Why am I not losing weight on Keto? Am I doing something wrong?
Have you been following Keto for a month or two and wondering why you haven’t lost as much weight as you’d like? It happens to everyone, so you’re not alone. I’ve been doing Keto for 3+ years and I’ve been through losing weight as well as gaining weight on Keto (seriously!).
One thing to remember is that you didn’t gain the weight overnight, so you won’t be able to lose it overnight either. Losing weight for health reasons should be steady and consistency is key. Everyone loses weight in different rates so try not to compare yourself to another.
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Here are 12 reasons why you may not be losing weight on Keto.
You have an undiagnosed medical condition.
Keto doesn’t work for everyone. Having an undiagnosed medical condition might be a reason why you’re not losing weight on Keto. Some diabetics can’t do Keto because it causes a medical complication. I won’t get too much into that here, but it’s called Diabetic Ketoacidosis, which is a medical condition caused by dangerously high levels of ketones and blood sugar in the body. Don’t confuse this with Keto!
It happens to Type 1 Diabetics, but it can also happen to Type 2 Diabetics as well (rare though). Before trying out Keto, I always suggest to talk to your doctor first.
This is an important step because you might have an underlying medical condition and Keto can complicate it even further. I know that people think that Keto is a magic pill, but it’s not. It’s just like any other diet or lifestyle that *may* be able to help you. If you’ve been doing Keto for 1-2 months and haven’t seen any results (scale or measurements), make sure to speak to your doctor.
Medical conditions like PCOS or Hypothyroidism can make it harder to lose weight on Keto too. I suffer from PCOS which has made it harder for me to lose weight, but Keto really helps regulate my PCOS symptoms (from experience).
Also, if you’re on the ‘pill’, it can also make it harder to lose weight on Keto (speaking from experience here again — but of course everyone is different). I spoke to my doctor before trying Keto and was monitored for a month or so before my doctor to give me the OK to keep going forward with regular checkups.
You’re not actually in Ketosis.
When you restrict carbohydrates, your body will start to produce Ketone bodies and you’ll start to burn fat for energy. This helps with weight loss on Keto. The process can take 1-7 days (or even more for some people). This is a good thing because you’ll start to burn off the fat off your body (or plate — we’ll get into that later!). As time progresses, you eventually want to be fat adapted.
There a few ways to know if you’re in Ketosis!
- Ketone Urine Strips: You can buy Ketone Urine Strips like these Ketone Urine Strips, but they are only good if you’re starting out. After a month or so, you’ll stop peeing out Ketones and these won’t be accurate.
- Ketone Breath Analyzer: Breathing out Ketones “aka Keto Breath” is another way to know if you’re in Ketosis. Ketonix is a Ketone Breath Analyzer that you can try.
Honestly, the best way to check if you’re in Ketosis is with a Blood Ketone Meter like Keto Mojo. Now, you definitely don’t need a Ketone Meter, but I find it very helpful. I’m a busy, full-time career mother and there have been days when I didn’t want to cook at all. Usually, I’d need to order something or eat fast food and when I do, I always check my ketones to see if something kicks me out of Ketosis. I love that it can also check my blood sugar as well! Check out my article on KNOWFOODS Cookies and checking my blood sugar.
I’ve been using KetoMojo for almost a year now and I highly recommend them. With KetoMojo founder’s club (as of 02/2019) it’s only $0.99 per strip. If you’re interested in KetoMojo and want to save 15% off, feel free to use my link and it gets discounted at checkout.
You are eating too many calories.
If you just started Keto, you probably heard something like this: Just watch your carbs, don’t worry too much about calories at first. Yes, it’s true. You don’t have to count your calories on Keto at first. For the first 2-4 weeks, you really don’t need to worry about your calories. But eating too many calories will hinder your weight loss on Keto.
At first, just focus on getting used to the Keto way of eating, especially if you come from a High Carb diet or SAD (Standard American Diet). One of the reasons why people tend to give up on Keto is because they’re juggling macros, tracking calories, etc — all at once. I would suggest to ease your way into Keto and focus on that first.
After a couple weeks into Keto, you should have got the hang of it. You know what foods to avoid. You’re used to eating breakfast without juice, cereal, or toast. You’re getting along with Zoodles (aka Zucchini Noodles!) and you’re not missing pasta at all (/cry). You feel like you’re ready for the next step!
So that’s where tracking your calories on Keto comes in handy. After a while, those calories in your bulletproof keto coffee will start to matter. They’ll start to add up and next thing you know, you haven’t lost weight or maybe even gained weight.
It’s important to know how much calories your body needs to survive. This doesn’t mean that you need to completely restrict your calories to low amounts, btw. Check out my Calorie Calculator and calculate your body’s daily caloric needs.
And yes, it is possible to stay Keto AND gain weight! If you don’t watch your calories, you can easily gain weight on a Ketogenic Diet.
You’re eating too much fat.
Eating too much fat is another reason why you aren’t losing weight on Keto. The idea of eating a Ketogenic Diet is to burn fat for energy, but how you get that fat matters too. If you’re trying to lose weight, you want to burn the fat on your body instead of the fat on your plate.
Your body will first use up the fat for energy on whatever food you’re eating, and then it will start to use up the fat storage on your body.
The more fat you eat, the more you’re stretching the time for your body to burn up its own fat storage.
So how much fat do you really need to eat on Keto? Ideally you’d want to Calculate your Macros but if you don’t want to track them, you need to figure out a balance.
You just need to eat enough fat to avoid feeling tired and hungry, but you need to limit the excess fat. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are satisfied.
