How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss Mistakes

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How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss Mistakes

How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss MistakesShareFollow us 151.9k

Studies have proven that low-carb diets are the most effective tool for losing excess body fat. Despite that, it's not uncommon for many people to hit a weight loss plateau. By weight loss plateau, I don't mean a short term fluctuation but a long-lasting stall. No matter what you do, the extra pounds of body fat are just not coming off.

Specific diet plans such as fat fast has helped many people break through long-lasting plateaus but fat fast shouldn't be used as a quick fix every time your weight is stalling. In the long term, you need to focus on getting your diet right and avoid some of the common mistakes listed below.

1. Not Knowing Your Macros

How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss Mistakes

As you may know, calories do count, even on a low-carb, ketogenic diet. When you eat nutritious foods low in carbs, moderate in protein and high in fat, you will naturally eat less. For this reason, most of you won't need to count calories on a keto diet.

However, just following a low-carb diet doesn't guarantee weight loss. It helps to keep an eye on your fat intake. The closer you get to your target weight, the more important that becomes. Additionally, you need to ensure that you're eating sufficient amount of protein to stay satiated and prevent muscle loss. You can find out your ideal macronutrients by using our keto calculator.

Only Focusing on Carbs

Most of you know that when following a ketogenic diet, you have to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you are eating. However, this doesn't mean that the less carbs you eat, the more weight you are going to lose. In fact, I've seen many people following a close to zero-carb diet who were plateauing or even gaining weight. A very low-carb diet will simply not ensure fat loss!

Some people do well on a moderate carbohydrate diet while others see better results with a greater carb restriction. There is simply no one way for all and that's why we need to embrace personalised nutrition in order to determine the best method for each individual.

I use non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries, which are all high in fibre, thus total carbs. If you want to learn more about my approach, have a look at this post: Total Carbs or Net Carbs: What Really Counts?

Update: You can learn more about the role of soluble fibre in this post: Nuts & Seeds on a Ketogenic Diet

Not Eating Adequate Protein

Eating sufficient protein is important, especially for those who are trying to lose weight. Adding some protein within the recommended limits may help you break through a long-lasting plateau. When you eat a high-protein meal, your body releases glucagon which counterbalances insulin and plays a significant role in satiety.

How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss Mistakes

This doesn't mean that you should overeat protein. Protein is not a particularly efficient fuel source and too much of it may raise your insulin levels. As you may know, high insulin levels will block fat burning. Also, not all protein sources are equal and some amino acids may cause greater insulin spikes. You don't need to worry about a few extra grams of protein. Eating slightly more protein will not kick you out of ketosis because not all excess protein converts into glucose via gluconeogenesis.

Make sure you also include quality protein sources such fatty fish high in omega 3s. You can read more about protein intake in this post.

Not Eating Adequate Fat

When following a ketogenic diet, you regulate your energy intake via fat, as protein and carbs remain more or less constant. It's simple: if you want to lose body fat, you need to stay in a calorie deficit. You should get most of your fats from omega-3 rich foods like fatty fish, and foods high in monounsaturated fatty acids such as avocados and extra virgin olive oil.

Also, make sure you get enough vitamin D. Chances are that even if you eat fatty fish and other foods high in vitamin D, you may be deficient in this vital micronutrient. I eat fish at least 3-4 times a week and I'm also taking cod liver oil. To learn more about counting macros, types of fat and your ideal fat intake on a ketogenic diet, read this post.

2. Avoiding Vegetables and Fiber

Non-starchy vegetables have their place in a healthy low-carb diet. There is no reason to avoid vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers or fruits like avocado or berries. These foods are very high in micronutrients, low in carbs and won't impair your weight loss efforts. So unless you have food sensitivities to nightshades or other vegetables, you should include them in your diet.

3. Obsessing Over Your Ketone Levels

How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss Mistakes

Just like many others, I don't believe that a very low-carb ketogenic diet with high ketone levels is the best way to lose weight. Nutritional ketosis is achieved when your blood ketones are between 0.5 and 3.0 mM. Values higher than that have no additional benefits.

People ask this all the time: "... I have high ketone readings, so why am I not losing weight?"

It's not just about carbs and ketones and you need to know your macros. Many people don't eat enough protein and overeat fat simply because they've been given the wrong advice.

Here's a good article to explain more: The Ketone Craze: Who Really Benefits From High Ketone Levels?

