Tribulations of a low-carb diet
People flock to the ketogenic diet for healthy weight loss, blood sugar and pressure control, and epileptic seizure mitigation.
These boons to health sound great, but the keto diet is not a magic cure, and maintaining the nutritional balance for ketosis can pose several challenges.
In this blog, we'll address the 10 most common reasons a keto diet fails, keeping the dieter out of ketosis and away from their health goals. By learning these causes, you'll be better able to avoid them. So let's dive in.
1 - Your carb intake is too high
This first reason is the most straightforward. The keto diet only works by removing nearly all carbs from the diet. But reducing carbohydrate intake to near-zero levels is easier said than done: The typical American diet is comprised mostly (45%-65%) of carbs!
Ketosis requires a carb intake proportion of around 5% of total calorie intake. For most people, this means between 20-50 grams of carbs per day. This will vary depending on body type.
As a general rule, a single banana contains all of the carbs allotted for a day on a keto diet. Read the nutritional information on anything you're eating. The number of carbs in common items may surprise you.
Most of your carbs will be incidental, unavoidable components of foods you'll choose to eat on keto. Keep this number low to give yourself the flexibility to, say, toss slivered almonds on a salad.
Understanding net carbs will help you understand your intake. Find this number for a specific food by subtracting the number of carbs that come from dietary fiber from the total carbs.
How many days does it take to start losing weight on keto?
Even if you've reduced your carbohydrate intake properly, it takes a definite period of time for the body to shift into ketosis. For some, this is less than a week. For others, it may take two or more weeks. If you've calculated your nutritional intake accurately, don't lose faith during this transition!
2 - You're eating too many calories
The initial phase of the ketogenic diet is typically accompanied by strong feelings of hunger. If you've successfully adjusted your carb intake to achieve ketosis, you may be compensating for this perceived hunger by over-eating your new keto-friendly foods.
Give yourself time to adjust. Your body must adapt to using body fat, and this transition can send signals to your body that you simply aren't eating enough.
This is why a gradual transition to a keto diet, coupled with accurate calorie counting, is important for maintaining the diet plan.
How can I speed up weight loss on keto?
While ketosis makes it possible to lose weight while maintaining the same calorie intake as a non-keto diet, it is possible to speed up weight loss by creating a calorie deficit: a calorie intake below your body's natural resting metabolism.
A word of caution: too much of a calorie deficit will only make your diet impossible to follow, causing you to "yo-yo" back and forth between weights on- and off-diet. Moderation is the key to longevity.
3 - You're eating nutrient-poor foods
Eating keto is difficult. With more and more keto-specific products in grocery stores, keto cookies and keto granola bars, etc., it's easy to rely on these processed foods. But don't be fooled: processed foods contain less healthy nutrients and more unhealthy ones.
Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are crucial to the healthy functioning of our bodies. If you eat highly processed foods, your weight loss efforts will be in vain.
Without the nutrients that we get from vegetables, healthy fats, and organic proteins, our bodies feel sluggish and unsatisfied, leading us to compensate with even more food.
4 - You're eating too much protein
The correct proportion of protein in the keto diet is... exactly the same as a standard diet. The calories from carbs you're removing are supposed to be replaced by healthy fats, not protein.
So be mindful you aren't loading up on protein to compensate for your carbs, as an excess of protein will jolt your body out of ketosis. Instead, increase your fat intake and observe how you feel. Nutrient-rich fats make our bodies feel satiated.
5 - You aren't exercising
Regardless of diet, physical activity is crucial to overall health. Without it, our bodies can't process our food fully. Your metabolism depends on some exercise, even if a short walk is all you can do.
Why is keto weight loss so slow?
If you're eating the keto diet correctly, but are unsatisfied with your progress after some time, take an honest look at your regimen of physical activity.
Being overly sedentary not only causes you to gain weight but leads to myriad health problems, including heart disease and depression among many others. Our bodies are made to move! So make sure you're using yours to the best of your ability.
6 - You're drinking alcohol
Drinking on the ketogenic diet seldom works. The inherent carbohydrates in beer and wine disqualify them immediately. Most hard liquors are the same. Gin and vodka are low in carbs, but still high in calories.
There's no nutritional benefit to alcohol, so if you're trying to lose weight, then forsaking alcohol is a very important component of your diet plan.
7 - You're overly stressed
Experiencing more stress than is proportional to our daily challenges can wreak havoc on the body.
Stress affects us mentally, raising anxious worry and even triggering depressive episodes.
It also affects us physically, raising our blood pressure, sapping our energy, preventing sleep, and making the body more prone to illness. It can even promote weight gain.
You can be doing everything right when it comes to eating and even exercising, but if you do not address stress, then it will impede your health goals. Meditation, exercise, therapy, and much more have been shown to quantifiably reduce your stress.
8 - You have an underlying medical condition
Certain medical disorders, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing's Syndrome, prevent one from losing or otherwise regulating weight.
See a doctor if you believe you may have one of these conditions, and follow their treatment advice closely.
9 - You have unrealistic weight loss goals
This can mean a couple of things. Perhaps you believe you want to lose weight, but don't actually have much body fat on you.
Or maybe you do have excess body fat, but you demand that it's gone immediately. The keto diet is not magic, and it's not an overnight solution. Losing weight through ketosis will take weeks at a minimum, and you may not see results for months. But if you are truly in ketosis, then rest assured that progress is being made.
Does keto work if you don't have much to lose?
Ketosis means that your body is using stored fat for fuel. When your body burns through this fat, your metabolism will run off of the nutritional fats you supply to it every day.
So, if you have low body fat already, you can still enter and remain in ketosis! Keto still "works," supplying the other health benefits, without weight loss necessarily.
10 - You're allergic or intolerant to something you're eating
If you're finding yourself routinely bloated or intestinally irritated, you may have an unknown allergy or intolerance to something in your diet. It might be dairy, it might be eggs, it might be almonds.
See a nutritionist, or comb through your diet for what may be irritating you.
What happens when you quit keto?
It's perfectly alright if you have to stop eating keto, for a short period or forever. The diet is not for everyone, and no one should be permanently on Keto, as this is shown to have serious negative health effects.
When you stop Keto, your body will shift back into its standard metabolic state.
Sticking to a keto diet can be difficult. In this blog, we've covered the most common hindrances to successfully eating keto, for weight loss or otherwise. Armed with this knowledge, you're much more likely to find a keto diet plan that you can stick with; one that will work for you.
Take a look at Kevin’s for delicious and simple Keto recipes, making the next step toward health even easier.