Low carb and unintentional weight loss

gogobroom

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73
Type of diabetes
Type 2
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Diet only
In the last month or so I have lost over 3kg unintentionally, I have been trying to go lower carb, reducing from about 160gsm per day to under between 60 and 100gsm. I am a 49 year old athletic male, not overweight and have a healthy BMI of 23 - gone from 71kg down to under 68. I have been increasing fats and protein to counter the reduction in carbs so still eating roughly the same total calories and continuing with my training/exercise regime.

Now don't get me wrong I am not overly worried about loosing a few KG but I don't want it to continue at this rate. For those that this has happened to what is your go to foods that can counter the wight loss ? Bloods are still pre / diabetic range from what I can see with the libre so still working on getting a good balance for BG reduction.
 
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Guilty

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151
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Low carb diets can have an initial 'boost' to weight loss due to water weight. So it could be this. In which case you should see your weight balance out.

If you want to add more calories then most advice would agree that healthy (unsaturated) fats and proteins to add include olive oil, nuts, seeds and fish.
 
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In Response

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@gogobroom how long ago were you diagnosed?
I ask because I wonder if you have been incorrectly diagnosed and really have Type 1.
Weight loss is a common symptom of untreated Type 1.
Have you had any tests for Type 1 or did your doc assume type 2 based on age?
More than half the people with Type 1 were diagnosed as adults and something like 30% of them were incorrectly diagnosed with Type 2.
 
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ajbod

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When you first go low carb, it is not unusual to lose about 10 lbs in weight, this is water that is stored within the fat stored from carbs. If you do continue to lose, then up your calories, until you settle, neither losing or gaining. it's simply a balancing act.
 
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Westley

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What matters is whether you're losing significant muscle.
The initial fast drop will be mostly water and glycogen, then it will drop slower as you burn fat.
I think keto is quite protective of muscle generally (especially if you continue to use it by exercising), and you won't lose much until you're very lean. Of course if you continue burning more than you're consuming for a long time it will eventually have to be muscle loss.
Nuts are a fairly easy and healthy way to get in extra calories. Buy them in bulk and eat handfuls over the day and it adds up.

Personally I have gone back and forth on strict keto largely because it's so hard to gain weight on it. I want to be able to continue to build muscle and strength, and find getting in enough calories with <50g carbs a day a struggle, and while I can maintain strength it's really hard to increase it.

What I've settled on for now is keto during periods when I want to drop body fat, but when I want to gain strength/weight I'll have carbs but nearly all of them around workout time (which for me is usually around the middle of the day). I think then it goes mostly into replenishing the muscle stores, allowing me to train hard, gain muscle and still keep good control.
 
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catinahat

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increasing fats and protein to counter the reduction in carbs so still eating roughly the same total calories
The problem with counting calories is that they are not all dealt with the same way by the body.
Calories from say, butter are not the equal to calories from pasta.
We have trouble using the energy (calories)from the carbs in pasta, but no problem using the energy in butter.
The energy from carbs hangs around in our blood, keeps the insulin levels high. Insulin inhibits fat burning,
so high glucose = high insulin= glucose burning
Low glucose = low insulin levels = fat burning
Substituting a 100cal of carbs for 100cal of fat, for us will usually mean weight loss because we are not good at burning carbs, but brilliant at burning fat
 

HSSS

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The problem with counting calories is that they are not all dealt with the same way by the body.
Calories from say, butter are not the equal to calories from pasta.
We have trouble using the energy (calories)from the carbs in pasta, but no problem using the energy in butter.
The energy from carbs hangs around in our blood, keeps the insulin levels high. Insulin inhibits fat burning,
so high glucose = high insulin= glucose burning
Low glucose = low insulin levels = fat burning
Substituting a 100cal of carbs for 100cal of fat, for us will usually mean weight loss because we are not good at burning carbs, but brilliant at burning fat
I’d echo this. When I first went keto I actually increased calories but lost weight due to the fact I’d been (under) eating carbs and yet still storing them as body fat previously whereas I actually could use the calories from fat and protein so did indeed use them, and more, once I got out of fat storage mode into fat utilisation mode.
 

andromache

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Messages
167
In the last month or so I have lost over 3kg unintentionally, I have been trying to go lower carb, reducing from about 160gsm per day to under between 60 and 100gsm. I am a 49 year old athletic male, not overweight and have a healthy BMI of 23 - gone from 71kg down to under 68. I have been increasing fats and protein to counter the reduction in carbs so still eating roughly the same total calories and continuing with my training/exercise regime.

