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9 Reasons You're not losing weight on keto & what to do about it?

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Despite your best efforts, you aren't seeing a specific impact from the keto diet. What happened to all those fat-burning and brain-boosting benefits? Never give up if you're gaining weight on keto and feel like it's not working for you. Health is a journey, not a race; you are not failing. Keto weight loss isn't usually in a straight line. If you've experienced a keto crash, keep reading for solutions. This keto troubleshooting guide sheds light on potential keto side effects, plus what you can do to make the diet work for you if you’re not losing weight on keto.


Since it contains so few carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet forces your body to use fat for fuel instead of glucose, putting you in a metabolic state known as ketosis. Yet, according to health education specialist Nare Davoodi, RD, ketosis may be difficult to accomplish initially.

"After following the keto diet for a few weeks, the majority of individuals believe they are in ketosis. "However, what frequently occurs is that people do not calculate their intake correctly," she continues.

To attain ketosis, you must keep a strict check on your macronutrient consumption—how much protein, fat, and carbs you take daily. Eating too much protein or carbs can knock you out of ketosis and negate all the benefits.


In ketosis, your liver develops ketones to provide energy to your brain and body. The presence of ketones in your bloodstream is one way to determine if you're in ketosis.

There are different techniques for testing for ketones:

Urine strips or sticks: Urine tests are inexpensive and simple to use (simply pee on them!). But the results may not always be reliable. Urine tests only detect residual ketones in your body. As you adjust to ketosis, your body will use more ketones, which leads to fewer ketones produced in your urine.

Breath ketone meters: Acetone levels in the breath are determined using this method. Acetones are a kind of water-soluble ketone molecules. The more you have, the deeper your ketosis.

If you don't want to go through the process of testing, these ketosis symptoms may signal that you're on the right track:

High chemical or fruity smells, also known as "keto breath"

More energy and focus.

There will be less hunger and sugar cravings.

Maintaining a healthy body weight

Signs of the keto flu include cramps in the muscles and cravings (which are only brief!).

Pro tip: Adding MCT oil to the diet may kickstart ketosis.

MCT oils are a vital part of your keto toolset. Because they are readily turned into ketones, they can help you enter ketosis quicker. C8 MCT oil is the best of the best because it produces ketones four times quicker than normal coconut oil. That's quite a few ketones!

In addition, MCT oil aids in fat burning provides increased energy, and improves brain power, which is extremely helpful when switching to a keto diet.


If you want to maintain a healthy weight on the keto diet, you must be aware of your calorie consumption.

Numerous elements can influence how your body converts food into energy and accumulates fat. These factors include everything from your stress and activity levels to the food you eat. If you're in ketosis but not losing weight, you may be eating more than your body can burn.

Fat has twice as many calories per gram as protein or carbohydrates. If you eat more than your body requires, staying inside your maintenance calories or even eating at a calorie deficit can be difficult. It's a good idea when you're transitioning to keto. MORE DIET TIPS FROM BULLETPROOF

  • Liquid Collagen vs Collagen Powder: What’s the Difference?

  • Why You’re Not Losing Weight on the CICO Diet

  • What is the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD)?

  • How to Do an Elimination Diet and Why Everyone Should Try One


When you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your body believes it is in hungry mode. That is why extremely low-calorie diets fail.

To safeguard organs and normal body processes, your metabolic rate decreases. Similarly, to conserve energy, your body slows down in reaction to low energy levels or severe exertion.[1]

So, while you may believe you're making big progress toward your weight loss objectives by eating significantly less, you may be setting yourself up for failure.

To maintain a healthy weight, your body requires the proper amount of nutritious food in the right amounts. And, according to common belief, calorie quality was more important than calorie amount. Concentrate on meeting your macronutrient targets: high fat, moderate protein, and low carb. Consume nutrient-dense entire foods rather than just bacon.


It's a popular misperception that the keto diet, like the Atkins diet, is strong in protein. Keto is a true moderate-protein diet, with protein contributing to approximately 20% of total calories.

According to Davoodi, too much protein can drive you out of ketosis via gluconeogenesis, a process in which your body transforms additional protein into sugar (carbs!). Your body will prioritize glucose and will no longer burn fat for energy.

