The ketogenic diet is essentially a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. It’s gained popularity in the past few years for its role in weight loss – especially for those who have struggled to lose weight in the past and failed. In this diet, your body is put in ketosis mode; thus, instead of running on carbohydrates, your body would be running on fat.
This transforms your body into a fat-burning machine. However, it is not unheard of that some people are still struggling to lose weight even while on keto. Here are some of the reasons why.
Are you really in ketosis?
If you’re on a ketogenic diet and still not losing weight, it’s best to ask yourself if your body really is in a state of ketosis. The ketogenic diet only works for weight loss management only if your body is in ketosis. If you want to make sure, you can use a macros tracker app specifically made for keto.
Some signs that your body is in ketosis are increased focus and mental clarity, appetite suppression, fatigue, ketone breath, and increased ketones in the blood. Double-check your diet if you truly are sticking to the ketogenic diet. Keep a food diary so you can review the foods you ate during the day. Sometimes, you may be unaware of some keto killers in your diet. These are the foods or ingredients that are the culprit in kicking you off ketosis. This includes artificial sweeteners, coffee creamers, and some medications you might take.
You might be eating too many calories
The ketogenic diet involves using fat as your main energy source. When you are doing keto, it might feel like you can eat anything except carbs. You may binge on a lot of meat or other keto-friendly food groups. Thus, you may forget that you still need to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight.
When you are not tracking your calories while on keto, you won’t maximize its benefits. Thus, you may not lose weight at all. It’s important to still eat your keto-friendly foods in moderation when you’re starting to lose weight.
Keep track of your macros and calories to make sure you’re not going over your daily caloric limit. It is a myth that the ketogenic diet doesn’t care about calories. With keto, you don’t have to be very strict with calorie counting. However, if you are not seeing results, it is best to keep track of the calories to see where you may be going wrong.
You are eating too many carbohydrates
Contrary to popular belief, you can still have carbohydrates while on keto. However, the amount is very minimal and you need to be strict about it. If you’re someone who still wants to have a daily serving of carbohydrates, make sure you know how much carbs you’re taking. Ideally, you don’t want to exceed 20 grams of carbs per day while on keto. If you go beyond this, you may get out of the state of ketosis. Thus, your ketogenic diet won’t do its purpose – burn off your fats.
Make sure you’re keeping track of your daily meals. If you are unsure of the carb content of a food product, you better look at the labels or research it online.
You are eating a lot of processed foods
When you’re in keto, you may be tempted to look for keto-friendly foods in the grocery or supermarket. This may be in the form of canned goods, snacks, and other non-natural foods. Processed foods are high in sodium or salt. Salt is the major cause of water retention. Thus, you may not be losing weight because you’re holding on to a lot of water in your body.
Processed foods are not strictly prohibited in keto. You can still have a few here and then, but if the majority of your diet is processed, it may affect your weight loss. You still want your keto diet to remain healthy. As much as possible, consume keto-friendly foods that are natural. This includes fresh meat, oils, and fats.
You are overdoing your exercise
Many people have lost weight on keto despite not doing any form of exercise. However, if you want to achieve the best results, you should incorporate light to moderate physical activity into your routine. This will help speed up your weight loss and help prevent a drop in your energy levels.
However, it is important not to overdo your exercise. If you put your body under a lot of physical stress, it might be counterintuitive. Instead of burning fat, your body holds on to them because it thinks that you are under a lot of stress. Limit your workouts to 15 minutes per day. You can limit it to four times a week, depending on your energy levels.
You may be stressed
There are certain things you can’t control that may be affecting your weight loss journey. One of the most common reasons why you’re not losing weight on keto, even if you’ve done everything right, is stress – this may be mental or emotional.
When your body is under stress, it releases high levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone. Cortisol is basically a fat-storing hormone. When these hormones are high, it’s likely that you’re going to have a hard time losing weight. Doing some stress management practices may help alleviate some of your stress. This can be exercise, yoga, meditation, or simply doing your hobbies.
You are dehydrated
You may forget to drink enough water while you’re doing keto. Dehydration halts your weight loss. Apart from replenishing your body’s fluid stores, drinking water also sometimes helps curb your appetite.
Drinking about 6 to 8 glasses of water is pretty standard. However, if you want to be specific, it’s around 2 liters of water per day for males; and 1.8 liters of water per day for females.
If you are fond of drinking diet sodas with your meals, it’s best to switch them out for water instead. Getting rid of artificial sweeteners from drinks will also help weight loss.
You may have an underlying medical condition
Unfortunately, there are plenty of medical conditions that prevent you from losing weight. Hypothyroidism is a common condition that involves low levels of thyroid hormones. In this condition, the body’s metabolism slows down and is commonly associated with an increase in weight.
Apart from weight gain, hypothyroid people often experience low energy levels which even makes them less likely to participate in physical activities.
For females, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is a condition that prevents them from losing weight. It is a condition wherein there is an excess of male hormones. This causes them to store fat. Other symptoms also include excessive hair growth, irregular or painful periods, as well as acne.
Meanwhile, you may also have Type 2 diabetes. If your body doesn’t regulate blood sugars effectively, it may also affect your weight loss. For all of these conditions, you must consult with your physician so they may be addressed first.
If you are doing the ketogenic diet right but you’re still stuck at your starting weight, it’s good to check with your doctor if you have a medical condition that’s influencing your ability to lose weight.
Going on a keto diet is one of the most popular ways to lose weight quickly. It is loved by many because it doesn’t advocate strict restrictions when it comes to dieting. Moreover, lots of people have lost weight following a diet without exercise.
However, it is not 100% guaranteed that you will lose the amount of weight that you desire. There may be some factors that will affect its effectiveness. If you’re still not losing weight on keto, hopefully, the answers above helped solve your problems.