carbs.

Extreme diets rarely work long term, but it worked for me as a reset switch. Since the , I've learned that fitness is so much more than not being obese, so I think the real key is to have new good habits to replace your old bad ones. Keto is not a long term habit for most people, so I think that's where these diets often fail.
posted by Edgewise at 8:05 PM on October 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


congrats to everyone on here who's lost and is losing weight. lattiboy- your second comment mentioning the amount of greens you're eating put the whole thing in better perspective. i'm a former fat person and i can well attest to the funhouse mirror prison that it is. hearing people mention using this temporarily as well as changing their relationship to food and having medical supervision makes it all sound far less crazy and unhealthy. as a teenager i would have done anything to lose weight and at night i often did lay in bed wishing i could cut all the fat off with a knife and be done with it. i often felt hopeless and unworthy of everything, especially love. i lost my weight in a far more risky and dangerous way than this and i wouldn't change anything. fuck being fat and fuck all the shame that goes with it.

fly free my brothers, seriously. there's a whole world out there just made for you. there will come a point where people start telling you that you look good, and not just because they know you were fat and have recently lost weight, but because you genuinely look good and they want to get up on you.

until then do whatever the fuck it takes to find and love your true self.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 8:06 PM on October 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Boy, these food threads get a lot of comments.

Back when I had an extra twenty pounds on my belly from beer etc, a week at a meditation retreat where they didn't eat carbs would make me lose ten pounds. Pretty amazing.

But, cutting back on alcohol and working out got me back to my normal underweight but healthy status. (All of my brothers are tall and skinny; it's a genetic thing.)

However, now that my wife decided to go vegetarian (a diet I tried for 15 years or so), I gained an extra 5 pounds.

BUT IS IT THAT USEFUL TO STAND ON THE SCALE AND EVALUATE YOUR HEALTH ON THAT BASIS?

Obviously not. Exercising and eating natural foods is a pretty good idea. You can't go too wrong doing this, really, can you? Sure I could be wrong…Grain Brain…Grain Belly, and etc., but I can't really eschew grains now that my wife is a vegetarian. Funny; I used to go crazy figuring out what kind of meat to buy…chicken, fish, steak, pork…It's a relief to not have to do that, but she's still a picky eater. Luckily, she cooks more now.
posted by kozad at 8:07 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thik Disco Inferno was an early version of "riding the snake," a later diet craze.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:07 PM on October 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, and that butter coffee thing…go ahead and try it out, but after a few days, I found that feeling butter in my throat all day was a little off-putting.
posted by kozad at 8:10 PM on October 18, 2014


I don't trust anything that "keeps your body in a constant state of ____" unless it's euphoric delirium

Man, there are some days I miss Grateful Dead tours, and then there are some days I REALLY MISS Grateful Dead Tours.

Not from personal experience mind you, but I'VE HEARD that when your regime is washing down the first hit of blotter with the first cup of coffee, than hanging out in a parking lot until the doors open, the pounds MELT right off.
posted by mikelieman at 8:11 PM on October 18, 2014 [20 favorites]


*think, not thik, of course.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:17 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I found that feeling butter in my throat all day was a little off-putting.

My friend who studied in Tibet tells me butter tea is great for your lips in super-cold weather, though. I think her exact words were "like sipping chapstick."
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:21 PM on October 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


But they will hear from the paleo and keto communities that they're just not doing it right, will try to double down, and make their problem worse.

I call them "Fitness Calvinists". Either you're not subscribing to the right doctrine OR if your doctrine is right, you're not praying hard enough.
posted by mikelieman at 8:22 PM on October 18, 2014 [28 favorites]


Wow, that's how you know you're doing it right.

Dieting is controlled starvation. All of it. Calorie counting, Keto, Paleo, Zone, South Beach, Opus (my Dad's favorite, and it works... for him.)

There are prices to be paid for it. I myself just yakked up a modest and pleasant meal from a local Portuguese restaurant. My post-surgery stomach decided that anything prepared "o Mozambique" was evil and must be expunged. It does it seemingly at random, tho I've learned to identify most (tho, apparently not all) hard limits.

Here's where my diet differs. When it comes to compliance, most dieters can give in and stop starving themselves, which every neuron in their brain not devoted to rational thought demands, whereas I need to plot and plan and sneak and scheme to pack in more empty calories that won't just zoom out into the toilet from one end or the other. It's a hassle, and I'm lazy, so I don't. Usually. The results are mediocre. I'm still fat, and likely will be my whole life, albeit no longer "NFL Nose Tackle fat." Despite picking up a weightlifting habit, I'm significantly less strong. I need to lie down and sweat for an hour if I eat a spoonful of ice-cream on the sly. I'm not going to die of high blood pressure, sleep apnea or heart disease, and now I have a fighting chance to see my girl graduate college when I'm an old, fat, weak man.

The critical part of the diet isn't what you eat or how you eat it. All diets work. All of them! The critical part is sticking to the diet. "Patient compliance" in the medical patois. For some people (not all!) Keto and Atkins and Paleo and their ilk really, really, really works. For others, the Mediterranean and Ornish and Hacker diets and their ilk really, really, really works.

Find what you can stick with. Go see a head-shrinker to help. Your body isn't you.

If you're too far gone for decision-based dieting, there are other options. They're not easier. Good luck, we all believe in you.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:24 PM on October 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


The critical part of the diet isn't what you eat or how you eat it. All diets work. All of them!

I'd agree with that once it's qualified along the lines of 'absent lifelong emotional and psychological barriers that even therapy failed to address' ( I'm a big fan of CBT and DBT, myself ) because yes, if you pay attention any tactic to induce a non-trivial caloric deficit over a significant period of time is effective, but getting there involves people's relationships not just with food and lifestyle, but also their own internalized, emotionally invested comfort zones.

And it was my brief experience working professionally with people on this that gives me a real appreciation for the work that antinomia is doing every day. And the personal commitment it requires. You have my unqualified admiration.
posted by mikelieman at 8:31 PM on October 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


The pooh poohing and general animosity towards this is, I think, misguided.

FWIW, I think a lot of people are used to seeing "state of keto[acido]sis" as a symptom of severe anorexia, diabetes 2, or kidney failure, so it's setting off alarm bells that may not have anything to do with keto as an intentional dietary choice.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 8:33 PM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oops. Thanks markkraft. The paper does indeed say Ornish was the best.

However, I was speaking about consistent weight loss, and Jenny Craig is the only diet where 1-year weight loss was greater than 6-month weight loss. In all other diets, people gained weight during the second 6-months. (Rosemary Conley was about a wash, but there was a tiny bit of gain back.)
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:39 PM on October 18, 2014


because yes, if you pay attention any tactic to induce a non-trivial caloric deficit over a significant period of time is effective, but getting there involves people's relationships not just with food and lifestyle, but also their own internalized, emotionally invested comfort zones.

As regular readers of comments on the blue can attest, my issues are manifold and entertainingly (if you're not me) complex.

