Source: Dr. Ken D Berry
Hidden things that stall your weight loss on the ketogenic diet
In this article, we want to take a more in-depth look at what can cause your weight loss to stall on the ketogenic diet.
Here’s a short brief of 12 concepts to optimize your health and weight with the ketogenic diet:
- What is a weight stall?
- Importance of measuring
- Importance of tracking the macros
- Carb creep and sugar craving
- Should we trust big food companies?
- What effects does stress have on the body and weight loss?
- Role of good quality sleep
- Shady carbs
- The protein excess effect on weight loss
- Sweeteners – allowed or disallowed
- Intermittent fasting and weight loss
- Hormones optimization
Weight loss stall on Keto
A whole food ketogenic diet is one of the healthiest, most nutritionally complete diets that it human being can eat.
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of health and medical benefits from eating this most nutritious of all diets.
But many people come to this way of eating looking for weight loss, looking for long-term, permanent move towards their ideal body weight.
And so if you’re currently on keto to lose weight and you’re stalled out, we’re going to give you 12 different basic concepts how to break your plateau.
So grab a keto coffee and let’s talk about 12 concepts to optimize your health and weight with the ketogenic diet.
1. What is a weight stall?
First and foremost we need to define what is a weight stall, because so many when they first come to the keto diet, they lose weight really quickly. And then when they stop losing weight they immediately think: “Oh, I must have stalled”.
Basically, only if you’re a man in your 20s or 30s and you haven’t lost weight in a couple of weeks, then that might be a stall for you.
But if you are morbidly obese, if you have been insulin resistant or type 2 diabetic for years, if you’re a woman or if you’re over 40 then really you shouldn’t even call a slowdown in your weight loss a stall, until you’ve been stalled for at least a month.
So if you’re a woman, you have to realize that your hormones are set up to protect you as the reproductive member of the species, which means that your body needs to be protected by all means necessary.
If you’ve lost too much weight and we’ve all heard stories about marathon runners and other women who just stopped having periods altogether, and that’s because their body named it unhealthy for them to carry a pregnancy with that low of body fat percentage.
All women will know this if they’ve tried any form of weight loss with your spouse and especially on a ketogenic diet that your husband loses weight faster than you do. And it’s not fair, but that’s just how nature designed us.
If you lose weight too fast as a woman, your body will put the brakes on
It is important for us to understand that weight loss for women will not be a linear path. Your weight gonna go up and down because of your hormones, because of the fluid shifts and because you lose weight too fast. Your body will put on the brakes through hormonal mechanisms, because it freaks your body out, thinking: “oh, we’re losing too much weight, this might affect our reproductive mechanisms.
Your body doesn’t really know how old you are. Your body doesn’t really know how much you weight. You may have a lot of weight to lose but if lose weight too fast as a woman, your body will put the brakes on because it freaks it out.
So don’t worry about calling something a stall if you’re over 40 if you’re a woman, if you’ve been insulin resistant for years, you’re not gonna lose weight as the average 20 or 30-year-old guy does, that’s not gonna happen for you.
You’re going to lose weight in spurts and starts and stops, it’s gonna be more of up-and-down sinusoidal kind of weight loss. You will gain two pounds and lose three, gain one lose two and that’s gonna happen your entire weight-loss journey.
Get used to that, understand that upfront, so you’re not worried if you don’t lose weight for four days that you’re in a stall.
If you still losing weight over the course of a month you’re not stalled, you may not be losing as fast as you want to, but that’s totally fine.
So first off — weight loss concept is just to understand what a weight stall is.
Get a measuring tape, like a tailor, would use (A Good Measuring Tape)
And the most important measurement of all is to measure your waist to height ratio. If that is above point five, then you’re at least some degree of insulin resistance which is a medical problem. It actually increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and all these other things if your waist to height ratio is over 0.5
Measuring your height to weight ratio is essential, since your scales may not be indicating any significant weight loss, but you may be losing inches in circumference. So you’re getting positive feedback to know that you still getting thinner and if you are then that means you’re also reaping all the other benefits of an excellent whole food ketogenic diet.
So start measuring but also stop weighing every day.
