Keto and not losing Weight? Why are we doing Keto? To lose weight, Well most of us think the only indicator of successfully measuring weight loss is the bathroom scale.
During my Keto Journey, I have found that this is a big mistake. I cannot count the number of times the discouragement of the scale not moving has made me question the keto process.
Along with all the other conditioning, we have become accustomed to like fat is bad and carbs are good. We have been conditioned to believe that the scale is the measure of fat loose.
During this post, we will talk about why the scale is not the only or best measure of our body fat loss success.
Keto Scale drop then Stop
That first week was fantastic we started changing the way we ate, 20g of carbs, protein, and fat. Most see a rapid loss of weight! This is great! It is what went through my mind that first couple of weeks seeing the scale number lower and lower on a daily bases. I have now learned this weight loss is to do with water being flushed from our bodies from the reduced carbohydrates intake.
For every gram of glycogen (from carbs) stored in the body, it has 3 grams of water. So it only makes sense that if you trade the carbs for fat, there goes the water with those carbs. Presto weight drops. Once we lose the initial water weight that scale stops dropping as fast as it started. This is a completely normal situation.
Your body will start to adjust to the new eating protocol, usually after two weeks or so. Glycogen stores will refill, some even report weight gain. This weight gain doesn’t mean you are increasing your body fat! We need to understand that the scale will fluctuate up and down. To save your sanity and keep you on the straight and narrow do not become a victim of the daily scale check. We have to think of the journey as exactly that, a journey. We didn’t get the body we want to change overnight so, not much chance of changing it to the body we want in that time period either.
Weight loss is not a linear line. It will look more like a bad stock market graph. I hope to show you that just because the scale doesn’t go down doesn’t mean you are not closing in on your keto journey goals.
The Scale and why it may not be accurate
Body weight is influenced by so many factors well beyond body fat. Just because the scale hasn’t move certainly doesn’t mean you are not closer to your fat loss goals.
The Factors that may be stopping the scales downward trend but not showing you the true result in of your journey.
Keto and Muscle growthDuring this fat adapted period may people report an increase in energy. I went back to the gym. Going back to the gym after a long time off will result in quick muscle growth and muscle is heavy. But we all know that more muscle means a faster metabolism and more calorie burnt at rest resulting in fat loss.
(Fat down, muscle mass up = scale stays the same).
Keto and Increased bone densityLike the muscle growth when you increase your physical exercise and eat healthy foods you will increase the density of your bones. This increase in density will have an increase in body weight. Body weight up on the scale but overall body fat decrease and scale stay the same. Giving you Keto and not losing Weight but you are losing body fat.
(Fat down, bone density up = scale stays the same).
Keto and Increases muscle sizeExercised muscles will increase in size and strength and that increase will cause the muscles to hold more water and glycogen. This increase causes an increase in body weight and a decrease in body fat in the same way as muscle growth does. This shows a stall on the scale but friends and family will only see the new sleek shape you are creating with all your hard work.
(Fat down, increased muscle size = scale stays the same).
Keto and Water retention.
The Keto beginner guide shows us to increase water intake (stay hydrated) to reduce the chance of felling the results of the Keto flew. Two liters of water will increase your weight on a scale by around four pounds.
(Fat down, water retention = scale stays the same).
- Carbohydrates cause water retention. If you had a cheat meal or some uncounted carbs found their way into your meals that day, you may hold more water. This is an increase on the scale for sure. Click here to read about Keto and hydration.
(Fat down, Carb induced water retention = scale stays the same).
- Hormonal changes. This will cause the body to hold water.
(Fat down, Hormonal change = scale stays the same).
- The scale itself. The trust bathroom scale is not so trusty. No cheaper scale (the one in our bathroom) are not very accurate. Differences in floor temperature, flatness, and even cleanliness will change the reading.
(Fat down, scale error = scale stays the same).
- Haven’t had a poop. Keto has been reported to cause constipation, so you may have food in your system that hasn’t been released as wasted yet. This not body fat weight but will show the same number on a scale.
(Fat down, No poop = scale stays the same).
Keto and not losing Weight? The Wrap-up!
Repeat after me, “The scale will not dictate my success. The love of the process will.” The scale is such a one-directional measurement. It will not and cannot tell you about your progress or body composition. (What body fat percentage is, how much muscle you have, what your bone density is and how much water you are retaining). These are the things that really matter. Determining your success through other more direct methods like are your clothes fitting better, a number of compliments from friends and family, the level of energy you have at the end of the day, a clear mind are the measures of success you need. One that moves you in the direction of your weight loss goals not distract you will the feeling of failure or hard work wasted.
Keto is a process that if followed will result in a successful goal weight. Not overnight, not in a linear line but slowly and at a steady pace. This is why it is a journey, not a race. SO if the scale indicates you are Keto and not losing Weight know this you may still be losing body fat. That is the true success we are looking for.
Another great article with some other great info (click here)