With any lifestyle change, there’s a bit of a learning curve.
Keto is no different! While its high-fat, low-carb nature is very approachable, there’s always room for error (or confusion). To set you up for success, here are the common mistakes new keto dieters make and how to avoid making them.
1. Forgetting to add fat
You’re probably thinking, “um that is NOT hard to do—more bacon please!” but trust us, it happens! We’ve spent most of our lives believing fat is the enemy when, in actuality, it’s a wonderful and healthy source of energy. Since we’re creatures of habit, it’s natural to overlook opportunities to sneak in a little bit more of those healthy fats to rev up our bodies to be fat-burning machines.
Our tip: Add an extra spoonful of grass-fed butter (we love Kerrygold!) on top of low-carb veggies, protein, or any other keto vehicle. Heck, you can even add butter or heavy cream into your morning coffee as Lina does with her Bulletproof coffee!
2. Not adding enough protein (or too much)
The keto diet doesn’t have a focus on a high or low intake of protein—it’s simply just an adequate amount. It may take a little bit of tweaking to find the ideal amount specifically for your body, but it’s oh so important as protein can be turned into glucose when consumed in excess, essentially kicking you out of ketosis.
Our tip: Remember to replace carbs with fat, not more protein. When starting out, it can be helpful to download a keto diet app to help you determine your macros and track your intake.
3. Skipping your sips of water
Dehydration is unfortunately all too common when starting out on keto, and it’s a major factor in the keto flu. Making sure you always have water at hand is a key strategy to keeping your body running as a well hydrated machine!
Our tip: Always keep a bottle of water nearby and keep track of your daily intake. If you’re finding that simply water isn’t keeping you hydrated, try incorporating electrolytes with either sugar-free sports drinks or a glass of water with a pinch Morton Lite Salt Mixture or No Salt.
4. Relying on processed snacks
You’ll come to find that pre-prepping meals and snacks will make all the difference on keto. Without having an eating plan in mind, you’ll find yourself rifling through the cabinets for something to eat, most likely landing on packages of processed foods. While having some products that are easy to grab-and-go isn’t the worst idea, you’ll want your diet to focus more on whole, natural foods.
Our tip: Plan your meals and shopping list in advance so you don’t find yourself caught off guard come dinner time. You can even prep keto snack boxes so instead of reaching for something over-processed, you have a fresh and healthy re-fueling option.
5. Leaving temptation in the house
Keto or not, no one needs sugar-filled, processed foods hanging out in their cupboard. Leaving these carby treats within reach can stifle motivation to stay on track and cause even more sweet cravings, which means more opportunity to be kicked right out of ketosis.
Our tip: Perform a kitchen clear out a week before you start keto. This gives you time to access the foods you have in your home and make a plan to use, donate, or dispose of them before embarking on your keto journey.
6. Letting outside sources measure your success
Following keto comes with a wealth of suggested health benefits, but your improvement in health should not solely be judged by tracking apps, ketosis strips, and the “all-mighty” scale. The most important factor to whether or not you’re getting the most out of keto is, well, YOU! Listen to your body and let your brain measure how you feel without basing your judgment completely on an external source.
Our tip: Smartphone apps, urine and blood testing strips, and your scale can all provide some insight towards your progress, but after you’re comfortable navigating keto on your own, let your body make its own assessment. If you’re feeling good, physically and mentally, that’s the proof that keto is working for you!
Keto is a lifestyle that, when followed properly, can result is a happier and healthier you! If you find yourself caught in any of the situations above, simply adjust your habits to alleviate the issue and get right back into keto. You got this!