Wondering why you aren’t losing any weight on keto? You’ve tried your best to cut down on the carbs. You have loaded so much upon bacon, cheese, and avocados, but the scale still isn’t moving!
The keto diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet that links with weight loss and health benefits. When following a keto diet, carbs are typically reduced to under 20-30 grams per day. However, to reap the benefits of the keto diet, it must be implemented correctly.
The diet can be tough to master if you don’t know the right steps to take to get into ketosis. And once you’re in ketosis, it can be a challenge to stay there. Even if you are following the diet in the right way, there’s still a chance you might not lose as much weight as you expected on the keto diet for a variety of reasons.
#1 You’re Eating Too Many Calories
When trying to lose weight, it’s critical to create a calorie deficit. This can be achieved by either reducing the number of calories that you consume or by expending more calories through increased physical activity.
Because many keto-friendly foods, including avocados, olive oil, full-fat dairy, and nuts, are high in calories, it’s important not to overdo it. If you switch to a keto diet and don’t watch your calorie intake, you’re unlikely to drop pounds.
However, it’s entirely possible to consume too many calories on a ketogenic diet by eating portions that are too large or by snacking on high-calorie foods throughout the day. Most people feel more satisfied after eating ketogenic meals and snacks due to the filling effects of fat and protein.
Paying attention to portion size, increasing physical activity, and snacking in moderation between meals can help create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight.
#2 You’re Not Actually in Ketosis
Have you been following the ketogenic diet for a while but have no idea if you’re in ketosis? This is where testing your ketone levels comes in.
You’ll only truly know whether you’re in a ketogenic state when you test your ketone levels.
How do you test your ketones? There are three ways to get a good measurement:
- Urine testing
- Breath testing
- Blood testing (the most accurate)
#3 You’re Not Eating Enough Calories
The keto diet might take away your appetite for a while when you first start it. Ketones can help take away hunger initially, but this effect can wear off with time. That could translate into not eating enough calories and when that happens, your body can go into starvation mode.
This slows down your metabolism and starts to hinder your weight-loss efforts. This lack of appetite should go away within a few weeks, but if you’ve been on the keto diet for a while and you’re still not feeling hungry, it might be time to switch diets or modifying your keto.
#4 You Aren’t Eating Nutritious Foods
No matter what diet plan you follow, the key to weight loss lies in consuming nutritious and whole foods. Relying on processed foods too much than required can put a dent in your weight loss even if they’re keto-friendly.
Adding in foods like snack bars, keto desserts and other packaged foods between meals can derail your weight loss efforts with the extra calories they provide. Additionally, eating too many convenience-type foods like hot dogs and fast food when you’re on the run can slow weight loss.
These foods are nutrient-poor, meaning they’re high in calories but low in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. To optimize your nutrient intake while losing weight on the keto diet, stick to unprocessed, whole foods.
#5 You’re Not Eating Satiating Meals
One of the keys to weight loss is eating at a calorie deficit, but it’s also important to pay attention to the quality of the calories you do eat to make sure you’re satisfied. Eating at a calorie deficit doesn’t mean you have to be hungry all the time.
In fact, being hungry will only make you miserable, less likely to stick to your diet, and more likely to give in to cravings. You can eat a calorie deficit and feel satisfied by eating the right kind of keto-friendly foods.
Satiating healthy fats or saturated and monounsaturated fats are the cornerstones of the ketogenic diet. If you want a high-quality keto diet, you’ll need abundant sources of high-quality fats. For example, MCT oil is particularly helpful because it’s more satiating than coconut oil and boosts ketone production, so you can enter fat-burning mode faster.
High-quality proteins are also important. Fatty cuts of meat (like a ribeye steak), as well as wild-caught salmon and other high-fat fish, are excellent at keeping you satisfied.
You don’t need to shy away from protein — it won’t kick you out of ketosis like you may have heard. The belief that too much protein triggers gluconeogenesis and therefore lowers your ketone levels is just a myth.
#6 You’re Still Eating Too Many Carbs
The ratios of the keto diet are super important. Most people should stick to eating no more than 20 to 30 grams of carbs per day. But the thing is that many people might not realize how many carbs are in common foods.
Which is why it’s very important to track your daily intake. If you end up eating too many carbs on the keto diet, you may never get into ketosis, which can hinder your weight loss. Veggies, dairy, nuts, and nut butter are on the keto food list, but the grams of carbs can add up fast if you’re not tracking.
Both dairy and nuts should be eaten with caution on a low-carb diet. One common mistake people make on keto is overeating dairy and nuts to feel satisfied, but too much of these foods can increase both your carb intake and calorie count without you realizing it.
Other possible hidden carbs can be found in some cruciferous vegetables including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, fennel, and turnips. You also want to limit your intake of fruit due to its high sugar content.
#7 You’re Not Sleeping Enough
Often an underestimated factor, not sleeping enough can stall or prevent weight loss. Lack of sleep can throw off your circadian rhythm and increase the risk of metabolic problems. All of your organs follow a certain timing and disrupting it can put you at a severe disadvantage.
Maximum fat loss can only be achieved with adequate sleep. Sleep is also essential for balancing hormones especially hunger hormones. Sleep regulates both ghrelin (the hormone that makes you feel hungry) and leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full).
Your ghrelin goes up and your levels of leptin go down when you don’t get enough sleep, which is bad news for weight loss.
Solution To Get That Scale Moving
So, how do you figure out the root cause for not losing weight on keto? The most important thing to remember is that everyone’s body is different and will react differently to each of the variables.
Figuring out which foods and habits work best with your body will take some trial and error, but it’s worth it. Run through the reasons above and take note of anything you may be missing.
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