Breaking Through A Weight Loss Plateau On Keto

The ketogenic diet is popular in the health and fitness space because of the number of people losing weight and getting the results they’re looking for in a dieting program.

Even though the keto diet is great for weight loss, just like with any diet, there will come a time where the weight just doesn’t budge anymore, and the dieter will reach an inevitable plateau. 

This article will go into what causes weight-loss plateaus on the ketogenic diet and how to break through to keep progress going in the right direction.

Read on to learn more.

Why You Have Stopped Losing Weight On Keto

Weight loss, whether on a ketogenic diet or not, will not go down smoothly. It’s not always linear. 

When you happen to experience a period where your weight loss has stalled, just know that it’s very common, and there are ways you can get the progress going again.

Most people don’t know this, but your metabolism also starts to shift as you begin to lose weight. There will be a point as you’re losing weight where your metabolism starts to slow.

When this happens, you’ll start to burn fewer calories than you did initially during the day. (1)

Also, as soon as you hit a plateau, it may be a good time for you to check on a few things. First, you’ll want to make sure that you’re hitting your daily calories, and you may need to adjust your macronutrient ratio or daily caloric intake.

After your body gets used to reduced carbohydrates, you still may be taking in more carbs or protein and not enough fat. Carbs and protein can kick you out of ketosis if you’re not careful.

It can also be the opposite where you’re consuming too much fat as well. Remember, to lose weight, you have to be in a caloric deficit, meaning you’re burning more calories than consuming.

So, it’s easy to go overboard on fat because each gram of fat is 9 calories where each gram of carbs and protein are only 4. (2)

Ensure you’re tracking your intake meticulously to make sure you’re not going over your allotted calories for the day.

Other factors may come into play here as well. 

Are you getting enough sleep each night? Are your stress levels higher than normal? Studies have shown that these two can affect weight loss efforts even if you’re doing everything else right. (34)

When first getting into ketosis, a major symptom is called the keto flu and can cause headaches, fatigue, dehydration, nausea, and more. 

If you’re in this stage of keto, there are ways to reduce and eliminate the symptoms, but if you’re going through this stage, it’s not very fun. 

If you’re stalling out during this period, don’t worry. It’s over in a week or two, and then you can worry about if you’re really stalling on your weight loss.

Breaking Through Your Keto Plateau

Below are a few tips you can use to break through your weight loss plateau and get back on track to losing weight once again.

Keep these tips in mind each day:

Watch Your Carb Intake

If you see your weight loss stall when dieting with keto, take a close look at the carbs you’re consuming. 

Remember, your carb intake on keto is very low, and it’s easy to go over the recommended daily limit of 5% of your daily calories or no more than 20-50 grams. (2)

Track down to every last detail. Then, use a food tracking app to see exactly what’s in the foods you’re eating, and be sure to find any hidden carbs you may have missed. They can be found in meat, some condiments, and even fruits and vegetables.

Have You Tried Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a great protocol where you have periods of eating and fasting where you’re not consuming any food for a specific period.

Related: How To Quickly Get Into Ketosis

In conjunction with the ketogenic diet, fasting has been shown to not only speed up getting into ketosis, but you’ll be burning more fat quicker. (5)

Fasting for just 16 hours a day can have tremendous health benefits, including increasing your metabolism, reducing white adipose tissue (fat), and helps with cholesterol and diabetes through improved insulin sensitivity. (6)

Change How You Work Out

It might be time to either up your physical activity or change up what you’ve been doing to continue burning more calories.

Try a high-intensity interval training routine to get in the recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week. (7)

You might want to start working in Tabata workouts which have been shown to burn more calories faster. Kettlebell routines, jump rope, and even running can be turned into a high-intensity exercise very easily.

Your Calories May Need To Go Down

While you don’t need to count calories on the ketogenic diet, it’s certainly recommended to do so. 

Once you hit a plateau, you need to do some investigative work to see what the stall could be caused by. 

Sometimes, when you hit a weight loss plateau, you just forgot to decrease your calorie intake again.

Your body is now requiring fewer calories because of your weight loss. So, decreasing by 100-300 calories a day can be all you need to get the numbers on the scale to continue going lower.

The Biggest Tip Of All

Just because the number on the scale has stopped decreasing after a set period of time, your body may be going through a recomposition phase where you’re gaining muscle while also losing fat.

So even though the scale is staying the same, take a look in the mirror and see what’s going on. It may even be helpful for you to take some measurements of key areas of your body to get a baseline of where you are.

Take your arm measurements, thigh measurements, waist measurement, and more if you want. 

Is your waistline decreasing? Are you getting more toned? Do your clothes fit a little baggier than normal?

These are things that will affect the number on the scale, but you’ll look better. 

It’s also helpful to get a blood test to see where your health markers are. If the numbers are going in the right direction, keep up with whatever you’re doing. 


Weight loss is common on the ketogenic diet, but there may come a time you’ll hit a plateau. 

While this can be caused by many reasons mentioned above, you now have the information you can see where you may need to improve, or you might see that you’re doing everything right!

Keep measuring yourself and tracking everything while trying some strategies above to break through your plateau. As always, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure what you try is healthy for your circumstance.

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