The ketogenic diet has become the latest health craze sensation in the past few years. Those who follow a keto diet focus on eating low-carb, high-fat foods. This involves eliminating foods that are high in sugar and limiting the intake of unhealthy fats. Instead, followers of the diet focus on eating high-fat foods such as meats, cheese, and eggs. This can be a reason of not losing weight on keto diet.
While the ketogenic diet offers an array of astounding health benefits such as reducing heart disease and preventing cancer, many people first start on keto with the hope of losing weight. When they fail to lose weight, they try to find out the reasons of not losing weight on keto. We’ve all heard the testimonials of people crediting the keto diet for helping them to quickly shred unneeded fat.
The internet is filled with these before and after pictures showcasing users' transformative results. However, oftentimes, participants, eager at first, get discouraged when they don’t see those same results in their own bodies. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the reasons you are not losing weight on keto diet, so you can start seeing those life-changing results yourself.
What Is the Expected Weight Loss on The Keto Diet?
Most doctors will tell you that setting a goal of losing one or two pounds a week is the healthiest route to go. This goal is not only realistic, but it also allows the body time to acclimate and rest during a time in which it is undergoing big changes.
However, most people who turn to the keto diet are more interested in losing weight as quickly as possible in a short period of time. It is important to remember that everybody reacts differently to the keto diet.
Therefore, not everyone can expect the exact same results. While some people have an easy time losing weight on the ketogenic diet, others struggle with unpleasant side effects and have a harder time adjusting to the necessary dietary changes.
Rapid Weight Loss Followed by A Sudden Decline
Most people who start keto are quick to see some kind of result. It’s true that people can shed a huge number of pounds in the first few months. However, most participants stop losing weight as quickly after this initial drop and easily get discouraged. This leads many people to quit keto after only being on it for a short period of time.
The reason so many participants claim to lose this large amount of weight at first is usually due to a dramatic drop in caloric intake and the shedding of water weight.
Water weight accounts for much of the bloat people see in their lower abdomen. When fluid in the body accumulates, the body retains it in fatty tissues. Water retention can be a sign of an unhealthy diet and is often linked to a high intake of salt.
After losing the water weight, the body then focuses on burning stored fat. This requires more energy and a longer period of time to see results. Most people stop their diets after losing their water weight because they are no longer losing weight as quickly. They think the diet has stopped working when in reality it is just beginning to burn fat.
I’m In Ketosis but Not Losing Weight
Ketosis is a metabolic state the body enters when carbohydrates are eliminated from the diet. In this state, the body’s ability to burn fat increases. This is a result of lower insulin levels in the body.
The body compensates for this drop-in insulin by producing fatty acids which are then metabolized in the liver. These metabolized molecules are called ketones. The body begins to use these ketones for energy rather than insulin. Ketosis is a natural bodily process and a normal part of following a ketogenic diet.
Ketosis is responsible for some amazing health benefits including the ability to reduce or eliminate the need for medicine in patients with diabetes.
However, those following a keto diet often begin to experience their first side effects when the body enters this state. These side effects include headache, fatigue, and high cholesterol levels.
Focused on results, most people don’t think about researching the normal side effects that accompany dietary changes. When people begin to experience these symptoms, they can be quick to give up or think that the diet doesn’t work for their body.
This causes people to cheat on their diets and indulge to alleviate the symptoms, which deters weight loss. Although these side effects are unpleasant, for most people they only last up to a few weeks at most.
Once the body is fully in ketosis a person should start seeing results more quickly.
Why Haven’t I Lost Weight in The First Week of Keto?
Often people are upset when they don’t experience any weight loss in the first week of following a keto diet. Many people who start eating a keto diet have unrealistic expectations for their bodies and expect to see instant results.
While it is possible to lose weight in your first week, it’s unlikely. Your body needs a few weeks to adjust to the new diet and for the metabolic changes necessary to losing weight to occur.
10 Reasons You May Not Be Losing Weight on The Keto Diet:
1. Having Unrealistic Expectations
Setting realistic, attainable milestones is the key to completing any goal. This is especially true for weight loss as well. When starting a diet, it can be easy to only focus on results and get carried away with what is actually realistic.
You can’t expect results to happen overnight. As mentioned above, a healthy rate for losing weight is between one to three pounds per week. This is the average weight loss on keto for people on the keto diet.