Please re-read my comment. You triggered, and vented, and I get that, I've done it. Please go and re-read it, to the end. I am entirely on your side, because you are right.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:41 PM on October 18, 2014


I'm one of those people for whom a low-carb diet really worked, but I had the added advantage of having it prepared for me by someone else. What the low-carb part did for me was stop me from going crazy with hunger (at least after the first adjustment period).

Then I went off it, and slowly gained back some of the weight. Not a catastrophic amount, I was mostly fine.

Then I was put on different medication, and went from "Hey, gorgeous" to "Move it, ya fat fuck" in the span of about 8 months. Part of me still thinks this is all my fault, and that both meds I'm on having "weight gain" listed as a side-effect is just coincidence. I guess it's what I want to believe, as on some level it would make me feel less powerless. It's not like going off the meds is much of an option any time soon.

Every time I see someone trot out the old calories in / calories out canard it fucking makes my blood boil.
posted by tigrrrlily at 8:45 PM on October 18, 2014 [21 favorites]


I don't want you to think that my comment was intended in any way to be critical of what you had said. We agree with each other apparently, but due to my own history, I want to be clear about how important the psychological issues are. You mentioned them, but I think they really should be front and center. From what I've found it's critical to address the hang-ups coincidental with the weight issues, if not before.
posted by mikelieman at 8:54 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Every time I see someone trot out the old calories in / calories out canard it fucking makes my blood boil.

Followed up with the immutable law of thermodynamics. Oh, god, the physics bullshit. In which nerd-children learn that a complex metabolic organism is not a bomb-calorimeter, and that "will power" requires calories (No, really, it does), and that conscious thought is hostage to the meat-machine housing it.

My mom's a retired nurse with weight issues. She'll rattle off the meds that will make her thin right off the top of her head, and will only do so for me now that I've had the surgery and lost the weight. Bear that in mind next time you notice most of your doctors are slender.

From what I've found it's critical to address the hang-ups coincidental with the weight issues, if not before.

Comes a time when you are hooking yourself up to a machine to breathe at night, and downing a daily dodgy dose of a pharmaceutical cocktail to keep yourself from stroking. Gotta go to work now, not when/if the issues are resolved. But, seriously, get the issues handled now, by a pro, alongside with the fat thing, it will make the results easier to achieve.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:00 PM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


is it meant to be used as a short term tool in order to lose weight and then return to a more normal diet?--Dip Flash

Has this approach ever worked with any diet on the planet? When I hear this I think "I'm going to go on this diet and lose weight, then go back to my normal diet and gain it all back and then feel terrible about myself."

I've always heard that the key is to permanently change your normal diet, either what you eat or how much you eat or both. Oh, and exercise--lots of movement as often as possible.
posted by eye of newt at 9:09 PM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's certain elements of this diet that bug me. it's simultaneously psychologically gluttonous with all the fats and meat and stuff, but there's also that weird woo-y element of "toxins" with eating lots of whole foods and fresh veggies and stuff that very VERY quickly drops off a cliff in to sounding like a homeopathy obsessed crocs-and-subaru northwest granola type talking to their friend at the local co-op.

Basically, i think there's an interesting subtext of cognitive dissonance that a lot of super logical atheist programmer bro type guys are getting in to this, and when they talk about what they eat start sounding like the people who banned fluoridation in portland. The grass fed butter thing, even if it's actually true, comes straight from that rabbit hole.

It's just funny to see the type of militant atheist internet nerds that make fun of homeopathy and stuff parroting statements about food that could be bookended with a discussion about chemtrails and a rant about how wifi gives them horrible headaches.

It's not so much broscience, as it's like... granola-y middle class "hippie" woo. It's totally befuddling that they cherrypicked it out of the center of a huge donut of shit they love to lambast.

I mean hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance are nothing new to Strongly Opinionated Internet Straight White Males, especially on reddit, but it's still darkly humorous to me. There's lots of it's stupid and to be made fun of until i decide i like it here.

And i'm aware every diet has a woo factor, it's just interesting that this one isn't in how the diet works, it comes out at the level of the actual sub-choices of not the what foods, but what exact kind of that one food to eat. These dudes are obsessing over that like they're comparing SSDs for their gaming rig, and their peers in that are interesting company.
posted by emptythought at 9:18 PM on October 18, 2014 [32 favorites]


And i'm aware every diet has a woo factor

Except for the "eat less, exercise more" diet. I realize the other diets work better for some people for a variety of reasons but there is no woo factor to it.
posted by Justinian at 9:43 PM on October 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


Eat less exercise more actually makes me pretty unhealthy. I need to up my calories because deadlifting my bodyweight on half a grapefruit a day is pretty much the bataan death march.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:47 PM on October 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Except for the "eat less, exercise more" diet. I realize the other diets work better for some people for a variety of reasons but there is no woo factor to it.

Patient compliance. Its about the most woo-iest diet there is (tho it works for my Dad) when that's factored in.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:49 PM on October 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was, for a very long time, anti-low carb diet. The science wasn't there. Then, I tried a modified south beach (I couldn't do all low fat and many of the recommended meals were horrible.) I lost quite a bit of weight and had quite a bit of energy. It was going well until I changed jobs and had some gastrointestinal upsets (which I think were from the job, not the diet.)

I had been adding carbs back, but only smart carbs. And the weight stayed off. Then the job change and stomach hell.

The induction period was hell. By the time I was a week in, I didn't want to eat anything anymore, it was all so flat and gross. By day 10, I was overwhelmed, and added some complex carbs back into my diet. Over about 4 months I lost 11lb, but I am petite, so that was actually a lot, about 3 clothing sizes. And I traded a lot of fat for muscle, which I'm sure helped.

But thanks to the stomach issues and new environment, I ended up back in carbville.

I had a mini low carb diet over the winter, all sort of accidentally. I was trying to eat better, and realized I had inadvertently been cutting out carbs. If course, I realized that around the time I started a snack binge. It seems like now I must eat all the sugary things. I think I should try again, to kick the sugar/carb craving that's returned. The I remember how much I hated the induction phase. Oh it worked but I hated it. Still, if I need to drop a dress size or two in a hurry, I know one of these low carb diets could work in a jiff.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:50 PM on October 18, 2014


I've had to to do the medically supervised keto, 80+%/daily intake fat diet as an attempt to control seizures. This mostly has been studied in kids, not adults, and not for weight loss. I basically ate butter, cream, avocado shakes, nut butters, sausages, salmon and raw vegetables, all in small portions 6-8 times a day.

Yes, I lost weight - about 40% of my then bodyweight. The diet was disgusting, and I LIKE fats - they're my main culinary vice. Very hard to keep to the recommendations for any length of time, and I had most of the side effects with almost no impact on my seizures. I gave up after 8 months.

I gained all the weight back plus another 50lbs within 4 years. Do not recommend.
posted by Dreidl at 10:07 PM on October 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm on the roman gladiator diet; it's mostly vegetarian with lots of barley and legumes which maintain a healthy layer of subcutaneous fat to protect nerves and blood vessels from cuts during a fight, but supplementing with added charred bones or wood ash for the calcium.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:09 PM on October 18, 2014 [10 favorites]



Man, there are some days I miss Grateful Dead tours, and then there are some days I REALLY MISS Grateful Dead Tours.

