Have you heard about the ketogenic (keto for short) diet? The main idea of the keto diet is that the majority of the calories you eat come from fat and protein and a smaller portion comes from carbs. I am a huge fan of a ketogenic type of diet for many reasons – read more about it here – but there are definitely a lot of mistakes and misconceptions made with the keto diet.
Read below to learn the top mistakes made with the keto diet and how to fix them fast:
1. Too much processed food
Sure you can find packaged low carb versions of your favorite treats, but just because they are low carb doesn’t make them healthy. Watch out for packaging that says “low carb” because there’s a good chance these are highly processed to make them low carb. If the food has a long ingredient list be weary because even though you are eating keto, those extra additives and chemicals in the food are not doing you any favors.
Fix it: Limit the amount of processed food as much as possible by eating real foods that don’t come in a package.
2. Not eating enough vegetables
Many keto-dieters get so caught up on carbs that they cut back on veggies just to keep the carb count low- don’t do this! Non-starchy veggies will not spike your blood sugar or throw you out of ketosis – and they definitely won’t make you gain fat! Vegetables are the number one source of vitamins and minerals, plus they pack at ton of natural fiber.
Fix it: Non-starchy vegetables should be consumed in unlimited quantities, aim to get at least a cup of veggies at every meal.
3. Not accounting for all carbs
If you are finding that you are not getting the results you want from the keto diet it might be because carbs are sneaking into your diet without you even realizing it – a little bite here and there of carby foods can add up quickly.
Fix it: Be mindful of everything you eat and drink and check the nutrition label whenever possible.
4. Eating too many nuts
Nuts and nut butters in small amounts generally have a low amount of carbs, but when you start doubling, tripling, or quadrupling the serving size then these carbs really start to add up.
Fix it: Take a look at your nut consumption and start measuring out serving sizes.
5. Not eating enough protein
Many keto-dieters get so caught up on loading up on fat that they skimp on protein – don’t let this happen to you!
Fix it: There are many factors that go into how much protein you need, but if you are active a general rule of thumb is to consume up to a gram of protein per pound of body weight.
6. Eating too much
One of the biggest misconceptions about the keto diet is that you can stuff yourself with fatty foods and you won’t gain weight – not true. It is true that your body will be better at metabolizing food and using food for energy rather than storing as fat, but if you eat way beyond what your body can use then you will start putting on the fat.
Fix it: Eat slowly and eat until you are full. Be sure to get a serving of protein and ideally a vegetable with each meal to keep you full and satisfied.
7. Consuming artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners might help you to cut carbs and sugar in the short term, but could cause you to crave more sweets and eat more later. Artificial sweeteners have also been found to possibly mess with your gut bacteria, which can lead to other potential issues like weight gain and stomach upset.
Fix it: Avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible, and if you need something sweet then go for a little fruit.
8. Assuming all fats are created equal
All fats are definitely not created equal. Some fats promote inflammation in the body while other fats help to decrease inflammation and supply the body with essential nutrients.
Fix it: Go for grass-fed and organic products and definitely no processed cheese or dairy!
9. Smothering all meals in butter to make them keto
Just because you add a ton of fat to a meal does not mean that meal is now keto friendly. Things like coconut oil and grass-fed butter are great to add in small amounts to high protein foods, but adding them to carbs does not cancel out the carb content.
Fix it: Remember that servings sizes matter and carbs do not disappear.
The above are some of the most common mistakes individuals make on the keto diet – don’t let them happen to you! And if you have been making one or more of these mistakes, don’t worry about it because now you know 🙂