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10 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight on a Keto Diet

Head and shoulders photograph of Anju Mobin
Woman tossing a salad in her kitchen
Despite religiously following rules by restricting carbs and eating mainly fat and protein, you’re still not losing weight on your keto diet. From sugar substitutes to an occasional glass of wine or the stressful meeting you just had, the reason behind your struggle to lose weight may come as a total surprise.

Even though keto is all about consuming mostly fat and protein, there is a limit to how much of each you can have. You may also not be getting enough nutrients or exercise. These are only a few of the possible reasons you might not be losing weight on a keto diet.

You can minimize the risk of making any mistakes or straying from your diet by using a meal delivery service. They take care of meal planning by delivering keto-friendly meal kits to your doorstep, which makes sticking to your diet much easier.

With that being said, here are 10 possible reasons why you’re not losing weight on a keto diet.

1. You're Not Achieving Ketosis

If you are following a keto diet and not losing any weight, the simple reason could be that you are not achieving or maintaining ketosis.

As long as glucose is present in the body, fat will not get burned as fuel. The body relies on glucose for quick, easy energy and will resort to using fat when all the glucose in your system is used up.

To find out if you are in ketosis, you can use test strip kits that detect ketones in urine samples. Another way is to use a ketone breath analyzer that detects ketones in your breath.

2. You're Eating Too Much Fat

Yes, keto is a high-fat diet, but eating too much fat will still cause you to lose weight, even if you are in ketosis. To lose weight, you have to burn more fat than you are taking in.

High-fat foods are usually very high in calories as well. Therefore, you need to keep track of calories in these foods and eat a balanced diet that provides the nutrition you need.

3. You're Eating Too Many Acceptable carbs

Although keto is said to be a no-carb diet, there are certain carbs that are considered acceptable. This includes high-fiber vegetables and dairy. Nuts are a high-fat food with protein and are ideal for keto diets, but some of them have a good amount of carbs as well. Dairy foods also contain carbs.

Eating too much of these foods can break or prevent ketosis. On a keto diet, only 5-10% of your calorie intake should be from carbs. This means that your total carb intake needs to stay between 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day.

4. You're Eating Too Much Protein

Keto is a high-fat diet and not a high-protein diet. About 60% of your calorie intake should be from fats (1).

Some people are very strict with their carb intake and go overboard with their protein. This should be avoided as excess protein can get converted to glucose, which will stop you from entering ketosis.

5. You're Constantly Snacking

A healthy, high-fat snack or a small protein bar can tame your hunger pangs and cravings. However, snacking often triggers mindless bingeing, and you may end up eating more than you planned.

As your calorie intake rises due to indiscriminate snacking, your weight loss stops and may even reverse. Even if you've been munching on the most keto-friendly snacks, you may end up having too much of it and get kicked out of ketosis.

6. You're Drinking Too Much Alcohol

You can have alcoholic drinks on a keto diet, but you need to be careful of the type of alcohol and the how much you have. Beer and wine are not recommended on a keto diet as these are high in carbs. However, gin, vodka, and other hard alcohols are acceptable on keto.

However, keep in mind that alcoholic drinks are quite calorie-dense. They may cause you to overshoot your calorie allowance for the day without providing any nutrients. This stops weight loss and may even cause weight gain. Keep the drinks for an occasional treat with friends and practice moderation.

7. You're Using Sugar Substitutes

You need to be careful with the sugar substitutes you use on keto. Stevia and sugar alcohols such as erythritol are popular choices (2).

However, the sugar alcohol mannitol is not keto-friendly. Although it has a low glycemic index, it can impact blood sugar levels enough to prevent you from achieving ketosis.

8. You're Getting Little to No Exercise

Though diet is evidently more important for weight loss, your activity levels matter. Other than the calories burned through exercise, it boosts metabolism, increasing your body's ability to burn fat.

The combination of exercise and keto is potent and helps reach your weight goals much faster than relying on diet alone.

9. You're Experiencing High Levels of Stress

Our busy lives tend to be filled with stress, but you need to find a few good methods for relieving stress. High levels of stress can stop you from losing weight and can even cause weight gain by affecting hormone levels. Chronic stress may cause you to crave comfort foods and trigger binge eating.

Take walks, meditate, have a warm bath, listen to soothing music, spend time with good friends and loving family members, play games, and feel your stress melt away along with that unwanted body fat.

10. You're Not Getting Enough Nutrients

Being such a restrictive diet that cuts out many vegetables, grains, and fruits, those following keto may end up with nutrient deficiencies. Such deficiencies can impact your health and performance. Symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, muscle weakness, and breathlessness make it difficult to be active or follow your keto diet seriously.

Therefore, you should include plenty of nutrient-dense, keto-friendly fruits such as avocado and berries, dark leafy greens, broccoli, eggs, meats, and dairy products. Keto-friendly meal delivery companies like Factor and HelloFresh are a convenient way to have nutritious food regularly. Make sure to take multivitamin and mineral supplements as well.

Don't Give Up!

Keto diets have many benefits of keto, but achieving and maintaining ketosis is no easy feat. You have to follow the keto diet strictly, without any cheat meals. The most important tip for beginners trying the keto diet is that you need to be extra careful with carbs. There may be hidden carbs in your meal that will kick you out of ketosis, so be aware of what goes in your mouth.

Any of the 10 aforementioned reasons can be to blame for your struggle to lose weight on a keto diet, but don't worry. These are usually beginner keto mistakes. Understand where you are going wrong and make the adjustment. You’ll definitely start losing weight!

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5756564/
Head and shoulders photograph of Anju Mobin
Anju Mobin is a certified nutritionist and has worked in numerous medical clinics. She specializes in nutrition and fitness content with over a decade of experience as a writer and editor.

*The information on this site is based on research, but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new diet plan, we recommend consulting with a physician or other professional healthcare provider. Results may vary based on various health factors, individual weight loss plans and adherence to the meal plan.