Has Your Keto Weight Loss Stalled?
7 Reason Why You've Hit a Plateau...

7 Reasons Your Weight Gain on Keto Has Stalled

People decide to adopt the keto diet for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is that they want a reliable way to lose weight and keep it off. However, people sometimes reach a point where their keto weight loss stalls or they may even experience weight gain on the lifestyle. It doesn't happen to everyone mind you, but it does happen. And it can be frustrating. Fortunately, it doesn't need to be a permanent state of affairs. If you can determine the cause of the problem, you can almost always take corrective measures and get things back on track.

What’s Goin’ On?

The following are the seven most common reasons people experience weight gain on keto.

  • 1
    You’re not in ketosis - Unfortunately, it doesn’t take all that much to bump someone out of ketosis. Common reasons people suddenly find themselves on the outside looking into ketosis include overeating protein (this can cause an insulin response and resort in the body storing fat) and not eating enough fat (up to 70% of your calories should come from fat). It also includes drinking too much beer (they don't call it a "beer belly" for nothing), and being cute with carbs (allowing yourself to cheat "just a little" because you love this or that carb-heavy dish so much).
woman on weighing scale
  • 2
    ​You’re not accounting for hidden carbs - Just as counterproductive as cheating “just a little” is missing hidden carbohydrates. Did you know there are carbs in toothpaste? There are. You may have been advised to eat nuts on keto. But did you know that some nuts like cashews and pistachios are pretty high in carbs? They are. Overeating fruit or dairy is also a standard way to experience keto diet weight gain. Both food groups can increase your calorie intake without you even realizing it. As can some cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and turnip.
  • 3
    You’re eating excessive amounts of fat - Above we mentioned that not eating enough fat may bump you out of ketosis and cause you to gain weight on the lifestyle. But the opposite is also exact. Eating too much fat can overwhelm your system and cause weight loss efforts to stall. With the diet, you're looking to achieve a balance between fats and carbs. Not just ingesting as much fat as you can get your hands on. Fat typically contains twice the calories of carbs, so it's crucial that you monitor exactly how many grams of fat you’re consuming on a daily basis.
  • 4
    You’re not getting enough sleep - Not getting enough sleep can sometimes cause people on the keto diet to gain weight. If you're not sleeping enough, your circadian rhythms are disrupted, and this can lead to problems with your metabolic system. Metabolic issues then interfere with weight loss efforts, and you find yourself stuck at a specific weight or even putting weight back on that you had lost. Always make sure to get adequate amounts of sleep, no matter what your lifestyle is.
  • 5
    You’re not getting enough calories - Just as you have to be aware of eating too many fats or drinking too much alcohol you also need to be wary of not eating enough calories. Eating an inadequate number of calories will cause your metabolism to slow. As a result, your weight loss will also slow or even stop. The trick is to balance your caloric intake properly so that you are consuming the right proportions of fat and carbs. Not merely depriving yourself of calories altogether.
  • 6
    You’re under too much stress - It's not unusual for people in high-stress jobs to be overweight. Some of that has to do with them overeating as a response to the stress, but some of it has to do with a hormone called cortisol. Humans release cortisol during times of stress, and this hormone not only helps keep us alert but also causes the body to store fat around the midsection. If you're wondering why you're experiencing weight gain on keto, it may have to do with your stress levels.
female under stress
  • 7
    You’re sensitive to certain foods - Many people are sensitive to dairy foods without even realizing it. The effects can be subtle and typically manifest themselves in inflammation that interferes with weight loss and can increase fat accumulation and keto weight gain. When you're on the lifestyle, it's crucial that you monitor your reaction to different types of food. Because if eating cottage cheese, for example, makes you feel bloated or otherwise sluggish you may have a dairy sensitivity that is undermining your weight loss efforts.

​​​​​FAQs - Answers to Stalled Weight Loss on Keto

Q : Can you gain weight on keto?
A : As we have outlined above it is entirely possible that you may find yourself gaining weight on the diet if certain conditions are in play.

Q : How to gain weight on keto?
A : Eating too much fat, not getting enough sleep, being sensitive to certain foods and being under constant stress are all factors that can cause weight gain on the keto lifestyle.

man monitoring his weight

Q : Why would I experience sudden weight gain on keto?
A : Most of the time weight gain on keto is slow, almost imperceptible but sometimes it's sudden. This may be because you have experienced an immediate stressful situation or consumed an unusually high carb meal that rudely ejected you from ketosis.

Q : Will I experience weight gain after keto?
A : Weight gain after stopping keto is reasonably common but not inevitable. If you decide to stop adhering to the keto diet, it is likely you will gain back some of the weight you lost unless you are mindful of what you eat and make a point to exercise regularly. 

​Can Keto Make You Gain Weight?

If you’re wondering “Why did I gain weight on keto?” rest assured the low-carb lifestyle by itself will not cause you to gain weight. If you are gaining weight while on the keto diet it is because something is amiss with the way you are practicing the lifestyle. If you use the above list to help you diagnose what might be going wrong and then make any necessary adjustments you should be fine.

About the Author

Ryan is a personal trainer, athlete, health enthusiast, and entrepreneur. He is researching and expanding his knowledge about the ketogenic diet. He spends most of his time writing content about his new learnings of the ketogenic diet.

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