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The keto diet is great for so many reasons but the best side effect by far is the rapid weight loss you can experience.
In 6 months, I was able to lose 50lbs and I have managed to maintain my weight for over 18 months.
If you have been following the Keto diet you have probably experienced the initial weight loss where the pounds were just melting off.
After being on keto for over 2 years I can tell you hand on heart that many of us have experienced a plateau at some point.
When this happened to me, I was frustrated I was doing everything correctly, eating only what I believed to be keto approved food, but when I started looking more closely, I realized I was making more mistakes then I actually thought.
Yes, there are issues that are out of our hands such as medical issues or hormonal issues that are well and truly out of our hands.
BUT there are so many things that you can do to try and break your weight loss plateau as I did.
These are the steps that worked for me to help break through the weight loss stalls that I have encountered and they may not work for you.
Some of these tips may not be reasonable for you and you can only do what’s best for your mind and body.
I love, love, love cheese and when I realized cheese was on the allowed list of foods for keto.
I wasn’t really bothered that I had to give up carbs. I am that person that when the cheeseboard comes out at Christmas, I literally swipe the lot!
Once I had been on the ketogenic diet a few weeks I noticed that every time I ate cheese or put cream in my coffee, I would become increasingly bloated.
It felt as though being on the keto diet was making me more aware of foods that seemed to be inflammatory for me.
When I cut out the cheese the bloating went down almost immediately and I started to lose weight again. I love cheese however cheese does not love me.
When I passed this particular stall, I started to add a very small amount of cheese back into my diet.
I will have a small amount of feta on my salad or a small sprinkling of cheddar on some chicken.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to add cream back into my coffee so I stick to almond and coconut milk for this purpose,
‘A small handful is about 30g’ I would say to myself while eyeballing out a handful of peanuts.
That small handful would become several small handfuls and in turn a whole packet.
Before I could stop myslef I had eaten my body weight in calories and gone over my carb allowance.
I am someone who has a real problem with nuts….I just cant stop eating them so I stay well clear and do not bring them into my house.
When I learned that certain nuts were not actually classed as a nut but a legume, I was absolutely shocked!
Peanuts and cashews are both meant to be avoided on keto, I only found out 3 months after I had started the diet.
If you do like nuts, a better alternative is brazil nuts, macadamias, pecans, almonds
Try and use a kitchen scale to see how much you are actually eating as eyeballing the amount can give you a false sense of security.
Also be mindful of roasted nuts they tend to be covered in bad oils that are not keto approved. Stick to raw nuts as much as possible.
The same goes for nut butters they are both dense in calories and carbs. It is easy to overeat as a spoon can quite easily become a few spoons.
When I started working out on keto, I really wanted to keep my electrolytes in check.
I decided to buy some dissolvable electrolyte tablets just to keep me going (this was extra from my daily electrolytes).
I was working out and I was losing inches but I wasn’t losing any weight.
It turns out that the electrolyte drink I was having was full of sweeteners. As soon as I ditched the drink my weight started dropping again.
I find that I am very sensitive to sweeteners, even the keto approved ones so this could be the reason why.
TOO MUCH PROTEIN OR NOT ENOUGH PROTEIN
You need to make sure you are eating the right amount of protein. Remember that the macro requirements on a keto diet will vary from a low carb or Atkins diet.
Too much protein will store in your muscles as glycogen, therefore your body has to use this first before it can revert to using ketones so it could stall your weight loss.
If you are not eating enough protein then your body will start breaking down muscle which is something you don’t want to do.
You want to lose fat, not muscle.
This can also affect your weight loss and stall you.
Try and stick to your keto macros for protein consumption in grams rather than percentages and this should prevent you from going over or under.
General recommendations are as follows;
If you are not exercising protein levels should be between 0.6g – 0.8g of protein per pound of lean body mass per day
If you are doing some exercise then protein should be between 0.8g – 1g per pound of lean body mass per day. This will enable muscle mass and retention.
Those who weight lift need 1.0 – 1.2g of protein per pound of lean muscle per pound of lean body mass per day.
This will encourage you to gain muscle mass.
