The Ketogenic or Keto diet has quickly become one of the most buzzed-about diet plans out there. But when there are so many people enthusiastically touting its benefits – and an equal number of critics shaking their head in disapproval – separating facts from fiction can become a little overwhelming.
The three biggest mistakes people on Keto diet make (that you should totally avoid):
- Loading up on fat bombs and other highly fat concentrated foods to get theirmacronutrient ratios in line: “Fat should be used as a satiating nutrient. People don’t necessarily need to eat fat bombs and put extra fat on their food or in their coffee just to make it high-fat,” says Mavridis. While this is a good strategy for when you’re transitioning from a glucose-dependent diet to a fat-fueled one, it’s not necessary once you’re fat-adapted, she adds. This is where intuitive eating comes into play. Learn to pay attention to your hunger cues. “If you’re feeling hungry shortly after a meal then you probably did not have enough protein or fat. But if you’re full and satiated, there is no reason to consume excess quantities of fat,” explains the health expert.
- Chasing blood Ketones instead of focusing on hormone signals: ”The higher the number means you have more Ketones circulating in your bloodstream, but that does not mean that you are better at burning fat for fuel,” Mavridis points out. “You must be in nutritional Ketosis, which is described as being between 1.5 – 3.0 mol/L on the blood Ketone meter. You will know once you are fat-adapted from hormonal signals, and not from higher Ketones on the blood meter,” she adds.
- Staying in Ketosis long-term: Chronic Ketosis can cause fatigue, muscle soreness, insomnia and nausea. “Unless you have a medical condition that requires you to stay in Ketosis for long-term, you shouldn’t stay in that state for a prolonged period without any carb ups,” Mavridis suggests. And if you’re a beginner, “it’s recommended that you go through the fat-adaptation phase so that your body becomes accustomed to burning both glucose and fat for fuel,” says the nutritionist.
Four quick Keto diet tips for best results:
If you are already following the Keto diet and are having success nutritionally, emotionally, and cognitively, then keep doing what you’re doing, Mavridis suggests. If, on the other hand, you are not feeling well, then it may be time to re-evaluate.
- Get in and out of Ketosis. Avoid the common mistakes mentioned earlier and try and cycle in and out of Ketosis – to give your body a break and to train your body to be flexible as to what sources of fuel it burns.
- Listen to your body. Some people incorporate dairy into their Keto journey and others do not. Your body will send you signals as to how it reacts to certain foods. It’s up to you to listen and customize the diet accordingly.
- Upgrade the quality of nutrients the best that you can. ”Consume organic produce, grass-fed and finished pasture-raised meats, and wild-caught seafood, as well as healthy anti-inflammatory fats. And eliminate vegetable and seed oils,” says the nutrition expert.
- Change your lifestyle habits. Remember that in order to reap maximum benefits, it’s important to stick to your eating plan and follow a healthy lifestyle. This includes regular exercise, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and eliminating additional toxins and stressors.