4. Too Much Stress

Stress is a significant factor when it comes to weight loss. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels rise. This will then raise blood sugar and lower ketone levels. In order to cope with chronically elevated blood sugar, your body will produce more insulin to cope with chronically high blood sugar. When that happens, you will find it difficult to get into fat-burning mode. I know, it's easy to say and difficult to do but try to reduce your stress levels. Here are a few tricks you can try:

  • Try the Headspace App to relax and decrease your stress levels in just a few minutes a day. I've been using it myself!
  • Too much exercise, especially chronic cardio, increases stress hormone cortisol. Increased cortisol is linked to increased fat storage, especially the unhealthy visceral fat round your belly. Try strength training and yoga instead of some of your cardio sessions.
  • Try supplements such as melatonin, magnesium (Natural Calm) and B-complex, that will help you reduce your stress levels and improve circadian rhythms.
  • Don't spend too much time on the Internet. It's no secret that social media and constant checking of your inbox are significant stress factors. Read books, meet friends or go for a walk instead.

5. Not Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep or a circadian rhythm disorder may be one of the factors. With less energy, it will be more difficult to lose weight. Sleep deprived individuals produce less growth hormone, have impaired glucose metabolism and show a decreased level of leptin - the hormone that signals satiety.

Lack of sleep also leads to an increased level of ghrelin - the hormone that tells the brain when we are hungry. People who are sleep deprived are more likely to store body fat. Here are some tips:

  • Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every day
  • Don't eat heavy meals before bed. Your body needs to rest, not spend the whole night digesting your dinner.
  • Don't exercise 3-4 hours before bed.
  • Don't use your computer before bed and try blue light blockers.
  • Sleep in complete darkness. If possible, don't keep your laptop, tablet or phone in the bedroom.
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6. Eating Too Many Nuts

How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss Mistakes

One of the common mistakes people make is to overeat nuts. You may experience weight stalling or even weight gain not because nuts will kick you out of ketosis but because they are calorie-dense and easy to overeat. 100 grams of macadamia nuts have over 700 kcal and over 70 grams of fat which is half of the energy intake for most people trying to lose weight.

This doesn't mean you have to exclude nuts altogether. Nuts are particularly high in insoluble fibre which has zero effect on blood sugar. That's just one of the reasons why you shouldn't worry about their relatively high total carb count.

Furthermore, even the soluble fibre in nuts has little to no effect on blood sugar. To read more about nuts & seeds: Nuts & Seeds on a Ketogenic Diet

How About Peanuts?

Peanuts are legumes which are avoided on a keto & primal/paleo diet for two reasons. Firstly, although they are relatively low in carbs, peanuts contain lectins and phytates which makes them hard to digest. Also, legumes in general have been linked to leaky gut syndrome, PCOS, IBS and Hashimoto's.

7. Eating Too Much Dairy

How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss Mistakes

Full-fat dairy commonly eaten on a ketogenic diet is high in calories and easy to overeat. Also, dairy contains a specific type of protein that can lead to greater insulin spikes than other protein sources.

If dairy makes your insulin spike, cut back on high-protein dairy products like cheese and yogurt. You can keep butter and cream, as these are relatively low in protein. If you have to avoid dairy altogether, try my free paleo diet plan!

8. Eating Too Many Low-Carb Treats

Although we all love low-carb treats, they are not suitable for weight loss, especially if you just started following a low-carb diet and need to get over your sugar addiction. Keto treats and low-carb sweeteners can all increase cravings and your appetite levels and you should minimise or even completely avoid eating them when you are trying to lose weight. If you have a sweet tooth, go for a piece of dark chocolate or a fat bomb.

9. Eating Products Labeled "Low-Carb"

Simply put: Eat real food. Avoid prepared meals full of additives and deceptive labelling. It's no secret that low-carb products are often higher in carbs than they claim to be or contain unwanted additives. A common practice is to exclude all sugar alcohols and other sweeteners from the carb count. This is wrong as not all sugar alcohols and other sweeteners have zero effect on blood sugar. There are a few decent products you can use even on a keto diet but you have to be extra careful.

10. Drinking "Bulletproof" Coffee Every Day

There are a few reasons why I don't drink "bulletproof" aka butter coffee every day. I like the taste and drink it occasionally, usually instead of breakfast - not as part of it. BPC is mostly fat and very low in other nutrients. While for some people it seems to suppress hunger, I wouldn't personally drink it every day. While BPC may be a good addition to your diet, you should get your calories from real nutritious foods together with protein, vitamins and minerals.

Some of my readers have been experiencing weight stalling and once they ditched their bulletproof coffee in the morning, they started losing weight again. You can try my keto egg coffee that is more nutritious and satiating - it will keep hunger at bay.