To accomplish keto weight loss, consume moderate amounts of complete proteins containing significant levels of all nine essential amino acids. Complete protein sources include meat, fish, and eggs.

Don't be concerned about the amount of complete or incomplete proteins you consume. If you eat a variety of foods,

Pro tip: Carefully calculate your protein needs, advises Davoodi. Too much and you won’t stay in ketosis; too little and you’ll lose muscle. Here’s a quick-and-dirty guide to calculate your ideal protein intake.


Though keto food trackers are merely a rough guide, they can help you figure out how much carbs you're eating. Strict keto diets often propose limiting net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to 20 to 30 grams per day. Some people perform best when they begin with 50-150 grams of net carbohydrates per day.

The amount of carbs you can consume when in ketosis varies from person to person. If you follow a strict ketogenic diet, you will consume fewer carbohydrates than if you follow a cyclical ketogenic diet.

Another common blunder is underestimating your total carbohydrate intake. It can be tough to determine how much food equals 20-50 net carbohydrates each day, especially when carbs are hidden in many foods.


  • Fill up first up on low-carb vegetables like leafy greens, cucumbers, asparagus, avocado, and zucchini. These should fill your entire plate at every meal.

  • Be mindful of higher-carb veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.

  • Reserve keto-friendly fruit, like berries, for the occasional dessert.

  • Focus on high-fat proteins. Pair an egg, grass-fed burger, or wild-caught salmon with a green leafy salad and avocado for an easy and filling meal.

  • Double-check the carb counts on processed foods. Save your snacking for keto-friendly foods.

Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and isomalt must also be avoided. Sugar alcohols are obtained from plant products (fruits and berries), but their carbohydrates have been chemically changed.

While sugar alcohols contain fewer calories than table sugar, they are frequently consumed in excess because they are branded as "sugar-free" or “no-sugar-added” goods. This is troublesome since their carb content can still produce a surge in blood glucose levels. You must still include them in your diet regimen.[2]

Choose an alternate sweetener that does not induce blood sugar or insulin spikes, such as erythritol or stevia. Pro tip: Until you can identify on your own how many carbs are in each food, use an app like MyFitnessPal. You’ll be able to see how many carbs each food contains and keep track of your daily macros.


Is the keto diet not working for you? You could be allergic to something. Food allergies affect around 15 million Americans.[3] Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and crustacean shellfish are the most common food allergies.

While food allergies are significant, food intolerances can also be a problem. Food intolerances can produce intestinal imbalances that contribute to inflammation, affecting the number on the scale. If you feel bloated after eating dairy or fuzzy after eating gluten, your body is attempting to communicate with you.

Pro tip: Talk to your doctor or dietitian to find out if you’re allergic or intolerant to a particular food. A healthcare professional can test your blood and recommend the next steps, such as an elimination diet, in which you eliminate all suspect foods and then slowly reintroduce them to see how you react.


Leptin is a "stop eating!" hormone that plays an important function in your appetite and weight regulation. It suppresses appetite by providing a signal to the brain when your body's energy requirements have been met.

When you have leptin resistance, the "I'm full!" signals don't cross the blood-brain barrier adequately. Leptin resistance is caused by conditions such as insufficient sleep and overeating.

Leptin resistance can also have an impact on your thyroid, which produces hormones that influence metabolism, growth, and development. The quantity of leptin available to your brain has a significant impact on the level of thyroid hormones generated in the body. Leptin resistance can disrupt thyroid function, resulting in a reduced metabolism.

Studies suggest that you may be able to manage leptin levels by having good sleep habits and cutting back on sugar and high-lectin foods.

Pro tip: There are a lot of ways to cut back on sugar, but one effective way is to add more quality fats to your diet like coconut oil, avocados, cashew butter, and MCT oil. MORE DIET TIPS: LIQUID COLLAGEN VS COLLAGEN POWDER: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? WHY YOU’RE NOT LOSING WEIGHT ON THE CICO DIET WHAT IS THE CYCLICAL KETOGENIC DIET (CKD)? HOW TO DO AN ELIMINATION DIET AND WHY EVERYONE SHOULD TRY ONE


The gold standard is seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but many individuals don't get enough of it. If you're gaining weight on keto, it's time to examine your sleeping habits.

