The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet designed to move your body into the metabolic state of ketosis, wherein the body burns stored fat rather than blood sugar for fuel.
The keto diet is thought an effective tool for weight loss as it reduces body fat.
Users of the ketogenic diet may sometimes find that they have plateaued, have stopped losing weight, or have even noticed weight gain while seemingly following the rules of the diet.
If you have found this, you may be wondering what you’re doing wrong, and this is where we can help.
In this article, we’re going to be covering the reasons you may have stopped losing weight on the keto diet, including:
- You may be exceeding your caloric needs
- You may be eating too many carbs
- You may be overeating protein
- You may be overeating dairy
- You may not be eating enough nutrient-dense keto foods
- Not enough fiber
- Not enough electrolytes
- You may be overeating artificial sugar
- Too many snacks and treats
- You may be drinking too much alcohol
- You may not be getting enough exercise
- You may be too stressed
- You may not be getting enough sleep
- You may have an underlying health condition
- Are your weight loss expectations realistic?
- Other ways to support your keto weight loss efforts
and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!
You May Be Exceeding Your Caloric Needs
A calorie deficit is essential for weight loss. This means you need to burn off more calories than you take in to ensure you don’t gain weight from excess calories.
Though you may be controlling your carbohydrate intake on the keto diet, you may not be paying much attention to your calorie intake and you could be inadvertently eating extra calories each day.
If you suspect you may be eating too many calories, there are a few things you can do. You could begin by tracking your daily calorie intake to see where you may be consuming too much.
You may also want to try reducing your portion sizes at meals, limiting snacks between meals, and planning meals ahead of time if you have found that you are not losing weight on keto.
You May Be Eating Too Many Carbs
For you to lose weight on the keto diet, it is essential that you stay under the recommended 40 g carbohydrate limit each day. This is to ensure that the body remains in a state of ketosis and you continue to lose fat.
If you eat too many carbohydrates, your body will begin burning glucose for fuel again, slowing down your weight loss.
Following a healthy low-carb diet can be made simpler by tracking your carb intake and other macros and making sure you aren’t eating too many carbohydrates each day.
You should also ensure that you read the labels of food products, particularly processed foods, to ensure you’re not eating carbs without realizing it.
You May Be Overeating Protein
The ketogenic diet is considered a high-fat, moderate-protein diet. This means you need to eat protein in moderation while following the diet and remain under the 75 g recommended daily limit.
If you are eating too much protein, your body will begin breaking down the amino acids in the protein and converting them to glucose. This will slow ketosis and stop you from losing fat.
You will need to strike a balance with your protein intake though to ensure that you still maintain muscle mass while on the keto diet.
To better control your protein intake you should try tracking your macros to ensure you’re eating the right amount of each and create balanced meal plans ahead of time so that you know what you’re eating and when.
You May Be Overeating Dairy
While dairy products can be a great source of fat and therefore good for your increased fat intake on the ketogenic diet, you need to be wary of how much dairy you are eating.
Dairy products, while offering both fat and protein, can also be high in carbs due to the presence of lactose. Low-fat dairy products in particular are known for their high carbohydrate content.
It is important on the keto diet to ensure you read product labels thoroughly so that you don’t accidentally move out of ketosis by eating too many carbohydrates in the form of dairy.
When choosing dairy on the keto diet, ensure you choose full-fat dairy products or opt for keto-friendly dairy alternatives, like unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened soya milk.
You May Not Be Eating Enough Nutrient-Dense Keto Foods
To lose weight on the keto diet, you need to ensure that you are eating nutrient-dense keto-friendly foods.
Heavily processed foods tend to be calorie-dense, nutrient-poor, and high in net carbs so should be avoided as much as possible. In addition, it is difficult to know the true carbohydrate value of food eaten in restaurants, and so eating out should be reduced too.
To continue losing weight on keto you need to make sure you’re eating foods that have a high number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, like non-starchy vegetables.
