Many people think Keto is all about hitting target macronutrient ratios for carbs, fat and protein. Meeting these ratios will put you in ketosis, but the diet still requires you to take care of your body. If you neglect nutrition, you’ll soon feel the negative effects of dehydration and unhealthy foods.
As you start the journey to ketosis, be mindful of the most common mistakes people make on the Keto diet. Here’s what they are (and how to avoid them):
Not Hydrating. Dehydration is a common side effect of ketosis, which only becomes worse if you’re not drinking enough water. One gram of glycogen (stored glucose) holds three grams of water. As you burn through glycogen stores, you lose all that precious hydration. Drink more water!
Not Counting Net Carbs. Too many people on the Keto diet believe all carbs are bad. There’s one carb you can have on Keto, and that’s fiber. Fiber doesn’t count towards your daily grams of carbs because your body can’t convert it to glucose. Subtract grams of fiber from the total amount to get net carbs.
Sugary Cocktails. All your favorite cocktails are sugar bombs loaded with carbs. Cocktails easily rack up 32 grams of carbs per serving! This is a lot considering the Keto diet requires you to consume no more than 50 grams of carbs each day. Two drinks are enough to exceed your daily carb allowance. Drink straight, no chaser.
Too Much Dairy. Sugar and flour aren’t the only high-carb foods. Dairy contains lactose, which is a type of sugar that can raise your blood glucose levels. One glass of milk can have up to 13 grams of carbs, leaving little room for trace carbs found in healthier options like vegetables and nuts.
Too Much Protein. On Keto, 15-20% of your daily calories should come from protein. If you eat more than 20%, your body will convert amino acids into glucose. This raises your blood sugar and trains cells to burn glucose for energy instead of fat. Focus on lean proteins like chicken and fish.
Not Sleeping Enough. Dieters often report sleep disturbances as their bodies adjust to burning fat for energy. Depriving yourself of sleep will only make this symptom worse. Prioritize seven to nine hours each night so you have the energy to push through the “Keto Flu.”
Lack of Vitamins. The Keto diet can easily turn into a game of counting fats and carbs. Your body might be in ketosis, but it also needs essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporate low-carb fruits and vegetables so you’re not eating steak all day!
Dirty Keto. This is a form of Keto that focuses on highly-processed junk food like lunch meat, artificial sweeteners and pre-packaged snacks that boast “Keto” on the label. While these foods are allowed on Keto, they’re definitely not healthy. Opt for lean protein and healthy fats from whole foods.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to the Keto diet than eating fatty foods. Hidden carbs are everywhere, and a couple bad habits can make the transition into ketosis absolutely miserable. Learning from other people’s mistakes will let you have a positive, healthy experience with Keto.
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