Imagine building up the nerve to forgo beloved carb-laced food favorites for a strict keto diet only to find that you are not losing weight on keto! We sacrifice a lot when deciding to go keto to shed pounds. But don’t be so quick to quit or self-deprecate over poor results. A bit of tweaking may be necessary. There are some things you should consider when keto weight loss fails or plateaus after 1 or 2 pounds.
Losing Weight with Keto
Let’s face it. Keto dieting is tough and can be hard to grasp. For the uninitiated, the ketogenic diet, more popularly known as the keto diet, is a rapid weight-loss method that has proven very effective in recent years. Keto is an ultra low-carbohydrate and high-fat diet. Since carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body’s tissues, depriving the body of carbohydrates (less than 50 grams relative to protein and fats for a typical 2,000-calorie diet per day) puts the body in a catabolic state and insulin secretion is significantly reduced. The body’s glycogen stores deplete due to low carbohydrate availability, which forces the body to experience major metabolic changes. Ketogenesis is the metabolic process by which the body uses fat as an energy source in the absence of adequate glycogen. In order to function properly, red blood cells and liver cells still require glycogen, which the body produces endogenously (or internally) from non-carbohydrate sources through a metabolic process called gluconeogenesis, which does not impede the fat-burning, weight-loss process.
Practice Keto with Caution
Experts say that otherwise healthy obese individuals can expect intense, rapid, and sustained weight loss until at least two years while following strict keto guidelines that are supervised by health professionals. For the rest of us who seek more sculpted physiques without the aid of keto professionals, here are several major keto faux pas and unforeseen conditions that can hinder weight-loss progress
You Are Impatient
At the start of your keto diet, if you suffer keto flu symptoms, such as nausea, headache, insomnia, and fatigue, congratulations: these are signs that your body is transitioning from carb-burning to fuel-burning. It usually takes several days to one week for you to reach a state of optimal ketosis—when the body is burning fat as fuel most efficiently. Try exercising your large muscle groups to speed up the process; this will deplete your glycogen reserves quicker, along with reduced carbohydrate consumption. Achieving optimal ketosis requires discipline, a bit of patience, and major diet consistency on your part. Keto is not a quick fix. Your body needs time to undergo crucial metabolic changes before you see substantive results. Keto is not effective if you are trying to shed a few pounds within 24 to 48 hours. Try losing water weight in this instance; fat cells probably won’t budge in such a short time.
You Are Malnourished
The ideal macronutrient consumption for keto dieting is roughly 70% fats, 25% proteins, and 5% carbohydrates per meal. Restricting any of these nutrients is not wise. For optimal weight-loss results, your body needs the nutrient compounds during and after metabolic transitioning. Most keto meal plans out there are designed to aid the keto process. Pushing veggies or proteins to the side of your plate and eating just the fat won’t cut it. Find meals that incorporate foods that you like, and consume the recommended portions. Keto newbies often suffer calorie deficiencies that hinder weight loss. Recommended macronutrient amounts take into account that the average adult is consuming approximately 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day. Most of us are used to the idea that starving the body equals weight loss. But keto won’t work if you neglect consuming keto-recommended foods. In fact, your keto meals should satisfy your hunger cravings rather than trigger them. Eating the right kinds of calories will create the calorie deficits you need. And be sure to stay hydrated with proper fluid and electrolyte intake. This is especially important at the start of your keto diet. Hydration can help to ease your keto flu symptoms. When you are well-hydrated and you are sticking to your keto meal plans but weight loss is still your issue, you may need professional help. Dietitians and medical professionals can help detect any food allergies and cater plans that better suit your age, weight, physical activity level, gender, and blood type. For example, more athletically inclined individuals require a higher carbohydrate intake to build and maintain healthy muscles.
You Are Eating Too Many Carbs
Most of us are not aware of the hidden carbs in fruits, nuts, and beans. Snacking on non-keto recommended foods in between keto meals is a good way to stop the ketogenic process. Know the nutrient makeup of your foods and plan your meals, including innocent snacking, ahead of time. This is especially important for eating out. Since you are not the one preparing your food when eating out, you are at risk of compromising your keto diet even at keto-friendly establishments. Cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli may be healthy and nutritious, but they are loaded with carbs. Nixing a flour pizza crust for a cauliflower crust can still knock you out of ketosis if your macronutrients are out of whack.
You Are Not in Ketosis
Eating the wrong foods can easily knock you out of ketosis. Closely monitoring the ketones—the compounds your body produces when in a ketogenic state—is a great way to determine whether or not you are in ketosis. The trick is determining a strict baseline or standard that establishes ketone production levels when in strict optimal ketosis. That way, when you are at risk of falling out of ketosis, you can compare ketone levels to this standard and you will know for sure. There are a variety of breath, blood, and urine ketone tests to choose from. Overnight intermittent fasting before early-morning testing tends to yield the most accurate ketone testing.
You Have a Metabolic Disorder or Other Condition
The keto diet is a suitable weight-loss program for healthy individuals. Major metabolic changes occur as a result of ketogenesis, so your weight-loss success greatly depends on your health status. Metabolic disorders, like diabetes and insulin resistance, can hinder your progress, or they can cause further damage. Stalled weight loss while adhering to a strict keto diet is a sign that a health issue may be at play. Metabolic disorders are quite common, and many people who have them are not diagnosed. If you are taking insulin or oral hypoglycemic medication that is not properly adjusted before starting a keto diet, you risk suffering severe hypoglycemia. Other conditions to be cautious of when considering the keto diet are liver disorders, pyruvate kinase deficiency, pancreatitis, and primary carnitine deficiency. Consistently distorted ketone test results during strict keto adherence is another sign of concurrent health issues and/or metabolic disruption from medications. Lack of sleep, stress, excessive exercise, and hormonal imbalances can also skew ketone test results and halt weight loss.
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