Few things are more frustrating than reaching a plateau when you feel like you're leading a healthy lifestyle. "I was feeling great and doing fantastic when bam, I hit a roadblock I couldn't overcome," says Aimee, a 43-year-old who had been following the popular ketogenic diet, a low-carb plan that reduces the food that turns into sugar in the body. "Despite massive effort to remain in ketosis and mix up my workouts, the scale wouldn't budge," she says.
The "keto diet," as its more commonly known, is fast becoming a favorite among doctors and nutrition experts. "I frequently find that a ketogenic diet helps my patients lose weight, reduce or eliminate menopausal symptoms, regain sex drive, and so much more," obstetrician-gynecologist Anna Cabeca tells Mindbodygreen. While it's gaining popularity as an effective diet plan, Cabeca warns that a few common mistakes can derail your efforts.
Here, she pinpoints the three most common mistakes that lead to a health plateau—and, more important, how to correct them.
- Eating too much protein. "Protein gets a health halo in the diet world, but on a ketogenic diet too much can prevent your body from getting and staying in ketosis," she explains. Aim for 20% of your diet to be protein.
- Buying low-quality produce. "Toxins congregate in fat, so when you’re eating a high-fat diet—especially one with a good bit of animal fat—quality becomes paramount." Opt for wild-caught salmon and grass-fed beef if your budget permits.
- Constantly snacking. Cabeca recommends clients try intermittent fasting. "They go 13.5 to 15 hours between dinner and breakfast (easy if you’ve eaten a substantial dinner high in quality fats), so their bodies shift into fat-burning mode. That alone often becomes my secret 'hack' to overcome a plateau," she says.
Have you pushed past a health plateau? Tell us what worked for you.