Why don’t I lose weight despite low carb?

Written by Marina Lommel
13 minutes reading time
19. April 2023 zuletzt aktualisiert am 31. July 2023 von
Low Carb Titelbild

Table of contents

    1. you eat too much protein

    The right amount of protein is important to maintain your muscle mass. Especially if you are maintaining a slight calorie deficit to lose weight slowly, you should watch your protein intake.

    The highest quality sources are eggs, pastured beef, pastured lamb, organic poultry, organic pork, fish and seafood from organic aquaculture or sustainable wild catch. For athletes is also interesting pasture Whey without additives. Dairy products should play a minor role.

    0.8-1.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight are absolutely sufficient. The exact values result depending on the activity and individual situation. Protein is a building material, not an energy supplier. Excess protein is converted to glucose. The 2 grams of protein recommended in many fitness circles is too much for a healthy diet. Such an amount should be ingested at most temporarily. A low carb high protein diet usually leads to severe cravings after a while.

    When protein is broken down, toxic ammonia is released. To detoxify it, the urea cycle takes place in the liver. The non-toxic urea is then excreted via the kidneys. The organs usually cope well with this, but a permanent too high protein intake unnecessarily stresses the liver and kidney.

    In addition, it is suspected that prolonged excessive protein intake increases inflammation levels . Chronic inflammation puts stress on the body and stress prevents effective weight loss.

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    2. you eat too little fat

    For a long time, it was drummed into us: fat is bad, fat is dangerous. Afterwards, we were told: the carbohydrates are evil.

    That is why many people have joined a low carb diet. At the same time, they still had the old fear of fat in their bones. So it became a low carb low fat diet.

    A low carb low fat diet can lead to two mistakes. Either eat low fat, low carbohydrates and moderate amounts of protein. Or, you eat little fat, few carbohydrates and excessive amounts of protein.

    The first variant most certainly leads to the fact that too few calories are consumed. You quickly reach 1,000-1,200 kcal per day, which is definitely not enough. For everyone. So little energy causes the body to be stressed, the metabolism slows down slightly and cravings increase. Either you lose weight due to malnutrition, or you give in to cravings. You don’t do yourself any favors with either. Drastic calorie reduction in any case means stress for the body and stress worsens weight loss.

    But if you try to replenish the missing energy with protein, we end up back at point 1: Too much protein.

    A moderate amount of fat is important: as fuel. For most people, it makes sense to reduce the amount of carbohydrates. You should not overdo it with the amount of protein. So clearly you need fat as an energy source. It is particularly important to pay attention to the right sources of fat.

    Pasture butter, ghee from pasture butter, coconut oil and MCT oil are at the forefront here. Virgin olive oil, avocado oil, nuts, seeds, avocados and the fat from pastured meat and sea fish are also good sources. You should avoid cheap conventional dairy products, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, clarified butter made from conventional milk and fatty cuts from factory farmed animals.

    Saturated fatty acids from good sources are an ideal fuel.

    3. you eat too much fat

    Even if the right fat is an important source of energy, this is not a free pass to consume huge amounts of fat. Here extra cream in the coffee, here again a large piece of butter on the sausage, there again mascarpone with cream.

    As a rule, it is quite possible to eat more calories on a well-designed low carb diet without gaining weight than on a standard diet.

    Calories don’t count in the classical sense, you can’t put them into simple mathematical equations. Because a calorie from a prepackaged ready-made brownie has a different effect on the body than a calorie from good pasture butter. Of course, that’s if you don’t smear the butter on the brownie.

    But calories have a raison d’être. You might be able to eat more on a good low-carb diet without gaining weight. But, you also do not lose weight with this method. If you want to lose weight, you must not overdo it with the total amount of energy. A slight calorie deficit is needed. However, this can often be much smaller than with a standard diet. Because through various ways, a good low carb diet “oils” the metabolism, cell renewal runs more smoothly, metabolic reactions occur correctly, heat production increases and you usually consume a little more energy.

    Nevertheless: Even with a low carb high fat diet, you can gain weight if you misinterpret the word “high”. It has to be the right amount of fat, not as high as possible.

    Having a contest – who can eat more bacon and butter – is not a good idea.

    4. you eat beyond your feeling of satiety

    When you put together a low-carb diet based on the fundamentals of the Paleo diet – that is, mostly vegetables, adequate animal protein, and appropriate amounts of good fats – the natural satiety mechanisms take better effect. The satiating hormones are optimally stimulated and the hunger-inducing hormones are optimally kept in check.

