Why am I not losing weight?
- Carbohydrates – could it be that carbs starting to sneak back into your diet? Be honest and start tracking everything. There are several apps that can help with tracking. A little treat here and there quickly adds up. Some are more carb sensitive (or insulin resistant) than others. I know that my carbs have to be around 20-30g/day to be feeling great and in control of my appetite. More than that and I know my weight loss will stall.
- Too Much Fruit – I have a strawberry pot on my front porch and the strawberries are irresistible as they become ripe – one at a time. Otherwise, I don’t eat any fruit. You do not need fruit for nutrition if you’re making sure to follow your macros otherwise. For me, the sugar and fructose in fruit is too much. Sure, enjoy it as a treat and eat only one or two low carb nutritent dense berries. See fruit as an occasional sweet treat. Packed with fibre, antioxidants, nutrients……… “If you are overweight, fruit is not your friend”
- Too much Dairy – Milk is full of protein and calcium, but it also contains about 5% carbs. A latte can range from 9g to 15g carbs depending on the size you choose. Most dairy such as milk, cream and yogurt contains approximately 4- 5% but you are more likely to drink a large glass of milk, eat a bowl of yogurt or drink a large latte than eat 250g of full fat cheese which has negligible carbs. Go back and track just how much cheese, cream, milk, yogurt and other dairy products you are having. Dairy products also contain a lot of protein, which can (via gluconeogenesis) turn into glucose in the body. I recommend you keep dairy to grass fed butter, heavy whipping cream and cheese if your weight is stalled.
- Nuts – Snacking on too many nuts too often is a common mistake. Nuts are a great source of fibre, omega 3, selenium. Also watch which nuts you consume. Cashews are the worst for carbohydrates, about 20%. Also make sure your nut mix doesn’t contain any dried fruit. Trail mix is the worst – don’t even bother. Measure out a handful of nuts and make them last for the day. Buy nuts in their shells so it takes longer to eat them.
- Not Enough Fat – Yes, to lose weight you need to eat more fat. If you get to the point where nothing is working to lose weight, EAT MORE healthy FAT. By eating more fat, you will lose your appetite (satiety). Don’t fear the fat! We’ve been told for years that, “fat makes you fat” but it just ain’t true. Just be careful with fatty meats that are not grass-fed (hormones) Also eating enough fat will help with intermittent fasting (see below.)
- Sweeteners – There is a significant debate on whether artificial sweeteners cause insulin to rise. I tend to think that they might in some people and in others, not so much. If your weight is stalled, just stop all sweeteners (both artificial and ‘natural’) and see if your weight loss re-starts. Sugar alcohols like Erythritol and Xylitol are known to actually have health benefits (while these sound like bad chemicals, they are actually natural sweeteners) and usually won’t cause any trouble. Some folks have reactions to these sweeteners like gas, bloating, dry mouth. Above all things avoid aspartame, maltodextrose, sucralose and saccharine (this is an incomplete list – likely there are others you should avoid if your weightloss is stalled.)
- Eating Too Often or Eating Too Little – some say you should snack little and often throughout the day. This is a very bad idea – it keeps your insulin flowing all day long which lends to insulin resistance and starvation. Eating enough fat will help – and unless you’re fasting, eat 2-3 meals per day with no snacking. Learn to listen to your body – if you’re eating enough fats (yes, force them down if need be) your body will regulate your eating through hormonal chemistry. If you don’t feel like eating, don’t eat – but when you do eat, don’t eat carbohydrates – stay with your macros.
- Be Patient– I am not a patient person. I weight myself nearly every day (and folks, this is something we’re told not to do.) Also I have not done my body measurements (this is something I should have done.) Still, I look for ANY change – even if I gain a pound – I look myself over for changes. Often I’ll see some small thing that I can be happy about. Just stay with it, (Keto on! as they say) and the weight will have to come off eventually. See Intermittent Fasting below.
- Lack of Sleep – lack of sleep and increased stress are critical to weight loss and well-being. If you snore, get a sleep study done and see if you need a CPAP or BiPAP machine. If you’re not breathing while asleep this can drastically affect your ability to lose weight (which may be the cause of your apnea.)
- Caffeine – caffeine is a stimulant which increases you adrenaline (short term hormone that gets you out of danger – “fight or flight”). It stimulates the liver to release glucose from its glycogen stores. What happens next? This new high level of glucose causes insulin to be released again, fat gets stored and fat burning turns off. If weight loss has stopped, can’t sleep, too stressed, stop the caffeine. You don’t have to give up your coffee, but just has a decaffeinated coffee and see how you feel.
- Intermittent Fasting – This is probably the most important item. I’m not going into all the arguments against fasting that ill-informed people spout – after all, we’re not talking about starving. IF (Intermittent Fasting) and starvation are two different things. IF is simple; you already do it every night when you sleep. Just extend the time as you’re comfortable to do. Start by eating dinner sooner (say, 4pm instead of 6pm) and don’t eat breakfast. Then eat lunch at noon. A 4pm – 12pm fast is 20 hours. Or, try this: just eat dinner. If you’re eating enough healthy dietary fat, this should be a breeze AND you should break your weight-loss stall.
- See our page about Metabolic issues. You may need to see your doctor.
Read this: Why you aren’t making progress…