I will preface this by saying if you have any advice or thoughts to give, feel free to give it – after you’ve read this.
I’ve been eating low carb for 8 months now and I’ve lost 50lbs. I plateau’d somewhere in the low 240s (at 30lbs loss in March) and that’s when I switched to keto (April). Since switching to keto, 4 months ago, I’ve lost 20 more lbs.
I’m plateau’d again, friends. I realize I haven’t been sticking to my eating plan as closely, but the fact of the matter is that it shouldn’t matter because I am still exercising religiously, actually pushing myself harder, and eating much less than my body should burn a day. But I’m stuck in the 220s. Why am I stuck?
I’ve been analyzing my weight loss journey. I lost 30lbs in the first 3 months. I wasn’t working out as hard and I was actually eating higher carb (40-50 carbs per day, I believe). I have only lost 20 lbs in the last 4 months. Granted, I had more weight to lose when I started, but I still lost more weight eating more carbs and exercising less.
I am pushing myself harder now with my workouts which include weight training. I tried increasing my calories. It worked for a little while. I tried cutting my carbs super low again. I feel famished and exhausted most of the time. I was dumbfounded so I began researching online.
Did you know most people on low carb diets lose weight without exercising? Exercising while eating very low carb can actually stall weight loss in the long run if you’re not increasing your calorie intake. Low carb in general means higher protein, higher fat, low carbs. Our bodies are looking for fuel to burn, which is generally found in carbohydrates, but when you eat low carb, your body takes the energy from burning fat – unless you’re eating too much protein. Eating too much protein can actually cause the amino acids in the protein to be turned into glucose through gluconeogenesis – which is why switching to keto, low carb and moderate protein, generally helps you start losing weight again.
But what if you’re exercising regularly like I am, where you’re mixing high intensity cardio with weight training? It has been found that “The only real time where ketosis can give performance loss is in exercises that need an explosive action. If you need a little boost in your performance during these, you can “carb-up” by eating 25-50g of carbs about 30 minutes before you train.” (http://www.ruled.me/mythbusting-training-on-keto-diet/)
My workouts are all explosive. So perhaps I am not eating enough carbohydrates, after all. Why do I think my workouts are “explosive”? Well, because I’m keeping my heart rate in the peak performance level for 80-90% of my 30-35 min workout…that’s why. That’s pretty powerful cardio.
So, I’m thinking change may be necessary. I was reading on some body building websites (NO, I am not trying to become a body builder) that you really should eat the majority of your carbohydrates for the day withing 0-6 hours post workout. What I’m thinking is changing my diet up just a bit:
Low carb for breakfast (think eggs or my cream cheese pancakes)
Moderate carb snack with fruit & cheese (pre-workout)
Moderate carb lunch – normal lunch, but add a veggie and a slice of whole wheat bread)
Moderate carb snack – possibly veggie or fruit and Oikos Triple Zero yogurt?
Low carb dinner (carbs coming purely from veggies like cauliflower).
I still need to run the numbers and see where something like this will get me at the end of the day, though. I intend on keeping my calories at 1500-1700 and my carbs under 75 per day. I’m gonna give this a little run and see where it gets me, though. I honestly think I’m sabotaging my weight loss because I am not eating enough carbs for my workout.