Wednesday, January 22, 2020


I suck.

This is my third week of attempting the keto diet, and I've registered a weight loss of no more than a single kilo. I know what's going on, so let me take this time to engage in confession, self-flagellation, and expressions of remorse. There might even be a resolution to do better... if we're lucky.

One thing I've come to realize is that keto, done right, is pretty hardcore. It's not exactly correct to say that Atkins and keto are the same thing, even though the Atkins Diet begins with a two-week "induction" period whose sole purpose is to induce ketosis, i.e., the change from metabolizing carbs to metabolizing fat. The Atkins Diet stresses a low-carb regimen, true, but the keto diet ideally has you consuming 70-80% fat per day. With Atkins, there's a lot of stress on unprocessed meats, leafy-green and cruciferous vegetables, and the avoidance of anything even remotely carby, from rice, bread, and pasta to starchy vegetables to fruits and fruit drinks. With keto, there's the same stress, plus the insane emphasis on fat consumption.

I confess that, up to now, I haven't once met my daily fat-consumption goal. I also confess I've broken down two or three times, already, to enjoy something carb-rich, from a soda to M&Ms to a Costco hot dog. I also eat at night, very often after midnight (recall how I noted, in a previous post, that there's some debate over whether eating at night is actually a problem), after a full day of starvation. None of these behaviors is helping with weight loss.

On the bright side, thanks to the three days of fasting every week (the Dr. Jason Fung part of my regimen, which is only tangentially linked to keto) and my general attempt to adhere to a keto regimen, my random snacking is down to almost zero, and when I do fast, it is indeed for the full 24 hours, from midnight to midnight on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I'm also using the MyFitnessPal app to track not only my caloric intake but also my caloric expenditure through exercise. I try to end every day with a caloric deficit, and while on some days, that deficit is only a few hundred calories, on other days, it's over 1,500 calories.

The net result, though, is no real weight loss. Losing a single kilo is nothing; the loss can easily be attributed to water weight. I think my body is predisposed to stubbornly retaining whatever I ingest, which makes weight loss difficult.

So: what to do? I've been doing plenty of distance walking, having walked 15 of the past 17 days, usually with a step count of around 15,000 steps. This is all on flat ground, though, so while I walk briskly, I'm not getting the "burn" I'd get were I doing stairs. Intensity of activity is vitally important, especially for people trying to push past a weight-loss plateau. So I'll need to get more intense with the exercise, and I have to stop eating at night, no matter how hungry I might be. Oh, and I'll need to stop having lapses in willpower if I want to keep the daily carb count under 20 grams.

More news as it happens. Stay tuned.


Motorrad said...

Kevin, have you entered ketosis? I use the strips and they are a great way to confirm you are doing it right. I am an Atkins fan but I haven't done a lot of research on Keto. 20 years ago I lost 60 pounds in about 4 m ok months doing atkins and kept it off for 3 years until I remarried and slowly put it all back on. I almost started again with the same goal of losing 50 to 60 pounds. The best advice incan give you is Don't Cheat! If you cheat during the initial phase you will gain weight. And forget about Keto break or Atkins friendly pasta. Those are for after you get to your desired weight. You have to be disciplined during the weight loss phase. Once I got to my target of 170 pounds, I ate what I wanted on the weekends but was zero carbs during the week. But you can't do that until you reach your target. Sorry for the bad news but that was the only thing that worked for me.

Good Luck!

Kevin Kim said...

With all the failures up to now, I have definitely not entered ketosis. Anyway, I appreciate the insights. Thanks for the advice (including the bad news) and the encouragement.

John Mac said...

Yeah, I'm a little surprised at the minimal weight loss thus far. Your body does seem more resistant to the diet/exercise regimen than usual. I don't envy you, but your plan to kick the level of exercise intensity up a notch is probably what you need to do. Keep after it, I think once you trigger your body to start burning off the pounds it will come off quickly. Good luck!

Kevin Kim said...


I've probably fucked up my body through massive sugar consumption. Don't be surprised if, in ten years, I'm distance-walking with prosthetic feet!

Daniel said...

Recommended taking pterostilbene, metformin or berberine as well as nicotinamide riboside to boost weight loss. Could try rapamycin if you want to stop ageing in its tracks. Will add more soon.

Kevin Kim said...

Good Lord! Daniel, you've morphed from friendly commenter to my personal drug dealer!

Seriously, though, are these available over the counter in Korean pharmacies, or do I need to look elsewhere? I suppose I can look up what each substance does instead of asking you. Do you think rapamycin really stops aging? I've seen videos of people supposedly taking pills, etc., for longevity, and they usually look like sun-dried beef jerky.

Daniel said...

Always glad to be of service! With the exception of metformin and rapamycin (prescription drugs available on the cheap domestically if you can get a friendly doctor to prescribe them or via online pharmacies in India, etc), all of the others are nutritional supplements easily purchased on Amazon or, if you want to save on shipping, preferably on Coupang. Berberine and Metformin lower blood sugar and improve insulin metabolism. Pterostilbene and resveratrol are caloric restriction mimetic supplements that trick your body into thinking that you're fasting or starving. Nicotinamide riboside improves mitochondria energy processing for a range of different benefits. I should have mentioned another interesting one, sulforaphane, that supposedly prevents cancer. Rapamycin would have to be a personal favorite. Look up mTOR inhibitor (specifically mTORC1 inhibition) to find out all the details (the science is way above my head).

Are some great starting points for your rapamycin journey.