3 Reasons Why Your Keto Diet Isn’t Working
Keto diets have been getting a lot of press recently, for good reason. When done correctly, eating a low carb diet that’s high in fat and protein can have various positive benefits including weight loss, smoothing out insulin highs and lows, and improving cognitive function. But shifting to a ketogenic diet isn’t the magic weight-loss bullet many hope it will be. Rather than have a blanket approach to a Keto Diet, the Keto Diet needs to be adapted to the individual. Forget the ‘cookie cutter’ style approach, it needs to be ‘fingerprint specific’. What are some of the problems and why is it so difficult to find your way into that elusive state of ketosis that everyone is so enthusiastic about?
1. You’re not in ketosis because you don’t know where your carbs are hiding
A strict ketogenic diet includes only 20-30 grams of carbs a day. You’ll find about 20 grams of carbs in an apple, which is not a lot. Compare that to a glass of soft drink at 25 grams or a Grandé White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks at a whopping 53 grams and you’ll quickly realize your list of allowable foods shrinks dramatically if you want to stick to a true keto diet. Carbs are everywhere! Did you know Sweet Potato is a carbohydrate? If you’re not sure of how to identify your macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats), read this straight forward article here.
2. You know your carbs, but you are consuming too many calories
You might have been counting carbs for a while and you know there are basically no carbs in eggs, fish, cheese, or meat but that doesn’t mean these foods have no calories. In fact, lots of keto favourites like nuts, seeds, and the ever-popular bacon are calorie rich. Even though a ketogenic diet calls for 20-25% protein, if you eat too much, you can find yourself in trouble if your calorie intake outstrips the calories you burn each day. The same goes for fats, which are meant to make up a large % of your daily food intake. Fat is still a highly concentrated source of calories, so even though healthy fats are associated with plenty of health benefits in a keto diet, too many overall will still contribute to weight gain.
3. You’re not eating enough
If you really restrict your caloric intake you can get into trouble and actually cause unwanted weight gain. The body is smart and in times of famine naturally adjusts by shifting into starvation mode, slowing metabolism.
Here’s a common scenario with people thinking they’re benefiting from a Keto Diet and believe they’re in a state of Ketosis.
We’ll call this person Billy;
Billy weigh’s in at 115kg and is 180cm tall. He needs to lose a few kg’s and wants to begin a Keto Diet as the system to use to reach his goal weight.
Here’s his lifestyle and current diet habits;
- He eats too much food
- Has massive dinners
- Large amounts of carbs in every meal and snack
- He doesn’t get regular exercise daily
Here’s what he done when moving to a Keto Diet (what he thought was Keto).
- He reduced the amount of food he was eating
- Delayed his 1st meal of the day for as long as possible
- Tried to reduce carbs as much as possible (but still not enough to get into ketosis. He didn’t understand where his carbs were hiding)
- Started to exercise daily walking the dog
His feedback on how he is feeling after 2 weeks.
Billy feels amazing, he is much lighter and he has loads more energy in the mornings especially. He has been losing weight and has much better mental clarity (which he believes is from being in Ketosis). Overall he feels amazing and the best he has ever felt.
This is a classic example of someone feeling much better and losing weight, through calorie restriction (or just reducing the amount of food they were eating previously) and not from Ketosis. he didn’t know where is carbs were hiding and still consuming too much carbohydrates.
So why is he feeling much better, have more energy, feels lighter and great mental clarity compared to before? He must be in ketosis because that’s what Ketosis is right?
Well here’s why Billy was feeling better;
- Lost weight by eating less food than before.
- Felt lighter because he wasn’t putting so much food into his body.
- Had more energy as his body didn’t spend so much energy processing his large meals.
- Loads of energy in the mornings especially. This is because he is delaying his first meal. Now his large dinners actually have enough time to fully digest and move through his system. Whereas before in the mornings, he was putting breakfast straight on top of his big dinners that were still backed up. He was putting food on top of food.
- Greater mental clarity due to less food being processed giving him more energy. When he was having amazing mental clarity and energy in the mornings was because he wasn’t processing breakfast on top of his big dinners. So now he feels dramatically different because of it. This dramatic difference he relates to being in Ketosis.
The Takeaway from this scenario;
- Make sure you’re in ketosis by actually testing
- Understand where your carbohydrates are and how to identify them
- Ask yourself is this sustainable and can you eat this way for the rest of your life
So What’s the Secret to an Effective Diet? It’s one that is adapted to you, fingerprint specific.
