Why You ARE In Ketosis But NOT Losing Weight!
So you’re on the keto diet and, importantly, have managed to get into ketosis, but you’re still not losing weight.
There could be a number of factors at play. This Blog post will take you through all of the reasons why this might be.
Most commonly, it’s just a minor bit of tweaking that is needed and I’ve helped loads of people get over this hurdle in the keto journey.
Table of Contents
Check you are in Ketosis
Everything from this point on assumes that you’ve confirmed with some sort of testing that you’re in ketosis not just relying on symptoms?
I’ve got a video and another blog post about the different ways to measure ketones so go check these out if you’re not sure about how to do this.
Making sure you’re in ketosis before we start is important because if you’re not in ketosis then what you actually need is my free troubleshooting guide. Why am I not in ketosis?
We’ve established that you’re in ketosis
Before we can understand what is really going on, we have to understand what being in ketosis actually tells us?
All it tells us is that we’re burning fat as a primary source of fuel. The problem is that it doesn’t tell us WHERE that fat is coming from and it could be from one of two places.
Our Stored Body Fat
Fat that we’ve eaten (dietary fat).
While it’s true that fats are nothing to shy away from while on the keto diet, it’s not a free pass just to consume as much fat as you want.
Can you get fat from eating fat?
I want to take a moment to dispel a common keto myth and that is that you can’t get fat from eating fat.
That is simply incorrect. You can gain weight from eating too much fat. There is a very efficient transport system that takes dietary fat, from your gut to your fat cells. It’s not just about carbs and insulin.
Just google chylomicrons if you want to learn more about that process.
And this brings us to the most important reason why you can be in ketosis but not lose weight.
You’re consuming too much fat
Now one of the amazing things about the ketogenic diet is that people tend to feel a lot less hungry on it, and therefore naturally eat less. Off the back of this many people slip very easily into a pattern of intermittent fasting too.
But there are certain fat sources that can sneak up on us in our daily consumption and just tip us over the edge into overconsuming fat. So yes, you’ll technically still be in ketosis but just not losing weight
Take 100 grams of walnuts. It’s probably a bit over a handful. It has just 7 grams of net carbohydrates, so, depending on what else you’re eating in the day may well be low enough to keep you in ketosis.
But it also contains about 700 calories. Now I don’t know about you, but I could easily get through these in a day if I was snacking on nuts.
Keto Coffee & Fat Bombs
So if you’re definitely in ketosis but aren’t losing weight then Iդ suggest cutting back, or eliminating these from your diet until you get needles on the scales moving again.
Finally, just be wary of the amount of fat you’re adding to your food. Butter, mayonnaise and other things like that. Whilst I’m not saying you shouldn’t add butter to your vegetables at all, it’s just that some people go a bit far with adding butter to stuff.
So, if you’re struggling to lose weight, and you’re not doing any of the stuff that we’ve already talked about, just be sure to check on how much fat you’re adding to your meals.
I just mentioned that some foods like nuts and cheese are easy snack foods. But you shouldn’t really feel the need to eat between meals whilst on a ketogenic diet.
If you feel the need to snack between meals either you’ve not eaten enough at your last meal ( in which case make sure you’ve eaten enough to satisfy your hunger)
Or you’re snacking out of habit, rather than out of hunger – which is something I commonly see. Try replacing that habit with something else. Why not have a glass of water instead?
While we’re on the topic of snacking do you find yourself needing to snack much when you’re in ketosis? Is it out of habit or hunger?
Let me know in the comments below – just type Habit or Hunger.
If some ketones is good, more must be better?
Some keto professionals would argue that when it comes to weight loss, the higher your level of ketones the faster you’re going to lose weight and that you should simply add more fat in order to achieve this.
Having a higher level of ketones, unfortunately, doesn’t tell us if your body is burning fat from your body fat storage or from the fat you’re consuming. It’s possible that you’ve just got higher levels because you’re burning more dietary fat.
So long as your readings on a blood ketone meter are between 0.5 – 3.0, you’re in ketosis, and it’s probably not necessary for weight loss to increase your blood ketone level any higher. It just doesn’t make sense when you really think about it.
For more on this, check out my video on the ideal ketone levels for weight loss
How do we find out if we’re consuming too much fat?
Keep A Food Diary
It’s enough for most people to simply keep a food diary for a few days. This can either be in paper form, or simply just take a photograph of everything you’re eating. Include all drinks and snacks.
This simple act of recording things can bring a new awareness to these small additions that sneak their way into your daily consumption and will promote a more mindful approach to eating!
I’m not a massive fan of calorie counting, because calculating your energy expenditure is generally pretty inaccurate, as are food labels.
But if all else has failed it can occasionally be a useful tool to help you know if you’re way out on your calorie balance and to help you identify problem areas within your diet.
There are a number of apps and trackers available. I quite like MyFitnessPal.
I would just urge a bit of caution with the numbers because calorie counting can turn into a major headache if relied on too heavily due to all the inaccuracies and trying to keep track of all the numbers. It’s also pretty time consuming.
Let’s finish up this blog post by looking at some non-diet related reasons why you might not be losing weight.
Stress could be stopping you from losing weight.
If you’re someone who experiences daily stress in work life and/or personal life, this could seriously impact your ability to lose weight effectively.
Nature developed stress as a survival tool, putting our bodies into a state of stress to essentially freeze the nutrients we currently have in our bodies in the event we won’t be able to access food for a while.
As a survival mechanism, stress is great! Nature however hasn’t developed a less drastic way to cope with the type of non-life-threatening stress we experience in the modern world. Stress doesn’t only impair us from losing weight, it can also negatively impact the way our bodies use new nutrients.
Increasing daily movement has been proven to be an effective stress reliever, as exercise releases endorphins, a feel-good hormone. You may also wish to try something like yoga, which will not only be far more physically challenging than you might expect. It can be great for stress relief too.
Nature wants us to sleep for about 8 hours with various sleep stages, each just as important as the other. Anything less than 7 hours of sleep each night has been shown to cause some serious health concerns.
If you think you can function perfectly fine with 6 hours of sleep or less, the reality is this may cause issues for you in the future.
Not only do we make bad food choices when we’re sleep deprived, we also consume a lot more, with an extra 200-300 calories consumed each day for people who sleep 6 hours or less.
Catching those zzz’s can help you avoid weight gain and help you make better choices in what foods to consume.
So, go on get to bed
I know some of you will be saying but I’m already doing all of this already.If you are and you’re still struggling it might be time to see your doctor.
Your doctor may wish to consider doing some blood tests in order to check whether you have a medical problem that may be hindering your efforts to lose weight.
Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid is one very common health issue that may be impacting your ability to lose weight. It’s a simple blood test to look for abnormal hormone levels and it’s pretty easy to treat too.