How to lose weight
I’ve heard people saying lately, “I’m not eating enough; that’s why I’m not losing weight.” Does that make sense to you? To eat more so that you can lose weight? The reason is that there’s an internet urban legend that the less you eat, you go into “starvation mode” and then you have to eat more to get out of the starvation mode to help you lose weight. But that’s not how the body works unless you’re talking about a very specific level of carbs and calories and energy balance. I think it comes from some research using carb-containing diets.
If you restrict calories and you’re eating carbs at the same time, the metabolic rate drops super low. This has been worked out now twice in metabolic ward studies where when you’re on a weight loss program, the type of diet you are using matters in terms of how much your body lowers its own metabolism to respond to the weight dropping. Your fat cells think you’re in a crisis – you’re in a famine because you’re starting to draw on your fat cells. Your body then lowers its metabolic rate to compensate. But, it lowers the metabolic rate less if you’re not eating carbohydrates. If you’re doing a keto diet, your metabolic rate doesn’t go down as much as if you’re eating a low-calorie diet containing carbohydrates.
Eating more is not the answer
If you ate nothing and just drank water, you would lose weight. The burning of stored fats happens when you’re eating less, not more. The solution, if you’re at a stall of a plateau, is not to eat more to raise your metabolic rate and then not burn your body fat; the solution is to just keep doing what you’re doing. On a keto diet, the process is more like a stair-step than a ramp. There are always going to be times – especially if you’re weighing yourself every day when the weight doesn’t change. (We recommend weighing yourself every week, not every day.) There are even some “dog days” of the weight loss program where it might be a month before the weight starts to change. That’s okay! Your body is making all of these metabolic changes. We have a rule, saying that if your body shape is changing or your weight is changing, stay the course. Your body is adjusting. It’s not all about weight loss; this is where you’ve heard about non-scale victories. (Such as better energy, less heartburn or joint pain, no more brain fog, lower blood sugar, etc.)
Keto diminishes your hunger
We want you to lose weight – if that’s what you’re trying to do – in the healthiest manner possible. This includes eating proteins and getting essential fats every day. The idea of eating more to lose weight makes no sense to me. I hope by now it makes no sense to you, either. I think some people use it as an excuse to just eat some carbs. Of course, if you’re on a low-carb keto diet, you’re not going to do that. If you haven’t started yet, you may not know that after a day or two your hunger is greatly diminished, so you start eating less, automatically. The reason for that is that your body is burning its own fat first, so the hunger goes down because you don’t need to add the energy that your body is getting access to now from your body fat store. (You don’t need to eat as much food because your body is already “eating” its own stored fat for fuel.)
Medications may pause weight loss
Eating less pretty much automatically happens for just about everyone on a keto diet unless you’re on a weight-positive medication, like insulin, prednisone, gabapentin, antidepressants, or Flonase nasal spray. These are the most common ones I see in my practice that may thwart weight loss or even stop it. (“Weight-positive” medications are medications that cause weight gain or make it more difficult to lose weight.) This may explain why you gained weight when you didn’t change anything else. A new medicine often can do that.
Check out the full video here.