Starting a keto diet can be hard. But it doesn’t have to be.
Most folks make the same mistakes when they first start out, and these mistakes end up sabotaging their chances of success.
But with a little preparation, you can avoid these pitfalls! Use this article as a guide to overcoming common keto diet mistakes, so your keto diet doesn’t end in catastrophe.
What is the Keto diet?
A brief refresher on what the keto diet actually is, what you can eat on keto, and how it can benefit your health:
The main goal of the keto diet is to switch your body’s metabolism into a fat-burning mode called ketosis. Ketosis can bring various health benefits!
When you’re in ketosis, your body uses fats as its primary source of fuel, instead of relying mainly on carbohydrates/sugar like it usually does.
What foods are allowed on a keto diet? You’ll be eating very few carbohydrates, but lots of healthy fats and a moderate amount of protein.
- Foods to EAT: meat, seafood, eggs, leafy greens and other low-carb vegetables, avocados, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee.
- Foods to AVOID: legumes, grains like wheat/corn/oats, processed vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, high carb vegetables like sweet potatoes, and sugary fruits like bananas, melons, and pineapples.
How does a keto diet benefit your health? This is just a quick run through of the main benefits of going keto, but for a more personal story check out Steven’s blog post.
1) Keto can help you lose weight and there are many scientific studies which back this up.
Like this study, where researchers compared folks on a diet similar to keto (low-carb and high-fat) with folks on a conventional weight loss diet (low-fat, unlimited carbs and calorie restricted).
The low-carb dieters lost significantly more weight!
2) Keto can boost your energy levels according to many keto dieters.
Folks report feeling more focused, energetic and clear-headed. Plus they no longer experience any kind of “mid-afternoon slump” or struggle with brain fog.
3) Keto can help reduce overeating because it affects your hunger hormones, which reduces your appetite.
Which explains the results of one study following dieters on an eating plan similar to keto: the dieters reduced their food intake without consciously trying (and they did this even though they could eat as much as they wanted).
And many keto dieters have shared anecdotes about feeling less hungry on keto, too.
4) Keto can reduce your risk of heart disease because of its numerous other health benefits.
There’s scientific evidence that the keto diet could help improve your cholesterol levels, reduce your triglyceride levels and lower high blood pressure.
And these all lead to health improvements which decrease your risk of a heart disease.
What Are The Most Common Keto Diet Mistakes? And How Do You Avoid Them?
These are the top five mistakes which keto dieters make… and which you can avoid!
1 – Not being ready for keto flu.
Your body needs time to adjust when you first go keto, and that takes some folks by surprise.
You might find yourself experiencing some flu-like symptoms when you first go keto. That doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your diet – it’s actually a good sign that your body is adapting to burning more fat.
And don’t worry – although the symptoms are uncomfortable, they’re only temporary and they’ll disappear after a week or so. Plus, there’s plenty you can do to minimise your discomfort!
How to avoid this mistake:
When you first go keto, keep your schedule light as you’ll be more tired than usual.
And fight off the effects of keto flu by drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods which are rich in magnesium, potassium and sodium (to avoid dehydration and to replenish your electrolytes). Drinking bone broth is one way to help reduce symptoms of keto flu.
2 – Forgetting to add nutrient-dense foods to your diet (and just cutting carbs)
Although keto is a low-carb diet, eating low-carb isn’t the only thing which is important!
Focusing only on avoiding carbs is a rookie error which can lead to health issues. Especially if you cut out high-carb fruits/vegetable and replace them with processed low-carb junk foods.
Instead, skip the energy bars, ready meals or diet sodas. And focus on filling your diet with as many high-quality whole foods as possible, even ones you’ve never heard of before!
How to avoid this mistake:
Add more nutrient dense foods to your diet, like: bone broth, organ meats, fermented foods (like kimchi and sauerkraut).
And stay away from processed low-carb junk food! It might be low in carbohydrates, but it is not good for your health.
3 – Getting too caught up on high ketone levels
Too many keto dieters get fixated on their ketone levels and end up stressing out.
There’s a lot of different guidance out there on what ketone levels you should be aiming for, how to measure them, how often to measure them, and it can be overwhelming.
The truth is, measuring your ketone levels isn’t essential for a successful keto diet. And higher ketone levels aren’t necessarily better!
How to avoid this mistake:
Instead of focusing on your ketone levels, focus on how you feel and the results you’re seeing. Are you feeling more energetic, more focused, more positive and losing weight? Then your keto diet is going well!
And if you do need to troubleshoot your diet or would just like some reassurance, then use our guide to optimum ketone levels to choose the right ketone level for you and find out how to measure your ketones.
4 – Forgetting to take care of your health in other ways, too.
Following a keto diet can improve your health, but it’s not the only tool you should use.
Keto is not a crash diet, a quick fix, or a magic pill. If you are stressed out, sleep-deprived and can’t remember the last time you exercised then don’t expect to feel vibrantly healthy just by changing your diet.
Other aspects of self-care are equally vital – you need to make sure your lifestyle is healthy, as well as your diet.
How to avoid this mistake:
This is going to be advice you’ve heard before…but it really is important! Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep, taking steps to manage your stress levels and putting aside time to exercise.
Combining a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet will give you better results!
3 Tips For Anyone Starting A Keto Diet
If you’re just getting started on a keto diet, you might find these tips useful.
1 – Remove the non-keto food from your house and then fill your kitchen with keto-approved items instead.
It’ll be easier to cook healthy recipes if you have the ingredients on hand – and you’ll be less tempted to break your diet when you don’t have unhealthy treats in your home.
2 – Start by eating unlimited protein/fat and just concentrate on making sure your daily carbohydrate intake is under 25g.
It’s best to keep things simple to start with – while you get over keto flu and get used to eating a low carb diet. You can always tweak your protein/fat ratios later, if you aren’t seeing your desired results.
3 – Think about getting a health check before you start your keto diet to check you don’t have any underlying health conditions.
Health issues like autoimmune diseases, vitamin or mineral deficiencies and gut problems will need to be addressed before you go keto. Otherwise, you won’t feel the full benefits of the diet!
Starting a keto diet can be a great first step to improving your long-term health.
And by following the advice in this article, you’ll avoid the mistakes which derail most keto dieters and lead them to give up. So your keto diet is more likely to be a success!
Plus, you’ll also find yourself filling your meals with nutrient-dense foods and taking time to care for other aspects of your wellbeing – which means you’ll be following the healthiest possible version of the keto diet.
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