When you follow the ketogenic diet correctly, it can have a myriad of positive health and mental benefits. Keto diet not only helps with fat burning but also provides a higher level of energy throughout a day and improves mental alertness and focus.
However, because of the many strict rules, it’s very easy to go wrong.
You may be surprised, but high carb intake is not the only mistake that you can make while following the Ketogenic diet.
Below are some of the 5 biggest mistakes that newbies make when starting out with this style of eating.
1. Not eating enough fats
Look at it this way, Keto diet is not a low-carb but a high-fat diet. Too little fat intake is a common mistake in people trying to get into ketosis.
As much as 75% of your total daily calories should come from fat, so be sure to include eggs, oils, butter, avocados and similar high-fat foods in your diet.
Fats are the primary source of energy in ketosis, which is why fat intake is extremely important.
In the case of fat deficiency, you won’t have the energy for daily functioning, which will increase the chances of you quitting the diet.
2. Low intake of electrolytes
No matter which diet you follow, it is important to maintain a healthy level of electrolytes for the body to function properly. If the diet is deficient in minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, etc. you will experience headaches, fatigue, constipation and lethargy, again leading to a higher risk of giving up on the ketogenic diet.
Why do mineral deficiencies happen?
Under the body secrets insulin, the kidneys store sodium. When there is no insulin (as in ketosis) the kidneys excrete sodium from the body, especially during physical activity. Therefore, it is extremely important to increase salt intake during ketosis to avoid sodium deficiency.
Potassium is an electrolyte essential for muscle contractions and for the proper functioning of a number of organs. For sufficient potassium intake, it is enough to eat avocados and green leafy vegetables regularly, so be sure to include these foods in your menu on a ketogenic diet.
Finally, magnesium is used in over 300 processes in the human body. To achieve the recommended daily intake eat keto-friendly foods such as nuts, pistachios, pecans or pumpkin seeds. Also, consider taking magnesium as a dietary supplement.
3. Too many proteins
Although proteins provide a sense of satiety, too many can actually hurt your dieting progress.
Protein intake varies from person to person.
While someone tolerates quite well large quantities of proteins, others might get out of the ketosis state because of it.
Excessive protein intake can stimulate the process of gluconeogenesis, in which the body treats proteins as carbohydrates and converts them into glucose, causing them to escape from the ketosis state.
To avoid this, make sure that 75% of calorie intake comes from fat, 5% from carbohydrates and only 20% from protein sources.
Avoid large amounts of chicken, tuna or similar low-fat high-protein foods. Instead of white chicken meat, have a fatty piece of beef or bacon.
4. Eating hidden carbs
As stated above, only 5% of your total daily calories on a ketogenic diet can come from carbohydrates.
With such a small amount it’s easy to go wrong and eat too much.
This amount should be obtained from green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Special care should be taken when eating processed foods which usually contain hidden carbohydrates. Therefore – read the labels carefully! Carbohydrates on food labels may be disguised under different names, but their negative effect on the ketogenic diet is the same.
Avoid foods that contain any of the following ingredients: sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, lactose, barley malt, dextrose, rice syrup, maltose, agave, molasses, cane juice, fruit juice, honey and malt syrup.
5. Impatient to enter the ketosis state
Before starting with this tyle of eating, you have to be aware of what awaits you.
You’ve been eating carbs your whole life, an now expect your body to make changes immediately and instead of carbs, to start using fats as an energy source.
Not so fast!
During this period of experiencing a metabolic switch from carbohydrates to fat, you may experience nausea, nausea, headache, drowsiness and other similar side effects. But this is exactly the moment you must not give up, what follows is beginning of ketosis state in which all the positive effects of a ketogenic diet begin to occur.
It takes several days to get into ketosis, depending on the person. Someone will need 2 – 3 days while someone will need 7 – 8.
When done properly, ketogenic diet is the number one long term choice for many, because of its mental and physical benefits. Once you learn to avoid rookie mistakes and catch up with this style of eating, it will probably become your favorite diet, whether you want to lose weight or just maintain your weight in a healthy way.