12 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight On A Low Carb Diet

There are many factors that go into sustainable fat loss. These factors go far beyond counting calories, macros or whether you are vegan or paleo.

The fat loss war is bigger than just the diet and exercise portion. It is about the signals you are sending to your body on all home fronts that need to be considered diet, exercise, stress, sleep, lifestyle, genetic factors and your hormonal profile are all contributors to the fat loss war. 

Many people see significant benefits in their ability to lose fat by reducing carbohydrates and sugars. It has proven to be very effective for a lot of clients I have worked with.

However just like any other piece in the health puzzle, what fits someone else and helps them attain their goals may not work for you. We are all bio-individuals and have a number of different needs and factors that make you unique, and one of  kind. A snowflake of sorts! 

The individual needs of each person reaches farther than their diet and exercise regime. Many of these individual factors need to be recognized and planned for when waging a war against body fat.

In this blog post I am going to explain the main reasons beyond lowering carbs that you are not losing weight, and what to do about it. 

Too Much Stress In Your Life

The reality for a lot of people is that a healthy diet and exercise alone are not enough to achieve the fat loss they are looking for. We live in a fast paced world packed with unnatural stress.

Our body recognizes stress as a stimulus which it responds to the same  no matter where it  comes from. Whether you are getting chased by a sabertooth tiger or getting reprimanded by your boss, the body reacts the same way.

This stressful lifestyle puts our body in a constant state of fight or flight causing the release of the stress hormone cortisol.

Chronically elevated cortisol can increase unhealthy food cravings, muscle breakdown, fat storage and makes insulin resistance much worse. Sounds like a recipe for fat gain huh ? 

The Fix: Take a step back from your life and honestly assess how much stress you deal with on a daily basis, and what stressful situations could be eliminated. Adopt a stress management technique such as meditation, journaling, walks outside and deep breathing. These simple steps could help your overall health not only weight loss.

Your Carbs Are Higher Than You Think

It is very common to underestimate how much we eat, and overestimate how much we exercise. There is also the fact that some folks are far more sensitive to carbohydrates than others, and it's going to cause them to lose or gain weight much quicker.

The leaner you are chances are pretty good you can tolerate more carbs without fat gain than someone who is very overweight. 

If your weight loss has plateaued  log your food for a day or two and put it into some sort of fitness tracker like Fitday or My Fitness Pal to see where your carbohydrate intake is and adjust to meet your goals from there. 

The Fix: If you are not a hard charging athlete and are taking in over 100-150 grams of carbohydrates per day  dial back on carbs until fat loss begins again. To enter nutritional ketosis where many find accelerated fat loss go for 50 grams of carbohydrates from vegetables,  berries and other lower glycemic load foods or fruits.

You Need To Move More Throughout The Day

The caloric deficit we create daily with exercise is fairly small, and can become caloric excess with a snack or extra helping of food.

You should not be exercising to burn calories, but instead because mentally and physically there are many benefits.With exercise you will be able to create a better metabolic environment, build muscle and improve your mood and feeling of well being.

Not all exercise has to be a sweat drenched high intensity trip to the gym, aim for three to five hours per week of low level physical activity like walking or hiking.

Lift weights to build muscle mass which in turn improves your hormonal profile and helps to burn body fat in the long run. Use some short interval training or sprints as your cardio, it will boost growth hormone and can help to oxidize (burn) fat long after you are done.

The Fix: Incorporate 3-5 hours of low level walking and hiking along with 3-4 bouts of strength training per week. If you really want to make a push to burn extra fat include a sprint session or two. 

You Need More Sleep

Not getting enough sleep causes people to feel hungrier , have less willpower , blood sugar dysregulation, decreased performance in the gym, difficulty losing body fat/ building muscle and can negatively impact your hormones.

Lack of sleep is a stress on the body that can wreak havoc on our health, especially when trying to perform at an optimal level daily. 

Not getting enough sleep causes the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which is efficient at helping us store body fat. To add fuel to the fire, our largest release of the  muscle building/ fat burning hormone (growth hormone) takes place while we are in the deepest stage of sleep.

Sleep is not negotiable, and is required for health. your results in the gym, work and life will suffer if you don’t get between 7-9 hours of quality sleep a night consistently.

The Fix: Get to bed before 11:00 and shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. If you have trouble falling asleep clean up your sleep hygiene and start to make a night time routine to help you wind down and get to bed earlier. If you need tips for helping to improve your sleep refer to my earlier blog post “ 10 Ways To Improve Your Sleep”

You Are Eating Too Many Calories

Low carb is an effective strategy for a lot of people, but at the end of the day when you are trying to lose fat calories do matter.

What makes a low carb diet so effective is that it reduces the appetite and naturally makes people consume less calories.

