Keto Diet

Keto Mistakes To Avoid

keto mistakes

The end goal each person sets when starting a keto diet may be different, but one common goal remains: to keep your body in a state of ketosis. Maintaining a true state of ketosis can be challenging because you have to consciously balance your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake. A few too many carbs can quickly take your body out of ketosis, forcing you to start the process all over again. There are other common keto mistakes as well, from sleep problems to inadequate nutritional intake. To help you stay on the right track and avoid keto diet mistakes, read this helpful guide to prevent the five most common pitfalls

1. Poor Meal Planning

Eating on a keto diet requires a great deal of preparation, from planning the food you bring along to the time it takes to prepare the meal. In fact, inadequate meal planning is probably one of the most common keto mistakes.

Many people start out taking meal planning and meal prep seriously, but then lose steam after a few weeks. If you don’t have keto-friendly snacks on hand, you’re more likely to settle for a quick carbohydrate fix and thus throw off your keto diet.

Here are a couple of easy tips to stick with your meal planning:

  • Pick your shopping and preparation days: They may not be the same day, but setting aside specific times and days to shop and prepare can help you stay committed to your plan.
  • Create a weekly menu: Whether you need to bring a meal to work or want an easy dinner, take the time to list your daily meals. It is helpful to choose meals with similar ingredients to reduce preparation time.
  • Do your research: Part of creating a menu that not only fits your lifestyle, but adheres to the principles of keto is knowing what works for the keto diet and what doesn’t. Whether you read books or blogs, or chat with experts, it’s important to understand what will best support your keto lifestyle.

2. Forgetting to Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

While fats dominate the diet, don’t just turn to bacon, cheese and cream. When choosing your fats, aim to include more anti-inflammatory omega-3s, especially EPA and DHA, the types found in salmon, sardines, oysters, herring and mussels, says Clevenger, a ketogenic nutritionist with a private practice in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. (If you don’t like seafood, you can also take cod liver oil or krill oil.) Other healthy fats are also a good choice; if you’re not already stocking up on avocados, olive oil and seeds like chia and flaxseed, be sure to do so. Not only are they keto-friendly – they also provide the healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that your body needs to perform at its best.

3. Not Drinking Enough Water on Keto

While focusing on what you’re eating, don’t forget what you’re drinking. In ketosis treatment, the potential for dehydration increases.” The dramatic reduction in carbohydrate intake on a ketogenic diet can lead to changes in your fluid and electrolyte balance. Carbohydrates are stored in the body along with water, so when those stores are depleted, water is lost as well,” says Alyssa Tucci, nutrition manager at Virtual Health Partners in New York City. She also says the body flushes out accumulated ketones in the urine, which also depletes the body of water and sodium. All of this is to say. Drink up. Tucci recommends drinking a large glass of water when you wake up and drinking regularly throughout the day to reach the goal of consuming half your body weight in ounces of water each day.

4. Not Preparing Yourself for the Keto Flu

As your body transitions from carbohydrate burners to fat burners, you may experience what’s called “keto flu,” or flu-like symptoms (including muscle cramps, nausea, pain and fatigue) during the first two weeks of the keto diet. If you’re not prepared for this feeling, you may think something is terribly wrong and abandon the diet altogether. More than that, Clevenger says, you can help yourself through the transition to low energy by planning your meals or meal prep. She also recommends eating foods rich in potassium, magnesium and sodium, as well as hydrating to help ease keto flu symptoms.

5. Not Getting Enough Sleep

This is one most common keto mistakes. What does your body want to do when you’re tired? Get fuel to wake itself up! The fastest way to get fuel is through carbohydrates, as they are higher in glucose, but this can lead to ketogenic diet mistakes. Lack of sleep can also raise cortisol levels (the stress hormone), which can increase cravings and induce weight gain.

To help you avoid feeling tired, especially in the first few days and weeks of your keto diet, make a conscious effort to get enough quality sleep. Here are a few simple tips that may help you get the sleep you need:

  • Set a bedtime: Get to bed in time to make sure your body has seven to eight hours to rest.
  • Avoid electronic devices before bedtime: Cell phones, tablets, computer screens and TVs can all disturb sleep due to their blue light.
  • Try earplugs: If you’re a light sleeper, or you live in a place where noise disturbances are common, use earplugs to improve sleep quality.
  • Don’t eat right before bedtime: For some people, eating just before sleep can cause disturbances. If you notice this, avoid eating an hour or two before bedtime, and definitely avoid eating carbs or alcohol before sleep.

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