11. Drinking Alcohol

How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss Mistakes

Alcohol is a no-no for those who are trying shed extra pounds. Apart from adding calories, alcohol has other disadvantages when it comes to weight loss. Even if there is no sugar in it, your body can't store alcohol as fat - it has to metabolise it first. As a result, the fat-burning advantage of the ketogenic diet is diminished. Alcohol also increases appetite, dehydration and suppresses self-control - none of these are good for weight loss.

Lastly, alcohol converts in your body to acetate and if you use a breathalyzer to track your ketone levels, you will get inaccurate and artificially high results.

12. Snacking Too Much

If you follow a nutritious, low-carb or ketogenic diet, you shouldn't need to snack. Unless you have hypoglycaemia issues, three main meals (or even less) a day should be enough. Here are a few simple rules:

  • Don't eat unless you are hungry, even if it means that you will skip a meal. In fact, once you get keto-adapted, you will find it easy to do intermittent fasting.
  • If you feel hungry and need to snack, it means that your meals were not nutritious enough and you should increase your portion size. Lack of protein will make you hungry so make sure you eat enough of it.
  • If you want to keep hunger at bay, eat real food: eggs, meat, fatty fish, non-starchy vegetables, fermented foods and some raw dairy. To learn more, you can check out my ketogenic food list and my keto food pyramid.

13. Not Planning Your Diet

Several studies have shown that planning and tracking your diet, as well as community support, can significantly improve weight loss and help you achieve your goals.

Planning your meals in advance will prevent excessive snacking and help you avoid binging accidents. This doesn't mean that you will have to track your diet forever but it will help you avoid common mistakes, especially if you are new to the ketogenic diet.

We have created an iPad app that is designed specifically for low-carb, ketogenic and primal/paleo diets. To learn more about our apps, check out the KetoDiet App FAQ.

14. Relying Purely on Generic Diet Plans

Diet plans are great for those that are new to the diet. I created several free ketogenic diet plans that you can download and try. However, no diet plan or way of eating fits all. Although my diet plans are suitable for the vast majority of people, it doesn't mean they will work for each one of you. You may need to make small adjustments or get a diet plan created specifically for you.

If you have any health condition or struggling to follow a diet plan, you will benefit from a diet plan that is made specifically for your needs, including the right energy intake, food sensitivities and other preferences. I have created a list of some of the best qualified low-carb & keto experts who can help you reach your goals.

If you just started following a low-carb diet and everything seems to be too overwhelming, my free diet plans will guide you through day by day.

Free eBook Download

15. Not Exercising Right

Not exercising at all or exercising too much are both counterproductive for weight loss on a keto diet. In a nutshell:

  • Never use exercise to burn calories. This approach simply doesn't work in the long-term. Studies show that excessive exercise leads to an increased appetite and you will likely eat more.
  • Depending on your goal, choose the right type of exercise. Light cardio shows to have great health benefits, especially for the heart and brain. Weight training and HIIT are great tools for muscle growth and long-term weight loss.
  • If you want to try carb-ups, make sure you read this post.
  • Post-workout nutrition: Avoid eating foods high in fat and instead opt for foods high in protein.

16. Having Cheat Meals

How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss Mistakes

There is a difference between carb-ups and cheat meals. You can have a meal higher in carbs after HIIT. On the other hand, a cheat meal is completely different as it usually refers to eating anything from the "banned" foods.

Having regular cheat meals is a bad idea and counterproductive for your diet. I allow myself a couple of occasions per year when I eat almost anything I want. I don't do it to "boost or restart" my metabolism but purely for social reasons.

17. Health Conditions

If you're certain that you're doing everything right and still can't see the scales move, there may be a health issue you are not aware of. I know this first hand as I have Hashimoto's.

Hypothyroidism or Adrenal Dysfunction

It only takes a blood test or a saliva test to find out if you have a thyroid or adrenal issue. If you have a thyroid issue, I highly recommend you read this book: Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause - it has helped me tremendously and it's a must-read for everyone with Hashimoto's.

Contrary to what you may have been told, low-carb diets don't cause hypothyroidism or adrenal dysfunction. However, Dr Volek and Dr Phinney noted that there isn't enough evidence that a very low-carb diet (such as less than 20 g net carbs) is beneficial for those with preexisting thyroid or adrenal conditions. I've had Hashimoto's for several years (prior to going low-carb). I keep my net carbs at or above 30 grams and that works best for me.

Additionally, sex hormones can also affect your weight. While polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can be the culprit for women, men experience a decreased level of testosterone as they age. In these cases, it's a good idea to consult a qualified expert.

Medications Causing Weight Gain

Certain medications, such as insulin injections, other diabetes medications and cortisone, are known to cause weight gain. Consult your doctor for possible alternatives.

Chronic Pain

If you suffer from chronic pain, it's very likely your cortisol will also be high. This will impair your weight loss. Consult your doctor on ways to mitigate the effect and try to find ways to reduce stress.

18. Insufficient Electrolytes

How To Low Carb: 15+ Common Weight Loss Mistakes

When entering the induction phase of a ketogenic diet, some people experience "keto-flu”. The "flu" is nothing else than a result of starving the body of carbohydrates in order to enter ketosis.

The common symptoms vary from headaches, nausea, fatigue and brain fog to muscle weakness, cramps and heart palpitations. All of these can affect the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet. To read more about electrolytes and their importance, read this post: Keto-flu and Sufficient Intake of Electrolytes and pin or download our keto-flu infographic.

Any more? Please, let me know in the comments! :-)

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By Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Please, note that I do not offer personalised advice. For personalised advice you can contact one of our experts.

Comments (71)

Hi I've been on the keto diet now for three months I've lost around 30 pds.. however I recently started to use a pre workout drink before work outs in the morning and evening.it contains beta alanine.  I have been stuck at one weight since .. I've been following my macros to the letter.. is it possible that this work out drink the cause of no weight loss.. it's a Walmart brand Six Star preworkout

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It is possible that this is what stalls you. It seems to be one of the products with "less than 1 g carbs" but at the same time it contains maltodextrin which is known to raise blood sugar so it is not really zero carb. What worries me is also all the artificial sweeteners and colours - I would avoid it in any case. Here's what I use for electrolytes: Beat Keto-Flu with Homemade Electrolyte Drink

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I do all this but haven't lost but 9-11 pounds in 6 weeks. Fluctuates.
I think this is mostly water weight. I test for Ketosis but it always shows negative and I am stuck on the scales. I feel like it is working but measuring or scales say it isn't. I am not sure what to do anymore. I eat no dairy, nuts, flour, sugar, or starchy veggies. I am 67 female, have hypothyroid, autoimmune issues, and use BREO nightly. I take 1.25 mg Levoxyl daily but still feel tired and do not sleep well. I have non-alcohol fatty liver. I try to eat green veggies and stay away from fruits and most other vegetables. I am really at a loss as to what I am doing wrong and why I do not see more weight loss as I was a sweetaholi and a carb junkie but have cut all of that out for over 6 weeks and the scale doesn't move. Could something else be keeping me from losing weight? Should I just give up cause no matter what I don't think I am in ketosis or have ever been? Thanks for any help!

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Hi Pam, you may need to work with a dietician to figure out what is going on. Don't focus too much on ketones. They do indicate is your body is in  the right direction but high levels won't do much for weight loss: The Ketone Craze - Who Really Benefits From High Ketone Levels?
This might also help: Are Keto and Low Carb Suitable for People with Thyroid Disease? (maybe you are too low-carb?)
and this: Keto and Low-Carb Diets for Fatty Liver Disease

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Searching through the Keto mistakes and tips, but can't seem to find it.
What can I do if my ketone level is high (4) and I want to get it back to 2-3 range?

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Hi Suzie, when it comes to ketone levels, you can affect them by changing your carbohydrate level (e.g. adding 5-10 net carbs). However, you don't need to do that - it is still a safe level. More about ketones: The Ketone Craze - Who Really Benefits From High Ketone Levels?

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Hi Martina!
Great post, thank you so much.
Quick question re different macro calculators...I've been with Robb Wolf's Keto Masterclass (KM) program which recommends KetoGains - ketogains.com - and it gives me different macro guidelines than your app. So I'm feeling a bit confused and overwhelmed with which bit of advice to follow - would love some advice!
For ref, I'm 25yo female, 159cm, 60kg, about 30-33% body fat, sedentary, looking to lose about 10-12kg to be at a more ideal weight for my height (also I'm Indian, so generally a bit lighter) + for getting back to doing gymnastics with more ease.
For moderate weight loss, your calc says 1299kcal, 25g carbs, 55g prot, 109g fat (usu hard to reach that)...but KetoGains says 1053kcal, 25g carbs, 74g prot (hard to eat), 73g fat. I also note 1053 kcal is lower than the 1200kcal usu recommended for women.
So...why the difference in calculations?
Should I just do an 'intermediate' sort of thing, keep carbs in check and eat prot/fat somewhere between the two guidelines, according to hunger and natural preference?
I'm keen to keep it as simple as poss and not get too hung up on ratios, but also keen to avoid accidental overeating on sugary foods that I've had in the past due to not consuming enough protein/fat (or perhaps too much protein in relation to how much fat there should be?).
I understand keto is all about meticulous macros...but is intuitive eating ever helpful to start with, just to move towards keto-adaptiveness and minimise stress (about food/macros) in the process? I'm thinking intuitive eating (with v little carbs) + meditation + therapy + emotional release work for first developing a healthier relationship with food so I can truly listen to my body, then worrying about nitty gritty dets - thoughts?
Much love and thank you! xxx
N