The best way to ensure you’re getting all of the nutrition you need for healthy weight loss and not eating too many processed foods is to use a meal plan, prepare meals in advance, and make your meals from scratch. This way, you know exactly what is going into your food.
If you struggle with meal planning, you could consider a meal delivery service too.
Not Enough Fiber
Fiber is an essential macronutrient in the keto diet. It promotes gut health and good digestion. It can also make you feel fuller.
Good sources of fiber in the keto diet include avocados, chia seeds, almonds, flaxseeds, collard greens, and cauliflower.
You may also want to consider a fiber supplement to increase your daily intake of fiber.
DoFasting’s Essential Fiber Complex Box is a great source of dietary fiber that can be used to improve gut health.
This supplement cleanses the intestinal tract, reduces bloating and digestion problems, and nourishes healthy gut bacteria as well as keeping hunger pangs at bay and promoting weight loss.
The powder can be mixed with water and drank once a day to increase your fiber intake.
and discover how much weight you can lose with DoFasting!
Not Enough Electrolytes
An electrolyte is an essential mineral that is found in blood, sweat, and urine. Electrolytes have either positive or negative ions that are used in the metabolic process.
Key electrolytes in the body are sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and bicarbonate. These minerals are used in processes throughout the body including nerve and muscle function and keeping you hydrated.
Electrolytes are important when on the keto diet because the reduced insulin levels that occur when eating keto mean that key electrolytes may be expelled by the kidneys.
Keto-friendly foods which are rich in electrolytes include almonds, brazil nuts, chia seeds, salmon, tuna, spinach, swiss chard, mushrooms, and dark chocolate. Be aware that some of these foods need to be consumed in moderation for them to be keto.
You May Be Overeating Artificial Sugar
Though many artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols have a glycemic index of 0, lots of products mix these sweeteners with bulking agents, like maltodextrin and dextrose, which can have an effect on blood sugar levels and increase your carbohydrate intake.
A spike in blood glucose levels could prevent a person from going into ketosis and burning fat, stopping them from being able to lose weight on the keto diet.
There are a number of keto-friendly sweeteners that will not spike blood sugar levels that you can use, including stevia, monk fruit, and xylitol, but you need to check the product packaging for any hidden carbohydrates.
Too Many Snacks and Treats
Snacking and treating yourself too often can put you at risk of exceeding your carbohydrate limit for the day which can result in weight gain.
If you have found that you are having snacks too often there are a few things you can do to change this. You could make sure you drink enough water and add more protein and fats to meals, both of which will make you feel fuller.
You could also try removing snacks from your home to stop temptation and setting out a meal plan so that you know what you’re eating and when.
You May Be Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages contain lots of carbohydrates and so are not suitable for the low-carb keto diet. If you want to continue to lose weight, you will need to limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Some keto-friendly alcoholic beverages with low net carbs include spirits, like whiskey and gin, drunk straight, or with a low-carb mixer.
Many popular cocktails are not keto-friendly due to their high carb content. For instance, a margarita has 13 g of carbohydrates per serving and a blood mary has 10 g. It is best to avoid this kind of alcoholic beverage.
You May Not Be Getting Enough Exercise
A calorie deficit is essential for weight loss. This means you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. Exercise helps with burning calories, creating a bigger calorie deficit. Cardiovascular exercise is also thought to speed up metabolism.
These benefits of exercise mean it is a good tool for weight and fat loss.
For those on the keto diet plan, exercise can further support weight loss by using up available glucose stores and helping you to move into the state of ketosis quicker.
Exercising more regularly can promote weight loss on the keto diet. Exercises you could try include HIIT routines, calisthenics (exercises where you use your body weight rather than machinery or free weights), weight lifting, and activities like running, cycling, and swimming.
You May Be Too Stressed
Chronic stress causes the body to produce excessive amounts of the hormone cortisol which stimulates the body to store fat. It can also lead to overeating and is detrimental to weight loss efforts.
