Weight-Loss plateau is a subject that bothers many Ketonians whose “residence certificate” has just been issued in the land of Ketonia. Well, I mean if they just switched to Keto in the past month or two…
The ketogenic diet is not just a diet and you probably heard this one million times before. In fact, it’s a movement! It’s also a lifestyle and a torn in the eye of big-food and pharma industry! The fitness industry, in particular, loves it and hates it at the same time!
Keto can also be a tool if someone has as a goal, not only to lose body fat but to have a healthier life. I would like to point out the importance of following a clean Keto diet. The misconception that a ketogenic diet can still work even if you continue eating industrial foods caused a lot of health problems to many switchers. Just because these foods are labelled as zero-carb or sugar-free doesn’t mean they are good for you. If you continue reading the labels, you’ll find many answers to the questions about why your Keto doesn’t really work!
Respecting the body
Let’s be brutally honest here! A proper ketogenic diet is the one that respects the body and supplies it with good nutrients. I am talking about the necessary fuel for our body’s perfect functioning. The same concept works for cars, for example. If you keep fuelling your car with suspicious-quality gasoline, eventually the engine will break down. Yes, you can move around with low-quality gasoline but not for a long time. The same rule applies to our bodies, we usually get sick.
That monster called Weight-Loss Plateau
After the infamous water-retention loss, almost everybody meats the monster called Weight-loss plateau. Now, from a nutrition therapist point of view, the first thing that comes in mind when somebody complains about Weight-loss plateau is the wrong approach to nutrients and quantities. In addition, it is good to keep in mind that the faster the fat loss, the greater the chance of complications, so we need to know what we are doing.
Understanding the weight-loss plateau monster – Easier victory!
In Greek myths, when a hero needs to kill the monster, there’s usually a divine intervention by Goddess Athena. The Goddess of wisdom always gives the key to solving the mystery and problems. So, why don’t we explore the wisdom behind weight-loss plateau and achieve the victory over it? These 5 things will help you understand and then overcome the weight-loss plateau! Ready? Let’s be brave!
1. Eating too often or too much
Are calories important in a ketogenic diet? Yes and no! If you eat beyond the feeling of satiety, you consume more food than you really need. But do you know what will happen to the body once it has been fat adapted? Hunger will completely disappear, you will “forget” to eat and feel full of energy and vigilance while spending many hours between meals. Your body uses stored body fat all day and your mind is effectively fed by the ketone production.
The golden rule of macros
Now, a proper macronutrient arrangement is the golden rule here. A meal composed of 75 to 80% of fat, 15 to 25% protein and 10 to 5% carbohydrates with nutritious, unprocessed foods can keep you fed for over 12 hours. As you can imagine, this period of spontaneous intermittent fasting helps you in your quest to control the amount of food and calories, without feeling hungry between meals.
We know, the standard diet imposed three meals and three snacks daily. But if you allow yourself to eat only when you are hungry, you will be pleasantly surprised by seeing ketones in the blood growing and a healthy weight loss happening.
2. You do not eat enough fats or you eat too much of it
This is a fatal mistake when you try to enter nutritional ketosis. In addition to what we mentioned above, hunger always returns. Consume butter, coconut oil, ghee, fatty meat and fish, avocados, and whole fat cheese (preferably aged and goat or sheep cheese). Of course, don’t overdo the fats because that’ll definitely lead to a weight-loss plateau. If you think you cannot find the golden-ratio, keep a record and follow your macros.
If you are experiencing hunger between meals, this is showing that you’re not eating enough of fats. A fat-bomb or two can help here, but try to have it balanced in your main meal by choosing fattier meat and fish. Natural occurring fat from food is your goal! The fat is a game changer and it can make a difference in weight loss. Let’s not forget, you will gain something you’ll not be sorry for – all the health benefits by being in ketosis.
3. Eating too much protein
There is a perception that the ketogenic diet should be high in protein. In fact, a properly formed Keto diet is rich in fats and moderate in protein. You certainly did not think protein could stop your weight loss – but it can due to gluconeogenesis. When you consume excessive amounts of protein, your liver converts it into glucose! If you eat a big portion of lean meats, such as chicken breasts, turkey, lean beef or pork, fish or seafood without enough of added fat, the purpose of the ketogenic diet is overridden. So choose to eat way more fatty pieces of meat so you can indirectly control the final amount of protein. Your goal should be about 15% of your macro ratio not to affect the levels of ketones in your blood.
