Now that you’ve learned what the keto diet is, what foods you can and cannot eat on it, how to plan your meals and grocery shop for the week and how intermittent fasting can help you reach your weight loss goals faster, it’s time to get real about the next topic: the dreaded plateau.
Yup, it’s every dieter’s worst nightmare. But the truth is, it’s almost inevitable. “It can happen in any diet you’re following,” SlimFast dietitian and wellness consultant Maryann Walsh reveals on episode 5 of Us’ “KETO-M-G” podcast. “It’s more common than not that someone hits a plateau.”
Part of the reason a plateau — also known as the moment when you notice your rate of weight loss significantly slows down or stops — occurs in the first place is that you have fewer pounds to lose. “Your body has shrunk,” says Walsh. “You have less fat on your body,” meaning that your body doesn’t need as many calories as it did before to keep going. You’ll also hit your plateau point earlier if you’re only looking to lose “five to 10 vanity pounds,” says Walsh rather than if you have a significant amount of weight to lose.
So know that it is natural — you can’t lose weight forever! But if you haven’t hit your goal yet, this is a great time to do it. “You kind of have to evaluate, ‘OK, what can I change here?’” notes the pro. It could be, for instance, that you’re not as strict as you were before and have been allowing yourself bites of carb-heavy foods here and there.
Unsurprisingly, a great first step to getting past a plateau is to start writing down what you eat if you haven’t already. “Track everything you’re taking in and see how it adds up,” advises Walsh. With the ketogenic diet, it’s more important to focus on how many carbohydrates you’re taking in versus how many calories, though it’s worth noting that you can plateau even if your body is still in ketosis.
Jenna Jameson, who lost about 85 pounds on the keto diet, is very honest with her followers about the various plateaus she’s hit along the way. She also has a bunch of great advice you can follow to increase your rate of weight loss again.
Remembering why you started your new lifestyle in the first place can be helpful here, and the podcast gives plenty of ideas of how to do that. And finally, says Walsh, “If you haven’t been exercising, this would be a great time to start.”