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Not Losing Weight on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further

22. April 2013|Martina|58

The ketogenic diet is not only known to be one of the most effective weight loss tools, but has proven to have many health benefits.

Ketosis is a state at which your body produces ketones in the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilization. Unless you can check your blood ketones, using Ketostix is an easy way to detect urinary ketones. It's not the most accurate method, but may be good enough to find out whether you are in ketosis.

In some cases, weight loss may be difficult even on a low-carb ketogenic diet and there may be a few possible reasons for weight stalling, which I have listed in this post.

If you want to know more about the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight and feel great again, you can check out my apps KetoDiet, KetoDiet Basic and my Kindle book which include a complete guide, recipes and even more (see our video tutorial).

You are not in ketosis, which you can confirm using ketone detection strips. There could be several reasons for that:

  1. Your carbohydrate intake may be too high. Try to decrease your daily carbs limit. Also try to include coconut oil in your diet. Coconut oil consists of MCTs (Medium chain triglycerides), which are easily digestible, less likely to be stored by your body and are used for immediate energy. MCTs are converted in the liver into ketones, which helps you enter ketosis. If you want to know more about carbs, check out my post here: All You Need to Know About Carbs on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet. For more about ketones, I have recently created a post about Ketosis & Measuring Ketones.

  2. Your protein intake may be too high. Protein is the most sating macronutrient and you should include high-quality animal protein in your diet. However, if you eat too much protein, the excess protein converts into glycogen and disrupts ketosis. This is not the most likely reason, as it's not as easy to eat too much protein unless you take protein supplements. Phinney and Volek in their book "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" recommend 0.6 - 1 gram of protein per a pound of lean mass / 1.3 - 2.2 grams of protein per a kilogram of lean mass a day (lean mass = total body weight without fat). Increasing the intake of omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish, macadamia nuts) in your diet will help you lose fat!

  3. You use artificial or other sweeteners that may interrupt ketosis. Some keto-dieters claim artificial sweeteners and even some sugar alcohols have a negative effect on ketosis. This issue has been recently debated but there are no conclusive results as to the effect of artificial sweeteners. As a guideline, beware of chewing gums, mints or any medications such as cough syrup and others that may contain sugar or sweeteners. Have a look at my recent post about suitable sweeteners and why I avoid artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame.

  4. Carb cheating / carb creep is another possible reason for not losing weight. You have to be really disciplined and aware of all carbs you eat. It’s a little nibbling here and there of the forbidden foods, leading to a carb creep, so make sure you count all carbs. In this video, Dr. Eric Westman explains the ketogenic diet and emphasizes that even eating mints may affect ketosis and weight loss results. Sometimes, even when a label says "sugar-free", it doesn't have to be "carbs-free"!

Note: You can be in ketosis without showing urinary ketones, but they can be found in your bloodstream. This could happen if your urine is too diluted due to high water intake and shows a marginal number of ketones. As long as you keep your net carbs low, your body will enter ketosis. You may even not be showing any ketones at all. This happens when your body gets fully keto-adapted and uses fat for fuel. It’s not a bad thing and it doesn’t mean you will stop losing weight.
Berries are low-carb and super healthy, but you have to be aware of their net carbs content! If you aim for 20g of net carbs a day, you should minimise their consumption!

You are in ketosis but struggle to lose weight:

  1. The reason could be way too much fat and therefore calories in your diet. Firstly, it's undisputable that all calories are NOT equal. It really matters whether you get them from healthy and sating LCHF food or processed food rich in carbs. Sam Feltham's 5000 calorie experiments (first with LCHF diet, then High-carb diet) may be extreme, but they have proven that calories are NOT equal and their source is very important. However, some people on a LCHF diet may find it easier to lose weight if they also watch their calorie intake. Fat contains twice as many calories as carbohydrates and protein, so it's important your fat intake lies between the recommended ranges. There is no diet that lets you consume "unlimited" amounts of calories and still lose weight.
    Calories from fat should amount to 60-75% of your daily intake and overeating is not going to do any good. When it comes to the overall calorie intake, it depends on your individual maintenance level and how active you are. To find your ideal macronutrient targets, check out KetoDiet Buddy, a free on-line Keto calculator we have developed for our blog. Keep in mind that the macronutrient ratio is not the only aspect you should consider - the type and quality of fats matter. For more, have a look at my post here: Complete Guide to Fats & Oils on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet.

