Analyzing Food Diaries & Other Potential Weight Loss / Gain Factors


I’ve lost 2.4 pounds since the beginning of last week when my weight fluctuated up to 149.4 pounds. This morning I weighed 147 pounds, with some long holds & slight fluctuations in between.

This is a follow-up to my recent discussion on Why I Gained Weight Eating Keto & What I’m Going To Do About It

Blood Glucose Ketone Testing Meter - Keto Mojo DiscountI thought it would be helpful if I share my own issues and my daily low carb life with you publicly… as well as the solutions, as they unfold.

I’ll show you 8 straight days worth of detailed MyFitnessPal food diaries – plus my weight holds & fluctuations during that time period.

Then I’ll tell you the advice I would give to anyone else in my shoes, if I were analyzing this for someone else.


We’ll start with my weight, beginning on Sunday morning (July 8th).

NOTE: You have to weigh yourself first thing in the morning right after you pee. Any other time of day, even an hour later, is not accurate as your weight will fluctuate as much as five pounds throughout the day for various reasons.

The gaps between dates simply mean my weight did not change, so those gaps represents “holds” in my weight.

So on Monday July 9th my weight dropped to 148 pounds and then stayed there for 7 straight mornings – until it dropped to 147.6 pounds on Sunday July 15th.

Weight 7/08/2018 149.4 lbs
Weight 7/09/2018 148 lbs
Weight 7/15/2018 147.6 lbs
Weight 7/16/2018 148 lbs
Weight 7/17/2018 148.2 lbs
Weight 7/19/2018 147 lbs

Weight Fluctuations on a Ketogenic Low Carb Diet

I track my weight, as well as my meals & macros, in MyFitnessPal. That link shows you how I get Net Carbs in my MFP diaries, which you’ll see in my own logs below.

I’ll include the food photos below too, so you can see some low carb meal ideas, and also see a visual of the entries in my food logs.


I mentioned in my previous posts that my weight gain over the last few months is likely due to stress, anxiety and depression given I’ve been eating pretty much the same as I was 10 pounds ago.

I woke up Monday morning and weighed 148 pounds, seeing a 1.4 pound drop overnight after going from sad/blah to totally pissed off.

LOL, coincidence? Who knows!

This was the day I went on a seriously adventurous hike – which turned into a GREAT workout. I actually got HUNGRY afterward (finally!) – and I cared much less about “net carbs” and macros that day… and more about listening to my body after being so sick for so long (ie zero appetite and not eating enough).

MyFitnessPal LCHF Keto Food Diary

2163 Calories
32 Net Carbs / 75 Total Carbs
Protein: 123 grams
69% Fat / 25% Protein
Water: 80 ounces

So yes, when I felt hungry that night, even after dinner, I ate two Keto Brownies. It actually felt GOOD to feel HUNGRY again for a change! 🙂

Keep in mind that after a long rough spell I’ve been more focused on feeling better and on my overall health & happiness – and on getting active again. Then I can work out my weight issue, or see if it just works out on it’s own as a result.

The next morning I weighed the same: 148 pounds.

MyFitnessPal Low Carb Food Diary

1432 Calories
13 Net Carbs / 23 Total Carbs
Protein: 61 grams
79% Fat / 17% Protein
Water: 40 ounces

I ate super clean & simple on Tuesday and Wednesday and all day Thursday – until I had another Keto Brownie. My goal was to keep my Total Carbs low and my meals as “clean” as possible for a few days to see if it made a difference.

The next morning I weighed the same: 148 pounds.

MyFitnessPal LCHF Keto Food Diary

1689 Calories
12 Net Carbs / 21 Total Carbs
Protein: 83 grams
77% Fat / 20% Protein
Water: 48 ounces

The next morning I weighed the same: 148 pounds.

MyFitnessPal Low Carb Food Diary

1705 Calories
22 Net Carbs / 52 Total Carbs
Protein: 78 grams
76% Fat / 19% Protein
Water: 56 ounces

The next morning I weighed the same: 148 pounds.

MyFitnessPal LCHF Keto Food Diary

2448 Calories
15 Net Carbs / 35 Total Carbs
Protein: 111 grams
79% Fat / 18% Protein
Water: 48 ounces

The next morning I weighed the same: 148 pounds.

