Updated: Apr 9
My second tip for getting into and maintaining ketosis is simple:
DON’T CONSISTENTLY EAT LOW CALORIE.
Being consistent on a ketogenic diet is extremely important, but consistently eating low calorie is not a good idea. Old diet mentalities, like that of cutting calories, try to creep in from time-to-time and then, suddenly, you find that your fat loss has plateaued. Restricting calories may work temporarily, but after a few weeks you tend to find your weight stabilizing, and despite eating at a calorie deficit, you simply cannot shed excess body fat.
Consistently eating at a large deficit slows the metabolism. Your body is designed to keep you alive. If you're consistently taking in a lot less energy than you're expending, the body is going to slow down the energy going out so that it has enough fuel to keep your heart and organs running, but maybe not much else.
Also remember weight loss on keto is not linear. Many people may gain muscle while losing fat and show no changes on the scale. More often than not, however, what has actually happened to many who stall out is that the body has caught on to the fact that it has been burning 2,000 calories of energy a day and only taking in 1,000-1,200!
The total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) for most people is greater than that measly 1200 calories the old CICO-path weight loss gurus told us we should limit ourselves to. The body cuts non-essential functions to slow the rate at which you use fat for fuel until you replenish your stores. If you are weighing yourself on a daily basis, you may see a 4-6 pound gain of water weight as the body tries to hold on to everything it can! Eating too low calorie can also cause metabolic processes, like gluconeogenesis (internal making of new glucose), to turn on disrupting ketone production and therefore turning off fat burning.
Another way the body can react to chronically low calories is to disrupt thyroid function. You get cold, your hair falls out, your skin gets dry, your brain gets foggy, you can’t sleep, and the list goes on and on. Yet all of these symptoms can simply be the results of eating too low calorie!
One of the ways you can prevent stalls and roadblocks of this nature from happening is to eat more fat. Fat contains 9 calories per gram whereas carbohydrates and protein contain 4 calories per gram. So increasing the fat automatically increases calories.
Even after you start eating a proper number of fat calories, it may take a few days (or a few weeks!) to convince your body that it is safe to begin expending the energy (lose weight) again. So what often seems like a weight loss plateau is, at this point, really just a delay from your body trying to adapt again.
Keep those calories up, keep your body functioning optimally, and maintain that ketosis. In this case, the old adage rings true: an ounce of prevention really is worth a POUND of cure!
Want to learn to do Keto the right way? Check out my Quick-Start Online Class. The entire 4-Week Program is only $99.
Follow my hastags so you don't miss out on the next tip!