Note: If you just started a low-carb diet, it may take some time for your body to get used to it and you will naturally eat less. Just give it some time. Low-carb diets are a lot more nutritious and sating as you will discover.

Macronutrient breakdown for the ketogenic diet: 60-75% calories from fat, 15-30% calories from protein, 5-10% calories from net carbs

  1. Also keep in mind that losing fat gets more difficult as you approach your ideal weight. My own experience is that if you need to lose a relatively small amount of weight like 5-10 pounds and your body weight is already at a healthy "natural" level, you will find it hard to lose more weight. The only way is to be careful about your calorie intake. In my case, because I'm quite active, this was eating up to 2,100 kcal a day (maintenance level + level of activity) to maintain my weight or 200-500 kcal less to lose weight. As you can see, it’s nowhere near starvation.

  2. You put on weight over a short period of time. This could happen if you had more carbs (even once!) than your daily limit (e.g. you went to a party). As we have learnt before, there is a relationship between water retention and glycogen stores. If your body manages to store some extra glycogen, you also increase water retention. This happens literally from one day to the next. Don't panic, it's just water. Once you go back to your daily carbs limit it will take 2-3 days to lose the excessive water.

  3. You may have a thyroid or adrenal dysfunction and you are not aware of it. It only takes a blood / saliva test to find out - visit your doctor! In case of autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's), a very low-carb diet is not recommended. Dr. Broda Barnes, who spent over 50 years on thyroid research, suggested in his book “Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness” that the minimum amount of carbohydrate intake for patients with hypothyroidism should at least 30 grams of net carbs. If you want to learn more about thyroid / adrenal disorders and what your doctor may not tell you, have a look at Stop The Thyroid Madness.

  4. Stress is a big factor. When we are stressed out, our body produces a hormone called cortisol, which is responsible for storing fat round your stomach area (visceral fat) and makes weight loss more difficult. Try to relax, don't underestimate this factor. Find your own way to reduce it: try meditations, take a few days off work, go somewhere for a weekend or go for a walk. Stress is also linked to hypothyroidism and adrenal issues and this badly affects your metabolic rate. As a result of that, you store fat.

  5. Leptin and its satiety signaling is another possible factor. Fat is hormonally active and it sends out leptin, a hormone that tells us when we’ve had enough. As you lose fat, there will be less fat cells to do the job. This does not apply just to low-carb, but any diet. The question is how significant this factor is. If you eat food rich in fat and protein, this can be minimised.

  6. Lack of sleep may be behind your weight stalling. It may sound as cliche but sleep is and absolutely crucial part of fat loss: Maximum fat loss is only achieved with adequate sleep, diet and exercise. Try to fall asleep before midnight and sleep for 7-9 hours. I don't expect all of you can afford to sleep for 9 hours, but take it as a goal :-)

  7. You eat too many low-carb treats. Going on a low-carb diet doesn't mean you can indulge low-carb pancakes, cheesecakes or muffins on a daily basis. Although these may be very low in carbs (when you use stevia or Erythritol), they may still cause cravings. You should always treat them as occasional rewards and your diet should be based on real food (eggs, meat, leafy vegetables, cheese and some nuts).

  8. You exercise too much. Overtraining could be as harmful as lack of exercise. Here is a good article that explains Why You May Need To Exercise Less.

In my own experience, too much exercise is couneractive. Recently, I've been trying to lose 4 pounds (below is my progress over the last few months). As you can see, my calorie intake has risen dramatically. Reason? Because my weight loss was stalling, I decided to do more exercise (HIIT, weight training and some cardio 6-7 times a week!). Result: I was hungry and started eating more. Fortunatelly, I didn't put on any weight, but it hasn't helped me lose body fat either. About 2 months ago, I had an injury and couldn't do any excersise other than 30 minutes of daily walks. My calorie intake dropped, I was eating less and most importantly, I lost the last 4 pounds! Now, I don't exercise more than 3 times a week and walk about 30 minutes every day.

KetoDiet for the iPad, tracking progress (various charts, here: average monthly calorie intake)

What else to do about it?

  • Join my 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge!