    The body notices: “Here comes a wealth of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, plus sufficient energy, that fits – full speed ahead! Just don’t be too sparing with the energy”.

    If you create a meal from the ingredients mentioned above, for example, put 2/3 vegetables, 1/3 protein and 1-2 tablespoons of good fat on your plate, your body will tell you in time: everything is good, you can stop. In the beginning, it takes some practice not to miss this signal. If you eat until you are “not hungry anymore” and wait with the next meal until you are really hungry again, then you should get along completely without counting calories and lose weight in a relaxed way.

    But if you ignore these signals and eat until you are “completely stuffed,” then weight loss may not happen. You may simply be eating too much. It then helps to simply keep a precise record and count. Often this leads to a great AHA effect.

    Constant eating and numerous snacks can also prevent your weight loss. Ideal is 5 hours break between meals and 3 meals a day.

    5. you hardly eat vegetables

    An important signal of satiety is some distension of the stomach. If your meal consists of a slice of cheese, spread with butter, rolled up with a slice of sausage, then the volume is way too low. The stomach hardly stretches.

    With the same amount of calories and fat, you can still include plenty of vegetables. 2 hands per meal should be, a handful for breakfast. Stretching the stomach causes the release of satiety hormones. These ensure – as the name suggests – timely satiety when eating. In addition, they lead to the fact that the metabolism does not save energy, but runs at full speed.

    Another advantage of vegetables is their high fiber content. The food is digested more slowly, the nutrients drip into the blood bit by bit, your body is evenly supplied and you are full for a long time.

    The main component of a low carb diet should always be vegetables. Not meat, not cheese, not butter. The largest space on your plate is ideally occupied by vegetables.

    Due to the contained micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace elements) you prevent a deficiency supply. When you don’t take in enough of a certain micronutrient, your body usually causes more hunger. It wants you to keep eating until that nutrient is present in sufficient quantities.

    The higher the nutrient density of your meal, the less you need to eat to be adequately nourished.

    If you’re eating low carb, use your carbs for vegetables, not dairy.

    6. you eat too often low carb bread, cakes and other replicas

    This point is related to some other points already mentioned. To lose weight, you need a balanced amount of fat, protein, carbohydrates and micronutrients. If you feed mainly on replicas, other important components will fall by the wayside.

    Do you have low carb bread with toppings for breakfast? Do you take baked goods for the road? Is there a low carb cake with cream in the afternoon? Do you eat low carb pasta with pesto in the evening?

    If so, then your diet is too one-sided. It lacks fresh vegetables, it lacks valuable animal protein sources, it lacks variety.

    Additionally, for many people, these replicas can lead to point 4 being true: you ignore satiety because it just tastes too good and is so quickly edible. For sensitive people, these replicas can also cause cravings.

    If you’re not sensitive and in danger of getting a craving attack, then replicas are okay for you every now and then. A piece of cake on Sunday. Some bread for brunch on Saturday. But please don’t install them every day, and certainly not several times a day.

    A tasty combo of veggies, protein and good fat is the best thing you can give your body. If you find that too boring, take a look at my diet plans – they are based on these principles and include varied recipes for 30 days.

    There are pudding vegetarians and there are cake lowcarbers. The easiest way is rarely the best.

    7. you eat too often

    Constant snacking is one of the most significant reasons for the increasing overweight of Germans. Large meals with the family become less important. At every corner you can quickly get something to eat. We lack the time to cook and the muse to eat. The consequence of this is “grazing”. We eat snacks throughout the day, we graze. Like a cow.

    This behavior is a bit worse on high-carbohydrate diets. A quick croissant from the bakery in the morning, a snack in the canteen and two chocolate bars for the afternoon, a Leberkäs sandwich on the way home and something in front of the TV in the evening. Every time the body gets carbohydrates, it thinks to itself “Mega! Energy – come on, let’s throw a party. Let’s burn up the carbs. Fat? Nah, it’s too much effort for me to process that. Let’s save it for later!”.

    Would be half as bad if the “later” came. If there were really a need to attack the reserves. But we usually have the next one in our mouths before it can happen.

