Watching your weight melt away is an amazing feeling. But there will come a time when the numbers come to a standstill, and you then realize you’re in a dreaded plateau! While they may be discouraging, don’t let those pesky numbers throw you back into your old binging habits.
Take a step back, reevaluate the situation, and understand why our weight loss stalls on a keto diet
Reasons Why we Plateau on Keto
1. Weight loss is NOT linear
One of the biggest reasons why the keto diet has gained so much traction is the seemingly fast results. While keto is a great way to burn fat, it isn’t a miracle diet that will shed those pounds instantly. You certainly didn’t gain all that weight overnight, so they won’t instantly disappear either. Give it some time. If you’re still not seeing results after 2-4 weeks, then reevaluate what you’re currently doing and see where adjustments need to be made.
2. Consuming too many calories
While keto can definitely bring seemingly magical results, weight loss is still guided by one basic principle. You must burn more calories than you consume. You may not have needed to track your calories, or watch your portion sizes early on in the journey, but it’s necessary to readjust your caloric intake as you progress.
Your body may have needed those extra 500 calories to carry around those 50lbs, but now that you’ve shed the weight, your body doesn’t need to work as hard!
Also, don’t forget that fats can be incredibly dense in calories. A single serving of oil or butter can contain over 100 calories. Try measuring out your portions so you don’t accidently add an extra 30 minutes on the treadmill worth of food.
Alternatively, you can incorporate more exercise to your routine. This way, you don’t have to reduce your calories further, but you still maintain a deficit thanks to the increased expenditure.
3. Consuming too few calories
This sounds contradictory to the previous point, but eating too little can be detrimental to your weight loss. A lot of people get the idea that if they want to lose weight quickly, they just have to starve themselves for a couple of weeks.
Sounds flawless in theory, but it’s unsustainable. Your body will begin to slowdown and adapt to the lower caloric intake. You may feel exhausted going prolonged periods of time on an extremely high caloric deficit since your body simply won’t have enough energy to support your old activity levels.
Don’t be afraid to eat, but try a smaller deficit. Slow and steady weight loss will yield better results than a crash diet!
4. Carb creep
Once you get adjusted to a keto lifestyle, chances are you’ll probably begin to relax as the weight is just melting away. You may not be as diligent as you were when you were desperate for results. By getting too comfortable, you could be unconsciously letting carbs creep back into your diet! Maybe there’s a bit of extra carbs in your salad dressing, or you let yourself have a sugary treat.
Additionally, there are carbs in plenty of other things that you may not be aware of. Take cough syrup for example, it certainly tastes sweet for a reason! How else would they get kids to take their medicine?
While you shouldn’t be so strict on yourself to the point where you’re miserable, be mindful of what you’re consuming. Don’t let one small slip up be the start of your relapse into carb loaded foods!
5. Building muscle
If you’re incorporating weight lifting into your routine you may notice some stalls as your body composition changes. Muscle is a lot denser than fat, so while you’re packing on that muscle, your fat may be melting away. You’ll have a zero net change, but don’t worry, you’re still moving towards your goal!
Try to take body measurements on a regular basis. While the scale may not budge, if you’re sticking with your routine you’re probably still seeing results elsewhere.
Having been through month long stalls, I know how demotivating it can be to not see that number move. But then I go try on some clothes, and they surprisingly fit better than they did a month ago!
6. Sensitivity to certain foods
Everybody’s body is different, making it possible for certain foods to cause stalls. I know that I tend to feel bloated after consuming large amounts of dairy.
Additionally, artificial sweeteners are another issue of debate. Many people claim that they aren’t affected by these fake sugars, but there are a decent amount who broke their plateaus by reducing their intake.
My advice, it’s okay to consume these sensitive foods, but keep it in moderation.
These are a few of the common reasons why our weight loss stalls on keto. Sure it can be demotivating, but always try to look at the bigger picture. While you may not be seeing any change in your weight, at least you’re not gaining the weight back! Also, taking progress pictures, or remembering where you came from can help reignite your motivation to keep calm and keto on.
Losing weight is a journey and there WILL be minor setbacks, but always remember that you’re doing it to live a healthier, stronger life!