Are you looking for a way to lose weight AND improve your overall health? The keto diet can help. Short for “ketogenic”, the keto diet involves eating a menu of foods that are high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. By strictly limiting your carb intake, your body will enter a state of ketosis, a metabolic process whereby your body burns fat reserves for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
There is ample research that has found that the keto diet is an effective way to lose weight, but it can do more than help you shed pounds; it can also offer several health benefits. Some of those advantages include decreased appetite, reduced blood pressure, increased HDL cholesterol (the cholesterol that’s good for you), and blood sugar maintenance, among other things. Of course, in order to achieve those benefits, however, you do need to make a commitment. Though the keto diet can certainly help you lose weight and improve your overall health, it isn’t a fad diet. In other words, in order to actually reap the rewards, you need to commit for the long haul.
If you’re thinking about going keto, to get you started on the right track and help you see the results that you desire, we’ve put together this handy list of some of the most common keto mistakes to avoid.
Avoid These 7 Keto Mistakes
When you’re new to any diet, it’s easy to make mistakes. After all, you’re used to eating a certain way, and in order to see success on the keto diet, you really do need to be serious about changing the way you eat – and you need to stick to those changes. It takes about 21 days to start a new habit (of course, the amount of time will differ from person to person). By keeping the flowing tips in mind and really committing to your intentions, and by realizing that you can hit some plateaus in your weight loss goals (like you can with any other diet), you can set yourself up for success.
So, with all of that said, without further ado, let’s dive in and take a look at 7 common keto mistakes to avoid.
1. Eating the Wrong Foods
By far, one of the most common keto mistakes that people make when they’re first starting out on this diet – and even when they’ve been on it for a while – is eating the wrong foods. Keto-friendly foods are low in calories and high in healthy fats. While there are a lot of foods that meet those guidelines, there are just as many that don’t. So, what type of foods should you avoid? Here’s a look at some of the foods to avoid on keto.
Manufactured, processed foods are a definite no-no when you’re on the keto diet (when you’re on any diet really). Actually, even if you aren’t on a diet, so to speak, you should try to avoid processed foods as much as possible.
diet that’s high in processed, man-made foods is a surefire way to put on weight, damage your health, and increase your risk of developing all types of ailments. Examples of processed foods include pre-packaged cookies, cakes, pastries, crackers, sugary drinks, and even white bread.
It goes without saying but it’s definitely worth mentioning that when you’re on the keto diet, you’re going to want to avoid eating high-carb foods. In fact, these are one of the top keto foods to avoid. A lot of high-carb foods are pretty obvious, like baked goods, pretzels, popcorn, pasta, white rice, candies, and sweetened yogurts; however, there are some foods that you might be surprised to find would otherwise be good for you but are high in carbs and should be avoided when you’re doing keto. Starchy vegetables, like white and sweet potatoes, yams, bananas, and apples are just a few examples of high-carb foods that you’re going to want to steer clear of. Instead, opt for more keto-friendly vegetables and fruit like dark leafy greens, broccoli, berries and avocado.
Very high calorie foods
While it’s true that not all calories are the same and some high-calorie foods are actually good for you – yes, even when you’re on the keto diet – you’re going to want to avoid super-high calorie foods when you’re doing keto.
Examples include fast food, certain types of salad dressings, and sweets, like brownies, ice creams, and cookies.
Very high calorie foods can be extended to drinks as well. Fruit juices and soft drinks are packed full of sugar as are pre-mixed alcoholic drinks. While there are plenty of alcoholic drinks you can safely enjoy when doing keto,
2. Eating Too Much or Not Enough Protein and/or Fat
Protein and healthy fat are an important part of the keto diet. They fuel you up, gives you the energy you need to power through the day, and helps you build lean muscle mass. As such, you’re going definitely going to want to make sure that you are eating protein and healthy fats; however, there’s such a thing as eating too much protein and fat, as doing so can definitely thwart your diet.
The amount of protein you should eat depends on some key factors, such as your individual body and your unique goals. A good guideline to follow is this: multiply your current weight by 0.6, so to illustrate, if you weigh 150 pounds, multiply that by 0.6 to determine the minimum amount of protein you should be eating (150×0.6 = 90 grams per day). To figure out your maximum protein intake, you can multiply your current body weight by 1.0 (150×1.0 = 150 grams). So, with this example, you should stick to eating between 90 grams and 150 grams of protein per day.
3. Not Clearing the Diet with Your Health Professional
A lot of people decide to jump on the keto diet without consulting with their doctor; however, that really isn’t recommended. Because this diet requires such a dramatic shift in your food intake, you want to make sure that you speak with your primary care physician before you get started just to ensure that it’s the right option for you. If you suffer from any health conditions, there’s a chance that a low carb, high-fat diet could be detrimental. Your health care provider will review your current health condition and will provide you with insight and guidance to let you know if the keto diet is the right choice for you. If there are any concerns, you could possibly work with your doctor to come up with a modified keto diet so that you can lose weight safely.
4. Not Drinking Enough Water
Staying hydrated is important even when you aren’t dieting; however, when you’re on a low calorie, high fat diet, you’ll be losing some extra fluids and minerals – especially when you first get started – so you really want to make sure that you’re staying hydrated. According to experts, you should drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day. Doing so will help to replace the electrolytes you’re losing. Set yourself up for success by selecting a special thermos and filling it up and drinking it enough to equate to at least 64 ounces of water; if you find that you’re still feeling thirsty drink more. You can also replenish lost electrolytes by upping your potassium and magnesium intake. Keto-friendly foods that are rich in both nutrients include broccoli, avocado, spinach, nuts, and salmon.
5. Obsessing Over Weight Loss (or Lack Thereof)
While your objective is to lose weight, you definitely want to avoid obsessing over the amount of weight you’re losing (or lack thereof). When most people start the keto diet, they see rapid weight loss; however, eventually, they plateau and can go a week or two without seeing any changes in their weight. Don’t focus too much on the amount of weight you’re losing – or the amount of weight that you aren’t losing for a period of time. The more you stress, the more cortisol you’ll release, and cortisol stores glucose, which can negatively impact your overall goal. Plus, stress is detrimental to your health for a myriad of other reasons; increased blood pressure, anxiety, depression, etc. While you want to watch your weight, you definitely don’t want to focus on it obsessively.
6. Only Counting Carbs
While watching your carb intake is important (clearly, because the keto diet involves eating low levels of carbs), you don’t want to make that the focus of your diet. You also want to keep tabs on other vital aspects of your diet, such as your protein, healthy fat, and macronutrient intake. These are all important parts of a well-balanced diet and if you’re overlooking them and not getting enough, your weight loss goals can be thwarted and your overall health could suffer. In order to ensure the best results, make sure you keep tabs on all aspects of your diet.
7. Failing to Plan = Planning to Fail
Lastly, one of the most common mistakes that people make when they’re on the keto diet is failing to plan. If you don’t make a plan, then essentially, you’re planning to fail. You want to plan ahead by writing out a specific grocery list and prepping your meals so that you can be sure that you always have access to low-carb and high healthy fat meals and snacks that are good for you and that will satiate your hunger. Doing so will help you avoid grabbing non-keto-friendly foods when hunger pangs set in or could result in overeating the wrong types of foods.
Push Through Plateaus By Addressing These Keto Mistakes
Millions of people have successfully lost weight and improved their overall health on the keto diet – and you can, too! If you really want to achieve your goals, however, you’re going to want to set yourself up for success and avoid the above-mentioned mistakes. With careful planning and dedication, the keto diet can lead to life-changing results.