Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid on The Ketogenic Diet
It’s one thing to have cheat days and to make conscious choices regarding your dietary regimen. But nothing is worse than putting a lot of commitment and energy into something, without getting the results you wanted, simply because you’ve fallen into some sneaky trap you didn’t even know existed. Today I will offer some tips on how to avoid the five most common mistakes people make while on Keto.
- Have a plan and a strategy
I can’t stress this point enough. Honestly, I can’t - I tried. It’s all fun and games as Keto makes complete sense until you actually have to do it. You have, undoubtedly, read so many articles on which foods to eat and which to avoid, you think you can write a paper on them… until it’s literally the morning of the very first day and the time comes to order your favorite coffee at Starbucks. That’s when the questions begin: Can I have milk? Can I have cream? If yes, how much? What is happening?
The simple truth is that you can never be too prepared. And, no, winging it just won’t cut it - if you’re not sure if you’re doing something right, you may lose motivation or just not get the results you normally would. So plan, plan ahead!
- Don’t cut your carbs too drastically
Yesterday all your troubles seemed so far away: you were blissfully enjoying your pizza, pasta and cookies. Today, you’re eating butter by the spoonful, while miserably chewing on a tiny kale leaf. Boy, are you doing it wrong! No matter how much motivation you have, such extremes are simply not sustainable. That kale leaf may get you through today, but what are you going to do when the infamous Keto-flu hits you with full power tomorrow?
Start with cutting your carb intake to no more than 50 grams per day. Yes, it may take your body more time to get into ketosis, but at least you won’t lose your motivation (or the will to live) in the process. Once you feel that your initial symptoms of carb-withdrawal have passed, move to the newly unlocked level of consuming only 30, then 20 grams of carbs per day.
- Don’t eat too many carbs
At this point, you may throw your hands up in the air and blame me for sending you all kinds of mixed messages, but just hear me out: ketosis is not a permanent state. Consuming too many carbs will kick you out of it in a nanosecond, if you let your guard down.
Solution? Don’t let your guard down. Keep a vigilant eye out for things like added artificial sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, fructose, agave, etc) or hidden carbs, and make reading labels your new religion. Sometimes even the products that claim to be “low-carb” aren’t optimal for Keto. Or, even worse: the sticker on the front may say the amount of carbs per serving, but there are, in fact, several servings in the package.
So, read the labels, ask you waiter questions and make choices based on solid information, rather than just a wild guess.
- Don’t avoid vegetables
Okay, what’s your goal when it comes to the Ketogenic diet? You are trying to get healthier? Great, I applaud your initiative. However, I can’t help but ask: how exactly are you planning on getting healthier without vegetables?
The mistake I see people make over and over again is completely swearing off eating anything that doesn’t make squealing noises. I love bacon just as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to only eat bacon.
Imagine that your daily 20 (30 or 50) grams of carbs are... money. A good businessman would invest into something that can bring the highest return. Well, friends, that’s what vegetables are for our bodies. Nowadays, there are so many Keto snacks and desserts on the market, you can stay in ketosis while enjoying cakes and brownies everyday… All this, however, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy. If your goal is to feel better, I’d recommend you “invest” most of your daily carbs into Keto-friendly vegetables. Which doesn’t mean you can’t save a couple of grams for that Keto cookie you’ve been craving.
- Drink enough water
Okay, here’s another simple truth: even though you’re not Aquaman, water is essential to your body. It’s necessary for pretty much everything your body does. So, when we don’t have enough of it, that’s where we start running into problems.
Adequate water intake is especially important on the Ketogenic diet: carbs hold on to water and as your reserves are getting depleted, you’re losing the precious liquid that was being stored in them. How much water should you drink? Split your body weight (lbs) in half and the number you get is the amount of water in ounces you need to consume per day.
Tip: it may be a good idea to take some supplements to balance out your electrolyte levels. Just be careful with sports drinks - read the labels for the information on any hidden carbs.
All in all, the Ketogenic diet is popular for a reason: there are so many people who swear by it, since it helped them achieve results they couldn’t imagine before. Also, research has shown that high-fat, low-carb diets, like Keto, do, in fact, promote weight loss due to specific factors associated with them. Therefore, avoiding sneaky, but common, pitfalls is crucial for achieving success while on the Ketogenic diet.