Weight plateau on a low carb diet? 3 Mistakes you could be making

September 11, 2018 at 3:06 PM

Something I come across often in the clinic is people who are frustrated that they've adopted a low carb, high-fat lifestyle, lost the first 3-4 kgs, but then it stops in its tracks. There are a number of reasons for why this happens, and I'd like to share with you the three most common mistakes people make that lead to this: 

Not enough carbs -  You went too low, too fast.

If you have eliminated ALL carbs, this could be the problem.  Your body has seen this as a "stressor" and put a halt on fat loss. Girls, we have to be extra careful because of our reproductive system.  Some females can go into ketosis and not have any problem, others develop amenorrhea (especially those who are doing a lot of exercises). 

You can also develop hypothyroidism if you go too low which slows down your metabolism because carbohydrates are required for the conversion of your thyroid hormones into their active form.  

I am still pro a lower carbohydrate, higher fat approach, but I hardly every pre-scribe keto to any of my females anymore unless there is a medical reason to do so (cancer patient, migraines etc.).  If you are scared of putting carbs back in, don't be, it's just about getting the right portion sizes - I can help you with this. 

Too much fat, not enough vegetables 

Having nuts and cheese for lunch is NOT an okay substitute for a balanced meal of vegetables and protein. Your body burns calories breaking down protein and vegetables, not to mention the fibre from the vegetable aids in fat loss and energy production. I know fats are delicious and its tempting to just snack on cheese, nuts and salami all day BUT this is not balanced.

My advice: HAVE 3 REAL MEALS A DAY! Don't miss an opportunity to get in a good helping of vegetables and amino acids from a quality protein source. 

It will feel like you are eating MORE when you go back to a proper lunch or dinner, compared to snacking, but trust me, it works. 

Too much-processed meats

I know salami and chorizo are yum and are often promoted as being "healthy" on an LCHF diet,  BUT I hate to break it to you - yes, it is too good to be true. These sources of protein are not ideal for fat loss and should only be had as a treat. They are still highly processed, which means your liver has to work harder, and you don't burn as much energy breaking them down, PLUS they are generally quite high in fat so you have to count them as a protein AND a fat serving. 

My advice: Go for REAL protein sources. Your protein should not have more than one ingredient. 

Kimberley Bell

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Kimberley is a qualified nutritionist holding a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Exercise Sports Science from Massey University. She has developed a passion for whole food nutrition and uses a combination of evidence-based nutritional science and her own clinical and personal experience to offer solutions and guidance for a wide range of health goals.

To find out more about a nutrition assessment with Kimberley click here or to book click here.