If your fat loss has stalled but you are doing everything else right, look at how many calories you are taking in on a daily basis.

Be aware though that all calories are not created equal, and have different hormonal effects on the body because of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals they contain or lack.

As you approach your ideal body composition the small details become a larger part of the picture. 

The Fix: Take a look at some of the more calorically dense foods in low carb diets like nuts, nut butters and cheese that people can go overboard with ,and reduce consumption. Use a calorie tracker like My Fitness Pal or Fitday and see what your calories for three days are. When going for fat loss shoot for the range of 10-12 times body weight in calories. I am not encouraging anyone to count macros or calories long term, but just for a few days to get a realistic idea of how many calories you are taking in. 

You Are Not Eating Enough Vegetables

Many folks who adopt a low carb diet assume that they should avoid vegetables and fruits because they contain carbohydrates, but this is a big mistake.

Plants are some of the most nutrient dense foods and contain vitamins, minerals and lots of indigestible fiber that help with fat loss. The indigestible fiber you get from fruits and veggies helps you to feel fuller for longer and reduces the cravings.

Make sure to consume healthy fruits and vegetables with every meal and avoid the ‘low carb treats” and bars.

You will need to personalize your fruit intake, because some of them are higher in carbohydrates and will prevent you from entering ketosis. Fruits such as berries and other low glycemic load fruits can fit in the low carb diet because they are lower in carbs and higher in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

The Fix: Consume 1-2 cups of low glycemic vegetables at every meal to give your body the nutrients it needs and keep you fuller for longer. Some vegetables that are lower in carbohydrates and can be enjoyed are: spinach, kale, collards, eggplant, broccoli, celery, bok choy, mushrooms, avocado, tomatoes, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, onion, garlic.

You Are Over Consuming Dairy Products

Even though dairy is lower in carbs it does contain a good amount of protein and like carbs,  protein can be insulinogenic.

Protein much like carbohydrates when over consumed can raise insulin levels. This insulin  causes fat storage.  Even if you have no negative reactions to dairy, consuming it multiples times a day can cause extra spikes in insulin shutting down fat burning capabilities, and stalling fat loss progress.

The Fix: If fat loss has stalled reduce and eliminate milk, cheese, yogurt and cream. Because butter is very low in protein and lactose it will not spike insulin, you can also get Ghee which is butter fat with all the milk solids removed.

You Have Restricted Calories For Too Long

Being in a calorie deficit for too long can create some problems with the metabolism and can slow weight loss. When in a caloric deficit for too long it will slow down the metabolism.

The body is very intelligent and realizes that less food is coming in and in response it becomes more efficient by slowing the rate at which we burn calories to prevent starvation.

To prevent the metabolism slowing down people will purposely spike calories from healthy foods, especially from carbohydrates once a week. This weekly spike in calories sends the signal to the body that we are not starving and to  keep the metabolism humming along.

The Fix: If you have kept your calories and carbohydrates restricted for a long period of time and fat loss has stalled you may want to consider picking a meal or day once a week and  eat higher calories especially from carbohydrates at this meal/day. These should still be healthy foods, this is not a license to crush a dozen doughnuts once a week.

You Are Putting On Muscle Mass

Don’t live and die by the scale, while it can be helpful the scale does not tell the entire story when it comes to losing weight.

When you start to incorporate a more active lifestyle with better sleep and better eating habits  an environment to put on muscle mass and improve bone density has been created.

The great thing about  gaining muscle mass is it will help with fat loss. But because muscle mass is denser than fat,  weight on the scale may stay the same or go up.

The Fix: Take greater stock in other measurements that are not related to the scale. Make sure to keep how you look, feel and perform in your mind. If you staying at the same weight but body composition is changing in the mirror for the better don’t sweat the scale.

You Are Not Being Honest With Yourself

A lot of people will tell someone that they want to lose weight, but their actions do not match what they are saying. Everyone has met the person who tells everyone at a gathering they are on a strict diet.

Twenty minutes later the same person is at the food table stuffing their face with cookies, candy and potato chips. When asked  about their “diet” they explain that they are going to restart it tomorrow.

Months later you run into the same person again and ask them how the diet  is going and they respond saying it didn’t “work” for them. I highly doubt it was that the diet didn't work. That person was not ready for the large change they attempted to take on. 

The problem is that most people are not honest with themselves about what they really want in that moment. Delaying gratification is very difficult and can take years of practice.  

There should never be any shame or guilt around food choices, just consequences. If you value eating four cookies every day more than fat loss or getting healthier that is your personal choice, no judgement. However don’t tell people you don’t know why you can’t lose that last ten pounds.

