If you are concerned because you haven’t lost weight while eating keto, here are 6 Simple Tips from a fellow ketonian.
First things first, I am new to keto myself. As of this blog post, I’ve been eating ketogenically for 7 months. I’ve “only” lost 25 pounds in that time. (Side note: I’m damn happy about those 25 pounds. I’m wearing a belt people! A belt. I haven’t been this weight/size in 20+ years. That’s amazing)
Even though I’m not an “expert” I’ve helped dozens of friends and have tried to learn everything I can about ketogenic eating so I can help as many friends and family as possible.
People can sometimes have unrealistic expectations of weight loss on a ketogenic “diet” because some people see really big losses in short amounts of time. Guess what? Not everyone loses 3 or 4 pounds a week.
If you are eating a ketogenic diet for weight loss…you are missing the bigger picture. Don’t get me wrong, weight loss is wonderful. But it’s important to realize the weight is not the problem, it’s a symptom of underlying health issues like insulin resistance.
Let me repeat – excess weight is the symptom of underlying health issues.
Eating a keto diet will help solve many health issues and will lead to weight loss in those of us with excess fat to lose. Even when you don’t see changes in the scale and you are eating correctly for the keto diet, you are providing amazing changes in your whole body that have long lasting health benefits.
That said, there is a lot of information and mis-information out there about eating keto. Sometimes we really need to take a look at our eating to make sure we aren’t missing something and accidentally sabotaging our efforts. Here are my tips on what to look for if you aren’t seeing the weight loss you wanted:
- Have a realistic goal. Based on my personal experience and that of friends, a pound a week is “realistic”. It might not be what we want to hear, but it’s the truth. Some may lose 2 or even 3 pounds a week but everyone is different. Having a goal of 1 pound (on average) a week will help keep you from going crazy.
- Look at the big picture. What is your overall weight loss been averaging? Look at the big picture even if you haven’t lost in a week/month. I’ve had 4 or 5 week stretches of time where I didn’t lose a pound, but when I looked at my overall loss, I was still on track with the 1 pound a week average.
- Measure, don’t weigh. I realize you’ll probably still weigh. I weigh every day so who am I to preach? BUT, measuring will help you through your stalls. You’ll be able to see if you are losing inches even if it’s not showing on the scale. I know this sounds like cliche bullshit, but it’s actually helpful. I never believed the “but you are losing inches” conversation…until now. During that month I didn’t lose a pound, I lost 1.5 inches off my waist. THAT is motivating.
- Read ALL the labels and examine all your food choices. Even foods we think are keto friendly can be sabotaging our results. Especially look at foods you eat frequently. A few personal examples. Lemons. I freakin’ love lemons. Apparently they can stall weight loss because they are a fruit. My big ass bottle of lemon juice from Costco says 0 carbs, but 1 whole lemon has 5 grams of carbs. Real Lemon can get away with that because a “serving” has only .85 grams so they round down to zero. Don’t blindly trust the food label. I examined the foods I ate most often and found more than one culprit. I was eating a homemade salad dressing (a lot of it!) that had soy sauce. I didn’t realize soy sauce had wheat in it. It’s a learning curve for all of us. Some of us have better nutritional education than others. Take time to examine what you are eating every day. Here is the USDA Food Composition list. It could be very enlightening.
- Measure your macros. When I got started with keto, I said “I am not going to measure anything because it will keep me from starting”. That worked for me. I got started. I eased in and after about 6 weeks I started to measure my macros. I discovered I should be eating more fat to meet my goal of 75-80% calories from fat. I adjusted my eating and boom…started to lose weight again. (side note: my fat macros are higher because I’m eating this way, in part, to keep cancer from coming back. For cancer survivors, the fat macros are recommended closer to 80% than the standard 70% of most LCHF diets) I don’t measure mine every day, but if I see a stall in my weight loss, I will measure, examine to make sure I’m not off track.
- Why? Most of all, examine your reason for eating a keto diet. If you just thought of it as a weight loss diet, take some time to learn about the health benefits of eating this way. Personally, I’m a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at age 34 in 2009. Chance of recurrence is 50%. With each year that passed, I didn’t feel better. I felt like I was one year closer to “when it comes back”. Learning about ketogenic eating gave me hope. Hope that I could actually turn the odds in my favor.
If you have questions, leave them in the comments. We’ll find the answers together! If you have tips about solving your own weight loss challenges on keto, share! The more information there is out there, the better for everyone!