Now don't get me wrong I am not overly worried about loosing a few KG but I don't want it to continue at this rate. For those that this has happened to what is your go to foods that can counter the wight loss ? Bloods are still pre / diabetic range from what I can see with the libre so still working on getting a good balance for BG reduction.
As others have said, you need to eat a lot of fat and protein to compensate for the carbs. Maybe more than you think. That certainly has been my experience (I have no weight to lose either, and struggle to keep my weight up on low carb despite eating like a horse). One trouble is that protein and fat tend to be naturally more satiating than carbs, so you feel full sooner and end up taking less fuel on board without realising.
 

Lupf

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Messages
206
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
If you feel well and fit and not hungry, I wouldn't worry. Are you sure you are eating enough? If you haven't already I suggest ditching everything low fat and go for cheese, butter, full fat/ Greek yoghurt, eggs, ... Have you checked that you are not part of the TOFI group (Thin on the outside, fat inside). if your waist decreases that might be good thing. Note that many have successfully used low carb for using (lots of) excess weight. I recall that when I started intermediate fasting, i.e. low carb days, weight started melting off. I still do IF now, it allows me to keep the pounds off.
 

gogobroom

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Messages
73
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
Thanks for all the replies, some great "food for thought" - I shall take it all on board.

I've done low carb before and yes I understand that initially it can be great for loosing weight, the carbs tend to require more water retention so thats what goes first, I'm not overly concerned just really don't need to carry on loosing weight, nor do I want to.

I generally go full fat where I can, always have done as I don't have a sweet tooth, prefer savory and currently stocked up on full fat Greek yoghurts, nuts, bacon, cheese etc ... I calorie count to a degree, but not strict at all just more of a guideline to ensure I am not over eating, when I train for triathlons its a great way of managing the weight, you can get very hungry when the training load ramps up. Currently I am just maintaining fitness, not increasing so exercise has reduced somewhat.

Re diagnosis - I am very early stages have been pre-diabetic for 10 years, but just awaiting docs appointment at the end of the month to see what the diagnosis is - I assume Type II will be stated due to the HbA1c results last month. I have looked into LADA and I will bring this up during the conversation.

Anyway this was more about the food, so I have some more ideas now as to stem the weight loss and will try upping the fat and protein some more, additional nuts and seeds throughout the day, already on the cheeses.

Thanks again.
 

Billy H

Active Member
Messages
33
Type of diabetes
LADA
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Insulin
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Know-all medics who think they know better than me
In the last month or so I have lost over 3kg unintentionally, I have been trying to go lower carb, reducing from about 160gsm per day to under between 60 and 100gsm. I am a 49 year old athletic male, not overweight and have a healthy BMI of 23 - gone from 71kg down to under 68. I have been increasing fats and protein to counter the reduction in carbs so still eating roughly the same total calories and continuing with my training/exercise regime.

Now don't get me wrong I am not overly worried about loosing a few KG but I don't want it to continue at this rate. For those that this has happened to what is your go to foods that can counter the wight loss ? Bloods are still pre / diabetic range from what I can see with the libre so still working on getting a good balance for BG reduction.
Losing 3kg, or 6lb, isn't something to be concerned about esp when you are mid BMI range.
If you changed your diet in any way you would normally expect some kind of change - when I was (mistakenly) diagnosed with T2 in 2016 I dropped from 13.5st to 10st in 3 months without trying to lose weight. It was totally due to changing my diet to reduce carbs. Since then, despite getting the correct diagnosis and treatment in April this year, my weight remained stable even though I have got much more control of my diet.
I have a swinging range of 9st10lb to 10st2lb and if I sit in that range I don't concern myself about the changes.
It's easy to get focused on one part of your health and forget about the overall picture. If it helps, you could set an absolute max and minimum weight you would be OK with and then not worry unless there's other related symptoms you worry about.
 

Billy H

Active Member
Messages
33
Type of diabetes
LADA
Treatment type
Insulin
Dislikes
Know-all medics who think they know better than me
Thanks for all the replies, some great "food for thought" - I shall take it all on board.

I've done low carb before and yes I understand that initially it can be great for loosing weight, the carbs tend to require more water retention so thats what goes first, I'm not overly concerned just really don't need to carry on loosing weight, nor do I want to.

I generally go full fat where I can, always have done as I don't have a sweet tooth, prefer savory and currently stocked up on full fat Greek yoghurts, nuts, bacon, cheese etc ... I calorie count to a degree, but not strict at all just more of a guideline to ensure I am not over eating, when I train for triathlons its a great way of managing the weight, you can get very hungry when the training load ramps up. Currently I am just maintaining fitness, not increasing so exercise has reduced somewhat.

Re diagnosis - I am very early stages have been pre-diabetic for 10 years, but just awaiting docs appointment at the end of the month to see what the diagnosis is - I assume Type II will be stated due to the HbA1c results last month. I have looked into LADA and I will bring this up during the conversation.