MyFitnessPal Low Carb Food Diary

2294 Calories
21 Net Carbs / 49 Total Carbs
Protein: 100 grams
78% Fat / 18% Protein
Water: 56 ounces

The next morning my weight dropped from 148 pounds to 147.6 lbs (I weighed almost half a pound less).

MyFitnessPal LCHF Keto Food Diary

1874 Calories
15 Net Carbs / 26 Total Carbs
Protein: 71 grams
81% Fat / 16% Protein
Water: 32 ounces

The next morning I weighed 148 pounds again.

MyFitnessPal Low Carb Keto Food Diary

1572 Calories
16 Net Carbs / 34 Total Carbs
Protein: 78 grams
75% Fat / 21% Protein
Water: 40 ounces

The next morning my weight was 148.2 pounds.

The next two days (Tuesday and Wednesday, July 17th & 18th) my macros and food choices were very similar to the eight food diaries above, but I woke up 2.2 pounds lighter this morning (July 19th) at an even 147 pounds.

Low Carb Weight Loss Trends

Nothing has really changed. I’ve been doing the same light strength training exercises every single day, and otherwise getting about the same amount of activity.

There are some variations to the total carbs, calories, amount of water I drank, etc over those 8 days worth of food diaries, but nothing that stands out to me as a “cause & effect” really.

A lot of this is just a totally normal weight loss trend, full of up/down slight fluctuations and “hold periods” before seeing a loss on the scales again.

That said, gaining 10 pounds in a few short months is NOT normal when you’re eating a ketogenic low carb diet – and when you’re doing the same thing you did to lose 68 pounds before (without exercise).

The same thing meaning: the same calories & macros.

There are only two variables I can think of to cause me to stall out and/or gain weight: 1) a health issue I’m not yet aware of, or 2) a certain product or a specific ingredient that I’ve introduced into my diet lately. Or there’s always the possibility that it’s BOTH.

I’ve already said though that I believe the biggest contributing factor to my recent weight gain is that I’ve been sad. You can call it depression, but basically just blah, down in the dumps & lethargic – kinda going with the flow. That’s why I decided to turn to exercise as a means of stimulating my appetite AND improving my mood.

Are weight loss/gains about what you ate the day before – or not?

Yes and No.

For me personally there are certain trigger foods that I’ve discovered historically cause me to bloat and/or stall my weight loss. I know it’s not the same for everyone but for me it’s salami and pepperoni (or any kind of smoked pork sausage) and large amounts of parmesan cheese.

That said, you can’t usually pin a slight gain or a “whoosh” (loss) on a certain food or anything specific, as it takes up to 72 hours (or more) to fully metabolize the foods you eat – and longer if you drink any alcohol.

What about some of the newer keto products?

It’s hard to say without doing a series of clean testing experiments on each product, and then narrowing it down to specific ingredients. Otherwise you’re just guessing.

Still that boils down to an individual thing. What affects one person one way, may not affect another person at all. The only way to know is through clean testing – which means you have to keep ALL other variables exactly the same, and test one product at a time over a one week period.

Through the process of elimination, you can tweak your diet and your food choices to those that your body responds to best.

I started a series of clean testing experiments last winter, which was incredibly interesting and VERY helpful.

However, it was super limited because I was using urine strips.

The next step in my Keto Journey is Blood Glucose Testing…

It’s really hard to tell exactly what your ketone levels are with urine strips alone, not just because matching the color seems like a challenge (lol, is it just me?!) but also because those are ketone levels in your waste (urine) – not IN your body right now (bloodstream).

I’ll be using the Keto Mojo Blood Glucose & Ketone Meter testing kit to test both my ketone levels, and to perform tests on various low carb foods through post-meal glucose level testing.

I scored us a 15% discount on those, and coded it into this link for you:

Blood Glucose and Ketone Testing Meter

Stay tuned as I test and share results with you!

As promised, here are my keto food photos and quick descriptions to give you some easy low carb meal ideas. All of these are in my food diaries above…

This beautiful Delmonico Ribeye with roasted broccoli & cauliflower (plus a side salad) was my dinner at a Greek/Italian Gondola restaurant. I ate less than half of it at dinner, then finished the rest for dinner at home the next night.

Simple Keto Restaurant Dinner

This is the chunky/chewy Keto Brownie I mentioned above that I snacked on after my big hike.

Keto Brownie - Chewy, Chunky Chocolate Almond Low Carb Brownie

I love the Keto Blondies the best, though!

Here’s what the packages look like:

New Keto Brownie Products packaged for easy Low Carb On-the-Go!