It is creating a sustainable way to eat for the rest of your life with calorie restriction. But although you’re restricting calories, it must still provide the below benefits;
- Provides you with stable energy levels
- Balances your blood sugar levels
- Eliminates cravings and Brain Fog
- Increases mental clarity
- Eliminates hunger
- Provides a moderate amount of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats
Just following fad diets and trends is not going to get you the right diet. Everyone metabolises food types differently and then we need to move into food amounts and meal timing.
But one point applies to all ways of eating and different diets. That is consuming green vegetables and green leafy vegetables on a daily basis.
Green Vegetables and Leafy Greens are low in carbs but very high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Leafy greens are loaded and also contain much-needed fibre. Supplements like 5 Greens can be an excellent way to get some extra greens when you’re in a hurry (one scoop is equivalent to 100 g of greens). Fresh greens should be front and centre in a ketogenic diet, but for those days when you need a little extra, 5 Greens is an excellent addition to your consumption of whole, natural, healthy foods each day.
While it’s a great idea to cut down your sugar consumption (the stuff is in everything and it’s really not good for you in ways we had no idea it isn’t good for you), a strict keto diet can be challenging to stick to. If you are having trouble maintaining a strict ketogenic diet, there are some other options that can work very well including modified keto diets that increase the amounts of carbs slightly but still keep the amounts of sugars (especially processed sugars) much lower than an all-too commonly consumed diet full of highly processed foods.
The other is eliminating processed carbohydrates and sugary drinks. Get rid of these if not already.
I feel Keto is very difficult to sustain and reproduce the results you want day in and day out.
A Keto diet can work but now even the top research and leaders in this field are also moving to a cyclical keto diet. I have yet to meet someone who is keto 24/7 365 days a year. That’s not to say there isn’t any, as this is my own experience.
But from my own experience and testing my body responds much better to feeding my brain glucose as opposed to ketones. I feel better, my mental clarity is better and general quality of life and ease of the diet I follow.
Why is Cyclical Keto Better?
Reason Keto is so popular besides weight loss etc, is beauce it can closely mimic how our ancestors years ago ate and how we evolved. But even then they were not in Ketosis 24/7, 365 days a year.
Why? Well yes they had to walk, run and hunt and because of this they would covers miles every day but when they had food, they would eat. So it wouldn’t be a set state of Ketosis all the time.
So if you’re eating a Keto Diet for the reason it makes sense to do so because of the way of eating we evolved on, than 24/7, 365 Ketosis is not the way to do it. Cyclical Keto is however the way forward, as this is what our Ancestors done.
Look into the history and why Keto came about, how our ancestors would have done it so you gain a balanced perspective of why.
Our ancestors did not choose Keto, but Cyclical Ketosis chose them
They certainly didn’t choose keto because of the weight loss benefits now did they?
If you’re only eating Keto to lose weight and then want to change this way of eating at a later date, you’re really missing the purpose of a Keto Diet.
The purpose of a Keto Diet is to closely mimic the lifestyle our ancestors had, which involved cyclical ketosis, intermittent fasting and clean whole foods. So we turn the good genes on and turn the bad genes off.
When you combine functional movement and sprinting intervals in the outdoors you really move closer towards an ancestral way of living. Yes functional movement and sprint intervals are important. What do you think our ancestors did when they saw some food running away from them? They ran towards it and they ran fast.
- Understand the purpose of a Keto Diet.
- Cyclical Keto is the correct way to follow a Keto Diet.
- Know your Carbs.
- Eat lots of Greens and Leafy Greens.
- Functional Movement at moderate and high intensity plus Sprint Intervals are a perfect way to mimic our ancestors active lifestyle.
- Any diet you follow should be sustainable, eliminate cravings, provide stable energy levels, increase mental clarity and provide a better quality of life.
No matter what sort of diet you try, you are always best off to consume clean whole, natural, foods free of artificial flavours, preservatives, and additives.
So just like your clean whole food diet, the same approach needs to be taken when consuming supplements. Life Grip has a philosophy around their products and it ensures we will only produce and supply quality products.
‘If you eat a clean whole food diet, your supplements need to be clean, natural and in their rawest possible form. It just makes sense’ –
Adam Phillips, Founder – LIFE GRIP
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Eat Clean, Think Clean and Live Clean, your body changes, your mind thinks better, you handle stress and challenges better and are more driven and motivated as your energy levels have increased along with your mental clarity. You now begin to look at other areas of your life and how you can enhance those.
Share your experience with changes in your diet, I would love to hear!
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Eat, Think & Live Clean.
Adam Phillips – Founder of Life Grip