5 Mistakes That Will Sabotage Your Ketogenic Diet
When you're on a ketogenic (Keto) diet, there are certain rules you have to follow. Most diet plans work by cutting out calories, however the ketogenic diet works very differently—it changes the way your body uses energy, by burning ketone bodies produced by fatty acids in the liver instead of sugar from carbohydrates. This encourages your body to enter the state known as ketosis. However, with so much conflicting information out there, it's common to fall out of ketosis or worse—develop unhealthy eating habits without even noticing it.
You might tend to make these mistakes that will slow down your progress, especially when you’re starting out:
Many beginners make this mistake on a ketogenic diet, thinking that the most effective way to start out is eliminating all carbs and consuming only fat and protein. Unfortunately, this approach can lead you to crave more carbs and brings side effects like fatigue, weakness, dizziness and headaches, which inevitably would make you want to quit the diet.
According to experts, a person should consume up to 50 grams of carbs per day to be able to stay in ketosis, so instead of cutting carbs completely, incorporate complex nutrient-dense carbs in your meal prep.
The feeling of exhaustion and weakness is a common sign of having the keto flu, which is often felt on the first days of a keto diet. What is the keto flu, you ask? It’s the transition that your body goes through, switching from burning sugar to burning fat for energy. As this internal change starts your body gets rid of its water and the bad symptoms come through.
The sickness that you feel is temporary though and it’s a good sign you’re headed in the right direction.
To get rid of the symptoms within 20 minutes consider getting electrolyte sources by increasing your salt and water intake—avocado, dark chocolate, salted nuts and chicken broth are good options. You can find many supplements out there that contain Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium, as well.
Consuming Unhealthy Foods
Buying processed food is one of the top mistakes you can make at the grocery store. While you can technically get into ketosis consuming processed meats, you may miss out on nutrients and increase the risk of diseases. Beware of hidden carbs that come in other processed foods like seasoning and sauces too, read the nutrition label before buying.
It’s easy to overeat, especially if you are a beginner, so tracking your macros is one of the fundamental steps to success in your keto diet. As you start your journey, it’s a good idea to know how many calories you should consume—specifically how much fats, protein, and carbs you should eat throughout the day, so aim for calculating and balancing your daily meals.
To stay in ketosis your diet should generally consist of 70% from fats, 25% protein and the remainder 5% from healthy carbohydrates.
Lastly, if you don’t have a plan you’ll end up eating the same stuff every day and getting bored of it quickly. One of the keys is to alternate between different meals, so start creating a weekly menu that fits your lifestyle and needs—remember to focus on reducing carbs while increasing the fat and protein content of each meal.
That’s it for now!
How about you? Ask any ketogenic question or share your experiences / mistakes in the comments below!