You’ve been sticking to your keto diet, and it’s just not working. You ask yourself why your friends are showing these amazing results on Facebook complete with before and after pictures when you’re still looking like your ‘before’ weeks into the process. What are you doing wrong? Or is it the diet itself at fault?
The good news is, it’s not the diet. And it’s certainly not serious. More often than not, the problem stems from some small detail that you haven’t quite nailed down just yet. Let’s take a look at a dozen reasons why things just might not be working. And from there we’ll look at another dozen ways to get things jump-started in the right way.
12 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight on the Keto Diet:
1. You haven’t reached ketosis after all. The only way to be sure you’re in ketosis is to check – either through use of a keto urine stick, a breath meter, or a blood meter. Keep in mind not everything is as accurate as a blood meter, so it might be worthwhile to invest if you want to monitor things a little more carefully.
2. You’re eating too many calories. All too often we get caught up in thinking that just because a food is allowed, it’s ok to eat without stopping to realize that some things – like nuts and cheese – are high in calories. You have to monitor more than the carbs.
3. You’re eating too many carbs. That’s because many foods have ‘hidden’ carbs that you might not know are there. The best solution? Use an app designed to track foods for your keto diet. There are some great ones that will break down foods into the macronutrients for you, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
4. Your protein is off – either it’s too high or too low. Calculating the right amount of anything to eat is sometimes tricky. All too often people
tend to think that a keto diet means they can have all the protein they want, and so they overdo it. You still need to track your food, so be sure to measure out your portions, and again, keep track of what you eat.
5. You’re cheating somewhere. Remember ‘sugar-free’ does not necessarily mean ‘carb free.’ Keep an eye on those little treats you’re allowing yourself. A few carbs here and there will really add up quickly.
6. Too many nuts and dairy. Because they’re keto friendly, nuts and dairy make an easy snack. But these are also foods that can be very high in calories, and so using them casually can also add up fast. Also, there is some question whether food allergies might contribute to problems here since nut and dairy allergies are so very common.
7. You’re almost at your target weight. Congratulations, you’ve hit a plateau! Those last few pounds can be very challenging to lose when you get within 5- 10 pounds of your goal weight. The only way past this is going to be to lock down the calories somewhat. No, you’re not going into starvation mode, but a couple of hundred fewer calories for a limited time might be the boost you need to get moving again.
8. Body fluctuations are doing you in. If you weigh yourself daily you’re going to see a lot of shifting about of weight – sometimes up to several pounds in one direction or the other. A scale is a terrible way to mark your progress and should be avoided as much as possible.
9. You’re stressing too much. Stress leads to the creation of sugar within your body so that when you’re stressing, you’re knocking yourself out of ketosis.
10. You’re not sleeping. Like with stress, too little sleep is going to cause stress in your body. And again, stress is going to put sugars into your system. Regulating your sleep through a good sleep environment with a set schedule makes all the difference in the world on making your body readier to lose weight.
11. Too much exercise. When you exercise excessively your body is going to demand extra fuel. But that intake of fuel might outweigh the benefits of the exercise. It becomes a vicious cycle that keeps right on going around.
12. You have thyroid or adrenal issues. It might just be that you’re doing nothing wrong at all. Instead, you might be having medical issues that are keeping you from losing weight. A visit to your doctor and a blood test will determine if this is the case.
While there are many reasons that the weight might not be coming off, thankfully there are just as many solutions to the problem. Below, find several ideas that will help you to get past this plateau.
12 Things you can do to jump-start weight loss
1. Get off the scale – nothing will drive you battier than watching the daily fluctuations of your weight wandering up and down. A scale is never a good measurement of success. You’re better off with a measuring tape and calipers if you want an accurate representation of where you are.
2. Try a meal plan – chances are you’re not always eating right. By making a menu plan and then sticking to it, you know that the foods you eat are the best choices for what you hope to accomplish. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are some great cookbooks out there to give you ideas. Or grab your smartphone. Believe it or not, there are several apps that offer not only recipes but will guide you through the process of making a meal plan – and then will even provide you with a shopping list to help you get just what you need to make it happen.
3. MCT Oil – With any diet sometimes supplements are necessary to get where you want to go. MCT Oil is one such supplement. Made predominately with coconut oil, this gives your liver a shot of energy that it needs.
4. Avoid the ‘low carb’ stuff – and especially things labeled ‘fat-free.’ All too often these foods have what’s called ‘hidden carbs’ in sugar alcohols which might be thought of as ‘sugar-free’ but are certainly not carb free. The fat-free items have frequently stripped out the fats – but they’re left with carbs, all the same, that will help keep your body from going into ketosis.
5. Stick to the edges of the grocery store. The edges of the store are where you’re going to find the real foods – in the produce section, and at the meat counter. The center of the store is where you find the boxed and processed items. By eating only from the edges of the store, what you’re doing is avoiding the processed foods that are frequently full of carbs and chemicals.
6. Cut out nuts and dairy – If you’re having trouble losing weight, then this might easily be the culprit. With the thought that nuts and dairy are ‘free’ items from your list, it’s very easy to forget that they’re also very high in calories.
7. Drink more water. This should go without saying because practically everyone should be drinking more water. Water is easy to lose- especially when you’re in keto flu and using the bathroom a little more often. Dehydration is not going to help the keto process!
8. …and don’t forget the electrolytes. This goes hand in hand with drinking water. You don’t just lose water when you use the bathroom, but minerals as well. Be sure to replenish yourself frequently for optimal health.
9. Exercise – in moderation. Using High-Intensity Intermittent Workouts will boost you beyond the plateau. But don’t use them daily. You’re going to want to focus on strength and resistance training on the day-to-day.
10. Try Intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting will sometimes give you the metabolism boost you need. Again the key word here is ‘intermittent.’
11. Find a friend – It becomes hard to stay on track when you’re doing anything alone. Having someone partner with you helps to keep both of you accountable, and on track!
12. Patience! It could just be you hit a plateau, and it’s going to take time to overcome. Relax and let it happen when it’s ready to.
If you’re not losing weight initially with your keto diet, you first want to assess how you’re going about the lifestyle and determine if it’s possible that you’re sabotaging your progress somewhere. Addressing the issues early on will help you to get back on track.
Be smart, be savvy, and pay attention to the details. When all else fails, it never hurts to get another opinion – such as checking with your doctor and asking for a blood test to determine whether you’re having a medical issue that might have stalled out your progress.
Most of all, be patient. Usually, these kinds of setbacks are very temporary. By using the tips here, there’s no doubt you’ll be back on track to your goal very quickly.