  • First of all, don't weigh yourself more than once a week or even better, don't weigh yourself at all. There are natural fluctuations related to water retention and hormonal balance. If you are a woman, you will notice these fluctuations more often. If you see no movement on the scales or even if your weight goes up, it doesn't mean you are not losing fat. If you exercise, you may even see a little increase in weight, as muscles are heavier than fat. The important thing here is to concentrate on losing body fat. Don’t rely just on scales, use body tape, calipers, belts or clothes to see any changes.

  • Try to include more coconut oil and more omega 3 fatty acids (macadamia nuts, fatty fish) in your diet - it helps with fat loss. Also, check out my two posts about what will help you lose weight: coconut oil and macadamia nuts (to find out more, check out my posts: Do you want to lose fat faster? Include coconut oil in your diet and Enhance your fat loss with macadamia nuts).

  • Some low-carb dieters claim to have improved their weight loss by reducing the consumption of dairy products, while others found no significant effect. This may well be down to individuals and it's worth trying in case it works for you. In my case, avoiding dairy really helped!

  • Be careful about products labeled "low-carb", "sugar-free", etc. It's a known fact that some of these products contain more net carbs than they claim. The perfect examples of such advertising are the Atkins products. They contain artificial additives and have a long list of ingredients which always raises alarm. Additionally, they are sweetened with sugar alcohols such as sorbitol or maltitol that cause insulin spikes and are definitely not "carbs-free". Not all sugar alcohols have the same impact on blood sugar and I would recommend you only use products sweetened with Erythritol, Swerve, Stevia or chicory root sweetener (e.g. Just like sugar). These sweeteners have no impact on blood sugar and are very low in calories. To find out more about sweeteners, here is my list of Top 10 Natural Low-carb Sweeteners.

  • Avoid products labeled "fat-free" at any cost. These are often full of carbs!

  • Learn to eat REAL food: meat, eggs, vegetables and nuts should be the main part of your diet! Eating food full of preservatives, additives and colourings is not only unhealthy, but it will impair your weight loss efforts. In most cases, these products are not nutritious enough, don't have the ability to sate our appetite as REAL food does and as a result, you will eat more.

  • Most of your diet should consist of meat, eggs and vegetables. Be careful with nuts, root vegetables, dairy and fruits (berries, if any).

  • If you reached the plateau, try IF (Intermittent Fasting) or HFF (High Fat Fasting) for a few days and see if there is any difference. Doing IF every now and then is recommended for keeping your metabolism high.

  • HIIE (High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise) also works for breaking the plateau. These short intense workouts improve glucose tolerance and are the most effective for burning calories. I personally love home workouts from Bodyrock.tv: free beginner, intermediate and advanced programs, all starting from just 12 minutes a day!

  • I should mention that for long-term effects, it’s not about burning calories, it’s about building muscle tissue and increasing your metabolic rate. Therefore, include resistance training in your workout routines.

  • Increase your electrolytes, make sure your electrolyte intake is sufficient (magnesium, potassium, sodium).

  • Drink water! Make sure you get properly hydrated, it's vital for fat loss. Water suppresses appetite and helps body metabolise fat.

  • If your carbs intake is low and you don't see any reason why you shouldn't lose weigh, give it some time. Your body may just be getting used to your new life-style and needs time to adjust.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post. To find out more about the ketogenic diet, keto-friendly recipes, diet planner and more, check out my apps KetoDiet, KetoDiet Basic and my Kindle book!

Comments (58) -

Julian 4/23/2013 1:24:08 AM United States #
Julian

Good article. A nice simple beginner's article.

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KetoDiet 4/23/2013 6:19:11 AM United Kingdom #
KetoDiet

Thank you, Julian!

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FabiolaS 5/1/2013 12:54:11 PM Italy #
FabiolaS

Thank you it helped me - Dairy were the problem!

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Misha T 8/8/2013 11:24:19 PM #
Misha T

Great article - the most complete guide! Now I have an idea what I'm doing wrong. Thank you so much!

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Bryant Ford 8/13/2013 2:27:56 AM #
Bryant Ford

I have appreciate what you have here. I believe by following the tips you have given here, I can be successful in achieving my goals in losing fats!

