7 Common Keto Mistakes Made By Beginners and How to Get Around ThemSelim El Kaffas
The keto diet is extremely restrictive, which gives ample amount of opportunity for any beginners to misstep or make mistakes, worsening their health rather than improving it. The diet is still fairly new, so there is a lot of misinformation around it being shared and common mistakes being made.
Falling into these traps will only make your Keto experience harder, and it’s important to be well aware of them. Here are 7 of the most common keto mistakes made by beginners
- Not Getting Enough Water
While you’re more preoccupied with what you’re eating, it’s also equally as important to keep track of what you’re drinking. Going keto drastically shifts your electrolyte and fluid balance, and adjusting to that change is vital if you’re not looking to suffer from dehydration.
Water is stored alongside carbs in your body, and when your carbohydrate stores deplete, so too will your water supply. The buildup of the ketones needed to break down fat will also trigger your body to flush it out in the form of urine, which can further up your chances of dehydration if you’re not careful enough.
There is no concrete rule on how much you should drink, but the majority of doctors recommend eight 8-ounce cups of water a day.
- Not Eating Enough Fat
On a keto diet, fat becomes your best friend. At least 65% of your caloric intake should be coming from this now essential nutrient. Keto beginners often enter the diet still holding their misconceptions about being an unhealthy nutrient, which may cause them to unintentionally limit their fat intake. However, this can easily lead to a caloric deficit, which can lead to restlessness, lightheadedness, and fatigue.
Good sources of healthy fat include avocados, butter, olive oil, walnuts, macadamia nuts, Swiss cheese, and coconut milk.
- Not Eating Enough Vegetables
Because all vegetables contain carbs, it can be hard to balance getting your essential vitamins, nutrients and fibers while also maintaining your daily carbohydrate limit. Low-carb or high-fat veggies are perfect for this. Websites like the USDA Food Composition Database and apps like MyFitnessPal can help you keep track of your carb intake to ensure you don’t get kicked out of ketosis.
Owing to how amazingly low-fat they are, avocadoes are the holy grail of the keto community. Other vegetables to include are broccoli, cauliflower, celery stalks, zucchini, kale, and cucumbers, all of which have fewer than 5g net carbs in a 100g serving.
- Forgetting to Prepare for the Keto Flu
As your body transitions from primarily burning carbs to fat, you may undergo what’s called the “keto flu”, flu-like symptoms that occur within the first two weeks of starting keto. While this doesn’t happen to everyone, it’s still important to prepare for it. Many back out of the diet prematurely because they didn’t know about the keto flu, so you should know that it’s perfectly fine to feel a bit nauseous and fatigued in your first few weeks of keto. Just prepare your meals in advance and remember to stay well hydrated and you’ll be alright.
- Not Getting Enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids
While fat will be your focus in this diet, don’t just turn to cheese, cream, and meat. Try to include more seafood into your diet, like salmons, sardines, or oysters, which contain a lot of Omega-3 that your body needs to perform at its best. If seafood, isn’t your thing, there are always other types of fat that’ll do. Avocadoes are always great, and olive oil, chia seeds, and flaxseed contain a lot of fats that do wonders for your body.
- Eating Too Much Protein
Restricting your carb intake often makes it all too easy to go overboard with protein and eat more than the recommended amount. This poses a couple problems on keto. For one, a high intake of dietary protein has been linked to disorders such as kidney stones, osteoporosis, cancer, liver disorders, and arteriosclerosis. Too much protein can also lead to an increase in glucose in the blood as excess amino acids are converted sugars in a process called gluconeogenesis. This can stop the body from entering full-blown ketosis, which severely hinders what you set out to do when going keto.
To avoid eating too much protein, focus on eating high-fat meat, fish, and dairy and avoid lean and skimmed products. Examples of food to include are sardines, minced beef, pork belly, and chicken thighs. Other foods with moderate protein content include eggs, nuts, seeds, berries, and keto vegetables.
- Cutting Carbs Out of Your Diet too Quickly
Going cold turkey overnight won’t do you much good, and can in fact make the transition process a lot more arduous. It is often recommended to gradually cut down on your carb intake to limit your chances of getting the keto flu and to overall make your first weeks of keto a lot more pleasant. The average person eats between 225-325 grams of carbs a day, and lowering that down to the recommended keto limit of 20 grams a day will take time and effort.
The keto diet can do wonders for your body and is extremely helpful for losing weight. However, it has to be done properly if you don’t want to come out of it worse than you came in. As the old adage goes, moderation is key. Vary your fats and proteins, and try not too get too caught up calorie counting. Remember to meal prep diligently and make sure you’re well hydrated.