Weight loss is one of the most common goals for those on a ketogenic diet. Keto is a low carb diet that drops your daily intake of carbs down to 20 or 50 grams per day. This forces your body to burn fat as opposed to glucose, a process known as ketosis. However, in order to lose weight and gain all of the additional benefits keto provides, you need to implement it correctly. Some mistakes can actually hinder your weight loss.
How Much Weight Can You Lose on Keto
If you just go by before and after pictures, you might expect keto to result in massive weight loss in record speed. However, that’s not typically the case, nor is it healthy. Instead, losing weight on keto depends on your body composition, your individual health situation, and so much more. Taking these factors into consideration, a safe average loss is about one to two pounds per week. If you’re losing this amount on average, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you’ve been stalled for a week or more, you might want to consider the below mistakes and make adjustments in order to meet your weight loss goals.
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Top 10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight on Keto
Following the keto diet typically results in a steady weight loss of about one to two pounds per week. If you’re not seeing these results, you might be making one of these mistakes:
When trying to lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit — even on keto. Many keto-friendly foods are high in calories, such as avocados, olive oil, full-fat dairy, and nuts. It’s important for you to track your calories to make sure you’re not eating more than you should to maintain a calorie deficit.
On the other hand, you might not be eating enough to support your caloric needs. One of the main benefits of keto is that it reduces your appetite, but sometimes it can take it away too drastically. This can cause your body to go into starvation mode, which slows down your metabolism and your weight loss.
You might think you’ve cut down on your carbs, but you might still be eating enough carbs for the body to produce energy from glucose. If that’s the case, you haven’t actually entered ketosis. You may want to purchase a home testing kit that checks for the presence of ketones in your body.
Keto is often confused as being high in protein, but actually, your diet should only consist of about 20% protein. Eating too much protein can actually kick you out of ketosis due to the way it’s metabolized in the body. Instead, calculate your protein needs and be sure to stick to it.
Cortisol spikes when you’re stressed out, causing you to hold onto fat and retain water. Be sure to reduce your stress levels by prioritizing sleep, making healthy food choices, and choosing stress-relieving activities, such as mediation, mindfulness, and spending time in nature.
Exercising too much can actually backfire on your weight loss goals. Over-exercising, especially with aerobic exercise, can create systemic inflammation as well as oxidative stress that can slow down weight loss.
People who don’t drink enough water become dehydrated, which can actually cause you to be hungrier. You should be drinking about half a gallon of water a day, or more if you’re physically active.
Sleep deprivation can hamper your weight loss in a number of ways, including increasing the hunger hormone, ghrelin, impairing insulin function, and elevating cortisol, which can block fat loss. Be sure to get your eight hours of sleep each night.
Plenty of drinks are allowable on keto, but drinking alcohol may slow weight loss for some. Instead, you should stick to a maximum of one drink a day for women and two drinks for men, and not every day.
If you’re eating too many carbs, you might not reach ketosis at all. Instead, you want to stay between 30 to 50 grams of net carbs per day. You also want to be sure to choose more nutrient-rich carbohydrates, such as leafy greens.
If you’re not losing weight on keto, don’t worry. You likely just have to dial in one or more of these factors and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your weight loss goals.