Not losing weight on LCHF? If this is you, read on…

Gaining weight or not losing weight on LCHF can happen, and totally does happen for some people; even those on the extreme version of LCHF i.e. the ketogenic diet. Let’s clear a few things up before we look at some practical aspects.

LCHF is a way of eating that allows your body’s hormones to interact effectively with the nutrients you consume so that you are able to lose weight and be healthy. Typically, the hormone insulin is reduced on LCHF, which means you are now able to tap into your body fat stores and use this fat as fuel. But nutrition is a complex science, and while made simple at times, often doesn’t play out as simply as people might think.

The bottom line is this – Calories do count.bulletproof

Many people can, and do, lose weight on LCHF without watching calories, but others can’t and will not – that’s the beauty about nutrition being individualised. You cannot simply do what you neighbour is doing and expect to get the same result.

You can eat too much fat. Yes, you heard me – and it’s worth mentioning again – you CAN eat too much fat. When many people hear about the concept of LCHF, they think it is a licence to eat as much fat as they like. If you are not in calorie deficit, you are likely to use the fat that you’re eating as fuel and not the fat that is sitting on your body. Not a bad thing, but just not what you want if your goal is to lose weight.

Let’s look at 5 ways to “reign it in”, or 5 things to consider if you’re not losing weight on LCHF:

    1. Bullet-proof coffee
      Heard of this? If not, it’s when you add butter and oil to your coffee. My thoughts? It’s for hackers, not people who are trying to lose weight, so if you want coffee, have it with a little bit of milk or occasionally with a splash of cream.
    2. Cream, cream and more cream
      Cream in coffee, cream in nutty granola, cream on berries… This is bound to add up. Curb the cream and use it only once in the day in small amounts.nuts
    3. Nuts 
      As I said in What The Fat? people go “nuts on nuts”. A handful of nuts might be low in carbs, but when it comes to protein and fat, they top the calorie charts. If you’re that “nutty” person, you just might need to address this and keep your portion small.
    4. Bliss balls
      Delicious? Yes, and we’ve given you some great recipes on our WTF? Fridays, but we always say that they’re treat foods only. The ingredients are typically dates, dark chocolate, coconut oil, nuts, seeds. All great ingredients, but certainly add up in terms of calories.
    5. Coconut oil
      Yes it’s good to cook with as it’s a stable fat at high temperatures and it might very well have some health benefits (although this is not ground in science). BUT don’t drink the stuff, it’s high in calories.

Coconut oil for alternative therapy

Bottom line for weight loss:

Calories do count, and when it comes to fat… add as much or as little fat to each main meal to ensure that you stay satiated (full) between meals…And no more.

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Stacey Evans says:

    bliss balls
    Delicious? Yes, and we’ve given you some great recipes on our WTF? Fridays
    hi there
    can you tell me if you have recipes in your books for these please as I cannot seem to find any for them

  • Zoe says:

    I need some help please. I’m 40, female and 173cm tall I used to be fit and active but over the last 8 years a combination of back problem, depression and insomnia mean things have slipped quite a bit. I weighed in at 95kg 2 weeks ago, ideally I’d like to be 67kg or bit less. So I need to lose around 28kg. I’m vegetarian, cook from scratch and have a pretty good grasp on biology, nutrition etc. I’ve had some success with fasting and keto diets in the past. So I started my diet with a 5 day fast to kick start ketosis. I do blood tests for ketones and blood sugar each morning. By day 3 my ketone levels were >1.5 – the so called Optimum Ketosis zone. I ended my fast on day 5 and moved to a eating primarily fats and a bit of protein, making sure it was all v low carb. I continued intermittent fasting, eating just one very modest meal each evening. By day 7 I’d lost 4kg, mostly glycogen and water weight I guess. Days 8 and 9 there was no further weight loss, but my ketone levels were now >3 so I decided to switch to a low carb diet (<20g), still eating just once a day and also trying to restrict calories to 500-800. I’ve been sticking to this religiously. Today is day 16 and I haven’t lost any further weight at all. I’m stuck at 91kg. I understand weight loss sometimes stalls, but given I’m on a pretty strict regime, have lots of weight to lose and am just at the start of my diet I’m quite confused about what I’m getting wrong. I had blood tests last March which checked my Thyroid etc and I am healthy. Since I started the diet I haven’t been doing any intensive exercise, but I have been keeping active – walking my dog, heavy gardening, helping a friend move house (actually that was quite intensive!) I find this diet reasonably easy to stick to when I am seeing results, but I am getting really demoralised at the moment. Ideas please…?

    • What The Fat? says:

      Hi Zoe,
      It’s unusual not to see weight loss if you’re restricting calories so much; we can’t give individualised weight loss advice here, for that we recommend seeing one of the nutritionists or dietitians on our LCHF network page (under resources). I also recommend joining the What the Fat closed facebook group where you can share with many other people some of whom may have tackled a similar issue.

  • Amy Wadsworth says:

    What’s the take on people with high cholesterol I know it’s been shown high fat low carb lowers triglycerides raises hdl raises ldl but also the larger healthy ldls and lowers lpa / which I unfortunately have. All this sounds good until I add Ihavd the apoe 3/4 gene that makes me oberabsorb fat and cholesterol and under excrete both. The diet proposed for this is VERY low fat very high carb. Low animal /fish. High plant protein. ?need advice is there anyone out there that has that same issue

    • What The Fat? says:

      Hi Amy,

      We can only give general information about this, for a prescription you will need to see a qualified practitioner who can address your specific situation.
      Whether LCHF raises or lowers cholesterol and LDL can depend on body type; people with high cholesterol losing weight on LCHF often report a drop in LDL, whereas lean, healthy individuals are more likely to see a rise; we’re still trying to work out why there is this difference, but obviously healthy, lean individuals are at the lowest risk, and risk is also reduced by healthy weight loss.
      Because ApoE4 is associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s we don’t recommend a high carbohydrate diet or avoidance of animal foods, as high blood sugar or insulin is not good for the brain and the specific fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals found in fish, eggs, and meat are important for brain function. However someone with ApoE4 may want to modify the LCHF diet over the longer term with more unsaturated fat such as extra virgin olive oil and some fibrous carbohydrate foods such as legumes, depending on their goals; we recommend getting dietary advice specific to your own needs and goals from one of the network of LCHF practitioners on our website.

  • Greg says:

    Yeah good Advice thnx

  • Liz says:

    Thanks very much – I don’t want to get discouraged but it is hard. I do not have a sweet tooth so have never wanted snacks or desserts.
    But I take your point about too much fat. I think I will try cutting it down and see how I go.
    wish me luck!

  • Suhjin Lim says:

    Really good idea~
    I’ll keep them!!
    Thanks for your advice!!★★★

  • Helen Sosish says:

    So love your book and l am just starting out on this eating style, so far it’s easy as I don’t have a sweet tooth but I am having trouble losing any weight. I am looking forward to your new letter
    Cheers from Helen Sosich

Leave a Reply