    Even on a low-carbohydrate diet, frequent snacking is fatal. 3 meals a day are ideal. In between 4-5 hours break. During this time, the digestive organs can rest and the body must learn to use its reserves in between. The more often you keep these 5 hours, the better your body trains to tap into its fat stores. After all, he wants to bridge the time until the next meal.

    In addition, if you exercise intensively, you may eat something in the hour before and after the workout. Otherwise, make an effort to get by with 3 meals. It might be hard at first, but it’s worth it! Once your fat metabolism is really well trained, even 8 hours between meals will fly by. After all, your body always has its food with it.

    The perfect on-the-go snack is: hipster gold.

    8. you have too much stress

    Stress is like a high carb diet. Cortisol is released during stress. This promotes gluconeogenesis, the new formation of glucose (sugar) from amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). As a result, the blood sugar level rises. A stressful day feels to the body like you’re constantly drinking Coke. We are talking about negative stress here. Stress that makes you restless, moody and irritable.

    Like the constant consumption of cola, stress prevents your body from losing weight – fat burning is suppressed.

    Find out what relaxes you. Go for a short walk, take regular breaks, listen to nice music. Allow yourself this time for yourself. It’s just as important to achieving your goals as a hard workout at the gym.

    The relaxing evening in the bathtub and the hard workout in the gym. Both will help you lose weight.

    9. you have an irregular day-night rhythm

    A regular daily routine, adequate sleep and sufficient daylight are important to lose weight effectively. Sure, you can lose weight with shift work, but unfortunately it doesn’t get any easier. I’m sure you have a tumultuous life. You have plenty to do and wish the day had 30 hours. You are not alone there.

    The good news is that with a few tips and tricks, you can bring your day-night rhythm back into balance.

    Dim the lights – 3 hours before you go to bed. The reason: as soon as the sun goes down and it gets darker, the body releases melatonin. Melatonin helps you have a restorative sleep. As long as bright light shines into the eye, melatonin is not released into the blood. Unfortunately, nowadays we have bright light around us almost all the time, actually until the second we close our eyes. TV, room lighting, smartphones – do you also only put yours down in bed? Without melatonin, we have trouble falling asleep at night. In the morning, it remains in the bloodstream too long, because it was released too late in the evening. So we get up tired and exhausted. When our day-night rhythm gets out of whack, fat burning also suffers. Here are the specific tips:

    • Install “f.lux” on your computer. This free software lets only reddish light out of the screen in the evening. The particularly harmful blue light no longer reaches your eye.
    • Put on BluBlocker glasses in the evening. It filters out the blue light and you’re safe, even if the TV is still on or the lights are on.
    • Put a Philips hue light bulb in some lampshades. In the evening, turn on these lamps and switch the color to red. The bulbs are equipped with LEDs and you can adjust the colors continuously with an app.
    • Get some fresh air in the morning and get some daylight: drink your coffee by the window, go for a short walk or even better, go for a short run. Light and exercise best expel melatonin from your body and stimulate fat burning.

    For shift work, you do these things when your personal day starts and when your personal day ends.

    10. you move too little

    For a while, losing weight without sports and exercise can work well. In the long run, however, you’ll have a hard time maintaining a lean weight while just lying on the couch in your free time.

    Start small. Put 10 minutes of exercise a day behind your ears. At first, you can go for a walk, jump on a mini-trampoline in your room, or do jumping jacks. Later, you can jump rope, sprint, and ramp up to a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout.

    When you are fit enough to exercise for 10 minutes, increase the time to 20 minutes, then to 30 minutes. 30 minutes of exercise per day is ideal. It can be really simple things like a brisk walk or a bike ride. And who knows, maybe later your legs will get itchy and you’ll sign up at the gym.

    A fitness wristband can also be very motivating. In the Foodpunk Challenge group on Facebook, participants are always calling out little FitBit or Jawbone Up contests among themselves. A great thing. Because every step counts!

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    Image source scale: Shutterstock.com_VGstockstudio

    This article was written by

    Marina Lommel

    Marina gründete Foodpunk nach ihrem Abschluss in Ernährungswissenschaften und ist aktuell CEO des Unternehmens. Während ihres Studiums arbeitete sie in verschiedenen Bereichen, darunter in der Wissenschaftsredaktion beim Radio, Redaktion beim TV und Uni-Wissensmagazin sowie im Labor am DZNE in der Parkinsonforschung. Marina ist außerdem Autorin von 5 ernährungswissenschaftlichen Sachbüchern.

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