What do you do if it’s been a while since you started on the keto diet, but aren’t losing weight the way you hoped?
Whether you never started losing pounds or have plateaued, it’s possible that you’re making mistakes with your keto diet.
What follows are nine tips to help you find out if you’re taking a wrong turn with your keto lifestyle, and what you can do to correct course.
1. You aren’t aware of all the carbs that you include in your diet
Avoiding carbs isn’t just about striking bread and sugar off your menu. Carbs can sneak in a number of ways, sometimes, even in foods normally approved for the ketogenic diet.
Health drinks like coconut milk and almond milk often come with plenty of sugar. Non-starchy vegetables like cabbage and broccoli contain a small amount of starch. If you make a meal out of them, the carbohydrates can add up. The sugar content in fruits can make you put on weight, and even spices like garlic powder can introduce carbs into your diet. It’s important to keep an eye on nutritional labels.
2. You include too many calories in your diet
The ketogenic diet isn’t about counting calories. Nevertheless, extreme amounts of calories or extreme deficits can get in the way of your achieving your weight loss goals. No matter how effectively you’ve cut back on your carbs, if you’re consuming too many calories, they will likely slow down your weight-loss journey.
Cutting down on your calorie intake far too much can affect your weight-loss, as well, simply because it can send the body into starvation mode, and make it slow down its metabolism. Drastic calorie cuts can also cause physical stress that results in production of the stress hormone cortisol. It can lead to weight gain.
There is no magic number for how many calories you should consume each day. You need to arrive at a number based on how old you are, how tall you are, what you weigh, and the amount of exercise that you get. If you aren’t hitting your weight-loss targets, you need to try to work out if you’re consuming too many calories.
3. You consume too much protein
You need to make sure that you maintain your muscle mass even as you work your weight down. The protein in your diet is essential to your weight-loss goals. You mustn’t consume too much protein, however.
Your body is only likely to convert the surplus into glycogen for use for energy, in place of fat. Too much protein, then, can have the effect of making you put on weight.
4. You have too much fat in your diet
Healthy fats are an important part of the keto diet. You need to include no more than the right quantity of fats in your diet, however. If you go overboard, it can cause you to gain weight. Fat-rich steaks and fish are examples of the kind of fats that are allowed. Pure fats that don’t include vitamins and minerals, however, are empty calories that you should avoid.
5. You eat too much dairy, nuts, and fruit
Many keto experts recommend that you skip dairy altogether for your first 8 weeks on the keto diet. In the beginning, skipping dairy can help you find out if you’re sensitive to the casein or lactose in dairy. Getting rid of dairy can help your weight-loss goals, just as including too much dairy can hinder your efforts.
The problem with including dairy, nuts, and fruit in your diet is that these are calorie-dense foods that are easy to eat too much of. It’s important to carefully watch how much you get of these items.
6. You eat too many low-carb snacks
Low-carb snacks are supposed to help you stay on your low-carb diet. Unfortunately, they tend to be full of artificial sugars and to contain few nutrients. If they contain artificial sweeteners, they can make you crave real sugar. It’s important to look at the nutritional labeling on the low-carb snacks that you eat and to also make sure that you don’t eat too much.
7. You ignore health issues
If you seem to be doing everything right with your keto diet, but still aren’t losing weight the way you hope, you should consider the possibility that you suffer from conditions of the adrenal gland or thyroid gland. It’s important to get yourself tested. If you have these conditions, they may lead you to gain weight.
8. You get too little sleep or experience too much stress
If you experience stress, it can cause your body to produce the hormone cortisol. The hormone can lead to weight gain. If you’re unable to get sufficient sleep, that can affect your weight-loss goals, as well. Poor sleep often contributes to food cravings, and can also cause hormonal disruptions that make blood sugar levels harder to control.
9. You get too much exercise or too little
Exercise is an important part of losing weight through the keto diet. Starting with even thirty minutes on the treadmill each day can be great for your weight-loss goals. You need to remember that there is such a thing as too much exercise, too, as well. While a lot of exercise will help you burn calories, it can also make you hungrier. Greater quantities of food can make you put on weight, rather than lose it.
Even if you aren’t making any mistakes with your diet, it can still take time for your body to respond to your diet. You should remember that the keto diet isn’t just about weight loss. If you feel better overall, have better concentration, better digestion, and improved mood, you should know that your keto is working, it won’t be long before you begin to lose weight. You may also want to try the Keto Resource 28 day program that guides you every step of the way if you are still having trouble.
Ryan is a former college wrestler and lifelong fitness fanatic. He has run half marathons, done mud runs, placed in body transformation contests, coached wrestling and now coaches girls soccer. Not to mention he has also tried literally hundreds of supplements over the years and has a vast and thorough supplement knowledge. He has written for Muscle & Strength, Testosterone Junkie, The Sport Review and other publications. He is also the editor in chief of this website. Feel free connect with him on his LinkedIn page below.