by Dom Geracia
As we bring in the New Year, I thought I’d share with you some of the mistakes I often hear when starting out on Keto. Hopefully this will help some of you struggling!
1. Eating low-fat foods
Yeah. Don’t do it. I know that we’ve been told to avoid fat since we were children, but the time has come to smash that rule. Eat full fat cheese. Enjoy the crispy skin on your chicken. Add butter to your broccoli.
Yes, all of it.
The only fats I would look into avoiding are vegetable oils like canola and corn. These oils are inflammatory and there are much tastier options available (like bacon grease, butter and coconut oil).
2. Not replacing electrolytes
On Keto, we tend to drink more water since it is dispelled so quickly. When this happens, electrolytes are excreted through the urine and it’s VERY important to replenish them. Use broth and liberally salt your food (even your water if you like).
Failure to replenish electrolytes could result in the dreaded Keto flu, so be sure to hit the daily recommended levels.
3. Too many changes at once
This one is very important. Remember, you are human. Changing from a lifestyle of processed junk and no exercise to a completely Keto and active lifestyle are opposite ends of the extremes. Choose one or the other to focus on first. You don’t want to get burnt out in such a small amount of time.
4. Not giving fat adaption the time it takes
The first week of Keto will most likely leave you feeling pretty low as you adjust to life with lower levels of carbs. But give it time, it really works.
At first, your body might not be used to the influx in fat and may result in diarrhea. Over time your body should regulate. For some people, fiber supplements work well to bulk up loose stools.
For constipation, try upping your fats or supplementing with magnesium before bed.
Fat adaption can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. Many experience a burst in energy, feelings of euphoria and noticeably less bloating and/or inflammation. Your urine may start to smell and a metallic taste may develop in your mouth, but don’t be alarmed. IT’S WORKING.
5. Not tracking (at least initially)
It’s really easy to overeat and eyeball the wrong amounts of food. If you are just starting out, get into the habit of weighing your food or servings out. Over time, you can be a little lax, but building that awareness of how much you are actually consuming is a necessary step.
If tracking causes you more anxiety than anything, try sticking strictly to the Keto Diet Food List and listen to your body.
Be aware of aggressive marketing
Keto is FREE. The concept is to keep your carbs low enough to maintain a ketogenic state (~20 – 50g) and to get the rest of your macro-nutrients from fat and protein.
As a ketogenic way of eating has continued to soar in popularity, it’s no surprise that companies are trying to cash in on the ‘Keto’ marketing term. Always check your labels and nutritional information.
Some products that are not required to find success on Keto include:
- Exogenous ketones – these are often marketed as products that “get you into ketosis instantly” or “give you the ability to eat whatever you want without going out of ketosis.” Sound too good to be true? It is.
- MCT oil – this is known to increase energy, but it is also a concentrated form of calories. If you are stalling on Keto, this would be one of the first products I remove. Your body will prioritize burning this fat before your own body fat, so I would only use this if you were at your intended goal weight and/or in need of instant energy. MCT oil is also really easy to overdo and could also cause some gnarly digestive issues.
- Blood ketone monitor – this can be a helpful tool in seeing if certain foods affect your levels of ketosis, but it is not something you need to do daily. The price of testing can really add up. I find a blood glucose monitor to give me more helpful information, such as determining which foods cause my blood sugar to rise more than others.
What tips would you recommend a Keto newbie? Comment below!
Dom Geracia is a long time Keto diet follower who is passionate about simplifying the low carb lifestyle for beginners. When he's not posting yummy food pics on Instagram, you can likely find him cuddling the nearest cat or guzzling down (yet another) iced coffee.
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