An important part of a weight loss journey is realizing that it won’t happen overnight as it requires dedication, motivation, and effort. But, after a few weeks of months of sticking to a healthy low carb/ keto diet your scale decides to stop moving. Not seeing results may become frustrating and overwhelming.
Here are a few tips & tricks that will help you get past your weight loss plateau.
Reason no. 1: You’re eating too many sweeteners
It’s fantastic to treat yourself to something sweet now and then. Sweeteners are safe to use for most of the people, but for some, it causes intense cravings for real sugar.
As I love to experiment on myself first and then show my results, along with following strict ketogenic macros, I ditched all the artificial sweeteners from my diet for a few weeks (including diet sodas, which yeah I know contain aspartame that’s very harmful, but oh well, we’re humans).
I can relate that I didn’t have sugar cravings anymore, my headaches were gone, and I dropped a few pounds even I didn’t want to. Every person reacts different to sweeteners, and I recommend you to limit your daily consumption and focus on real food.
Reason no. 2: You’re eating too many calories
I know you’ve heard that on a low carb way of eating such as the ketogenic diet or Atkins diet you only have to stay under the daily limit of carbs and eat as much protein and fat as you can and still lose tons of weight.
Fat is twice more dense caloric than carbs, so therefore the calories add up quickly. No diet in the world recommends unlimited calories for weight loss.
So if you are not losing weight, you should consider finding your ideal macronutrients (here’s the best keto calculator) and stick with them, because calories matter even on a low carb diet.
Reason no.3: You are having too much protein or not enough protein
In the book “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living,” Dr. Phinney and Volek recommend eating 0.6 – 1 gram of protein per a pound of lean mass and 1.3 – 2.2 grams of protein per a kilogram of lean mass every day (lean mass = total body weight without fat).
Be sure you are eating enough protein because it will make you feel satiated.
The lack of protein can lead to muscle loss and also all the exces1s protein converts into glucose and can kick you out of ketosis. But we’re not taking of 15-20g excess, but way more.
In keto, reaching your protein is a goal.
Reason no.4: You eat too many carbs
Every person has a different level of carb tolerance. Try to eat fewer carbs than you are already eating.
For example, if you are eating 30-40g carbs, go for 20-25 for a while and see how your body reacts.
Also, be aware of the hidden carbs in sauces and processed products that can sabotage your carb counting. Use an online calculator, like myfitnesspal.com and track all your foods to make sure you are getting enough of the other nutrients.
If you are eating fruits like berries, try to eliminate them for a while and see how your body reacts.
Reason no.5: Cheat Meals
Cheating on a ketogenic diet will take you out of ketosis and cause severe sugar & processed food cravings.
A cheat meal can turn into cheat days fast.
Going back on track brings the keto flu symptoms which are not that pleasant. Who wants headaches, dizziness, and low energy levels?
It will take longer to become fat-adapted and to enjoy all the real benefits of this way of eating.
Reason no. 6: Too many keto desserts/ low carb treats
Protein bars, shakes, ice-cream, sauces and most pre-packed foods should be used in moderation, as a treat.
More and more products appear under the label of “KETO FRIENDLY,” “LOW CARB”, “PALEO”, but if you take a look at the ingredients list, you will notice that most of them aren’t allowed on a keto diet.
Eating them on a daily basis can cause cravings. It would be an impressive thing if you could try to stay away from this kind of snacks and focus on eating real foods like high-quality meats, healthy sources of fat and green vegetables.
Also, take a look at how much you indulge in homemade sweets like low carb pancakes, brownies, cookies, etc.
Reason no. 7: Overeating nuts and dairy
Nuts are packed with a lot of healthy fats and nutrients, for sure.
Nuts taste great, are crunchy, and you may eat a large amount of them without even notice.
The best example it’s me because I can empty a bag of almonds or hazelnuts in no time. And there are more calories and carbs that I would allow myself getting in one day.
Let’s not forget to mention how much I love Nut Butters which are easier to overeat too, and they are very calorie dense. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, we’re all been there.
Make sure you portion your nuts & cheeses wisely. If you are like me and have no self-control when it comes to nuts, eliminate them from your diet or eat them only on special occasions like when you are in a hurry, or there’s nothing else to eat.
Reason no. 8: You are close to your goal weight
You’ve come a long way, and you are now close to your goal weight. Things get harder as you approach your ideal weight because your body tries to keep you at a healthy weight. I know from my experience that it took forever to lose my last 10 pounds. You should be very careful with your calorie intake so you can create a deficit. Always recalculate your BMR as you are losing weight.
Reason no. 9: Elevated stress levels
Stress is well known for causing many illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. The way you can manage the daily stress can affect your weight loss progress.
To understand how stress is sabotaging your diet we have to learn about cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone made by the adrenal glands. Cortisol has many roles. It helps the body to manage stress. It’s a diurnal hormone. That means that there are high levels of cortisol in the morning, and during the day it slowly drops down, so your body can go to sleep at night.
If you are worried that your cortisol levels are too high or too low, you can always ask your doctor for a cortisol test.
The normal values are:
- Adult/Child | Morning | 5-23 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) or 138-635 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)
- Adult/Child | Afternoon 3-16 mcg/dL or 83-441 nmol/L
Depending on the results, the doctor will tell you if your cortisol levels are an impediment to your weight loss process.
If you feel that coffee is essential for you in the morning to get you going, your cortisol levels are definitely lower than it should be. A small amount of cortisol is released after drinking coffee, which will give energy for the morning. But coffee overstimulates the adrenals, and you become addicted to coffee, needing more and more during the day. Try switching coffee to a cup of green tea.
The main three ways that cortisol affects weight loss abundance of emotional and physical stressors:
- Cortisol makes your cells less responsive. If your body can’t receive the signals from insulin, the fat stays trapped in your cells. Also if your body can’t receive the signals from leptin, which is the satiety hormone, you will be hungry all the time, and you will need to eat more and more until finally feel full after a meal.
- Cortisol increases inflammation.
- Cortisol interferes with hunger hormones.
Another way the cortisol negatively affects your weight loss is the interference with your hunger hormones: Ghrelin and Leptin. Leptin helps to control appetite. When you’re too stressed, leptin levels will drop and will make you hungrier.
Ghrelin is a hormone released anytime you’re hungry and has a huge increase when you’re under too much pressure. The combo between a lower amount of the hormone Leptin and an increase in the “hunger hormone” Ghrelin causes people to over-eat. As a result, you get to store more fat even you are keeping your meals clean.
There are a few things you can do. Try to relax, do things that your love, read or spend time with your family and friends. You can also try a light form of exercises like brisk walking or jogging. And always be thankful for what you have.
Reason no.10: You’re not getting enough sleep:
Poor sleep it’s a major stressor that can cause your weight to stall.
You will maximize your results if you sleep at least 8 hours at night. Getting more sleep overall may fix the problem and may help you lose weight.
Reason no.11: Drinking Bulletproof coffee too often
You enjoy your cup of coffee with butter, coconut oil, and cream. I love it too, especially with some cinnamon and vanilla extract. Sounds delicious, right?
This drink is promoted as a breakfast replacement for faster weight-loss. Having multiple cups of keto bulletproof coffee won’t help you through the process. Ditch the bulletproof coffee and fat bombs for a while, stay under 20g carbs, and your scale will move in no time.
Hope you enjoyed the article and were able to learn something that you can apply to your life.
Do you have any more tips that I forgot to mention? Leave a comment!