It’s inevitable. At some point during your weight loss journey, you’re going to hit a keto stall. It happens to everyone and it might seem impossible to break. Sometimes a keto stall can happen for a short period of time, but sometimes it can last for months. This is often the most discouraging point during anyone’s weight loss journey but luckily, there are two simple tricks you can use to break your keto stall without even trying.
What is a keto stall?
A keto stall is defined as a period of time where you are not losing any pounds or inches for more than a few weeks. The reason I say pounds or inches is because it is normal for you to go through periods of time when the scale doesn’t move but you’ll notice you’re losing inches. Your clothes will fit looser and you’ll look different in photos.
The reason losing inches occurs is because your body is shedding fat and those fat cells are shrinking in size. In turn, you shrink, too! Pretty neat, nuh? Your body also needs time to catch up to all of the changes so there are periods of adjustment where your body is doing just that.
By the time you realize that you’re in a keto stall, you may be wondering how long you’re going to be stuck at your current weight. It’s normal to think that, but there are a couple of things you can do to break your keto stall.
The first and most important thing to keep in mind is to never give up. No matter how bad you might want to, don’t do it. If you look around on the internet, there are tons of stories where people lost a decent amount of weight, got stuck, quit and regained it all back plus some more. Don’t be that person. Stay strong and follow our tips below to break your keto stall so you’ll get right back into seeing that scale in a steady decline. Dedication and commitment will pay off in the long run.
One popular method to breaking a keto stall is intermittent fasting or IF. Intermittent fasting consists of limiting the amount of time you eat per day or restricting when you can consume food. The most common method of IF is to do 16/8. That is 16 hours of fasting and only allowing yourself an 8-hour window to eat during the day.
This schedule seems to work well for most people as it easily allows you to have lunch while at work and dinner when you get home. By doing this, it helps control the amount of calories, carbs, fat and protein that you consume during the day. This can be very beneficial to those who either frequently or occasionally snack, and for those who have a tendency to overeat.
By restricting the timeframe in which you can consume the food you eat, most people tend to eat less and stay within or below their macros.
If you’re allowed to have 1,700 calories per day, it’s going to be difficult for you to go over 850 calories per meal with the two meals you’re allowed to eat during that time window.
Those are some pretty big meals to be that many calories so it’s unlikely you’d consume all of your food or if you did, you’d be stuffed and unable to eat another bite.
The great thing about IF is that you can set your own schedule and do whatever works for you. If you prefer to do 14/10 or 19/5, it’s completely up to you. Just be sure to get in the correct amount of fat per day so your body has enough fuel to run on.
Another trick to breaking your keto stall is carb cycling. Everyone has their own method and you can play with this to see what works best for you because you know your body better than anybody else. The basis to carb cycling is to alternate your daily carb intake. Doing this confuses your body and keeps it guessing, much like it first did when you started keto.
You can choose to keep your 20g of net carbs to set days, such as Mon., Wed., and Friday or you can just do every other day, or you might try “carbing up” two days per week. On your “carb up” days, there’s no need to go overboard so don’t hit McDonald’s or KFC’s drive-thru.
Again, depending on your body and what works for you, you might want to up your carbs to 50g per day or maybe even 100g per day. One tidbit to keep in mind is your activity level. The more active you are, the more you may be able to increase your carb intake on your off days.
Your body has been in a constant state of fat burning and by doing carb cycling, it helps out your body into a catabolic fat burning state during your low carb days.
The primary reason for this is because the carbs help boost your body’s metabolism and when it runs out of carbs to burn, it switches right back into a powerful fat-burning state, just like it did at the beginning of your weight loss journey.
One Word of Caution With Carb Cycling
There is a fine line between carbing up to confuse your body to break your keto stall and overdoing it. Ideally, the carbs you consume should come from whole foods and not processed foods. A good example of this would be brown rice instead of a candy bar or a baked potato instead of a pack of cookies.
Another thing to keep in mind to help break through your keto stall is to stay within your macros, meaning calories, fat and protein. Just because you’re having a carb up day doesn’t give you the green light to consume double the calories or fats because doing so might impede your progress.
Additional Ways to Break Your Keto Stall
- Cut out dairy and artificial sweeteners- these are the two biggest culprits in keto stalls
- Decrease your protein intake- not only is too much detrimental to weight loss but it’s also hard on your kidneys
- Increase your fat intake- If you’re not eating enough, your body will stall
- Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Not only does it keep you hydrated but it also helps your body flush fat.
- Don’t overeat your caloric budget. This is still a numbers game and you must have a caloric deficit in order to lose weight.
- Put on lean muscle mass by lifting (heavy) weights. You don’t need the ability to do a Hulk Smash but muscle burns fat.
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