Before my hike last Monday I had one of these original MCT Bars.

I’ve mentioned before I don’t think you would like them (they have a bit of a bitter bite to them) – but they’re coming out with new flavors & a new recipe I think you’ll LOVE.

Original MCT Bar from MCT Co

Other “keto products” I ate this week that you saw in my food logs above include the Legendary Foods Buffalo Blue Wing Almonds and the original Keto Brownie Bar (which are no longer available).

Keto Snack Products

Those Legendary Foods Buffalo Blue Wing Almonds are so delicious – beautifully seasoned and a SERIOUS flavor blast! 🙂

Legendary Seasoned Almonds - Low Carb and Keto Friendly Snacks

This is one of those original Keto Brownie Bars (that they no longer sell) topped with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Almond Butter. That was delicious!

I don’t really eat snacks or desserts, so this was a meal for me:

Low Carb Treats - Keto Bar with Almond Butter

I did actually have “dessert” late one night while watching a movie. It was 2 TBSP of the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Almond Butter and 2 TBSP of regular peanut butter, both topped with ChocZero dark chocolate. Very low carb, but also VERY tasty. 🙂

Nut Butter LCHF Fat Bomb - Easy Low Carb Keto Treat

Those were the “exceptions” over that 8 day period, and otherwise I ate pretty clean & simple. A lot of the same repeat meals even, like hamburger steak for 3 different meals, eggs quite a few times, etc.

On the way to my hike Monday morning I got “3 sausage patties and 3 round fried eggs, please” from McDonald’s for example.

I ate half of that on my way up the mountain, and the other half on my way home from the hike.

LCHF McDonald's Keto Breakfast - Low Carb On The Go

You saw my usual “cereal” in my low carb food diaries above: 1/2 cup pecans (sometimes I splurge and add 3 servings instead of 2), 1/4 cup Daisy Brand cottage cheese (half a serving), 4 strawberries and 18 grams of blueberries.

Healthy LCHF Keto Breakfast Ideas

Sometimes I get lazy and leave out the blueberries. 🙂

Healthy Low Carb Breakfast Ideas for LCHF / Keto

I actually called this dinner one night – just some turkey slices, and colby jack cheese sliced off a block. Lazy low carbing at it’s best! 😉

Low Carb Snacks - Keto Life

Another easy “real food” low carb snack-style meal I like is just cheese & nuts – preferably pecans as they are super high fat and lower in carbs than most nuts.

Simple LCHF Keto Snacks aka Fat Bomb

One of my dinners was this FABULOUS blackened salmon from O’Charley’s (take-out as you can see) with steamed broccoli and a side caesar salad – no croutons.

I ate all of the salad, and about half the salmon & broccoli for dinner – then had the rest of the salmon & broccoli for lunch the next day.

Low Carb O'Charley's Take-Out, easy Keto Dinner

I went out to a local sports bar one night which had a VERY limited menu of mostly fried foods. I ordered a cheeseburger without the bun, and a side salad in place of the fries…

Keto Sports Bar Menu Options for eating Low Carb

The side salad was kinda small & sad, just iceberg lettuce and shredded cheese and not-so-colorful tomatoes:

Low Carb Sports Bar Options

I chopped up my burger and mixed it all together into a “Cheeseburger Salad” and found myself ignoring the tomatoes – which ended up in a pile on the edge of an otherwise empty plate.

Low Carb Cheeseburger Salad - Dining Out Keto

There were a couple of simple home cooked keto meals as well.

I had two packages of this spicy chicken sausage:

Low Carb Chicken Sausage

And baby kale instead of baby spinach, which was an accident:

Baby Kale Keto Meals

The kale was okay, kind of tastes like the back yard to me, but I drizzled hot butter over it and topped it with the fried spicy chicken sausage.

Simple Keto Dinners: Chicken Sausage and Kale

MUCH better was that same meal on another night over fresh baby spinach instead. 😉

Easy Keto Meals: Baby Spinach and Chicken Sausage

I had eggs quite a few times too, which do have cheese (colby jack cheese cubed off the block) but no other ingredients – other than the TBSP of butter they were scrambled in.

LCHF Breakfast: Eggs with Colby Jack Cheese

I bought bacon last week too, so I had that a few times with my cheesy scrambled eggs.

Keto Breakfast: Cheesy Eggs and Bacon

And three different times I had a full half pound hamburger steak as a meal.

