NOT LOSING WEIGHT ON KETO? HERE’S WHAT TO DO

June 13, 2018

 

No, it is not a landform that most people associate the word with—the least of which are dieters.  As any ardent diet and exercise enthusiast would tell you, a “plateau” is that state wherein no matter how much you try, you just can’t seem to lose weight, thus making your diet program untenable in achieving weight goals.

At that point, dieters almost always panic when experiencing a plateau as most goals are directed towards achieving an ideal weight, after which most dieters stop dieting thereafter.  But this plan rarely goes as planned and more often than not, hitches occur.

This is especially significant nowadays, considering that a lot of people are into the ketogenic diet (Note:  For more information on the keto diet, see 5 Great Reasons Why You Should Consider A Ketogenic Diet, www.wellnesstalktv.com, January 16, 2018).  At present, the keto diet is the “in” diet of sorts, and most followers regardless of its effectiveness will surely experience a plateau when experiencing it. 

But why is it that plateaus occur even with the ketogenic diet? Well, it has something to do with how most diets work—even the keto.  When dieting through the keto diet, weight loss is immediate, especially during the first few days.  However, this is more or less due to carbohydrate restriction and not necessarily to fat loss. 

Nonetheless, when dieting, both fat and muscle mass are lost in way that’s directly proportional to how much one exercises, one’s stress level and the calorie deficit the diet dictates.  Hence, if you exercise regularly, sleep regularly and aren’t stressed, eat anywhere from 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per lb. and have a goal of losing weight at a rate of 1% per week, then it is likely that one will lose fat and gain muscle mass.  It is reasonable to say that doing the opposite will result in a loss of muscle mass and not fat.

Considering all these factors though, it is essential to say that those in a keto diet must set a reasonable calorie deficit, while consuming an appropriate amount of protein. However, as most dieters know, two things happen that may cause the body to plateau, namely:  that the body reacts by decreasing its total body expenditure; and, your calorie deficit decreases, because the body requires fewer calories to maintain the body’s weight.  In other words, the body reacts by doing either of these two things.

These reactions hark back to the time when humans were hunter-gatherers.  In essence, evolution dictated these reactions of maintaining weight especially during times when food is scarce.  In fact, the brain triggers several means by which it enables the body to keep from losing weight.  Examples of these include decreasing thyroid hormone production, reducing non-resting energy expenditure, inducing intense cravings and increasing hunger pangs—all of which are meant to encourage a person to eat more and stop weight loss.

Despite this, two factors that contribute greatly to a plateau stand out.  Namely: decreased energy expenditure and reduced calorie deficit.  Surprisingly, they can readily be overcome.  All it takes is just the right strategy and commitment.  What are they?  Here are a few plateau tricks you may want to consider.

 

FOLLOW YOUR CALORIE TRAIL AND BE STRICT IN MAINTAINING A CALORIE DEFICIT.  For some

  people, counting calories is the only true way to weight loss.  This is not exactly true of course, as the body and its reactions are simply way too complex to fully account for all our simplistic expectations.  Simply put, consuming more food will result in excess calories.  However, since they are so-called “excessive,” they must be placed somewhere and the body does so by storing them as glycogen and fat.

Granted that those who follow the ketogenic diet have it easier—as it is far harder to overeat on protein than carbs; the fact remains that some sort of calorie deficit should be maintained.  This is one of the reasons why some people on the keto diet plateau as they forget to maintain the necessary calorie deficit to enable the body to continue losing weight.

Fortunately, there are apps available that can keep track of one’s calorie intake.  However, a dieter must be vigilant in his calorie intake to maintain the necessary calorie deficit.

 

 

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RECALCULATE YOUR CALORIE DEFICIT.  As mentioned, how humans evolved during neolithic

times actually made it difficult for humans to lose weight, with the brain commanding the body through a variety of means, to stop losing weight during times of scarcity and hunger.  This is fine during times when people had to have extra reserves in anticipation of lean periods, but is certainly not the case during modern times when food is plentiful.  As the body fights back, it is but logical to recalculate the calorie deficit that you should consider.  It is advisable at this point to consider making calculations through a keto calculator—some of which are available in the internet.  Doing so will enable you to adjust your calorie deficit.  It is advisable however, to recalculate your calorie deficit on a monthly basis vis-à-vis your new weight to make it current with your needs.

 

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 DECREASE YOUR CALORIE DEFICIT.  Aside from regularly calculating your calorie deficit, you may also want to consider further decreasing your calorie deficit in order to avoid experiencing a plateau.  But by how much?  That seems to be the tricky part though as eating within one’s calorie deficit that can be compensated by one’s fat stores will keep metabolic rates stable or enough for you to lose weight. However, eating over one’s defined calorie deficit (in effect you are eating much less) may cause metabolic rates to drop triggering a starvation reaction that will cause your body to stop losing weight.  Remember, however, that a lean body mass and a corresponding drop in body fat considered, there is likewise a corresponding drop in calorie deficit which if you will consider will be helpful in maintaining the appropriate metabolic rate and other bodily reactions that may contribute to continued weight loss.

