Ketogenic Diet: Are You Really in a Weight Loss Stall?
When you first start the Ketogenic Diet ,with or without Intermittent Fasting, you will drop lot of water weight. This will inevitably set expectations as to how much you can expect to lose long term. But slow weight loss is NOT the same as stalled weight loss!
In the long terms you should expect to lose between 1 to 2 pounds of actual body fat every week. But even this is not the same as body weight. The likelihood is that it will be reflected long term on the scales but that really is not the point. The point is how you measure.
Your Body Composition
Especially where you are combining the Ketogenic Diet with Intermittent Fasting your lean mass can actually increase. During a period of fasting lasting at least 12 hours you will have instigated autophagy increasing HGH (human growth hormone) in your system. This is not only protective towards your lean body mass but can increase the amount of lean mass that you actually carry – making you perhaps no lighter – but leaner!
My suggestion is to measure your waist once a week. Keep a log of your weight and see how it changes. You will be surprised to see how often, when your weight loss seems stalled over an extended period, your waist measurement will be decreasing. In this case you will have increased muscle mass, or experienced a reconfiguration of your physiology resulting in a stronger, leaner you.
Unless you are a man in their 20s ot 30s – and especially if you are a woman, are over 40 or are insulin resistant weight loss is not going to be linear. You will lose weight in fits and starts. Women in particular have a number of protective mechanisms – especially in their reproductive years – that guard against short term rapid weight loss.
In the case of the insulin resistant, with respect to losing weight, they are already metabolically challenged. Though this will get better over time on a Ketogenic diet (especially with Intermittent Fasting) this will increase the frequency and duration of stalls.
TIP: When you start Keto and/or Intermittent Fasting, measure your waist as a ratio of your height. When you divide you waist measurement by your height measurement and it is greater than 0.5 then you are to some degree insulin resistant so shouldn’t expect your weight loss in particular to be non-linear.
Don’t Weigh Yourself Too Often
Weighing yourself every day can be psychologically draining when you are trying to lose weight. If you find you have lost more weight than you expected then you are subconsciously setting unrealistic expectations for subsequent days. If you find you have not lost weight or, as is sometimes the case, have actually put on weight – then this can be highly demotivating.
You must realise that there is a difference between your overall weight loss and the amount of fat your have lost. Even if your weight has gone up, the absolute amount of fat that you are carrying may have gone down. Your body is a highly complex biological machine, and there can be many hormonal or metabolic reasons why you may be weighing heavier yet actually be slimmer.
You are better off setting a day every week, or even better every two weeks – to weigh yourself. That way you are more likely to see consistent progress. Even then, however, don’t expect to lose weight every time you weight yourself. Take account of your measurements as they are the true indicator of progress on your weight loss journey.
At the end of the day, if you have gone a month without any weight loss whatsoever showing on the scales then you can consider yourself stalled. But if you are losing weight, however slowly, the main thing here is to have patience. The weight will come off ,whether quickly or slowly, as long as you follow the basic principles of the Ketogenic diet. Check out my 3 simple rules for the Ketogenic Diet to make sure you have them clear.
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