Because as a single person, that’s what happens when you buy a 1.5 pound pack of hamburger meat. 😛

Hamburger Steak: Keto Carnivore Monomeals

All of those foods/meals were in my food diaries above and logged based on the amount I ate on that day, but I wanted to give you visuals of those meals & products as well.

The Advice I Would Give Myself…

If this were your food diary and you asked for my advice, this is what I would say:

For two straight weeks cut out ALL packaged products, eat only clean/whole foods, and keep your meals as simple as possible – ideally 3 ingredients or less per plate.

Stick to “known foods” you have eaten in the past during periods where you saw good results.

During that time measure, weigh & log every single thing you eat, and weigh yourself first thing every morning and record that in MyFitnessPal as well.

After two weeks of super clean and very simple eating, introduce ONE product or one new ingredient back into your diet. Only ONE product for a full week, without changing anything else – and see what happens.

Yes it requires a lot of discipline and patience. And ideally you’ll test both your glucose and ketone levels during your clean testing period.

I realize we all have full schedules and busy lives so it can be tough not to reach for convenience foods. And normally I would tell you “if it’s working for you, don’t worry about it!” But in a case like mine where something is obviously OFF… clean testing is the only real way to identify the culprit so I can get back to my comfortable weight.

All that said, getting happier and getting my appetite back is making me FEEL better, which is most likely what my body is responding to – with the 2.4 pound drop over a 10 day span. So if my mood finally lifts, is it TRULY a “clean test” if my weight starts dropping again?

Is it coincidence that I’m smiling more and feeling perkier AND saw a drop on the scales?

It’s hard to say…

There are always so many variables involved. 😉

I made it a point NOT to change my diet (or even exclude “keto products”) over the last couple of weeks while I worked on my “attitude adjustment” – as silly as that sounds, because I wanted to do a “clean test” on mood improvement.

Did this raise any questions for you?

I would love to hear YOUR thoughts on what I’ve laid out here, and any questions that came to mind as you were reading along.

I’d love to hear how things are going with you too…

Are you experiencing any “odd” weight fluctuations or struggling with anything at all as you work toward your weight & health goals?

Leave a comment and let’s chat!:)

I’m curious too: Have you ever used a Blood Glucose or Blood Ketone Meter like the Keto Mojo kit I showed you above?

I just got mine in this week and am reading up and learning more about it. I would love to hear your thoughts & experiences on that…

I’ll share with you what I learn along the way, and my results.

Stay tuned! 🙂

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

p.s. Every week my assistant updates this page with Free Low Carb Cookbooks and those that are on a flash sale for only 99 cents.

They are on Amazon Kindle, but you don’t even need a Kindle to read them. I read them on my Android phone, or online in my browser:

Free Low Carb Downloads


instagram low carb @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler pinterest low carb


Netrition – The Internet’s Premier Nutrition Superstore!

Low Carb Snack Box


About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
This entry was posted in Low Carb Daily Journals. Bookmark the permalink.


14 Responses to Analyzing Food Diaries & Other Potential Weight Loss / Gain Factors

  1. Angela says:

    I too can and do experience such weight fluctuations. I am relatively new to this way of eating.

  2. tracy m skylstad says:

    hi Lynn. I wonder about the packaged brownies, etc … that you eat. Aren’t those processed? I know that you’ve eaten them in the pas t and lost weight. Do you think that they could hold any respons ability in your weight gain? Just curious. Thanks for the post it was very informative. I appreciate the transparency. Nice to have an honest approach. Best of lUck on this journey,

  3. Sherry says:

    Hi Lynn
    I am experiencing the same up and down but more recently keep going up! I and going to do a clean food test myself to see what happens! Thank you for all you do for us trying to get into the keto WOE


  4. shelia favor says:

    I am having a little carb creep too. Trying to get back to clean eating. Bought the moto about a month ago. I don’t do it every day. This morning it was .9. Took me a while to get the hang of the prick thing.

  5. Tina Edwards says:

    I am doing an elimination diet out of JJ Virgin’s Virgin Diet book. Before this, I did a food sensitivity test through Everly Well. So I took out all the foods that I am reactive to and am doing the elimination diet. Both my husband and I are losing weight every single day. We do a protein shake for breakfast and dinner and just eat a meal of protein, vegetables and 1/2 cup of carbs for lunch. I love not eating 3 meals a day. It is much easier to just drink 2 meals. And the weight loss is consistent every day. Try it!! It really works.

