3 Reasons You’d Never Suspect are Causing Your Weight Loss Plateau
Is your weight loss stalling on the Keto diet?
Have you hit a plateau, and can’t figure out why?
Or are you struggling with weight loss right out of the gate?
If you’re eating pre-packaged or processed foods, it could be hidden sugar that is causing your keto plateau.
We are going to explore 3 of the Most Common Causes for your weight loss stall.
As well as some tips to help you overcome these obstacles.
1. Your food’s Nutrition label is lying to you
2. Sugar by any other name is still Sugar
3. Carbs creepin’ on your go-to food items
How to spot the hidden offenders
Alternative options to processed foods
How can something with zero carbs contribute to a stall?
On the Keto diet, our threshold for consuming carbs and maintaining Ketogenesis is so low, that it can be very easy for “carb creep” to happen.
What this means is that you are eating more carbs then you intend to, or even realize.
It is much more likely to occur if you aren’t tracking, or are only loosely tracking your macros, or are not at least glancing at your food labels on occasion.
These hidden carbs can cause blood sugar spikes, some more significant than sugar.
Why does that matter?
Depending on where they are in the Glycemic Index, they can cause your blood sugar to rise sharply.
In response, your body releases insulin.
Insulin’s job is to help your cells absorb sugar from the bloodstream. At this point, the sugar will either be used for energy or stored as fat if there is an excess amount.
The presence of insulin suppresses ketone production (Source) – so if you are spiking your blood sugar, you are not burning fat.
Over time, this insulin response can lead to serious health issues, like metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and diabetes. (Source)
It is crucial to take note of this because many of us have broken metabolisms, which means that we are likely insulin resistant.
Here is a chart of some of the common hidden sugars and carbs. (Sweetener GI chart)
Maltodextrin is the worst offender, and when you start looking for it, you will see it OFTEN in processed foods.
Still with me? Aweeeesome Sauce! On to reason number One!!
Your Food’s Nutrition Label Is Lying to You
That’s a pretty bold statement right!?
And the more research I’ve done on this the more I’m blown away (and a bit angry).
Let me hit you with the facts first, and then why they matter to you and your weight loss stall.
- Total carbohydrates are required on the nutrition label unless there is less than 1 gram of carbs per serving.
It can be expressed as “Less than 1 gram” if it is less than 1 gram, but more than 0.5 grams per serving.
If it is under 0.5 grams, it may have zero on the label, per serving, according to FDA guidelines (Source)(pg. 129 in the guidelines).
- In a recent study from the library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, on “Food Label Accuracy of Common Snack Foods“, it was found that
“Median carbohydrate content was significantly higher than stated on the label in total grams and as a percentage”
“The difference in carbohydrate content accounted for 40% of the caloric difference from the label”
“We also show that 40% of the excess calories were explained by higher carbohydrate content compared to the label. This observation underscores previous criticism on the accuracy of carbohydrate content measurements”
And lastly, in yet another study by the Journal of American Dietetic Association discussed here (Source)
the author of the study highlights the fact that “the US Food and Drug Administration allows up to 20% excess energy content but weight must be no less than 99% of the stated value”.
“This might lead manufacturers to add more food to the package to ensure compliance with the weight standards and thereby exceed the stated energy content“.
So What Does That Mean for Your Weight Loss Stall?
I’ll give you a perfect example, in our early Keto days my husband LOVED snacking on pepperoni slices, because according to the label it has zero carbs.
Ingredient number 4 is Dextrose!
The Glycemic index of Dextrose is 100! Ordinary sugar comes in at 65…
So we are hit with a potential double whammy!
Not only is this product going to impact my insulin response more so than straight sugar would, but because I believe I’m eating an otherwise safe Keto food, I’ll have more of it in times of snack cravings.
Too much of this type of hidden carb creep spread across multiple items in your pantry or fridge could easily be the cause of your stalled weight loss.
Could just one item like this stall your weight loss?
Perhaps, every ‘body’ is different. The idea here is to change your relationship with food and help you understand with convenience you may end up getting more than you bargain for.
Losing weight and getting healthy is more than just following A-Z steps, you have to take some responsibility too for educating yourself on exactly what you are choosing to fuel your body with.
Keep in mind NONE of what I’ve mentioned here is against the law, these companies are following the FDA guidelines, BUT, and this is a BIG BUT,
It’s the details most of us were probably never aware of that can be stealthily stalling our weight loss.
Sugar Hiding in Plain Sight on Foods You Thought were Keto Friendly
No doubt if you scan a label you will come across some, or all of the following without having to look very far.
- Agave Nectar
- Florida Crystals ( I swear I’m not making this up) Google it!
Would you be shocked to learn these are ALL just another name for sugar in one form or another?
