Many people follow the keto diet to lose weight and improve overall health. However, in order to lose weight on keto, you need to follow the diet correctly.
The keto diet restricts carb intake to about 20-50 grams a day. When your body does not have enough stored carbs to use for fuel, it enters a state of ketosis, in which fat is burned for energy instead.
Here are 8 potential reasons you may not be losing weight on keto.
8 ways you could be doing keto wrong
1. Eating too many carbs
The main reason why many people find that they are not losing weight with keto is that they are eating too many carbs. In order to achieve ketosis, you need to drastically cut back on your carb consumption.
However, carbs are tricky and can be hidden in vegetables, sauces, and dressings. In order to keep track of your carb intake, you can use a macronutrient tracker that helps you track your net carbs (net carbohydrates = total carbs - fiber - sugar alcohols).
2. Eating too many calories
The ratio of calories consumed from food to calories burned during active and passive metabolic activities is called an energy balance. In order to lose weight, you should aim to eat fewer calories than you burn to keep a continuous negative energy balance.
On a keto diet, this often occurs naturally, but not always. It is still possible to overeat while following a low-carb, high-fat diet. For example, half a cup of almonds contains more than 400 calories.
You can track your calorie intake by using fitness trackers to make sure your overall calorie consumption is within range for ideal weight loss.
3. Eating too much protein
When on a low-carb diet like keto, it can be easy to eat too much protein. Unlike other low-carb diets, the keto diet is moderate-protein and most of the calories come from fat. Protein should make up less than 35% of your diet on keto.
Because your body tends to break down excess protein into amino acids and turn them into sugar, eating too many high-protein foods can disrupt ketosis.
4. Snacking too often
When you fast between meals, your body activates the metabolic process that produces ketones and burns fat. While this doesn’t mean that you have to adhere to a strict fasting schedule, snacking too often between meals can cause your weight loss to plateau.
5. Eating too many sugar alcohols
Sugar alcohols are an ideal choice for the ketogenic diet, since they provide sweetness without increasing your net carbohydrate intake. However, not every sugar alcohol is the same.
Maltitol is a sugar alcohol that is not suitable for keto diet. Despite having a low glycemic index, maltitol still has an impact on blood sugar levels, which can prevent ketosis.
6. Not exercising enough
Getting enough physical exercise is crucial to weight loss when on a keto diet. You still need to burn more calories than you consume in order to shed fat.
Regular exercise benefits your health in other ways. It helps you build muscle and boosts your metabolism, as well as protects you from chronic disease.
7. Not managing stress
Your ability to lose weight on keto could be hindered by a high-stress lifestyle. Stress can alter hormone levels, which can result in weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
Cortisol is an adrenal hormone that is secreted when you are under stress. Excess cortisol can increase insulin and blood sugar levels while encouraging insulin resistance, neither of which will aid in fat burning.
8. Not getting enough sleep
Your circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle of wakefulness and sleep, plays a vital role when it comes to controlling body weight. Insufficient sleep produces ghrelin, the hormone that makes you hungry, and it also inhibits insulin function and elevates stress hormones in the body.
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Effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting and Time-Restricted Feeding Compared to Continuous Energy Restriction for Weight Loss. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836017/
Effects of Chronic Social Stress on Obesity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428710/
A single night of sleep deprivation increases ghrelin levels and feelings of hunger in normal-weight healthy men. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18564298/
Sleep Restriction for 1 Week Reduces Insulin Sensitivity in Healthy Men. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2927933/
Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next evening. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9415946/
The Importance of Energy Balance. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6003580/
No observable differences in glycemic response to maltitol in human subjects from 3 ethnically diverse groups. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21481716/
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