  6. Pingback: 4-Day Keto Food Diary with LCHF Macros | Traveling Low Carb

  7. Wendy says:

    Aww man, Lynn! The scales have been stuck hardcore for me for 3+ months. I’ve tried cutting out sweeteners, all dairy and cheese, and low carb wraps and tortillas (which I really only eat maybe once or twice a week). No change on the scales after omitting those things. I have continued to lose inches and dropped another clothing size, but it’s been perplexing why the scale has stopped cold. Your comment about salami and pepperoni stalling you made a light bulb go on in my head because I’ve been eating those more often over the past few months. Not excessive amounts, but definitely 2-3 times per week! I wouldn’t have suspected they were the culprit because it’s just meat, right? Ah, they can sneak a lot of not so good stuff into that meat. I wonder if that’s the culprit in my case? I’ll finish out my non-dairy week (which has NOT been fun! LOL) and then I’ll try cutting out the processed meats and see what happens. Love your blog, love reading about your journey, seeing the meals and snacks. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Wendy,

      I love that you are doing clean testing / elimination experiments. 🙂 That’s the smart thing to do!

      It sounds like you need to start measuring overall body composition instead of just your “weight.” If you are losing inches and changing sizes, a body composition scale can tell you where you’ve gained muscle or bone density, what your body fat and water weight numbers are, etc.

      You can REALLY see your progress better that way. 😉 That’s especially important if you are also exercising of course.

      This is the one I have: but there are plenty more you can search through from there if you want to check them out.

  8. Gina. Ochoa says:

    I think the culprits are the products you are using
    And maybe you have setpoint issues. You always seem to go back the the forties. Maybe your body is not meant to be 134 or 135. Just a thought.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Gina! Actually I ruled out the “keto products” as the culprit. See: I’ve been doing an experiment on that – now that my meltdown is over and my mood is improving, I’m losing the weight at a very nice rate.

      It wasn’t just weight gain, I was also sick to my stomach and had zero appetite, lack of energy/interest – I’m looking into “gut health” as a culprit (or as a consequence) as you’ll see in that newer update above. 😉

      • Gina says:

        Yes Gut health is important. You need prebiotic fiber to take along with probiotics or the probiotics will not be effective. I eat a lot of Greek yogurt and double up on probiotics when I am sick or have tummy issues. It almost always works to get me well pretty fast.
        Water weight is often a problem for me if I eat salty foods or cured lunch meats etc.
        I rarely eat lunch meats or processed meats of any kind.
        It sounds like you are back on track again
        I am not stressing over the scale for now. I am excercizing more. I do a lot of walking mostly or water excercises. I can really tell that I am shaping up. My abs are tighter and my legs firmer. I do not care what that darn scale says as long as I feel good and look good. I am tall so being a 12 /14 is Ok for me. If I lose fine if not I am not going to get stressed out over numbers. I know that the weight will come off as I stay low carb most of the time. I eat healthy. I am older than you so it does get harder to lose after 50 or 60.

  9. Gina says:

    If there are hidden carbs in your products you will gain weight on a Keto diet. You have to be very strict about tracking or weight gain is very rapid if you eat too many carbs and fats together
    I believe for marketing purposes some of these jeto products are very deceiving
    Go back to simple clean eating and you will lose like in the original Atkins diet
    All these new companies marketing Keto products are in it for the money. I think some of their products are deceiving. Net carbs etc is one tactic to deceive us
    On Atkins there were no products long ago—- just real food.
    Just my opinions.

  10. Gina says:

    Lyn maybe you are having setpoint issues
    It seems you bounce between 135-145 but from my observations over the years is that you always go back to the forties.
    Exercise is the only way to get past this set point problem. Maybe you should stop stressing over the numbers. And continue to eat low carb and see where your body is most comfortable at with regards to weight.
    Jane Fonda once said that we should just try to be the best version of our own body type. Exercise will do that for us. I will never be a size 8 or less. I can accept that. But I can be the best looking 12 or even 14 I can be with exercise
    I am not stressing over numbers anymore. I have seen people that are smaller sizes than me that are not attractive. Because they lack muscle tone. Btw muscle weighs more than fat. Just some thoughts

  11. Pingback: Low Carb Living: Keto Recipes, Restaurant Meals & Simple Snacks | Traveling Low Carb

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