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Antonetta Yoshi 8/13/2013 9:15:12 AM #
Antonetta Yoshi

I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don't know who you are but definitely you're going to a famous blogger if you are not already Cheers!

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Yvonne Tebbe 8/13/2013 9:15:58 AM #
Yvonne Tebbe

I think you have mentioned some very interesting details , thanks for the post.

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Monica 8/14/2013 12:05:19 PM #
Monica

The best and most complete guide! Thanks so much, this really helped!

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KetoDiet 8/14/2013 12:22:29 PM #
KetoDiet

Thank you, I'm trying to keep it up to date and I'm working on it continuously Smile

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Joanie 9/5/2013 3:42:16 PM #
Joanie

I started about 3 weeks ago.  I do consume some dairy like cheese and I also eat veggies like brocolli, zuchini, tomatoes, muschrooms, spinach and romaine lettuce, avocado as well.  At first i lost like 3 pounds but this week only 1.  I crossfit and my % are 65-70 of fat, 25-27 of protein and 5-7 of carbs.  Why am I not losing that much as other dieters claim?  I am a big girl at 217, I would of thought the first couple of weeks were gonna be like 3-4 pounds a week.  Any suggestions??

TIA!

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KetoDiet 9/6/2013 2:32:39 PM #
KetoDiet

Hi Joanie,  it's very hard to make assumptions but you seem to be doing everything right. However, the reasons why you don't lose as much weight as you desire could be many:
- you may be eating too many calories (calories do matter but are not the main focus of the ketogenic diet - try to use the "keto calculator" to find your ideal intake (I'm working on including one on our website)
- you may have thyroid dysfunction (which is my case and I take medication and avoid goitrogenic foods)
- you may have sensitivity to  certain foods that cause insulin spikes
- you may be eating "hidden carbs"
How long have you been doing the Keto diet? Your body may just need time to adjust...

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Anna 9/13/2013 12:50:39 AM #
Anna

This is truly a great post!
I didn't lose one single inch around my body since I started with low carb ( I measure my arms, thigs, waist and hip every week, still the same... ) and was wondering what was going wrong.
Every other post I read was full of scientific data about metabolism and stuff, making them awfully long, complicated, and worst of all, not providing any advice on what we could DO.
Now this was made simple like a presentation hand-out, yet complete, and I know where I could start trying to fix the problem! So thank you very much! I look forward to seeing more great posts like this!

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KetoDiet 9/13/2013 2:25:51 PM #
KetoDiet

Thank you! I will keep updating this post with anything new I learn. I tried to write it so that it's easy to read and find answers most people have Smile

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Keto Jane 10/17/2013 12:54:27 AM #
Keto Jane

The best keto resource I've found! I'm so glad for your article, thanks and keep posting!

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Martina @ KetoDiet 10/17/2013 10:00:07 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you Jane, words like yours always keep me motivated! Smile

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Deborah B 10/17/2013 3:59:00 AM #
Deborah B

I've recently started a ketogenic diet.  I am a little confused with regards to restrict or not restrict calorie intake.  I've read calories from LCHF is not the same as eating carb rich diet with the same amount of calories. I stumbled onto a site and read for the obese they can eat without restriction of calorie IF the diet is carb restricted (below 20 carbs per day) yet rich in proteins and fats.  See: ajcn.nutrition.org/content/1/5/343.full.pdf+html.  Fats are higher in calories then carbs, and I find when I am trying to reach certain grams of proteins and fats my calorie count goes above what is recommended for weight loss.  What to do?  I would appreciate your input!  See also www.dietdoctor.com/what-happens-if-you-eat-5800-calories-daily-on-an-lchf-diet.  Thanks, Deborah

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Martina @ KetoDiet 10/17/2013 10:26:16 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Hi Deborah,

when it comes to calories, it's a bit more complicated (see the 3 main effects of ketosis in my article). Although calories are not equal on a low-carb compared to high-carb diet, I think those that can eat "unlimited" amount of calories (on any diet) are very lucky. I'm not doubting Sam's experiment, I just think most people, including me, would put on fat even on the LCHF diet if they were to eat 5000 kcal a day (although probably still less than what the energy formula says). It think the point of his experiment was to show that the energy formula doesn't work (he put on a lot more weight than expected on the high-carb diet and very little on the LCHF diet).