Not from personal experience mind you, but I'VE HEARD that when your regime is washing down the first hit of blotter with the first cup of coffee, than hanging out in a parking lot until the doors open, the pounds MELT right off.


There's also the Owsley diet.
posted by TedW at 11:15 PM on October 18, 2014


I have been doing keto - or, probably more accurately, low-carb high-fat high-protein - on and off for the past 6 months or so. Some observations:

- Yes, the first week is extremely difficult, because your body is still craving carbs, and if you have a food routine (such as a slice of bread with dinner, or ice cream for dessert, or a juice in the morning) this can make it trickier

- I never really got a "keto flu" but again, the first week you might find yourself more run down than usual

- It is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE. This seems to be overlooked, or maybe it isn't as much of a problem in other countries, or maybe it's just my problem because I like to purchase ethical meat and dairy, but fats and protein are very expensive sources of food

- Keto recipes are, by and large, an enormous pain in the arse, and messy. Therefore it is extremely easy to get burned out preparing food, and just falling back on staples, which limits variety, and leaves you feeling bored (I recommend www.butterisnotacarb.com as a good keto recipe web site, though)

- You will need to pay close attention to your calories because those are still the chief consideration if you're wanting to lose weight, and depending on you personally it CAN be easy to overeat and therefore stymie your intent

- I haven't found cheat meals to be particularly counterproductive, but then I am more concerned with sustainable lifestyle changes than with rapidly losing weight. I will have a cheat meal (usually a couple of pizzas) every couple of weeks and it doesn't seem to make much of an impact on anything

- Don't bother weighing yourself - you nead to be taking bodyfat measurements

- If you do weight training, it will have a significant impact on your workouts for the first month until your body adapts, so don't expect to hit any PRs or even, in fact, maintain the sort of volume you were managing before

- Everything everywhere has carbs in it. It is pretty much impossible to eat out. There are ways and means but for the most part you will be eating at home

- Quest bars are a godsend, but only the Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and Choc Chip Cookie Dough varieties. Keep it to one a day, folks!

- For me personally I have found that the touted danger of artificial sweeteners is non-existent. I usually drink a couple of cans of Pepsi Max with my evening workout and those have had no impact on my body staying in ketosis, or in my body fat loss

- Likewise the dangers of too much protein. "Excess" protein consumption has not affected my ketosis (though it may yours)

- Stock up on salmon, eggs, butter, cream, bacon, chicken wings, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, cheese, protein powder, almond meal/flour, broccoli, and also more cheese

- Going without carbs for an extended period of time, and then eating a whole big bunch of them (or, actually, even just a little bit) gives me mad bloating, gas, and cramps. This is because my gut bacteria is all fucked up and I keep forgetting to buy probiotics. However, there are some pretty decent low-carb yoghurts available, and in fact it has been argued by somebody somewhere that lactose doesn't impact ketosis

- Bulletproof coffee is kind of bullshit, you're much better off just dumping cream in your coffee and taking a spoonful of coconut oil

- It's a good idea to keep a jar of Bovril/Bonox or equivalent handy for a quick salty broth. Throw a tablespoon of butter in there, who cares.

Anyway, all in all I guess I'd probably recommend a keto diet, but it can be a lot of work, and it takes away so many options, and is also very expensive, so just keep that in mind.

Oh, and also, 20g of carbs or under is very extreme. You're better off tapering down to 100g, then 75g, then 50g, etc. You may even find you hit ketosis at 100g. I need to stay at around 50-60g.

Finally, my latest favourite keto meal is jalapenos filled with cream cheese (I actually use a quark/cheese mixture) and then wrapped in bacon and ovened. Tasty!

The first few times you pack it in, be careful not to keep eating the same amount of fat you were eating before and just adding a bunch of carbs to it, because that's a recipe for disaster.
posted by turbid dahlia at 11:26 PM on October 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


Hard liquor and wine don't have carbs.

Yes they do.


Well: wine is carby, spirits isn't.
posted by turbid dahlia at 11:29 PM on October 18, 2014


the best thing about this diet is that when i eat an entire tub of sour cream i am "healthy"
posted by poffin boffin at 11:35 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also ruled.me is one of the better keto sites. The book you need to get is "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes. There are two types of coconut oil: virgin, and processed. If you are paying for "extra virgin" coconut oil you are paying for five extra letters on the jar and that's it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 11:39 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


For me personally I have found that the touted danger of artificial sweeteners is non-existent.

Preach on, brother! At this point, my blood is probably 50% diet Pepsi at any given moment, and I feel...well, I'm alive. And awake!
posted by Edgewise at 11:53 PM on October 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Basically, i think there's an interesting subtext of cognitive dissonance that a lot of super logical atheist programmer bro type guys are getting in to this, and when they talk about what they eat start sounding like the people who banned fluoridation in portland.

posted by emptythought at 9:18 PM on October 18
[2 favorites +] [!]


Yep, it's a pretty interesting subtext until you realize that no one has ever banned flouridation in Portland.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 12:45 AM on October 19, 2014


I feel like I have to mention I lost about 60lbs in a year just counting calories, and about 3oz of my weight loss was my gall bladder, which apparently doesn't much care for rapid weight loss. Your mileage may vary.
posted by maxwelton at 12:56 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


turbid dahlia: - It is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE. This seems to be overlooked, or maybe it isn't as much of a problem in other countries, or maybe it's just my problem because I like to purchase ethical meat and dairy, but fats and protein are very expensive sources of food

I didn't even think about this or bring it up... But the thing is, this is true of a lot of diets. Even just very general ones like being vegan, if you're going to be healthy and aren't in a country with a history of widespread veg* diets(IE: any western country, essentially). Being able to afford to do really any diet like this is a sign of essentially, affluence. It's something people only really successfully pull off with a good amount of money, or if they're one of the loudly vocal proponents who doesn't have that, lots of time and research which is a privilege in and of itself.

It's mostly a middle class background-people thing. The ingredients themselves are either expensive, or need to be cleverly sourced... or you're either eating crap, or being relatively unhealthy. And even then, it's harder than a baseline normal diet even if you factory in general omnivore-ness and eating relatively healthy there.

So yea, even disregarding everything i discussed above, it's absolutely a folly of those with disposable income. That's something i think of whenever i think of alternative diets. The system just isn't set up for them as the default, so they're not as cheap and in some way you're always going out of your way to do them which has time and mental energy costs in and of itself.

a box and a stick and a string and a bear: Yep, it's a pretty interesting subtext until you realize that no one has ever banned flouridation in Portland.

They didn't ban it, there was just a huge anti-intellectual hubub about adding it that was 100% woo and scare tactics. Apparently they didn't push for an actual ban, but it's not added there and a lot of people are really proud of it for 100% woo reasons.

Look up the campaign, and discussions about it. It was totally bizarre. It's barely a tiny step above "fluoride calcifies your pineal gland and knocks your chakras out of alignment!"

They were on the horse to ban it, not just not add it too. I remember that from the campaign. When it didn't get added, i guess i was under the mistaken impression it also got banned.
posted by emptythought at 3:41 AM on October 19, 2014 [7 favorites]


Lifelong weight-struggler here. I've lost 80+ pounds in a year on this diet, though I wasn't calling it the keto diet. It's the only thing that's ever worked. My high water mark was 368lbs.

