A lot of people start the ketogenic diet thinking that it’s as simple as eliminating carbs and upping their fat intake. While carb reduction and a higher amount of healthy fats are both essential parts of keto, there is far more to consider when making this sizeable lifestyle change. This diet is by no means foolproof, so it’s advised that anybody interested in ketogenic dieting familiarize themselves with the “dos” and “don’ts” of keto.
It’s easy to make mistakes on your journey toward ketosis, but don’t stress! Everybody makes mistakes, but with our help you can avoid making some of the bigger ones that will hinder your success the most. Here are five of the biggest mistakes that new ketogenic dieters make, as well as what you can do to remedy these errors.
5 Common Ketogenic Diet Mistakes
Of course, there are more than five ways that you could be accidentally sabotaging your diet success. The ketogenic diet requires a great amount of diligence and care to experience successfully, but we’re all human. Mistakes and slip-ups happen sometimes. However, these five missteps are some of the most common and most damaging mistakes that new keto dieters can make right out of the gate.
Not Eating Enough Fat
Some people mistakenly think that they will double their weight loss success if they take a low-fat approach to the ketogenic diet. This is not only a good way to essentially starve yourself, but it also actively prevents the body from achieving a state of ketosis.
The purpose of keto is to get the body running on ketones, which are produced as a byproduct of burning fat. If there is not adequate, healthy fat inside of the body, this conversion of energy sources (from glycogen to ketones) will not take place. Therefore, ketosis will not be achieved.
As much as 75% of your diet should consist of fats when on the ketogenic diet. Until you are able to eyeball suitable portion sizes in regard to fat, protein and carbohydrates, it is best to write down and actively monitor how many grams of each you are putting into your body each day.
Not Eating Their Vegetables
Some vegetables are rather high in carbohydrates, which can prompt dieters to omit them from their plates entirely. This is ill-advised, as vegetables are the greatest source of macro and micronutrients that we can ingest. While veggies like the ever-starchy potato might not fit into a ketogenic diet plan, you can certainly load up on lower-carb vegetables like zucchini and mushrooms! Spinach and kale, among other leafy greens, are also great additions to any healthy diet.
Not Eating Whole Foods
With the immense success of the ketogenic diet in the mainstream, more and more companies are producing frozen or prepackaged meals that are marketed as “keto-friendly.” However, a close look at these meals shows that they aren’t all that keto-friendly at all. While having one or two every now and then when you simply don’t have the time to cook won’t harm your success too much, relying on these meals is a bad move.
Prepackaged and frozen meals are often loaded with preservatives, sugars and hidden carbs. When you prepare your own meals, however, you know exactly what’s going into them. If time is a factor, consider meal-prepping a day in advance. This way, you get the convenience that prepackaged dinners offer, but without the suspicious “other stuff” that isn’t conductive to the keto diet.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Even if you love water and drink it all the time before starting on your keto journey, you might find that you need to increase how much you’re consuming. Due to the deprivation of carbs your body will experience, you will lose excess water.
Dehydration is already a chronic problem that most American adults face at some point or another – even if they don’t realize it. Almost everybody stands to improve their health by simply increasing their water intake, but ketogenic dieters especially need to be sure that they’re getting adequate hydration.
One sure sign that your body is not getting enough water is dark yellow or strong-smelling urine. This is a sign of dehydration and means that you definitely need to increase how much water you’re consuming on a daily basis.
Cheating with Carbs
Unlike some other popular diets, the ketogenic diet makes it rather difficult to “cheat” in a way that doesn’t completely set back your success. Most cheat meals consist of carbs, sugars and other additives that do nothing to aid the body’s burning of ketones. However, it’s impossible to ignore every single craving that you might get while trying to lose weight on the ketogenic diet.
Instead of diving face-first into a stuffed crust pizza, consider switching it up for a cauliflower crust to minimize the carbs you’re ingesting. This is only one example, of course, but who doesn’t love pizza?
The best thing that you can do when feeling compelled to cheat on your diet is to make flavorful, whole foods that you’re craving. Don’t mindlessly snack on whatever ends up in your hands. Instead, make a keto-friendly (or as close to keto-friendly as possible) meal that you’ve been dreaming about. And then, enjoy every single bite of it!
The ketogenic diet only works if you remain steadfast in your dedication to losing weight and becoming a healthier person. If you avoid these five common mistakes, you will see and feel the success of all your hard work.