Yesterday we talked about two common reasons why you’re not losing weight on your LCHF diet: Calorie and carb creep. The third reason may surprise you:
Are you eating too much protein?
If despite lowering your carbs and calories your weight still won’t budge or if you hit a stall – especially when you’ve only got a few pounds left until you reach your goal weight, take a look at how much protein you’re eating.
Many people mistake a low carb eating plan for a high protein one. That is not the case. A LCHF diet involves eating an adequate-moderate amount of protein and a high amount of FAT.
Key Point: While protein has many health benefits, protein eaten to excess, just like carbs, will be converted to glucose via a process called gluconeogenesis.
The most metabolically resistant people may need to lower their protein intake to achieve weight loss. So, in addition to avoiding carbs, try being more careful with your protein intake. Common sources of protein are beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, shrimp, cheeses, and eggs. If you eat large amounts of these foods, the excess protein will be converted to glucose by your body which will prevent you from burning your stored body fat.
As much as possible, try and make your meals and snacks high in fat rather than protein.
Avoid extra lean meats and fish and if you do choose them add extra butter, oil and fat to your meal. Fat is your energy source when eating LCHF. You will slow down your weight loss if you do not eat enough fat.
Think about it: When you eat less than 60% of your calories as fat, it means that you are eating too many of your calories as carbs and/or protein! Doing that will SLOW or STOP your weight loss. That’s why you hear alot of discussion about getting your macros (macro-nutrient ratios) correct.
Review the minimum protein requirements below and if you think you’ve been eating too much protein, decrease your daily protein grams and see if that doesn’t get your weight loss moving again.
Caution: Never go lower than the recommended minimum amounts of protein without first checking with your doctor or nutritionist.
When it comes to protein aim to consume around 50-80g /day. Generally, taller people, men and more active people will need to eat more protein, than women, those who are less active.
Here are the current US guidelines for daily protein:
Babies need about 10 grams a day.
School-age kids need 19-34 grams a day.
Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.
Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.
Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
Adult women need about 46 grams a day (71 grams, if pregnant or breast-feeding)
The above values are minimum amounts. Your needs may differ depending on your lifestyle.
Sometimes it takes a bit of conscious tinkering to get you in that sweet spot for weight loss.
Eat less protein by eating more fat
A good way to decrease the amount of protein you’re eating is to focus on adding more fat to your meals. At the same time you can decrease the size of your protein servings. For example, instead of eating an 8oz steak, have a 4-6oz steak and have a larger serving of veggies roasted or drizzled with extra butter or coconut oil. Add mayonnaise and sour cream to your plate. Remember, aim to get:
60%- 75% of your daily calories as fat
10-20% as protein, and
5-10% as carbs.
Use a online food log such as FitDay to track your daily foods to see if you are getting close to these macro-nutrient ratios. People who are resistant to weight loss who are ‘insulin resistant’ should aim to obtain as many of their recommended calories for weight loss in the form of fat.
If you’ve hit a weight loss stall you’ll need to take a hard look at exactly what you’re eating. Need help? Email us at email@example.com.
Please note that all our recipes and Meal Plans are all pre-calculated to provide the correct macronutrient ratios. That means no counting, weighing or measuring! We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. If you’d like an easy, convenient way to lose weight without counting carbs, fat or protein our popular Universal and Customized Meal Plans are the perfect solution. Pick up one of our Weight Loss Meal Plans and begin losing weight today. We provide 24/7 support with all our meal plans.