Weight loss may be one of the pros of the keto diet, but if you aren’t following this eating plan diligently, you may not shed as many pounds as you’d like. And even if you are sticking to a healthy diet filled with keto-friendly foods, it’s important to acknowledge there might be other factors that are holding you back from achieving all your weight loss goals.
To shed some light on all the reasons you’re struggling to lose weight on the keto diet, we spoke to an expert nutritionist and dietitian about the subject to help steer you in the right direction. Below are some things to keep in mind if you are looking to lose some weight while observing the diet.
You are eating too much.
Typically, a keto diet is very satiating because of the high percentage of your intake from fat. However, registered dietitian nutritionist Kristin Koskinen, RDN, LD, CD, said that if you aren’t mindful about how much you’re actually eating, you may not hit your dietary marks.
You are eating too much protein.
“Eating too much protein can definitely kick you out of ketosis,” Koskinen told INSIDER. The body is able to convert protein to glucose, so overdoing it will work against your ketogenic goals, she added.
You are eating too many carbs.
“Following a strict ketogenic diet may mean cutting back farther than you would expect on the carbs,” Koskinen explained. This can be both challenging and conflicting, she suggested, considering that means cutting back on foods such as whole grains, fruits, and even vegetables.
You are not eating high-quality foods.
“There are a lot of processed foods that meet the mark with regard to macros, but fall short in terms of the micronutrients,” Koskinen said. These foods tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients, she added.
You have underlying health issues.
“Underlying health issues such as polycyclic ovarian syndrome or thyroid disease may be hindering your weight loss attempts,” Koskinen said.
Stress and sleep may be holding you back.
“There are three main components to weight loss: nutrition, exercise, and stress management,” Koskinen explained. This includes not just how you deal with stress, but making sure you get adequate high-quality sleep as well, she added.
You have too many cheat days.
“The ketogenic diet needs to be followed meticulously with keto-friendly foods to see results,” said nutritionist and author Aimee Aristotelous. To remain in the fat-burning state of ketosis, carbohydrate intake needs to be between 20 to 50 grams per day, she explained. If you indulge in foods like pasta or starchy root vegetables, she added that not only will ketosis not be achieved, but an overabundance of calories can occur as well.
You are consuming tricky hidden carbs.
“There is a big misconception that carbs are only inside items such as bread, pasta, and potatoes. However, carbs are actually almost everywhere,” Aristotelous said. “The keto diet relies on accuracy, so if you don’t know how many grams of carbs are in a cup of broccoli, you’ll definitely need to do some research, read labels, and track your intake,” she added.
You are eating too many keto treats.
Although there are many delicious and satisfying keto snacks on the market, Aristotelous suggested that they aren’t exactly the healthiest.
“A primary example is the use of artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols inside keto-friendly snacks,” she said. “Despite the fact that these sweeteners are low-sugar sources, studies now show they still raise blood sugar in a similar way that pure table sugar does,” she added.
You aren’t tracking your calories.
“Being mindful of calorie intake is still important, even if you’re in ketosis,” Aristotelous said. Your specific caloric requirements depend on age, gender, height, current weight, goal weight, and activity level, so what may be the proper intake for one, may not be the same for you, she said.
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