Are you feeling like you have given the keto diet everything? But you aren’t seeing the result you think you should? this could be a Keto Stall, The question is are you in a keto stall from lack weight loss or lack fat lose? One is not helping our long term goal (fat loss) the other (weight loss) may be just the scale not being the best measure of progress for us.
Start by reading a past blog post “You are following all the rules” (Rules) if you are following the rules, you will not be in a keto stall due to lack of fat loss. This is a very good thing. Now let us look at why we may not be seeing the weight loss.
1. Not sleeping enough.
Sleep is very crucial to your weight loss goal. If we don’t sleep enough, it causes the body to be stressed. Stress will reduce your metabolism and result in the body to hold on to stored fat as a survival mechanism. Being tired, mentally we are more likely to pick a latte over a keto friendly coffee for a pick me up. Or worse yet picking fast food (loaded with carbs) dinner over a health fat rich dinner because we are too tired to cook. Our goal should be seven to nine hours of sleep each night, this time is not wasted, and it is when the body is busy re-building and burning fat.
2. Intake of fat is too low may put you in a Keto stall.
The Keto diet is not just a low-carb diet, its high fat 75% of your daily calories eaten come from healthy fats, 20% from protein, and 5% from carbs. Fat is a filling food type so eating the right amounts will control cravings experienced on normal low cal diets. This gives us the ability to stay in ketosis to maximize fat burning. Not enough calories and the body will hold all calorie taken in. It is a survival response that the body will not have enough energy to survive. How crazy smart this body of ours is?
3. Intake of too much protein may cause a keto stall.
Even though protein is very important macronutrients that most of us don’t get enough of it. Protein can give you the feeling of fullness and can increase fat burning even more than carbs or fat.
If we speak generally of how proteins work in the body it should lead to weight loss and improve how our body looks. (Ask anyone that was successful on the straight low carb diet).
But we must remember when we limit other macronutrients on the most part we add another one. So reduced carbs and increased proteins, the end result is too much protein. In the chance that you eat too much protein (more than the body needs) some of its amino acids will convert into glucose. This is a process in the body called gluconeogenesis (protein turns to sugars).
The negative result for the keto dieter is this glucose created by the over intake of protein will block our goal of full nutritional ketosis.
As we know from our earlier post-http://brentbowseronline.com/keto-for-beginners we need a well-balanced low-carb and high fat with moderate protein intake to successful reaching ketosis.
A good rule of thumb is 0.7 – 0.9 grams of protein per body pound of weight. (1.5-2.0 grams per Kg).
4. Consuming too many total calories.
I am sure you like me have heard people say that on the keto diet you can eat as much as you like as long as it is fat. This idea is total misleading (this would be great). Again as we posted in http://brentbowseronline.com/keto-for-beginners our intake of healthy fats will be the largest amount of our intake (75% of our calories), but if you eat more calories than your body can burn there is no place for food energy to go, so the body stores it as fat. This leaves us in a caloric surplus and ultimately fatter no matter where those calories came from. The average adult needs about 2000 calories a day, but lots of factors can change this number like gender, height and amount of daily activity. A good macro calculator will help in finding your best intake amount of calories to meet your ultimate goal.
5. Not drinking enough water
Water is maybe the most important thing we put in our bodies. It is a major factor in all things that the body does like burning body fat. Not drinking enough water (at least 64 ounces per day) it can slow your metabolism and put a stop to weight loss. Drinking the correct amount of water each day will improve nutrient circulation, flush out toxins and burn fat. This is even more critical on the keto diet because as we reduce carbs, the body sheds water normal held by the number of carbs that are eaten. (Look for a future post on the why this is happens coming in June).
6. Not replenishing your electrolytes.
A common complaint of the keto beginner is flu-like symptoms this is known to the keto community as the keto flu. This phenomenon is due to two main reasons.
1. You reduce the amount of carb intake and your body isn’t ready to burn fat as fuel yet so your brain runs low on glucose. Effect of this is nausea, headaches, and grogginess.
2. You become dehydrated, this is caused by the reduction of carbs in our body decreases the amount of water retention the body needed. Your body will handle this by increasing the number of times you need to urinate. A positive side effect of this is fast initial weight loss. The negative effect is the loss of electrolytes, resulting in muscle cramping, constipation/diarrhea.
The keto flu other than being uncomfortable is a great sign you are entering ketosis. To reduce the uncomfortable side effects of the keto flue is to increase your water intake and balance the electrolyte in your system. You can do this by drinking broth or pickle juice adding salt to your meals or take an electrolyte supplement. This will add a mixture of sodium, potassium, and magnesium back into your body.
7. Eating too much dairy.
Dairy is a pro-inflammatory and can block some people from losing weight. The next problem with dairy we mentioned above in the too much protein section. Cheese in a combination food having fat, protein, and carbs. So using cheese as the staple keto snack food will increase your protein intake. This can stop your weight loss. I would suggest 1-2 ounces of cheese per meal.
8. Eating too many keto sweets.
Early in learning about how to live the keto lifestyle, we are taught that you reduce carb intake (Net-Carb) is one of the two keys to Keto. This is music to the beginner’s ears because we get more carbs to eat. If you have not heard about Net Carbs here is the breakdown. Look at the nutrition label on the food. Find the number grams of Carbs, fiber and if the item has sugar alcohol. Once you know that use those numbers and the calculation below.
Net carbs = Total carbs – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols
This is the number of carbs the food item has in our daily macro calculation.
So net carbs help up the carb count we may have. This could have a large impact on our caloric intake for the day. Think about eating your favorite keto acceptable sweet treat, the carb count is low because of the sugar substitutes (Sugar alcohols) but the calorie count is high so you will reach your daily total very quickly not giving you the feeling of being full from the healthy fats and proteins. This along with the fact that if you eat excess keto sweets it may increase the craving for carbs, cravings, and hungry = bad decisions.
9. Snacking too much.
One of the best parts of the keto diet other than great weight loss (reduced body fat) is the great snack food we get to eat. What other diet lets you eat nuts, seeds, cheese, and high fat cream as between meal snacks. Even though this is great, like eating the sweet keto snack items, calorie count climbs quickly. Snacking between meals should be limited to times when you are super hungry and can’t make it till your next meal. This will give your body the change to burn stored fat and not run off the fat being eaten that day. (Not being in a caloric defecate, can cause a keto stall in weight loss)
10. Eating hidden carbs without realizing it.
We have learned to limit our carb intake but they can hide in many foods even if we think they are low carb options. Be very careful of the condiment, sauces, vegetables and salad dressing you choose. Tomato sauce, ketchup, and creamy dressings are all culprits of hidden carbs
To be successful we need to check the labels of all the new foods we try. Take a quick glance at the label can change you from moving closer to your goal on a weekly basis or not moving at all wondering why your weight will not change.
If you have hit a Keto stall and have confirmed all the items above are in line. I would suggest seeing a doctor confirm there is no underlying health issue in the way of your goal. I have been in your shoes and stalling is frustrating, but remember we didn’t get in the shape we didn’t like overnight so getting out of it will take time as well. Stay positive, learn to love the process and stick with it. I promise you if keto is done correctly it is one of the most effective weight loss protocols known.
If you’ve ruled out all of the above but your weight still isn’t budging, we recommend seeing a doctor to rule out health issues that may be preventing weight loss. While this can be frustrating, stay positive, stick with it, and play the long game. Done correctly, the keto diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight.
For daily meal ideas see @brentbowserketo on Instagram