Some of my response will like echo what @PaulL already replied with. How are you determining working or not working? In my experience, many people come into Keto for the wrong reasons or with unrealistic expectations and find it “doesn’t work for them” and my personal experience based on conversations with others who have tried Keto outside of the forums shed a lot of light for me anyway on why it may or may not have worked.
First, many people come into this as a quick fix, to lose that 20 lbs before a wedding, class reunion etc. They want to look good then go back to the old way of doing things. No surprise for me that this didn’t “work”.
I also see many people looking at Keto as a short-term lifestyle change until they can go back to those foods that got them into the situation where Keto seemed appealing. I have co-workers who say things like “Hey you have lost all that weight, when are you going to have some fun and eat (random carbage I no longer eat)”.
With scenarios like the above, Keto will do just as well or as poorly as any crash diet, fad change etc, with that kind of mindset. That is not a failing of Keto but one of the approach and expectations of why they chose to do it.
When I talk to people about Keto, usually after their head explodes from finding out I lost over 140lbs, and I start with some basic questions. The first is why do you want to do Keto? I believe that if the answer to this basic question is not something meaningful like reverse T2D, Obesity, high blood pressure etc and the reasons are something less serious, that they may struggle. I also ask, what are you willing to change, give up, and do, to ensure that you are successful. This is where I see more red flags that are likely to lead to an outcome that might not be what they hoped.
For example, my sister said wow I want to lose a bunch of weight, what did you. I explain I don’t eat bread, sugar, etc any longer. Her first response was, nope, no way, I can’t give up bread. Clearly for her, eating bread was more important than achieving the goal of losing that weight. When I decided on Keto, I did a ton of research and knew that I would have to make big changes in what I ate but also knew that this a lifestyle change, not a short-term fix.
The idea of not having that old crap food ever again can be intimidating for people and I find that failure with Keto is more often psychological and not a failing in the biology or science behind Keto, Carnivore LCHF etc.
Also, just because a person doesn’t stick around the forums, doesn’t mean they failed at Keto or even gave up for that matter. Some people drop in, get some info and leave and never come back. Without actual feedback, we can’t just assume that they gave up or that Keto doesn’t work.
I tend to read these forums all the time, but have never really posted for advice. Mostly because I tend to research the hell out of things and I had a lot of information when I started. I had already been doing Keto for a month or more when I found the forums and use them mainly as inspiration around seeing others and their success, challenges etc. I do post occasionally but not frequently but one might think that my silence means that I back slid or Keto didn’t work but nothing could be farther from the truth.
The one thing I did do was keep my net carbs 20 or less. I do go higher sometimes 15+ months in but do that because I know what I can tolerate. I do things that many people on these forums do not. I track everything I eat every single day without fail. I weigh myself every day. I also learned not to be afraid of my scale, it is just a data point. It helped me understand things like my weight can vary by 2-3lbs within any week. So despite daily weigh-ins I mostly go by a weekly check-in on Saturdays where all the variables are the same. I get on the scale before eating food, having coffee, ideally had my morning movement, showered and taking a short walk. On weekdays, there is too much variability and I work so the time and other factors vary but Saturdays I can control. Tracking everything helped me understand how much protein, fat and carbs I can handle and still make progress.
Unfortunately, some people find that tracking, weighing etc pushes their buttons and may lead them to fail due to years of yo-yo dieting etc. Considering that, many on the forums try and give simple advice, like eat 20g or less of carbs daily along with don’t worry about calories etc etc. This helps make it less threatening for those with a history of dieting feel less stressed about some of this. For each of them, they will have to find their n=1 and hopefully find a version of Keto that works for them. I don’t think everyone makes it that far. But I don’t think that is a failing of the science behind Keto.
For me, for my n=1, Keto works. I have had all of the benefits, mental clarity, extreme weight loss, energy and more. Plenty of NSVs as well. I used to wear a size 46 pant and now a 34 is loose. I went from XXL t-shirts being tight to being able to wear a L t-shirt. My skin tags have shrunk dramatically and some are gone completely, my digestion is fantastic and only after months of Keto did I realize how bad it was before. The list goes on.
So when you say you are coming across more and more people that that it doesn’t work for, how exactly are you determining that? What about Keto didn’t work for them? Are you suggesting that they are metabolically different and that is why it didn’t work or was it really that they weren’t willing to do the work to make it work?
For me, I was willing to do whatever was required. I cook every meal, I do all my shopping to ensure I have the ingredients and foods I want to make this work long term. My experience of many people is that they are not willing to make those types of changes and sacrifices.