Can You Be In Ketosis And Not Lose Weight?
Yes, absolutely. While the ketogenic diet is the fast track to optimizing your metabolism, it is also not a get out of jail free card. Think about Michael Phelps. While training for the 2008 Olympics he astonished the world with his rock hard 6-pack and 12,000 calorie a day diet. Does this mean that you could eat 12,000 calories a day and not gain an enormous amount of weight? Obviously not. Even assuming you spend the same amount of time swimming. Michael Phelps is an elite athlete and his metabolism is simply going to be faster than most, due to his vigorous training program. In addition, his ears can paddle which I would assume also burns calories.
When I think about weight management I try to think of 3 things that all play a role in why I am or am not attaining the weight loss that I want. Those three things are Macronutrient Content (read as I am in Ketosis), Daily Net Calories (Total calories – Calories lost during exercise), and Caloric Timing or your eating window. The eating window is important as the more times you eat during the day, the more you are going to impact your insulin levels.
Insulin triggers the body’s fat muscle and organ cells to intake glucose from your blood, so minimizing the time you spend mainlining it into your bloodstream is the typical goal. Generally, I have found that increasing fat and decreasing carbs, eating less total calories, and shortening my eating window by intermittent fasting, makes me lose weight the fastest. It’s important to note here that there are thresholds where losing weight too fast will negatively impact body composition, especially if you are someone who values being muscular.
In my experience cutting calories by more than 20% will create an unacceptable muscle loss to fat loss ratio. The best way to lose weight is to focus on getting the right macros from healthy foods, running a slight caloric deficit, and intermittent fasting. I like the approach implemented by General Stanely McCrystal of 1 meal per day as a reward for getting your work done. If that sounds like a prison camp you can start by pushing breakfast back an hour every couple of days or make a competition with yourself to see how long you can hold out before eating.
To sum up a long answer to a short question If you’re in ketosis and not losing weight it could be tied to eating too much or too frequently. Play with those variables yourself you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.
John Terry is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ketonia. As a long-time follower of the ketogenic diet. John handles the entirety of the business operations behind Ketonia as well as all of the client relations. Over the last 7 years of being keto, John has completely immersed himself in the nutrition, literature, and science behind the ketogenic diet to help friends, family, and Ketonians better understand the keto diet.
*John is not a certified medical professional and urges you to consult with your doctor prior to making any diet changes.
Interested in learning more about the Ketogenic diet? In order to reach your goals with keto, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of the ketogenic lifestyle. Check out more of our learning center articles to Understanding Keto here.
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