I just wanted to talk a little bit about what you can expect when it comes to weight loss on a low-carb, high-fat diet. If you’re like me, when I first started reading about eating low carb, I got very excited about these stories of weight loss just seeming to happen as if by magic, with the pounds falling off more quickly than you can count.
However when I started eating low carb – that didn’t happen for me. Not straight away anyway. It took a fair bit of adjusting and reading and trial and error before I found my sweet spot and really got to grips with what was happening with my body.
Here are a few of the main points I learned. If you’re experiencing weight loss stalls, or you just want to know what to expect, hopefully, this will help you.
You Really Have to Watch Your Protein Intake
Low carb, high-fat diets that are geared around getting you into a fat-burning state must include only moderate amounts of protein. When I first started, I used the 0.8g of protein per pound of lean muscle calculation. This put me at about 100g of protein/ day. My weight loss didn’t start until I tinkered with this and dropped my daily intake of protein to 45-55g per day. At the time I wasn’t exercising, and I am 5′ 8″.
Eating more protein than your body needs will lead to your body breaking down the protein into glucose, keeping your blood sugars high and blocking your keto-adaptation. Now that I exercise more I have increased my protein – but only a little. I still won’t go over 60g a day usually.
Once I dropped my protein intake, the weight loss started, and continued at a steady rate (about 2lbs/week).
Weight Loss Will Only Happen After Your Body Has Healed
How soon you start dropping excess fat will depend on how much healing your body needs to do. Healing will always be your body’s priority. This is why intermittent fasting is not recommended when you first improve your diet. Getting your three meals in a day means you are maximising the nutrients that you are putting into your body, which allows your body to heal more quickly.
Low Carb High Fat Diets MUST be High in Fats!
It took me a while to get over my fear of fats. Just getting my fats to 100g a day seemed like a ridiculously large amount. But the thing is, you want your body to start producing ketones and burning fat for fuel. For your brain and body tot learn that fat is the preferred fuel, you really have to flood your body with fats in the first few weeks to get the message across. I only started to get fat-adapted when my daily intake of fat was between 160g-200g/day.
And, I was only able to do this once I dropped my protein intake to 45g-55g.
Sleep is Way More Important Than You Think it is
If you are not getting a good 7-8 hours of sleep per night, at a decent time (say from 10pm to 6pm), your weight loss will stall. Your body needs this sleep time to heal, to produce ketones and to understand that you are not living in a stressful state. Stress will hinder weight loss.
Going Too Low in Calories will Hinder Weight Loss
This may seem counter-intuitive, but when I started, I reduced my calories to 1500kcal/day. I initially lost some weight, but then I began to feel tired, and also didn’t sleep so well. At 1500kcal a day, I couldn’t get in the amount of fat I needed. After the initial weight loss, I stopped losing weight and found I wasn’t getting good ketone numbers, and my blood sugars were still too high (signs that you’re not keto-adapted).
I increased my calories to 1800-2000kcal a day and low and behold; the weight loss started again! So strange, but true.
The Deal is -Low Carb High Fat Weight Loss Can Take Time
I found the best way to approach this diet is to think about healing, health, energy and how good I’m feeling. When you focus on these things and look at what you’re eating as nourishment so you can achieve this, the excess weight will naturally fall away. And what’s more, you will feel amazing, and not be obsessing over those numbers. So often I’ve heard that women have so much healing to do that weight loss that keto for women can take more time and patience.
So what experiences have you had with a low carb high fat diet? I’d love to hear from you, let me know in the comments below!