If you’re new to my website, you should know I am a big proponent and a huge fan of the ketogenic diet with the caveat that it can change your life for better. In my experience so many ketogenic diet beginners and pros alike have encountered hiccups along the way that stalled their efforts, and in turn slowed down the superb results they started to get from being on ketogenic diet. After carefully going through number of case studies, and interviews with so many ketoers I found few common reasons. I’d like to offer some suggestions and tools you can use to better your experience on keto and get successful!
This all started when I was stalled and didn’t get immediate results that I heard so many others are getting. Well, you’re in luck today, let me tell you the biggest 5 reasons why keto might not be working for you. I hope my experience and these tips and tools bring you the confidence and trust to successfully navigate a keto lifestyle and achieve your ultimate health goals.
The Five Reasons Why Keto Isn’t Working For You
1- Microbiome Imbalance
Gut is where all diseases start, and this is also least taken care off by almost all of us. After all with 70% of our immune system and millions of bacteria living inside it (not to mention other microorganisms like yeast, viruses and archaea), the condition of microbiome directly influence our vitality and well-being.
Microbiome imbalance not just cause irritable bowel syndrome or constipation, but autoimmune issues like psoriasis or eczema, to mood and depression, weight and metabolism issues. And this is just the beginning, so working on your microbiome imbalance can greatly alleviate your health in every aspect.
The gut is also a common site for hidden inflammation in the body. And while a ketogenic diet can certainly diminish the sources of food allergies (gluten and grains), it may not be enough to heal the source of the inflammation.
Quick Tip: An easy way to help support a healthy digestive system and microbiome is to drink a mug of bone broth every day. The healing amino acids like glycine, proline and glutamine in bone broth reduce inflammation, contribute to collagen production and support the mucosal lining of the intestinal wall. In case you want to learn how you can make your own bone broth at home in just 30 minutes together with 101 essential recipes and age-old remedies that heal your body, then I recommend you this Bone Broth Cookbook. (This Gut Healing, Immune Boosting, Anti-InflammatoryFood Will Literally Soothe Your Body into a New State of Well-Being.)
2- Less Than Optimal Function
All these years of eating poorly, and loading our body with so much of sugar had taken a toll on our livers that we are unaware of. And in case you are overweight, that also mean you have excess fat accumulation in your liver. Your liver and gallbladder needs to function at its optimal performance for your body to properly utilize all these nutritious fats you’ll be eating on a ketogenic diet. Your liver systhesizes bile and your gallblader stores it until it’s needed to break down fats in the small intestine.
Our liver is an under appreciated organ of our body, which has numerous important jobs:
- Regulating blood supply
- Detoxification of chemicals and pesticides
- Converting macronutrients into energy
- Cholesterol and protein production
- Breaking down sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone
- And many more…
Quick Tip: To support your liver, eat a diet full of polyphenol-rich bitter tasting herbs and vegetables such as: cruciferous vegetables, endive, mustard greens, garlic, chicory, dandelion, burdock root, turnip, green tea, dark chocolate (95%) and turmeric. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, raw apple cider vinegar, grapefruit, lemon, and kefir will also support a healthy liver. My best recommendation is Apple Cider Vinegar, this will clean your body from inside and heal it from inside. Know more about apple cider vinegar cure, how to make it at home and 100s of recipes using ACV.
3- Poor Quality Fats and Oils
If you thought that counting macros and measuring ketone levels in your body will be the difficult part of ketogenic diet, in my opinion its not. After sticking to keto for few months, you’ll become a pro at it. What is crucial to your success with keto, is the quality of fats you intake. High quality fats are essential to reduce inflammation, and achieve weight loss goals and this has the biggest impact on your overall health. Fats and oils are sensitive to oxidation and therefore can easily turn rancid from things like oxygen, light and temperature.
This will be the biggest challenge you’ll face while going out to eat at restaurants, it’s common practice in the restaurant industry to use lowest quality vegetable oils are highly processed and are used because of their seemingly long shelf life, when in fact they are already rancid and ready to create free radicals and inflammation in your body.
Overconsumption of processed vegetable oils provoke a variety of inflammatory conditions from cardiovascular disease to neurodegenerative conditions.
Quick Tip: I like to emphasize quality, moderation and balance with polyphenol-rich whole-fat foods like: avocados, olives, nuts and seeds and healthy fats like organic MCT oil, and grass-fed butter.
4- High Stress, Cortisol and Inflammation
I love to share with all of you the ways we can use stress to our advantage. In fact, autophagy, a cellular process that repairs and removes old toxic debris is inherently mildly stressful. As humans, we need a certain amount (and the right kinds) of stress to help us grow, adapt, heal and increase our longevity. Examples of good stress are fasting and exercise – the appropriate type and amount of course for your particular needs. Over-exercising or under-exercising can initiate a cascade a of physiological events that include the kind of stress that is harmful.
When we hear the word stress, most of us think of it as bad. Things like chronic emotional stress due to strained relationships, financial hardship, chronic negative self-talk, digestive issues, infections, hormonal imbalance, hidden food allergies and heavy metal toxicities are all sources of harmful stress and need to be addressed. The body responds to these stresses by producing cortisol, and over time high cortisol leads to insulin resistance and inflammation.
Quick Tip: Supplementing with polyphenols has been shown to reduce inflammation and support a ketogenic lifestyle. There are four polyphenols in particular that work together to support your whole-body wellness that I coined “powerphenols”. They include resveratrol, EGCG from green tea, curcumin and berbernie.
5- Poor Sleep
Chances are if you’re experiencing high amounts of stress, your sleep will be impacted. Some people find on a ketogenic diet that their sleep dramatically improves, while others experience insomnia. If you’re someone who has sleep issues related to stress prior to starting a ketogenic diet, it’s important to address the underlying causes in order to give yourself the best possible chance for success while going keto. It can seem impossible to make healthy decisions about food on a sleep-deprived brain (especially refined carbs!). Plus, going keto and cutting back on your carbs before your body is ready could contribute to added stress for your adrenals, which will stymie weight loss.
Quick Tip: Chamomile is an herb that has been utilized for centuries, dating back to ancient Egypt, to treat a number of issues. Today, it is widely recommended for improving sleep and this amazing herb is also known to reduce stress and anxiety. This is why it’s recommended that you drink a cup of chamomile tea before bedtime to help relax and prepare your body for sleep.
Delicious Digestive Salad
Makes 4 servings
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 Belgian endive, leaves chopped
- 1 cup arugla
- 2 cups green lettuce or Bibb lettuce, chopped
- 1-ounce Sopressa salami, finely sliced and then cut into small strips
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
- 1/2 grapefruit, peeled and chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-ounce parmesan cheese, shaved
- Heat walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until golden brown and they start to smell toasted. Be careful not to burn, stir often. Set aside until cool and then chop.
- Place the endive, arugula and lettuce in a medium bowl. Top with salami, parsley, dill, chopped walnuts and optional grapefruit. Toss with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add cheese and serve. Add more oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed. *Choose anti-biotic free, nitrate-free, sugar-free and minimally processed salami