Many people who want to reduce weight and improve their health have turned to the ketogenic, or keto, diet. It is a low-carb method of eating.
Carbohydrates are typically limited to 20 to 50 grams per day on a keto diet.
This has been demonstrated to help people lose weight while also improving their heart health and blood sugar control.
However, the keto diet must be followed carefully in order to realize its benefits.
Here are ten reasons or factors that could be harming your keto weight loss efforts.
1. You consume an excessive amount of carbohydrates.
One of the most common reasons people fail to lose weight on the ketogenic diet is because they consume too many carbohydrates.
Carbohydrate intake must be severely lowered to achieve ketosis, a metabolic condition in which your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose.
Carbohydrates should account for only about 5% of your overall calories.
This is in sharp contrast to the typical dietary recommendation of carbs accounting for 45–65 percent of calories.
When starting out on the ketogenic diet, it’s typical to have some trouble cutting carbs altogether.
Carbs must be reduced to the required range to achieve and maintain ketosis.
Consider using an app like MyFitnessPal to track your macronutrients to help you meet your intake targets.
This can help you figure out how many carb meals you’re permitted each day based on your calorie requirements.
Carbohydrates must be reduced to attain ketosis and induce fat burning on a ketogenic diet in order to lose weight.
2. You aren’t eating foods that are good for you.
The key to successful weight loss, regardless of the dietary plan you follow, is to eat nutritious, whole meals.
Even if processed foods are keto-friendly, relying on them can sabotage your weight reduction.
Between-meal snacks, keto desserts, and other packaged items might hinder your weight loss efforts due to the additional calories they supply.
Additionally, consuming too many convenience foods on the go, such as hot dogs and fast food, can delay weight loss.
These foods are nutrient-deficient, which means that they are high in calories but lacking in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Stick to unprocessed, whole meals to maximize your nutrient intake while reducing weight on the keto diet.
Full-fat dairy, eggs, fish, pastured meats, poultry, and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, for example, are all excellent alternatives.
To add nutrition and fiber to recipes, include non-starchy veggies such as greens, broccoli, peppers, and mushrooms.
When following a ketogenic diet, avoid eating too many processed foods and instead focus on meals and snacks made with fresh, complete ingredients to maximize weight loss.
3. You may be ingesting an excessive amount of calories.
It’s vital to create a calorie deficit when trying to reduce weight.
This can be accomplished by either lowering your calorie intake or increasing your calorie expenditure through greater physical activity.
You’re unlikely to lose weight if you switch to a keto diet and don’t keep track of your calories.
Because many keto-friendly foods are heavy in calories, such as avocados, olive oil, full-fat dairy, and nuts, it’s vital not to overdo it.
Due to the filling effects of fat and protein, most people feel more satiated after eating ketogenic meals and snacks.
However, on a ketogenic diet, it is quite easy to consume too many calories by eating excessively large quantities or nibbling on high-calorie foods throughout the day.
Keeping track of portion sizes, increasing physical activity, and eating in moderation between meals can all help you achieve the calorie deficit you need to lose weight.
It’s critical to create a calorie deficit when following any diet in order to lose weight. Portion control, limiting snacking between meals, and increasing physical activity can all help you lose weight.
4. You have a medical problem that has yet to be diagnosed.
The ketogenic diet is a powerful weight-loss strategy.
If you’re having trouble losing weight despite doing everything properly, it’s a good idea to rule out any medical conditions that could be stopping you from losing weight.
Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Cushing’s syndrome, depression, and hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels) can all promote weight gain and make losing weight difficult.
A variety of tests might be used by your doctor to rule out certain illnesses.
Don’t be discouraged if you suffer from one of the conditions listed above.
You can accomplish and sustain healthy weight loss with correct management, which may include medication if necessary as well as lifestyle and nutritional changes.
Weight loss can be difficult due to medical issues such as hypothyroidism and depression. If you’re having trouble losing weight, talk to your doctor to rule out an underlying medical condition.
5. Your weight loss goals are unreasonable.
When starting a new diet, it’s natural to seek quick results, but keep in mind that weight loss varies from person to person.
Although the ketogenic diet can help you lose weight if you follow it correctly, the rate at which you lose weight may be slow — and that’s fine.
The key to reducing and maintaining weight in a healthy way is to make small, consistent changes.