Too little sleep can wreak damage on our bodies and generate a variety of problems that contribute to weight gain, such as:

Reduced activity due to fatigue: If you're only getting five hours of sleep, you're unlikely to want to hit the gym or even go for a walk. You burn less energy while you are more inactive. Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining energy levels and staying active.

A greater eating window: You're more alert when you stay awake longer.


Not to add to your anxiety, however, constant stress can lead to many kinds of health problems, including weight gain.

When you are stressed, your brain sends a signal that floods your body with hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. It also indicates that non-essential operations, such as digestion, should slow down. In a condition of perceived peril, the brain's first goal is to keep you alive, not to worry about digesting your meal.

If you have chronic stress, your brain is constantly in fight-or-flight mode. Even when there is no risk, your body is being bombarded with stress hormones. As a result, digestion slows and stress chemicals linger longer than they should.

That's terrible news because cortisol has been related to high blood pressure. Not to add to your anxiety, however, constant stress can lead to many kinds of health problems, including weight gain.

When you are stressed, your brain sends a signal that floods your body with hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. It also indicates that non-essential operations, such as digestion, should slow down. In a condition of perceived peril, the brain's first goal is to keep you alive, not to worry about digesting your meal.

If you have chronic stress, your brain is constantly in fight-or-flight mode. Even when there is no risk, your body is being bombarded with stress hormones. As a result, digestion slows and stress chemicals linger longer than they should.

That's terrible news because cortisol has been related to high blood pressure.


If you’re not losing weight on keto (or you’re gaining weight on keto), these simple tweaks can help you get more benefits out of your diet.


Set yourself up for success to maintain a healthy weight. Before you do anything else, take a step back and evaluate your sleep quality, stress levels, and physical activity. These are the foundations of a balanced way of life, independent of nutrition. If you're not getting the results you want, whether it's not losing weight on keto or gaining weight on keto, consider the following:

Are you getting enough rest, or are your sleeping patterns as erratic as a college student during finals week?

Do you take measures to regulate your stress, or do you walk on emotional eggshells?

Do you move around during the day and work out frequently, or do you spend most of your time sitting?


Intermittent fasting isn't necessary on the keto diet, but it's a strong strategy to help your body produce those essential ketones. As a result, some keto dieters add fasting intervals into their meal plans.

Intermittent fasting involves eating all of your daily calories in a short period, usually six to eight hours, and fasting for the remaining 16 to 18 hours. Fasting depletes your body's glucose reserves, leading it to resort to utilizing fat for energy—a condition known as ketosis.

If you want to lose weight, try intermittent fasting. Adult mice who ate all of their food within a 9- to 12-hour period gained less weight and had less fat mass in a 2014 study.


When you drink Bulletproof Coffee instead of a carb-heavy breakfast, you maintain ketosis without feeling hungry. Grass-fed butter and Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil replace milk and sugar in each cup.

C8 MCT oil boosts ketones four times more effectively than coconut oil, and it helps suppress cravings. This means you can go through your morning without feeling hungrier.


The basic keto diet involves eating very few carbs all of the time. However, for some people who follow a low-carb diet, reducing carbs for an extended period might cause weariness, dry eyes, and a lack of sleep.

Your body requires carbohydrates to function properly. It can help fulfill carb cravings, promote your sleep, and maintain a healthy weight by increasing your carb consumption regularly.

This is not an excuse to consume a high-carbohydrate supper of spaghetti and bread. We're talking about carbs that are good for you, like squash, sweet potatoes, berries, and carrots.

There are several varieties of keto diets. When you eat more, some people believe that cyclical ketosis is a more sustainable approach to keto. As you experiment with different approaches to your keto meal plan, pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel more energized? Are you noticing changes in your body weight? Do you feel better with more carb foods?


Using a high-quality MCT oil throughout the day (in your coffee or drizzled over your salad and vegetables) boosts ketone levels. A blood ketone level of 0.5 suppresses hunger. Not sure how to use MCT oil? Save these keto recipes to make the most of MCTs.


