Many people assume that just because you are cutting carbohydrates out of your diet, that you’re going to lose weight. In fact, it’s quite common for someone who follows the ketogenic diet to begin to experience mental clarity and improved energy benefits but they have reached a weight loss plateau or even started gaining weight. There is a lot of misinformation out there in the ketogenic community that can hinder your weight loss efforts. The keto weight loss secrets I’m about to share will help prevent that from happening to you.
If you hit a plateau or are even gaining weight after beginning your keto diet look to these 11 items. 99% of the time it’s one or more of these items that are the root of the problem.
1) You’re Not in Ketosis
Have you been following the ketogenic diet for a while but have no idea if you’re in ketosis? There are few signs to help you know if you are in ketosis.
One way to know is that you may develop bad breath. Many people on ketogenic diets and other low carb types of diets report that their breath takes on a fruity smell. This is caused by elevated ketone levels. An organic compound Acetone is what causes the odor. Although this odor may not be beneficial for your social life, it’s a positive sign for your diet.
Another sign of being in ketosis is that you will have a decrease in hunger. The reasons why are still being investigated. However, the reduction in hunger may be due to increases in the quantity of vegetable, fats, and protein. The ketones may also affect the area of your brain that affects your appetite.
If your energy and focus have increased you are probably in ketosis. Once you adapt to burning more fat for fuel rather than carbs your brain will begin burning ketones instead of glucose. Ketones are an extremely potent fuel source for your brain and they are effective in treating brain diseases and conditions such as concussion and memory loss.
There are about ten signs to indicate you’re in ketosis, however, the ones listed here seem to be the most significant ones to watch for. In a future blog post, I will share all ten.
Now, if you want to be absolutely sure you are in ketosis, you can always test your blood or your urine. Blood testing is expensive. However, you can test your urine with little expense with Keto strips.
Keto strips are easy to find in your local pharmacy and Amazon. In my opinion, testing your blood or your urine is not necessary if you are eating the correct ratio of macros.
2) Not Eating Enough Protein
One of the most common mistakes beginners make is not consuming enough protein on the ketogenic diet. This is largely due to the belief that eating too much protein can put sugar into the blood through a process called gluconeogenesis. In fact, eating too little protein can be more detrimental to your health than it is to consume too much protein. Always strive to consume 20 percent of your caloric intake in protein.
3) Not Tracking Your Macros
One of the main allures for people just started out on the keto diet is that they believe you can eat any amount of food as long as you don’t eat carbohydrates.
Just because you are restricting carbs from your diet, does not mean that you’ll start losing body fat. The truth is, tracking the number of macros and calories you eat in the beginning is one of the fastest ways to start dropping fat and burning ketones for energy. You will want to get 75% of your calories from fat, 20% from protein and 5% from carbohydrates.
It’s important to understand how many calories your body needs to maintain the weight you’re currently at. It takes 13 calories for each pound of body weight to maintain your current weight. If you are a vigorous exerciser than the calorie requirements increase to 18 calories for each pound.
When beginning your keto diet it’s important to know how many calories your body requires to maintain your current weight. Once you have your specific calorie requirements then your macros can be adjusted allowing you to eat at just a slight calorie deficit so that your body is burning more calories than you are consuming. This simple calculation is one that so many people tend to neglect on keto.
I created a worksheet that will help determine what your specific macronutrient requirements are. If you want a copy of the calculator worksheet send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send it to you.
4) You’re Not Eating Satiating Meals
One of the keys for weight loss is eating at a calorie deficit, but it’s also important to pay attention to the quality of the calories you eat to make sure you’re satisfied and not “hangry”.
The bulk of your diet should come from nutrient-dense meals that keep you full for several hours. Eat quality organic and grass-fed meats. Avoid eating too many nuts, dairy, and processed foods. By all means, only consume keto-friendly snacks like keto brownies or fat bombs, but consume these snacks sparingly.
5) Missing Hidden Carbs
Be very careful when you buy “low-carb” and ketogenic-friendly foods from the grocery store. Just because the label says they are low carb does not always mean it is.
