How to Break Your Keto Plateau
How to break on through to the other side!
The ketogenic diet is a great way to lose weight and keep it off because it changes your caloric consumption in such a way that your body uses its own fat as its primary fuel source. You also maintain a caloric deficit by cutting out high calorie foods. When you first start doing keto you feel great and get the satisfaction of a quick drop in pounds thanks to losing water weight. For many people, however, there is eventually a point where you experience a break in weight loss. This can be discouraging even after you’ve lost a bunch of weight because the system into which you’ve placed your faith has unexpectedly failed you.
When you hit fat loss plateaus on keto it’s often times a sign that things went too well too quickly and unreasonable expectations were set. In reality, to meet big time weight loss goals you have to big time commit! That means paying as much attention to your diet as a spy does to their source of intelligence. You’ve got to sidle up real close and keep tabs on every movement to reach that final goal. Although, the stakes aren’t as high when you’re dieting! There are no nuclear launch codes that need to be retrieved. You can just be happy having lost a bunch of weight. Nonetheless, if you’re falling short of your goals here are some reasons that you might be hitting a weight loss plateau on keto
You’ve been deceived by lost water weight!
When you first start keto, you lose a lot of water weight quickly thanks to carbohydrate restriction. It’s very satisfying because it looks like the diet is working right away! In a way, it is, because you’re seeing biological changes right away from making dietary changes. However, the real weight loss of keto comes from persistently deriving 5% of your caloric intake from carbs. That water weight just comes back if you start eating carbs again, but if you keep carbs low then you can achieve long term weight loss.
You’re eating too many carbs to be in ketosis.
You can get by on keto just by eating plenty of fat and meat, with a little bit of green thrown in to keep yourself regular. But if you’re not actually measuring the grams of carbs you’re consuming it’s easy to go overboard, especially when you think you’ve figured out how to eat sweets on the keto diet. At the end of the day, a few too many tomatoes and too much zucchini can actually knock you out of ketosis. Those aren’t hidden carbs; they’re carbs you were ignoring!
This is also why it’s important to check your ketone levels using ketone strips, which, if you didn’t know, are strips that measure the ketone levels in your urine. By testing yourself every day you know that you’re in the state of ketosis daily. And if you fall out of keto, then you can quickly correct yourself before your slipup impacts your weight loss. Unless your strong willed, a slip up can be pretty discouraging. No reason to risk it! Plus, it’s an excuse to pee on something.
You’re eating too many calories to lose weight.
This one hurts a lot. It’s important to learn tips to eating smaller portions and to know what you need to know about intermittent fasting so that you maintain your caloric deficit. Guesstimating doesn’t cut it! You have to look at nutritional labels and even weigh food using your kitchen scale to keep track of carbs and calories. Some days you may even experience hunger longer than others and that’s just what it takes to reach specific weight loss goals. Most importantly, don’t think that just eating healthy fats and protein is enough; those foods have calories and those calories add up! Keto is not magic.
Meanwhile, if you’re eating too few calories you’re actually going to do more harm than good. You’ll slow your metabolism and may even get your body to start creating fat stores. You’re also more likely to make poor eating decision because of how hungry you are. Weight Loss is a marathon; not a sprint. Take it easy on yourself.
You’re not losing weight because you’re consuming too much MCT oil.
There's lots of reasons why you should take MCT oil. It promotes feelings of fullness by producing the hormones peptide YY and Leptin; it can help reduce lactic acid buildup, which makes exercise easier; and it's been said to improve brain function and decrease the risk of heart disease. But it’s also an oil! So if you’re not keeping track of how much MCT oil you’re actually consuming your diet might be higher in calories than you expected. MCT oil kickstarts ketone production the liver, but it can also quickly be turned into a diet ruiner if you're not keeping track of it.
You’re plateauing because you’re not exercising.
There are many reasons why you should strength train and why you should do cardio on the keto diet, but you don’t actually have to in order to lose weight. You can just patiently do keto on a 9 to 5. With enough time, the pounds will come off and you’ll achieve impressive weight loss. However, eventually you’ll hit a wall because you’ll have simply lost all the weight there is for you to lose from just reducing your daily caloric consumption. Exercise will take you to the next level.
You’re losing less weight because you’re so close to your goal.
The closer you get to your goal the more likely you are to hit weight loss plateaus. Why? Because to get that close to your goal you had to change a lot of bad habits. The effects of those changes become apparent more quickly because they were so radical. However, once you get close to your actual goal you have to tweak your tweaks, and now we’re getting into the real nitty gritty.
In fact, you may want to re-examine your goals because they may be less sensible than you think. If you look great and feel even better who cares what the scale says?! A regular scale is a poor measure of your diet’s success because it doesn’t measure your inseam, body composition, or your lean body mass. Maybe the plateau isn’t even something to be conquered; maybe it’s a signal that it’s time to maintain. And if you’ve reached that point, you’re confronting what to do after you’ve lost weight. The keto diet is the start of the journey; the keto lifestyle is the rest of the way.