Keto is a high-fat diet, however, it's important to eat healthy fats.

Food contains many forms of fat, some of which are more anti-inflammatory and stable than others. In general, you should consume foods high in saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, and a trace of polyunsaturated fat. That means you must obtain the majority of your dietary fat from whole foods, such as grass-fed beef and lamb, wild-caught fatty fish, olive oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, avocados, MCT oil, and pasture-raised eggs.

Avoid vegetable oils and trans fats, which can lead to diet-induced inflammation (found in fried foods, candy, stick margarine, and packaged baked goods.)


If keto isn’t working for you and you’ve got a clean bill of health from your healthcare provider, following the tips above may help—but don’t feel like you need to change everything at once.

In fact, changing too much too soon can make it more difficult to determine what the problem actually is. So, start small. Here are some examples of potential first steps:

  • Use a food tracker to ensure you’re hitting your macros or consuming an ideal number of calories in a day.

  • Speak with your doctor about food allergies or intolerances

  • Establish a bedtime routine (and stick to it)

  • Find a stress-relieving practice that works for you, like meditation, journaling, or daily walks

By taking things one step at a time and checking off boxes as you go, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your health goals using the keto diet.

Frequently Asked Questions :

How can I speed up my ketosis weight loss?

There are several things you can do to speed up your weight loss on a keto diet. Firstly, make sure you're eating the right amount of calories and macros for your body. Secondly, try to incorporate more high-intensity exercise into your routine, as this can help burn more fat. Additionally, make sure you're getting enough sleep, managing stress levels, and staying hydrated. Finally, consider incorporating intermittent fasting or extended fasting into your routine to help boost ketosis and fat burning.

Why has my weight loss stopped on the keto diet?

If your weight loss has stopped on a keto diet, it could be due to a few reasons. One possibility is that you're eating too many calories or too many carbs. Another possibility is that your body has adapted to the diet, so you may need to switch up your routine by incorporating more exercise or adjusting your macros. It's also possible that you're experiencing a weight loss plateau, which is common and can be overcome with patience and persistence.

Why am I not losing weight on 16 8 fastings?

Intermittent fasting can be a helpful tool for weight loss, but if you're not seeing results on a 16:8 fasting schedule, it could be due to a few reasons. Firstly, make sure you're not overcompensating during your eating window by consuming too many calories. Additionally, check your macronutrient intake and ensure you're eating a balanced diet that's appropriate for your body and activity level. Finally, consider extending your fasting window or trying a different type of fasting schedule.

Why am I gaining weight on keto?

If you're gaining weight on a keto diet, it could be due to consuming too many calories or consuming too many carbs. Make sure you're tracking your macros and staying within your recommended calorie range. Additionally, consider reducing your dairy intake, as dairy products can be high in calories and can trigger insulin spikes. Finally, pay attention to any hidden sources of carbs in your diet, such as condiments or processed foods.

Can I still lose weight if I'm not in ketosis?

Yes, it is possible to lose weight on a low-carb diet even if you're not in ketosis. However, ketosis can be helpful for weight loss because it allows your body to burn fat for fuel. If you're not in ketosis, you may need to adjust your calorie intake and macros to ensure you're in a caloric deficit. Additionally, consider incorporating exercise and reducing stress levels to help support weight loss.

What to do when keto doesn't work?

If you're not seeing results on a keto diet, you can do a few things. Firstly, re-evaluate your macros and calorie intake to ensure you're eating the right amount for your body. Secondly, consider reducing your dairy intake or eliminating artificial sweeteners, which can sometimes hinder weight loss. Additionally, incorporate more high-intensity exercise into your routine and try incorporating intermittent fasting or extended fasting.

Can you have a cheat day on keto?

While a cheat day is technically possible on a keto diet, it's generally not recommended as it can throw you out of ketosis and hinder weight loss progress. Additionally, consuming too many carbs on a cheat day can cause gastrointestinal distress and make it harder to get back into ketosis. If you do decide to have a cheat day, it's important to plan and be mindful of your carb intake.


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