The Real Reason You're Not Losing Weight On The Keto Diet

A keto diet might help you lose weight — but even strict adherence to a keto diet doesn't guarantee that you'll instantly drop the weight you're hoping to lose. There are a few reasons the scale could be stubbornly stuck at your current weight despite your best efforts on the high-fat, low-carb diet.

First, you simply may be eating more calories than your body needs. Only consuming 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day doesn't guarantee that you're eating a lowered amount of calories. In fact, because one gram of fat has nine calories compared to the four calories per gram found in protein and carbohydrates, even if the volume of food you're eating seems lower, your calorie count may be higher than you realize. A two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter is 207 calories with 18 grams of fat, while a tablespoon of olive oil is 124 calories (via WebMD and USDA). It's easy to see how over the course of a day, those keto-friendly foods that you're snacking on can quickly add up calorically — especially if you're often eating out at restaurants or eating keto-friendly snacks or desserts, which might be low in carbs, but are often extremely high in calories.

What if your calories are balanced?

You may also simply be eating more carbohydrates than you realize: Foods like peanut butter that are typically considered okay on a keto meal plan still contain carbohydrate (six grams per serving in the case of peanut butter) so it's possible that you've been adding more carbohydrate than you intended. If you're eating too many carbohydrates — even healthy ones from fruits and vegetables — your body won't enter ketosis, the ultimate goal (and way that weight loss happens) on a keto diet (via Healthline).

Other factors could be working against you as well: Stress can cause you to hold on to weight, as can a lack of sleep. Drinking too much alcohol — even keto-friendly varieties — can push your body out of ketosis. And if you're struggling to keep going on your keto diet and occasionally breaking the rules and having a cheat meal or day, pushing your body out of ketosis as a result, you're essentially taking one step forward and two steps back every time you force your body in and out of ketosis (via Men's Health).

The keto diet isn't right for everyone, so there's also a chance that you would benefit from a more balanced approach to weight loss. If you're sure your calorie count is adequate and appropriate for weight loss and your carbs are in check, consider consulting with a doctor or dietitian to see if there's an underlying reason keto isn't working for you (via Medical News Today).