The Ketogenic diet has become a trendy lifestyle, with several visible success stories constantly circulating around social media. Unlike other health-related social media trends, the keto diet has been rigorously supported by a plethora of studies from nutritionists and doctors as a guaranteed way to lose those stubborn extra pounds.
The low-carb, high-fat diet has helped several individuals lose weight with tweaks to their regular eating habits, helping them to feel more confident whilst looking and feeling healthier!
At first glance, the keto diet can sound deceptively simple: cut carbs, eat fat. However, undertakers make several mistakes that can prevent them from seeing any progress on this diet. The Keto diet may sound easy, but it can be quite a mountain to climb! Common mistakes include not eating the right kind of foods, incorrect quantities of food groups, and even a poor sleep schedule.
As a result, this blog post will cover the most common ketosis mistakes that may prevent you from reaching your diet goals.
What Is The Keto Diet?
Firstly, it is essential for dieters to clearly understand what the keto diet actually is, in order to clear up any pre-existing misconceptions or doubts! So, what is the ketogenic diet?
Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet. One essentially needs to cut out all carbs from their diet, meaning no white rice, pasta, bread, cereal, potatoes, and other carb-based foods. Unlike other low-carb diet variants, such as the Atkins diet, the Keto diet has calorie restrictions and strictly advocates eating real food. This means that no processed or junk food is allowed. Several studies have illustrated that the keto diet is a proven way to lose weight, limit appetite, regulate hormones, and aid in building muscle.
The ultimate goal of the keto diet is to put your body into a state of ketosis. This state will change the way our bodies generate our energy levels. Typically, our body seeks to burn glycogen (which comes from consuming carbs) for energy. But, in order to achieve ketosis, you have to force the body to use ketones for fuel instead. By limiting carbs, our body burns stored fat for energy instead of glucose. As a result, fat is prioritized on the keto diet as it helps people to stay full and provides enough calories for your body to function correctly.
Mistakes On The Keto Diet
There are several common mistakes people make on the keto diet without even realizing it! But, don't worry, as here we will explain how you can avoid and overcome these dietary errors. The common mistakes include:
1. Not Eating Enough Fat On The Keto Diet
The keto diet is not just a 'low carb, high fat' fad, as 75% of calories should come from healthy fat, and 20% proteins, and 5% carbs. If this metric can be maintained, the body will stay in ketosis for longer, and consequently, burn more fat.
The main misconception that often arises here is that overeating fat will lead to more body fat. However, it is actually excess calories from any other food group (including carbohydrates and proteins) that leads to more body fat.
On keto, healthy fat options (such as avocado, butter, cheese, and bacon) will need to be eaten, as long as they are not saturated or trans fat. If you do not eat enough fat on keto, your body will go into survival mode. This will have an incredibly negative effect on your wellbeing, as you will feel more hungry, causing your body to prioritize storing fat. This will make fat loss nearly impossible to achieve, so make sure you are eating plenty of healthy fats!
Getting More Fat On Keto
The following fat sources will help you to stay fuller for longer, whilst also helping to promote a state of ketosis.
- Extra virgin oil
- High-fat nuts, i.e cashews
- Chicken (dark meat)
- Butter and cream
- Eat Low carb vegetables
- Fat bombs
2. Avoiding Fruits And Vegetables
Though it is true that most vegetables are carb-heavy, it would be a huge mistake to avoid them on the keto diet due to the limited, but still needed carb requirement. Veggies and fruits contain essential macros and fibers that your body needs in order to function well.
Whilst on the keto diet, you just need to eat very few carbs, rather than avoid them completely! Low-calorie fruit and vegetable options, such as mushrooms, raspberries, cucumbers, broccoli, leafy greens, will help to keep you satisfied.
Low-calorie fruits and vegetables will not only keep you full for longer, but they will also prevent you from overindulging in filling high-calorie nuts or other high-carb processed foods. As a result, it is essential to keep the calorie requirements in mind while on the keto diet!
3. Eating Too Much Protein
Eating too much protein can also be detrimental to the diet, as it can prevent putting your body into a state of ketosis. Alternatively, consuming too much protein will cause your body to convert excess protein into glucose, which is the opposite of ketosis. The body will then convert any extra proteins into glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis. This is a natural process by which the body will convert energy from proteins and fats into glucose, especially when glucose is not available.
This is why it is essential to balance your carb, fat, and protein levels, avoiding diving into 'extremities' when dieting. Going into a diet too extreme with lots of restrictions, especially when that is not what the diet promotes, will lead to poor health and weight gain.
4. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Common keto mistakes also include failing to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, which can cause your stress hormone cortisol to spike. When cortisol levels are increased within the body, this can cause an increased sense of cravings and hunger for the next day. If you give in to these cravings, an increase in daily calories and carb consumption can potentially kick you out of the ketosis state.
To avoid this mistake, try to log your hours of sleep so you can sleep where improvements need to be made. If you are going to bed too late, we recommend employing a 'winding down' segment in your daily routine. By taking a relaxing bath, listening to calming music, and not checking your phone, your body will be in a state of ease. This will make going to sleep much easier for you!
5. Not Drinking Enough Water
Furthermore, another key mistake is not drinking enough water during the ketogenic diet. Staying hydrated is fundamental in losing weight, as restricting carbs and not having sufficient fluid input can lead to dehydration. As Alyssia Tucci, a registered dietician and nutritionist states: “the drastic decrease in carbohydrate intake on the ketogenic diet can cause shifts in your fluid and electrolyte balance. Carbs are stored along with water in the body, so as these stores are depleted, that water is lost along with them."
Not drinking enough water whilst on keto will dangerously lower your blood sugar levels and blood pressure, as well as make you feel incredibly tired. This will affect your sense of a healthy living lifestyle, as your decreased energy levels will prevent you from wanting to exercise, causing you to gain fatback.
6. Ignoring Hidden Sources Of Carbs
Hidden carbs may be a part of foods that claim to be ketogenic or low carb, but in reality, they still contain high levels of sugar and carbs. Hidden carbs can be found in condiments, sauces, and salad dressings. To prevent falling victim to this mistake, we recommend that you read through the ingredients on the package. Nowadays, nutritional values and information are usually printed on packaged items too. This means that you can know exactly what is going into your body.
Additionally, this extra access to data can make it easier to make a keto-adapted diet plan that incorporates enough fats, proteins, and carbohydrate intake without going over calories. Diet plans are also great if you do not want to be counting calories throughout the week, as it has all been pre-planned for you! Proper Good is a fantastic option for convenient pre-planned meals that are keto-friendly, as well as nutritionally dense - you can have a look at Proper Good's keto soups here.
7. Eating Too Many High-Inflammatory Foods
Eating too many high-inflammatory foods will negatively impact your success on the ketogenic diet, and the excess refined sugars can lead to several health issues. These health issues range from acne and sleep disturbances to increased chances of coronary artery disease! As a result of this, it is important to avoid foods that can be inflammatory. These general types of foods include:
- Refined Grains
- Food products with food dyes
- Food products with artificial colors
- Food products with refined and/or added sugars
High inflammatory foods can prevent weight loss and can stop your body from going into ketosis. In order to prevent this from happening, it is best that you choose healthy, keto-friendly snack options.
A beneficial way of avoiding high inflammatory foods is by snacking on fat bombs! In limited quantities, these delicious treats are great for keto diets as they can increase fat intake without overdoing your calories. Adding fat bombs to your keto diet plan will help to keep you full up for longer periods of time whilst maintaining a state of ketosis. Sweeter fat bombs will help to satisfy any fast food cravings, and when served with whipped cream, will ensure a restaurant-quality keto dessert.
Some ready-made snack ideas and recipe inspirations can be found here at Proper Good! Proper Good provides you with all the ingredients used in their meals, as well as all the nutritional information available. Proper Good also caters keto-friendly soup pouches and bone broths to those needing gluten-free or dairy-free meals.
In summary, there are several common keto diet mistakes that can be made daily without even realizing it. The most typical mistakes are due to misunderstanding the key basics of the keto diet: low carb does not mean any carb! Making sure you eat the right macros every day will keep your body energized and in a state of ketosis. Most importantly, however, eating whole foods in line with these recommended macros will have you feeling your best - increasing your motivation and keeping you on the keto diet!
If you are new to the keto diet, these mistakes are extremely common so do not panic too much. The best way to avoid these mistakes is to make a keto diet plan that incorporates a high food quality in terms of macros and taste, as well as a checklist to tick off. The checklist can be a great way of keeping on top of your sleeping schedule and how much water you drink per day.
Overall, the best thing about these common keto diet mistakes is that they are easily avoidable and fixable! With the tips and tricks of this blog post, you will know exactly how to thrive on the keto diet. Knowing how to prevent these errors is the first step to completely avoiding them, enabling you to start burning more fat, more quickly!