Planning the end of...

Planning the end of Phase 3 and what happens next...  


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10/05/2019 11:31 pm  

I'm sneaking closer to those Red boxes popping up telling me my calories are getting too low. So am here to get a little bit of clarification around what the rest of my DSK program looks like, once I hit that week. 



  • Sep 1 2018 - Oct 20 2018: (7 weeks) I kicked off ONBOARDING, and moved from 1523 calories to 2689
    107.1kilos > 104.6kilos
    236.1lbs > 230.6lbs

  • Oct 20 2018 - 24 Nov 2018: (5 weeks) was my MACRO THRESHOLD hunt, found myself functioning best at 80% fat
    104.6kilos > 103.3kilos
    230.6lbs > 227.7lbs

  • Nov 24 2018 - 4 May 2019: (23 weeks) I was TAPERING my macros, little by little, I moved from 2327 to 1398
    103.3kilos > 95.2kilos
    227.7lbs > 209.8lbs

  • May 4 2019 - May 25 2019: (3 weeks) I have been REFEEDING once per week, as I continue down to 1267
    95.2kilos > 92.9kilos (only one week in, as I post this)
    209.8lbs > 204.8lbs 

I'm planning to finish off the REFEEDS after 3 weeks, as my spreadsheet starts showing RED cells as my calories would be only 1225



  • I haven't hit my weight goal yet, so will be doing another round of DSK as soon as I get up to a high enough calorie level to begin again, for another "X" weeks in TAPERING. 
  • My original goal weight when I started was 90 kilos (or 198lbs) but I'm thinking I still have enough squishy areas, that I could, and would like to, move my goalposts. 
  • Perhaps I could reach the top end of the range that the Australian government recommends for my height (172cms or 5' 7") of 73 kilos or 160.9 lbs. That would have more wanting to lose 18kilos or 40lbs during my next round of DSK. 
  • I want to begin to incorporate some gym training next go around, which would build my muscle mass and strength too. (yay!) I went through this first DSK adventure with my primary focus being on food and nutrition, with only some random and sporadic 15-20 minute walks and incidental activity.



  • Results attributable to DIY Keto (pre-DSK) - 37.2kilos or 82lbs gone (Nov 19 2017 - Sep 1 2018: 41 weeks)
  • Results attributable to DSK - 11.9kilos or 26.2lbs gone (Sep 1 2018 - May 25 2019: 38 weeks)



OK, so as I read it in the spreadsheet, and in some other posts in the forums, I have two paths forward from here.

  1. Go back to onboarding, with the incremental calorie increases each week. 

    Fat increasing at a factor of 1.065
    Protein increasing at a factor of 1.08


  2. Go to offboarding, with the refeeds once a week, and the incremental calorie increases each week. 

    Fat increasing at a factor of 1.04
    Protein increasing at a factor of 1.1

Both paths seem to be similar in that they both move my calories back up from 1267 to a much bigger number, and at only slightly different rates, so I can begin the TAPERING stage again, down the track (as I'll already know my MACRO THRESHOLD).

  • Am I correct in thinking I can choose which path I go down?
  • Is there a BEST path forward for me, with the considerations above taken into account.
  • Are the offboarding refeeds that important? 

Thanks in advance for your help. 

- Fiona

AbbyBK (IG @ketokeuhnnutrition )
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11/05/2019 8:21 pm  

First and foremost, holy cow man, you are rocking this with that length of time. Great job at keeping at it and always reaching out for help when needed. And yay for those loses. 

Also now before I give a more detailed answer, I had a few thoughts that came to mind and questions for you. 

-How are you mentally and physically feeling? -How are you with being hungry or not hungry? - How closing have you been tracking through this journey? -Have you ever felt deprived or really wanted X food but couldn't because you were doing so well on this program?

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11/05/2019 10:54 pm  

-How are you mentally and physically feeling?
-How are you with being hungry or not hungry?

  • For the last few weeks, I've been getting hungry. Well, more often I'm finding myself feeling hungry when I'm bored or not focused on tasks throughout the day. If my mind is busy and focussed on other things, I don't 'get hungry' I've just recently begun to no longer get that feeling of being fully 'full' after eating. Like I could comfortably and easily eat that same dinner again. So feeling 50% 'filled' after my meal. 
  • I've been intermittent fasting - 23/1 - through my entire keto journey too, even before DSK kicked off.
  • I feel like I need more and more sleep to function on mentally intense days. (And I'm currently averaging 8.5-9 hours a night, log pic attached)
  • I've attended some business building workshops lately and was going flat chat from 9 am - 5 pm in 'learn mode' great, but then when I tried to tackle any brain-related tasks later in the day I was fried! During my earlier tapering weeks, I was mentally focussed from 6 am through to about 9.30-10pm @ 100% brain function. Now I feel like I'm 80-90% during the day, and maybe 30% in the evenings. 

- How closing have you been tracking through this journey?