KETO ‘FRIENDLY’ SNACKS
The recent popularity of the keto diet has meant that some food manufacturers have taken to selling packaged keto friendly snacks.
These snacks are not
If you look on the back of the wrapper you will be shocked to find the number of additives and sweeteners that are added to make these palatable, they are in my opinion keto junk food and have no place on the keto diet.
If you are finding that you need a snack why not try having some boiled eggs, chicken, cheese wrapped in spinach or even a bouillon cube to keep you going?
In time you will find that your need for snacking will disappear and this will not be something that you need to worry about.
GETTING CLOSE TO YOUR GOAL WEIGHT
As you approach your goal weight your weight loss will inevitably slow down.
I found the last 7 lbs the hardest to lose and had to really tighten up on my macros and weigh even the smallest amount of food.
Recalculate your macros and stick to them. Keep going and don’t give up and in no time the scale will start moving again.
EATING TOO MANY CALORIES
Tracking calories are vital when you are trying to get over a plateau.
Many people on a low carb diet seem to focus on keeping carbs under 50g and those on keto under 20g.
What you can quite easily do is go overboard on the calories which will cause a stall.
Watch out for things like bulletproof coffees and fat bombs which are hugely calorific.
A friend of mine was drinking 3 bulletproof coffees a day and not
NOT KEEPING ON TOP OF MY ELECTROLYTES
Not keeping on top of my electrolytes meant that I was holding water and feeling bloated.
The other thing I noticed is that I struggled to poop when I wasn’t taking my electrolytes.
Read more about Electrolytes and their importance on a ketogenic here.
WRONG TYPE OF PROTEIN SHAKE
There are so many protein shakes available on the market but how many of them are Keto approved?
We must check and double check all the ingredients to make sure that they are allowed and not full of hidden carbs, sugar
If you can try and make your own, however, if you can’t, I have found this one works for me and doesn’t stall my weight loss
NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep can really impact your ability to lose weight, n
When you don’t sleep enough cortisol levels can increase.
Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone if this hormone is high it can cause an increase in food cravings. This can cause you to crave and make unhealthy food choices that are high in sugar and carbs.
Cortisol can also impact the part of your brain that helps control hunger.
This imbalance could mean that even after you have eaten a large meal you still feel hungry.
You can help counteract this hormone imbalance by trying to get enough rest at night.
You could try the following:
Going to bed earlier
Limiting screens before bedtime
Having a bedtime routine such as brushing your teeth, having a skincare routine
Lavender essential oil can really help relax you
Reduce caffeine intake after 2 – 3 pm.
Reduce water intake so you are not woken up with the need to pass urine.
Take a bath with lavender or Epsom bath salts
Reading a book – not a screen
Keeping active during the day
Not taking any naps during the day to sleep better at night.
HIDDEN SUGAR IN MARINADES
This was a huge one for me, I really didn’t realize how much sugar was in some of the marinades that I was using.
I was using a well-known Peri Peri marinade and thought it would be safe, however, it had 12g of carbs per 100ml which was over half my daily carb allowance on just a marinade.
I then started to use dry rubs, which were just herbs and contained next to no carbs.
NOT KEEPING TRACK OF CARBS
Everyone has a different tolerance to carbs, some can lose eating 100g and others have to stay below 20g.
I only lose weight when I stick to under 20g but as I am now maintaining I can go to 50g without gaining any weight.
If you are currently eating between 50-100g of carbs try reducing it for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference.
If you are already on under 20g you need to check that you aren’t eating hidden carbs in sauces and processed products.
Keep your food choices simple, cut out anything processed and stick to whole foods.
Check that you are getting lots of nutrients from vegetables and if you have recently added berries take them out and see if it makes any difference at all.
NOT USING A KITCHEN SCALE TO MEASURE FOOD
When you actually start measuring food on the kitchen scales it is truly an eyeopener.
Not using a kitchen scale could mean that you are potentially adding an extra 500 calories a day without even realizing, especially if you aren’t measuring foods such as nuts and cheese.
After 2 years on the keto
This becomes even more of an issue the closer you get to your goal weight.