The Fix: Be completely honest about what you value in your life and why that is important to you. Do not beat yourself up over slip ups. Instead recognize in that moment you valued what you chose over the delayed gratification of staying on course. The beauty is that next time you have the opportunity to make a better choice. 

You Are Eating Processed Low Carb Foods, Not Real Foods

There are plenty of low carb bars and processed foods that can be found in the grocery store. Low carb does not always mean it is a healthy option.

When adopting a new style of eating you have to be aware of the buzzwords that the food industry will use to sell you products.

When switching to a lower carb diet replace those carbs with whole nutrient dense food that comes from nature such as fish, meat, eggs, vegetables and healthy fats.

When reducing carbs it is very important to eat more fats. You are taking one energy nutrient away in the form of carbohydrates, and need to replace it with fats for energy. If you try to go low carb and low fat at the same time you will be starving all the time and feel horrible.

The Fix: Eat nutrient dense whole foods that come from nature such as meats, vegetables, fish, fruits, eggs, nuts, seeds and healthy fats such as coconut products, butter, palm oil, avocados and olives and olive oil.

You Are Impatient

One healthy meal will not make you lean, just like one unhealthy meal is not the cause of weight gain. Changing your lifestyle and staying consistent is the key to the battle against fat loss.

Some people are able to lose fat very quickly while others will lose fat slower. If you are someone who loses fat slowly don’t jump ship after a month saying it didn’t work, you need to be patient and adopt a new lifestyle that includes sleep, exercise, stress management and healthy eating. Diets fail but lifestyle changes do not. 

Adopting new habits can be very intimidating and difficult for people. I like the example of the mountain that is made up of pebbles.

The mountain is the persons goal and the pebbles are small habits that will get them to their goal. Most people want to move the entire mountain on the first day, but quickly get discouraged when the mountain doesn't budge.

What works better is to move a pebble a day, and over time you will move that mountain, but one pebble at a time. Small habits add up to big changes and goals being met. 

The Fix: Be patient and know that it will take time, if you stay patient and stick to the plan the reward of that consistency will be looking, feel and performing your daily tasks better. Given a long enough time to make these changes you can lose weight, but not everyone will look like a fitness model with just these tips. Be honest and realistic with yourself about your habits, and learn to love the process.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


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9 Tips For Fat Loss (Part 3)

As you can tell by reading 9 Tips For Fat Loss Parts 1 and 2 my recommendations pertain to nutrition, but also lifestyle and exercise habits.

Because nutrition, lifestyle and exercise are all vital parts of the fat loss equation if you approach your goal as  a change in long term habits instead of a “Diet” mentality you will get healthier, and achieve fat loss at the same time.

I have worked with clients who had no real fat loss or aesthetic goals, but wanted to feel and perform better daily. Health was what they prioritized, as they got healthier weight naturally came off.

“Get healthy on purpose, lose weight on accident” is a mantra I encourage people to use. My recommendations in these posts are geared towards those looking to lose fat, but only as a byproduct of getting healthier along the way.

7.) Stress Management

  • We evolved to handle shorts bouts of acute stress pretty well, in paleolithic times we might have ran from a large animal or hunted for food causing stress. What we are not adapted to handle is the chronic low grade daily stressors.

  • Stress makes you hungrier and increases the cravings for sugar while making it more difficult to burn fat

  • Schedule daily stress management practices: meditation, walks in a park or nature, reading a calming book, yoga. Make them a part of your daily ritual, but don’t stress about them

 

8.) Consume Healthy Fats 

  • Fat has been demonized and blamed for a lot of health problems in the past. We have come to find out that the basis for these claims were built on bad science, and hand picked data

  • Since the adoption of the low fat, highly processed carbohydrate diet our health has steadily declined.

  • By consuming more healthy fats, and reducing processed carbohydrates we allow our body to burn dietary and  body fat as our fuel.

  • Fat slows gastric emptying, which keeps us fuller for longer preventing unnecessary snacks and cravings.

9.) Sprint

  • Sprinting is anabolic, which means it builds muscle and strength. 

  • It is far more efficient at burning fat than chronic cardio, and takes a fraction of the time

  • Sprinting makes the body keep burning fat even after the sprint session has been completed

  • The beauty is that sprinting can even be done slowly such as pushing a weighted sled, or on an exercise bike and still get the benefits without impact

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
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9 Tips For Fat Loss (Part 2)

Hey folks if you haven’t read my previous post 9 Tips For Fat Loss (Part 1 ) do so to get a better understanding of what simple fat loss habits look like.

The tips I recommend in this Fat Loss series can be used in any order, they are not  in order of importance. Experiment and see what works for you personally.

Before we jump into the next fat loss tips I want to talk about changing habits. The key with habit changes is to go slow and at a pace that works for your lifestyle.