Reply

Hi Nali, I think that KetoGains is a great resource for physically active individuals. It seems that their protein recommendations are on the upper limit which is too much for most sedentary people. Our recommendations are based on Dr. Volek & Phinney's recommendations which take into account physical activity. We also prevent people from going ultra low on calories as this may have a negative effect - I don't think that following a 1000 kcal diet plan is the best option, especially since you run the risk of being micronutrient deficient.
When it comes to calories, I thing it's good to start by eating to satiety (I'm all for intuitive eating!) and only focus on adjusting macros (fat) if you hit a plateau. This will make it easy and you may not even need to worry about your fat intake. Focusing on reducing stress is another great strategy - stress does play a significant role in optimal health and weight management. I hope this helps!

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On keto;  not losing weight - haven't lost a gram - and I'm following all of the above to the letter (because I've never been a big eater - quite the contrary - so it's easy!  And I've never been a comfort-eater, as any stress or upset goes straight to my stomach and ties it in a knot, so how I got to my current weight is a bit of a mystery, but anyway...), so I'm following it very strictly, and finding it easy to do so ... except protein -- I just can't eat that much!  On average, I get about 50 gms of protein a day, and any more I have to force myself to eat, which just leaves me feeling sick.
For me, eating 1500 cals is an absolute maximum! (and if I do, I just don't get hungry again for *several* days ~ so intermittent fasting also comes quite naturally).  My norm is about 12~1300; and in my natural pattern I eat a substantial meal once a day, maybe twice if I'm unusually hungry or have been very active, and that's enough for me.  Breakfast, when I have it, is coffee and a traditional French croissant (which is small, low in carbs, and high in butter -- in short, nothing like that sickly-sweet monstrosity available at the average supermarket!).  And that is enough until dinner.  Indeed, I am rather French in all my tastes ~ small quantities of splendid, top quality, nutrient- and calorie-dense, good foods, over which I linger (and I only like real food, so again, keto is easy -- you could even say it's my natural way of eating).  And despite my supposedly inadequate protein intake, I have NO problem with muscle-density!  I naturally have *huge* muscles for a woman - far bigger than I'd have wanted, and like a man - and an unusually high lean-mass (60kg, without body-building), and I have and maintain that on about half the recommended protein intake.  Again, I just can't eat more (I'm not sure how anyone does!).
But I am over-weight - how, I don't think anyone including me can figure-out, but I am - and even on keto I'm not losing it.  I've been what I would call 'naturally' keto for a year (all my life in a way), and very strict with it for a month -- again, except the protein intake.  Nothing's changed in my weight.  So ... um ... help!  Please?  If you can.  I am truly at a loss (and when I talk to doctors about my weight, they simply don't believe me when I tell them how little I eat ... but for me it's not 'little' ~ it's just right).

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Your protein intake intake sounds a bit too low but if you can't eat more, then perhaps you should try to decrease your fat intake and increase your protein intake. It's ok to eat slightly less protein though (I usually say 15 grams less or more is ok: KetoDiet Buddy - Easy Way to Calculate Your Macros on a Ketogenic Diet) I would also try to eliminate all grains - even that small croissant can significantly increase your carb intake, blood sugar, insulin levels and progress. Other than that, the best thing to do if you can't lose weight is to work with an expert (see above) who can look at your diet in detail, do a few tests and help you create a customised diet plan that will work for you.

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Hello, I have trouble getting my daily macros to add up perfectly. When I'm spot on for fats and proteins, my carbs are really low. I'm including leafy greens, celery, etc, it just rarely adds up to 20g per day. It's not practical to include a salad with every single meal, with my busy schedule. Is my 8-12g of carbs per day a cause for concern?

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Hello Jen, just to explain, your carbs should be a limit, not a target so it's ok to eat fewer carbs. I personally love vegetables so I eat about 30 g net carbs every day, sometimes more - this is up to you and depends on what you prefer. Others would find this limit too high and aim for fewer carbs.

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Thanks for all the info! Most informative of all Keto/LCHF sites or info I've come across.
One thing though, I did the calculations using your Keto calculations for how many carbs, etc. a day, and it tells me how many carbs/fats etc., I have to consume to lose weight...but, I am 1.58 meters and weight 45 kg with a waist of 57 cm. I am 54 years old and can't afford to lose more weight, my BMI is already "underweight" yet your site tells me I can lose more. That's a bit worrying. I'd just like to maintain, not pick up or lose.