Based on my own experience, I have to be careful about the calories and I'm not as strict with the amount of carbohydrates. If you follow a ketogenic diet, the idea is to eat just the right amount of carbs to stay in ketosis. This doesn't necessarily have to be 20 grams of net carbs a day, but it can be anything between 20-50 grams, which in the end affects the calories you consume.

Many people believe that the more ketones their body produces, the better for weight loss. In fact, the amount of ketones is not a "measure" for weight loss. You should experience all the benefits of the ketogenic diet as long as the indicator shows some ketones (see point 3 of the three main effects of ketosis).

In practise, I eat about 2200 kcal (and about 50-100 g net carbs) when I'm maintaining my weight and anything between 1700-2000 kcal (and about 30-40 g net carbs) if I needed to lose weight. This is a great resource to find your own limit: http://keto-calculator.ankerl.com

I hope this helps Smile
Martina

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Fana 11/10/2013 7:53:20 AM #
Fana

Is there any supplements you can take to aid in optimal ketosis, read somewhere about AAKG powder?

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Martina @ KetoDiet 11/10/2013 12:31:39 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Hi Fana, I have no personal experience with this supplement. I know that it's supposed to be good for the body to build muscles, but I can't confirm whether it's good for ketosis.

I think the best ketosis booster (based on my personal experience) is coconut oil / MCT oil. I eat 1-2 tablespoons a day on an empty stomach. Apart from boosting ketosis, it's healthy and very beneficial for the thyroid.

When it comes to side effects of AAKG:
"So far, research is inconclusive on the adverse side effects of this product and it appears to be safe for most adults. In an eight-week study, subjects reported no abnormal side effects from taking about four grams per day of AAKG.
However, a 2009 paper reported three patients who were admitted to the emergency room with very negative effects including dizziness, vomiting and loss of consciousness. AAKG is not recommended for continuous, high-level use for more than 60 days." (MensFitness.com)

Also, have a look at the discussions below this article (more about AAKG): eatingacademy.com/.../ketosis-advantaged-or-misunderstood-state-part-i

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Jess 11/15/2013 4:54:10 PM #
Jess

Loving your blog and the iPad app! Been using it for the last 3 months non-stop. 16 pounds lighter, 8 more to go!! yippee! Smile

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Martina @ KetoDiet 11/16/2013 7:34:56 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

That's great Jess! Thank you for your kind words! Smile

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acemanx 11/22/2013 9:02:25 PM #
acemanx

how about giving us android users a version of your app? The leading phone company in the world, right now, is Samsung, guess what they produce? android based phones, android is outselling iphone according to the latest poll by imsomobile.com, give us some love! We want to lose weight too! Laughing

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Martina @ KetoDiet 11/22/2013 10:35:48 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

It's not our attempt to avoid android users Smile It's just a lot of work and a bit more complicated (technically) to make it for android. We have plans for other platforms, too. I'll keep you updated by posting on my blog as well as Facebook / Twitter. Stay tuned!

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Magarietha 11/23/2013 11:33:41 AM #
Magarietha

I have found that milk and its derivatives will push my weight up - even on small amounts and I adore the stuff. But unfortunately Coconut Oil (which I find a little inedibly horrible) is the better option. I also found that even the very fatty nuts like macadamia, will push up my weight - no doubt, then it's better to nibble on a slice of very fatty cheese. So I guess nuts and milk I KNOW in my KNOWER will take me fatten me up. My numbers will stay nice and low (cholesterolwise) but my fat ratio will increase. Now I just don't , but gee whiz, a glass of fullfat creamy milk to me is my downfall, especially with a very ripe banana, but then you've HAD it!

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Martina @ KetoDiet 11/23/2013 12:14:50 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

I know what you mean - a nice smoothie from raw full-fat milk and a very ripe banana… Not great for fat loss though :-( Dairy is an issue for me, too. I realised that even cream is not ideal for me (if I want to lose a few pounds). I use coconut milk from Aroy-D in my coffee and absolutely love it. It's the only coconut milk that is great in coffee and tastes fabulous (no guar gum or other stuff added). I generally try not to eat too many nuts, because most of them are rich in omega 6. Macadamias are rich in omega 3, so I personally prefer them to other nuts. However, it's very easy to eat too many of them, so I never have more that a handful.