Pick a day of the week and just weigh once a week. That way you’re not freaking out and stressing out over the fluid shifts at the things that your hormones can do to you after 40.
3. Start tracking the macros
If you’re coming to the ketogenic way of eating from the standard American or the standard Canadian way of eating then it’s possible that you have no idea how many grams of fat, protein and carbs foods have.
If you’re not versed on what the macros of particular foods are then you should definitely try downloading a macro app on your phone and track for a few weeks or a month or two, because we didn’t get taught a lot of that in high school or college and even in med school.
You don’t learn a lot of that stuff and if you haven’t picked it up along the way you probably need to do some macro counting for a few weeks to increase your awareness on your nutrition.
So that you should know when you pick up grass-fed butter, how many carbs does that have, how many grams of protein and how many grams of fat.
4. Carb creep
You may not know that what you’re eating has a truckload carbs in it. And so many times we’ll be eating a very consistent ketogenic diet, but then as the weeks and months go by, carbs will start to creep back in.
There are creeping carbs and sneaky sugars and all kinds of different foods that you may not know that may have a significant effect on stalling your progress.
If it’s going to be too harsh to get rid of sugar, you can try the Sweet taste bud disabler which blocks sugar cravings.
5. Don’t trust big food companies
The big corporations like Kraft and Kellogg’s and all those other guys don’t give a damn if you never lose weight, they would actually like it if we all weighed 400 pounds because then we would eat more of their products.
They have several tricks that they can use to get you to eat carbs, and you don’t even know you’re eating carbs.
Here are some of the ways the big food corporations will trick you and it’s not because there’s a conspiracy it’s because they’re in business to make money, their business activity is not designed to improve your health.
Something can have .6 or .8 or .9 grams of carbs they get to round down. Because saying it’s zero carbs means it big food speak it’s less than 1 gram of carbs, and so they get to round down.
The other thing that they can do is they can process these foods and so they can give names to stuff like organic cane syrup – that’s just sugar. They can call stuff maltodextrin like, and they can call things all these other names that you don’t know what they are because we don’t all have degrees in nutrition and that can stall your weight loss.
They can also use sugar alcohols, and technically that’s not a sugar. But as soon as you ingest the sugar alcohol, your body breaks off the hydroxyl group, and now it’s a sugar. So Maltitol is one of the worse ones of all, sorbitol is also very bad. A good rule of thumb is if something has the American diabetic Association seal of approval it probably uses the sorbitol and it’s going to stall your weight loss.
You also can’t trust names like if they have “Keto” in the name, if they have low-carb high-fat (LCHF) on the label, if it says Atkins because we all look up to and respect Dr. Atkins. He was one of the very first leaders of the low-carb community. But now there are corporation selling products under his name, and they use Maltitol and it will entirely stall your weight loss and will raise your insulin level. That’s not good for you at all.
So don’t trust big food. It’s your job because this is your one body and your one life.
You have to look at those nutrition labels and not just the fats, you have to read the ingredients.
If you don’t recognize a word on the label, you have to look that up, that’s what the Google machine for.
Look that word up and find out is that another word for sugar, or is there an ingredient that will elevate your insulin level and therefore turn off your weight loss.
In the ketogenic diet, we’re trying to keep our insulin level as low normal as possible, because that encourages our body to burn fat inside of our belly and on our stomach and on our rear end. That’s the whole point of the ketogenic diet.
6. Decrease the stress in your life
And this is easier said than done, but you have to do this if you’re trying to reach your ideal body weight.
So far we’ve been primarily talking about hacks for your insulin level, and that’s the most important hormone when it comes to weight loss.
The next most important is Cortisol. And if you have a ton of stress, if you’re if you’re living with life partner who you’d like to push down the stairs, or if you have two jobs both of which you hate, if you’re a shift worker then all these things can raise your cortisol and it can slow down or turn off your weight loss.
Try to eliminate bad stress from your life.
7. Optimize your sleep
If you are not getting enough good quality sleep that raises your Cortisol, and it messes with all your other hormones, and that can slow down or stop your weight loss.
You need to be sleeping in a blacked out bedroom, you don’t need to have any lights shining on your face even the alarm clock needs to be turned away from you.
Turn off every television, electronic, computer, every light.
