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The Keto Diet is popular for quick fat-targeted weight loss. Although the diet is effective for weight loss, occasionally you may experience a weight loss plateau. There are several things you can do to get the scale moving in the right direction. Learn about weight loss tips for keto and intermittent fasting to help get weight loss back on track.
All these tactics may support weight loss, improve metabolic health, and perhaps may extend your life as a byproduct of adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Read on to learn about other weight loss tips to keep weight dropping on the keto diet.
Another tactic you might try to keep your weight loss on track is intermittent fasting.
Keto Diet Basics
The keto diet focuses on eating 20-25 grams of carbohydrates daily, with 20% of daily calories focused on protein and the remainder of daily calories, approximately 75%, focused on healthy fats.
This way of eating sets up consistent weight loss. Often faster in the first few weeks of starting the keto diet. Early weight loss is due to the diet's diuretic effect.
After a few weeks on the diet, you should settle into a consistent loss of a couple of pounds a week after that.
Of course, this varies based on the person and how much they have to lose.
After about 7 weeks you may experience a slight setback in dropping weight. This can be due to a lot of things.
Things That Derail the Keto Diet
For example, once we have been on the keto diet for a while, we tend to stop doing important things like:
- counting every carb we eat during the day, including those in spices, condiments, and yummy cheese sauce
- we start eyeballing measurements, instead of taking the extra minute to pull out the measuring spoon to measure
- we might skip the weigh-ins, measurements, and selfies that keep us motivated
- Or, sleep in instead of getting our morning walk before work.
I completely understand. But all these slight changes and others can add up to slowing weight loss.
We can tell ourselves all day long that we are eating 25 or fewer carbs, but are you certain?
Remember, this is the main thing about the Keto Diet: Stay in ketosis.
Fine Tune Your Diet and Stay in Ketosis
Ketosis is the whole goal of the keto diet. a time when your body has moved from using glucose for energy to burning fat stores for energy. It can take 24-72 hours to get into ketosis and then a week or more for your body to become adapted to the state of ketosis.
There are several things you can ensure you stay in ketosis, the first being intermittent fasting on the keto diet.
Weight Loss Tips for Keto Diet
Count Every Carb You EAT
make sure you are measuring food portions. It’s a huge mistake not to use a kitchen scale or measuring cups or spoons to measure portions.
A great scale is the Digital Food Scale #ad. Sleek and accurate, it instantly converts grams to pounds depending on your recipe units.
With the high-fat foods allowed on the keto diet, it isn’t hard to add extra nutrition with that extra spoonful that may put your weight loss in a stall.
If you need to, clear out the cupboards, because we're all human and weak, even though we know we shouldn’t eat those carbs, if they’re in the house, the temptation is too great.
You need to take this diet seriously. If you want to achieve the results you want.
Because every time you kick yourself out of ketosis you stop losing weight and probably the scale shows an increase. Starting over is not fun.
What if you have been following the keto diet guidelines and measuring your food, and doing everything right?
Then it may be time to change it up a bit.
Working out is important no matter what your size. Check out these cute workout clothes for any size.
Refreshing your workout clothes is an easy way to amp up your workout motivation. Try it!
Adjust How You Eat on the Keto Diet
What if you’re doing everything right and not sabotaging your diet.
If you have already lost a significant amount of weight, it may be that you need to readjust your macronutrients or up your current level of exercise to continue your weight loss.
Want to Make Meals Easy on Keto, try this App
Calculate Your Macronutrients
The keto diet guidelines start out by telling everyone to eat:
- 5% of daily food intake or calories in carbohydrates, but less than 20-25 grams of carbohydrate daily,
- 20% of daily food intake or calories in protein, and
- 75% of daily food intake or calories in fat.
But what does this really mean because we are all different shapes and sizes?
If you back into these recommendations, if 20-25 grams of carbohydrates are 5% of daily food intake or calories, then those recommendations are based on roughly a 1600-2000 calorie-a-day diet.
With some simple math, you can see where I get this number.
There are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate, 4 calories per gram of protein, and 9 calories per gram of fat (USDA).
So based on 20-25 grams of carbohydrates per day, you are eating between 80 and 100 of your daily calories as carbohydrates.
Multiplying daily carbohydrate calories by 0.05 will give you the daily calories allowed for carbohydrates.
80 calories would be based on 1600 daily calories and 100 would be based on 2000 calories. Roughly.
Now getting your daily fat intake to be high enough to account for 75% of your daily calories is a challenge, so in reality, you may be eating fewer daily calories than our math problem above suggests.