Doc checks my blood for various cholesterol and glucos parameters and they're always in the green.

When people insist on giving me their thoughts about the diet I stick to the talking point that it's about the real alternatives which for me historically is either this or relentless weight gain. That's the context for assessing health. Not this or sensible moderation.

Nothing about me has ever been sensible or moderate.
posted by hoanthropos at 5:29 AM on October 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Re: eating disorders. This is the only post-ED diet that I've been able to do without scaring myself by falling into bad behaviors. It really did allow me to not feel hungry (and not in a I-haven't-eaten-in-3-days-and-am-no-longer-hungry way, but really just not hungry) while eating a reduced number of calories and losing weight.

I don't think it's the holy grail of diets, certainly, but it can have lots of benefits for some, and really, the side effects were minimal for me.
posted by sarae at 6:16 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why do people think they can have tons of bacon on this diet? Almost all bacon has carbs in the form of the sugars it's cured in. You'd have to cure your own or get some fancy artisanal bacon to avoid that. Or is "carbs" meant in the euphemistic sense it has in some other diets?
posted by koeselitz at 7:28 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Artificial sweeteners have been really helpful for me. Growing up in the 70's I was given real-actual-sugar a lot.

A LOT.

So, my sweet-tooth is a thing. And satisfying it would be a lot more difficult if it wasn't for our regional supermarket store brand bulk baking stevia blend. Even within Stevia blends there's a lot of taste variation, ( a constant is that Truvia blows ) so I suggest people try the different sweeteners out there and if they find something they like, that's a huge benefit.

I get up and brew a pot of coffee, which I drink black. There's a pitcher of sweet, sweet kool-ade in the fridge. Zero calories from daily beverages lets me enjoy the calories in other things.
posted by mikelieman at 7:32 AM on October 19, 2014


Why do people think they can have tons of bacon on this diet? Almost all bacon has carbs in the form of the sugars it's cured in. You'd have to cure your own or get some fancy artisanal bacon to avoid that. Or is "carbs" meant in the euphemistic sense it has in some other diets?

Every package of bacon I've ver seen says it has one or zero carbs per serving, most of them zero. I'm assuming that the ones that say zero are rounding down from .4 or whatever, since they're almost all cured in sugar. So, unless you're talking about eating 20 servings of bacon, i'm not sure what you're getting at.
posted by skewed at 8:10 AM on October 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


I do want to make a certain amount of distinction between keto and paleo (at least in how I've understood them). Paleo is the diet where you "eat like a caveman" and is as much about not eating processed foods as it is about avoiding carbs. On paleo, you can have fruits and tubers in certain quantities. Keto is much more about how many carbs you're eating, and processed is "okay" as long as it isn't involving a bunch of extra carbs. Generally. These diets are related, there is a lot of overlap on places like reddit, and the differing philosophies can blur. There is certainly a lot of broscience involved in both.

For me, the diet works. For me. It's hard to pinpoint the exact effects of the diet because I started it in the middle of a whole bunch of life and lifestyle changes, including weighing and logging food, daily strenuous exercise (every weekday, some weekends, 3-4 days of lifting, 2-3 days of hard cardio), and a lifestyle that allowed me the space to make those changes.

I dunno about all the stuff about your body adapting to process fats, ketosis, etc. I know that on this diet I can eat and be less hungry. That I feel more full on less food for a longer amount of time. I don't feel like I'm being deprived, I eat a lot of veggies along with my protein and fat and I take a (probably unnecessary) supplement. I'm infinitely less gassy, I haven't gotten so much as the sniffles in the last couple years. This diet works well for me, even through the tradeoffs.

I love to cook, and while I don't obsessively weigh (or log) everything anymore, it's occasionally annoying to not be able to cook things I want. To have rather greasy chili because I can't add beans or thickeners. I bake bread and cookies, and I give it away to friends as gifts, it helps me scratch the itch. I cook for friends too, and just eat the keto food. I do fall back into staples and somewhat boring menus. At the moment that's more a function of having to adjust to a new work schedule and not quite being ready for it. But I'll get back to it once I move house.

I did Weight Watchers at one point in my life. I lost a little, but it wasn't easy, and it wasn't quick. I've tried other diets, or just plain old calorie counting, and as mentioned above the compliance was difficult. Those felt much more misery-inducing, much more constricting than keto to me. Personal preferences sure. I miss eating fruit. But none of these other diets worked for me for long, or at all.

I sit here this morning, sipping black coffee with coconut oil stirred in it (something that I find a bit texturally gross, but otherwise fine), nearly two years into keto. Even despite my straying from the true path last night at a friend's wedding, I'm still roughly around 200lbs, and depending on where you start measuring from, anywhere from 90-100+ lbs down. I've gone through at least four wardrobes, losing weight ain't cheap.

I've seen a lot of people talk about yo-yoing, gaining the weight back, the temporary losses that this sort of diet induces. Sure, that's true. I'm not going to tell you that yo-yoing is good for you, and I watched a lot of friends on this sort of diet do just that. But let me speak up for the quick weight loss. I've been fat since puberty, to the point where it was a defining characteristic if only to myself. I would look at myself in the mirror, or see myself in my head, and "fat" was one of the words that was part of the cloud. Sure, that's psychological as much as physiological and I'm working on that too. But it got to the point where I didn't believe I could ever be not fat, I'd probably just wink out of existence. Or I'd have to take up a new name and identity.

I had a very easy keto induction period, and have also had after planned cheat times (hard to maintain when I spent a week in England, I wanted Jaffas). I didn't get headaches, flu, or anything like that, maybe a slight edginess for a day and the need to piss what seemed like every fifteen minutes. But certainly easier than most. And the pounds just seemed to flow off. It was beautiful to weigh myself every day, take pictures every week, and see the changes happening. I had to confront my beliefs, to suddenly realize, "I CAN lose weight." It's something I still have to struggle to believe, and I still look at myself in the mirror and see the fat that others don't see. Again, psychological.

Beliefs matter, it's why the placebo effect works. So even if this was temporary for me (and two years so far, it feels like it's sticking for now), it would have still been valuable because I learned something important. That this was possible. Two years still seems like a long time for me, but I know I still have a lot of life in front of me, and I don't know that I can, or want to, maintain keto for another 60 years (sure, let's be optimistic). I've been putting together in my head a plan on transitioning away to keto. At first towards the more "modern" paleo that is individualized and allows for certain types of carbs, depending on what works for you. And maybe even eventually into a diet where I have a healthy relationship to food, where "what" I eat isn't as limiting and I naturally don't eat as much. But I'm not there yet, I like what keto has done for me, what it continues to do for me even though I've been in a six plus month plateau. Hell, I'm plateauing around 200 pounds and if you told me that would be a problem two years ago I would have told you to go fuck yourself. I have further weight loss goals I want to hit, I have further strength and fitness goals I want to hit. This works for me now, and I'm able to maintain flexibility so that I don't go insane.

