Here’s the thing: You’ve cut down on carbs and loaded up on bacon, cheese, and avocados, yet the numbers on the scale aren’t moving. What’s the deal? First, let’s cover some basics about the keto diet you’ve been following and why you’re not losing weight on this particular high-fat/high-protein diet.
What Is The Keto Diet?
Short for “ketogenic,” the keto diet’s main goal is to limit how many carbohydrates you consume, while also increasing your fat intake. By doing this, you may send your body into a state known as ketosis, which is when it burns fat as a form of energy. Following the keto diet can vary from person to person, however here’s a general formula that should send your body into ketosis:
- 60 to 75 percent of your calories from fat
- 15 to 30 percent of your calories from protein
- 5 to 10 percent of your calories from carbohydrates (“carbs”)
Even if you subscribe to the above guidelines to the letter, there’s still a chance you may not lose the weight you expected. Below are some reasons why the keto diet isn’t producing the results you had in mind.
1. You’re eating too many calories
The keto diet lets you have meat, cheese, and butter—but that doesn't mean you can eat as much of it as you want. Getting in more calories than your body requires from food can hinder weight-loss efforts no matter the type of food eaten or ratio of foods. Basically, going keto as your primary food plan is still a diet, and losing weight typically happens when there's a calorie deficit, so make sure you're keeping an eye on calories, too.
2. Maybe you’re not eating enough calories
The keto diet might take away your appetite for a while when you first start it, as 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, slowing down your metabolism and hindering 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 talk to an Registered Dietitian about modifying your keto goals.
3. You’ve put exercise on the back burner
That lethargic feeling referred to as the “keto flu” is a real phenomenon and it may give you reasons to skip the gym over and over again. When you start the keto diet, you will likely feel irritable, moody, and fatigued since the brain doesn’t have its main source of fuel from glucose—i.e. carbohydrates. Working out is the last thing you want to (or can) do, which can then hinder your attempts at weight loss. If you want to get back to working out, it might be a good idea to try keto cycling, where you follow a strict keto diet on the days you don't exercise, and give your body a few more carbs on days you DO workout for an extra burst of energy
4. You’ve given fiber the heave-ho
Because the keto diet focuses on a super low-carb lifestyle, you might not be eating as much fiber as you were before. Fiber is essential to help regulate hunger and fullness cues, and to provide long-lasting energy and a steady blood-glucose level. A low-fiber diet is less satisfying, which can lead to overeating later. Lastly, you might be messing with your gut bacteria. Diets lower in fiber will have a lower diversity of good bacteria, which can also contribute to weight gain.
5. The keto diet has left you on a yo-yo plan
Honestly? The keto diet is really hard to stick to, however if you're constantly doing keto for a few days and then quitting it for a few days, you're probably not getting the results you want. That's because your body might be going in and out of ketosis, so it's never in it long enough to show you any results. If you're struggling on keto, ease up on yourself a little—and ease into the diet.
6. You’re not drinking enough water
You might be drinking some water--after all, you need to stay alive and well--but not getting enough water can stall any weight-loss efforts, even ones that aren't keto-specific, since staying hydrated can help curb snacking, which can lead to weight gain (or at least zero weight lost).
Keto dangers and supplementation
While there are substantial benefits to the keto diet, there’s also risks when you completely alter your food plan to accommodate more protein and fat, and reduce your carbs to practically nil. A few keto dangers to consider are:
- The Keto “flu” previously mentioned--aka. Lethargy
- Reduced athletic performance
- Regaining the weight you originally lost
- Less muscle mass and decreased metabolism
- Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
To combat most of these symptoms, whether through proper--and healthy dietary measures--or through supplementation geared specifically for keto diet advocates, try HealthImpaq™ Ultra Probiotic 40 Billion Cultures with MAKTREK Technology, 60 Capsules and achieve results for optimum health. Oftentimes, supplementation is needed to aid in the progression and nutrients you aren’t receiving through a specific keto diet, alongside maintaining healthy gut balance and intestinal flora as you navigate this new way of eating and losing weight.
When you make the decision to switch into a keto diet from your conventional way of eating, plan on getting a firsthand recommendation from your doctor or registered dietitian, and doing the necessary research to see if it’s right for you. Keto diets are amazing in and of itself, however, if you aren’t losing weight after a few weeks or months on this new plan, there could be a host of other reasons as to why.
Keep on going and cycling your keto dietary plan until you discover the right path. It’s there for you and it can lead to astounding results. Don’t get discouraged from the beginning; rather, allow your keto foods to take hold and your exercise to coincide with each action step.