The ketogenic diet is without a doubt one of the most effective diets on the planet. Yet here you are stalled in the process of losing body fat with keto. Why is that? After all, endurance athletes, CrossFit enthusiasts, and bodybuilders all over the world use the keto diet.
Endurance athletes use the keto diet to train their bodies to burn fat for fuel. This allows them to avoid carbohydrate cravings that tend to pop up when one does a lot of endurance workouts. Crossfitters and bodybuilders use the keto diet to shed body fat and get ripped.
There is a lot of debate about the keto diet. Is the ketogenic diet sustainable for the long haul or is it just a fad? This article is not going to weigh in on that debate. What we’re concerned about is why some people are not losing body fat with the keto diet; why they don’t see results.
Losing Body Fat with Keto: Mistakes to Avoid
Some people may fail at the diet despite trying their best. We’ve already established that the diet does work. But if you’re not seeing results, it’s probably due to one of the reasons below. You’ve probably heard the expression; the devil is in the details. In this case, it’s true.
Before starting the keto diet you need to understand it and adhere to it. Simply put, a keto diet consists of low-carb high-fat meals with moderate amounts of protein. You also need to know there is more than one version of the ketogenic diet.
That means you need to be clear on your purpose and goals then decide which type of diet to adopt. For example, a bodybuilder would most likely choose the targeted ketogenic diet. However if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you would want to try the standard ketogenic or high-protein diet.
1. Poor Food Choices
Focus on whole foods and avoid processed foods. You also want to avoid artificial sweeteners. Adopting the keto diet means you will necessarily change the foods you eat. When you do this your body will lose fat much faster.
But it’s not entirely about what you eat. Equally important is how much you eat.
Eating Too Much Protein
It’s a fad these days to finish off every workout with a protein shake. What most people don’t know is that excess protein raises insulin levels, and this leads to weight gain. Watch your protein intake.
How much protein you consume will depend on your lifestyle and level of activity. You can calculate your protein intake by using this calculator: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/calpro.htm
Consuming Too Many Carbs Hinders Body Fat Loss
Carbohydrates tend to creep into most foods. For example, the processed meats that you think are harmless contain carbs… and this just one example. The ketogenic diet allows for only about 50 grams of carbs. If you exceed the amount, you’ll affect ketosis adversely and this will affect your results.
You can read this article for foods you should avoid or eliminate from your diet. These are the usual suspects; foods that are high in carbs.
Not Eating Enough Vegetables to Lose Body Fat
Your body needs fiber to remove the fats that are coming out through your liver. When you eat low-carb vegetables you will give your body the potassium and fiber it needs to regulate muscles, heart, and other organs.
Some of the vegetables you could start eating are:
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Green cabbage
- White cabbage
2. Eating Keto Means Not Being Afraid to Eat Fat
Over the years we’ve been brainwashed into believing we should avoid eating fat at all costs. Of course, we now know this is nonsense. Eating fat does not make you fat. If anything, eating fat helps your body shed fat more readily. Your body knows that it has an ample supply of fat coming in to burn as fuel.
Be bold; don’t be afraid to eat the fats allowed in this diet. Foods such as coconut oil, ghee, butter, olive oil, avocados, eggs, red meat, fish, etc. are all good for you. Go ahead and consume them without hesitation.
But you need to be careful. You must track your macronutrients, especially your fat consumption. You shouldn’t eat too much fat and you shouldn’t eat too little. This is where meal planning will help you. If you know what you are going to eat you can determine how many carbs, protein, and fats you will consume per meal.
Alternatively, you can keep a food journal to record your food intake and numbers. You can use this calculator to determine your macronutrient needs.
3. Not Adding Minerals While on the Keto Diet
When you’re on a keto diet, you’ll need to ensure that you’re getting enough sodium and potassium in your body. The keto diet causes the body to shed water; and along with the water your body will also lose electrolytes.
When your body is short on electrolytes, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, etc. You can easily rectify this problem. Just add a pinch of salt to your meals or mix some in a glass of water and drink it.
4. Try Intermittent Fasting While on a Keto Diet
To really see results with the keto diet, it’s best that you adopt an intermittent fasting protocol. An 8-hour eating window with a 16-hour fasting window should be enough to help regulate your insulin levels and allow for fat burning.
The moment you consume food, your body releases insulin and fat burning comes to a halt. So, the fasting window is crucial to maintain constant fat burning. Give intermittent fasting a try to see if it helps you lose weight while on the keto diet.
If you have health issues, be sure to check with a health care professional before you begin a fasting program.
5. You Must Exercise to Accelerate Fat Loss when on the Keto Diet
Most people don’t want to hear this, but it’s the truth and it’s important. You still need to exercise. The keto diet will help you lose fat. However, you need to exercise to boost your metabolism, improve your stamina, gain lean muscle, and much more.
The health benefits derived from exercise are just too many to neglect. You need a training regimen that incorporates cardio, resistance training and flexibility training. A keto diet when combined with a good training regimen will torch your fat in no time at all.
More Reasons You are not Losing Body Fat with Keto
1. Focusing on Scale Weight not Fat Loss
With the keto diet, the focus is on fat loss and not weight loss. If you’re exercising and already lean, you may gain muscle and drop your body fat percentage to single digits. Gauge your progress by your appearance in the mirror, how well your clothes fit, and how you feel.
If you obsess over the numbers on the scale, you’ll be tempted to make changes in the diet. You will find yourself trying to encourage your body to lose weight… and this will mess things up.
Very often people try to drastically cut their calories. This is counterproductive and works against you. When your macronutrients are in adherence to the keto protocol and you’re at a caloric deficit, you’ll see fat loss.
2. There’s Too Much Stress in Your Life
Once again, stress rears its ugly head. When you’re under stress, your body releases cortisol which stimulates insulin and inhibits fat loss. It may even lead to weight gain, especially on your belly.
Take time to de-stress. Get enough sleep so that your mind and body get a break from all the daily stresses of life.
3. Panicking Over Cholesterol
When your body burns fat, the fat cells will release triglycerides and cholesterol. So it’s inevitable to see your cholesterol levels go up. Don’t panic and make changes to the diet and ruin it. Your body will flush out the cholesterol and your cholesterol levels will improve in a few weeks.
If you’re already concerned about your cholesterol, you can purchase a blood cholesterol test kit. With a home testing kit you can monitor your total cholesterol levels including HDL and triglycerides. This is a good way to keep an eye on cholesterol in between visits to your doctor.
Be sure to do your research on the types of home cholesterol kits on the market. Not all home testing kits are created equal. Some are as accurate as a blood draw and analysis by a lab; others are not. Also, check with your doctor before you make any purchase.
Losing Body Fat with the Keto Diet Takes Patience
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Despite the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet, it will take time for you to shed the stubborn fat. Do not throw in the towel because you don’t see results after 2 weeks. Stay the course for 4 to 8 weeks; the transformation just may surprise you.
There are reasons you are not losing weight with keto and they may seem simple enough. Yet many on the keto diet fail to adhere to them. So bear them in mind and stick with your keto diet meal plans until you see results. The keto diet is one of the most effective weight loss tools on the planet. Do use it wisely; there really is no reason why you should not be losing excess body fat with keto.