Not Losing Weight On Keto? Here’s Why And Here’s What You Can Do
Of all the benefits of the ketogenic diet, its effect on weight loss is probably one of the most popular. That’s why most people who follow a ketogenic diet do so intending to lose pounds.
For some, weight loss might come off just quickly. But for others, it can be everything far from easy. Why is this so? Besides the fact that individuals have different body types and tolerance levels, weight loss is a complex and diverse topic with numerous factors that should be weighed in.
If you’re weeks into the diet and you feel like you’re still not losing weight, there could be several reasons why.
What is the Keto Diet?
The Ketogenic diet or more commonly known as the keto diet is a very low carb type of diet that has its origin since the 1920s. The Ketogenic diet was primarily used as an alternative for the treatment of epilepsy, particularly those who don’t respond well to drug therapy.
Over the years, science has spawned more extensive research about the ketogenic diet and found out that it provides more benefits to the body than just treatment for the keto diet. Most scientific studies will tell you that there are other proven health benefits of low-carb and keto diets, including its ability to manage blood levels, insulin levels, and Type I & Type II diabetes, among others.
How does it work?
As they say, how you get to your destination is as important as getting to your destination. That’s why you need to know what happens in your body so you can better appreciate the process and decide whether this type of diet is right for you.
The ketogenic diet works by restricting carbohydrate intake so your body won’t be getting fuel from glucose. To compensate, the keto diet lets you load up on healthy fats to be stored in your body. Your fat is then converted into ketones to be used as fuel to run your body. When your body does this, it then reaches the metabolic state of ketosis. Getting the state of ketosis is the goal of every ketogenic diet.
Not Losing Weight on Keto? Here’s why
Health experts believe that you need to be in a caloric deficit to achieve weight loss. What’s the relationship between calories and weight loss? You can get calories as your units of energy from your food and drinks. The moment you are taking in fewer calories than burning them, you can then say you’re in a calorie deficit.
The calories you spend daily includes three components:
- Activity Energy Expenditure-the calories that you use up during your day-to-day activities—from doing daily chores to exercise and sports.
- Thermic Effect of Food– This is the kind of calories you use up in absorbing, digesting, and metabolizing your food.
- Resting Energy Expenditure (REE)-This is the type of calories your body uses when you sleep for survival tasks like breathing, etc.
If you do not see any weight difference on your keto diet, and you might not be in the needed calorie deficit. To address this, you can try to increase your physical activities or try taking in fewer calories to help you achieve a calorie deficit.
How many calories do I have to take to be considered in a calorie deficit? For most people, a 500 daily calorie deficit is enough for weight loss. You may ask how you can keep achieving that calorie intake; many online calculators can help with your calorie count. These online calculators typically use your age, height, sex, weight, and other physical activity levels to determine the appropriate maintenance calories for your body.
If you don’t have an online calculator, you can still get your daily weight, track your calories, and maintain the same level of activity for around ten days. If you notice that your weight has remained at a stable level over those days, your regular calorie consumption per day is a good representation of your calorie maintenance.
If you want to compute your average daily calorie intake, you can divide your total calorie intake ten days by 10. Then, you can subtract 500 calories from the resulting number so you will get a rough idea of your new daily calorie intake goal to achieve weight loss.
To give a more concrete example, if your maintenance calories are 3,000 daily, your new calorie goal will be 2,500. As you shed weight, you also need to adjust your calorie intake depending on your fitness goals. To make sure you get enough nutrient intake for a healthier weight loss, try as much as possible not to consume fewer than 1,200 calories per day for women, and no less than 1,500 calories daily, for me.
Foods to take note when you are on a Keto Diet
Whatever may be your nutritional goals and personal reasons for following the keto diet, there’s no doubt that there are certain foods you need to consume and avoid. Sometimes, merely thinking about the types of food to avoid on a keto diet can be mentally taxing for your brain, besides following the diet itself. So here are some foods you should try to consume and some foods you need to avoid on a keto diet:
For most people who live in countries where bread is a staple food, this is one of the food many people find it very challenging to let go of. While carb counts vary based on the different portion sizes and ingredients found in bread, it can’t be denied that most bread contains a high average carb count. For instance, a slice of traditional white bread typically contains around 14 grams of carb, while a single piece of whole-wheat bread contains about 17 grams of carb, only two of which are fiber.
- Natural fat, high-fat sauces
Most keto diets focus on the high consumption of fat. This consumption of high fat is where most of your calories come from. Natural fat can be obtained in natural sources like meat, fish, eggs, seafood, and other sources. Butter, or coconut oil, are good sources of fat too. You can add these oils to any of your meal plans. Also, when preparing for your keto recipes, you can add the delicious high-fat sauces, including Bearnaise sauce, garlic butter, and others too.
- Vegetables that are growing above ground.
