It's easier than it seems to avoid keto mistakes. Let’s begin with an analogy: Diets are like sports.
In a game of pick-up basketball the goal to score is clear, get the ball in the hoop. All other rules are negotiable as play goes on. No one is standing there with a whistle enforcing anything; you can get away with quite a bit. In the end, you’re there just to have fun.
A regular, eat-whatever-you-want diet is the eating equivalent of a pick-up game. The goal is simple, eat so you don’t starve, and the rules about calories and sugar are easy to pick and choose because there’s nothing stopping you, no one telling you not to eat an entire sleeve of cookies for lunch. In the end, you’re eating for enjoyment.
The Keto lifestyle is more like an NBA game. The goal is clear, the rules matter, and the result in the end, the win, is of paramount importance. For these reason, you need to be your own ref, blowing the whistle on yourself when it looks like a foul may be committed.
Here are the most common and easily avoided mistakes that Keto rookies tend to make.
KETO FOULS TO AVOID
1. Too much protein
Most diets promote high protein and tough calorie restriction. But Keto is a way of life meant to help you get healthy and remain in that healthy mindset. It’s this different way of seeing your food intake - diet vs. lifestyle - that throws many people off. Keto promotes low carb so that you’re no longer burning glucose for energy, you burn fat. But when you eat too much protein, your body metabolizes the excess protein as a form of glucose through a process called glycogenesis that stops the fat burn.
Sticking to the suggested macro ratios where protein is approximately 25% of your diet should keep you right where you need to be.
2. Giving up too early
When first starting keto, it takes the body several days to burn off the excess glucose and carbs already in the system. Getting your body primed and into a ketogenic state can take upwards of a week. Many beginners see this week of adjustment as the lifestyle not working for them. But you need to give yourself time to adjust and get into a zone where your metabolism has no glucose left to burn.
Stay on the keto path and it will work. It may take 2-3 weeks before the results are measurable. In this day and age of overnight delivery and on demand t.v. it’s hard to be patient, but with keto it is a must. Hold strong, the results will find you.
3. Not meal prepping, planning ahead
Our world has made getting a quick bite so easy that we’ve become lazy and dependent on drive-thrus and nothing but a foil wrapper standing between us and food. But those carb-loaded, processed conveniences are what made a majority of Americans unhealthy to begin with. Keto can
correct those past mistakes, as long as those mistakes stay in the past. However, this doesn’t mean keto is inconvenient. You simply need to plan ahead and prep your meals.
Many people fall off keto because they get home at the end of a long day and decide they don’t want to go through the hassle of making dinner. That’s how delivery pizza was born. To avoid the pizza boogey-man, pre-plan meals when you aren’t already hungry and set up some easy, quick meals to have when those mentally-exhausted Mondays leave you too drained to cook.
For those times when you just want to get out of the house and have someone else do the work, the niKETO restaurant is the answer to your keto dreams!
4. Food Fatigue, not mixing it up
Keto has amazing food options: bacon, cheese, avocados, nuts, meats and tons more! All of the keto foods are amazing and fun, but many new ketoers fall into a lull whereby they eat the same things day in and day out. Routine eating can get boring and lead to cravings. These food-fatigue cravings exist because your body is tired of the same things. Switch it up, try new foods and recipes to keep your tastebuds guessing.
If it’s a sweet tooth that’s nagging you, check out our list of treats that won’t knock you out of keto.
5. Sneaky Carbs
By the time you jump onto keto, you know how important it is to check nutrition labels. Those little tables on the back of packages tell you, at a glance, how many carbs an item has and if it’s keto appropriate. What many new ketoers don’t know is that, even though the package might say zero carbs, it isn’t necessarily so. Carbs find a way to sneak into many zero-carb and sugar-free foods.
FDA labeling now requires food to list its added sugar content, but many foods hide their added sugar by giving sugar different names. So check the ingredients panel on the nutrition label, any ingredient that ends in –ose is likely a hidden sugar.
Beware of portion tricks as well. The FDA doesn’t require a food to list sugar if the serving size of the item is under .5 grams. A certain breath mint with a plastic box and notable rattle claims to be zero sugar even though they are made almost entirely of sugar. How do they get away with it? One mint is one serving and weighs in at less than half a gram. So be aware of the tricks and you can cut the sneaky carbs.
6. Listening to other people’s opinions on YOUR lifestyle
What you eat is your business. If you want to eliminate carbs, do it. If you want to exclusively eat foods that are yellow, that’s your choice. It’s hard to explain, but for some reason, everyone has an opinion on eating low carb. If you want to walk the keto path, be it to lose weight, gain energy, or just plain feel healthier, it’s up to you. But be aware that other people, many of whom have never tried a low carb lifestyle, will feel the need to insert their two cents. The idea of keto is so revolutionary that it blows people’s minds. Those on the outside looking in can’t conceive of a life without carbs and therefore can’t get behind you on your journey.
Don’t listen to them. You’ve done the research (you’re here aren’t you) and you know what’s best for your body. Simply thank them for their concern about your health and continue on.
7. Not tracking your food
This one is a doozy. Technology has made it so easy to count your calories and keep track of your macros that it’s a shame when keto newbies try to wing it. Look, eventually you’ll get to the point where you don’t have to log in everything you eat. But when you’re first getting started, tracking your daily keto progress is the only sure-fire way to guarantee that you’re doing keto in the most effective way possible.
It’s easy, and most of the smartphone tracking apps are free, so go get one!