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Thank you for your kind words, Chantal! I think you selected "weight loss" as your goal and that's why you see those recommendations. Whether you want to lose, maintain, or gain weight is up to you - you can select the goal you would like to achieve. I hope this helps!

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As I read through some of the comments, it occurs to me that there is opportunity to share a resource for a beginner guide to the ketgenic diet.  A resource that calls out important details to appropriate set expectations such as 1) Do not focus on weight loss in the first several weeks.  Everyone is different.  Focus, instead, on becoming keto adapted.  This is a big transition for your body.  2) Make sure you are getting enough electrolytes during the first several weeks to reduce symptoms of keto flu. 3) Even after you become keto adapted, focus on how you FEEL.  You will feel awesome!  Weight loss is simply a residual effect.  There is so much more...  
I encourage readers to look for and read "related articles" in order to be better educated on Keto.  Thanks for a good article.  I think it offers a lot of insight for an audience that understands the basics of keto.

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I am in frustration and need a piece of advice. Thank you for all your efforts in helping people to get healthy.  Your blog inspired me to give a ketodiet a second chance.
At my first attempt I did not loose a gram of my weight after three weeks of ketodieting, and one day after morning weighting, I just get deppressed and ate all carbofood I found at home (ice cream, pasta, bananas, etc.), getting around 170 g of carbs that day and successfully leaving ketosis. Then I found that my calories​ intake (900-1300) and ketone levels of 4-10 in urine, which I thought as good, are actually bad signs, called starvation and leading to a low metabolism.
I am a male 37 years old, 182 cm high, 83 kg, 20% fat, leaving a life with low activity level (desk work). I want to lower my fat level to 15% and my weight to 78. Before stumbling to keto dieting (first attempt), I lost 7 kgs (from 90) after a month of general low fat diet (carbohydrates was limited to 220 g, fat and protein to 80 g). Your calculator says that I need around 1700 kcal​  in the hardest dieting mode. I limit my carbs to 30, proteins to 105. I successfully reentered ketosis after a one day of keto flu (so it was 2 days before attempts)​ and trying to keep 1700 kcal of my daily intake. That means I force myself to eat.  For example, one day in the evening I found that I ate only 900 kcal, so I have to eat 800 kcal dinner, which was awfully too much. Anyway, I try not to do it anymore and distribute kcal intake more evenly. I chose the hardest plan only because the lighter plans with more kcal intake  just looks impossible for me (before dieting I ate around 1500-3000 kcal, but with sugar, bread, fruits, potato, etc.) I cannot eat so much satiating protein/fat food. I am doing it for a week, have a stable ketones level of 1.5 in urine, though my weight did not change a bit. I feel myself better in terms of energy level than it was the first time, by the way.
It is too early to judge about weight, but my problem is that I am always reading that one should fight cravings, try to carefully skip meals, all these "problems", which I do not have on keto. And finally I read in this article "Don't eat unless you are hungry, even if it means that you will skip a meal." I am a bit nervous on a ketodiet, so this rule just teared me into pieces. Should I eat to the minimal kcal intake or should I eat only when I am hungry? 😞 From all that I am reading about dieting one must lust for eating more and struggle to limit kcal below some level, not the other way around (i.e struggle to eat more).  Am I again doing it all wrong? I read also an article about IF. I will happily skip meals, but that will mean 800-1000 kcal per day...which looks like a starvation according to all sources.
P.S. My thyroid hormones and blood sugar are perfect. I did tests recently, though I never had any issues with these. Magnesium and potassium levels are good too.

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Yes, this! Have you received an answer? I found this article bc I've been doing Keto for 2 months now, have lost 15 lbs and have 25 to go, and yet I'm stalling. I'm doing everything right except eating enough... I'm trying to follow my body's hunger signals, but that means I'm not eating enough calories. So which is it?! Eat to satiety and skipping meals is okay, or eat a min # of calories whether you're hungry or not??

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Hi Amber, you should only eat if you are hungry. If you don't feel like eating, it's ok to skip a meal, even if it means that you are below your macro targets. It's natural to see fluctuations in food intake and while one day you may have just one meal, on other days you may end up having 3 meals.

