As you know, I'm not a strict Keto-er. I follow a low carb lifestyle very loosely and it works well for me now that my thyroid situation is straightened out. Before that, no amount of low carb (or even strict Keto) worked. It was frustrating, but I knew I had to keep working towards optimal health. Keto not working? There's probably a reason – and we are going to figure it out.
5 Reasons Keto Isn't Working for You
When I say “why Keto isn't working for you” I mean you aren't losing weight, and you're feeling frustrated. This is normal, and we can troubleshoot through it together. If your low carb way of eating is working for you, congrats! Please leave your tips in the comments so others can try what you're doing.
Stress Stalls Weight Loss
In this day and age, I feel like we are all stressed out to the max. This can hinder our weight loss in a big way. Stress – both physical and mental – has a major impact on weight gain and inability to lose weight.
When your stress levels increase, your insulin levels can increase. Insulin is supposed to tell the body to burn stored fat, but it can't do that if you're chronically stressed. (Source)
Reduce physical stress by cutting back on workouts temporarily, and taking up yoga or meditation instead. Continue to follow your low carb or keto diet and practice self-care techniques.
Focusing too Much on Calories
If you focus too much on keeping your calorie count low while doing keto, you may hit a plateau rather quickly. Most of us have had a lifetime of diets, mostly focusing on calories, so it's tough to get out of that mindset. Keto is all about low carb, high fat – this means your calorie intake will be higher.
Your focus should be on macros, not limiting calorie intake too much. In fact, if your calorie intake decreases too much, it can slow your metabolism, making it even more difficult to lose weight!
On the other hand, if you're eating loads of greasy bacon all day every day and haven't seen a vegetable in weeks, you may be eating too many calories. Calories aren't a number you have to focus on with keto for the most part, but some people do overdo it.
Having Unrealistic Goals
When you switch to a low carb lifestyle, you may lose 10, 15, even 20 pounds in the first month. These are amazing keto diet results for most of us who are used to losing a pound or so a week while practically starving ourselves! Fast weight loss with huge numbers is not something that everyone gets to experience, but because so many people talk about it, most believe it's going to happen and are extremely disappointed if it doesn't.
Setting realistic goals beyond the number on the scale is vital to losing weight in a healthy way and learning how to love your new body. You may lose inches, you may shave a minute off your mile, you may be able to stretch and bend in ways you couldn't before. The number on the scale is only one factor to look at, and shouldn't be the one that holds the most weight – no pun intended. 😉
You're Eating Crap Food
Just because you can eat bacon and dairy doesn't mean you should. We are not baby cows, therefore we do not need cow's milk. Cheese is delicious but can constipate you if you eat too much of it. If you're eating deli meats (high in sodium), dairy (yes, even if it's just in your low carb pumpkin spice latte), and loads of cheap bacon, you may struggle with weight loss or hit a plateau sooner rather than later.
Are you eating out a lot? Are you drinking alcohol often? You can eat low carb at restaurants, but nothing beats cooking at home and knowing exactly where your food came from and what is going into each dish. Speaking of cooking at home, you must try my low carb taco bowls.
You could also be dealing with food allergies or sensitivities and not realize it. Many of us are lactose intolerant (again, because we are not cows) without realizing it, and that can cause a plethora of issues. If you think your weight loss may be stalled due to an allergy, do a food allergy test by eliminating one food at a time until you find the culprit.
Your Thyroid is Working Against You
If your thyroid isn't working well – or at all – it's not doing its job of helping your body regulate itself. While keto is known to help some folks with thyroid imbalances, it's best to be seen by your doctor as soon as possible to find out for sure.
I wish my doctors had been more thorough when testing my thyroid. For years, I knew something was wrong. They kept saying my levels were normal. Then, last year, I found out my thyroid hadn't been working for quite some time, and I had thyroid cancer. If you'd like to read about my thyroid cancer journey, take a moment to head over to Smiley's Bunch.
Once your thyroid is leveled out, it's much easier to lose weight!
Doing Everything Right and Still Struggling?
Everybody is different. Every body is different. What works for me might not work for you, and what works for you may not work for me. Eating low carb is proven to improve health, help weight loss, and more… so don't give up!
Track your macros. The key to keto weight loss is accountability. Everything you eat and drink should be logged. Use a piece of paper or a free weight loss app. This is going to be the easiest way to troubleshoot your slow (or nonexistent) weight loss.
Get up and move. If you're not working out at all, now is the time to start. Even if you just start by walking around the block, I want to see you moving! Tell your body that you're ready to lose weight and you're serious about it by eating right and exercising daily.
Continue reading: Who is the Keto Diet Good For?