So you've got some excess weight to lose and you jump wholeheartedly into the LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat) lifestyle. You diligently track your macros, making sure you're within the 70-20-10, or so, percentages. The first week or two you notice a downward trend in the numbers on the scale, then BOOM! Nothing. Nothing for weeks after that.

You don't understand because you've been following all the advice you've received on forums and in Facebook groups telling you to “up your fat” a bit (or a lot), you're drinking Bulletproof Coffee (sometimes several cups a day) and eating fat bombs, backing off on your protein intake, and still no loss, or worse, you've gained weight. Others look at you askew and wonder whether you're secretly eating Ho-Ho's and just not fessing up, but you know how steadfast you've been on LCHF. Sound familiar? Well, you're not alone. I see it so much on the forums and groups I frequent, so many people seeking advice for lengthy stalls, and the upping the fat thing? It's not working.

My own daughter was having this issue. I gave her the same advice at first that I saw so many others give, “Increase your fat. Drink more BPC! Eat some Fat Bombs!” She gained instead of losing. I then happened upon a comment on one of Dr. Peter Attia's posts. The commenter asked a series of questions, one of which was, “Could I be in ketosis where I only burn dietary fat for the production of B-OHB and nothing from stored fat? i.e for some reason the body has no access to stored fat and it uses only dietary fat as its energy source???”

Peter's response was this: “If in ketosis, but still consuming more energy than expending, unlikely to oxidize fat.”

That was the moment the light bulb appeared over my head, just like in the cartoons. Okay, perhaps not literally, but it really made sense. As your body switches over to burning fat for energy instead of glucose there is naturally going to be an initial weight loss. If you have a lot of excess body fat and you are adding copious amounts of fat in your diet, and are for the most part sedentary, even if you have achieved ketosis you are only going to use the energy from the food you are consuming instead of the stored energy in your body. This is not the CICO (Calories In, Calories Out) equation, but rather a “too much fuel in, not using stored fuel” situation. In this case the fuel we are talking about is simply fat. It's not really about too many calories because most people I see in this situation are eating far fewer calories than they did before converting to the LCHF lifestyle.

What is the solution here, then? Am I suggesting a low carb, low fat diet? On the contrary, no one should ever do a high protein, low fat, low carb diet as it's a recipe for horrible health issues and ultimately certain death if taken to that extreme. There are three methods that I hypothesize will work to get weight loss going again on LCHF:

1. Become An Avid Endurance Athlete. Peter Attia himself, as fit as he has become eating low carb, is an endurance athlete. He has used a high fat, low carb, ketogenic diet as a means to endure the rigors of long distance bicycling without having to resort to “carb loading” before, or glucose intake during, his rides. And that is who “keto-adaptation” truly benefits; those who need to make it through their challenging physical activities without hitting the “wall” that comes when glycogen reserves are depleted. Under these circumstances, “fat loading” would be beneficial, as these individuals no longer have much in the way of fat reserves in their bodies to use as fuel, so Bulletproof coffee and Fat Bombs would be the thing to utilize for them. Let's face it, though, this suggestion is tongue-in-cheek as most of us are just not into triathlons or biking for 8 to 12 hours a day. But, if you like those sports, keto is the way to go!

2. Utilize Intermittent Fasting (IF). IF allows the body to use stored body fat during the hours one fasts. This also can allow for a person to pretty much gorge on as much fat and low carb foods as they'd like during the window of time they allow themselves to eat. This “gorging” is self-limiting, though, as fat is very satiating and one finds themselves ultimately not being able to eat as much as they think they will in that window of eating time.

3. Quit Adding All That Additional Fat. Yes, eat fatty foods. Enjoy that Rib Eye steak. Just don't add the butter on top. Back off of the Bulletproof Coffee for a while, or at least limit them to a couple times a week instead of daily, or having multiple cups of BPC every day. Dump the fat bombs for a bit and eat real food, low carb meals. Don't worry so much about your “macro ratios,” and just eat what you know you're allowed to have on a low carb diet, and only eat until you are satisfied. Keep your carb intake at 20 grams or less a day, and you should break that stall in no time.