Top Keto Mistakes
The keto diet is an eating plan that is designed to get your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. You do this by starving your body of sugars which are found in carbohydrates. That forces your body into a metabolic state where your body converts fats into chemicals called ketones by a process called ketogenesis. This state is called ketosis. In this state you literally burn your own body fat as a fuel.
This eating plan has many health benefits such as dramatic weight loss, increased mental energy and better brain function. Sound great? There is just one problem. Getting started on keto is not easy. It requires a lifestyle change, making beginner mistakes common. Unfortunately, mistakes can result in you not achieving ketosis at all, or to only be in a keto state for short periods of time. Let’s address some common keto mistakes that might be sabotaging your success.
Stress is not only a big factor in weight loss, but it also may prevent you from achieving a state of ketosis. The way this works is, when you are stressed your body produces its natural alarm system, a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol puts the body into a fight or flight mode. This will raise your body’s blood sugar levels. High blood sugar means your blood will contain more sugar and less ketones. Since your body uses your bloodstream to bring fuel to your muscles and organs, high blood sugar levels are a good indicator that your body is burning sugar for energy and not fat. This means for you to have success at keto you may have to look at different strategies to reduce stress.
Not Eating Enough Vegetables and Fibre
Since all vegetables are a source of carbs, some are tempted to avoid eating vegetables altogether. This is a colossal mistake. Not all vegetables are high in carbs. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, onions, leeks and celery are low in carbs and provide micronutrients and antioxidants while having large amounts of insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre does not absorb or dissolve in water. It is vital to losing weight, because it helps you to feel full. It also keeps you regular and can improve bowel related health problems. Starchy vegetables, like carrots, peas and corn, tend to be high in carbs and should be avoided.
Not Eating Enough Fats
When most of us grew up we were told that fat is bad for us. Conversely, on a ketogenic diet you need to eat large amounts of fat to lose weight; literally around 75% of your diet. However, it is crucial that you eat the right fats. There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Processed trans fats are formed during food production through the processing of polyunsaturated fats, which are found in fish, flax seeds and walnuts. Polyunsaturated fats provide many health benefits when consumed cold, but when heated, processed or altered form free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that cause damage to your body on a cellular level. They are linked to premature aging and a host of diseases. Examples of fats to be avoided are the oils found in cookies, margarine, crackers, and fast foods. They are also found in processed vegetable oils like sunflower oil, soybean and canola oils. The healthy fats that can be consumed liberally can be found in avocados, butter, eggs, walnuts, coconut oil and fish oils.
Not Drinking Enough Water
It is essential on a keto diet to drink adequate water. The reason is, the diet is designed to deplete glycogen. Glycogen is a form of sugar that is stored in the muscles and liver to be used later for energy. In order to be in a state of ketosis it is important to deplete your body’s glycogen stores so that you can start to burn fat for energy instead. Your body stores glycogen in water, so when you burn through your glycogen stores there is no need to hold onto the water. As a result, you will find a sudden loss of water weight and your body can become dehydrated quickly. This is also what causes ‘keto flu’. Keto flu can be shortened dramatically merely by staying hydrated.
Eating Too Much Protein
Although protein is an important macronutrient that can generally lead to improved satiety and fat burning, on a keto diet too much protein can get in the way of your keto progress. When you are in ketosis you will be using fat as the primary energy source, you will therefore only need protein to maintain muscle mass. When you eat an excess of protein some amino acids in the protein will be converted into glucose which is a sugar. The additional glucose in your body can raise your blood sugar and kick you out of ketosis. Therefore, it is important to eat high fat and only moderate amounts of protein.
Although there are many common keto mistakes, being aware of those mistakes will help you easily avoid them with a little preparation and forethought. Once you have overcome them and become keto adapted, it becomes easier to maintain the keto eating plan. When you discover you are suffering far less fatigue, feeling mentally alert and experiencing dramatic weight loss you won’t look back.