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Hi Alexander, 1700 kcal sounds about right, while 900-1300 kcal is definitely too little for you, but only if you feel hungry which is not your case. If you have to force yourself to eat to get to 1700 kcal, then 1700 kcal is too much for you. Skipping meals and eating less is absolutely fine. However, I would personally try to keep it above 1200 kcal. It's ok to eat less or fast every now and then. However, if you do that every day, you may not be getting enough micronutrients and protein.
There are two fantastic books that you should read to learn more: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living and The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Dr Volek and Dr Phinney.
Low-fat diets and calorie restriction work in the short term but it's not a sustainable way to eat in the long term. What you want to achieve is satiety and that means that sometimes you can skip a meal and have just one or two meals per day, even if you are below your targets (they are there just to give you an idea of what you should be aiming for in general but you can always opt for a "custom" deficit which will give you less fat/calories).
Also, do not focus on your ketone levels, especially not urine ketone levels, as they don't matter when it comes to weight loss. Balancing your hormones by using a low-carb approach, resulting in satiety and eating when you feel hungry should be your priority. Also, if you have a sedentary job, it may be worth introducing some exercise, even brisk walks can make a difference. Although exercise should not primarily be used as a weight loss tool, some types of exercise can aid weight loss. More about exercise is here: How to Exercise on a Keto Diet

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"In order to cope with chronically elevated blood sugar, your body will produce more insulin to cope with chronically high blood sugar."

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Hi Martina,
I'm struggling with portability of your Keto application?  I'm trying to figure how to move your app from Google Play to my Kindle Fire.  I've tried logging on Google play with my device and it has been next to impossible using various techniques suggested on the Internet.  I've been following your blog for a couple of weeks and made several of the recipes to include the Soul bread and the "Fat bombs." Everything is really good and I love to cook.  My last family dinner was completely Keto and my family did not realize the difference until I told them.  

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Hi Carmen,
We only support Google Play on Android. It's by far the most popular Android store and the overhead of supporting any additional stores (e.g. Amazon App Store) is prohibitive.
As far as I know there is no reliable way to move apps from Google Play to devices that don't support it. Almost all apps on Google Play (including KetoDiet) rely on services provided by Google Play to function.
I would strongly discourage you from using any software from unknown sources to enable or install Google Play on your Kindle.
Best,
Nikos

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I'm vegan any suggestions on meal plans

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Hi Rachel, I don't have a vegan diet plan but you can filter through my recipes to exclude all animal products: KetoDiet Blog: Recipes (top of the page there's a filtering tool)

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Hi Martina!
Love your work, but felt I needed to add another reason for weight loss stalls- or downright inability to lose all the weight needed. Heavy metals!  
I an an RN, clinical nutritionist who works in a functional medicine clinic. I was keto before I started there (and after) ,and could never lose more than about 15 lbs on keto (or any other diet) . Come to find out, I have a high body burden of lead! Thankfully no current exposure, but if someone has a this burden, be it lead, mercury, tin, aluminum etc etc. your body will work overtime to keep it sequestered into the fat tissues.
Losing weight fires off a panic message in the body to get it to maintain or make adipose (fat) cells to wall off that heavy metal. I believe the higher the metal toxicity the harder it becomes for a person to lose or maintain a weight loss. I am living proof.

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This is interesting... How do you test your lead, mercury, aluminum, etc, levels?

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Thank you for your insights, Jeanne!

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Hi, I find your website the most informative. I have given up keto and/or low carb because it is too hard to maintain. However, after reading your article on "15 mistakes" I realize some of what I do is undermining my efforts. I initially thought keto so complex it should be under taken under the guidance of a doctor. I think because I became obsessive. I am going to restart by focusing on healthy foods and be aware of my carb intake. I don't want to start obsessing about ketones and measuring until I feel I have made some progress in making smaller changes. Thank you.

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I am breastfeeding, it is OK to do a keto diet without my milk supply going down? Thanks.

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Hi Joanna, this is a bit of a grey area and although some experts don't discourage pregnant and breastfeeding women from following a strict keto approach, it is not what I would personally do. I would follow a low-carb diet with 50 grams of carbs, or slightly over (not necessarily ketogenic). It's a better way to ensure sufficient micronutrients, especially magnesium and potassium which are commonly deficient in very low-carb diets.

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Thank you for your post. I also have Hashimoto syndrome and it became hard to manage my weight. I oonly put on about 15 lbs, but still it annoyed me. I have been able to drop 5 lbs so far by keeping my carbs around 5g, going grain free and only eating between 8 am and 6 pm. I cut out all nuts and nut butter and that made a huge difference in my ability to lose weight.

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Yes, avoiding nuts and dairy (at least for snacking) can make a significant difference to your energy intake. If I were you, I would, however, increase my carb intake. Hashimoto's and a "zero-carb approach" don't usually work well together and can make your symptoms worse.

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Great post. Would love to translate this to help the people in the Netherlands with this. Even better would be if we could make a Dutch version of your keto diet app.

