For instance, on this diet you’ll have to nix starchy veggies, limit fruits, and avoid grains, sauces, juice, and sweets. And, per the standard keto food list, you’ll need to load up on fats (lots of it). Doing so will kick you into ketosis, which is the metabolic state that triggers your body to burn fat instead of carbs, potentially accelerating your weight loss.
Nonetheless, because carbs are in just about everything and fats come in various forms (not all healthy), it can be easy to make mistakes here, especially if you’re a beginner to the keto lifestyle.
Avoid the following common pitfalls of keto to help ensure you’re following this approach as safely as possible:
8. Eating Too Many Calories
You might hear people say you can eat as much as you want on keto, as long as it’s high fat. Although we wish that were true, it’s misleading. Healthy fats should make up the bulk of your diet (75% of your calories), but if you take in more calories than you burn, you’ll only gain weight, no matter what you eat, since excess calories are stored as body fat. The average adult needs about 2,000 calories a day, but that varies based on a number of factors, including, gender, height, and activity.
Use this chart to learn what your caloric intake should be.
7. Not Drinking Enough Water
Water is crucial to everything your body does, including burning body fat. If you’re not drinking enough water, your metabolism will slow, halting weight loss. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day helps your body circulate nutrients, flush out toxins, and burn fat. When you’re starting out the ketogenic diet, you may need to drink even more water because your body sheds water when you start consuming fewer carbs.
6. Not Replenishing Your Electrolytes
Many people experience flu-like symptoms (known as the keto flu) when first starting the keto diet. This can happen for two reasons: (1) As your body switches from carb-burning to fat-burning mode, your brain may run low on energy, leading to nausea, headaches, and grogginess. (2) You’re dehydrated and low on electrolytes because the keto diet causes you to urinate more frequently.
The keto flu is a good sign you’re headed in the right direction. You can minimize the symptoms by drinking more water, and taking supplements to balance your electrolytes. A supplement that may help reduce the symptoms associated with the keto flu while helping you get into ketosis is KetoLogic BHB. It’s a mixture of sodium, potassium, and magnesium – specially formulated to balance your electrolytes, provide hydration, give you an energy boost, and boost ketone production to enhance ketosis and weight loss.
5. Eating Too Much Dairy
For some people, dairy can be pro-inflammatory and prevent them from losing weight. Additionally, as stated before, if protein levels are too high, this can halt weight loss. Dairy is a combination food: it has fat, protein, and carbs (from the naturally occurring milk sugar, lactose).
So, if you’re eating cheese all day as a “keto-friendly snack” for its fat content, you’re also getting a hefty dose of protein and carbs along with that fat. Most people can tolerate dairy just fine on a ketogenic diet, but moderation is the key. Stick to no more than 1-2 ounces of cheese (and factor in protein content) or cream per meal.
4. Eating Too Many Keto Sweets
Net carbs = Total carbs – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols
Some people think it’s okay to indulge in keto cookies and keto brownies full of sugar substitutes because the net carb amount is low, but (1) you’re still consuming lots of calories, and (2) constantly eating sweet foods may increase your cravings for carbs. While keto sweets are great occasionally, they shouldn’t be a staple in your diet.
3. Snacking Too Much
There are tons of great snacks you can enjoy on the keto diet, such as seeds, cheese, avocado, and nuts. However, snacking can be an easy way to sneak excess calories into your diet while also giving your body an easier fuel source to burn over body fat. Snacks should only be used if you have excessive hunger between meals; otherwise, allow your body to turn to stored fat for fuel between meals rather than dietary fat.
2. Eating Hidden Carbs Without Realizing It
There are lots of foods which appear to be low-carb, but aren’t. Hidden carbs can be found in condiments, sauces, and salad dressings (tomato sauce, ketchup, and Thousand Island dressing are good examples). Always check the nutrition information before trying a new food, just in case it has hidden carbs or sugar. It only takes a second to skim the label, and it can be the difference between losing weight or not.
1. Not Sleeping Enough
Getting enough sleep is crucial to weight loss. Without adequate sleep, your body feels under stress which will result in a less effective metabolism and cause it to “hang on” to stored fat for support. Plus, when you’re tired, you’re more tempted to lean on a latte for energy, eat an extra snack to keep you going, or order takeout for a faster, but less healthy, meal. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and know that your body is using that time to burn fat without you doing a thing.