How do I break a weight loss pleateau on a ketogenic diet?

By Dr. Stephen Phinney and the Virta Team

Weight loss and the rate of weight loss tend to be a bit different for everyone, which sometimes means rapid weight loss for quite a while, followed by periods of weight stability. While this may be normal for your body, there are small dietary changes you could consider, which may help push past a true weight plateau.

If your carbohydrates are below your personal tolerance, the next consideration could be your dietary protein intake. Testing your blood ketones may help to identify the need for possible dietary changes.

Additionally, consider the amount of dietary fat consumed. When weight loss is a goal, dietary fat intake may lead to weight stability if the amount of calories consumed matches daily energy needs. Try slowly reducing dietary fat to see if you can do so without increasing hunger. This may be the solution to help you resume weight loss.

Back to Keto FAQ

Related blog posts

Dr. Stephen Phinney on Nutritional Ketosis and Ketogenic Diets: Video Series - Dr. Stephen Phinney put together a three-part video series on ketogenic diets and nutritional ketosis. You'll learn the nutrition science… ... Read More
Ketone Supplements: The Pros and Cons - Ketone supplements rapidly and transiently increase blood concentrations of BOHB. On the surface, this seems like it should promote positive… ... Read More
Sarah Hallberg, DO, MS Reversing Diabetes 101 with Dr. Sarah Hallberg: The Truth About Carbs, Blood Sugar and Reversing Type 2 Diabetes - You may have heard a lot about type 2 diabetes, but do you know what it actually does to your… ... Read More


  1. Avatar
    Helen Sheridan July 18, 2019 at 5:12 am

    As your weight declines using the keto diet, does it become less effective as you near your ideal BMI? Even if the keto strips read that you are in ketosis?


    1. Virta Health

      Hi Helen! This is a great question. Ketosis itself doesn’t become less effective. For example, it will still maintain appropriate blood sugar and insulin levels but weight loss doesn’t occur indefinitely. As this post ( states: Over time, most people who sustain a ketogenic lifestyle stop losing weight and find a new stable weight (Hallberg 2018). This is achieved when their natural instincts of hunger and satiety lead to an increase in dietary fat intake to balance out one’s daily expenditure. But as long as dietary protein is kept moderate and carbs low, this dietary fat is used in place of body fat to produce ketones, so clearly nutritional ketosis can be maintained without any further weight loss. We have named this a ‘eucaloric ketogenic diet’ (Phinney 1983).


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.