 

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TAKE A BREAK NOW AND THEN.  Breaks, in this instance refers to intermittent breaks from calorie

restrictions.  Maintaining calorie deficits definitely takes discipline and may even include a decrease in total energy expenditure, a slowdown in metabolism, increased hunger and lethargy in general.  If you experience these, then maybe it’s about time for you to take a diet break.  Recent studies have indicated that better weigh loss results were experienced by intermittent caloric restrictions that were accompanied by a reduction in metabolic responses.  In other words, it’s like you are confusing your body’s responses that oddly enough may result in a more sustainable and consistent weight loss.

 

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 EAT THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF PROTEIN.  As mentioned, those who are following the ketogenic diet are lucky because it is difficult for them to over eat protein.  The key to not experiencing a plateau while on a ketogenic diet however, is through consuming the right amount and kind of protein.  This is because not eating the right amount of protein will lead to muscle loss and a decrease in daily energy expenditure—or what some may call a slowdown in metabolism. 

The opposite is true with consuming the right amount of protein wherein you gain lean muscle mass, lose fat while increasing the capacity to burn fat and increasing ketone production. By doing so, it is possible to break a diet plateau and in fact, may even keep future plateaus from occurring.

But how much protein should you eat?  Here are some tips.  Dieters who also exercise may want to maintain protein levels from 0.8 grams to 1 gram per pound of lean body mass per day, while those who lift weights may want to increase protein intake by around 1 gram to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass per day.  If sedentary and just dieting, protein intake should be around 0.6 grams to 0.8 grams of prothttps://pixabay.com/en/food-diet-keto-ketodieta-fitness-3223286/ein per pound of lean body mass per day.

 

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IT PAYS TO BE CONSISTENT WITH THE KETO DIET TO AVOID PLATEAUS. The ketogenic diet is

definitely a diet that requires discipline as its rewards are truly impressive—a healthy and physically-defined body.  Hence, it is safe to say that there’s no such thing as a cheat day when on a keto diet.  Why?  It’s because it requires time for the body to be keto-adapted and a cheat day may just throw a wrench to your carefully crafted plans.  In fact, a cheat day may cost you anywhere from 4 to 6 pounds of weight gain.  Besides, not being consistently strict in keeping to the keto plan may result in the dreaded plateau as hidden carbs and calories may just rear their ugly heads through a surprise weight gain.

 

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DON’T EXERCISE TOO MUCH. Exercising too little and exercising too much are both bad for the body and may eventually result in a diet plateau.  Indeed, the body works in mysterious ways as exercising too little can slow down metabolism by as much as 10% to 15% and result in muscle atrophy, while increasing the possibility of having a weight loss plateau.

What to do?  When exercising too much, try to get some extra rest days to allow the body to recover and to mentally release the stresses involved in following a diet plan.  Ideally, an active person on a diet may consider doing at least four days of hard exercising, while allowing two days for recovery. Those who are sedentary may also consider walking for at least 30 minutes a day or at least allow themselves 30 minutes of light labor like gardening and other light household chores.

 

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TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING.  Fasting is of course very different from taking a break as it involves not eating anything at all for a period of time.  For dieters though, fasting may involve not eating anything within a very narrow period.  This is important for those following a ketogenic diet as it will allow blood sugar and insulin to drop to baseline levels—thereby burning fat and ketones for fuel resulting in weight loss.  The funny thing about intermittent fasting is the body can adapt to it with minimal inconvenience with less food cravings.  It may also involve not eating as often and being more satiated after meals.

How to do it?  Just give yourself a window wherein you are allowed to eat the necessary calories you have decided on—let’s say from 10 am to 6 pm, after which you should refrain from eating until the next day.

 

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TRY A FAT FAST.  Another ingenuous way of 

overcoming a diet plateau is the fat fast.  As its name

implies, the only food item you eat for three days is mostly fat while at the same time restricting your caloric intake.  No doubt, this is an extreme way of implementing a calorie deficit.  However, it will nonetheless increase ketone levels.  It is important however to recalculate your caloric deficit after three days on the fat fast before resuming your ketogenic diet plan

 

 

 

 

 

HIDDEN CARBOHYDRATES BEGONE! A little bit of food sleuthing is needed for this one.  Just remember that carbs, which is a no, no for the ketogenic diet, is in almost anything we eat—including what we commonly deem as vegetables.  Some vegetables are usually the common culprit like squash and even broccoli—yes, broccoli!  Although considered low carb vegetables, we tend to forget this attribute and consume them in large quantities—forgetting that we are probably loading up on carbs.  The best thing to do is to look at nutrition labels carefully as the carb and sugar content are indicated on them.  It’s not only food as well where carbs and sugar are present.  Some bottled water for instance are suspiciously sweet while medicines may also be loaded with sugar and carbs to make them palatable and easier to ingest.

 

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All in all, being on a diet can be challenging.  However, there are supplements that can actually make the transition from an unhealthy to a healthy body easy.  One such supplement is Cosmo Body L-Carnitine and Green Tea Extract.  Taking Cosmo Body promotes Thermogenesis which turns fat into fuel, providing energy for the body in pursuing other activities that can lead to weight loss.  Thus, Cosmo Body complements the ketogenic diet in allowing you to reach your weight loss goals healthfully and without difficulty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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