Breaking a Stall

Weight loss stalls can take a number of different forms and stem from a number of causes. Without all the details, it can be difficult to pinpoint why you are stalling and what to do about it. Below are some common causes of weight loss stalls and potential remedies. We keep an eye out for stalls of all kinds and adjust your macros accordingly — but if you believe you are experiencing one, feel free to let us know in your daily logs or by email. Together, we can get you losing weight again!

Water Weight

If you notice a significant drop in weight as you enter ketosis followed by a stall, this was likely your body shedding this water weight. These stalls can last up to two or three weeks as your body becomes keto-adapted. However, if you are still stalling after three weeks, this is a sign that your macros need adjusting. We keep a close eye on your progress — we’ll notify you if this is the case.

Remember to replenish the fluid and salt you lose during this time, especially if you experience symptoms of keto flu.

No or Low Ketosis

If you are experiencing a stall and your ketone levels are low, it is likely caused by one of three things:

  • Eating non-keto foods;

  • Eyeballing portions instead of measuring;

  • Your macros need adjusting.

Eating non-keto foods, even in small quantities, can prevent your fat burning system from being engaged. Likewise, eyeballing your portions instead of measuring usually results in underestimating, which in turn can prevent ketosis.

Too few or too many calories

There is a myth that you don’t need to count calories on a keto diet. While it is true that not all calories are the same and that counting them alone doesn’t give you enough information to track your progress, calories are still an important factor in weight loss.

Eating too few calories can actually slow weight loss. Some of your bodily functions will change to conserve energy: your body temperature and heart rate will drop, inducing feelings of fatigue. If you are eating too few calories, add more fat to your diet.

On the other hand, if you are eating more calories than your body needs, your weight-loss will stall no matter how strong your level of ketosis. Since your energy needs are being met or exceeded, there’s no need to burn body fat. Accurately measuring what you eat and drink ensures that you are eating neither too few nor too many calories.

Steps to prevent or break stalls

Be sure you are measuring and tracking accurately. Eyeballing portions or eating out can lead to eating beyond your macros without you knowing. This includes any snacking, nibbling, or tasting while cooking. Consistency is very important for a keto diet.

Avoid high-carb veggies like onions, brussel sprouts, and bell peppers. Remember that tomatoes are a fruit and contain enough sugar to inhibit or prevent ketosis.

Eliminate alcohol from your diet. In addition to slowing down fat burning, alcohol can add a lot of calories or carbs you might not be tracking. Drinking also intensifies cravings and makes you more susceptible to them.

Measure your ketone levels daily. Consistent measuring gives you a better understanding of your progress and how your body is responding to the foods you eat. Blood ketone meters provide a high level of accuracy, giving you better insight into these responses.

Increase your physical activity. Both cardio, which increases fat burning, and resistance training, which builds muscle mass, might give you just the boost you need to break a stall.

Start a conversation with us about new macros. We constantly monitor your progress and make adjustments to your macros when needed. If you feel you are stalling because your macros need changing, feel free to check in with us.

Try intermittent fasting. If you are interested in intermittent fasting, ask us for a protocol in your daily logs or by email. Intermittent fasting increases the intensity of fat burning, allowing your blood sugar and insulin to drop down to baseline levels — getting your body to burn more fat and ketones for fuel. Once your body adapts to intermittent fasting, you will experience lessened hunger and cravings, meaning you’ll eat less often and feel more satiated after meals.

Try a fat fast. If you are interested in a fat fast, ask us for a protocol in your daily logs or by email. Fat fasting, where calories, protein, and carbs are reduced while fat is increased, forces the body to switch to fat burning for energy. This usually works out to about 1000–1200 calories a day with 80–90% coming from fat. Fat fasting should only be done occasionally and for limited periods — no longer than a week at a time.