Many people try the ketogenic diet as a way to lose weight.
It’s an effective way for many people to burn calories and drop the pounds.
However, you’re on the diet, but nothing’s happening. Here are a few reasons why you’re not losing that weight.
1. You’re Not in Ketosis
This low-carb, high-fat diet contains an extremely low about of carbohydrates. Without a ready source of carbs, your body starts to burn fat for energy instead of glucose. Ketosis is the condition where your liver breaks fats down into ketones and releases them into the bloodstream. They get picked up by cells and used for energy.
To achieve ketosis, you need to lower the number of carbohydrates you eat each day to no more than 20 to 30 grams. The best way to know if you are in ketosis or not is by measuring the ketone levels using a urine strip or a blood meter. Breath meters are also available.
Once you achieve ketosis, you need to keep taking measurements to ensure you stay in that state. It’s very easy to slip out of ketosis when you eat excessive amounts of carbohydrates.
2. Eating Too Many Processed Foods
As ketogenic eating has become popular, food manufacturers have come out with a number of “keto-friendly” processed foods.
They contain a low number of carbs and use artificial sweeteners. They can be a nice addition to a low-carb diet. However, eating too many of these processed foods, or eating the wrong ones, can stop ketosis and weight loss.
Check out the nutritional profile of processed food. If it contains very little nutritional value, avoid it. When you don’t get enough vitamins and nutrients, the body will start storing away any nutrients it gets. You will start gaining weight as a result.
Examine the sweeteners used in the products you consume. Some of these sweeteners have zero carbs. However, some of them have low amounts of carbs, that add up if you eat too much. Some people see blood sugar spikes when consuming artificial sweeteners. Those spikes can interfere with ketosis. Stick to keto safe foods that will help you get and stay in ketosis.
3. Eating Too Much or Too Little
Fat has twice the number of calories compared to protein or carbs. If you eat too much while on a ketogenic diet, you can actually gain weight due to the excessive calories.
Now, if you go too far the other way with calorie restriction, your body will go into starvation mode. Your body takes action to protect normal body functions during times of extremely low-calorie intake. It slows down the metabolism and doesn’t burn any excess calories.
Experts recommend getting a doctor’s recommendation for calorie intake before going on a ketogenic diet. You can also use a keto diet calculator to find your ideal intake. Then, break that down by carbs, fats, and protein.
Carbs should be no more than 5% of the calorie intake. Protein should be no more than 20%, while the other 75% is for fats.
4. Taking In Too Much Protein
Ketogenic eating is not the same as a high-protein diet. In fact, it is a moderate-protein way of eating. Protein should be no more than 20% of your calorie intake.
Your body has the ability to break proteins down into glucose. So, if you eat enough protein, you produce high levels of glucose. Your body uses glucose as its primary source of fuel when it’s available. This kicks your body out of ketosis and contributes to the fact that you can’t lose weight.
Take in a moderate amount of protein. Make sure it’s from complete protein sources, like eggs, fish, and meat. Take in enough protein to build muscle, but don’t go too far overboard.
5. Eating Too Many Carbs
A lot of people start out on the keto diet carefully measuring their carb intake. They achieve ketosis, then start to slack off on tracking their carb intake. Why track it now that you’re in ketosis? Carb creep can sabotage the ketogenic diet.
You think an extra serving of almonds won’t hurt anything. A single serving has 3 net carbs. That extra serving adds 3 more net carbs. These extra servings can add up quickly, leading to your body falling out of ketosis.
Keep track of everything you eat. Know how many carbs you eat every day. If you see yourself taking in more carbs than expected, it’s time to find some no carb snacks to keep you satiated.
6. You’re Stressed Out
Excessive stress changes your body’s hormone balance, which can lead to weight gain or weight loss resistance. High levels of stress can lead to irresistible levels of comfort food cravings.
When you feel stressed, your body responds by releasing high levels of cortisol. This substance helps keep your body alert. If the stress goes away quickly, the cortisol levels drop fast. However, when you are in a constant state of stress, cortisol levels can stay high. This can lead to the storage of excessive belly fat.
Managing stress levels can help reduce cortisol levels. This can, in turn, lead to weight loss. Meditation, exercise, mindful eating, and yoga are just a few ways to keep more relaxed.
7. There’s a Medical Issue
You may have a medical condition which is making it hard for you to lose weight. Some conditions include hypothyroidism, PCOS, depression, and high levels of insulin. If you know you have one of these conditions, you’ve found your main culprit in why you can’t lose weight.
A visit to your primary doctor can help identify any conditions which may be blocking weight loss. You may need to undergo tests to find the core issue. Then, you can learn how to manage it and achieve your weight loss goals at the same time.
8. You Have an Unidentified Food Allergy or Sensitivity
Allergies to certain foods can be life-threatening. Those with severe allergies avoid allergen food and usually carry an Epi-pen as a precaution. When it comes to weight loss problems, however, it may be a mild food allergy or sensitivity that’s causing the issue.
If you eat food that you’re sensitive to, your body may react with inflammation and gastrointestinal distress. This can interfere with the body’s ability to lose weight.
If you suspect that you have an unidentified food sensitivity, talk with your doctor and get a recommendation to a nutritionist. They can help you identify your sensitivities and learn how to manage the situation.
9. Not Getting Enough Exercise
One of the keys to successful weight loss is boosting your metabolism. Exercise is the easiest way to get that acceleration. If you aren’t exercising, you may not see the weight loss results you desire.
High-fat foods contain a lot of calories. If you don’t exercise, the body may start storing those extra calories instead of burning them away.
Exercise daily to get the best results. Start out at a moderate pace and gradually build-up your stamina, as you build your metabolic rate. Try different types of exercise to avoid boredom or activity plateaus.
10. Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol is simply another form of sugar. Those on a ketogenic diet need to avoid drinking alcohol if they want to lose weight.
Some hard alcohols, such as vodka and gin, are lower in carbohydrates. However, they also have a ton of calories, which can interfere with weight loss. If you want to have a drink on occasion, be sure to count the carbs and get some extra exercise to burn them away. Check out some keto-friendly beers if you don’t want to cut back.
Bringing It All Together
If you are having trouble losing weight on a ketogenic diet, you need to stop and assess your approach.
Are you truly in ketosis? Measure it.
Are you eating too many carbs, fats, or protein? Track your eating.
Are you eating too few calories? Track it.
Do you have a medical condition that may be interfering? Talk with your doctor.
Are you exercising enough? Track your activity and make adjustments.