When you are on a strict ketogenic diet, with fewer than 5% of calories from your regular carb intake, it is essential to know which veggies are the lowest in carbs, especially if your goal is to consume fewer than 20 grams of carbs per day.
It would be best if you took note that most of your carbs will come from your vegetables, aside from consuming whole grains. That is why you need to be conscious of what type of vegetables you are consuming since not all vegetables are allowed when you are in a keto diet.
In choosing the vegetables, you will be either eating or preparing for your next keto recipe; fresh or frozen vegetables either is fine. However, it is recommended to choose vegetables growing above ground, especially leafy and green items such as cauliflower, cabbage, avocado, broccoli, and zucchini.
So why choose the above-ground grown vegetables? Various researches have supported that vegetables growing above ground are lower in carbs in comparison to vegetables that grow below the ground. For instance, above-ground vegetables such as lettuce, asparagus, green beans, cauliflowers, and many more only contain two to five carbs (carb counts are provided as g net carbs per 100-gram (3½-ounce) serving). On the other hand, below-ground grown vegetables such as carrot, beetroot, onions, potato, and many more contain six (6) to fifteen (15) carbs (carb counts are provided as g net carbs per 100-gram (3½-ounce) serving).
Moreover, vegetables are easy to pair and, at the same time, a tasty way to eat healthy fat in keto. You can fry them in butter, or when making a salad, you can pour a generous amount of olive oil in it. Besides being easy to prepare, vegetables add more variety of flavor, color, and nutrients into your keto meals.
Nuts such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and other keto-friendly nuts are good sources of healthy fats. However, bear in mind to always lookout for the right kind of nuts and consume the right amounts.
Though nuts are a good source of fat and various health and wellness sources recommend its consumption when you are in a keto diet, nuts should be consumed moderately, especially when consuming nuts as part of your keto diet snacks. If you are wondering why does it have to be so, it is because nuts are easy to eat, and it will take a large number of nuts before you feel satisfied with it. Unchecked nut consumption is particularly dangerous since there are nuts that are instead good sources of fat, contains a relatively high amount of carbs.
When will you know that you have consumed too many nuts? For you to quantitatively measure how much nuts you are only allowed to consume, you have to look at your weight loss progress and your carb intake percentage. When you are in a typical keto diet, the usual nut limit intake is less than one-half (1/2) cup of nuts per day, and that is about 50 grams per day.
- Meat and Poultry
In a ketogenic diet, meat is considered as a staple food since it is a good source of lean protein. Aside from fresh meats and poultry nit containing any carbohydrates, they are also rich in vitamins and various minerals such as B Vitamins, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Though processed meat like bacon and sausage are allowed in a keto diet, processed meat is not the best option. Not only are they not good for your heart, but they may also increase your high blood cholesterol risks and contain preservatives that are not generally good for your body. You can try chicken, fish, and beef, found to be better options than processed foods.
Weight Loss Tips
Weight loss does not automatically happen even if you undertake the Keto diet. This does not mean that the diet fails altogether, but there might be some factors you need to take a second look to achieve that goal weight.
Here are some tips on how to maximize the keto diet.
- Always make sure to hydrate yourself.
Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated have always been one of the most straightforward weight loss advice. Various studies have linked that drinking plenty of water and increasing your regular water intake can positively affect weight loss and maintenance.
How can you effectively increase your water intake? You can follow these essential four tips below:
- Always keep a refillable water bottle with you. Your water bottle can serve as a reminder for you to drink water.
- Cut down on diet soda. As much as how diet sodas are advertised to quench your thirst satisfactorily or how they are generally healthy and safe, always bear in mind to choose the better and natural option. Nothing can literally naturally hydrate you than water. The next time you grab a diet soda when you are thirsty, you need to think twice again.
- Develop a routine. When you are in any diet, be it keto or intermittent fasting, routines will likely help you get through and consistently stick on your diet. It is the same with water consumption too. By developing a routine, you rule out inconsistencies and emotion-based decisions. At the same time, you can nurture healthy (drinking) habits.
- Always eat the right foods.
Your food consumption is a vital aspect for you to harness the positive effects of the ketogenic diet successfully. You need to make sure that you are eating nutritious low-carb, high fat, and high protein foods. To do this, planning your keto grocery list, groceries, and meal plans might be helpful since you can examine what type and how much food you will be consuming
- Be more active!
Doing physical exercises and being more active can do wonders in making your keto weight loss journey come true. Various studies have supported that physical exercises while fasting can either maintain or elevate your ketone bodies, which is pretty helpful when you are in a keto diet. If you have not started doing exercises while following the keto diet, it is recommendable for you to try it! If you have been working out and you now find it boring, you can spice up your workout routine by trying exercises you have never done before, or you can do yoga or Tai Chi instead. Simply moving your body can help you achieve your weight loss goals no matter what weight, health, and physical limitations you have.