Low-carb diets are a great way to lose weight. In fact, these diets are backed by a number of different studies. They show that when compared to a low-calorie or fad diet, low-carb diets are more effective for weight loss. Not only that, but low-carb diets can significantly improve your overall health by lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. That being said, some people have a hard time losing weight with these diets. If you’ve been on a low-carb diet and haven’t noticed a change in your weight, you are not alone. Here are the top 10 reasons why you may not be losing weight.
10. Your Calorie Intake Is Too High
One of the biggest perks of a low-carb diet is that you don’t have to count calories. With a low-carb diet, you are focusing on carbohydrates rather than calories. Essentially, you are cutting out foods high in starch and sugars and replacing them with foods high in protein and healthy fat. This often leads to a change in appetite as well, resulting in weight loss. Many dieters don’t even take their caloric intake into account. This may be where the problem is.
Too Many Calories
While you may have been very careful about the carbohydrates you are taking in, you could have inadvertently increased your caloric intake. Ideally, you want to reduce the amount of calories you take in. Carbohydrates, while riddled with calories, aren’t the only foods that are high in calories. Proteins can be packed with calories, causing you to increase your intake. If this is the case, try counting calories.
Reducing Your Caloric Intake
You should try to cut your caloric intake by 500 calories a day. This deficit will, theoretically, result in a loss of 1 pound per week. Of course, activity level plays a huge roll in weight loss as well. With a reduced caloric intake, your body has less fat to store. The body burns calories throughout the day. We even burn calories as we sleep. The calories that aren’t burned off are stored as fat. By reducing your caloric intake, your body has less to store, burning off stored fat instead.
There are a number of free resources to help you count your calories. There are a number of smartphone applications and websites available. Alternatively, you can keep a journal to help you stay on track.
9. Your “Cheat Days” Are Getting In The Way Of Your Progress
Having an occasional “cheat day” is completely normal. Dieters will often put their diets on hold so they can enjoy an extra snack or too. This usually doesn’t have a huge effect on overall weight loss. However, not every case is the same. Whether you are having small cheats every now and again or spending an entire day eating whatever you want, your stray from the diet can completely ruin your progress.
Avoid Junk Food
For some people, cheat days have absolutely no affect. These people can usually eat whatever they want and stay on their own fitness tracks. Other people will have a cheat meal and see the ramifications soon after. With a low-carb diet, cheating is especially harmful to your goals. Junk food is filled with carbohydrates. Chips, candy, and any other form of junk food is high in carbohydrates, basically obliterating your progress.
Eliminate “Cheat Days”
It is recommended to avoid cheating on your diet. In the long run, consistency will pay off. Not only will you see your results faster, but you’ll be able to make these healthy habits second nature. This all comes down to willpower and dedication. Avoiding junk food is easier for some people while being torture for others. If you fall into the latter, it may be a good idea to ban cheat days and junk food from your life altogether. Junk food will only do more harm than good.
8. You Have An Unknown Medical Condition
Undiagnosed medical conditions can be a huge problem on your quest to weight loss. There are a number of conditions that can affect your body’s ability to drop pounds. There are even conditions that cause you to gain weight. If you feel like you may have an undiagnosed medical condition getting in your way, speak to your doctor. They’ll be able to help find any issues.
Hormone disorders are a common medical problem that affects weight loss. While most don’t realize it, hormones play a big role in the way your body handles weight. Hypothyroidism causes the body to gain weight, making weight loss nearly impossible. With this condition, the thyroid glands don’t produce enough hormones. This deficiency causes obesity and a slew of health problems. Luckily, hypothyroidism and other hormone issues can easily be tested by a doctor. If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you may be able to get help. Synthetic hormones will have to introduced into your body on a regular basis to make up for the thyroid gland’s issues. Your doctor will need to perform tests to determine the appropriate dosage of hormones. Once you are on a successful hormone treatment, your body will be able to lose weight effectively.
Another thing to consider is the medication you are taking. Certain medications cause you to gain weight. This side effect is usually labeled on the bottle. If this is the culprit, you should talk to your doctor to see if there is an alternative without the side effect. Usually, doctors can find a medication more suited for you.
7. You Are Not Eating The Right Foods
Since low-carb diets are all about picking the right types of foods to eat, it is fairly common for people to make the wrong choices. It is important to switch out foods appropriately. Essentially, you must take out carbohydrate-rich foods for food that is filled with protein and good fats. Dieters will often make a switch thinking that it is a good choice.