4. Too many nuts and dairy products
Overconsumption of nuts and generally dairy products can cause a stall in weight loss. Nuts contain a tremendous amount of calories in a small portion and it’s very easy to overeat them. Besides the calories, nuts contain usually a certain amount of carbs which is also another negative in the list.
When it comes to dairy products, I always recommend goat milk products instead of cows! Goat’s milk products are anti-inflammatory and do not contain lactose. But what science has to say about it? The possible correlation between dairy consumption and body weight control has been the subject of a significant number of recent scientific studies.
Skip cow’s milk dairy in general
The interest in this issue emerged mainly after the recognition of certain reasonable biological mechanisms to explain the above correlation. Most scientists have suggested that calcium in dairy products plays a key role in the regulation of body weight. However, other biological mechanisms are also related to dairy consumption too. The results of the majority of epidemiological observational studies have supported the hypothesis that a diet rich in dairy products is associated with lower fat storage in the body, both in adults and children. However, scientific evidence so far does not explicitly support the assumption of a clear causal relationship between high intake of dairy products and calcium and low-fat deposition in the body. Research in this area is continuing and aims at a deeper understanding of the possible auxiliary role of dairy products and calcium in the treatment of obesity, whose levels have been rising in recent years in the western countries.
5. Blood sugar levels
What does blood sugar have to do with dietary ketosis? Why should you care about your blood sugar levels if you are not diabetic? As a therapeutic nutritionist, I have to say that everybody needs to know their blood sugar levels.
Maintaining carbohydrate intake less than 20g daily, reducing the excess amount of protein intake and consuming saturated fats, will reduce your fasting blood sugar below 80 mg/dl or 4.4 mmol/L. Yes, saturated fats are really healthy for us as well as cholesterol for vital bodily functions. Once you get on average your blood ketones to be at 2.0 mmol/L, your blood sugar will fall to ideal levels.
Low blood sugar levels keep your hunger under control, regulate your mood and give you a sense of well-being that does not occur if there is a switch between hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia.
By adjusting the blood sugar in a nutritional way, you can more easily get in the metabolic state of ketosis and vice versa, nutritional ketosis will help you regulate your blood sugar levels.
12 Wise Weight-loss plateau proverbs by Greek Goes Keto
- Try eating 2 meals a day (OMAD is amazing, but not everybody can do it)
- Never snack in-between meals
- While in the weight loss plateau zone, stop all nuts
- Quit cow’s milk products and consume only goat’s or sheep cheese in moderation
- Eat fatty parts of meat or add butter, lard, olive oil to your meals
- Don’t overeat the protein, it’ll turn into glucose, but also never eat too little protein
- Prepare all meals at home
- Quit cream or even butter in your coffee (Captain Janeway’s Coffee)
- Quit sweeteners for a while (try using cinnamon in your coffee and fatbombs)
- Forget the scale and get a tailor’s soft tape
- Don’t be afraid to add some extra salt to your meals
- Let herbal tea, sparkling mineral water and plain water be only beverages in this period!
BONUS – If you came to this section, here’s a gift for you 😉
Greek Goes Keto Herbal Tea to boost Weight-Loss on Ketogenic diet
- 20 g white oak bark dried and finely chopped
- 20 g birch leaf dried
- 20 g wild strawberry leaves dried
- 1 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon powder
- 2 litres (8 cups) water filtered
- Mix white oak bark, birch leaves and wild strawberry leave and place them into a deep pot. Add 2 litres (8 cups) of filtered water. Cover the pot and let it boil.
- When it boils, cook for 10 minutes and then set aside. Let it cool down totally without to uncover the pot. Add Ceylon cinnamon and mix well.
- Strain the tea and you will have 8 cups of tea to drink throughout the day.
- You can drink this tea cold or warm (reheat it slightly) throughout the day before meals. It's advisable to drink 2 litres (8 cups) of this herbal remedy a day for 30 days.