That’s right, a quick search of the web will easily find you well over 60 different names for sugar!
What the WHAT!??
So what’s a Gal supposed to do? Memorize all those sneaky names?
NOPE! I have a few tricks for you to help out in your sugar sleuthing!
Here’s a handy chart with loads of hidden names and their GI rating
Keep an eye out for anything that ends in:
-ose. These are Sugars! For example
All of these are higher on the Glycemic Index than table sugar; you should avoid them!
Table sugar is 65, dextrose and glucose are 100!
Keep an eye out for anything that ends in:
These are sugar alcohols, some are zero on the GI, but some act like sugar.
Maltitol is 35 on the GI, for example.
-Dextrin, which are glucose polymers created from the formation of starches. Basically – Sugar.
Summary on Sneaky Sugars?
If it ends in
There’s a REALLY strong possibility it’s sugar creeping it’s way in and trying to stall your weight loss without you realizing.
Carbs Creepin on Your Go-To Keto Everyday Items
In the label section we talked about the guidelines that let a label state zero, or less than 1g of grams, but those little bits of “zero” can add up fast if you aren’t careful.
Here are some very common places for those not so zero “Zero Carbs” to be hiding.
Shredded Cheese –Most of the time, shredded cheese contains potato starch (carbs) to prevent clumping.
Seasoning Packets – Most pre-packaged seasonings, like
- Taco seasoning packets,
- Barbecue dry rub blends,
- And seasoning blends
Can all contain sugar, potato starch, or other fillers on the hidden carbs list.
Condiments – Ketchup and barbecue sauce are usually very high in sugar. Watch for some of the common sugars in disguise in things like sauces, dressings, vinegars, etc.
Beef Jerky – It is challenging to find beef jerky on the go without some form of sugar in it. Even some of the savory flavors have sugar in them.
Salad Dressing – Often, you can find a decent pre-packaged ranch or blue-cheese (make sure they are whole fat!). Make sure you do check the labels on these as well as any other dressings.
Flavored Nuts – Most of the time, you’ll find either sugar or maltodextrin in these. (I know, it makes me VERY sad too!)
Flavored Pork Rinds – Same deal as the flavored nuts. If they are anything other than plain ol’ pork rinds, there is a decent chance that they have some undesirable ingredients.
Processed Meat – Summer sausage, breakfast sausage, meat sticks, lunch meat – Most of these also contain maltodextrin. Make sure you read the label and know what you’re getting!
Pre-packaged Deli Products- Watch out for egg salad, chicken salad, guacamole, etc. If somebody else made them and put them in a package, there are probably some carbs hanging out in there.
Medicine and Supplements – Pills with a coating, chewables, or liquids will usually have some form of sugar, so be aware and avoid them if possible.
Supplements that you may not suspect may be culprits of your keto plateau as well.
I was taking a probiotic that contains maltodextrin; I would never have guessed that! Every time I took them, I was spiking my blood sugar without realizing it.
So What’s a Gal to do to Avoid these and a Weight Loss Stall?
You’re taking the first step now, GET EDUCATED on what you are fueling your body with!
Nothing beats preparing your own food, even with a limited time budget, making healthy choices is going to require some effort and planning.
I would never have thought that I would be making homemade salad dressings, and have a regular rotation of individual spices!
I’ve come to enjoy experimenting in the kitchen.
You don’t have to do it all at once! And if you are feeling overwhelmed about where to start be sure to snag a copy of my FREE 7-Day Meal Plan + Bonus Shopping List. to get you started!
Making small adjustments as you can, will add up over time to amazing results!
Doing a few of these things here and there doesn’t take that much more time, and then YOU are in control of what you’re eating.
Keto is, after all, about improving your relationship with and knowledge of food, on the way to being healthier and happier!
- Make homemade dressings and sauces. Here is an easy ranch dressing recipe Keto Ranch Dressing(this is my go-to) and
- Make your homemade seasoning blends. Try this Easy taco seasoning mix.
- Buy block cheese, and shred it as needed, or shred what you’ll need for the week ahead of time.
- Instead of buying lunch meat or other processed meat; buy raw meat, such as chicken or steaks. Cook it, slice it or shred it ahead of time to have as a quick option to have with a salad or as a salad – think chicken salad, or a salad with steak strips and yummy blue cheese dressing.
- Season and flavor plain pork rinds or nuts! My husband loves pork rinds with hot sauce (watch ingredients!) (yes, yes I do)
There may be some concessions that you need to make in regards to processed foods, just because life happens, so make sure to read labels carefully and know what you’re getting.
The point here is you will be making an informed, conscious decision now! And that puts YOU back in control of your health!
What are your thoughts? Have you looked at food differently? We’d love to get your take on labels and how Keto has changed your relationship with food, comment below and tell us all about it!