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Dana 11/24/2013 4:09:55 PM #
Dana

Interesting article. I was wondering if you could help me. I have been following lchf for over three weeks now and have been very stricy in being below 20g of carb per day. I don't count calories as I followed the advice of 'dietdoctor' by eating when I'm hungry and reaching satiety. I haven't really achieved much in the three weeks: my waistline is the same and I've lost less than a kilo overall (but this has fluctuated). My situation is specific in the sense that I have a small baby who wakes constantly throughout the night, and therefore I don't sleep enough and stress a lot. These are the two reasons that I see that can be causing failure as I am eating a small amount of dairy products, no nuts at all, no hidden carbs, all real food with natural fat. Can you please give me some advice as I am desperate and have 20 kilos to lose to fit into a normal bmi range.

Thank you in advance.

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Martina @ KetoDiet 11/24/2013 11:43:20 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Hi Dana,  I would still give it some time - maybe another 2 weeks? If that doesn't help, here are some ideas...

- Firstly, if you have a small baby, it must be difficult (lack of sleep and stress don't help). I know it's difficult but try to sleep whenever can, even during the day.
- It also depends when you gave birth - it may just be too early and you may need to give it some time. I don't know if you are breastfeeding but this may help, too. From what I know, women who are breastfeeding find it easier to lose weight.
- Do you exercise? I know it's difficult with a small baby but have you considered walking? Even 30 minutes a day may make a difference. If not directly for fat loss (burning calories), it should help you reduce stress which may help you lose weight.
- Have you been eating the right amount of protein? Too much protein may be converted into glycogen, while lack of protein may cause increased appetite (protein is the most sating nutrient). The ideal amount of protein should be 0.6-1 gram of protein per a pound of lean mass (lean mass = total bodyweight without body fat).
- You may have no other option than to count calories - try the "Keto-calculator" to help you find your ideal macronutrient breakdown (link to in my post).

I hope this helps!

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Dana 11/25/2013 6:25:35 PM #
Dana

Dear Martina,

Thank you for your reply. Besides the obvious (as in sleep and stress), I haven't calculated my protein properly, but I will try to focus on this. My baby has just begun to walk so this is my exercise (more than thirty minutes walking I think). Thank you for the guidance. I will try my best

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Martina @ KetoDiet 11/26/2013 8:43:58 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

I can imagine, you must have more than enough exercise then Smile Try the "Keto-calculator", it's quite good for knowing the ideal protein, fat and calorie intake.

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vanessa 12/12/2013 3:33:11 PM #
vanessa

Would apple cider Vinegar take me out of Ketones. Thank you.

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Martina @ KetoDiet 12/13/2013 12:14:41 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

There is 0.1-0.2 g of net carbs in a tablespoon. I don't know if there is any product with added sugar but pure apple cider vinegar is very low in carbs and won't have any effect on ketosis.

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vanessa 12/13/2013 2:11:26 PM #
vanessa

Thank you so much.

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Cheryl 1/5/2014 11:59:26 PM #
Cheryl

Best website for keto! Anyone have tips for thyroid issues?

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Martina @ KetoDiet 1/6/2014 8:12:15 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you Cheryl! I'm actually working on a post about thyroid issues, as I myself have autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's). I'm still trying to figure out what is the best approach but I can give you a few tips that work for me:

* Eating coconut oil and home-made bone broth (I use both almost daily)
* Some foods should be consumed in moderation: cruciferous vegetables, strawberries, etc. - these foods known as goitrogens but should not be an issue if you get enough zinc and selenium
* Cortisol (stress hormone) makes thyroid issues worse - get enough sleep (7-9 hours)
* Do not overdo it with exercise and avoid too much of high-intensity exercise (HIIE). Focus on resistance training (more muscle tissue and weight loss) and light cardio like walking for days you don't exercise
* Following the advice of Dr. Broda Barnes, I usually don't go below 30 grams of net carbs. I'm not completely convinced whether it's necessary for everyone with thyroid issues but it works for me.

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Terry 1/9/2014 11:52:47 AM #
Terry

I can't agree more. With too much exercise I actually started putting on weight (doing cardio and HIIT). BTW I love your app! Just got 20 new recipes with your last update! What a great gift just in time to start my healthy eating plan, thanks so much!

