You’ve ditched the fries and soda and have picked up bacon and spring water instead, but the scale is standing still—no weight loss—and the following may be the reasons why.
Eating loads of healthy fat is wise on a ketogenic diet, but weight loss still holds to particular dynamics: a caloric deficit is necessary to release body fat.
Also, sleep deprivation and chronic stress can contribute to weight-loss stalls despite keeping your caloric intake in check.
Fortunately, there are several reasonable steps to take to break through a weight-loss stall on a ketogenic diet, and we will share some of those essential tips below.
#1 - Be More Active
Get moving, and choose a physical activity you enjoy to burn extra calories throughout the week to contribute to the calorie deficit needed to cause weight loss.
Low-impact and steady-state cardio is excellent to promote weight loss. Go for long walks, consider pilates, or try yoga to move more without intense impact on the joints.
Also, these are some exercise options of varying intensity to consider to break through a weight-loss stall on keto:
- Power walking
- HIIT (high-intensity interval training)
Whichever mode of activity you choose, the key is to get moving. Find something you genuinely enjoy, so you'll stick to it for the long haul, and get moving.
#2 - Hidden Calories in Beverages
Don't drink your calories. While water is an ideal beverage on a ketogenic diet, juice and soda can contain loads of calories and sugar that can cause a weight-loss stall.
Stick to plain water, sugar-free seltzer water, or soda sweetened with stevia like Zevia, to prevent spiking your blood sugar and compromising ketosis.
Also, make water your primary beverage of choice, especially as the body releases higher levels of water, as well as vitamins and minerals, when in ketosis.
Plus, drinking lots of water helps to flush out the system and keeps skin supple and vibrant. Also, consuming a lot of water will help you feel full and help prevent overeating while becoming fat-adapted—a win-win.
#3 - Eat Fewer Carbs
The number of carbs one person can eat and release fat may differ from someone else's carb threshold. Consider reducing your carb intake and replacing those carbs with healthy fats to see if that results in weight loss.
Although you may be eating a limited amount of calories, which should result in weight loss, eating more carbs than your body can tolerate can prevent fat loss.
If the number on the scale is increasing, or at a standstill, too many carbs may be the issue. Consider capping total carbs to 25 grams per day and make sure the carbs you eat are low-glycemic until you see the fat-loss you desire.
Some may opt to even do an egg fast for a few days to shock the body into deeper levels of ketosis quickly. We've composed a post dedicated to detailing how to do an egg fast or other fat fasts. Read the full article to learn about helpful fasting techniques for weight loss, here.
Consider dropping carbs as low as possible, for a week or so, and see if that gets the scale moving in the right direction. Once you see the pounds dropping again, you may be able to increase your carb intake slightly to determine your personal carb ceiling.
#4 - Get More Sleep
Sleep is essential to recharge and to keep the mind sharp, but it's also needed to aid in fat loss. Most people need about eight hours of sleep to function well and keep stress hormones regulated, which is vital for weight loss.
A lesser-known effect of a lack of sleep is a reduced rate of weight loss, despite your caloric intake remaining the same—a possibly unforeseen setback.
Skimping on sleep can lead to fewer trips to the gym because you're too tired and may prompt more trips through the drive-thru because you're too exhausted to make a healthy home-cooked meal—all of which can lead to weight gain.
Plus, when tired, our inhibitions go down, and we may reach for that extra slice of cake we don't need as our reward centers ramp up. Also, with our guard down, late-night snacking may increase along with a desire to reach for high-carb snacks.
Our sleepy brain is kind of naughty, all it wants is junky carbs, and a lack of quality rest may lead to late-night chip binges and eating other high-carb foods that we know will derail our keto efforts.
#5 - Eat Less Often
Some decide to eat one meal a day (OMAD) or just a couple times a day on keto, and within a restricted time window to encourage fat loss. Intermittent fasting is a great tool to facilitate weight loss and something to consider when on a ketogenic diet.
Consider eating a meal filled with loads of healthy fats around noon, while turning your plate down the night before around 7 p.m. to give your digestive system time to rest.
Also, once fat-adapted, your appetite will reduce, and you won't want to eat as much or as often, making fasting an easy job. Fortunately, eating fewer meals, but doing so in a restricted window can aid in promoting accelerated fat loss.
#6 - Eat More Protein
Although eating a moderate level of protein is advised on keto, eating slightly more protein and fewer carbs may help with releasing body fat.
Chicken, grass-fed beef, or even a spirulina smoothie, can help keep protein intake in a beneficial range, which can help your body build, repair, or maintain lean muscle mass.
Consider adding some additional steak to your plate, or sear up a little extra fish, topped with grass-fed butter, to keep protein levels in an ideal range while maintaining a healthy fat intake high.
#7 - Reduce Your Stress
Stress is detrimental to our health on so many levels. In addition to wearing our immune system down and making us more susceptible to a variety of diseases, added stress in our life also releases fat-storing hormones like cortisol, which makes weight loss more challenging.
Eliminate stress in your life wherever possible, consider taking up meditation, or exercising more often, to keep stress levels under control.
Also, surround yourself with as many loving and like-minded people as possible and distance yourself from those who heighten your stress levels; love them from afar.
Monitoring caloric intake, activity levels, and stress, along with possibly reducing carb intake, can all work together to promote weight loss on a ketogenic diet.
Go for regular brisk walks, include delicious and fatty protein into your meal plan, and do your best to eliminate stress along with getting lots of sleep at night, and you’ll prime your body to drop excess weight.
Weight loss is about more than calories in and calories out. Our bodies hold onto fat when in a state of chronic stress or suffering from sleep deprivation, so beware and take steps to ensure you're well-balanced.
Remember, food is a large part of our weight-loss success, but our lifestyle choices and our environment play a vital role in the process as well. Mind your macros and micros, and be sure to rest and avoid chronic stress to help keep those pounds melting away on keto with ease.
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