Find the diet that works for you. I'm an atheist, a rationalist, someone who abjures mystical bullshit. The broscience of keto and paleo are a bit like cargo cult mysticism to me, partly because I haven't spent all the time reading the science, but it works for me. And to an extent, I'm not eager to change it up a ton.
posted by X-Himy at 8:20 AM on October 19, 2014 [9 favorites]


Thank X-Himy.

I understand the outright hostility of nutritionists and the "no shortcuts" group. At the same time, I can't help but feel a certain amount of animosity is aimed at this because it is a "magic bullet' for some people. SOME PEOPLE. Not everybody. It's also extremely condescending to hear people say, "Listen, just eat a well balanced diet and work out and you'll be fine." As if a lot of people haven't tried that exact thing a dozen fucking times.

For whatever reason, my body simply doesn't handle carbs well. I was gassy, fat, hazy, and felt stuck in an endless cycle of trying new diets and exercise regimes. I wasted a decade bullshitting myself that I was always going to be fat and I just needed to keep myself in good shape. At one point I was doing incredible 90 minute workouts 3-4 times a week. I was benching 350 and doing 30 minutes of intense elliptical work to warm up: I was still 2 pants sizes bigger and a shirt size bigger than I am now... after six weeks of this diet. I'm starting to exercise again and I have a big mountain to climb there, but I feel infinitely better than I did at my gym peak.

I view food as fuel now. No more horseshit salads for dinner that in no way satiate my hunger, no more boneless skinless chicken breasts that taste like nothing and you have to suck down. Also, no spending endless amounts of time prepping mediocre food from "light & healthy" cookbooks.

When I need a snack I have a handful of almonds and some cheddar. For lunch, tuna salad with pickles or a spinach club salad. For dinner I have some kind of meat or fish with cheesy cauliflower or brussel sprouts or broccoli and a spinach salad. The BPC works for me in the mornings and I don't eat until noon. On the weekends, eggs and bacon and sausage. That's it. Food isn't really a consideration anymore.

PS Natural peanut butter with whip cream on top is the greatest desert in history. Even if you don't do keto, go try it. Now.
posted by lattiboy at 8:49 AM on October 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


So, from reading this topic, the really real secret to losing weight, keep it off, and living longer can be summed up in three easy and simple steps:

1) Get rich.
2) Have very little stress in your life
3) Have plenty of leisure time to devote to physical activity, doctor's appointments, and any customized diet you want.

Okay, who wants to co-author the diet book with me? I'm gonna call this The 1% Diet.
posted by FJT at 8:56 AM on October 19, 2014 [11 favorites]


Okay, I'm being very glib, but for me #2 and #3 are very true and worked (and are working) for me. I think to a certain point, specific comparisons of diets are more like tactics while having the ability to even have your life under some control is grand strategy.
posted by FJT at 9:09 AM on October 19, 2014


skewed: “unless you're talking about eating 20 servings of bacon”

okay, so yeah I really just like bacon
posted by koeselitz at 9:22 AM on October 19, 2014


So I have read a lot about keto and found myself being extremely suspicious of every explanation longer than a few paragraphs. I don't think carbs are poisons, I don't rue the day when our ancestors started cultivating wheat.

But I have done keto, and lost as much as 40 pounds, and not been miserable doing so. Maintaining a carb-based diet at a calorie restriction sufficient to lose weight is soooo fucking hard, it requires tremendous willpower for me. I can't eat a piece of bread, half a baked potato, or a cookie without wanting more so much it's all I can think about. I can eat a good size meal, be full, but 30 minutes later if there are potato chips or pie or whatever available, I'd happily eat another entire full-sized meal out of them. Dieting while eating any significant amount of sugar or starchy foods for me just takes a huge amount of willpower.

Keto doesn't take anywhere near that much willpower, I guess (I don't really know) because fat makes me feel full. I can eat eggs and sausage and not be hungry for 5-7 hours, whereas if I ate the *exact* same meal with two pieces of toast, or God help me, some hash browns, I'd be wanting more almost immediately. It's just about finding foods that create satiety, and eliminating foods that cause cravings. For me, keto does that. I'm not sure I believe any of the "scientific" accounts, but when I eliminate breads and sugars, and consciously do not avoid fatty foods, I only get hungry a couple of times a day, and I'm happy to have my meal and then be done.

Keto doesn't have to be woo-y; I don't buy into the gospel of coconut oil, or eschew butter from non-grass fed cows, or test my urine for ketones. I just aim to limit my carbohydrate intake to around 20-30g per day (not counting fiber, I eat plenty of veggies), and stopped limiting myself to super tiny portions of salad dressing, mini servings of cheese, etc.
posted by skewed at 9:23 AM on October 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


Serious (but grossly intrusive, sry) question here for the people who have done this diet on the long term (3+ months or so i guess): what does it make your sweat smell like?
posted by poffin boffin at 9:52 AM on October 19, 2014


I'm one of the most broke individuals I know lately, and ketosis has been, in every way shape and form, a life saver over the last year and especially now that I'm well below the poverty line in terms of my income (my last check was for 53$ for 2 weeks worth of work).

My experience with keto has been for over a year now, on and off. I've found that carb intake depends on how many MCT's you eat in your day (the more coconut, the more carbs you can eat), how long you've been in keto, and how active you've been. When I would go out and spend the entire day swinging a pickaxe, I could eat over 100g carbs and not exit ketosis; if I am sedentary, anything over 20g and I suddenly am no longer in ketosis.

I initially started because I honestly thought I was bipolar because of my mood swings, and that I was hoping that ketosis would help me level my day-to-day energy levels. Within a week, my manic like mood swings were gone, I was significantly more pleasant to be around all the time, and I immediately could do more intensive cardio than I ever could before keto. In addition to this, my joints also all stopped popping, and I felt strangely loose in my own body - at first this feeling was uncomfortable, but I got used to it.

I had started out coming at keto from a paleolithic perspective, and although my diet hasn't changed very much since then my outlook on diets has, to a large degree. Grains aren't Natas' evil gift to the earth, nor are processed foods - in moderation. Both of these were larger portions of my diet than I cared to admit (especially white rice), and in all cases triggered an inflammatory response.

I have been vegetarian, and had periods where I eat meat, and what I found is that limited meat consumption + vegetarian sources of protein works best. Fiber is your friend with ketosis as fiber helps you feel full, and in your gut gets fermented into short chain fatty acids once you develop the gut flora for it - for the first two and a half weeks, I had terrible farts, but I stuck with it because of all the other effects. By the end of the third week though, no more terrible gas and I swore I'd never go back. That was a year ago, and although I occasionally "relapse" I end up in ketosis anyway because of food insecurity issues, and every single time I'm actually kind of glad that in the end, I'm super broke because although I can't go out and hang out with my friends, I'm also not tempted to buy beer and I feel awesome as I pursue my more introverted pasttimes.

My diet now is simple: I eat what veggies I can get for free, and occasionally pony up for meat (usually liver and heart meat because they're significantly cheaper than skeletal muscle). Here in Portland, OR, that means I forage a lot from front yard gardens, use what bags of groceries I can get from friends who have larger backyard gardens, and occasionally wander through the woods and city parks to see what edible plants I can find. Because of this choice, I ended up with an extremely high phytochemical content in my diet - much moreso than store bought produce - and I avoid most starchy vegetables, favoring leafy greens and pulpy vegetables like tomatoes.

