Are you stuck in a rut on the ketogenic diet and unable to continue losing weight? Have a look at this piece about how to surpass a plateau on the keto diet.
Rising from your bed, you head towards the restroom. Despite weeks of watching your diet, meaning you have worked hard, the unfortunate outcome is that there have been no changes in your weight – a frustrating situation known as a plateau.
Although the ketogenic diet is marketed as an efficient way to shed pounds rapidly, there are certain hitches in the process that can’t seem to be eliminated. This article will explain the reasons for this phenomenon and provide tips on how to address it.
Is It Really a Stall?
How long has your weight loss stalled? Have I been sticking to the plan for three months or longer?
You could possibly be discouraged if you weigh yourself each day and don’t seem to be making any headway, but it isn’t considered a real plateau until you go without seeing any reduction in your weight for at least three months.
Body fat is almost never lost at an even rate. Weight leaves in fits and starts.
A variety of aspects can have an effect on what the scale says on a daily basis: retaining water, bladder fullness, having food in the intestines or stomach, as well as other details, such as if you’ve been gaining muscle from physical activity.
When trying to figure out why you haven’t achieved the weight loss you hope for, you should look at the overall trend in your weight over a period of time instead of focusing on any minor fluctuations in weight from day to day.
Create a consistent plan for measuring your weight: use the identical scale in the same moment of the day while in similar conditions, wearing approximately the same outfit. Think about only measuring your weight once or less every week to observe how it is changing over a longer period of time and not focus on minor daily differences.
Plateaus Are Common
The outcomes from a minimum of 300 individuals who became a part of Virta Health’s type 2 diabetes initiative reveal the average patient lost an enduring amount of weight for nine months in the first year of following the low-carb diet. It went on like this for approximately three months without any changes.
Throughout the second year of the investigation, those involved were able to sustain the majority of their weight reduction as long as they continued to follow the diet. It should not be seen as a failure that the participants did not continue to lose weight after reaching a certain point. Weight upkeep following a weight loss through any type of lifestyle change is hard, and this intervention (ketogenic diet) was especially effective.
In addition to adhering to one’s diet, several other components could affect the number shown on a scale and how it fluctuates: past nutrition habits, basal metabolic rate, the amount of weight that needs to be shed, the amount of muscle in one’s physique, body fat percentage, how optimized insulin works, and if any hormonal irregularities exist.
How to Break a Plateau on Keto Diet
It is unavoidable that as you restrict your food intake to shed pounds, you will also lose body weight, which reduces the amount of energy you use up every day. Adipose tissue does not use a lot of calories but still has a minimal impact. Maintaining as much muscle as possible is essential for a successful diet since it helps to burn a much higher amount of calories compared to fat. This is why removing fat should be a priority.
Weight loss plateaus are largely caused by the body becoming accustomed to a predetermined amount of energy, resulting in a lower overall energy requirement.
Plateaus can result from a number of causes, like not consuming a low enough number of calories, unintentionally eating too many extras, the body becoming accustomed to your diet, a slow thyroid, excessive pressure, and numerous more.
Below are some ideas you can use to come out of a plateau on the keto diet.
#1 Change Your Calories
A typical ketogenic diet plan has macronutrients of 5-10% carbohydrates, 15-20% protein, and 70-80% fat, which is not suitable for reducing body fat.
It is not necessary to be under therapeutic ketosis or have large amounts of ketones in the body to reap the rewards of the ketogenic diet or to reduce body fat.
If you’re not consuming a lot of veggies and proteins, you could be taking in a lot of calories from fat, which can have no nutritional benefit. Fat is a key element of the keto diet, but if you consume too much of it, you can end up putting on weight.
If you want your muscles to get bigger, you want to do more physical activity, feel fuller, and burn more calories; you should slightly up your protein consumption.
- Carbs should still be relatively low at 5-10%, mainly from vegetables.
- Protein should be a bit higher at 25-35% from whole food sources.
- Fat should stay moderate at around 50% from whole food sources.
