Our Keto Nutritionist Shares her Views on Ketosis, Weight Loss & Exogenous Ketones
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Got questions for a nutritionist who “gets” keto?
We’ve partnered with a tried and true keto nutritionist who’s dedicated to helping people live their best lives through the ketogenic diet. Please note that we’re not doctors, so if you have any specific questions regarding your own health, please consult with your trusted medical partner.
Can you be in ketosis and still not lose weight? If so, what’s the point of ketosis?
Absolutely! Weight loss stalls can be so frustrating, especially when you’re pretty sure you’re doing everything the right way and following your keto diet to the letter! There are multiple possible reasons for a weight loss stall. Big ones I often see are:
- Grazing between meals
- Carb creep – too many hidden or unaccounted carbs entering the diet
- Over-doing protein
- Needing to cut back on the fat a bit
- Stress (physical and mental)
- Poor sleep
- Too many calories. If your fuel (calories) tank is filled, the excess fuel has to be stored somehow, which is in our fat cells.
My advice? Ditch the scale, which does not differentiate between muscle or lean body mass to fat mass. Go by waist size or how your pants fit instead.
If you’re truly stalled (no inches or weight loss), Intermittent Fasting is a great way to bust through that stall.
Should you aim for high ketone levels to speed up weight loss?
Not necessarily. If you are making progress with weight loss with lower ketones levels and feel good with your current diet, then obtaining higher ketone readings won’t necessarily make a difference.
In fact, I see many people have incredibly high ketone readings but plateau in weight loss. This is almost always a result of excess calories being consumed. If you are experiencing a weight loss plateau (no amount of weight loss for > 1 month) then checking ketones on a blood monitor can be a tool to help ensure you are actually in ketosis.
High ketones are not the end-all-be-all for the ketogenic diet. Instead, focus on:
- allowing your body to learn how to burn its stored body fat (fat adaptation)
- listening to hunger/fullness cues
- paying attention to how you feel
Keto is just another way of eating and gets easier and more natural the longer you live it.
What are exogenous ketones? Do they work?
Exogenous means “outside”, so in regards to exogenous ketones, this is a way to get ketones by a supplement form, rather than obtaining ketones endogenously (inside) where the body creates its own ketones to be used for fuel.
Exogenous ketones have their place and can be useful for athletes, mental focus, and increasing energy. However, for weight loss, I would avoid consuming exogenous ketones regularly.
Any energy (calories), even ketones, that you obtain from outside the body has to be dealt with before the body and break down its own stored body fat for fuel, which would be the goal in the case of desired weight loss. In other words, taking exogenous ketones will be used for energy first before breaking down stored body fat for fuel. On many occasions I have seen people plateau in weight loss by drinking exogenous ketones daily… once they removed them, the weight loss got back on track.
Got questions you’d like to ask a keto nutritionist? Let us know!
Tara Finnerty RDN, CSP, CD—is a ketogenic specialist and fat-fueled enthusiast. Tara is a registered dietitian in Utah and owner of Sugar House Nutrition LLC. Her aim is to provide nutrition support for people wanting to reap the many health benefits of the ketogenic (keto) diet. Her expertise in the keto diet was initially working with children who have uncontrolled epilepsy. Tara supports nutrition diversity and works toward helping people find an individualized approach to make healthy eating sustainable.