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Martina @ KetoDiet 1/14/2014 5:32:37 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you Terry! And I'm already working on more recipes and features Smile If you really like it, please, leave a review on the Appstore. Thank you for your support!

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Whitney 2/15/2014 3:33:50 AM #
Whitney

What does IF consist of. I have been in ketosis 3 weeks and down 13 pounds. I exercise a fair amount and can't get any more weight off. I am actually gaining now. I do cycle 4-5 times a week and it's pretty vigorous. Could this be the problem?

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Martina @ KetoDiet 2/19/2014 7:43:08 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

It could be due to increased cortisol levels (cycling may cause this). I actually managed to lose weight by slowing down on exercise. When it comes to IF, you can try skipping breakfast of dinner for a start and if you can, you can try to fast for one day per week.

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Anja 2/18/2014 11:07:27 PM #
Anja

Great stuff, ty!

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Dani 2/19/2014 5:09:31 PM #
Dani

Is it really important to eat three meals a day  with the appropriate amount of fat protein and carb divided by three to lose weight?
. I personally like to intermittent fast a lot and on the ketogenic diet and not losing weight.

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Martina @ KetoDiet 2/19/2014 7:48:09 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Definitely not. I learned to eat when I'm hungry. On some days, it may be once, on some 5 times, so it depends. It's good to have some meals ready in the fridge or at least simple snacks (hard-boiled eggs, avocado) to avoid "accidents". I think it's good to keep the carbs low with all meals. For example, I wouldn't eat all my daily carbs in just one meal (unless you don't eat more than that meal). There may be other factors of not losing weight - IF works for some people but not for everyone.

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Felecia 2/25/2014 7:31:13 PM #
Felecia

Thanks so much for this. I found this article at just the right time in my LC journey. I've been LCing for 2 weeks, lost 5 pounds like first week and then nothing the second week. I was just about to get discouraged when I found this! It got me back on track and reminded me to stop weighing myself every morning thinking a pound would disappear overnight! Thanks for the facts and encouragement. Just had to tell you it really helped me!

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Martina @ KetoDiet 2/26/2014 9:03:50 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

I'm glad it helped, Felicia! I stopped weighing myself a year ago - completely. I only use clothes to see if my body changes. I'd suggest you use my free online tool - KetoBuddy to find your ideal macros which may help you break through the weight loss plateau.

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izzy mcjizzy 3/12/2014 1:59:17 PM #
izzy mcjizzy

hello,

hi this is a good read, thank you for posting as im having so much difficulty. ive lost 30lbs on low fat and exercising like a mad hatter. this i found is not maintainable diet or lifestyle. i decided to go keto ... for the last 10lbs and the health benifits.

ive been in ketosis for 8 weeks and not lost a single lbs, not one, i think my protein is a little high as i eat a lot of eggs, so my ratio is 60% fat - 35% protein and 5% carbs, ive not gone over 20grams of carbs this whole time, im in ketosis and kicked my sugar addtiction - everything else is good, its just the weight loss?? nothing - ive exercise regualar and drink tons of water. would long term dieting that ive done to loose the 30lbs ruin any chance of loosing any more? im still a little outside of my ratio for my height. so im not already thin,  

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Martina @ KetoDiet 3/13/2014 1:22:17 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Hi izzy,

Your carbs are low - this shouldn't be an issue. I personally do better at 30+ grams of net carbs but this is different for every individual. I think you may be eating too much protein but I cannot be absolutely certain.

Your metabolism has definitely been affected by low-fat dieting but should go back to normal with a healthy LC diet - I've done something similar to my body and because of my past low-calorie dieting and have issues with under-active thyroid now.

Have you tried KetoDiet Buddy (my online keto calculator for ideal macros)?

What kind of exercise and how often? Your diet is what affects the weight loss most, but HIIT and strength training are best for long-term weight loss. Also, make sure you don't overexercise (it may make you eat more and increase your cortisol levels).

