The basics of a well-formulated ketogenic diet are to keep insulin low by lowering carbohydrate intake, eat sufficient protein, and add enough fat to satisfy hunger. As one professor likes to put it, “Control carbohydrate, prioritise protein, and fill in with fat.”
But keeping your carbohydrate intake below 20 g/day is just the start. Low insulin is a prerequisite for permitting excess fat to leave the adipose tissue (fat cells). But there are other factors involved, such as how much food we eat, and so forth. Cutting calories signals the body that there is a famine going on, and it responds by hunkering down, lowering the metabolic rate, cutting non-essential processes (such as hair and nail growth), and holding on to its reserves (i.e., stored fat) for as long as possible.
On the other hand, given enough calories, the body ramps up the metabolism, possibly even wasting energy, and shedding its excess store of fat. This is why we advise eating fat to satiety, so as to be sure we are giving our body enough resources to do its job.
Note that this advice flies in the face of the nutrition advice that has prevailed since the late 1980’s, so a lot of what we have discovered about how a ketogenic diet works is counter-intuitive. But we find that eating in a way that works with the body’s hormones, instead of against them, makes the absolute amount of food we are eating less relevant than in the standard model of “eat less, move more.” Our model is more like, “eat right, and let the body take care of itself.”
Your situation has a lot of factors that might be influencing how your body is responding on your ketogenic diet. If you like, and if you feel comfortable doing so, you can share your situation and typical food intake, and we can help find whatever might be holding you back. We would need to know such things as your age, sex, weight, height, and a typical day’s menu. The more information you are comfortable providing, the more helpful we can be. If you don’t mind telling us what drugs you may be taking, that is also helpful, as would also be the results of any recent blood work you may have had done.
Another thing to think of is what your body measurements are doing. Some people find that they put on muscle and that their bones get stronger on a ketogenic diet. This means that the scale can be confused, since the weight loss from losing fat can be matched by a weight gain from bigger muscles and denser bones. The way to tell that this might be happening is that you will find your clothes fitting more loosely, even though the number on the scale is not changing.