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The ketogenic diet is a weight-loss approach, based on the idea of accustoming the body to using ketones for energy (instead of the commonly-used glucose). Also known as a low-carb diet, it can activate the metabolism and help one burn excess fat in an effective manner. However, like with all diets, we are bound to make certain mistakes, especially in the beginning. Keep on reading and discover some of the most common mistakes people make when following this diet, learning how to avoid them at the same time.
Excessive weight tracking
It is clear that the main purpose of a diet is to lose weight, so that you are able to return to a healthy figure. While the ketogenic diet will help you achieve your goals, this does not mean you should track your weight excessively. Each person responds differently and, more importantly, by constantly following every inch you have lost, you will begin to feel pressured. Educate yourself and get on the scale once a week, celebrating every small achievement.
The ketogenic diet requires that you drink plenty of water. The lack of adequate hydration can prevent your organs from functioning normally, especially when it comes to the muscles. Why should you drink a lot of water? Let’s take things step by step. You have begun the ketogenic diet and cut out the carbs; now, your body will use the stored glycogen from the muscles, along with the water in which these are stored. The subsequent dehydration can make you feel not great, so you can easily counteract this feeling by upping your water intake.
Not all fats are good for you
The consumption of fats represents the foundation of the ketogenic diet. But this does not mean that you can go ahead and eat just any kind of fats. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is eating processed fats, as these will only make matters worse. You are recommended to stay away from vegetable oils, as well as from those that are made from seeds; these will increase the bad cholesterol levels, preventing you from losing weight and increasing the risk of heart disease. You have plenty of healthy fats to choose from, including avocados, olives, nuts, fatty fish etc.
Insufficient fat consumption
Being at the start of your diet, you might be afraid to increase your fat consumption. Remember, this is a period of adjustment and you have to take things step-by-step. Gradually, you will become accustomed to consuming higher quantities of fat, organizing your meals accordingly. Do not be afraid to consume a lot of fats, as these will be used by the body as a source of energy. The ketosis process is pretty straightforward: you eat fat, this is turned into ketone bodies and then used for fuel. The insufficient consumption of fats will force the body to rely on glycogen once again, leading to cravings and unhealthy eating.
Lack of organization
When you begin any diet, including the ketogenic one, you have to become more organized, especially when it comes to planning your meals. You cannot leave things to chance and hope that your random food choices will be enough. On the contrary, by not eating enough fat, you will end up feeling hungry and be more tempted to go back to old habits. You need to plan your meals, choosing your ingredients carefully and calculating your daily macros. Moreover, by planning ahead, you will feel less frustrated and more prepared to reach your weight loss goals.
Salt in reduced quantities
The “keto flu” is something most people experience at the start of the ketogenic diet. What happens is that your body is adjusting to the new diet, causing you to feel lightheaded and tired. As you are eating only healthy food and drink increased quantities of water, you are losing electrolytes. This loss is mainly responsible for the flu-like symptoms and you can easily work against it, by consuming more salt. You can opt for salty sauces, season your meals with regular salt or drink electrolyte water.
Excess protein consumption
As with all else in life, too much protein can do more harm than good. While it is true that proteins are necessary to maintain your muscle mass while following the ketogenic diet, this does not mean you should consume them in excess quantities. Your body will use these proteins as fuel, transforming these into glucose and causing blood sugar spikes once again. This will have a negative impact on the ketosis process, preventing you from losing weight. Plan your meals so that they include a moderate intake of proteins, paying attention to the sources from which these come as well.
Too much physical exercise
You have often heard that, in order to lose weight, you need to work out as much as it is humanly possible. While physical exercise is definitely advised, you have to pay attention to both its frequency and intensity. The more you train, especially when engaging in high-intensity exercise, you will stimulate your appetite and, thus, be tempted to consume more calories. The hunger sensation will be quite bothersome, so you will probably end up giving into unhealthy temptations. Train with moderation and you won’t have any problems regarding such matters.
Lack of targeted training
The ketogenic diet has specific rules that should be followed, including when it comes to physical exercise. As you have seen above, excess training can do a lot of damage, so moderation is recommended. You are also advised to pay attention to the type of training you engage in; there are several possibilities available but the general rule remains – targeted training will support you in losing the desired weight. Among the best choices available, there are: low-intensity aerobic exercises, weight lifting, yoga and stretching, balance and core training.
A final note
The ketogenic diet is one of the most effective weight loss approaches in the world. For it to deliver the expected results, there are certain mistakes you have to avoid, as you have seen above. More importantly, you have to follow the rules of the diet and plan your meals accordingly, opting for a high intake of fats. As for the physical exercise, this should be adapted to the diet and performed in moderation as well.