5 Reasons People Have Trouble Staying in Ketosis
The benefits of a ketogenic lifestyle are plentiful: mental clarity, effortless weight management, improved sleep levels, not to mention its use to treat many serious conditions from epilepsy, to PCOS, and even cancer. So, it’s not surprising that it’s become a worldwide phenomenon. However, if you’re one of those people that follow the plan and yet you struggle to stay in ketosis, it can be quite frustrating! Here are 5 common reasons people have trouble staying in ketosis.
Too Many Carbs!!!
You’ve done a great job planning meals, turning down food that you know isn’t good for you, and sticking to the program, but you’re not seeing the results you had hoped for. Many times, despite our best efforts, we simply missed some small detail. The problem is often found in our total carbohydrate intake. Most people can stay in a ketogenic state consuming anywhere from 20-50 grams of carbohydrates a day. Some of us must stay on the low end of the scale, while others have no problem with larger amounts. As we are all different, there is no magic number that works for everyone. When in doubt, start as low as possible and work your way up.
Too Much Protein???
I often hear the ketogenic diet oversimplified. It usually sounds something like this: “Eat all the meat and veggies you want.” That’s great, but not entirely true. If you were to eat nothing but chicken and green beans, I doubt that you would ever get in to ketosis. Remember, nutritional ketosis is a High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carbohydrate diet. It’s quite a change from what you have been told your entire life, so I get the hesitation. Try to focus on quality fatty food. Don’t focus on eating lean meat with low or no fat content. Your body uses a process called gluconeogenesis that will convert protein into carbohydrates. If you’re too low on fat content and too high on protein, you don’t stand a chance! Say it with me…. Eat More Fat!!!
High Stress Levels!!!
This is a tricky one. We all have bills to pay, and mouths to feed. However, when we allow too much stress in our lives, our cortisol levels go up, wreaking all sorts of havoc on our bodies. Cortisol has a nasty habit of breaking down muscle and turning it into sugar. It’s very important to manage your stress levels. Make sure you get plenty of rest, some healthy exercise, and maybe even some meditation to help manage those stress levels and keep that pesky cortisol from becoming a problem.
More of a continuation of number 3, the amount of sleep you get is directly tied to your stress levels. Those of you who consistently get less than 6 hours of sleep a night have significantly higher cortisol levels than those who get a solid 7-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis. I know most of us are quite busy, and always trying to find ways to add more hours to our day, but the importance of a good night’s sleep can’t be overstated.
Artificial (and other) Sweeteners!!!
This is one of the most controversial subjects amongst those that follow a ketogenic lifestyle. There are many alternatives to sugar. Unfortunately, most are just as bad if not worse that sugar. Most of these artificial sweeteners can spike your blood sugar and raise your insulin levels. The other issue is that they trigger sugar cravings for some people, making it very difficult to stick to the program. If you must sweeten something, I recommend using stevia or erythritol. Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from a plant, while erythritol is a sugar alcohol. There has been much debate over sugar alcohol in general as researchers have found that the body can absorb a percentage of the calories from this class of sweetener. Erythritol has been shown to have the lowest absorption rate by far. So, use as sparingly as possible, and if you’re weight loss stalls, take a good look at what if any sweeteners you have been using!