Upon wakening, you make your way to the bathroom in hopes of seeing results on the scale. No weight loss even after weeks of dieting! Here’s what to do next.
By: Tim Ernst – Founder of Intermittent Keto Fasting™
Even though the keto diet is advertised as an easy weight loss plan, there are some plateaus that can occur at some point. This article will tell you why this happens and what you can do about it.
Weight loss plateaus occur mostly because of metabolic adaptation – the body gets so used to a certain threshold of energy that it decreases overall energy requirements.
Plateaus come about because of several reasons:
• Not being in enough of a caloric deficit.
• Over consuming hidden calories.
• Metabolic adaptation.
• Low thyroid.
• Too much stress.
• And many more.
Here are the things you can try to break a weight loss plateau while on keto.
Change Your Caloric Intake
The standard ketogenic diet macros are 5-10% carbs, 15-20% protein, and 70-80% fat, which isn’t ideal for fat loss.
You don’t need to be in therapeutic ketosis to gain the benefits of the ketogenic diet nor do you need to have high levels of ketones to lose body fat.
If you’re eating very few vegetables and only a limited amount of protein, then you may end up simply consuming empty calories from fat.
Fat is an essential nutrient and it’s primary on keto but it can still make you gain weight.
To promote muscle mass, improve physical exercise, feel more satiated, and burn more calories, you’d want to increase your protein intake slightly.
• Carbs should still be relatively low at 5-10% mainly from vegetables.
• Protein should be a bit higher at 25-35% from whole food sources.
• Fat should stay moderate at around 50% from whole food sources.
If you keep your carbs low you’ll stay in ketosis.
Meeting your protein demands helps with lean tissue maintenance and promotes satiety.
Any deficit in fat will be covered by tapping into your fat stores.
That’s why you don’t need to be filling up your daily calories with a bunch of extra fats and oils just for the sake of it.
Eating too frequently can also create plateaus, especially if the person is sedentary.
Although the keto diet mimics some aspects of fasting, such as low blood sugar, low insulin, and elevated ketones, it’s still not as effective as actual fasting.
When you’re fasting and not eating anything, you’ll go into deeper ketosis and will burn primarily your own body fat for fuel. With no food floating around your system, the body will take the energy it needs from its back-up stores.
Intermittent fasting helps to avoid some of the common diet-traps as well, such as snacking, sugar cravings, excessive caloric restriction, and simply over-eating calories.
You can easily break a plateau on keto by skipping a single meal in a given day and doing intermittent fasting instead.
Just post-pone breakfast until noon, have a high protein meal with a little bit of vegetables and fiber, add a training session somewhere, and have the same high protein dinner.
Limit Artificial Sweeteners
A lot of the times diets fail because the person can’t restrict themselves from sweets, cakes, and carbs for too long.
Most people tend to break their will and whenever they do they go all out and have a massive cheat day.
Artificial sweeteners can be an alternative to actual sugar but they’re still not ideal for long term health.
One of the more dangerous substances like aspartame, acesulfame K, and sucralose are linked with diabetes, gut disbiosis, and brain cancer. Yikes!
Of course, you’d have to be consuming like 10 diet beverages every day for years to have these effects but they’re still not going to help you with weight loss that much.
The rationale is that having something artificially sweetened helps the dieter to satisfy their sweet tooth without the calories. That’s perfectly fine and it can work if you stick to only a single choice.
However, satisfying your sweet tooth with artificial sweeteners is only going to keep the sweet tooth alive and you’re going to keep getting sugar cravings in the future.
That’s where the endless trap of yo-yo dieting tends to occur.
If you don’t even have the desire for sweet foods, then you’re not going to crave them either. You can satisfy your body’s energy demands with other nutrient dense whole foods.
A much better option is to avoid all artificial sweeteners or at least limit them quite extensively and fast instead.
Reduce The Amount Of So Called, “Keto Approved” Foods
The same applies to ’healthy low carb keto approved foods. These foods are so delicious that you can’t even believe they’re keto.
Eating foods with a lot of flours, artificial sweeteners, and other over-stimulating ingredients make it much easier for you to over-consume them.
There’s a reason why the processed food industry is so big and why most people are addicted to it.
Having some low carb alternatives to traditional foods like almond flour pancakes, cauliflower pizza, keto bars or chocolate is fine every once in a while but it shouldn’t be in your every day menu. Especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Willpower fatigue is much more real in people who are on a diet or someone suffering from sugar cravings. That force gets magnified if you have hyperpalatable foods right in front of your nose.
Even worse, if you take just a single bite of something really good, you’ll start craving for more. Eventually, you’re going to break unless you have some spartan discipline.
It’s much easier to avoid some of these foods and desserts during dieting rather than trying to muster exponentially more willpower to resist the temptation.
If you’ve made a decision in your head that you’re not going to break and you’ll remove all of these treats, you’ll actually feel much more liberated.
Don’t Strict Calories Too Long
The body doesn’t want to lose fat because it’s valuable for survival. That’s why you want to avoid metabolic adaptation that occurs because of dieting for too long.
To prevent this trap, you want to lose the fat faster and stop dieting quicker. Instead of taking things slow and yo-yo dieting, you want to get it over with so you could return to a more sustainable caloric intake.
What I recommend is to implement some extended fasting and periods of high intensity exercise:
• Eat low carb keto foods with higher protein and limited fat. Preferably slightly fattier chunks of meat like steak, beef, eggs, salmon. You don’t need extra oils and butter.
• Try Protein Sparing Modified Fasting (PSMF), which includes very high protein intake with low carb and low fat. This will burn through body fat really fast but it’s somewhat difficult to stick to because of hunger.
• Extended fasting for 2-5 days make you lose a bunch of weight. If you’re in ketosis, you’ll be burning mostly body fat. To not slow down your metabolism, I recommend 72-hour fasts, followed by a single high protein low carb meal, and another 3 day fast. You can repeat that for weeks and lose some weight really quick.
• High Intensity Interval Training cardio can also torch fat burning and speed up the metabolism. However, it can be somewhat difficult to do while dieting. Too much HIIT is also bad so keep it less frequent but still maintain the high intensity.
• Carb Cycling is also great for boosting metabolic rate, avoiding adaptation, and breaking keto plateaus. Going too low carb for too long may lower thyroid functioning, shut down hormones, and make it harder to continue losing weight. With the cyclical ketogenic diet, you can increase your carb intake on some days.
Breaking a keto plateau starts with recognizing that you have hit a plateau in the first place.
Usually, it means you haven’t lost any weight for at least a week or two.
If you’ve gained weight or have stalled in less than a week, then it’s probably due to some fluctuations in water weight, muscle glycogen, or stress.
You also have to acknowledge to yourself how many calories are you actually consuming.
If you’re not even tracking your food, then you can’t say that your metabolism is wrecked or that you have bad genes.
Count your calories for a few days and see what the numbers really tell you.
The combination of the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting are the hottest 2 eating strategies of 2020 because it helps you quickly lose stubborn fat… it reduces fat storing inflammation… it helps you live longer and avoid today’s most deadly diseases.
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