Today, we’re going to take a look at 5 specific foods that may be causing your weight loss on a keto diet to stall out. The bad news is that a lot of them may be staples for you. Many of them seem keto-friendly: they’re low in net carbs and should be ‘safe’. In fact, they are ‘safe’ for plenty of people. However, for some people, certain foods can cause stalls. If you’re in ketosis but not losing weight this article is for you!
Grass-fed dairy is a tricky one. First of all, it’s very energy-dense (it has a lot of calories). That means that it can be really easy to overdo. Alas, keto isn’t magical, calories still count. Secondly, it’s often a carbohydrate bomb. A glass of organic milk has about ten grams. It can have more or less depending on the fat content. It can be tough to tell with yogurt: while the actual carb count is probably lower than what is listed on the label (fermentation consumes some of the carbohydrates), you can’t always tell just how many there are. This is even ignoring the fact that many yogurts contain additives, including starch-based thickeners. Finally, dairy is especially prone to “rounding down”: even though many labels say that a serving of organic cheese contains zero carbohydrates, chances are that a serving contains as many as 0.7 grams. I know it seems like very little, but if you eat two servings (easy to do!), it’s going to add up over time. Many people rely on grass-fed dairy, and when they drop it, they start losing again.
Nuts and Seeds:
I love nuts, especially almonds. And nut butter? Don’t get me started. I can eat half a jar of it in one sitting. I HAVE eaten half a jar (and then some) in one sitting. Do you see where I’m going with this? If not, here’s the spoiler: I can’t keep nut butter in the house because it’s a trigger food for me. I can only buy seeds and nuts in single-serve packages, and even then it’s not advisable. Seeds and nuts are good sources of protein and fat, but they also contain carbohydrates, many of which are sugar and starch and therefore anti-ketogenic. They contain a surprising amount of carbohydrates, actually. Even macademias, which are the most keto-friendly of the bunch, contain about 3 grams in a 2-oz. serving. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that it’s really easy to overeat them. A serving is way less than you think, so all of a sudden, your snack just blew your carb count for the day. Many people find that their stalls go away when they stop eating nuts.
Fat bombs and Bulletproof Coffee:
This is where it gets more complicated. If you are using the ketogenic diet as part of a weight loss program, you should not be going out of your way to eat or drink more calories, whether they are carb-y or not. It is NOT necessary to maintain a ketogenic fat ratio for weight loss, and doing so could be a bit part of why you’re stalling.
Remember the motto “Carbs are a limit, protein is a goal, fat is a lever”? That’s what we mean: you should definitely not go above your carbs, you should definitely try to hit your protein, but you absolutely do not need to hit your fat macro. Making it a goal could hurt your progress. If you are stalling, try to cut back on your fat a bit. Don’t go below 50 or 60 grams a day of ingested fat (you need dietary fat to absorb certain nutrients, avoid feeling like junk, and maintain skin and hair health), but unless you’re hungry or having trouble focusing, there’s no need to ingest extra fat: your body will “eat” from its stores.
Drinking alcohol on the keto diet can indeed cause your weight to stall.
This one is bound to ruffle some feathers. I didn’t like to hear it either. There are those of us who are tempted to eat non-keto foods in small amounts, hoping that if it fits our macros and won’t throw us out of ketosis. There are those of us who can. There are those of us who can’t. There are those of us who can have some non-keto foods in small amounts but not others. Nevertheless, if you’ve been eating small amounts of non-keto foods and hoping that you’re still maintaining ketosis, well, you might want to stop. You see, there are several problems with doing this, the main problem is inflammation. The Ketogenic Diet goes beyond helping adherents maintain ketosis: it also helps reduce inflammation and maintain general health. Non-keto foods don’t help with that. They can also promote inflammation, which can indeed result in weight gain (or a lack of weight loss). Cutting inflammatory foods may be the key.