Facts, Tips and Tricks about learning and living a Ketogenic Lifestyle
The Difference Between Keto Success & Keto Failure
Avoiding these common pitfalls can have you well on your way to fat loss, more energy, and a healthier you! Read on, to learn more about my top 10 pointers, to becoming your very own Keto Success Story!
10) Trying to Go It Alone
As a Mother and a Wife, to begin with, I was the only person in the household that was interested in doing Keto. At first, I didn’t have any family or friends that were themselves doing Keto.
For this reason, I sought out comradery and support on social media. That proved to be an excellent decision! There are lots of social groups on Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, etcetera, that can offer a community to be a part of.
When first starting Keto, you are not going to know exactly what you are doing, or what you might need tweaking. Having a community of others going through similar things can be very useful and resourceful.
I only caution that you do not blindly take any and all advice that you get. Consider the source, and then do some reaffirming research for yourself, to know if it is healthful and beneficial advice.
Becoming Keto is a big shift for most individuals. Success can be more achievable and sustainable, if you do not go this journey alone.
9) Not Thinking Big Picture
Yes, you will lose weight with Keto. But weight loss should not be the sole focus. Despite what mainstream wants us to believe, Keto is not another flash in the pan fad diet.
Living a Ketogenic Lifestyle can heal the mind and body. Although fat loss comes with that, how incredible a person can begin to feel mentally and physically, is the true payoff of this sort of lifestyle.
Keto should not be considered a quick band aid. Although plenty of people have success in shedding some weight with approaches like “Dirty Keto”, it is not helping to achieve optimal long term health benefits.
Nor can a person fix what ailed them with Keto, and then expect to go back to old habits and think that the positive benefits of Keto will stick.
If a person reverts back to old habits and old choices, they will once again find them selves in a familiar and undesirable place with their health and wellness.
Keto only works and only improves health as long as a Ketogenic Lifestyle is practiced.
8) Not Eating Enough Calories
When people begin to see the fat melting from their bodies it becomes easier to eat fewer calories. For a couple of reasons.
Reason one being, that once a person reaches Ketosis, their appetite naturally decreases and cravings go away.
The second reason being, some people start developing the mindset that if they begin to super restrict calories, while continuing Keto, they can lose even more weight, even faster.
The truth is, you can begin suffering deficiencies, and ill effects, if your caloric intake is too little.
By not getting enough calories, your metabolism can begin to slow, and then the body begins holding onto the weight, instead of losing it.
Also, hormones become out of whack. This has a significant impact and adverse effects with things like hair loss, brittle nails, impaired energy, lower mood and muscle wasting.
If you are not actually hungry, do not feel like you need to force yourself to eat, in order to meet caloric needs.
Focus on the meals that you are eating, the foods that you are consuming in those meals, and make sure that they have decent amounts of protein; as well as high amounts of fat.
Fat contains a whopping 9 calories per gram. Compared to 4 calories per gram of protein and per gram of carbohydrate. You get way more bang for your buck calorically, by consuming fat. Eat plenty of fat.
7) Eating Too Many Carbs
There are groups that believe that net carbs are what matter (subtracting fiber grams from carb grams of a food to equal net carbs). There are groups that insist total carbs are what matters.
From what I can decipher it is all dependent on your body and your current health state.
Some people’s digestion and metabolism are in such poor condition, that even carbs and fiber from whole natural vegetables, gives them digestive issues, discomforts and even stalls progress.
Others can eat bushels of vegetables, without regard to volume, and they feel great and continue dropping pounds. You may need to play around with your daily carbohydrate intake to find your sweet spot.
Initially, some individuals need to be more restrictive. Even with the whole natural carbs. In many cases, higher amounts of natural whole sources of carbs, can be reintroduced gradually, as the metabolism and body heals.
It also should be considered, that sometimes carbs can be overdone, with hidden and unsuspecting carbs in foods that we overlook.
Surprising carbs can lurk in food items like dairy, nuts, starchier vegetables, condiments, low carb sweeteners and processed meats. Watch out for these saboteurs!
6) Fearing Fat
I grew up in the midst of the low-fat era. Food labels everywhere touted, ‘LOW FAT’!
Eggs were terrible for you, real butter was a big no-no; and make sure you peal the skin off chicken. Because that is much healthier for you.
Even today, this thinking still holds strong with many people. But the truth is, you can improve your health, and shed fat from your body by eating… Fat.
For example, by letting go of the lean meats. Instead opting for the fat filled, flavor filled meats!
How is this so?! Lean meats induce a higher insulin response in the body than do fatty meats. Insulin is a fat storing hormone, that is most beneficial when in check.
Also, Fatty meats provide satiation, flavor and nutrients that are key in a Ketogenic Lifestyle.
Eating fat does not make a person fat. Eating fat is essential to the body and brain. Carbohydrates and sugar are not.
- Fats help the body absorb needed nutrients
- Fats help produce important hormones
- Fats support cell growth
- Fat is a superior fuel source for the body and brain
- Our bodies and brains NEED nutritional fat!
Because of fat lacking in most of our diets, and an excess of sugar and carbs, we are a society that is overfed and undernourished.
Want to be healthier? Get rid of the sugar and carbs and EAT MORE FAT!
5) Giving Up Before Reaching Ketosis
The adaptation phase can be a bit brutal. If you are someone that ate lots and lots of sugar and carbs, it can be especially difficult to adapt from running on glucose, to running on fat as fuel.