Lots of people also begin to follow a stricter workout regimen to complement their healthy diet. Those who begin weightlifting are often confused as to why they are gaining weight on keto. The reason is that muscle weighs more than fat. So, while the muscles are being built up and replace the fat, it could be what is causing the number on the scale to go up.
Instead of fretting over the numbers, take weekly measurements of your waist, arms, and legs and write down the results.
2. Your Body Isn’t in Ketosis
You won’t start to see those real results until your body is in ketosis. This is when the body’s metabolism and ability to burn fat is the highest.
Many people think they are in ketosis when in reality they aren’t. To reach ketosis, a person must eat an extremely low amount of carbs. This means consuming no more than thirty to fifty grams of carbohydrates per day.
For some people, they may be eating more than the recommended carb intake unknowingly. This is an extremely tiny amount and therefore can easily be exceeded. Foods to avoid include whole grains, certain fruits, starchy foods, pasta, and alcohol.
A doctor can run a blood test to check if your body is actually in ketosis.
3. Not Following A Strict Diet
One of the main reasons people don’t experience weight loss is because they aren’t following a strict enough diet. If someone notices weight up and down on keto, then it is a sign that they aren’t following a strict enough keto program.
Some people allow themselves too many cheat meals. Others choose to only follow the diet halfway, by still consuming alcohol or sweets while adhering to the rest. Cheating benefits no one and won’t get you to the results you desire.
4. Do I Need to Count Calories on A Keto Diet?
Often times people feel they don’t need to count calories while on the keto diet although this isn’t necessarily true. The biggest myth about keto is that you can eat whatever you want as long as it’s low carbs and high fats.
The result is that many people following keto end up consuming more than their daily recommended calories because they primarily eat high-calorie foods. It’s also common for people to consume too much fat on a keto diet. Using a fitness app or journal can be a great way to keep tabs on what and how much you are eating.
5. Too Much Dairy
While people following the keto diet can still enjoy their dairy, too much can be a bad thing. Milk contains a large amount of carbohydrates. One cup contains half the daily limit to maintain ketosis. Even flavored yogurts and popular toppings are foods high in carbs that keto followers should avoid.
6. Artificial Sweeteners
People following a keto diet often rely on artificial sweeteners to curb their sugar cravings. Pre-packaged foods containing artificial sweeteners are often marketed to the health food crowds. However, these foods are usually lacking nutrients and can be high in calories.
7. Too Many Keto Sweets
In addition to consuming too many artificial sweeteners, keto followers can also eat too many keto sweets. The internet is filled with ‘keto-friendly’ dessert recipes. But consuming these on a regular basis can greatly hinder your progress.
8. You’re Stressed Out
Being under too much stress can actually make you gain weight. Even changing your diet can cause both mental and physical stress. That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself and your mental health. You should do this all the time, but it’s important to stay on track when you’re dieting too. Actively trying to live a balanced lifestyle will help while your body adjusts to the changes.
9. You’re Not Getting Enough Exercise
Abs may be made in the kitchen, but they’re also made in the gym. Proper diet and exercise can't be maximally efficient if they’re not executed in unison. Exercise can help boost the body’s metabolism and burn calories.
Equally important to getting enough exercise is getting enough rest. Work out four or five times a week, giving your body time to rest the other days. This will also ensure you don’t get burned out quickly when you’re just starting out.
10. Underlying Medical Condition
If you’ve adhered to all of these tips and still find yourself unable to lose weight, it could be due to an underlying medical condition. Talk to your doctor to find out what could be causing the issue.
It’s helpful to keep a journal of what you eat, how much you exercise, and any symptoms you may be experiencing from day-to-day. This can help your doctor make a more accurate diagnosis.
In order for the ketogenic diet to be most effective, a person must adhere to the rules and not take any shortcuts. Figuring out why you’re not losing weight and making the necessary changes will have you on your way to shedding pounds in a healthy way.
Adamantly sticking to any diet is never an easy choice. One must be willing to make an overall lifestyle change to improve their health and quality of life.
By following these tips and avoiding the necessary foods, you will start to see dramatic results with a ketogenic diet. And as always, be sure to talk to your doctor before you start any exercise program or diet.