NOT RECALCULATING MY MACROS ENOUGH
As you start losing weight you need to make sure that you are recalculating your macros.
Your calorie deficit will become smaller the closer you get to goal weight; your weight loss will also get slower.
The quicker you lose the weight the more important it is for you to recalculate your macros.
It is also important to update your macros when you are maintaining your weight loss.
TOO MANY CHEAT DAYS
Having the odd cheat day will take you out of ketosis and put you back to square one.
Having a cheat day has caused me to gain 5 – 8 lbs of water weight overnight.
Okay, so it’s not fat but it is water and you will have to get back into ketosis to shed those pounds.
Taking time off for a wedding, birthday or Thanksgiving shouldn’t turn into a month of cheat days.
Even once a month will stall your weight loss.
After you have a cheat day you will have to go through the process of getting back into ketosis and enduring the keto flu, that in itself is enough to put me off cheating while on the keto diet.
Try your best to be consistent, stick to keto for 3 months without cheating and you will see a massive change both physically and mentally.
DITCH THE SWEETERNERS
Keto approved sweeteners are a godsend for most as they can help you transition away from sugary drinks.
For some, however, they can increase the cravings for sugar even more.
Unfortunately, I am one such person it wasn’t until I gave up sweeteners that I lost all cravings for anything sweet.
It felt as though they were the cause of me wanting something sweet after every meal.
When I ditched the sweeteners, I not only lost a few pounds but my headaches were gone and I was finally able to break my sugar craving habit.
INCORPORATE INTERMITENT FASTING
Fasting has been used for thousands of years by many religions, as they believe that fasting offers both health and spiritual benefits.
Recently however fasting has become more mainstream and there seem to be a few methods of how one can incorporate it into their daily lives.
There are a few approaches of how you can use Intermittent fasting (IF)
Time restricted eating: this is where you eat all your calories for the day in a certain time frame. This can vary it can be 8hrs, 6hrs and even 1hr.
Whole day fasting: this is where you fast for the whole day a few days a week.
Alternate day fasting: this is where you restrict your calorie intake to 500 calories a day for a few non-consecutive days per week.
Intermittent fasting forces your body to use up all of its available energy; glycogen in your muscles and your liver and start to using stored body fat instead.
It is an excellent way of breaking a weight loss plateau and I would highly recommend giving it a try.
NOT DOING ENOUGH EXERCISE
How much exercise are you doing if any? This could be another reason why you have hit a weight loss stall.
Find a program that works for your schedule and
You can try HIIT, yoga, weight lifting, cardio or just a brisk stroll can do wonders for
ARE YOU STRESSED?
Stress can also cause a rise in cortisol just as though you haven’t slept.
This imbalance can cause food cravings and increase fat storage which will
It is important that If you are stressed that you commit to some level of self-care, I find that yoga and mediation is an excellent way of de stressing.
I also found that I was stressed out about social events and how I would manage them being on a keto diet.
So in the early days I decided that it would be better not to go and take a yoga class instead.
You may find that once your stress reduces that your weight loss will too!
Although getting through a genuine plateau is difficult, one needs to look carefully at;
What you are eating in terms of calories and carbs?
Are you exercising?
Have you tried intermittent fasting?
Are you over consuming sweeteners?
If you have looked at the above and are still not losing weight it may be an idea to take measurements and see if you are losing inches.
At one point I was looking extremely lean and people had begun to comment I hadn’t noticed because the scale was showing the same weight.
What had happened was that I had lost inches because I was lifting heavy weights 3x a week.
Don’t give up, I know it’s easy to reach for some naughty food but stick with it the weight will come off you just need to be patient.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR KETO SUCCESS
WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT ON KETO, BUT DON’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN!
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KETO DIET: THE BASICS
KETOSIS: TIPS FOR STAYING IN KETOSIS
MACROS: A MICRO LOOK AT MACRONUTRIENTS
KETO FLU: BEATING IT IN A HEALTHY WAY
INTERMITTENT FASTING: TIPS FOR SUCCESS
KETO AND FRIENDS: DEALING WITH SOCIAL PRESSURES
THREE BONUS BOOKS:
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