Some people adopt a keto diet to manage their health conditions. It has been shown to help with:
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Glycogen Storage Disease
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Parkinson’s Disease
- And some cancers
But most of the people on the keto diet today are doing it to lose weight. It has become extremely popular in the media as a safe and effective way to manage your weight.
But, you can’t expect dramatic results right away.
While everyone’s experience will be different, here’s a general guide of what to expect when you adopt the keto diet.
The First Week
One of the things that is great about the keto diet is many people see results the first week. While some will shed a few pounds, many will lose as much as ten pounds.
But don’t get too excited. A lot of that weight is water weight that your body sheds because it isn’t relying on glycogen anymore and therefore doesn’t need to store it in water molecules.
When you start a keto diet, your body will burn all of its glycogen stores before it starts relying on fat.
While your progress during the first week isn’t true weight loss, it is a good sign. It shows that your body is entering the ketogenic state.
Weeks Two Through Eight
Once your body adapts to using fat as energy, you’ll start to lose weight. The average loss for keto dieters is one to two pounds per week.
While that may seem like a conservative amount of weight loss, you can be sure that all of it is fat. People who participate in a keto diet see almost no change in their lean mass.
Weeks Eight Through Sixteen
Most people see the majority of their weight loss in the first two to three months of being on a ketogenic diet. After that, the progress is slower but still consistent.
As long as you maintain your diet, you will continue to lose weight.
Week Sixteen and Beyond
The closer you get to your weight loss goal, the more your progress will seem to slow down.
As your body loses weight, it needs fewer calories. That means that the deficit that you created when you started dieting will make less of a difference.
After the first sixteen weeks, you may have weeks where your weight doesn’t change. But you could lose three pounds the following week.
Just stick with it!
Do you feel like your progress is stalling on keto?
The first thing you might want to take a look at is your expectations.
You’re not going to lose half of your body weight in the first month. And just because one of your friends lost five pounds in a week doesn’t mean you will.
But if you feel like your weight loss has plateaued and you’re doing everything right, you could be sabotaging yourself without even knowing it.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you could be doing that are stalling your progress on the keto diet so you can get back on track.
1. You Aren’t Keeping Track of Your Carbs and Calories
In order for your body to stay in ketosis, you have to stay under 20g of net carbs a day.
Make sure you are logging everything that you eat. Carbs can be sneaky. Even just a couple grams too many can cause your weight loss to stall.
Remember that heavy creams have 0.4g carbs per tablespoon. Some brands round down to zero on their Nutrition Facts label.
Eggs can be a hidden source of carbs as well. They contain 0.6g or carbohydrates.
If you eat three eggs for breakfast and have a decent amount of cream in your coffee, you had ten percent of your carb intake for the day.
2. You Haven’t Invested in a Kitchen Scale
If you have been eyeballing your portion sizes, then you may be overeating.
Even if you use volume measurements like a measuring cup or measuring spoons, you could be off by a few grams of carbohydrates a day. That’s enough to make your weight loss stall.
The most accurate method you can use to track your diet is measuring everything using a kitchen scale.
Instead of using your fist as a measurement, order a small scale online.
3. Recalculate Your Macros
When you first started the keto diet, you used your measurements and lifestyle habits to decide how many of each macronutrient you should eat.
As you lose weight, your body’s carb and calorie content needs will change.
Make sure that you measure your progress and recalculate every ten pounds or so. You can also adjust your macro goals based on how much of a calorie deficit you want to make per day.
4. You’ve Been Consuming too Much Dairy
If drinking milk and eating cheese is a big part of your diet, you may be eating too many carbs without knowing it.
The dairy industry is one of the biggest offenders for rounding down their carbohydrate count on labels.
5. Too Many Seeds and Nuts
Many people mistakenly think that seeds and nuts are keto-friendly since they contain a lot of protein and fat. But, you would be surprised to find out that they also contain carbohydrates.
If you have been snacking on nuts to help get through the day, those carbs can really add up.
To avoid temptation, try to keep them out of the house and plan meals with enough nutrients to keep you feeling full.
When I first started the keto diet, I was so excited. For the first few weeks, I stuck to my meal plan exactly.
I found the willpower to overcome the desire to snack by watching my weight go down on the scale.
But after a while, when my weight loss began to slow, I started to lose motivation, especially on stressful or super busy days.
When I had a long day at the office, I didn’t feel like going through the extra effort of finding a keto-friendly snack. It just wasn’t worth it to me.
I just wanted to reward myself for getting through the day, not have to stress about where I was going to find a bite to eat that wouldn’t rip my body out of ketosis.
It was very hard. After all, not only are the usual culprits like cookies and chips out of the equation, but you also can’t eat too much fruit or handfuls of nuts anymore.
It can start to feel like carbs are hiding everywhere and outside of your meal planned options, you may find yourself strapped for a healthy snack.
But, there are plenty of keto-friendly snacks out there, they just may not be what you’re used to.
One of the best mid-day pick-me-ups you can choose is an iced coffee. If you put a lot of cream in it, you will be contributing to your fat macros for the day while adding relatively few carbs.
Many people also choose to purchase keto bars and other low-carb bars that are made for dieters. But buying these bars all of the time can get pretty expensive.
Fortunately, there are plenty of low-cost, low-carb snacks out there like:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sugar-free popsicles
- Pepperoni slices
- Port rinds
- Laughing cow cheese
- String cheese
- Beef jerky (sugar free)
These snacks are all super convenient. In fact, many of them can even be found in your local convenience store.
Now that you have some good last-minute options, you have no excuse not to stick to your ketogenic diet.
But snacking often isn’t a good habit to get into regardless. You can easily end up going over your calorie or carb limit for the day if you don’t factor your snacks into your meal plan.
If you find yourself snacking a lot, you may want to reconsider the portions of your meals and the things you are eating.
Play around a bit. Try to find a way to eat the right foods so that you are feeling full and focused all day long.