LCHF Pitfalls

On LCHF But Not Losing Weight?

First what is a plateau? Two days, one week of no weight loss. There technically is not a hard and firm definition that is agreed upon in the obesity medicine community.  My definition of a weight plateau is: no weight loss or change in body shape over a couple months, not just one week. Even if weight loss is extremely slow that’s not a “plateau.”

Number 1: Sneaking Carb’s.

Check for accidental reintroduction of carbs: sauces, products, things in restaurants. Be careful eating ground meat out, lots of the time there is a wheat product added to help “bulk” it up. Even some large breakfast chains add pancake mix to there eggs to fluff up both the omelettes and scrambled eggs. When you eat out eat protein that is in its whole form (not ground, whipped, or processed in general). Sauces are tricky as even a lot of vinaigrettes have added sugar. Unless you know for sure it is just oil and vinegar (you’ll have to ask) go for the cream sauce/dressing when on LCHF. They usually don’t put too much sugar in these. Usually if you limit the serving to 2-3 tablespoons you should be ok.

Be mindful of the small “I’ll just have one bite,” sometimes over the course of a week these small bites can add up, especially if compounded by other reasons discussed here.

Number 2: New Weight Adjustments.

Calories can come into play even with LCHF, it is possible to eat more fat than what our body needs. As we lose weight our body naturally needs less energy. If you start a diet at 230lbs your body needs a certain amount of energy to fuel that amount of body tissue, once you lose 50lbs you now don’t need to fuel that lost 20 pounds. Thus calorie intake/food intake should be adjusted down.

Example: before it took 10 calories (just for example sake) to move the 230lbs of body mass up the stairs. Once you weigh 180lbs it will take less calories to move this lesser weight up the stairs. I.E. essentially you need less food to live at this lesser weight.

Number 3: Protein.

Protein can be tricky. One thing to remember is that protein is broken down into either amino acids(used as building blocks) or glucose! We all know what glucose does to a low carb diet.  #sabotage If you are super curious you can check your glucose before and about 60-90 minutes after a meal. If you have a bump this could be your issue, or at least part of the issue.

Remember it is “low carb high fat,” not high protein. You should be getting just enough protein your body needs. Maybe we should call it low carb high fat normal protein diet #lchfnp but that’s too long 😉

There are many different calculations to help determine the amount of protein you need. Calculation can range from .5gm protein per kg of mass to 1.5gm protein per kg mass. Then there is the issue of do you calculate it based on your over weight kg measurement, or based off what your ideal kg’s should be. Basically you have to take a shot in the dark and go with the calculations that seems best for you and your activity level. Then make adjustments if your not seeing changes on the scale. I do have a way I do this in clinic that is more scientifically guided than just a shot in the dark, but my lawyer says I should not practice medicine over the internet so sorry ?

You have to find the balance as too little protein is detrimental. Protein not only builds muscle but your body uses it to make all kinds of little things, mostly in the form of transporters to keep your body functioning. If you have too little protein your body will take away from your “less important” muscle mass so it can keep everything else functioning. This is why when we place patients on a low carb high fat diet we routinely check body composition to monitor muscle mass in clinic.

Number 4: The Exercise Over Estimation.

This is when people add back too many calories/too much food based off how many calories their fitness tracker tells them. Try to keep it in the back of your mind that, for the most part, the most popular devices out there calculate how much you burned during an exercise session from a predetermined equation. These are an estimate.  The equation your devise used was likely not based on your muscle mass and body composition, did your device ask how many pounds of muscle you have? No it probably just asked age and height.

Number 5: Artificial Sweeteners(AFs).

First let’s get it straight the science on AFs is “out.” There are studies that make arguments for and against them. My purpose of discussion here is purely use in the weight loss arena, I’m am not discussing them in terms of overall healthiness. Plenty of people use AFs and lose weight just fine. But…sometimes they can suddenly become a problem, I don’t know why, but sometimes they seem to be a factor in causing a weight plateau. Especially, again I don’t know why, if they were re-introduced back into the diet after a time of abstinence. Try weaning down off them. If you are even just using one serving a day, then try cutting it out completely. After all was that one serving really worth the enjoyment. Maybe the enjoyment of breaking through the plateau might outweigh the pleasure of one serving of an AF.

Number 6: New medications.

Unfortunately a lot of the medications used to treat the diseases caused by obesity themselves can worsen obesity. I know, ironic. Check with your doctor, however you may need to consult an Obesity Medicine Specialist on this one.

Number 7: Stress.

This seems an obvious one, I think everyone knows so I won’t spend too much time beating a dead cat per say. Keep it in the back of your mind. #mindfulness

Number 8: Sleep.
Ever been to a fast food joint at 1am in the morning? It’s usually crawling with a youthful population that just spent the last 5 hours dancing the night away. Fatigue drives up those hunger hormones, and yes ok likely decreased inhibitory affect of alcohol, pushed them to go “splurge” and eat those high carb high fat foods our brains ends up craving.  Don’t underestimate the power of sleep, or lack there of, has on your hunger level. If you are at risk for sleep apnea make sure to get yourself screened for sleep apnea.

Please let us know if this article was helpful by “liking” this article. Even better please feel free to leave a comment: was this helpful? And what subjects might you like to learn more about? Thanks!

***As always this article is only meant for educational purposes. Please consult your doctor before starting anything new that can change the status of your health, even if it is meant for the better. ***  And please forgive my grammatical errors. #notawritter ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *