One of the biggest diets that continues to get more popular each year, the ketogenic diet is popular for it’s fast weight loss benefits. Be sure to avoid these mistakes when trying the keto diet for yourself.
This high-fat, low carb diet might sound a little strange at first, but the weight loss results from countless people have been nothing short of amazing.
Like many diets in one way or another, the keto diet is restrictive, so it might make it tough at first to get everything correct.
You’ll have to limit vegetables that are starchy, fruits and juices due to their sugar content, grains and a few others.
Fortunately, the amazing taste is going to come from all the foods high in fat intake. Forget about the myths around fatty foods.
Not only do they taste great, they will put your body into a state of ketosis. This is where all the magic happens as your body will then start to burn fat stores instead of carbs for fuel.
Read on to make sure you avoid the biggest mistakes most beginners make following the ketogenic diet.
1. Cutting Carbohydrates and Increasing Fats Immediately
Yes, the basis of the diet is to drastically reduce your carb intake and increase the consumption of foods higher in fat, but not giving your body time to adjust to it might backfire on you.
Getting used to the diet and understanding the breakdown of the foods you eat will help you immensely instead of just looking for what you can and can’t eat on the diet.
As an example, you might be used to having a morning fruit with yogurt, a high protein lunch and a well balanced dinner, but going into the diet cold turkey will shock your body.
Gradually easing into the diet will help your body adjust a little easier. You’re only allowed a small number of carbs a day to stay within the suggested limit (which is 20 grams, by the way).
A smarter approach to help you stick to this diet long term is to dial down the carbs and dial up the fats little by little over the course of a week.
2. Having Too Much Protein
Since an optimal ketogenic diet consists of around 20% protein, 5% carbs, and 75% fats, by consuming more than this will actually kick you out of ketosis. Not only that, but you’d be following more of an Atkins kind of diet and it’s slightly different.
Doing the ketogenic diet, you’ll want to get the benefits of putting your body in a state of ketosis for its health and weight loss benefits. Stick to the proper guidelines and stay in your protein range to keep your results consistent.
3. You’re Forgetting Water Intake
Water intake on the keto diet is just as important as what foods you’re going to be eating. You don’t want dehydration to also hit your body as it tries to adapt to this new fuel source you’re providing it.
Making sure you’re getting enough water will allow your body to maintain a normal and healthy electrolyte balance. Water is also stored in your body and a lot of people will lose water weight quickly the first few days of starting this diet.
A good rule of thumb is to drink a large glass right as you wake up since that’s when you’re most dehydrated while also drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces each day. This will give your body what it needs to stay hydrated and keep your body in a positive balance.
4. Not Knowing About The Keto Flu
People who have been on the keto diet sometimes experience flu-like symptoms early on and has since been dubbed the “Keto Flu”. When your body is getting used to the keto diet, you might experience aches and pains, muscle soreness, and just feeling generally not well.
Don’t let that freak you out, though. It doesn’t always happen to everyone, but it’s something to be aware of if it happens to you.
This is something you’ll have to power through if you want to continue with the diet and experience all it has to offer. With that being said, there are things you can do to mitigate your symptoms entirely or help with the low energy.
It’s also a good idea to consume specific foods during this period like avocado and salmon which are high in potassium and magnesium.
Don’t forget rule #2 as hydration will also help during this period as well.
5. Foods Lacking Omega-3 Fatty Acids
While tempting at first, a lot of people go straight for the good stuff on the keto diet like delicious bacon, cheese, and heavy cream.
While those food choices are fine on the ketogenic diet and can be consumed daily, you’ll want to make sure you consume foods that are high in Omega-3 Fatty acids like fish. Salmon, cod, trout and tuna are some of the best fish high in Omega-3s, EPA and DHA.
Don’t worry if you’re allergic or if you don’t really care for fish. There are over the counter supplements like cod liver and krill oil you can get which you should add to your daily stack.
Don’t forget the oils you’ll need as well. Avocado oil and olive oil are not only flavorful to use when cooking, they check off all the right boxes on the keto diet with the right balances of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat your body will need to perform at high levels.
6. You’re Not Using Enough Salt
Contrary to popular belief, salt isn’t bad for you. In fact, you should consume higher amounts of salt on the ketogenic diet. Adding a bit to your water bottle will help with any electrolyte loss.
On the keto diet your body will be losing sodium due to the high amounts of it in the typical standard American diet, so you need to make up for the loss by adding more salt into your food each day. It makes your food taste great anyway!
Preparing your food is fun and you’ll be able to count calories more effectively if you’re into that sort of thing.
7. Consuming Too Many Carbs Through Vegetables
Vegetables are high in fiber, but they are carbs. So on the keto diet, a mistake you can make is to go overboard on veggies.
That’s not to say you should skip vegetables completely, just be aware of how much you’re consuming and how many grams of carbs different vegetables have. This way you know if you can or can’t have them on that particular day, or for that particular meal.
Non-starchy carbs are where you want to put your focus on if you want the benefits of fiber, but don’t want to kick yourself out of ketosis.
Some vegetables lower in carbs are:
A lot of leafy greens, cucumbers, cauliflower, peppers and tomatoes are great to consume on the keto diet. Try to get as many different colors you can into your body while staying within the recommended guidelines.
8. Cutting Carbs While Reducing Food Quality
Reducing the amount of carbs you’ll be eating is what makes keto, well keto. What you don’t want to do is cut carbs, and consume foods that will be damaging to your health over the long run.
Some people will opt to go for “keto treats” because it will fit into their diet, but that doesn’t mean you should be consuming them often. You want your body to fuel itself with what it needs to run at top performance.
Cutting corners with what you eat for the sake of convenience will cost you in the long run even if the scale is going in the direction you want. Opt more for grass-fed meats as well as limiting the amount of dairy consumed.
Well there you have it. These are the most common keto diet mistakes we see when beginners are first learning about the ketogenic diet.
We hope these can prevent you from giving up too soon before seeing the benefits you’re after with your weight loss goals.