The idea behind keto diets is that you eat more fat and less carbohydrates, resulting in your body producing ketone bodies instead of glucose – a state known as ketosis. Simply put, a ketogenic diet is high in fat, low in carbohydrate and ‘moderate’ in protein.
Sufferers of epilepsy, especially those who are very young, have been recommended to adopt a keto diet because it can helps reduce seizures.
Epilepsy patients who are in ketosis tend to see the frequency of seizures reduced by about 50% and, lately, people have realised the benefits of a keto diet for weight loss and other various benefits.
There is a lot that you need to think about and prepare before you take the diet up, and a lot of beginners tend to make mistakes. Here are a few common ones that you can avoid.
Not Getting Enough Fat
Considering that fat is such an essential part of a keto diet, it is probably comes as quite a surprise that some people make this mistake.
Typically, fat is something most people who are not dieting tend to avoid, and consequently making such a huge change can be tricky.
An ideal keto diet should be around about 70% fat and, in order to create the ketone bodies necessary, a large amount of fat must be burned.
You can find out a bit more about the importance of fat in a keto diet here, but just make sure that you are hitting that 70% mark, no matter how excessive it might seem.
Eating Hidden Carbs
Even if you think you have cut carbs out of your diet, there might still be some finding their way in there without you realising it.
Food companies have got a tendency to sneak carbohydrates into their products and mask them with names that throw us off.
It is advisable to thoroughly read every label before you purchase anything. If you see any sugars with different names there’ is a good chance the food is higher in carbohydrates than you might expect.
Watch out for terms like: lactose; sucrose; fructose; barley malt; and corn syrup. Do a bit of research and you should get a good idea of the type and amount of carbohydrates are hiding in your food.
Eating Processed Food
You definitely need to pay close attention to this one. Keto is all about eating real food – meaning actual fruit and vegetables, and meat – as processed food does not have the same effect.
The main offenders of this tend to be things like candy bars that are claiming to be keto. They will have wrapping with ‘suitable for keto’ on the product.
You see it with a lot of brands like Quest and Atkins. They try to sell these products that have keto ingredients but are not useful to you because they are processed.
Do not be fooled by this. Buy the basic ingredients food yourself and make your own meals. Some of the ‘supposed’ keto products out may be there are fine, but it is not worth the risk.
What is okay to have as a part of your diet, however, are supplements. There’s keto supplements and there’s also others that can fill in certain gaps that your diet might be causing.
So, go for supplements if you want, but stay away from processed food.
Not Planning Meals
Meal planning is probably most people’s least favourite part of dieting, but it will save you a lot of frustration in the long run.
If you do not have your meals planned out ahead of time, you could end up: finding yourself without the necessary ingredients when it is time to cook; skimping on a meal; or, even worse, going back to your ‘old ways’.
When something like that happens, you are not going to want to go hungry so chances are you will just end up eating something that does not sit within the framework of the diet.
You can counter this by having a strong collection of recipes gathered in your head or notebook that you know how to prepare. There’s plenty of sources online to find good keto recipes so you should have no trouble.
Learn how to make a good chunk of these and start practising them, and then always plan your meals – it will be worth it.
Eating too Much Protein
Eating too much protein? Really? Yep. Of course protein is extremely important, it is probably the body’s most important macronutrient.
The thing is though, if you have too much protein in your system, it could get in the way of you reaching nutritional ketosis – a metabolic state in which you burn mainly fat (ketones) for energy instead of glucose (sugars).
Eating to much protein means the body will convert it into glucose and therefore will not produce any ketone bodies
After a period of time, your body will become fully ‘fat-adapted’ and you will be able to handle different levels of protein.
To make sure that you achieve ketosis at the beginning, protein should only make up about 20% of your calories.
It is not easy to convert to a keto diet, and it is entirely understandable why people would make some of these mistakes.
If you want to take full advantage of adopting a keto diet though, you are going to want to overcome these mistakes as early as possible.
There’s plenty of sources online to find good keto recipes so you should have no trouble. For example, PerfectKeto have a great collection of keto recipes here.
So, just keep all of this stuff in mind when you are starting out, and you should be able to see results from your diet sooner rather than later.