Regardless of what anyone tells you change is difficult for everyone. Something that seems simple is much more complicated behind the scenes.

The slow and steady mentality trumps the fast and furious approach I’ve seen it repeatedly with clients, too much too soon causes them to revert to old less healthy habits.

We are looking for sustainable habits that will be continued beyond just fat loss goals , we are creating a healthier and happier lifestyle.

If you are going to implement the  fat loss tips I recommend in these blog posts pick the one tip that will be easiest for you right now.

If you are eating processed carbohydrates six times a day then trying to go cold turkey as your first habit is not a good idea. But consuming more protein to replace some of the  processed carbohydrates could be a great first habit for you.

If you have any questions about where a good place for you to start is get in contact with me. My Email is evolvent.pdx@gmail.com , I would love to hear from you and help guide you in the right direction.

Also on the topic of implementing these fat loss tips, pick one habit at a time and focus on doing it daily for twenty one days straight. After twenty one days habits are ingrained in our routine enough that it requires less effort and allows us to focus that energy on a new habit.

4. ) Lift Heavy Weights

  • The more muscle we build the more fat we will be able to burn

  • Heavy weight training increases insulin sensitivity meaning your body will able to use carbohydrates more effectively and less carbs will be stored as fat

  • Heavy lifting usually falls into the 3-6 rep range and 3-5 sets. Use full body compound lifts: cleans, squat, deadlift, push press, dumbbell lunges, pull ups. Learn proper form first, you can’t train if you’re injured.

 

5.) Clean Out Your Pantry and Fridge

  • Recognize the foods that are creating roadblocks in your your fat loss goals and remove them from your house.

  • A drug addict who is getting clean doesn’t keep their stash around because they already paid for it. Put the trigger foods in a bag and hand them to a homeless person on the side of the road. You just did a good deed and helped yourself.

  • By keeping these trigger foods around the house you’re  draining your willpower. By removing those foods you can now dedicate that will power to building complimentary habits to your fat loss journey

6.) Be Aware Of How Much You’re Eating

  • Low carb is great for taming hunger and reducing insulin, but calories do need to be taken into account and definitely not obsessed over. Balance is what we are looking for here.  

  • As you approach your ideal body weight or body composition what worked in the past may no longer be effective. Losing the last few pounds requires more fine tuning, if it is no longer working changes need to be made to reach new goals

  • There is absolutely a metabolic advantage to eating real foods, but if fat loss has stalled calories and lifestyle habits may need to be adjusted.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.


Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
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9 Tips For Fat Loss ( Part 1)

Fat loss is one of the most popular phrases searched on the internet according to a study I just made up.

The average person would like to achieve easier weight loss or like to look differently than they currently do.

Regardless of what Dr. Oz says (please don’t sue me Dr. Oz) there is no magic bullet or pill to fat loss. There are however certain tips and tactics that I have used with clients that produce great results.

 Many people struggle with fat loss not because they lack the will power but because they have the wrong information.

I compare fat loss and health goals to a math equation. If you know what your answer is (your goal) but have the wrong parts to the equation ( nutrition, exercise and lifestyle) your fat loss equation will never add up properly creating frustration and an eventual twinkie and ice cream bender.

It is not always about working harder when it comes to fat loss, but working smarter. Here are a few tips to help you work smarter on your fat loss goals:

       1.) Avoid Processed Carbohydrates

  • Processed carbohydrates include bread,pasta, crackers, muffins, gluten free products, chips, sugar, fruit juices, oats with sugar, breakfast cereals, “health bars,  pastries and  grains.

  • Processed carbs raise our blood sugar rapidly, causing the release of our main fat storage hormone insulin

  • When we keep blood sugar and insulin low by avoiding processed carbohydrates and sugars our body is able to burn excess body fat as fuel instead of needing carbs and sugars constantly

  • Blood sugar helps to drive appetite, and by balancing our blood sugar  with a reduction of processed managing appetite will become easier

        2.) Eat More Protein

  • Protein is one of the highest satiety foods, meaning it will leave you feeling satisfied and fuller for a longer period of time reducing cravings for snacks.

  • The thermic effect of food is the increased energy expended by the body to process that food. Protein rich foods have the greatest thermic effect increasing energy expenditure to process them.

  • Muscles helps us to burn fat, and protein is needed to build muscle.

       3.) Sleep At Least 8 Hours A Night

  • Sleep is when the body is the most anabolic and when we build muscle. Adequate sleep is also pivotal is recovery from exercise.

  • Not getting enough sleep leads to an increase in appetite and  increases cravings for  carbohydrates and sugar

  • Sleep deprivation also causes elevated blood sugar without the introduction of foods which decreases our tolerance to carbohydrates making it harder for us to burn stored body fat as fuel.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.


Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone