The ketogenic diet, more commonly known as the keto diet, is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat eating plan that has exhibited some very good health benefits. The concept behind the diet is to get the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis. This metabolic state helps the body be more efficient in how it burns fat for energy. Fat cells are turned into ketones in the liver which help supply energy for the brain.
Here are a few common mistakes folks make when starting the keto diet:
1. Cutting carbs and increasing fat too quick
The keto diet is a big change to the body so it is unwise to just suddenly switch to eating barely any carbs and high fats. Begin to introduce keto-friendly recipes into your diet gradually so your body can become accustomed to the new normal. If this change of diet is going to adversely affect you in any way it is best to learn this in a controlled manner. The suggested daily carb intake for a keto diet is just 20 grams. Put into context, an average-sized apple has 25 grams of carbs.
2. Too much of the wrong fat
The whole idea of this diet is to consume more fats which can be turned into ketones and used for high energy. It is a mistake, however, to assume all fats are created equal and that any fat is fine in large amounts. Animal fats are good for this diet but excessive amounts can have negative effects on the body due to their inflammatory properties. Omega-3 fats are a great option, these are found in oily fish and are considered heart healthy which is good. Plant based oils such as avocado, olive and flaxseed are all very good to add into the diet. The key is to make sure that the bulk of your fat intake is coming from healthy fats.
3. Eating low-fat foods
This is really an obvious point but people do make the mistake of not eating enough fat. It’s understandable, almost all other diets preach low-fat but in the keto diet fat is the point. Eating low-fat foods will essentially turn the keto diet into an Atkins diet. As a result the body will not be producing the important ketones. Fat is essential in this diet so avoid eating low fat, just stick to healthy fats if you are concerned about health risks.
4. Forgetting to drink water
Carbohydrates are stored along with water in the body, this means that as your carb reserves are depleted so too will be your hydration. It is therefore vital to make sure you are paying attention to drinking water while on this diet. You will need to drink more often than you normally would to ensure you do not let yourself become dehydrated.
5. Forgetting to plan meals
The keto diet is complicated and knowing where there are hidden carbs is important. You have to understand what foods work for this diet and more importantly the amounts in which you should eat them. This all culminates in the importance of planning your meals ahead of time. You never want to find yourself planning a meal last minute as this is when mistakes can be made and you may knock your metabolism out of the keto-state