Keto 101

What can slow my progress with weight loss when on Keto?

Everyone who starts a diet wants immediate results no matter how unrealistic that is. You just want your weight gain and its discomforting consequences to disappear.

But what if you are responsible for your slow weight loss?  

If you are following the Keto diet, you know it’s an exact approach. Fats can make you fat if you don’t play by the rules of Keto.

When you first begin the diet, that won’t be the case, initially removing carbs is going to cause a big drop in weight (perhaps 5lbs in a week or more). The reduction of the insulin your body manufactures acts as a diuretic eliminating some water weight.  Both carbs and insulin cause you to retain water.

You could be peeling off the pounds and all of a sudden you plateau and your weight loss slows to a crawl. You’ve probably found some amazing recipes from the online community of Keto cooks.

Casseroles, desserts, and treats that are all keto… all legal. Once upon a time, “treats” were special, not an everyday occurrence…

Fats will have an effect if you aren’t in ketosis.  What will kick you out of ketosis?

The little carbs.

The little carbs that add up unnoticed and pop you out of ketosis and fat-burning mode.  Where do the sneaky little carbs hide?

In sweeteners, in almond milk, almond Flour…in sugar-free gum…places like that.  Of course, they are in your veggies, and you need to count them because you are dealing with concentrated fats.

Because it’s still high fat, count the carbs…

Carbs and protein have 4 calories per gram and fats have 9 calories. Fats are double the calories. Thus, when you go low fat you are reducing calories considerably, which is the thinking behind “low fat” calories in, regular calories out. Remember, you are increasing your fat consumption to turn those fats into your primary source of fuel. You have to make it to Ketosis to burn the fat, otherwise, you’re eating and storing fat.

This is why following the rules is crucial.

What exactly is a stall? It’s not a stall if you “only” lose one pound in a week, even if you know someone else who has lost ten.  It’s not a stall if you plateau for a week. It’s not a stall if your weight fluctuates up and down over the course of a few weeks, either. In fact, it’s not a stall if the scale stays put for a few weeks but your pants are getting looser.

In short, if it’s been less than 6-8 weeks, and/or your measurements are going down, it’s not a stall, and you’ve got to stop worrying.

Now, if you haven’t seen any changes on the scale or tape measure for several weeks, you’re stalled, and, unfortunately, it’s probably because you’re doing something wrong. There are two primary suspects for stalls: carbs and calories.

Huge Mistake #1: Not keeping track of carbs and calories.

Things you may have considered “free” (and indeed are considered “free” in other ways of eating) can be veritable carb bombs. A tablespoon of cinnamon has 2.1 net carbs, so if you’re dumping it liberally in your coffee, it could be part of what is stalling you. Other sneaky sources of carbs include dairy (everything but ghee has a small amount of carbohydrate in it), cured meat, and condiments like hot sauce.

If you’ve been close to your 20 grams already, these not-actually-zero-carbohydrate foods could very well be putting you well over your limit. Don’t play chicken with carbs.

Huge Mistake #2: Not using a kitchen scale to measure food.

Speaking of nice, round numbers, are you absolutely, totally sure that your calories are on point? If you’re not measuring your food, they’re not. If you’re measuring by volume or quantity, they’re not.

If you are picking out the biggest strawberries and thinking that you’re beating the system, it’s reality check time: there are more calories (and carbs) in the strawberries that are the size of a golf ball than in those that are half that size. Stop pretending that there aren’t. If you’re shaking the measuring cup to settle the almonds so you can fit more in, you’re fooling yourself.  If you eyeball things, measure by volume, or use any other subjective way of measuring your consumption, you may very well be taking in a lot more than you think.

Quickest fix? Use a solid keto calculator (Ketogains) to recalculate your macros for your new weight. Your caloric needs change with your weight and body composition. When you’ve lost weight, you’ll need fewer calories. If you are still eating for the old you, you might be overdoing it.

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