When you first adopt the ketogenic diet, significant weight loss usually occurs within the first week. But don’t get too excited...
This is mostly water weight loss that gets flushed out after removing carbohydrates from your diet. While keto is known as one of the most effective weight loss strategies, some people may find themselves hitting a plateau.
Don’t worry, in this Keto Beginners Series we’re going to help you blast through any keto weight loss plateaus you may be having.
Why You’re Experiencing a Weight Loss Plateau
There are many factors that must be considered when it comes to weight loss.
In general, you will lose weight when you eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight.
For example, if your body needs 2,000 calories to keep your current weight, eating 1,900 calories will help you slowly but surely drop fat. This is known as being in a “calorie deficit”.
Additionally, your body’s metabolism and hormonal function (or lack thereof) significantly affects your ability to lose weight. Fortunately, the ketogenic diet does a great job in regulating these hormones to help you achieve a lean physique.
Exercising and moving more frequently will also help you overcome your weight loss plateau because you’ll burn off more calories, allowing you to stay in a caloric deficit.
How to Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau
These 6 tips will help you restore proper hormone function, eat less calories, and become an efficient fat-burner:
#1. Track Your Calories
The most accurate and effective way to know how much you’re supposed to eat to start losing weight is by counting your calories. This helps you understand how much you should be eating to stay at a caloric deficit.
If you are a beginner to tracking calories, using a calorie counting app like Carb Manager will help you throughout the entire process.
All you have to do is weigh your food, record it on the app, and it’ll take care of the rest.
#2. Utilize Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a nutrient timing strategy where you restrict yourself from having food for a specific time period followed by a shorter “eating window”
The most common approach is the 16:8 fasting method. With this strategy, you will fast for 16 hours then allow yourself an 8 hours to eat. A great way to get used to IF is by simply skipping breakfast and having your first meal during lunch time.
#3. Incorporate Cardio and Weight Lifting Exercises
Both low-intensity steady state cardio and compound lifts like squat, bench, deadlift, rows, and presses are great for overcoming weight loss plateaus.
When you lift weights, you’re improving your metabolism and insulin sensitivity well after your workout session. This means you’ll burn more calories even while resting after an intense lifting workout.
#4. Be Mindful of Hidden Carbohydrates
When you’re first starting out with keto, you must be extremely careful with what you eat. There are hidden carbs in common foods and condiments.
For example, watch out for certain salad dressings that contain sugar. Many condiments like ketchup also contain carbohydrates where an extra two tablespoons can kick you out of ketosis.
Make sure you check the nutrition label for any packaged food products you’re eating.
#5. More Protein is Better Than Less
Eating too little protein can cause a weight loss stall because it messes up your hormones and makes you hungrier.
Many keto-ers believe that too much protein can be bad for people on the ketogenic diet because gluconeogenesis can kick you out of ketosis since it fuels your body with glucose.
This has been debunked and higher protein intake is a much healthier approach, especially when it comes to overcoming weight loss plateaus.
#6. Keep Fat Intake High
If you’re following the ketogenic diet correctly, fat intake should make up at least 60% of your total calories. When you don’t eat enough healthy fats, it’s much easier to end up having multiple cheat days and binging on junk food.
Additionally, high fat intake (from healthy sources) will help regulate your hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin. When you’re in ketosis, many people find themselves able to go the whole day without getting hungry or even thinking about food.
Don’t Get Discouraged by Weight Loss Plateaus!
Everyone who begins their weight loss journey will have some hurdles along the way, even those who follow the ketogenic diet.
While sheer will can only get you so far, it’s important to take a step back and look at your current exercise schedule, nutrition regimen, and lifestyle.
If you’ve hit a weight loss plateau on keto, following the tips above will help you overcome it in no time!
Carb Manager is the easiest and most powerful way to count carbs and live the low carb life. In this blog, we've invited experts on LCHF to contribute their views on everything low carb.