  • I have been calculating my macros once per week
  • I plan my daily food intake at the same time, Friday night, I do my "macro math" and go shopping.
  • I then eat the same thing, each day - Sat - Fri, where I repeat for the next weeks' macros. 
  • I've been tracking pretty closely every day. Except for 3-days where I was out camping and missed my daily weight in/ketone blood test. (I did still take pre-weighed foods with me to keep my food consistent.)
  • I have tracked for the past ~500 days
    • Ketones (mmol)
    • Weight (kilos)
    • Fat (%)
    • Sleep (hours:minutes)
    • Weight Change (since yesterday)
    • Fat Weight (total weight x Fat%)
    • Fat Weight Change (since yesterday)
    • (all of those again in lbs, so I can compare my progress to my American keto counterparts and fellow DKS peeps)
    • Carbs (grams)
    • Fat (grams)
    • Protein (grams)
    • Calories
    • Carbs (%)
    • Fat (%)
    • Protein (%)
    • Sodium (mgs)
    • potassium (mgs)
    • Magnesium (mgs)
    • Omega3 (mgs)
    • Adrenal Support Supps (tablets)
    • Water Intake (litres)
    • Deliberate Activites
      • Walk
      • Skip
      • Lifting (nothing in this column yet)
    • Period
    • Ovulation
    • Poop (yes, I track my bowel motions frequency and type/consistency too!)
    • Blood Donations (when I give blood to the Red Cross)
    • And then weekly I calculate:
      • My BMI
      • My weekly weight change
    • And monthly:
      • My monthly weight change
    • And finally, I have a column in my spreadsheet for me to write down the comments that people share with me regarding my progress, appearance, clothes, weight, vitality and 'health' etc. 

-Have you ever felt deprived or really wanted X food but couldn't because you were doing so well on this program?

  • Recently I've been stepping off my 'macro plan' a tiny bit, to add a slice of cheese or 10gr fat to cook my meat in etc. Not giant blowouts, but I feel my restraint and focus fading, as my calories get lower and lower.
  • I really want to eat a giant steak. We have a really great butcher around the corner from my house, and I want to eat a giant 1-kilo (2.2lbs) dry-aged tomahawk double-cut ribeye steak, medium, with 200g of garlic butter.
  • So far the only time I have been eating steak was when there were no burgers/mince on the menu while eating out, plus our local restaurants only do LEAN meats! (And as the steak had its weight listed, it was easier for me to estimate my macros for that meal)
  • oh, and pork belly would be brilliant too. 
  • I haven't craved carbs, but I HAVE wanted MORE food. 


Happy to answer any more questions you may have, I want to make sure you know where I'm at right now. 

- Fiona

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11/05/2019 10:58 pm  

Oh and here is my weight loss chart too. 

AbbyBK (IG @ketokeuhnnutrition )
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12/05/2019 8:19 pm  

Girl, you're after my hear with all that date you track for yourself. 🙂 Also, with eating the same foods every day for a week. Damn girl! I don't know if I could do that, and for that long. That's awesome dedication! 

First and foremost, you would want to go on to offboarding. Truth be told, I knew this last night. 😉 I also wanted to get an idea of where your headspace is at, in this part of the game. Coming from my past experience with DSK and what you said above, I feel like doing offboarding this week instead of next week would be best.

I never mentioned my actual ending calories before as they were lower than Robert does even with his clients. He's mentioned that he doesn't like to go below 1300. I started phase 3 at 1314 calories and the last week in phase 3 was at 1214. Right now that scares the bejesus out of me. haha (I also never plan to go that low again). I was working with someone close at this time and it's the only reason this individual (Max on these threads) let me go that low. It looks like you are pretty low yourself currently and would get pretty close to my lowest calories. (I am 5 feet and 5.5 inches and I was around 28-30% body fat in near the end of phase 3) From what you are telling me with your mental thoughts for food, your energy, and your overall mentalness, it's telling me that your body is ready for more calories. I too struggled with similar issues when I was at these similar calories.  

I am happy to hear that you haven't been craving carbs even at this stage. I feel like that will help you. I was craving bad keto sweets at this point (I think recipe development definitely played a factor for me).

  • Are the offboarding refeeds that important? ......YES They are just as important as they were in phase 3. They help your body adjust to your new maintenance macros and calories. Jonathan, can you please explain further in this? From what I remember Max telling me, it helps your body adjusting to a potential higher protein percent. And also the higher calories days further help to tell your body that you are not starving it. 
  • Also, this phase may be more challenging than you would think. I struggled more in this phase than in phase 3. Pop on here with any help or just need someone to talk to. I'm also on IG if you want to reach out to me or even Jonathan. (Here is an exert of a post I have on my website about my offboarding time...."Each week I get more grams of food I can eat, but I’m still restricted to the said amount of macros in my sheet. It’s like there is this false reward of more calories but you still have to stay on track. I’m also still not allowing myself chicken wings or thighs since these foods are not easy to track for grams of protein and fat. Oh, also steak. Glorious steak with butter. I did have steak back in June but I have taken that variable out of the mix since it wasn’t ideal in the first place.") I too wanted steak and butter, just like you. 🙂

