Low-carb diets are well known for promoting several health advantages, including improved body configuration and weight loss. However, if you're not obtaining the desired results from the keto diet, you may be making some common keto mistakes!
Let’s look at some common missteps and how to avoid them.
One of the biggest keto mistakes we commit is cutting carbs too quickly. Instead of cutting your carbohydrate intake immediately to 5-10% of your caloric intake and rapidly beginning the keto diet, you may benefit by gradually tapering down your intake of carbohydrates and easing into eating high-fat foods. We recommend starting slowly by reducing your carb intake to 20-25%, then reducing your intake to 15-20%, and finally to around 5-10% carbs.
One of the major mistakes made when starting a keto diet is eating too much protein while trying to reduce carb intake. The extra protein not used by the body is turned into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. This could delay the onset of ketosis or stop it completely. So, ensure that your diet is heavy in healthy fats and moderate in protein (20-25% of your caloric intake).
Your stress hormones may rise dramatically if you don't get enough sleep or have poor sleep quality. Consequently, these stress hormones can increase and cause a rise in insulin, sugar cravings, and anxiety, all of which have a detrimental impact on ketone production. For most people, seven to nine hours of good sleep every day is necessary to maintain your weight and get the most out of your new keto lifestyle.
Despite the ketogenic diet's well-known anti-inflammatory properties, some low-carb, high-fat items can make inflammation worse. Highly processed vegetable oils and packaged low-carb foods are not only very inflammatory, but they can also lead to systemic inflammation and deplete your energy. Limit incorporating highly processed, low-quality food in your meal plan as much as possible.
Contrary to popular belief, consuming artificial non-caloric sweeteners can trigger the same reactions in your brain as eating sugar. This may boost cravings and make it more difficult to stay in ketosis, resulting in weight gain. While on keto, enjoying an occasional keto-friendly sweet treat sweetened with non-calorie sweeteners and sugar alcohols is fine; just don’t overdo it.
During the first two weeks of the keto diet, as your body transforms from a carbohydrate burner to a fat burner, you may suffer from keto flu with symptoms such as muscular cramps, nausea, pain, and exhaustion. During this period, you may feel tempted to give up on your keto diet entirely. However, do your best to stay on your plan, and in time, your body will get used to fewer carbs.
Micronutrient deficiencies have been linked to a variety of health issues. An effective ketogenic diet strategy should incorporate a wide range of nutrient-rich, low-carb foods like high-fiber vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Make sure to incorporate these types of foods rich in various micronutrients.
During the first two weeks of the ketogenic diet, your body eliminates vital electrolyte minerals like sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium as you reduce your carb intake. You may be dehydrated and short on electrolytes, as the keto diet causes you to urinate more frequently. Consume plenty of these micronutrients through your veggie intake or use a no-sugar electrolyte product, like Buoy electrolyte drops, to stay hydrated, get more energy, and increase your ketone production.
With some forward preparation, maintaining a ketogenic diet can become so much easier. Without proper meal preparation, you might just end up going for a grab-n-go meal high in carbs and processed ingredients, which can cause your body to exit ketosis and set you back.
On a keto plan, you must limit your intake of carbohydrates and properly count your carbs, even when it comes to vegetables. While completely avoiding vegetables could result in low levels of fiber, minerals, and essential vitamins, leading to constipation, headaches, electrolyte imbalances, and other potential side effects of a poorly designed keto diet, eating high-carb vegetables could cause you to exit ketosis altogether. So stick to the high fiber, low carb plants like broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans, and the variety of greens like spinach, kale, cabbage, and bok choy.
Clearance of ketones causes the removal of sodium from your body. Additionally, when you omit processed and packaged foods from your diet, you also reduce your table salt intake, which also comprises 40 percent sodium. Hence, you are left with much less sodium in your body and need to replenish it by eating some high-quality salts like Himalayan pink salt or sea salt. Add a pinch to your recipes or even your water if needed.
If dehydration can be a side effect of the keto diet, overhydration can also be an issue. During a ketogenic diet, you are asked to drink more water to balance the reduction of carbs in your diet. However, drinking too much water can lead to flushing out more electrolytes. Monitor your water intake by consuming about ½ of your body weight in ounces of water per day.
During the keto diet, you may eat too many dairy products because of their high-fat content. Dairy products, especially milk and yogurt, are also very rich in protein and carbs. Eating them too much can cause inflammation and reduce your ability to lose weight. Moderate your dairy intake and stick to 1-2 servings of dairy products per day.
One of the most efficient ways to shed weight is to follow a ketogenic diet properly. However, it is crucial to understand that reducing carbs rapidly will not help you lose weight or improve your health. The simplest method to lose weight permanently and sustainably is by gradually adopting healthy lifestyle changes.
If you need help and professional guidance, get in touch with our licensed nutritionist at Living Proof NYC. Our holistic nutritionist, Lisa Jubilee, will answer all your questions and concerns while preparing a customized keto-focused plan for you.