The keto diet is a type of diet that significantly restricts carbohydrate intake. Ordinarily, the body breaks down carbohydrates into the sugar glucose, which it uses for energy. When there are not enough carbs in the body, it goes into a stage called ketosis.
During ketosis, the body becomes very efficient at burning fat and using it instead of glucose for energy. This fat burning makes the ketogenic diet a popular choice for people looking to lose weight.
However, some people may find that they are not losing weight on the keto diet. In most cases, this will be because they have not gone into ketosis.
There are other reasons why a person may not lose weight while following the keto diet. In this article, we outline the different possibilities. We also provide some general tips that can help a person achieve their weight loss goals.
1. Not achieving ketosis
Usually, when a person does not lose weight on the keto diet, it is because they have not achieved ketosis.
The most common reason for not getting into ketosis is not cutting back enough on carbs. According to a 2019 articleTrusted Source on the ketogenic diet, carbohydrates should represent only 5–10% of a person’s calorie intake.
Specifically, most keto diets require a person to cut down to between 20 and 50 grams of carbs each day.
Sometimes, a person may feel as though they have drastically reduced their carb intake. However, they may still be eating enough carbs for the body to produce energy from glucose, and this will prevent the body from burning fat.
A person who is not losing weight on the keto diet may benefit from purchasing a home testing kit. These kits contain test strips that check for the presence of ketones in the urine. A positive result indicates that the body is in ketosis.
Another option is to use a small machine called a ketone breath analyzer that detects ketones in the breath.
Home testing can be a helpful way for people to ensure that they are actually entering ketosis. People can use this information to make dietary changes that will help them achieve their weight loss goals.
2. Eating too much protein
Many low carb diets allow for a moderate amount of protein. Some people mistakenly think that a low carb, high protein diet is a keto diet. However, this type of diet is unlikely to cause ketosis because the body can break down excess proteins into amino acids and convert them to types of sugar.
A person who is on the keto diet will get most of their calories from fat, which should represent about 55–60%Trusted Source of their calorie intake. This fat intake leaves little room for protein. If protein makes up more than 35% of a person’s diet, it is unlikely that they are going into ketosis.
3. Eating too many acceptable carbs
On the keto diet, several types of carbohydrate are acceptable, including nuts and dairy. These foods are typically high fat, nutrient dense foods that make a great addition to a keto diet. However, they also contain carbohydrates.
Eating too many of these foods will keep a person from achieving and maintaining ketosis.