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Maryann 3/12/2014 11:12:23 PM #
Maryann

Hi!  I saw your post on coconut oil.  If used in morning coffee it would stop intermittent fasting, is that correct?  Thank you very much! Maryann

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Martina @ KetoDiet 3/13/2014 1:11:45 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Hi Maryann, some people actually eat coconut oil while on IF - this type is better called "fat-fast" and I'm planning to write a post about it. Eating coconut oil while fasting may actually help with weight loss. Coconut oil is metabolised differently and it's great fuel for the brain Smile

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Maryann 3/13/2014 2:25:25 PM #
Maryann

Thanks! Smile

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Becky 3/16/2014 6:40:21 PM #
Becky

Hi Martina
Loving your site and posts!
Having multiple sclerosis I find that following a low carb diet is important for keeping symptoms and relapses to a minimum, however, I quit smoking over 9 months ago, fell out of sync with my diet and gained approx 30 lbs!!  
I have been low curbing again for over 2 weeks and yet to notice any weight loss..........could quitting smoking have slowed my metabolism to the point where it will take that much longer to lose the weight
Thx
Becky

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Martina @ KetoDiet 3/17/2014 10:57:43 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you for your kind words. First of all, congratulations for your healthy decision to quit smoking! I don't think smoking has any impact on metabolism but it may have an impact on your appetite. The reasons why you don't lose weight could be many. One of the reasons could be increased appetite - eating too much (try KetoDiet Buddy on my blog to find your ideal macros). Another is repeated dieting - in most cases, this is the main reason for slow fat loss.

I think 14 days is still a relatively short time. Be patient and wait for another 2-3 weeks (you should get keto-adapted by then).

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Kim 3/18/2014 6:01:07 PM #
Kim

I was stack at 160 pounds and this post has helped me a lot. I tried intermittent fasting and started skipping breakfast and it works! Loving your app and all the new recipes and other features you keep adding Smile

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Martina @ KetoDiet 3/19/2014 11:47:19 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thant's great! Thank you Kim Smile

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Leng 4/9/2014 3:02:17 AM #
Leng

Thank you for this great article,I am on Keto for 8 weeks now but my water retention is really frustrating me cause I am not loosing weight :-( I lost water weight in the first 2 weeks but i think they all cmd back ! I will try cutting calories and up my coconut oil.Thank you.

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Martina @ KetoDiet 4/9/2014 10:16:42 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Thank you Leng! Fingers crossed - I hope you find the reason for your weight stalling!

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Brianna 4/12/2014 5:03:36 PM #
Brianna

I think Ive been dealing with an electrolyte imbalance (severe headaches, muscle weakness, fatigue, light headed) so I started basically shooting 1/2 t of celtic sea salt in a cup of water. It seems to be helping but now I have gained a POUND a day for the last 4 days and my back is starting to hurt. Im guessing water retention...?? Is that normal?! How do I get the electrolytes I need without destroying my progress?

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Martina @ KetoDiet 4/13/2014 1:09:50 PM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

It does look like water retention but I can't tell you for sure - it really depends on your macros. I would try a combination of magnesium supplement, an avocado a day for potassium (or 1/2 tsp lite salt added to food / water) and bone broth (sodium and gelatine). Also, give it a week or two in case you have just started with keto - it takes 3-4 weeks to get keto-adapted. To find your ideal macronutrient intake, try KetoDiet Buddy (free online keto calculator I have here on my blog: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy). Hope this helps - good luck! Smile

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Shizuka 4/15/2014 4:22:58 PM #
Shizuka

Thank you for the article. I am not losing weight on keto.  I follow the ratio using the keto calculator and my weight has stayed the same (gain a bit) over the past two weeks. (I am already keto adapted for two months now). My weight loss progress is really slow. I am expecting my period this week. Will this also contribute to my weight loss stall/gain?

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Martina @ KetoDiet 4/16/2014 1:39:46 AM #
Martina @ KetoDiet

Your weight may fluctuate during the month - it's very common for women and could be 1-4 pounds (or sometimes even more) due to hormonal changes and water retention. It depends on how much body fat you need to lose. If it's a relatively small amount of body fat, it's always more difficult. Make sure you stay within your macros (try the moderate fat loss using KetoDiet Buddy: http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy), try avoiding dairy (it may help) and my Clean Eating Challenge: ketodietapp.com/.../30-Day-Clean-Eating-Challenge. Also, intermittent fasting / fat fasting are great tools for breaking the weight loss plateau. Give it some time, perhaps another 2 weeks to see if it makes any difference. Good luck!!

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