Also, keep this in mind: Protein is the GOAL, Fat is a LEVER, and Carbs are a LIMIT.
You haven’t been tracking your macros.
If you’d like to lose more weight on Keto, it’s best to start tracking your macros. Lazy Keto can only get you so far (trust me, I know haha) and after a while, you’ll stop losing weight. Also, if you’re doing Lazy Keto, you’re basically guesstimating the carb count in the foods you eat.
If you’re tracking macros and you’re still not losing any weight or inches on Keto, you may need to re-calculate your macros. I would suggest re-calculating your macros every 10-15 lbs lost.
Also, make sure you’re calculating your macros correctly. The more information you know, like body fat percentage, will calculate more accurate macros for you.
You’ve been eating too many processed and convenience foods.
You may not be losing weight on Keto because you’re eating too many processed and/or convenience keto foods. While I understand that life can get busy (seriously!) and sometimes we have no choice but to eat convenience foods once a while, it’s best to stay away from processed foods for the first month or so.
It can trigger cravings which may cause you to overeat and more than likely processed or convenience foods won’t be as satiating.
Ideally, your carbs should come from keto & low carb vegetables (here’s a Keto Grocery List to help you!). I think it’s best to try Keto with whole foods and less processed foods.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend $$$ on grass-fed or organic products or meats, btw. Just work within your budget and don’t put too much pressure on yourself by trying to buy grass-fed or organic products. Make Keto work for you, not against you.
You’ve been eating too many low carb alternatives (such as low carb tortillas, low carb bread, etc).
One of the reasons why you may not be losing weight on Keto is because you might be eating too many low carb alternatives. Low Carb Alternatives such as low carb breads, low carb ice cream, low carb wraps, etc can cause unwanted carb cravings and can derail you.
Since these low-carb alternatives can mimic the “real thing”, it might cause you to *actually want* the real thing. It’s easy to get tempted when you first start Keto so I would be cautious with these.
While these low carb alternatives can make the transition from high carb to keto much easier, I would highly suggest to avoid them during the first 1-2 months on Keto. Focus on whole, nutrient dense foods, healthy fats, and meats instead.
After a while on Keto, you can start incorporating Low Carb alternatives to your diet when you’re more comfortable with it.
You have may have food sensitivities.
If you’ve got some food sensitivities, it can cause inflammation and complications when you’re trying to lose weight on Keto. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor first before trying Keto!
If you have any food sensitivities, you might experience the following:
- Digestive Issues
These symptoms may show up between 24-48 hours after you’ve eaten. If you feel like you’ve got food sensitivities, it’s best to log all of your food and try to narrow down which ingredient may be causing the issues.
Here are some common foods that can trigger food sensitivities:
- Eggplant (and other nightshades)
Stress can be another reason why you’re not losing weight on Keto. We know that there’s a connection between Stress and Weight gain. When we’re stressed, our flight or fight response is triggered and causes various hormones to be released in our body.
Cortisol, a type of stress hormone, increases and causes increased appetite and may trigger unwanted, unhealthy cravings. Too much Cortisol can also affect your metabolism which may cause more weight gain.
From experience, when I’m stressed, I tend to overeat on Keto. I used to suffer from Binge Eating Disorder and stress was the number one culprit.
Stress also causes emotional eating, which may lead to binge eating.
If you feel like you’re too stressed, try your best to identify your stress triggers. It’s easier said than done, but knowing the causes will help you in the long run. Taking a walk, spending time with family and friends, and even reading a book may help you de-stress.
You’re not getting enough sleep.
There’s a connection between not getting enough sleep and weight gain because of the hormones Ghrelin (hunger hormone) and Leptin (the hormone that tells you when to stop eating).
When you’re sleep deprived, you have more Ghrelin in your body and less Leptin which can cause weight gain on Keto.
Personally, I suffer from insomnia and I have a hard time sleeping. I feel that if I get enough sleep, I feel more energized throughout the day and have more control over my appetite. Also, getting enough sleep will give you enough energy to work out.
I’ve had sleep issues all my life, but I’ve also heard others having sleep issues when they start Keto. Have you noticed that when you eat carbs, you get kind of sleepy? You can try eating your carbs during night time to help you, if you’re having a hard time sleeping on Keto.
You can also try other supplements like Melatonin to help!
You’re drinking alcohol too often.
Nothing wrong with being social with friends or family and having a couple of drinks! But just remember that alcohol is basically empty calories and when you’re on Keto, your body will burn alcohol off first before anything else.
Drinking alcohol may hinder your weight loss on a Keto Diet. I would suggest to abstain from drinking alcohol on Keto if you’re trying to lose weight — at least until you feel you’re more comfortable on Keto.
You’re not giving Keto enough time.
There are so many other benefits other than weight loss when you’re on Keto. I personally use Keto to manage my Type 2 Diabetes, PCOS, and CHF. Aside from that, you didn’t gain weight overnight so you can’t expect it to work overnight either, right?
I think it’s important to set realistic goals when losing weight. Losing 2-4 lbs a month is still progress and we need to remind ourselves that Keto isn’t a magic pill.
Every body is different and we all lose weight in different rates. Someone may lose 11 lbs in a month and others, maybe 1-2 lbs. Either way, it’s still progress!
Don’t give up on Keto just because you didn’t lose weight like you’d hope. Give Keto more time, at least 6 months. It doesn’t matter what diet or lifestyle you adopt, you have to give it more than a month or two to really see the results. Hang in there, YOU GOT THIS!
I hope you found this article helpful. Remember that weight loss takes time and you may need to tweak your Keto diet to make it work for you.
Thank you for reading!