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Let's face it; weight loss plateaus are so frustrating! After all, you're doing all the right things, yet it seems like your weight loss journey has hit a brick wall.
Keep in mind that no matter what diet you are on, plateaus can happen and it is not a big deal. Read on to see why this is and what to do about it.
What Causes a Weight Loss Plateau: Tips on Breaking a Keto Stall
Recently, someone asked me a question that I only had a partial answer for.
And you know what that means? Yes! I had to do my own research so I could help her (and you) out.
The question was, "Why do I lose like 6 or 10 pounds whenever I do keto, but then I just hit a weight loss plateau that seems like it lasts for weeks. Then I just get discouraged and give up."
A keto stall can dishearten any person who is striving to lose weight. It can be really frustrating and that’s why most people just give up.
So, let's look into why this infamous weight loss plateau could be happening and what to do about it.
The Weight Loss Plateau-Are you Really in a Keto Stall?
Everyone is individual and so are their weight loss patterns.
Whether you're an athlete, have thyroid or adrenal issues, or you're just under lots of stress, the physiological reasons behind the keto stall will always be slightly different for each person.
Please realize that the right doctors can really help you figure things out by doing blood tests and monitoring your conditions as you embark on any weight loss plan.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor any time you make drastic changes to your diet.
With that said, there are several practical strategies that you can do now, to help move past this keto stall and keep losing that excess weight.
Now, before you start believing that you’re stalled and doomed to failure, you need to understand not everyone loses a lot of weight rapidly.
You cannot call it a stall if you don’t lose half of your body weight in one day (seriously, some people do think like that).
Let's be realistic and this means not expecting dramatic results. Needless to say, if you lose only one pound in a week or even plateau for a week, it's not really a stall.
However, if you haven’t lost any weight for several weeks, there are high chances that you’re actually stalled.
And guess who the main suspects are? None other than our old friends, calories and carbs!
But there are other less obvious reasons as well. Let's take a look.
What is a Keto Weight Loss Plateau?
When you are on a keto diet and you stop losing weight, it is called keto plateau. It mostly occurs when you are into six to nine months of dieting.
Most people stop the keto diet because the plateau typically lasts long enough for them to get impatient and discouraged.
However, dieters can easily break through by making some simple changes to their diets and routines.
Weight Loss Plateaus are Actually Normal
Your body takes time to adapt to any change, for example, a change in energy intake and body mass.
What dieters don’t understand is that regardless of how frustrating plateaus are, they are a normal part of the whole weight loss process.
We will begin by looking at what may be causing it and then investigate how to get past the plateaus.
3 Things that Could be Causing your Weight Loss Plateau
There can be several reasons behind it and we like science based explanations so let's keep reading.
1.) Metabolic Adaptation
According to a 2014 review article, the body starts to preserve and gain weight by adapting to weight loss .
In other words, when you try to lose weight, your body starts perceiving that the food you are consuming is not providing enough energy.
In response to all this, your body acts to stop you from losing weight. It does this by making a range of metabolic adaptations.
Your testosterone, thyroid hormone, and insulin levels start to drop as a result lower body fat percentage.
This means that your cortisol and hunger hormone levels start to rise as well.
These hormonal changes start affecting the way your body spends energy.
In short, your body goes into an ‘energy-saving’ mode after a period of steady weight loss.
2) Dropping Muscles Mass
According to dietary experts, preserving muscle plays an important role in achieving a desirable weight loss.
It is because muscles are essential in the whole fat burning process.
The resting metabolic rate (RMR) of a person increases due to higher muscle mass.
According to a study, 35% of the energy that is spent during an exercise or physical activity is related to the changes in weight and muscle efficiency .
This means that if you experience loss of lean mass during your keto diet, you may see some stalling coming your way.
3) Not Keeping Track of Calorie and Carb Intake
This is one of the most common keto mistakes made by dieters. Many dieters do not adjust their calorie intake to match major changes that occur in their bodies due to weight loss.
Therefore, they just stop losing weight. That’s why it is best to take out your dusty old keto/ calorie calculators.
Tracking your macros and calories as you go can help you in determining the calories your body needs at a lower weight, in order to keep losing more weight.
5 Things You Can Do to Get Through a Keto Plateau
Now that you know about the factors that cause weight loss plateaus, let’s turn to problem-solving.
1) Intermittent Fasting
Did you know that occasional fasting can be really helpful in keeping a check on your calorie intake?
According to various studies, fasting can benefit greatly in weight loss as compared to several other low-calorie diets .
What makes intermittent fasting so effective is that it helps in burning fat and does not affect the muscles.
Several studies have shown that fasting improves longevity and overall health .
Needless to say, if you want to break a keto stall, occasional fasting is worth a try.
Check out this short clip for a brief explanation.
It is understandable if you are not a big fan of exercise.
However, you have to understand that your keto diet can help in shedding the early pounds, but it is highly probable that you may experience a stall if you do not exercise.
A study showed that young, obese women lost more weight by exercising and lifting weights along with a low-calorie diet .
Keep in mind that exercise, especially strength training, can be really helpful in increasing the metabolic rate we discussed earlier.
Drops in metabolic rates happen in response to sudden weight loss.
The bottom line for you is: start exercising if you want to get through a keto plateau.
3) Boost Protein Intake-But not too much!
When you’re on a keto diet, it is crucial to have a moderate intake of protein. Again, calculate your requirements and stick to it.
Too little protein can cause a stall and too much can kick you out of ketosis.
However, you can try to temporarily boost your protein intake a little when your weight loss is stalling.
Your body will spend lots of energy to metabolize protein.
Some of the best keto-friendly sources of protein are cheese, eggs, fish, meat, nuts, and seeds.
4) Cut Back on Carbs
When you are feeling stalled, one of the first things we know to do is to further reduce the carb intake as it can actually help you get back on the track.
So, of course you will want to carefully track your intake to make sure you are not over-doing the carbs accidentally.
According to research, low-carb diets with a higher percentage of fats, provide a feeling of fullness and control hunger.
Sometimes just checking in on the carb consumption and correcting any mishaps can get you out of a keto plateau. Not only that, but it can also promote long-term weight loss. If you are having trouble with carb and sugar cravings, check out this article: 7 Hacks to Stop Sugar Cravings
5) Get More Sleep
Yes, you’ve read it right. Getting more sleep can actually help you get through a keto plateau.
Adequate sleep regulates the level of hunger hormones and glucose metabolism.
If you are not getting enough sleep, it can be one of the main reasons behind weight loss stalling because it badly disturbs your metabolism.
Another reason why you need to get more sleep is that your cortisol levels can increase due to sleep deprivation.
Keep in mind that cortisol plays a crucial role in insulin resistance and weight gain.
It is a normal thing to go through a keto plateau.
Instead of giving up on your keto diet after putting in all the extra effort and hard work, you can easily break the stall by following these above tips.
Make sure that you remain patient because the moment you start worrying about no results, stress will take control of your mind and then your body.
And you know very well that stress can sabotage all your efforts. All in all, just follow the strategies and you can break your weight loss stall.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES. IT IS BASED ON MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS. I AM NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR AND WHAT IS WRITTEN SHOULD NOT BE USED TO DIAGNOSE OR TREAT ANY DISEASE OR ILLNESS. THE PRODUCT LINKS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE CONSTRUED AS MEDICATIONS OR TREATMENTS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TAKING ANY SUPPLEMENTS, HERBAL PRODUCTS, OR STARTING EXERCISE PROGRAMS