The ketogenic diet, or Keto, as it is known, is a wildly popular and successful method of weight loss today.
On this diet, you can lose weight much more quickly than with other methods of weight loss, all while you enjoy some of your favorite foods, like meat and cheese. What you give up are carbohydrates, which will eventually put you into ketosis, or, fat-burning mode. When you burn stored fat in your body, you lose unwanted weight.
If you want to start a Keto regimen, check out this list of 7 keto diet mistakes most often made by beginners and why you should avoid them.
1. Not Consulting Your Doctor
Before you start a Keto Diet, you need to inform your doctor of your decision. While weight loss can help improve some medical conditions, such as diabetes, it might not be the correct plan, based on your medical history or pre-existing conditions.
If you take medications for any reason, your dosage may need to be adjusted while on a Keto diet. Your doctor is the one to make this determination and should always be aware of any nutritional changes you make.
2. Not Drinking Enough Water
Dehydration is a common problem for dieters and non-dieters alike. Lack of water in the body can cause slow metabolism and reduce or halt weight loss.
To burn fat, drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. Drinking water will also help flush toxins from your body and distribute nutrients.
When you’re starting the ketogenic diet, you may need to drink even more water since you will be losing water weight when you start consuming fewer carbs. Water also aids in preventing constipation, which can be a possible Keto side-effect.
3. Quitting During the Adjustment Period
The early days of the Keto life might include some discomfort, known by dieters as the “Keto flu.” This adjustment period can include headache, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation.
It happens because you are no longer using glucose from carbs for energy. Instead, you are using your stored fat to fuel your body, which can be a big adjustment for your cells. You are also losing a lot of water weight, and with that, a loss of electrolytes. Make sure you replace this loss with lots of water, sea salt, nuts, and leafy greens so you don’t feel so sluggish and foggy.
Another annoying side effect is keto bad breath, and dry mouth. These conditions are often due to an increase of ketones, which have a distinct, unpleasant smell. Chronic dry mouth can lead to a host of other gum and mouth problems. Drinking more water, and using essential oils in tinctures are good remedies for this problem.
The Keto flu period, while uncomfortable, is temporary, so don’t quit until you have a chance to see it through.
4. Eating Too Much Protein and Dairy
While you do get to eat meat on Keto, protein is not the main staple of this diet. Keto diets are primarily composed of healthy fats, and you will need to get most of your calories from fat, not protein.
Dairy foods contain fat, protein, and carbs. It also contains a specialized protein that can cause inflammation in some people and insulin spikes in others. The sugars found in dairy can keep you from ketosis, so you must keep dairy intake low.
Your protein and dairy intake must be moderate when you are on a Keto plan. At each meal, aim for 3 to 4 ounces of protein, like lean beef, fish, or pork. And, no more than 1-2 ounces of cheese (remember dairy contains protein,) or another dairy per meal.
5. Eating Too Many Snacks and Sweets
“Fat Bombs” are tasty, fat-filled treats that Keto dieters can consume for an occasionalsnack. While snacking on fat-bombs is approved on a Keto plan, excessive sweets and snacks are not.
Too much snacking can increase your blood sugar levels, and take you out of ketosis. If you are doing Keto correctly, you should feel sated most of the time, and not need to snack. If you are frequently hungry between meals, you may need to increase your meal portion sizes to get enough calories to last throughout the day.
6. Eating the Wrong Fats
Since fats are the primary source of energy on the Keto diet, it’s crucial you know the good fat from the bad.
Healthy fats to eat on keto include:
- Animal fats, preferably from pastured or grass-fed animals
- Olive oil
- Monounsaturated fats, like from avocado
- Coconut oil
- Butter, in moderation
- Omega 3 fatty acid foods: salmon, sardines, oysters, herring, and mussels
Avoid these unhealthy fats:
- Cottonseed oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Safflower oil
- Canola oil
- Processed vegetable oils
- Any trans fat
Meal prepping and Keto recipes you can make ahead of time and eat throughout the week will help you stay on the healthy fat path.
7. Not Sleeping Enough
You don’t think about sleep as part of a successful diet, but without enough sleep, a Keto plan cannot be completely effective. Lack of sleep causes a less efficient metabolism and your body will retain stored fat, rather than burn it. Fatigue will weaken your will and increase your temptation to snack, or eat poorly.
Seven to nine hours of sleep a night is the goal, especially when starting a diet, so your system can restore and adjust to your new lifestyle. If you’re having trouble sleeping, stop using your screen or TV at least one hour before bedtime.
Avoid Keto Diet Mistakes
Avoid the Keto diet mistakes described here, so you can succeed in meeting your weight loss goals. Also, consider working with your doctor or a certified Keto nutrition expert to follow the right formula for your body. Remember, Keto is not just giving up carbs but is an entire eating plan that can enhance your physical and mental well-being.
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