My total food bill for last month, including bus passes, was 90$. 65$ of that was for things I couldn't forage, like coconut and hemp oil, hemp seeds, almonds, and condiments. The other 45$ were the bus passes that got me through Portland.

Sometimes what I cook is super bland. I had a bad week this week doing my rounds on my days off, and I have been eating mostly steamed greens with eggs, served with some kind of condiment. Sometimes what I cook is delicious; a few weeks ago I ended up with cucumbers, two different kinds of kale leaves, broccoli leaves, tomatoes, and some fresh cayanne pepper - the semi-composed salad I made with that was so tasty. Sometimes it's really, really hard to adhere to the diet; my parents who I live with are junk food addicts so there's always ice cream bars, cookies, and other goodies in the house and occasionally I'll gorge and kick myself out of keto for a few days, and then when they run out, I go back to it.

I cannot state this enough though - my case is unique because even when I work, I only work 3 full days a week, leaving me with 4 days to focus on gathering food and preparing food. I rarely spend more than an hour a day in the kitchen, and on those days I'm cooking for the entire day. For people working an 8-5 Mon-Fri schedule, my choices are impractical and thus, it can get expensive to buy all the produce and specialty items.

I still weigh the same 195lbs that I weighed before, but every time I kick myself out of ketosis, my thought process is fuzzier, I do worse with cardio (reducing the glycogen content in your liver to 0g is what triggers ketosis, and also prevents you from "hitting the wall" with extended periods of cardio), and the inflammatory response across my body acts up.

I have yet to have any hair fall out, my breath smell funny, or other really serious side effects, but I have talked to people who have and universally their food intake didn't include anything green or leafy. @poffin boffin, although I was worried about my sweat smelling funny, I actually have a milder body smell when in keto than when I eat carbs.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 10:04 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Like AlexiaSky, this reminds me so much of my ED that it's not even funny, especially with all the "and the weight will just melt off and you'll feel so incredibly fantastic". I no longer believe anybody about any plan working "long term" unless they've got a substantial number of people who've done it for at least 3-5 years. You who want to experiment with it, that's great if you can do so comfortably and you're really monitoring your health, but it's an experiment. It's a risk. When you talk about things that are so drastic that you lose your old ingrained habits with regard to food, remember that you may be throwing out good with bad.

High fat, low fat, high carb, low carb, somewhere on the planet somebody's traditional diet looked like that and it's probably not that fact that's going to be the problem, although it may depend on your lifestyle and activity level. Developing and maintaining a healthy relationship with food is the problem. Diets that encourage really heavy levels of tracking of specific quantities of nutrients and eating of things that most people would not eat if they weren't on that diet do worry me. Like--I'm less concerned about the people putting cream in their coffee than the ones blending their coffee with coconut oil. (I have tried it, mind, but it still doesn't resemble a normal beverage ritual so much as a chemistry experiment.) I'm less concerned with people who eat a lot of eggs and beef and broccoli than with people who talk like they can't eat a single slice of bread without getting completely obsessed with having more carbs. It's usually not the diet itself, it's how it encourages you to think and feel about your food.
posted by Sequence at 10:34 AM on October 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Is this diet safe for type two diabetics? It sounds like something that could be either very good or very bad. (Note: this is asked out of curiosity only.)
posted by PussKillian at 10:43 AM on October 19, 2014


One thing I've learned from my time on Metafilter is that any topic related to weight gets people really, really worked up.
posted by the jam at 10:55 AM on October 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm a big fan of eating low carb, particularly as someone who has dealt with PCOS and other issues that don't do well with carbs. Eating bready carby foods are also not filling enough for me which leads to overeating and regret. I don't think low carb is necessary for everyone, I'm not convinced of that. I have a friend who feels better when she stays vegan and that works well for her body and lifestyle. Other people just count calories and eat whatever they want in moderation and that's cool too. I strongly believe in finding a way of eating for yourself as an individual that is sustainable.

I eat keto now and have done so frequently over the past ten years or so. I didn't always do it intentionally, it's just how I naturally do low carb if I'm doing it at all, and since I think I'm going to just stick with low carb because it works well for me then I'm doing keto. I eat a lot of fat for satiety. Like thebotanyofsouls, being able to stay fuller longer is a huge benefit when you're poor.

I am not at all convinced that you need to be in ketosis to lose weight. Most people who lose weight aren't in ketosis. I'd like to hear more about what it is about ketosis itself that promotes weight loss. You just need to eat fewer calories, and cutting carbs while adding fat and protein keeps you fuller so you eat less. That's how I think it works. That's how all diets that promote weight loss work, it's just a matter of what is sustainable or not. And, more important than weight loss in my opinion are other health goals. For example, I have far fewer fibro flares when eating keto. Well actually I don't have any when eating keto but I can't be certain, never can be certain.

I eat keto and I'm about to have a grilled cheese sandwich right now. I'm going to try making empanadas for the first time tomorrow. I have pancakes a lot. Because I still have these things maybe I don't experience the deprivation a lot of others do?

I can have grilled cheese because I made delicious bread out of flax seeds. Almond flour for cornbread and my attempt at empanadas. Almond flour and flax I can buy with foodstamps. Carbquik buttermilk pancakes (although almond flour or cream cheese make good pancakes too). That sort of thing is how I've always been able to enjoy low carb. I could never do hamburgers wrapped in lettuce leaves, I would never stick to eating that way. But making my own low carb buns? sure! I like to cook so that does help.

There are lots of low carb products out there but some of them are deceptive, so if using low carb products rather than baking for yourself the labels must be checked rigorously and use liberal use of Google to find the experiences of others. I find that people who have diabetes are good sources on what products are actually low in carbs because they test their blood sugar afterward.
posted by Danila at 11:53 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is this diet safe for type two diabetics?

In the studies I've seen, there are incredible benefits to be reaped by diabetics (both types) from the ketogenic diet, and hypoglycemia doesn't seem to be a huge concern so far, but the research isn't super robust. It definitely requires some fine tuning in terms of meds and eating pattern.
posted by obfuscation at 12:01 PM on October 19, 2014


I suffer majorly with hypoglycemia due to anemia and I stopped doing intermittent fasting because of it (although I never had such mental clarity as when I fasted!). I never have that issue with keto at all and I've been watching out for it.
posted by Danila at 12:12 PM on October 19, 2014


One thing I've learned from my time on Metafilter is that any topic related to weight gets people really, really worked up.

Other things that people struggle with and get judgy about, like alcohol, offer the option of abstaining if you have an intractable problem. You can't do that with food, so even the people with serious issues still have to confront it multiple times a day. And lots and lots of people of all weights and sizes have disordered or unhappy histories with eating – arguably societally we have a not great relationship with food – so it's no surprise that discussions about it here can get contentious.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:26 PM on October 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


thebotanyofsouls,

Total aside, but are you receiving food stamps/SNAP? It sounds like you qualify, and it would certainly help you to do things like add additional animal proteins to your diet (whatever that diet is).