While it may be tempting to set ambitious weight-loss goals, most experts agree that dropping 1–3 pounds (0.5–1 kg) per week (depending on weight) is the most effective.
Not to mention the possibility of gaining muscle while losing fat if you start a new fitness plan that includes weight training.
Though it may hinder weight loss, gaining muscle mass and losing fat mass is beneficial to one’s health in a variety of ways. It can help you live a healthier life by lowering your risk of heart disease and improving your bone health.
Take weekly measures of your arms, thighs, and midsection to track your progress rather than relying just on the scale.
A healthy weekly weight loss of 1–3 pounds (0.5–1 kg) will help you stay on track and maintain your weight loss.
6. You eat a lot of high-calorie meals as a snack.
Snacking on healthful foods in between meals can help you avoid hunger and overeating.
However, eating too many high-calorie ketogenic snacks, such as nuts, nut butter, fat bombs, cheese, and jerky, can lead to a weight loss plateau.
Though these snacks are good in moderation, if you have more than one snack session per day, it’s recommended to choose lower-calorie options.
Non-starchy vegetables and proteins, for example, can keep you satisfied without adding calories.
For individuals on a ketogenic diet, flavorful snacks like celery sticks and cherry tomatoes dipped in guacamole or a hard-boiled egg with some sliced up veggies are good options.
Plus, including more non-starchy veggies in your diet adds fiber to your diet, which can help keep your digestive system regular, which is especially beneficial for people new to the keto diet.
For enjoyable snacks that won’t make you gain weight, choose keto-friendly, lower-calorie meals.
7. You’re anxious and don’t get enough sleep.
Stress, particularly chronic stress, and a lack of sleep have been shown in studies to have a negative impact on weight loss.
When you’re stressed, your body creates an overabundance of a hormone called cortisol.
Cortisol, sometimes known as the stress hormone, might cause your body to retain fat, particularly around your midsection.
Chronically stressed people are also more likely to be sleep deficient, which has been linked to weight increase.
According to studies, a lack of sleep affects hunger-regulating hormones like leptin and ghrelin, causing an increase in appetite.
The gold standard is seven to eight hours of sleep, but many individuals don’t get enough of it. If you’re gaining weight on keto, it’s time to examine your sleeping habits.
Too little sleep can wreak havoc on our bodies and lead to weight gain by causing a variety of difficulties, including:
- Decreased activity due to lack of energy: If you’re going on five hours of sleep, you’re less likely to want to hit the gym or even go for a walk. When you’re more sedentary, you’re burning fewer calories. Getting adequate sleep is a key way to keep energy levels high so you can keep moving.
- A longer eating window: When you stay awake longer, you’re also presenting yourself with more opportunities to eat. Midnight snacks, anyone? Sticking to a solid sleep routine cuts down on your opportunities to snack in the off-hours and helps you maintain a healthy caloric intake. (Plus, trying to fall asleep with a full stomach can be pretty uncomfortable.)
- Messing with your natural clock: An off-kilter sleep schedule can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock). Your circadian rhythm is responsible for everything from healthy digestion to signaling that it’s time to unwind. Inadequate sleep can throw these rhythms off, interfering with your body’s normal function—including changes in your metabolism.
8. You aren’t getting enough exercise.
When trying to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, it’s critical to incorporate more physical exercise into your daily routine.
Aside from promoting fat loss, following an exercise plan is beneficial to one’s health in a variety of ways.
Exercising, for example, reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and obesity.
Physical activity not only burns calories but also helps develop muscle, which can assist raise your metabolism by boosting the amount of energy burned at rest.
Though beginning a fitness regimen can be challenging, especially for those who are new to it, there are techniques to make it easier.
The easiest method to maintain a healthy exercise habit is to create and keep to a fitness program.
Set a goal of working out three to four times each week and pick a time that works best for you.
Keep yourself motivated by keeping a gym bag in your car for after work workouts or by laying out workout clothing before night to keep you focused for early morning workouts.
Exercise is beneficial to one’s health in a variety of ways and aids in weight loss. Set aside time for a few workouts each week to make exercise a habit.
9. After all, you’re not in ketosis.
Because it contains so few carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet puts you in a metabolic condition known as ketosis, which causes your body to burn fat for fuel rather than glucose.
