You are on the Ketogenic plan and you lose a lot of weight at first, but it is slowing down. So Frustrating. You think about quitting but you will loose all the benefits – looking better, feeling better in your clothes, no cravings, no hunger and more energy.
On the TV show, The Biggest Loser, these people worked out about eight hours a day, they reduced their calories and they eventually lost the weight.
Do they gain the weight back? Yes, almost all of them do. Why? Because losing weight is not a normal for the body. It is anti-survival. Your body has evolved to store the energy as fat and hold on to it in times of famine.
You know this is true because it is much easier to gain weight than it is to lose weight.
When you go on a low-calorie diet, your metabolism will adjust and it will start slowing down. It will eventually create a set point – a weight that it’s almost impossible to bust through.
For example, you are on the Keto program and you get to 180 or 170 pounds and you just can’t seem to get below no matter what you do. What stops you from busting through that Plateau or set point? It is high levels of insulin.
Too much insulin prevents fat burning. Usually what comes along with it is insulin resistance. It is the combination of insulin resistance and excessive insulin that is behind this set point.
The big question is – does Keto slow your metabolism like other diets?
The answer is this not if you are adding intermittent fasting.
What is the difference between Intermittent Fasting and a low calorie diet? Some people will say they’re the same thing because you are consuming fewer calories. There is a huge difference and it boils down to this one reference in the Guidance Physiology on page 930. We are talking about other factors that stimulate insulin. It says gastrointestinal hormones, there’s a hormone called GIP.
What does that mean? It means that when you eat, you trigger insulin. So keto is low carb and that is going to lower insulin. Intermittent fasting is less frequent eating, less GIP hormone, less insulin. Both these actions – keto low-carb, intermittent fasting with less frequent eating – will lower insulin and improve this set point.
Whereas low calorie diets do not focus on frequency of eating, in fact when you are on a low calorie diet you have to eat frequent meals and snacks you’re probably doing five to six meals small meals.
Try this experiment at home. Fast and then eat just a little bit of protein – two strips of bacon. In an hour you are going to be starving. Why? It is because of the GIP hormone. Every time you eat you spike insulin, as a result the blood sugars will plummet and then you will be hungry.
With low calorie diets you are constantly hungry. You have more insulin production. But with intermittent fasting despite having the same amount of calories as a low calorie diet but you have less insulin spikes because you are not eating so frequently. The cool thing is you are not hungry. Why? Because when you lower insulin you tap in your fat reserve.
When you are doing the low calorie diet and you are dependent on sugar for fuel. You are hungry between meals because you are dependent on sugar. You are you not tapping into the fat. To tap into fat you have to lower the insulin.
When you are doing keto and Intermittent Fasting, you are tapping into your reserve fuel – your body fat. You are not able to tap into it because insulin is like the lock that holds it there. In order to tap into this fat you need to lower insulin and that is going help lower your set point.
The main reason why you get a plateau on keto mainly has to do with your past dieting. You may remember when the first time you did a diet it worked. Second time maybe worked. Third time it did not work as great. Fourth time, it is not working that great and then you got to the point where now it does not work at all.
All that means is you have generated so much insulin in your body and so much insulin resistance – it caused low-calorie diets not to work. When you do Keto and you definitely need to add Intermittent Fasting, which is the secret to speed weight loss up. Realize that the barrier is the high insulin and you need to actually do a little bit lower carb and you need to decrease the frequency of eating and get a little bit stricter with your Intermittent Fasting. No snacking.
Intermittent Fasting: Most people eat in a six-hour window and fast for 18 hour. This is eating two meals, which is fine. But if you plateaued and you want to speed things up, you want to go down to one meal a day (OMAD).
It will speed things up because you’re going to really drop insulin down. The other tip you want to do is when you do keto start to lower your carbs even below 20 grams maybe down to even 10 grams or even lower.
Bust through the plateau through lowering your insulin improving insulin resistance.
Want to learn more. Please read my Blogs:
Weight Loss Plateau 101 for a Slow Metabolism
Plateaued. Want To Loose More Weight?
This Post has been condensed from Dr. Berg’s video Overcoming Keto Plateau After 6-8 Weeks
Dr. Berg is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of the best-selling book The Healthy Keto Plan, and is the Director of Dr. Berg Nutritionals. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University.
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