If you are feeling stressed there are a few relaxation techniques you could try. You could begin by practicing mindfulness and grounding techniques to help you live more in the moment.
You may also want to try meditating in the mornings to clear your mind and practicing yoga to concentrate on your breath and move the body each day.
You May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep
Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Lack of adequate sleep can cause the body to overproduce the stress hormone cortisol, the hunger hormone ghrelin, and the satiety hormone leptin.
These hormones make you more prone to overeating, craving the wrong kinds of food, and stimulating the body to store fat. This makes it much more difficult to lose weight.
If you are struggling to sleep, you could try a few at-home remedies like drinking chamomile tea and diffusing lavender essential oil before bed. You could also ensure you stop looking at screens a few hours before bed.
If your sleeping issues are significantly affecting your day-to-day life, it may be time to speak with a doctor to rule out medical conditions.
You May Have an Underlying Medical Condition
Sometimes, a person can do everything right and still not lose weight. If you have tried everything and are still not seeing any weight loss on the keto diet, you may need to speak with a doctor to determine if you have an underlying health condition.
Conditions that commonly make weight loss difficult include hypothyroidism, PCOS, and Cushing’s syndrome. These kinds of diseases tend to relate to hormone production and require medical attention for an official diagnosis.
Are Your Weight Loss Expectations Realistic?
Weight loss varies from person to person. It is important not to put too much pressure on yourself or expect to see drastic changes in a short period of time.
On the keto diet and other low-carb diets, it is common to see a weekly weight loss of around 1 – 2 pounds. This is a healthy amount of weight to lose each week and exceeding this amount can be detrimental to health.
If you are not seeing the progress you would like on the scales, why not use other methods to track progress, like taking your measurements, trying on old clothes, or taking progress pictures.
It is very normal to fluctuate in your weight loss and some weeks you may see a weight loss plateau. Don’t let this deter you!
Other Ways to Support Your Keto Weight Loss Efforts
If you have found that the ketogenic diet is not enough on its own, you may be looking for other ways to help your body to burn body fat and promote weight loss.
Below we have summarized a few ways you can reduce your weight and body fat percentage alongside the ketogenic diet.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a very popular dieting method that involves fasting for long periods of time and restricting your eating hours. It promotes weight loss by reducing your caloric intake and inducing ketosis, the state in which the body burns fat for fuel.
There are many different methods of intermittent fasting and all are thought to induce healthy weight loss. To begin with, you should try out a less challenging form of intermittent fasting, like the 12-hour fast.
The 12:12 fasting method involves fasting for twelve hours, usually from 7 pm to 7 am, and restricting your eating time to 12 hours. Once you feel comfortable with this method, you could try out more challenging methods like 14:10, 18:6, or the Warrior Diet.
If you’re thinking of trying intermittent fasting alongside the keto diet, the DoFasting app can offer you thousands of recipes catered to your specific needs and help you to track your weight loss progress.
Make Sure You’re Eating Healthy Fats
While the ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet, you do need to be careful of the kind of fats you’re consuming.
It is essential that you eat healthy fats, like monounsaturated fats and some polyunsaturated fats, while avoiding trans fats found in many refined foods.
Good places to find these good fats include grass-fed beef, wild-caught fatty fish, lamb, olive oil, and some nuts.
Use Keto Supplements
Keto supplements help your body to move into the fat-burning state of ketosis more quickly and are very popular among keto dieters.
Popular keto supplements include MCT oil and supplements containing exogenous ketones – both of which provide your body with an extra supply of ketones, shifting your body into ketosis and helping it burn fat more quickly.
There are many reasons you’re not losing weight on the ketogenic diet. These reasons range from eating more carbs than you should to having an increased appetite due to lack of sleep to eating the wrong kinds of dairy.
If you have plateaued in your weight loss, try not to be too disheartened and take a look at this list to see if you can find where you’re going wrong.