If you’re following a Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) or a modified version like TKD or CKD, make sure to choose high-quality, unprocessed foods that are naturally low in carbs. This includes non-starchy vegetables, grass-fed animal products and healthy fats from avocados, olive oil, fish, nuts and seeds.
Water and sodium requirements increase with keto because reducing carbohydrates reduces insulin, leading to a lower hydration level.
1. Not Tracking Your Macros
Even if you’ve been following a keto diet for a while, it’s still important to track your macros. This will help you get a better sense of portion size, as well as make it easier to eyeball Keto recipes.
While it’s not necessary to track macros forever, it’s a good idea to do so for at least a few weeks or a month. This will give you a chance to adjust your macros if you’re experiencing a weight loss plateau or other health issues.
Plus, tracking macros will help you learn how to listen to your body and brain’s feedback. This is an important part of making your Keto diet sustainable in the long run. You may even find that you become more in tune with your hunger cues and stop feeling deprived!
2. Not Meal Prepping
Meal prep is essential on any diet, but it’s especially important for those who are new to the Keto diet. It helps ensure that you are eating high-quality ingredients that are free of carbs, sugar, and processed foods.
It also allows you to control your carb intake, as it’s easy to over-consume carbs without even realizing it. Carbs can sneak into your meals in a variety of ways, including in drinks, salad dressings, soups, and sauces.
You should avoid or limit any foods that contain carbohydrates, such as grains, beans, legumes, potatoes, sugar, juice, candy, desserts, and some condiments and sauces. Instead, meal prep keto recipes that contain healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits. This will help you achieve optimal health and keep you on track for your goals. It will also help prevent hunger and food cravings.
3. Not Getting Enough Fat
When you are on a keto diet, you need to consume enough fat to keep your insulin levels low. This allows your body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs and helps you achieve a healthy weight loss.
Many people don’t get enough fat because they are afraid it will make them fat. However, the right kind of fat can actually help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
You should also avoid consuming too many carbohydrates. For example, if you are eating a salad, try to stick with green leafy vegetables and avoid dressings and sauces that are high in carbs. Also, be sure to eat plenty of fatty meats and eggs. These foods are rich in choline and folate, which may prevent cognitive decline as you age. You can also eat nuts, seeds, avocados and low-carb vegetables.
4. Not Getting Enough Protein
Protein is essential for weight loss and maintaining a healthy body. It’s also necessary for a healthy metabolism. Getting enough protein can help you feel full and promote muscle growth.
Lean meats like chicken, fish and beef are great sources of protein. Opt for grass-fed meats when possible. They are healthier for your heart and may reduce the risk of certain cancers, according to a 2021 study.
Other good sources of protein include tofu, eggs and cheese. Try adding them to curries, stuffed peppers and lettuce wraps. Eggs are naturally high in protein and low in carbs, while tofu is a plant-based source of protein that’s rich in calcium, manganese and copper. Plain yogurt is another high-protein option that’s easy to add to meals and snacks. Be sure to avoid sugary or flavored yogurts and milkshakes.
5. Not Getting Enough Electrolytes
Many newcomers to the keto diet struggle with this one. Because you’re limiting carbs, your body is also losing fluids—and electrolytes like sodium and potassium. If these aren’t replaced along with water, you can end up with dehydration symptoms (*).
You don’t have to drink a lot of liquids that contain only sugar to get enough water; you just need to focus on getting the right foods and drinks to meet your needs. This includes drinking plenty of water and hydrating with zero-sugar sports drinks.
Vegetables are a great way to get your electrolytes, but you have to be careful about how much of each food you consume. Be mindful of your portion sizes and consider eating vegetables that have a variety of colors for maximum nutrients. Choose nonstarchy options, such as leafy greens, cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumber.
6. Not Getting Enough Vegetables
The keto diet which can be seen in the ieatketo.com guide, is high in protein but low in carbohydrates, making it difficult to get enough vegetables unless you’re eating lots of salads. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make on a keto diet because a lack of veggies can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Another mistake is consuming too much protein, which can block the body from entering ketosis. Processed meats like pepperoni, sausage, and hot dogs are also a problem because they contain excess sodium and additives like nitrates and nitrites.
Lastly, consuming too many sugary drinks is a big no-no. Having too many sugary beverages can cause you to have an unbalanced diet and can cause you to gain weight. Drink plenty of water, iced herbal tea, and/or electrolyte supplements instead. This will prevent you from becoming dehydrated, feeling sick, and having bloating.
7. Not Getting Enough Meat
While limiting carbohydrates, it is important to eat enough protein-rich meats to sustain your energy levels. Lean cuts of beef, pork and chicken are keto-friendly as are seafood and eggs. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Eggs are also a great source of protein and can be eaten boiled, fried or made into an omelet.
Avoid processed meats such as pepperoni, sausage and deli meat, as they tend to be high in sodium and additives such as nitrates and nitrites. Choose organic and grass-fed animal proteins whenever possible.
8. Not Getting Enough Dairy
Full-fat dairy is a staple in the keto diet because it provides a good amount of fat and creates satiety. But be careful about consuming too many dairy calories because it is high in carbs.
Some people have dairy allergies or intolerance which may limit the types of dairy they can eat. However, most people can enjoy dairy such as cheese and heavy whipping cream. It’s important to track the calories in these foods because they are high in carbs and can stall your weight loss progress. Likewise, some keto-friendly products can contain hidden carbs in the form of sauces and condiments. These carbs can quickly add up and knock you out of ketosis. So, always read the label to be sure you are getting the right macros. Besides dairy, low-carb vegetables are also a great source of fat.
9. Not Getting Enough Fruit
A common mistake is focusing so much on restricting carbohydrates that you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. This can lead to a deficiency in antioxidants, which are essential for overall health.
Another mistake is using too much processed vegetable oil. These oils are high in linoleic acid, which can contribute to inflammation and fat storage. Instead, choose healthier cooking oils like olive oil and coconut oil.
Finally, many people don’t get enough non-starchy veggies, such as leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, and cauliflower. These veggies are rich in micronutrients that are hard to get from other sources, such as vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, and magnesium.
Vegetables also contain carbs, so it’s important to count them and eat them in moderation. However, don’t skip them entirely, as they are a key source of fiber. This can help prevent constipation, which is a common side effect of keto dieting.
10. Not Getting Enough Nuts
Nuts provide protein, fats and other essential nutrients like phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, iron and vitamin E. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber.
You should try to eat at least a handful of nuts daily. These snacks provide a healthy dose of fatty acids, which help reduce hunger and support ketosis.
Some nuts have more carbs than others, so you need to be mindful of portion sizes. For example, pistachios contain high levels of b vitamins and leucine, a branched chain amino acid, which can aid in muscle building.
Weighing yourself obsessively can also sabotage your efforts. It’s important to remember that early Keto weight loss is mostly water and not fat, and you should focus on other metrics of success instead of the scale.