These pictures were taken four months apart.
You're not the only one struggling!
Ok, so you read all the blogs. You follow all the Keto Queens on instagram. You've got fried eggs and cheese leaking out of your eyeballs (I know, graphic.) but you're still not losing weight!
Relax. Take a breath. Even the most disciplined of low carbers once found themselves in your position. You are not alone, and by the end of this article I will (hopefully) have solved your dilemma and you will be well on your way to the glorious paved road of before & after social media pictures. So read on you sugar free warrior you, and lets find out why you're not losing weight.
I have over the past few years used keto to drop a significant amount of weight loss two times. The second of which was after I had my second child, when I lost all of my baby weight four months postpartum.
Full disclosure: I tried to have a keto pregnancy, but I'm only human! by my ninth month my husband and I were sharing a container of bunny tracks blue bunny every night. While it was yummy for the moment, my crazy weight gain caused a complicated pregnancy and basically just made me feel like crap. I resumed a keto diet less than a week out of the hospital and my energy increased almost immediately. However It was near impossible for me to reach ketosis this time!
It took me almost two months of troubleshooting to get it right. I shared my first weight loss story on here a couple of years ago, you can read that here. During my first weight loss journey, I felt like I didn't even have to count carbs. I just stuck to low carb foods and the weight melted off. This time around, It felt like if I ate ten carbs a day or fifty, the keto strips I was using always produced the same not-even-slightly-pink result.
I researched, asked people on social media, thought about the way ketosis is supposed to work with your body, and I finally figured out what I was doing wrong by proceeding with the following troubleshooting techniques. I'm not a doctor or a nutritionalist, but I'm someone who is annoyingly keto and have dedicated a large portion of my life to figuring it out. Unless there is something medically wrong with your body, you will achieve ketosis and jump start your weight loss after using these 5 troubleshooting techniqes.
1. Determine whether or not you are actually in ketosis
How are you checking for ketosis? Keto is called Keto because you're trying to achieve the metabolic state of ketosis where your body is using fat for fuel because you've depleted your carbohydrates. Just eating low carb will not cause weight loss unless you are in a calorie deficit or ketosis.
I'm going to assume by now you have checked whether or not you're in ketosis, and if you haven't that's what you need to do. I've posted a link to urinalysis strips, but you can pick them up at your local drugstore relatively cheaply.
If you are getting a negative result, make sure to check at different times of the day because urine tends to have the highest amount of ketones in the late afternoon. It doesn't hurt to buy a second testing kit, as they can be temperature sensitive
If you have checked sporadically throughout the day and the tests are still coming up negative, then the problem is that you're not in ketosis and that is why your weight loss is stalled. Keep your net carbs under 20 grams a day and sugar alcohols to a minimum and your weight loss should start within a couple of days.
2. Are you eating too much?
Keto is a tool, not a magic bullet. At the end of the day your body is a machine and calories in have to become calories out. If you are a 5'4" female and you're eating a package of bacon for each meal, that's still an insane amount of calories you're feeding your body and your body needs to burn off all of that before it starts to reach into your fat reserves and you start losing weight.
If you are for sure in ketosis but are not losing weight, use apps like My Fitness Pal or a food journal like the one below to make sure you are staying within the recommended amount of calories for your BMI (Body Mass Index). If you do not know how many calories you should be eating a day, you can look online to find out what your BMI is and what doctors suggest is healthy.
3. Are you gaining muscle?
I know you've heard this before but muscle weighs more than fat! If you're working out and lifting weights, it is very possible that you are losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. (Especially with the amount of protein we're consuming on a daily basis!)
If your pants are fitting a little looser but the scale isn't moving, do NOT beat yourself up! pick up a tape measure like the one I've linked below, and keep track of your inches. You'd be surprised how accurate this is to measure your success!
4. Are you eating too many treats?
I know those Atkins bars are amazing, and those sugar-free reeses are too yummy to be keto... but you just can't. Contrary to popular belief, keto is a relatively healthy diet that consists of mostly whole foods. Not only can the sugar alcohols that make those treats low-carb wreak havoc on your belly, but they can also stall weight loss.
So makes sure your treats are just that. It's ok to have a protein bar here and there, but keep the Halo Top to a weekend only treat.
5. Are you Plateaued?
Many people are super excited when they see the first dramatic drop in the sale, but become discouraged when it slows after a couple of months. If this sounds like you, I recommend a quick egg fast. When my weight stalls and I've checked everything above, I take three days to help kick start my body after it's gotten too used to being in ketosis. The rules are simple: For three days, you can eat eggs, non-processed cheese of any kind (Including cream cheese!), mayo and butter. Prepared any way you like, with any zero calorie condiments or seasonings.
You'd be surprised how many things you can actually make with those ingredients! A quick google search for "Egg Fast Recipes" will produce tons of possibilities like mock noodles, quiche, and even crepes. By the end of the three days your body will be a lean, mean, ketosis running machine! And you will have probably dropped a couple of pounds resuming your weight loss.
Now get back on that Keto horse, and try again!
You I am 100% confident that if you've followed everything I've told you here to a T that you will start to see the results you're seeking and be back on the road to your weight loss goals. Please let me know if any of these tips helped you in the comments, and good luck! You can do this! Feel free to follow me on Instagram for some support here!