Apologies if it's an intrusive question.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:42 PM on October 19, 2014


turbid dahlia totally has it. Low carb diets are for many pretty remarkable in that they work when nothing else does in the long term (raises hand), because the conventional approach of lowering both fat and calories to a point where there's noticeable weight loss becomes unsustainable due to hunger/cravings and awful hormone-based crashes. On the other hand, his experience is definitely mine on the flipside too; when I go off low-low carbing it's usually because

A) it's fucking expensive as hell to eat primarily protein and fat without a lot of junk/cheap carbs,

B) it's a huge pain in the ass/time sink because carbs tend to be, along with cheap, relatively shelf-stable and ready-to-eat or take only minimal prepping and cooking time; suddenly nearly every single time you want to put anything in your mouth you have to for-realsies tinker with it and then cook it for a while, oh and non-carbs don't keep/stay enticingly fresh all that well so you can't just stock a pantry for the times you don't feel like grocery shopping for a week

C) carbs are, indeed, EVERYWHERE so it's easy to quickly run out of ideas for novel dishes, leading to boredom and longing looks at your classic cookbook collection chock full of grains around the world (cook's boredom is probably my number one reason I break down once in a while and say fuck it, I'm making pizza dough/bread from scratch woo hee), and/or

D) it is not that straightforward to incorporate into mainstream eating situations without seeming like a fussy weirdo, because again, carbs are EVERYWHERE (I'm reminded of my upstairs neighbors, a couple who went short-term keto a year or so ago while we were over for dinner and board game night and the only place they could eat was Outback for literally just a tray of steak, then they had the sticks out, were putting oily stuff in their coffee with newfangled sweetener out of an eye dropper, etc., and then months later they were like "can we have dinner again?...we're not on that weird diet anymore, and we really want some of your cooking because we can smell it every night...sorry that was weird")

and that's not even going into any ethical concerns, like if you really really want to be vegan. It's expensive and time-consuming and can lead to food/cooking boredom unless or even if you bother to scrape all the appropriate food blogs endlessly (also time consuming). On the other hand, it can induce a general flatline lack of enthusiasm about eating in general due to getting rid of those carb cravings and how carbs tend to be tied up with intricate, enticing, complicated cookery (cakes, bread, layered and crusted casseroles, breaded and stuffed things, etc.), so you might not care that food is now boring (people who seem to lose a TON of weight on keto-jumpstarted diets talk sometimes about how they finally view food as fuel instead of an exciting but shameful treat up and down thing; that rings true and can be a good or a bad thing depending on how important a role food plays in your personal and cultural identity). But yeah. The noticeable cost and the boredom of turning dinner into some simple grub you might as well just be cooking over a campfire, it's that unadorned and unexciting if very filling, means I take breaks sometimes (and ugh then if I let a break go on too long I get the fun of carb craving rollercoaster hell again for a while until I resume). I'm ok with that personally, because I know going back when I'm ready will work (and make a lot of my hormone-induced unpleasantness like PCOS and irregular periods and mood swings and itchy skin go away again, whee), and because cooking is a huge part of my personal history and will likely never stop being a lifelong major hobby so I can't abandon the old ways forever and ever.
posted by ifjuly at 3:18 PM on October 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Finally, my latest favourite keto meal is jalapenos filled with cream cheese (I actually use a quark/cheese mixture) and then wrapped in bacon and ovened. Tasty!

On the one hand the desire to put oneself into ketosis indicates a vast gulf in understanding between me and my fellow human. On the other hand, this sounded delicious. I therefore stuffed some smallish (sweet) peppers with cheese but also rice (+ garlic, purple basil, spices), wrapped them with bacon, and baked them for 40 minutes at 400. It was in fact delicious, and a well-rounded dish. So, thanks?
posted by advil at 3:49 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I started eating paleo* (no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar) about a month ago. I just sort of realized that I was eating A LOT of pasta and industrial cheese, and wanted to make a change. I had a pretty dramatic and almost immediate change in my mood. I went from a constant background radiation of self-loathing and recrimination to feeling more positive. Like I'm a person who sometimes does great and sometimes makes mistakes and that's all OK.

I didn't anticipate this effect. It is pretty much the killer app of eating for me. I even fully realize that it may be some kind of placebo effect - that the restrictive diet gives my brain something to work on that isn't horrible depressive thinking. But it is such a relief that I'll take it, no matter what the cause it.

My body is changing shape, which is nice (I'm in the normal BMI range, but plushier than I would like), and I assume I'm losing weight. I don't have a scale, I don't log my food, and I don't know how many carbs I am getting (I assume it is on the high end for low-carb diets, but still way lower than it used to be). When I'm hungry, I eat. I don't know if I'm officially in ketosis or what, but I don't care. Things are better, I don't miss candy or bread, and I don't find it difficult and actually enjoy eating this way.

The adjustment was pretty smooth for me - I had one day of terrible fatigue and brain fog around day 4 (I could barely operate the computer at work), and made sure to add more carbs in the form of winter squash/bananas/sweet potatoes which totally fixed that up.

I'm pretty turned off by the bro-science around keto and paleo, and I am concerned about the environmental impact. But paleo seems to be dethroning the Welsh troll in my mind, so I'm on board.

* I still drink beer. I love beer, I brew beer.
posted by jeoc at 5:52 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]




Bud Light Platinum is basically bum beer for the middle class. Stuff is strong as all hell and tastes like water.
posted by lattiboy at 6:22 PM on October 19, 2014


Beer is basically watery grain soup. The alcohol provides almost all of the calories, but as I have noted before, the human body is not a bomb calorimeter. Booze finds its way into being metabolized into fat through a long and torturous process, and very, very little of it makes the trip.

The pretzels, candied peanuts and full plate of "Macho Nachos" you eat while drinking to settle the stomach, however...
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:51 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here in Portland, OR, that means I forage a lot from front yard gardens

You ... don't mean that you're stealing from other people's vegetable gardens, do you?
posted by gingerest at 10:55 PM on October 19, 2014 [9 favorites]


>Atkins is protein. Keto is fat. Protein != fat. Atkins != Keto.

This... just isn't true. More accurate to say: Atkins induction = Keto. Both entail consuming 20g of carbohydrates or fewer a day. Atkins explicitly encourages liberal use of fats during this period. It's a high-fat, moderate protein, low carb, ketogenic way of eating. It's just not billed that way.

(Furthermore, the Atkins books I own explicitly state that it's fine to remain on induction longer than the prescribed two week introductory period, particularly if you want rapid fat loss -- it's a choice whether to climb the "carb ladder" or not.)
posted by artemisia at 11:23 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


To add to my previous comment, I visit r/keto regularly and love the ketorecipes subreddit. But I am puzzled by the hostility to Atkins that pops up in the community, notably the insistence that keto is fundamentally different from Atkins, when - as I noted above - Atkins induction and keto are functionally identical.