Processed foods are something that should be avoided altogether. You should always aim for real food that is rich in nutrients. There are a lot of low-carb products out there. These packaged foods are advertised to be healthy and good food choices for losing weight. However, these foods are not real. Instead, they are filled with preservatives and artificial ingredients. While they are good for an occasional snack, you should never make them your primary food source. Instead, you should be eating foods that are high in protein. This includes fish, meats, and eggs. Additionally, you should be eating a lot of nutritious vegetables.
Artificial sweeteners are another thing to avoid. While many dieters gravitate to sweeteners as an alternative to sugar, they can do more damage than good. Sweeteners are usually calorie free, but can have a huge affect on appetite levels. Whether they increase or decrease the appetite depends on the person. Additionally, regularly using sweeteners has been linked to long-term weight gain. To sum up, just because it says that there are no calories doesn’t mean that they are good for you.
Despite their bad reputation, fat is an essential part of low-carb diets. Dieters need to eat food that are high in fats to be successful. That being said, there are different types of fats. Some are good for the body while others need to be avoided. Unsaturated fats and Omega-3 fats are the ones to stick with. They ultimately help you achieve better overall health. These can be found in olive oil, seafood, nuts, and much more. Trans fats and saturated fats are the ones to avoid. While it may be tempting to just avoid fat altogether, it is necessary to have the good fats in your system. If you don’t have them, you will be hungry and miserable.
6. Your Exercise Routine Isn’t Effective
Exercise is a big part of living a healthy life. During weight loss, exercise is even more crucial. That being said, there needs to be a good balance with exercise. Dieters shouldn’t focus on one particular type of exercise. Usually, dieters do insane amounts of cardio to burn calories. However, this isn’t the best way to approach exercise. Exercising should be about improving your body inside and out.
Aerobic exercises, often referred to as cardio, improved your cardiovascular health. This is done by raising your metabolic rate. It is recommended to perform some type of cardio throughout the day. However, it shouldn’t be the only type of exercise you do. Doing too much cardio can actually be detrimental to your health. You should balance cardio with other types of exercises. In doing so, cardio will be beneficial to your physical and mental health.
Anaerobic exercises, or strength training, can help you gain muscle mass. Lifting weights will promote weight loss in the long run. It will also improve your overall appearance. Strength training also has an effect on your hormones. It is known to improve your hormonal balance due to releases as you exercise. You should pair strength training with cardio to create an effective exercise routine.
Alternating between high and low intensity workouts is great way to improve your metabolism. It also raises your levels of human growth hormone, promoting weight loss. High intensity cardio workouts are a great way to challenge your body. It is good to alternate between high intensity exercises and low intensity activities like walking. It’ll promote faster weight loss and make you feel great.
5. You Have High Insulin Levels
This issue can be very harmful to your health without you even realizing it. A spike in insulin levels can be caused by a number of things. Usually, it is caused by proteins. With a low-carb diet, you are supposed to eat foods high in protein. However, some proteins cause a potentially dangerous spike in insulin. High insulin levels actually cause you to gain weight because insulin stores energy as fat.
The proteins in dairy are notorious for causing spikes in insulin. Dieters often turn to dairy because it is high in protein. Unfortunately, the amino acid composition in dairy protein causes a spike in insulin levels. It is very potent, raising levels in the same way that high amounts of carbohydrates do. These spikes will affect your metabolism negatively. You should try to eliminate as much dairy as possible. Ideally, you will eliminate everything except butter. In doing so, you can avoid high insulin levels and lose weight.
4. You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
While most people believe that the key to weight loss is constant activity, sleep is a crucial part of the process. Lack of sleep can negatively affect your overall health. It is the foundation of good health and energy. Not sleeping enough can actually cause you to gain weight and have low levels of energy. This will result in no motivation for exercise. You’ll also feel much hungrier.
Getting A Good Night’s Sleep
Every person is different. While many people believe that there is a certain number of hours needed every night, this number isn’t the same for everyone. Some people require more sleep to feel energized while others can do with only a few hours of sleep. Generally, you should aim for at least 6 hours of sleep. This will help you to feel relaxed and energized when you wake up. You should also avoid sleeping too much. This will just leave you feeling groggy in the morning.