For fad dieters, it is not uncommon to eagerly begin a new diet, and quickly fizzle and quit the diet, within just a few short days. I am speaking from experience as a recovered fad dieter.
That is definitely not a long enough period for Ketosis to take full effect.
If a person can be mentally strong and exercise the little bit of discipline needed to get through the first few days of adaptation, Ketosis can usually be reached by this point.
And let me tell you friend, Ketosis is great!
Ketosis can provide better energy levels, an improved mental and emotional state, better focus, improved skin health, decreased body inflammation, cravings subside. The list of greatness continues!
Not to mention major health benefits like cancer prevention, brain health improvement, brain disease prevention, improved heart health and so much more!
4) Thinking Low Carb Means Keto
Be wary of Keto Products and their net carb claims. The food industry is of course seeing serious dollar signs in this popular keto trend.
Simply adding in a Keto Protein Bar, and a Keto Meal Replacement shake, and changing nothing else about your daily and nutritional practices, will not give you true fat loss results. This is not Ketogenic.
Although products can boast that they are Low Carb and Keto Friendly, it does not specifically mean that they are technically and nutritionally Keto. Ingredients do matter.
Often times these products are full of ingredients that actually can cause increased cravings, stalls in fat loss, and even cause weight gain.
Unfortunately, the food industry has gotten stealthy at cloaking ingredients like sugars, fillers and other hidden carb sources, in ways that confuse us and mislead us.
The safest bet is to eat fresh whole foods that do not require an ingredient list. Ground beef, steak, chicken thighs, broccoli, spinach, tallow, olive oil.
If it does have an ingredient list, try to select things that have straight forward and minimal ingredients.
The faster and more considerably processed foods- even “Keto Friendly” processed foods -are removed from the diet, the better.
The faster the fat loss. The faster cravings will dissipate. The faster tastes and preferences can be adjusted towards more nutrient rich natural foods.
For most people Keto is a complete reversal from what we have been taught and what we have been practicing nutritionally. There are serious adjustments being made when Keto is embarked. Both psychologically and metabolically.
Not only is the body adjusting to utilizing a new fuel source- fat as opposed to glucose -it is healing and detoxing. Physically speaking, healing and detoxing can be challenging, uncomfortable, and at times a rough road.
But healing and detoxing are a temporary state. Once those tasks are complete, the body can begin experiencing what it is like being optimally fueled, and what it is like to function optimally.
There is also a psychological adjustment. It can be a struggle to unlearn what we thought were healthy practices, prior to Keto. It is also a struggle to have faith that the Ketogenic Lifestyle, and consuming plenty of fat, will help us to achieve the health that we strive for.
Finally, there is the aspect of adjusting to a new style of eating; what that tastes like and what that feels like, when it comes to satiation.
It takes time to stop craving junk, and begin preferring whole natural foods with simpler tastes. But it is very achievable, through consistent practice.
These changes do not happen overnight. There will be missteps and times that we head dive off the Keto wagon. But it is okay. All is not lost.
Jump right back in. It is a process. Give yourself grace. Focus on one important change at a time and continue to build on those changes as they become second nature.
2) Only Focusing on the Scale
There may be periods in the Keto journey where you are being diligent and doing everything perfectly. But for some reason the scale is not budging!
Focus in on the non-scale rewards that Keto is still providing.
Is your energy up? Is your focus improving? Is your digestion improving? Are you feeling better overall? Do not discount the effort that you are making and the payoff that you are receiving.
Consider tracking body measurement, in addition to weight. More often than not ,because the body is now being nourished with proper nutrition with Keto, it is able to perform vital tasks, like repairing and restoring muscle.
Healthy muscles are good!
If you have heard that muscle weighs more than fat, that is absolutely true. And if your body is burning fat, but also restoring wasted muscle, this can affect the number you see on the scale.
Try not to base progress on weight loss alone.
1) Electrolyte Deficiency
Electrolyte Deficiency is often the number one contributor to people giving up on Keto. That is because Electrolyte Deficiency will have a person feeling AWFUL!
Considerably reducing carbs from the diet means that the body will begin releasing and flushing excess water, that it had previously been holding onto. When this happens, the bodies electrolyte levels- potassium, magnesium and sodium -can become deficient.
These electrolytes are essential to several important bodily functions.
Like, preventing kidney stones, regulating blood sugar and blood pressure, and promoting proper nerve and muscle function- To include the proper function of your heart; which is a pretty big deal.
Being deficient in electrolytes can result in discomforts and issues ranging from constipation, headache, nausea, very painful muscle cramps, and even as serious as irregular heartbeat.
Bottom line, not having sufficient electrolytes, will make you feel terrible.
The idea of Keto is to feel your best. Making sure to supplement electrolytes in the adaptation phase, can help you to stave off dreadful Keto Flu symptoms. Or at least ease the symptoms and aid in getting over the Keto Flu faster.
You can choose to drink your electrolytes. Or take them in tablet supplement form.
Also, do not be afraid to salt the heck out of your food. Just make sure you are using real salt, sea salt or Himalayan salt- not iodized table salt. You need way more salt in your diet with a low carb, high fat diet.
Keto Electrolyte Supplements
Ultimately, diet, is not a one size fits all kind of thing. Where some can tolerate higher carbs, others stall massively when going over 10 grams per day. Some people thrive on one meal a day, others need a minimum of three meals per day.
Learn the pillars of Keto. Put those into practice. Then make adjustments according to what makes you feel your absolute best, and what helps you to achieve your personal goals.