These are the top 10 reasons you're not losing weight on a low-carb diet. A great FREE printable for the fridge and an easy reminder to stay on track.
You may think you have done everything right, counting carbs, stopping your bulletproof coffee, and started intermittent fasting. But your weight loss has completely stopped. What can you do now to kickstart fat loss?
Print or download the sheet HERE.
What Is A Weight Loss Plateau
A true weight loss plateau is when you haven't lost weight for 3 months. Otherwise, you have just settled into maintenance mode. This is actually good, because you know in the long term your keto diet is sustainable.
Top 10 Reasons
- Too Many Carbohydrates - are carbs starting to sneak back into your diet? Be honest and start tracking everything using my simple Carb & Food Tracker. A little treat here and there adds up. Some are more carb sensitive (or insulin resistant) than others. I know that my carbs have to be around 50g/day to be feeling great and in control of my appetite. Lower than that and I will lose a little bit of weight, above that and I know my weight loss will stall. I generally go between 35-70g/day without too much tracking because I have done it for so long.
- Too Much Fruit - yes I use berries on my breakfast and desserts, but that is it. I allow my children to eat fruit (without gorging) as they are fit, healthy and in the normal weight range. For me, the sugar and fructose in fruit are too much. Sure, enjoy it as a treat and eat only low carb nutritent dense berries. See fruit as an occasional sweet treat. Packed with fibre, antioxidants, nutrients......... "If you are overweight, fruit is not your friend"
- Too Much Dairy - my biggest downfall is milk. I love my lattes and flat whites. Now milk is great, full of protein and calcium, but it also contains about 5% carbs. A latte can range from 9g to 15g carbs depending on the size you choose. Most dairy such as milk, cream and yoghurt contains approximately 4- 5% but you are more likely to drink a large glass of milk, eat a bowl of yoghurt or drink a large latte than eat 250g of full-fat cheese which has negligible carbs. Go back and track just how much cheese, cream, milk, yoghurt and other dairy products you are having. Dairy products also contain a lot of protein, which can (via gluconeogenesis) turn into glucose in the body.
- Nuts - this was my other mistake. Snacking on too many nuts, too often. Nuts are a great source of fibre, omega 3, selenium. Be careful which nut varieties you consume. Cashews are the worst for carbohydrates, about 20%. Also, make sure your nut mix doesn't contain any dried fruit. The trail mixes are the worst. Measure out a small dish of nuts and make them last for the day. Buy nuts in their shells so it takes longer to eat them.
- Not Enough Fat - yes, to lose weight you need to eat more fat. I got to the point where nothing was working for me to lose weight, so I thought "I've tried everything else, why not?". It was the best thing I ever did. Honestly, by eating more fat, I have lost my appetite. I have to admit that I snack on butter slices when cooking dinner, or have a spoon of coconut cream to take the edge off my hunger, best of all - a creamy coffee. Don't fear the fat.
- Too Many Artificial Sweeteners - I believe diet drinks have a place in weight loss, but certainly not long term. I see them at the start to get over my sugar cravings and to fill up when I was hungry but they should be of short term use. I use sweeteners in my baking and desserts, but I don't make desserts and sweet treats a huge part of my life anymore. The whole point is to get off the sugar and the sweet treats. Sweeteners can affect appetite and make you think that if a recipe contains them instead of regular sugar, then it's OK to eat more. If your weight loss has stopped, stop the diet drinks the sweet treats and reassess.
- Eating Too Often or Eating Too Little - some say you should snack little and often throughout the day. You need to learn what real hunger feels like and actually get used to the fact that being hungry is actually OK. The other extreme is to eat too little, you become so starving that you end up eating something you know you shouldn't and sting far too much of it. Eat when you really think you need a meal, and make it nutritious. If all you want is a sweet treat, but not real food, then its probably a craving and not hunger. Cravings are a sign of insulin resistance, learn to resist them, reset your metabolism, you will finally gain control of your appetite.
- Be Patient- this has to be the hardest lesson to learn. I was really strict with LCHF, and for the first couple of months, I lost hardly anything. This is hard when every time I went on weight watchers, the kilos drop off. But that weight loss was never sustainable. I am still losing weight now, probably half a kilo every month. This will probably stop soon as your body finds its own natural weight, and my carb intake needs to be realistic that I can continue. Keep reminding yourself that your way of eating now is so more nutritious than when you ate carbs and processed foods. The weight WILL go, you WILL gain control of your appetite, and you WILL succeed. There are so many benefits (in addition to weight loss) that LCHF brings. Just read this article on why sugar is so bad for us and this one regarding insulin resistance.
- Lack of Sleep - lack of sleep and increased stress are critical to weight loss and wellbeing.
- Caffeine - caffeine is a stimulant which increases your adrenaline (short term hormone that gets you out of danger - "fight or flight"). It stimulates the liver to release glucose from its glycogen stores. What happens next? This new high level of glucose causes insulin to be released again, fat gets stored and fat burning turns off. If weight loss has stopped, can't sleep, too stressed, stop the caffeine. You don't have to give up your coffee, but just has a decaffeinated coffee and see how you feel.
Do Low-Carb Bars Stop Weight Loss?
Yes, stop the fake food and your low carb bars, sugar-free chocolate snacks and low carb bread. Firstly they are not real food, they are not wholesome and provide no real nutrition.
Part of the ethos of living low carb and keto is to eat real food, whole food, clean food, and food that is not manufactured, processed, or manufactured.
Too many of these bars calculate the carb content in a dubious way and some of the sugar alcohols will still raise your blood sugars. A few low carb bread brands have had their 'Low-Carb' claims removed as they were a complete falsification.
So you've read my "top 10 reasons you're not losing weight" - I'd love you to leave a comment below what stalled your weight loss and what you did to remedy it. What do you do when you want to kick start again?
Free Macro Calculator
Setting the wrong macros (either too high or too low) and not counting or tracking correctly is one of the biggest mistakes I see in Ditch The Carbs PRO members when they first join. You can completely change the way you eat in just 4-weeks.
More Help If Your Weight Loss Has Stopped
You may wish to become a Ditch The Carbs PRO member and start the 4-week QuickStart.
You may also like to see how to get started, use the recipe index, and get some quick resources to help you with your low-carb diet or keto diet.