Your bedroom needs to be cooler. Most people sleep deeper and more effectively in a cooler bedroom.
You need to have white noise going, that will distract your mind. So if the dog barks outside, or if the neighbors upstairs are thumping their music, it’s not going to wake you as quickly because your mind is lost in white noise. You just don’t hear that as a discrete sound.
8. Heavy whipping cream
Too much whipping cream can stall you out of losing weight. Whipping cream is not just pure fat, because it has about 0.6 grams of carbs per serving and it also has 0.8 or 0.9 grams of protein per serving. So switch your keto coffee from having heavy cream to having just grass-fed butter.
9. Eating too much protein
Protein is pretty good for you, most of the time protein can be a little satiating which means it keeps you full just like fat does, plus you need proteins and amino acids to build your body parts. But if you’re having a few carbs and you’re having too much protein that can definitely slow down your weight loss.
If you don’t know how much protein food has in it, go back up to number 3 and start tracking your macros for a while until you learn how much protein is in each different food that you eat. You do need some protein, but you don’t need too much.
10. Using too many sweeteners
If you’re using too how much sweeter especially if you’re using any sweetener in your fasting window, if you do intermittent fasting then that’s gonna bump your insulin up, and that’s going to slow down your weight loss.
We all as as citizens of the world want to much sweetener. We want a sweet taste with every meal, with every bite some of us. That’s not natural.
What we’re trying to get back to is a whole food ketogenic diet like our ancestors ate 20-40 thousand years ago. They would go months and months at a time and not have a single sweet taste in their mouth.
You don’t even need sweetness every day. You can go days without having any sweet taste in your mouth and you will not die. You even won’t suffer after you get used to it. It just takes a little while to get used to that and then you run just fine without having a sweet taste in your mouth every five seconds.
So try to decrease and minimize and maybe even stop the sweeteners that you use, even if they’re sugar-free.
11. Try fasting
If you’re if you’re not blending intermittent fasting with your ketogenic diet, you’re missing out on a lot of cool benefits.
The biggest of one that we’re all trying to benefit from is called Autophagy. Autophagy is basically when your body starts to autodigest parts of your body that it doesn’t need.
Here’s something to consider: the human body and the human DNA has been on this planet for a long time. Your body and your DNA are very wise, they’re very intelligent. If you start having the need to burn fat or burn protein or kick you in autophagy, your body is not going to burn your retina.
Your body knows what it’s doing, it won’t digest your brain or even your muscles or your liver, or your internal organs. Your body’s going to start to autodigest parts of your body that you don’t need, which is fat, which is the connective tissue the fats in, if you have a precancerous lesion on your face, your body will just digest that. It will break it down into the amino acids, and it’s like it never existed.
Your body can get the fat out of your liver with autophagy, it can get a fat out of your pancreas the most dangerous fat of all. So autophagy from fasting is a big deal.
If you’ve never fasted before, you need to start out very slow and work your way up. If you do it slowly like that it’s no big deal at all.
12. Optimize all your hormones
If you did all those things above and you still stalled out, it’s time to go see a good doctor who understands nutrition, who understand hormones.
The two most important hormones are insulin and cortisol. But you have other hormones that are in charge of weight loss as well.
So if you’ve optimized your insulin and your cortisol hacking as much as you can, and you don’t know what else to do, go see a knowledgeable doctor and have him check some lab work.
Check your thyroid thoroughly, and you need to check a complete panel.
You also need to have your adrenal hormones checked thoroughly, you need to have your gender hormones checked thoroughly. If all those are checked thoroughly then you may have low DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), or you may have low vitamin D which is a prohormone.
You may have low progesterone or low testosterone. Any of those can slow down your weight loss to a glacial pace, which to you’ll feel like a stall.
So get all your hormones checked by a knowledgeable doctor and then if you need to have any of your hormones checked or optimized that same knowledgeable doctor will know how to do that as well.
Another medical issue that’s a big deal is you perhaps are taking a prescription medication that’s stalling your weight loss. That’s entirely possible. There are multiple drug classes that it’s just known in the medical community they’ll slow down your weight loss, they’ll raise your insulin level, they will raise your blood sugar.
All these things will slow down if not stop your weight loss.