For example, the difference between eating one tablespoon and three tablespoons of peanut butter could be the one factor that is causing you to overeat in both calories and carbohydrates.
The best course of action is scrutinize everything you buy from your local grocery store. Always check the ingredient list and make sure to monitor the nutrition label per serving.
Watch sugar alcohols and hidden sugar sources like maltodextrin. Try to buy and consume as many whole foods as possible and then you won’t have to worry about the labels.
6) Eating Too Much Fat
Eating more calories than your body is burning is going to lead to weight gain. Just because you’re on the ketogenic diet does not mean you can eat as much fat as you want without any consequences.
One common mistake people are making when they first start on the keto diet is that they eat way too much fat without realizing it.
During the beginning stages of keto, your fat intake should take up around 75% of your total daily calorie intake. But the longer you stick to the diet, the less dietary fat you’ll need and you will need to slightly increase your protein to produce better results.
This is because the more your body gets used to burning fat for energy, it can begin to burn off your body’s own stored body fat instead of having to rely on dietary fat.
7) Stop Drinking Bulletproof Coffees
When you drink a bulletproof coffee in the morning, all you are doing is adding extra dietary fats into your system. Sure, this is going to help your body get into a fat-burning state, but your body needs to burn off that dietary fat before it starts burning off your own body fat.
While being in ketosis means you are burning fat for energy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re burning your own stored body fat for energy.
If you are wondering why you’re not losing weigh on keto and may even be gaining weight, there’s a good chance that the fatty, bulletproof coffee you’re drinking every morning is causing you to eat too many calories than your body is burning off.
8) Limit the Fat Bombs
Fat bombs are a staple among Ketonians as it satisfies their sugar cravings you may have at first. But most people tend to go overboard with eating fat bombs. It’s easy to do because they taste so good!
Remember, your fat intake should only be increased at the beginning of this way of eating because it helps prime your body to start burning fats for energy. But once it’s used to using ketones, you need to decrease your fat intake and slightly increase your protein intake.
Use fat bombs as a treat and only consume them every now and then. The bulk of your fat should come from healthy fat sources such as avocado, coconut oil, butter, grass-fed fatty animal protein, and nuts.
9) Too Much Exercise Is Stressing Your Body
Exercise is generally a healthy thing to do. But, too much of it can be a bad thing. There is a healthy limit for everyone.
The main type of exercise abused by those trying to lose weight is excessive cardio. Repetitive aerobic training increases your appetite because your body feels deprived and wants those calories back.
What happens when you’re body wants calories? That’s right you feel hungry. When you exercise excessively not only will you have more cravings but you will also be increasing the stress hormone cortisol.
Do moderate amounts of exercise and if you’re feeling fatigued opt for a walk rather than a workout. Once the fatigue has faded away then you can increase the intensity of your workout.
10) You’re Not Sleeping Enough
Bottom line not getting enough sleep can stall or prevent weight loss. Lack of sleep can throw off your circadian rhythms and increase the risk of metabolic problems. All of your organs follow a certain timing (known as your internal body clock) and disrupting it can wreak havoc on your body and your mind. Maximum fat loss can only be achieved with adequate sleep.
Sleep is essential for balancing hormones. Ghrelin (the hormone that makes you feel hungry) and leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) are both affected by lack of sleep. Your ghrelin goes up and your levels of leptin go down when you don’t get enough sleep which is bad news for weight loss.
Undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders such as sleep apnea affect sleep and will have a negative effect on your health and can prevent weight loss. If your sleep partner has complained of you snoring or have noticed you stop breathing and gasp for air throughout the night you will want to see a sleep specialist right away. Sleep apnea is a serious respiratory condition that requires medical treatment.
11) Stop Drinking So Much Alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can stall your body’s ability to start burning ketones for energy. If you are going to drink alcohol do it sparingly. Moderate drinking is not going to make you healthy. Alcohol is hard on the liver. Each time you consume it or take medications you are injuring your liver. If you do choose to have alcohol make sure to choose clear alcohol such as vodka, tequila, and gin. Don’t drink beer as it contains carbohydrates.