Anyway this was more about the food, so I have some more ideas now as to stem the weight loss and will try upping the fat and protein some more, additional nuts and seeds throughout the day, already on the cheeses.

Thanks again.
Re your diet for controlling blood sugars, Diabetes UK highlighted a paper recently that focused on the impact of higher levels of fat on blood glucose. There is evidence that consumed fat can raise glucose levels up to three hours after consumption. It is recommended that insulin dependant diabetics consider checking levels and administering a correction dose to counter the effects of fat in the diet.
There is also evidence that low carbs can (sometimes) trigger ketones for some diabetics. If following a low carb diet, I would recommend researching these areas.
The safest diet is a balanced and varied diet and, if possible, ask your GP to refer you to a dietician to get expert advice on whatever plan you follow.
 

HSSS

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Re your diet for controlling blood sugars, Diabetes UK highlighted a paper recently that focused on the impact of higher levels of fat on blood glucose. There is evidence that consumed fat can raise glucose levels up to three hours after consumption. It is recommended that insulin dependant diabetics consider checking levels and administering a correction dose to counter the effects of fat in the diet.
There is also evidence that low carbs can (sometimes) trigger ketones for some diabetics. If following a low carb diet, I would recommend researching these areas.
The safest diet is a balanced and varied diet and, if possible, ask your GP to refer you to a dietician to get expert advice on whatever plan you follow.
Do you have links to these studies please?
 
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KennyA

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Re your diet for controlling blood sugars, Diabetes UK highlighted a paper recently that focused on the impact of higher levels of fat on blood glucose. There is evidence that consumed fat can raise glucose levels up to three hours after consumption. It is recommended that insulin dependant diabetics consider checking levels and administering a correction dose to counter the effects of fat in the diet.
There is also evidence that low carbs can (sometimes) trigger ketones for some diabetics. If following a low carb diet, I would recommend researching these areas.
The safest diet is a balanced and varied diet and, if possible, ask your GP to refer you to a dietician to get expert advice on whatever plan you follow.
Can you provide a link please? there is certainly a very well-known "pizza effect" where eating fat with carb can slow down and mask the impact of carb - but that's not dietary fat raising blood glucose.

A very low carb diet is called "keto" for a reason - it's designed to trigger ketosis, the technical term for using body fat for fuel. I've been in ketosis for most of the last four years, and would expect to see ketones in my urine etc. You may be thinking of DKA - diabetic ketoacidosis - which is a serious condition and is often confused with normal dietary ketosis, including by clinical personnel who really should know the difference.
 

Impy

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Tablets (oral)
When I was diagnosed part of the issue was that I had lost a lot of weight approx 3-4 stones in about 9 months putting my BMI down to about 17.5 ( underweight).

Once I changed to a keto lifestyle to manage my blood sugar levels, I upped my fat and protein intake to try and put some weight back on. Now fat adapted, I eat up to/around 3,000 kcals a day including up to 40g of carbs (I can maintain ketosis at that level or probably slightly higher). My weight is now up to 10 stone (BMI 19.5) back in the regular range.

You might find that because you're doing low carb/keto, that your metabolic rate has increased slightly which means that your body needs more fuel to maintain it's current weight. Apparently needing a couple of hundred more kcal per day is not unusual. This YouTube video by Dr Jessica Turton contains a useful explainer on why this is.
 

Billy H

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Can you provide a link please? there is certainly a very well-known "pizza effect" where eating fat with carb can slow down and mask the impact of carb - but that's not dietary fat raising blood glucose.

A very low carb diet is called "keto" for a reason - it's designed to trigger ketosis, the technical term for using body fat for fuel. I've been in ketosis for most of the last four years, and would expect to see ketones in my urine etc. You may be thinking of DKA - diabetic ketoacidosis - which is a serious condition and is often confused with normal dietary ketosis, including by clinical personnel who really should know the difference.
Here we go:





That's just a few links. When I read the advice from Diabetes UK I did my own research and made adjustments accordingly.
 
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KennyA

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Here we go:





That's just a few links. When I read the advice from Diabetes UK I did my own research and made adjustments accordingly.
Thanks. Two of the links take me to the same 2013 study, on only seven participants all of whom were Type 1. The other two look like internet magazine articles and aren't themselves research.

That one small study does describe the carbs plus fat "pizza effect" quite well - ie more insulin being needed when a high quantity of carbs are combined with fat in a meal - and makes explicit reference to it.

The point is though that fat consumption alone, in the absence of carbohydrate, was not shown by this study to raise blood glucose. It wasn't part of the study.

Those of us on low (<130g/day) or very low (~20g/day) carb diets won't be going anywhere near the level of carb consumption (around 100g carb per meal) given to the participants in the study.
 
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