Registered Dietitian and SlimFast Plan Consultant, Maryann Walsh discusses 5 common Keto mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
Whether you are researching and planning on starting the ketogenic diet, or you have been following a Keto diet for a while now, it’s safe to say that educating yourself on how the ketogenic diet works is important to ensure even a basic understanding of what to eat and what to do! While there’s a wealth of information and recipes at our fingertips thanks to the internet, some still find they hit a rough patch while following a Keto diet, below are 5 common mistakes Keto-dieters face and how to avoid them!
Not having a plan!
We are starting with the most important one first! Having a plan is often crucial to success following a ketogenic diet. It’s important to figure out where you are going to start in terms of daily macro amounts, then, figure out meals and snacks ahead of time so you are prepared. Because the ketogenic diet consists of lowcarb foods, relying on a box of pasta in the pantry for dinner in a pinch or a bag of pretzels in your purse when hunger hits just isn’t an option! You can get some help calculating your net carb target for the day here where I show you how to do the math, you can also download the SlimFast Keto QuickStart Guide here, it includes a 1 week meal plan to help take the guesswork out of getting started!
Even with a plan, tracking everything you eat can make all the difference between those who lose weight or achieve their goals successfully on a ketogenic diet and those who don’t. Tracking helps you see everything that’s going into your body and how it’s all adding up and fitting into your macros. From here, you can tweak accordingly if you find you aren’t losing weight at a desired rate or reaching ketosis. Using one of the many apps available for your smartphone is a great way to track your macros and nutrition.
Not drinking enough water
While many people enjoy quick initial weight loss with a ketogenic diet, you may have heard that often some of this weight is due to shedding water, and this is usually true. Carbs naturally pull in and retain water, so with an absence of carbs, there’s a good chance you will shed quite a bit of water and you also won’t hold onto as much water as you continue on with a ketogenic diet. In order to maintain adequate hydration and help prevent symptoms like fatigue, headache, dizziness (often referred to as “Keto flu”) it’s important to drink enough throughout the day. Always have water on hand and use thirst as your guide. Want more advice on how to stay adequately hydrated? check out this .
Not replacing electrolytes
Electrolytes such as a sodium, potassium and magnesium are often overlooked when it comes to a ketogenic diet, but with the loss of water discussed above in #3, our bodies can lose electrolytes. Electrolytes have numerous physiological functions and adequate amounts of electrolytes in the body can help prevent symptoms of the “Keto flu,” also mentioned above in #3. You can choose to incorporate electrolyte supplements or sugar free electrolyte enhanced beverages into your plan to help combat this, and of course get the OK from your doctor prior to doing so if you are on any medications or have any medical conditions.
Allowing yourself to get overwhelmed with information overload!
Even those seeing desirable results following a ketogenic diet can easily get Keto “burn out” with all of the information out there on what to do and what not to do. At the end of the day, go by what feels best for you. If you are following a ketogenic meal plan consistently and losing weight at a desirable rate but you aren’t seeing your Keto test strips turn purple? It’s ok! If you went over on protein for the day and your macro intake wasn’t perfect, it’s ok! Nobody is perfect, and many achieve desirable results following a Keto diet without having perfect “macros” every single day…it’s about progress and overall consistency, not perfection!