Preparing For Bed
There are a few things you can do to ensure that you sleep well throughout the nigh. During the day, you should stop drinking caffeinated beverages in the early afternoon. Caffeine can stay in your system for hours after consumption, so it is good to stop consuming it by at least 2 in the afternoon. Additionally, you should avoid physical exercise a few hours before you go to sleep. This will give your body time to relax. As you are trying to fall asleep, you can do something to relax the mind, such as reading. You can also just lay in complete darkness. The lack of stimulation will help you fall asleep faster.
3. You Are Too Stressed
As mentioned earlier, hormones play a big role in your body. Unfortunately, bad hormones can put a halt to your weight loss progress and even cause you to gain weight. Cortisol is one of those hormones. Cortisol is released in times of stress. It puts the body in an alert state. Constantly stressing about things will also increase your appetite for unhealthy foods. To avoid this, you should try to eliminate stress.
Getting Rid of Stress
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can cause stress. While it may be impossible to take care of the things that are causing you stress, there are ways to manage those feelings. The best way to eliminate stress is by meditation. You can easily perform meditation and breathing exercises anywhere. They will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. You can also do calming activities to eliminate stress. Creating art, reading books, and even taking a walk can help you feel relaxed. In the end, you’ll feel much better and be back on track for losing weight.
2. You’re Not Cutting Enough Carbohydrates From Your Diet
While you may believe that you’ve cut a significant amount of carbohydrates from your diet, it may not be enough. Some people are more sensitive to carbs than others. If you are more sensitive, you may have to dramatically reduce the amount of carbs you eat. You’ll want to start counting carbs and keeping track of your intake.
Cutting Even More Carbohydrates
If you’ve already cut carbs and notice that you aren’t losing weight, you will need to make a significant deficit. That being said, this isn’t an easy task. It is difficult to cut carbs out completely, due to their presence in fruits and some vegetables. You should try going under 50 grams of carbohydrates per day by eliminating most fruits from your diet. If that doesn’t work, cut out even more carbs by limiting yourself to only 20 grams a day. To achieve this, you’ll have to eat only proteins and leafy greens.
Reaching a plateau can put a halt to your weight loss. Many dieters experience a weight loss plateau at some point during their journey. When you hit a plateau, your routine will need some modification. Overcoming a plateau is difficult, but not impossible. With a low-carb diet plateau, you’ll have to limit your carb intake as much as possible.
1. You Are Actually Losing Weight
This is something that many dieters struggle with. Many dieters expect to continually see results during their diet. However, weight loss doesn’t work like that. It isn’t a straight process. You aren’t going to witness the pounds drop off with every weighing. Sometimes, it may appear as if you are gaining weight. There are many ways in which you could be losing weight without even realizing it.
During the first week or so of a diet, you will see a big decrease in weight. For most dieters, this is an exciting achievement that warrants a celebration. However, that weight you lost is simply water weight. From that point forward, your weight loss will be slow and gradual. Some dieters view this as failure. In reality, they are losing weight. It is a slow process that takes patience. An effective diet will allow you to lose about a pound a week. If you are weighing yourself every day, you won’t notice the difference. Instead of daily weigh-ins, think about weighing yourself every few weeks. If you do that, you’ll definitely notice the change.
While losing weight and losing fat aren’t the same thing, they go hand in hand. With most dieters, the goal is to look and feel better. If you are strength training, you are constantly gaining muscle. The fat on your body is getting burned off as your muscles grow. Since muscle weighs more than fat, you may not be seeing your results on a scale. You may actually see an increase in weight due to the extra muscle.
Other Ways of Tracking Your Progress
Since there’s a lot more to weight loss than just pounds, you should track your progress in a number of different ways. A scale will only give you so much information. You should measure your success based on how you feel and look. Think about keeping a journal to track your progress. In it, you can include your weight and several measurements. By measuring your waist and other parts of the body, you can see where you are losing inches and where you are gaining muscle. You can even take pictures on a regular basis to remember how you used to look. Also think about how your clothes fit. If they are beginning to feel a bit looser, you are on track. Finally, pay attention to how you feel. Weight loss isn’t just about your physical appearance. It will help you feel great physically and mentally. As you excise and lose weight, activities won’t be as rigorous as they were before.
Those are some of the most common reasons why you may not be losing weight on your low-carb diet. You can maximize your weight loss by making a few simple changes. As you progress through your diet, you can adjust your habits for continued success. Before long, you’ll be at your goal weight. Your choices and habits will become second nature, allowing you to adopt a permanently healthy lifestyle.