Where the Atkins program really excels - at least in the pre-2000 versions of the program - is its guidelines for people who eventually want to transition to a diet that incorporates some of the initially verboten foods. The "Ongoing Way of Life" method for slowly reincorporating different kinds of foods (verrrry slowly, if you do it right, with the aim of detecting which foods will screw with your appetite/satiety levels so you can omit them permanently, and which can be reincorporated without a problem) is a really valuable tool for folks who have lost weight on keto. I wish it were more widely discussed.
posted by artemisia at 11:28 PM on October 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think I'd be dead if it wasn't for low-carb. Atkins specifically.

Recently I went off the wagon for a week due to traveling to a wedding. And then another week cause the Mrs was sick.

I felt horrible. I could not wait to get back into the low carb swing of things, no matter how much I miss beer.

It's what works for me. I've tried pretty much everything else. Weight loss is very individualized. I regularly get blood work done through my Doctor and it just keeps getting better. My numbers are all fine. He is ecstatic pretty much every checkup.

I eat tons of vegetables.
posted by PlutoniumX at 9:07 AM on October 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thewhiteskull, my money situation is because a wrist injury kept me from working as much as I was (I am a licensed massage therapist). I didn't apply for SNAP because now that my wrist is mostly healed, I'm back to working and making enough that I don't qualify. In addition to this, I used the lack of money as incentive to find resourceful ways to get food. This situation is very temporary but has given me the drive to find a permanent, low cost solution and healthy relationship with food. I know where all my food comes from; I know when gardens are organic (cedar raised beds vs. pressure treat - I skip the pressure treat ones to avoid arsenic, and I look at monoculture vs. polyculture planting techniques).

gingerest, the etiquette that I adhere to is that if it's in the front yard - especially if it's on the easement (which is pretty common), it's planted for everyone, not just the owner. I have a rule that if I actually have to step on their property to reach the plant, I move along and look for other, less legally murky pickings. Most of the time I simply hit up people that I've helped put gardens in for, but sometimes the pickings there are a little slim and I have to branch out (not to mention that the gardens are in opposite corners of SE Portland).

The catch is, this approach takes time, and although the produce is far superior to what's on supermarket shelves (including farmers markets), I have to scale back the amount I work to make the time to have that relationship with my food sources. However, I feel amazing now - the best I have in my life, and won't give up this relationship with food that I have cultivated for anything (even beer - especially not beer, actually).
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 9:59 AM on October 20, 2014


 Ultimately, exercise shouldn't matter, because its supposed to be about calories in and calories out.

Just real quick on an earlier comment - isn't exercise calories out? Am I having brain fog despite not being on a faddish diet?
posted by Lesser Shrew at 12:21 PM on October 20, 2014


In biochem in college, they basically taught us that ketosis was the first step of starvation and that Your Body Does Not Like It and so I will sit over here running my brain on as much glucose as I can make from starch and sugar, thx.
posted by maryr at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


PS: OK, that comment was sort of obnoxious, but I really love running my brain on glucose.
posted by maryr at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


fast diets shrink the vital organs which don't grow back so they're bad for you, i heard. Wouldn't that be true of this one too?
posted by maiamaia at 1:54 PM on October 20, 2014


the etiquette that I adhere to is that if it's in the front yard - especially if it's on the easement (which is pretty common), it's planted for everyone, not just the owner.

Legally you may be fine, but if you do this long enough someone is going to get stroppy and yell at you because a lot of people think they own that strip. As a property owner I hate the stupid planting strip aka parking strip, because I have to maintain it without having any useful ownership of it and people treat it as a place to leave their trash. (I'd also don't understand the people who plant veggies there because every dog that walks by pisses on them and in some places you would need to think about lead contamination that remains from the days of leaded gasoline, but at least the veggies are more decorative than grass.)

If you mean you are harvesting out of front yards (not the planting strip, but from the property itself), that's not so cool except when people put up those "feel free to pick!" signs. That's directly off of private property and some people will not be pleased. (In a more perfect world all urban gardeners would plant with gleaners in mind, but sadly many do not.)
posted by Dip Flash at 5:33 PM on October 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Dip Flash, many people don't plant with gleaners in mind? Whenever we put a garden in the front, it's for the gleaners and we exclusively used the garden in the back.

This is just telling me, more and more, that I gotta get off my ass and get myself into a house where I can put in a garden.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 6:18 PM on October 20, 2014


Oh, dear me, no, thebotanyofsouls, I've planted vegetables in the front garden because it's where the light is best or where it's easier to turn the soil or because I haven't had a back garden or the back garden was already established by my landlord and I wasn't supposed to replant. Gleaners never occurred to me - I thought that gleaners restricted themselves to public property or places where they had the gardener's explicit permission. (I didn't garden much in Portland, but I did in Seattle. I don't think the cultures are that different but maybe they are?)
posted by gingerest at 8:09 PM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


There are definitely different local customs and I haven lived in Portland in years, so don't take what I said as universal. Around here, though, the front yard is not free access and the parking strip is contested territory. I've been yelled at for taking tree fruit off of parking strip trees and once for picking a flower -- people are territorial and when they have invested time and money in growing food they may well not want to share.

Which of course is the basis for the old permissions for the gleaners, but those haven't been current in centuries. If inequality keeps growing, though, those old rules will have new relevance and maybe will be reinstated.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:30 PM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I first started eating very low carb a couple of years ago, and had a very eye-opening experience. For years I had been having headaches in the afternoon 3-4 times a week - I attributed them to working in front of a computer all day, and thought they were an unavoidable part of having a desk-job career. When I restricted carbs, those headaches completely disappeared. Completely. Like all of a sudden, 10 years into my career, I had *twice* as much productive time in my work day. When I backed off on the carb restriction, the headaches came back.

I also found that eating low carb wasn't much more expensive for me because I eat so much less food than I used to. I'm just not hungry, when before I was eating all day long.
posted by antimony at 7:57 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


ctrl-F 'disabled'

ctrl-F 'chronic pain'

The 'eat less exercise more' diet doesn't really help when I'm already riding my pain threshold hard (even a stubbed toe can make me cry) and hunger pains drive me to snack, and I can't even stand long enough to do basic housework much less do frivolous things like exercise.

I'll certainly look into this as a temporary measure, and if I do it I'll do it safely, but it seems to have promise.
posted by Evilspork at 8:16 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Serious (but grossly intrusive, sry) question here for the people who have done this diet on the long term (3+ months or so i guess): what does it make your sweat smell like?

I've been eating keto-style for more than 3 years (with a few breaks). Once my body adapted after the first month, my B.O. went way down. I only need to pat a little baking soda in the pits in the morning to stay fresh as a daisy. (During those first weeks, though, it smelled like greasel.)

Similar thing for my breath. After I passed through the initial grody acetone-breath phase, my mouth has felt much cleaner. I don't get sweater-tongue any more.

Bonus overshare: I also now have perfectly-formed non-stinky stealth poos. I can drop a deuce in the ladies room with impunity in seconds flat -- no need for a courtesy flush.

I am such a delicate flower, and I owe it all to keto.
posted by nacho fries at 7:15 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


During those first weeks, though, it smelled like grease

YEAH that was my assumption! I wish I could do low carb but it always ends up literally being a week-long imitrex-defying migraine and I have to give in after day 5.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:39 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


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