But my point is you may be eating too many calories for your body to lose weight at a rapid pace. You may still continue to lose weight, and usually faster on keto than other weight loss options, but not at the pace you were losing in the beginning.
Estimate Your Daily Calorie Needs
Take a look at the Calorie Calculator at Calculator.net.
Here you can estimate your daily calories needed to maintain or lose weight. These calorie estimates are based on age, gender, height, weight, and activity level.
So for example, if we input a female, age 40, who weighs 150 lbs, is 5’7”, and is sedentary with little or no weekly exercise, you will see that it estimates that she needs 1860 calories to maintain her weight.
That is all good and fine unless she is really aiming for 135lbs. To lose 1 lb per week, that same 150lb female should be eating just over 1359 calories a day.
So for many dieters experiencing a plateau, therein lies the problem.
You’re probably thinking, but with the keto diet, I’m not supposed to have to count calories. I believe that is still true.
I do think that it is reasonable to take a look at this information and think about:
- your exercise,
- maybe your protein intake, and make sure you are eating 4-ounce servings of fatty cuts of meat,
- weighing and measuring your portions to make sure you are within keto guidelines, and because those extra bits of food add up, and
- changing the timing of your food intake with intermittent fasting.
I put together a 7-Day Keto Diet Meal Plan and Grocery List to help new Keto Dieters see what the diet is all about. If you are experiencing a plateau, maybe getting back on a meal plan will help. The 7-Day meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Sign up for Fit As A Fiddle Life Tips and Strategy Newsletter and I will send you the PDF links to get you started on the Keto Diet. Click here to sign up.
Add Exercise to Amp-Up Your Metabolism
If you haven’t been exercising up until now, adding light exercise is very important to keep your metabolism burning. Even when you are on the keto diet.
Adding a daily walk and some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises to your walk workout is a great way to increase your metabolism. Check out my post on 10 Tips for Walking for Weight Loss for a walking routine to get you started.
You can start off with just a 15 minute exercise time limit, either a brisk walk where you increase your heart rate or simply walking up and down the stairs in your home or a nearby park. As you feel better you can add time.
Just by getting to where your breathing hard is all it takes, meaning you don’t have to run miles to have a great result.
With HIIT increasing your heart rate is the goal and accomplished by quick intervals of activity to do just that. Things like jumping rope for 1-2 minutes, 20 alternating leg lunges, or simply walking at a more brisk pace for 1-2 minutes and repeating will do the trick.
HIIT doesn’t have to be a complicated routine. Increasing your heart rate will help your body burn more fat. Check out my post on Five Simple HIIT Workouts Burn Fat in 15 Minutes for more ideas.
What is Intermittent Fasting
Wait, now you may be thinking, I am already on a diet and giving up so many of the foods I love and now I am supposed to fast too?
Intermittent fasting on the keto diet is easier than it sounds. You will pick the time frame where you will eat your meals for the day. Rather than spreading out your meals between breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks until bedtime, you will only eat during a 4, 6, or 8-hour time frame.
Some skip breakfast and will start this at lunch and then end with dinner. Others may not be hungry until later in the day.
on keto, you will have a coffee or tea in the morning with added heavy whipping cream, melted butter, or coconut oil. This will be filling and should get you through until lunch. For lunch and dinner, you would eat a normal keto meal.
All of your daily food allowances would be eaten during the 6-hour window. After that time you are allowed water and other non-caloric drinks such as coffee, tea, etc to maintain hydration and help reduce any hunger pangs.
This sounds limiting, but in reality with the keto diet, if you are following the diet guidelines, you will not be that hungry.
The key to intermittent fasting on the keto diet is to make sure and eat adequate fat. Because eating fat changes everything, it is satisfying so we have fewer cravings, and it keeps us in ketosis.
Readjust Weight Loss Expectations
Lastly, it is reasonable to readjust expectations on how fast your body can lose weight. The weight you are trying to lose wasn’t gained in a month so it will probably take a few to lose it too.
Rather than relying solely on the scale, try intermittent fasting on the keto diet, increase your exercise, and watch your carbohydrates. Check your measurements and compare to where you started and you will often see progress when the scale doesn’t budge. You may be surprised by selfies too.
Think about how your clothes are fitting. Are they looser? Then you are on the right track. Rather than the downhill spiral of frustration, congratulate yourself on the progress you have made.
Patience is the key because the keto diet works and is worth it.
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August 2021 Update: Post and images updated.
This site contains general information about diet, health, fitness, and nutrition. This information should not be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement or before beginning a diet or exercise program.