The scale is a lying liar that lies
I am taking that directly from one of my favorite people, Jimmy Moore. I think it is perfect! I always say, “Keto is a shape-shifting diet.” You can see this on the picture below. I don’t have the individual photos dated, but I do recall that this was several months in and my weight loss had been stalled. These pictures were taken about two months apart with very little to show for it on the scale.
How can I go down in size but not in weight?
There are several reasons for this. Of course, if you are exercising, muscle is denser than fat. A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat but it takes up less space. For those of you (notice I didn’t say “us”) who exercise, the difference in size vs. weight might even be more marked. However, there is more to it than that. Your weight fluctuates daily or even hourly or minute to minute, and because of this, weight can be a weak benchmark for progress. A better indication of your progress with Keto is how your clothes fit because of muscle gain and fat loss. Further to that is looking at a shift in fat. There are five types of fat in our bodies: brown fat, also known as the fat-burning fat, revs up metabolism, stabilizes blood sugar, lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes and improves heart health. This fat has smaller droplets and thus is denser than white fat, which is what is around the belly, hips and thighs. So, as you are eating healthier and increasing brown fat while reducing white fat, the scale might remain stable as you shift from white fat composition to brown fat composition, but your size may be going down. However, of course, overall fat loss will result in weight loss. The other three types of fat are subcutaneous fat (just under the skin), visceral fat (the most dangerous, around your organs) and beige fat which is a combination of white and brown and is along the spine and collarbone. All fats play a role in metabolism and hormone regulation. Suffice it to say that with your change in eating you are not only shifting around fats, but making changes in connective tissues, vessels and the like. There is a lot more going on in your body than what the scale can gauge. Personally for me, my insulin levels went down and my A1c went down. There were also vast improvements in my heart health and inflammation-marker numbers.
Your body’s priority is restoring itself to health
Your body’s priority is to find a return to health. That means that while it is working to bring down inflammation, to regulate blood sugar and insulin, to shift LDL particles from small and dense to light and fluffy, to repair skin cells, etc., it cannot be saying to itself, “But she wants to see results on the scale — to heck with all this other stuff!” If you are healthy, your body will then begin to release the weight. If you do not have a lot of other issues, metabolic and otherwise, then the body doesn’t have to fight so hard and it will release the weight. When you see success stories about how people have lost 10–20 pounds a month on Keto, ask yourself, “Is this person young? Does this person have a history of yo-yo dieting? Are her hormones balanced? Does she have any factors of metabolic syndrome (most notably insulin resistance)? Etc.?” You do you and let them do them. Don’t be discouraged. As in the picture above, the scale does not show many things, but most importantly, it does not show your progress toward internal healing. As you get closer to the one, you will get closer to the other. Just be patient.