However, doctors say that getting into ketosis can be difficult when you’re initially starting out.
After a few weeks on the keto diet, many people believe they are in ketosis. Most of the time, however, they are not properly calculating their intake.
To achieve ketosis, you must keep track of your macronutrient intake—how much protein, fat, and carbs you consume on a daily basis. Overeating protein or carbohydrates can knock you out of ketosis, negating all of the health benefits of the diet.
The usual macronutrient breakdown for a ketogenic diet is 75 percent fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
Is It Possible To Tell If You’re In Ketosis?
Your liver creates ketones to provide energy to your brain and body when you’re in ketosis. Measuring the presence of ketones in your bloodstream is one technique to tell if you’re in ketosis. Ketones can be detected in a variety of ways:
- Urine strips or sticks: Urine tests are inexpensive and simple to perform (all you have to do is urinate on them!). However, the outcomes aren’t always accurate. Urine tests are solely used to keep track of any residual ketones in your body. As you adjust to ketosis, your body will use more ketones, resulting in less ketones being excreted in your urine.
- Ketone breath meters: This approach determines the amount of acetone in one’s breath. Acetones are one of three types of ketone molecules that are water soluble. The more you eat, the deeper you’ll get into ketosis.
- Blood meters: Blood meters are the most accurate way to determine your ketosis level. Get a readout of the ketones in your blood by pricking your finger and drawing blood. The disadvantage is that these meters and blood strips are costly.
If you don’t want to test, these ketosis indications may indicate that you’re on the right track:
- Strong metallic or fruity-smelling breath, aka “keto breath”
- More energy and increased focus
- Fewer hunger or sugar cravings
- Staying at a healthy weight
- Keto flu symptoms like muscle cramps and cravings (these are temporary!)
MCT oil, when added to your diet, can assist kick-start ketosis.
MCT oils are a must-have in your keto toolbox. They’ll help you get into ketosis faster because they’re swiftly converted to ketones. Because it creates ketones four times more efficiently than regular coconut oil, C8 MCT oil is the best of the best. That’s a significant amount of ketones!
MCT oil also aids fat burning, provides long-lasting energy, and improves mental performance, which is very beneficial while transitioning to keto.
10. Your Stressed.
Not to add to your anxiety, but persistent stress can lead to a variety of health problems, including weight gain.
When you’re in a stressful scenario, your brain sends a signal that causes cortisol and adrenaline to rush your body. It also tells non-essential activities to slow down, such as digestion. The brain’s principal objective in a moment of perceived danger is to keep you alive, not to worry about digesting your breakfast.
If you have chronic stress, your brain is constantly in fight-or-flight mode. Even if there isn’t any risk, your body is being overwhelmed with stress hormones. As a result, digestion is slowed, and stress hormones linger longer than they should.
Cortisol has been related to a rise in blood glucose, which is negative news. Even if your keto game is strong, your body will choose to burn the glucose in your bloodstream for energy rather than the calories from your meals, putting you in the perfect situation to gain weight.
Finally, undiagnosed medical disorders can result in unanticipated weight increase. If you’re sticking to your macros but still don’t see results on the scale, it’s time to go to your doctor.
Steps to Take If You’re Not Losing Weight on the Keto Diet
If keto isn’t working for you and you’ve received a clean bill of health from your doctor, try the recommendations above—but don’t feel obligated to make drastic changes all at once.
In fact, making too many changes too fast can make it more difficult to figure out what the issue is. As a result, start small. The following are some examples of possible beginning steps:
- Use a food tracker to ensure you’re hitting your macros or consuming an ideal number of calories in a day.
- Speak with your doctor about food allergies or intolerances
- Establish a bedtime routine (and stick to it)
- Find a stress-relieving practice that works for you, like meditation, journaling or daily walks
You’ll be well on your way to attaining your health objectives utilizing the keto diet if you take things one step at a time and check off boxes as you go.
The ketogenic diet, when combined with other healthy lifestyle adjustments, can be an effective weight loss technique.
However, there are a variety of reasons why some people may not receive the desired effects.
Overeating, inactivity, persistent stress, underlying medical concerns, and failing to stick to the correct macronutrient ranges can all sabotage weight reduction.
Get enough sleep, minimize stress, increase activity, and eat complete, healthy, low-carb foods wherever possible to maximum weight loss on a ketogenic diet.