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8 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight On Keto

Published January 14, 2019 (Revised: July 27, 2019)
<article> <section> <p>So you’ve calculated your macros, tossed out all the carbs in your pantry, and you’ve been eating tons of fats that you used to cut out instead of eating, but you’re still not losing weight. How is that possible? Is keto just another fake diet trend that will never work for you?</p> <p>No! </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="feet-on-scale"> </picture> <p>If you’ve been trying to shed pounds on a careful keto plan like our 14-day diet and haven’t seen the scale budge, there are very specific reasons why you’re not losing weight on keto.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Reason #1: You’re not actually in ketosis</header> <p>You can tell if you’re in ketosis using ketone strips; they’re easily found at any pharmacy. But if you use the strips only to find that you’re not in ketosis yet, you may need to take another look at your macros and what you’re eating. We’ll break down more specific reasons this could happen to you later, but if you aren’t adhering to the right macros for your body, you will find ketosis and weight loss elusive.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Reason #2: Too many sneaky carbs</header> <p>Maybe ketosis eludes you because extra carbs and sugars are sneaking into the foods you eat without you knowing. Eating out can often provide the wiggle room on your plate for those extra carbs to hide. </p> <p>Any food that is fried, for example, has most likely been slathered in a batter containing flour, a.k.a. carbs. Complex carbs are usually added to a dish to make something thicker or stickier, whether it be breadcrumbs in meatballs to hold the meat together or flour in a sauce to keep it from running all over your plate. Unless the restaurant is health-minded, the two goals they have when creating and serving every dish is taste and presentation. They want their customers to be happy with their meal. But keto dieters, putting fats first and carbs last, are not the average customer. </p> <p>Sauces, dressings, and certain food preparations can add excess sugar to your meal as well, all without your knowledge. When restaurants list the mixings of a dish, they rarely mention all of the ingredients in the dressing or sauce. And those that do aren’t always upfront about the sweetener they use. Simple syrup, for instance, is a common ingredient found in cocktails and professionally prepared Asian cuisines. It is made out of pure white sugar and water. A few squirts of any sweetener that isn’t <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">keto-friendly</a> can secretly add tons of grams of carbs to your plate, kicking you out of ketosis before your body gets a chance to settle in. If you rely heavily on take-out and restaurants to feed you, your keto diet might be sabotaged by these sneaky carbs. </p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Reason #3: The wrong kinds of dietary fat</header> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="olive-oil-in-pitcher"> </picture> <p>The keto diet calls for copious amounts of healthy fats to provide ketones for metabolic processes. And we specifically say <i>healthy fats</i> because not all fats are created equal.</p> <p>Healthy fats are also known as <i>saturated fats</i> and the general rule of thumb is that healthy fats are easy to make, as in pressing olives to make olive oil. Unhealthy fats, on the other hand, called <i>hydrogenated fats</i>, are hard to make. For example, to make canola oil you need several chemical processes that could not be reproduced without heavy equipment and a lot of science.</p> <p>Another contrast between healthy fats and unhealthy fats is that healthy fats are anti-inflammatory and unhealthy fats trigger inflammation in the body. When the body undergoes an inflammatory response it is because it feels under attack. And a body that is under all the stress of fighting off an attack is not a body that will happily drop weight.</p> <p>The solution here is simple: watch out for hydrogenated fats when you eat out and swap your pantry’s vegetable oils for saturated fats. Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and animal lard make for great cooking substitutes. They won’t change your time in the kitchen, and you’ll find that your body is happy to receive them.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Reason #4: Your calorie counts aren’t right for your body</header> <p>The idea that burning more calories than you consume used to rule the weight loss world. But now science argues that the human body is far too complex for simple arithmetic to change a person’s BMI<sup>1</sup>. The weight loss world has since switched to favor ketosis, but just because this equation was debunked doesn’t mean that calories don’t play a part in a person’s weight loss or gain. </p> <p>When we eat too few calories, our metabolism shuts down extraneous processes to allow for only the essential ones that we need to survive. It’s a coping mechanism we developed to live through famines and long winters. When this bare necessity survival mode is activated, we don’t burn fat at the rate we would expect to see on a ketosis diet; in fact, we might not burn fat at all but instead gain weight as our bodies try to store more fat to endure the low-calorie season ahead of us.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="plate-with-sad-face"> </picture> <p>If you entered into the keto diet with the typical weight loss mentality of “starve and restrict,” you might want to take a look into just how many calories you are consuming in a day. The amount of calories you need to eat to stay out of this desperate state differs depending on multiple factors, but a forty-five-year-old woman weighing 250 pounds at five-foot-five needs to eat 1780 calories a day to have enough energy to simply exist<sup>2</sup>. You can find calorie calculators online to help you figure out how many calories a day you should be aiming for to help your body lose weight on keto. This basal metabolic state is detrimental to a healthy weight loss plan, but it is not the only way to slow your metabolism to a crawl.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Reason #5: Not enough nutrients</header> <p>Just as eating too few calories can put your metabolism into a basal survival state, not getting enough nutrients will also flip this metabolic switch. In fact, a study on obesity found that the cause of the population’s high obesity rate did not lie in high calorie consumption, but instead in malnutrition<sup>3</sup>. If you’re not losing weight on keto and you avoid fresh whole foods, this may be where your diet is slipping through the cracks. </p> <p>When we don’t get enough nutrients, our bodies assume that we are in the same sort of environment that would cause us to eat too few calories: famine. To thrive and work properly, the human body needs both calories for energy and nutrients for upkeep and repair. When we eat diets low in either resource, our metabolism gets the signal to slow down and reserve everything it can. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="salad-with-cheese-shrimp"> </picture> <p>Where some people get tripped up on the keto diet is their assumption that eating a nauseating amount of fats will make them lose weight faster. If you are purely playing the macros angle with your keto diet, you might be missing out on essential <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">micronutrients</a> that your body needs to function as well as pushing your body to overprocess fats to the point where it’s too much of a good thing. The human body needs a wide array of nourishing resources to work properly, and that means looking beyond the required amounts of carbs, fats, and proteins.</p> <p>The solution to a nutrient-poor keto diet is to make it nutrient-rich. Fill your plate with tons of fresh green vegetables and rely more on chewable fats to hit your macros. Eating more chewable fats like fatty fish and nuts delivers more nutrients to your body in one bite than an entire cup of coconut oil. And if you struggle to find fatty sources that you enjoy, we recommend giving a keto fat bomb recipe a try. On the keto diet, our goal is not just weight loss but improved health, so we recommend at least two servings of vegetables a day to feed your body right.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Reason #6: Stress is hormonally hindering you</header> <p>In the same vein of pushing your body too far with calorie and nutrient restrictions, working your body too hard can freak your body out and hinder your weight loss. Do you get enough rest after intense workouts? Do you feel refreshed and energized when you wake up in the morning? Do you give yourself time to recover and breathe from workouts and hectic life schedules? </p> <p>Even if your life is just the opposite, and you do nothing all day, doing nothing is stressful on the mind and body. If you spend day in and day out staring at a wall or hunched in the same position over a small screen, your body gets stressed. While the human body was designed to handle short-term stress with aplomb, long-term stress is toxic and destructive. Your stressed-out body can cling to your excess weight like a lifeline and refuse to lose it. </p> <p>One thing that can happen when people experience too much chronic stress is they can develop <i>leptin resistance</i>. Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain when you are full<sup>4</sup>. What can happen is that when your body undergoes so much chronic or harsh stress, your brain stops understanding the message leptin is trying to deliver. This can make you overeat and consume calories to extreme excess. It is very hard to accidentally overeat calories on a healthy keto diet as normally your brain and gut will tell you when you’ve had enough nutrients or macros; with leptin resistance, that communication is severed.</p> <p>To reverse leptin resistance<sup>5</sup>, you have to fix the stressor. We don’t mean that you should go tell off your coworker to feel less stressed, but instead to get enough sleep, exercise appropriately, say no to obligations once in a while, and give a little more priority to your self-care. </p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Reason #7: You’re not eating what’s healthy for YOU</header> <p>We’re talking about food sensitivities and allergies here. Much like how stress and unhealthy fat make your body feel under attack and inflamed, so does eating food that your body doesn’t agree with. Nuts, dairy, and gluten are the three most common food allergens, and even if you don’t have an allergy to these foods, your body might view them as an attacker. If you continuously eat a food that you are intolerant to or allergic to, you will find it much harder to experience weight loss. While your body is trying to break down your fat deposits for ketone fuel, your immune system is triggering your body to hold onto inflammation.</p> <p>If you think you suffer from food intolerance, you should remove the food in question for about a week or more and see how you feel. There are many food intolerance kits on the market, but the best way to determine what foods don’t work for your body is to do an elimination diet or talk to your doctor. Food intolerance kits can occasionally have false positives if you overindulge in a certain food. For example, a person might not have a sensitivity to broccoli, but if they eat too much of it, the test might tell them that they do. </p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Reason #8: You have an underlying condition</header> <p>Our last reason is the most serious, and we recommend you tackle it with your doctor’s help. There are medical conditions, most of them hormone-related, that can stop your body from shedding pounds. No matter how many carbs you cut out or how perfect a keto diet you construct, if you are diagnosed with a condition like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or Hashimoto’s disease, your weight loss will be significantly slowed in comparison to that of other dieters. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="girl-in-mountains"> </picture> <p>Ketosis can still help you reach your weight loss goals; however, you have to take extra care to be patient with yourself and give your body copious amounts of love. After all, healthy weight loss is not a race, but a journey. Here at Warrior Made, we created the 14-day diet to help you overcome each of these hurdles that might stand in the way of your weight loss. With clear, comprehensive outlines and explanations of how to build your keto diet in the most efficient way possible, we want to give you every leg up that you deserve, so that one day you can look back on this incredible experience with pride. </p> <div class="sub-head">Resources:</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="">Foods, obesity, and diabetes</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="">Calorie Calculator</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="">Gut Microbiota in Obesity and Undernutrition</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="">Leptin resistance in obesity</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="">Defining Clinical Leptin Resistance</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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