Weight Loss Plateaus

If you have been doing Keto right, you are no doubt used to this incredible feeling of seeing results every day. Be it a new lower number on your scales or clothes getting looser.
But you will have those moments when this will not happen.
I repeat: you WILL hit a stall, your weight will plateau. And that is fine.

Why?
Well... the way I like to look at it is, because you have been losing so much weight, your body will have to take a pause and take stock, to reassess if everything is working as it should. It's a good thing.
From my experience and by listening to other people, after the first few months it is normal for your body do hold on to some weight, water mostly. Mine happened after the second month. It lasted for a couple of weeks. Eventually most people will experience a whoosh, or at the very least see their progress resume.

Note, however, that short terms plateaus can be regular and that is also fine and normal. If your weight hasn't moved for a week, I wouldn't even class that as a stall. If you are taking body measurements, you would probably still notice that you are losing inches (or centimetres).  Clothes may also look or feel looser.

But maybe there are other reasons why you may be plateauing. If your weight loss and/or measurements have kept the same for over two weeks then maybe there's something else affecting your progress.

Common factors
  • Hidden carbs:
        • There's hidden sugars everywhere. Remember your basics and read the labels carefully.
  • Too much protein:
        • There's a reason why Keto asks for moderate protein. When too much protein is consumed, your body will have more than it needs to repair and build muscle. Especially if you're not exercising those muscles. So it will convert the extra amino-acids into glucose so they can be used for energy, stored or converted into fat if glycogen reserves are already full. We often say that muscle weighs more than fat. It doesn't. 1kg of fat equals 1kg of muscle. It is more condensed, however. So you may be leaner in places  I but bigger muscle mass is highjacking that weight loss. Also, people exercising tend increase protein more than they should and this might be another reason you're gaining​ weight.
  • Exercise:
        • Don't get me wrong exercising is good for you. But if you weren't exercising before going Keto, this change alone will put an amount of stress to your body, forcing it to hold on to some extra energy. Especially, and more importantly, if you're not fat adapted. If all you want to do is to lose weight, then the results will be obtained by changing your diet. Wait until you're fat adapted and your weight and size are at a comfortable stage for you.

What can you do to kick-start your progress?
  • Eat to satiety. This is probably the most important advice and one that encompasses most of the following points. Don't over eat but don't eat too little either.
  • Go back to basics. With all the excitement of Keto and all the yummy food you may have deviated slightly from your routine with new recipes r trying to find old favourite alternatives.
  • Track your food. If you're not tracking your food consider doing it do so for a short while in order to identify the culprits. Or if you are counting net carbs, considering counting total carbs. Especially if your carbs are always close to your daily allowance.
  • Cut out dairy and nuts. Some people don't handle dairy very well and nuts can easily be over-eaten. Experiment by cutting one or the other.
  • Reduce protein. Extra protein can be converted to glucose. Also, protein raises insulin, too much may will kick you out of ketosis.
  • Re-calculate your macros. If you follow macros you may wish to go back to the drawing board. Your body may have changed to the points where the quantities you are tracking are no longer adequate.
  • Increase fat. You will need to play with the amount of dietary fat you consume. But often people are not having enough fat and the reduction in calories, assuming you're not getting too much carbs, may be affecting your metabolism and making you burn less calories.
  • Decrease fat. Yes, again, you will need to play with this one. You can actually get fat on Keto, if you eat FAR too much fat. Again, eat to satiety. It is possible you're also leptin resistant. Which satiety is difficult to obtain you may get better results with not eating or fasting.
  • Fasting and Intermittent fasting. Another way to kick start your weight loss is by introducing intermittent fasting (IF) or do a longer fast. Fasts actually have many benefits so I will dedicate a whole post on it later on.

Comments

  1. Really helpful post! Especially considering your plateau happened after 2 months, exactly the sake for me! I'm going to try a 3 day fast to hopefully get the weight loss going again.
    Ryan.

    ReplyDelete

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