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Thank you Wim! Maybe we will at some point but it won't be any time soon as we have a long to-do list for the app. Feel free to translate & repost this on your blog (just link to the original) 😊

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Hello I'm confused about carbs on avocado I buy my avocados in different places the label says 100g avocado is 1.9carbs but in different keto website s says its around 5carbs per 100g could someone clarify me how many carbs really is on 100g of avocado and why the supermarket labels say much less thank you

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Hello Carla, the carbohydrate content per 100 g is indeed very low, it's 1.8 g net carbs, 6.7 g fibre and 8.5 g total carbs. This is directly from the USDA database that is very accurate and it is the one we also use in our app. I suppose that the other website used a "user-generated/ shared" database that is inaccurate and contains missing or inaccurate data.

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Thank you for adding at the end about cortisol and chronic pain. Drs don't seem to "get" that. I feel it is no coincidence when my knee started going out and i was in terrible pain that weight gain began after.

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I am doing a nutritional ketosis diet with a chiropractor and he is qualified doctor with good experience with this stuff but I am also under weight and want to gain weight  I am doing the Intermittent Fast now, have done the 4 Day Bone Broth fast, and am shortly going to do the Advanced Fast   19/5    20/4   He wants me at 2.0 to 2.5 for a while.  
He says my fatigue is the "keto flu".   I am having fatigue issues.  I have lost 10 lbs in the last month or so  but he says I will pack that on later.   Very little info on under weight people.
Any advise.   Are MD blood tests helpful at this time .   My girlfriend is freaking out and wants me to get blood tests .   I eat very healthy and have for a long time.   Mainly a yeast /bacteria overgrowth problem .  Enough said.  Thanks

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I'm a huge fan of intermittent fasting but it's not recommended for underweight people -  you could reading the "complete guide to fasting" by Jason fung

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One more, it is about exercise. I want to do HIIT, so pre workout what shout i eat, can i eat more carbs to have energy for HIIT

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Could you tell me about how much fat i need per day on ketoday and as i know, within 2 first weeks i am not allowed to eat fruits which are high carbs, can i eat avocado?? One more, it is about fiber, how much veggies i need per day to support fiber for my body? As i know, woman need 25g fiber/day, so to supply a mount of essential fiber i have to eat up to 1kg green leaf veggestables^_^. Is that right? Thanks for answering my question

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To find out your ideal fat intake (depending on your goal), please, use this keto (macronutrient) calculator: KetoDiet Buddy - Easy Way to Calculate Your Macros on a Ketogenic Diet
I don't think there is any "ideal" fibre intake - you can read more about fibre and carbs here: Total Carbs or Net Carbs: What Really Counts?
There is plenty of information about exercise & keto in these posts: ketodietapp.com/Blog/Filter

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Hi!I am Hashimoto but not with hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones are normal. Does it matter?! Any difference?

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Hi Soheila, I'm not sure what you mean, Hashimoto's is autoimmune hypothyroidism - did you use to have Hashimoto's? Are you currently taking any medication?

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I am new to diabetes and new to this diet, this is my 3rd week and although I feel a lot better and my blood sugar has dropped I don't feel I hve the balance right.
I haven't shed much weight I don't feel I have enough dairy and struggle to have enough fat ratio.
I have found I feel aching all my joints feel inflamed and I have suffered cramp in my leg through the night, I drink plenty water I will increase it again.
I take Gliclazide and Metformin my doctor said its too early to change any medication yet.
Any help appreciated.

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Hi Paula, I suggest you contact one of the experts listed here - they may be able to help: Low-Carb Experts

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Dear Martina,
I love the recipes in your app.  Usually turned out great and taste amazing.
I just finished doing hcg diet and still have few more pounds to lose.  A friend introduced me to keto diet and now I've been on it for just over a week.  I've been tracking my macros and calories religiously using your app, and making a whole day plan for meals.
My issue is although I can keep the carbs low (similar to hcg diet), I am finding it terribly difficult to keep the protein low.  The other thing is that because it is high fat diet, the calorific value is also more.  As I am only 4'10" tall, this pose a great problem for me to keep the calories to 1200. I am also always snacking which added to my issues of weight loss.  And for cherry on the icing, I was also diagnosed with adrenal fatigue just prior to starting hcg diet.
I would really appreciate your input, help and suggestions on this.

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Thank you Jules! It depends on the excess you have on mind. Small excess of protein won't be a problem. I'd say that 15 grams more or less won't make a difference, as your protein requirements vary every day based on your activity level. You can calculate your "ideal" protein intake here: KetoDiet Buddy - Easy Way to Calculate Your Macros on a Ketogenic Diet
This tool will also help you set the right calorie target (1200 kcal seems too low). I'd avoid low-calorie dieting, especially in case of adrenal fatigue or thyroid issues.

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