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What Do I Do If I Am Not Losing Belly Fat on Keto?

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  Published on April 7th, 2023
  Reading time: 4 minutes
  Last modified March 20th, 2023
Not losing stubborn belly fat on keto

While there are numerous health benefits to the ketogenic lifestyle, many people initially pursue it to help them manage their weight. Stubborn belly fat can sometimes prove to be a formidable opponent when it comes to your weight loss, though. It is not uncommon to find that even with strict adherence to a diet, your belly fat remains. What do you do if you are not losing belly fat on keto? 

Fortunately, there are a few solutions that you might want to consider to burn off some of that stubborn belly fat. Here are some of the leading causes and how you can remedy them starting now. 

Reduce Carb Count

Perhaps the most prevalent reason that you are seeing stubborn belly fat on a keto diet is that you are still consuming too many carbohydrates. Many people seriously overestimate how many carbs they can consume in a day or they might not be properly recording their intake. 

Unfortunately, this means that your body will not burn fat for energy, it will burn glucose instead–and belly fat may linger. 

According to research on the most effective means of combating obesity, only 5 to 10 percent of your daily calories should come from carbs. [1] This means that in a 2,000-calorie day, you should have roughly 20 to 50 grams of carbs daily. 

Reduce Calorie Counts 

Many people find that they are eating less than the recommended number of net carbs per day, but they still are not losing belly fat on keto. This could be because you are eating more food than your body can reasonably burn in a day. In other words, you are eating too many calories

This is yet another metric that you should track in addition to your carb count. Always choose food that provides some nutrition as opposed to subsisting solely off of convenience foods. You may also want to consider skipping the dessert–even if it is keto-friendly. 

The good news is that you are not likely to feel hungry if you have your macros in the right place. High-fat foods tend to make you feel more satisfied than carb-heavy foods, especially if they have a moderate amount of protein. [2]

Cut Back on Snacks

If you do feel a little hungry between meals, it is perfectly okay to have a small low-carb snack–emphasis on small. Many people eat exponentially more calories than they think they do because of the numerous snacks they eat throughout the day. A handful of nuts here, a protein bar there, and you might find that you have eaten all of your 2,000 calories per day in snacks alone. 

One way to try to eliminate stubborn belly fat on keto is to make sure that you keep low-calorie snacks on hand. For example, you might stick to a hardboiled egg with salt and pepper, some low-carb vegetables, or half of an avocado.  

Boiled egg is a low cal snack that can help you lose belly fat on keto

Another good way to make sure you are getting all of your nutrients and to keep your digestive system regular is to consume snacks high in fiber. [3] This also helps the microbiota of your gut to flourish. 

Slash Stress 

There may be a good reason why you are not losing belly fat on keto and it has nothing to do with your actual diet. Many people retain excess weight over the long haul because they live an extremely stressful lifestyle with little sleep. Your body produces more of the stress hormone known as cortisol which disrupts normal rhythms such as sleep and weight loss. 

Cortisol ensures that your body stores more fat and it often gets relegated to the belly. [4]

What can you do if this is the reason your belly fat continues to persist? You can start by trying healthy alternatives that relieve stress such as meditation, improving sleep, or exercising a bit more vigorously than usual. 

Boost Exercise

 Sometimes, your stubborn belly fat may need more than a dietary change to be eliminated. For those who truly want to see results, it can help to spend a little more time in the gym. Not only does exercising on keto allow you to burn more calories (and create the calorie deficit that leads to weight loss), but it can also help you to slash stress.  

Plus, exercise is good for you all the way around. It reduces stress, anxiety, and depression while allowing you to sleep better, among other things. [5] Much about your lifestyle is interconnected, and you can start to shed some of that belly fat when you pay attention to holistically losing weight. 

Keep Up with Your Keto Lifestyle

You might feel frustrated by the inability to lose belly fat on keto, but stick with it for a little while longer. If you can keep up with the ketogenic lifestyle and make some of these modifications, you might just find that the pockets of fat around your abdomen start to melt away. From cutting carbs to slashing stress, you have several tools at your disposal that can help you shed belly fat once and for all.

Ashley Simpson is a freelance writer dedicated to helping people improve their lives -- in every way possible. She understands that food and diet are necessary components to a healthy lifestyle and experiments with both. When she isn't typing away, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.



Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri KR. Ketogenic Diet. [Updated 2022 Jun 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/


Gibson, A. A., Seimon, R. V., Lee, C. M., Ayre, J., Franklin, J., Markovic, T. P., Caterson, I. D., & Sainsbury, A. (2015). Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 16(1), 64–76. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12230


Dowis, K., & Banga, S. (2021). The Potential Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, 13(5), 1654. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051654


Hewagalamulage, S. D., Lee, T. K., Clarke, I. J., & Henry, B. A. (2016). Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity. Domestic animal endocrinology, 56 Suppl, S112–S120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.03.004


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Real-life benefits of exercise and physical activity. National Institute on Aging. Retrieved March 8, 2023, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/real-life-benefits-exercise-and-physical-activity 

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