If you restrict your carbohydrate intake, you will remain in the metabolic state of ketosis. Consuming the necessary amount of protein can help keep your body lean and make you feel full. Any shortfall in fat will be made up by drawing on your body fat reserves. It is unnecessary to add extra saturated fats and oils to your diet in order to reach your daily recommended calorie intake.
#2 Do Resistance Training
Muscle tissue is a huge calorie absorber that enhances your basal metabolic rate and receptiveness to insulin. It enables you to consume higher amounts of food, particularly carbohydrates, without putting on weight.
Lifting weights is one of the most effective ways of increasing muscle mass and strength, as it pushes the body to make it adjust in a fresh and different way.
When consuming fewer calories than usual, it is essential to engage in strength training in order to stop undesirable muscle breakdown. This can be achieved by strength training, bodyweight exercises, or weightlifting.
Doing just cardio exercise while attempting to diet can give your body the message that it doesn’t need muscle bulk, thus prompting it to eliminate it. This, in turn, leads to lower metabolism and less muscle mass, making it more strenuous to keep shedding pounds.
At times people cannot meet their weight loss goals on the ketogenic diet because they are taking in too much food in comparison to the amount of physical activity they are doing. This is why it is important to incorporate strength training into not just weight loss plans but also into maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall.
#3 Intermittent Fasting
Consuming food too often can cause stagnation, especially for those who are not physically active.
Although the ketogenic diet shares some of the same effects as fasting, such as low blood glucose, low levels of insulin, and increased ketones, it is not as powerful as privation itself.
When abstaining from food, ketosis will deepen, allowing you to use your own body fat as energy. Without any fuel for your body to consume, it will draw energy from the reserves it has.
Fasting intermittently helps to avoid issues like snacking too much, wanting sugary treats, drastically cutting calories, and ingesting too many calories.
You can get past a period of stagnation on the ketogenic diet by skipping one meal in any 24-hour period and practicing intermittent fasting. Delay eating breakfast until 12 pm, eat a meal that is packed with protein and some vegetables, and fiber, include an exercise session in your day, and then eat the same high-protein dinner.
#4 Limit Artificial Sweeteners
Many times diets end up not working out because a person cannot resist the temptation of desserts, pastries, and carbohydrates for prolonged periods of time. Generally, individuals will not stick to their healthy eating plans, and when they give in they will often splurge and indulge in excessively unhealthy food.
Artificial sweeteners can substitute for real sugar, however, they are not necessarily beneficial for one’s health in the long run.
There is a great deal of danger associated with substances such as aspartame, acesulfame K, and sucralose, including an increased risk of diabetes, digestive issues, and brain cancer. Yikes! It is not advisable to drink 10 diet beverages per day for many years as it will not assist with weight loss much, if at all.
The point is that using something artificially sweetened allows the person trying to lose weight to gratify their craving for something sweet without having to consume extra calories. It is okay, and it can be successful if you choose only one option.
If you satisfy your craving for sweets with artificial sweeteners, it will only serve to further ignite your craving for sugar, and future cravings can be expected. This is where the never-ending vicious cycle of losing and regaining weight on repeat starts.
If you don’t feel a desire for sugary items, you will not yearn for them. You can provide your body with the energy it needs by eating nutrient-rich, unprocessed foods. It would be a wiser alternative to abstain from utilizing synthetic sweeteners or to significantly reduce their consumption and do so quickly.
#5 Track the Non-Scale Victories
Weight does not always determine how much healthier you are getting. Instead of concentrating on the weight reading, pay attention to changes in regular well-being markers and your sentiment.
Are your clothes looser? Are you less hungry? Is your blood pressure lower? Do you have more energy? These are all successes that don’t rely on the number on your weighing scale, which are sometimes referred to as NSVs, revealing how your diet is helping to enhance your overall health in the long run.
How the Body Loses Weight
When attempting to slim down, the goal is to burn off the extra fat, not the muscle or bone. Who would like to have a small weight on the scale but be weak, infirm, and sickly? No one!