I know you are not at this point yet. However, I just want to mention it since you have mentioned it. After you increase your calories, you said that you plan to do DSK again to help lose more weight. I would not advise this. I ended my offboarding (calories were 2200 or so) at the end of November (I started in April with the first group). What I'm about to type is not for me just to write about myself but hopefully help you decide what to do. It may also help others. I haven't mentioned any of this (below) to anyone yet, but Jonathan and Robert (Robert only knows the super short version. haha) 

I wanted to do DSK again in February (I had gained some weight back and hated it. Store bought keto treats played a factor here with other things) but didn't start until the Summer Shred Challenge that Jonathan put on for DSK in March. I struggled through more than half of it. I was NOT the same as I was with DSK last year. I ignored what was told: don't do these strict cuts a year from each other. Take at least a year off and let your body maintain itself. Let your body know what maintenance is. I thought I could do it, I was different. I am Abby, the strong stubborn willed girl, who did awesome on her first round of DSK. Yet, I was wrong. Jonathan saw it (We talk almost daily on IG), I didn't want to see it. I was not ready for another cut, even though I wasn't happy with my body shape. I slowly saw that I wasn't ready. It seemed like every other time I talked about my DSK time this year to Jonathan it was about me struggling. It didn't make sense to me. I didn't have this issue before, but now I was. What the heck was going on? , were my thoughts. Then one day Jonathan just came out and told me what he had known from the start. He never thought I was ready for another cut. He was giving me that tough love friendship until he saw my breaking point and wasn't silent anymore (at least that's how I saw it. haha). As I type this, I'm still not happy with what my body looks like, but now my goal is to love myself better.

I hope what I had said helps you and anyone else. I also don't want to stop you from doing what you want for yourself. No one can do that. I can only give you my insights and thoughts on the matter. 

ALSO, you mentioned that you wanted to work out more for strength training. Offboarding is the perfect time to do that! When you start to slowly increase your calories, your body is primed to soak everything up; especially food. This was the phase when I got my butt in the gym (even though I didn't want to, I forced myself, after sitting in my car after work a few times. haha) So, start that gym routine now while increasing those calories. 🙂

This post was modified 6 months ago by AbbyBK (IG @ketokeuhnnutrition )

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12/05/2019 8:59 pm  

Brilliant. Thanks for your detailed and insightful reply. 

I will head into OFFBOARDING at the conclusion of my current weeks' macros. 

If I pencil in ~30 weeks of offboarding, the first 4 with refeeds (until my macros are super close together on regular and refeed days), it will have me heading in the December holiday period, and it will have me back up towards 7000 calories. 

Hmmmm. that might be a bit high... 

If I cap out at 4000, by starting to put on weight consistently over a couple of weeks, without menstrual cycle fluctuations messing with me, then I'd be done with offboarding around early October. (or after 22 weeks)

I'll then heed your warning, and stay in MAINTENANCE for a long time. If it's going to be around 9-12 months down the track before I look at DSK again... when do I count that from?

Bottom of my CUT? (this week)
or the
Start of my MAINTENANCE? (in Oct)

I'll keep sticking everything in my spreadsheet. I'm just that kinda person. Spreadsheets and data. 

- Fiona

AbbyBK (IG @ketokeuhnnutrition )
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12/05/2019 9:15 pm  


I'm going to have Jonathan answer your question from when to count. Yet, I will say this... Even when given a date of some sort, I would judge with how you are feeling at that time also. Then even if you feel fine doing DSK at that time, be aware of how things are going for you. 🙂

Also, did you have typos just now w/ the 7,000 and 4,000 calories?

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12/05/2019 9:32 pm  

Nope. No typos this time. 

7000 is what my math would hit if I creep up a little each week between now and Dec.
Or 4000 if I stop around Oct.

I started my TAPERING at 2700-ish so figured if I keep on track, and add in cardio/lifting 4000 could be possible before I start putting on 'fat weight'.

If I increase my FAT and PROTEIN at the 1.07% ratio (from the spreadsheet) per week, it begins to climb pretty quickly after a month or so.

I was shocked at first too. Guess offboarding will be faster than I originally thought. 

Jonathan Shane ( IG: @theketoroad )
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13/05/2019 7:33 am  

Hey @fiona ! So first off, congrats on all the progress! You have done a wonderful job! Secondly, I agree with Abby on all fronts. Off boarding is good as it implements re feeds which helps push your metabolism up resulting in a better adjustment and less chances of body fat gain. 


Regarding the end of off boarding- You dont want to just keep creeping up necessarily. You will see your weight flux up and down as you creep up but once you notice actual weight gain ( 2-5 lbs about your normal fluctuation at that time) then the calories a week or so before is what I would consider your maintenance. Now I would hold that number for at minimum 6-9 months. Even then, be aware of your mental state and be honest , if having 10 months off or 12 months off will let you approach the next cut as vigorously as the first then do that. Dont sacrifice long term results for quick gratification! 


Let me know if you have any other questions!

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13/05/2019 2:35 pm  

Thanks for your reply. My calories were only ever going to go up until I noticed that 'fat gain' beyond normal daily/weekly fluctuations. 

Then I'll cruise into maintenance, for a while. By the looks of things, a long while. 

- Fiona


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