Having a diet that restricts calories over a long period of time increases the risk of losing muscle mass and decreasing bone density, both of which are important components of weight loss. The more food intake is limited, the more musculature and bone tissue the person is likely to lose. Dropping pounds in this manner could harm your well-being as you grow older.
Research related to low-carb diets has yet to be completed, though we know that calorie restriction, to an extreme degree, can hamper any future attempts for someone to shed pounds. Your body is inclined to fight to keep its prior fat stores at the same level by utilizing a few procedures.
You need to consume fewer calories to sustain your lighter weight if you were once considered to be overweight, as opposed to someone of the same size who has never been overweight. This is why metabolic rate decline is often seen as a group of processes and referred to as “slowing metabolism” (in scientific language, it is called “adaptive thermogenesis”).
An investigation that checked up on the people in The Biggest Loser TV series discovered that the severe limitation of calories along with extensive amounts of exercise caused a permanent slowing of their metabolic rate by 500 calories daily.
What is the most effective way to burn body fat while maintaining muscle mass and bone density?
Make sure you are protecting or growing your lean body mass. To make this happen, it’s necessary to eat enough protein and do strength training frequently.
You must expend more energy than you take in in order to access and utilize the fat stores in your body. At Diet Doctor, we believe the ideal approach to eating is one that supplies enough nourishment and aids in improving insulin sensitivity.
Calories Count, but You Don’t Have to Count Them
At Diet Doctor, we emphasize not tracking calories, but that doesn’t mean that having an excessive amount of calories isn’t consequential. If you are taking in more calories than you need, it is unlikely that you will use up your stored energy or body fat.
This may appear similar to the conventional “consume fewer, become more active” guidance from the low-fat, calorie-controlled diets resembling the “calories in, calories out” model; however, there is a noteworthy distinction. You must maintain an equilibrium between the number of calories you consume and the number of calories you burn off; all types of food provide the same number of calories. A low-carb diet claims that various items of food – regardless of their caloric values – have different impacts on the body.
In comparison, foods that are high in proteins and low in carbs can fill you up for hours, reduce insulin, give your body important vitamins and minerals, and allow you to cut down on the amount of food you eat without feeling hungry, which helps in burning fat.
It is uncertain to what degree weight loss achieved through consuming low-carb foods is attributable to a decrease in calorie intake rather than a decrease in insulin levels. However, it is conclusive that low-carb diets can successfully reduce hunger and food cravings — a significant factor in overcoming unsuccessful dieting attempts. Gain knowledge from our manual, How low carb can help you slim down.
Most people who begin eating a low-carb or ketogenic diet realize quickly that their appetite is reduced, and the desire for carbohydrate-heavy foods decreases. This can facilitate the process of avoiding meals, consuming lesser amounts of food, and not snacking in between. Engaging in these activities helps to maintain insulin levels and construct a power deficiency while avoiding hunger. This experience is unlike other popular approaches to losing weight and probably boosts your chances of keeping the weight off.
If you follow the advice to eat only when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full in combination with the ketogenic diet, it provides the perfect environment to reduce the amount you eat and draw on your fat reserves without keeping track of your calorie intake.
This natural adaptation, however, doesn’t happen for everyone. This could include you. It is possible that a low-carb or keto diet isn’t playing its part in enabling you to lose weight; that is why you need to consider introducing other measures to make sure you create a supportive, lasting energy shortage.
Breaking a Keto Plateau
The ketogenic diet does not possess magical properties, and it is not exempt from potentially reaching a stalemate like any other diet plan. These things happen, and they’re nothing to worry about.
Acknowledging that you have come to a standstill in your keto journey is the first step to overcoming a keto plateau. Generally, no changes in weight will be seen for roughly two weeks. If you have seen an increase in your body weight or your progress has halted in just a few days, it could be a result of changes in the amount of water in your body, the storage of glycogen in your muscles, or because of stress.
You need to be aware of how many calories you are consuming. If you aren’t keeping an eye on what you eat, then it is impossible to attribute your slow metabolism or poor genetics to that. Track your caloric intake for a couple of days and observe what the results are.