Committing yourself to a low carb diet is the smartest way to scale down your weight. But let’s face it; it can be quite frustrating when you give the low carb diet your best shot but you’re unable to drop the excess fat as desired. Don’t fret, though. It low carb mistakes happens to many people. Well, there are some missteps that may be sabotaging your efforts and holding you back from reaping the benefits of a keto diet.
Without further ado, let’s check out the most common low carb mistakes you should avoid.
1. Low intake of fat
While the key idea of the diet is to force your body to run entirely on fat, you’ll still need to consume more grams of fat than any other macronutrient (proteins and carbohydrates). Most low carb diets typically provide a calorie ratio of 75 percent fats, 20 percent proteins, and 5 percent carbs.
Eating the right amount of fat is necessary, as it is far dense and gives you that satiated feeling. Feeling full for long helps minimize cravings on carbs, making it a lot easier to enter and stay in ketosis to push your body towards burning more fat.
To get the most out of this diet, it’s recommended to consume only healthy pure fats, such as avocado oil, coconut oil, butter, and nuts. Try to avoid anything processed.
2. Consuming more calories than you burn
If you want to lose weight effectively when on a low carb diet, more calories need to leave your body than enter it. An excess of calories in the body will be stored as body fat, and this will result in weight gain.
How many calories you’ll need to eat depends on factors, such as sex, height, size, workout exercise, and age. On average, however, the generally recommended daily calorie intake for women and men is 2000 and 2500, respectively.
You can take advantage of calorie counters, charts, and other tools available online to help you keep track of your calorie intake.
3. Too much consumption of protein
Protein is one of the important macronutrients of a keto diet or any other diet. Nevertheless, it should be consumed in the right amount. It can improve the feelings of fullness, which helps with fat burning. Protein can also lead to improved recovery after workouts and better body composition.
Unfortunately, too much consumption of protein will result in gluconeogenesis, where some of the amino acids are naturally converted into glucose. The secretion of glucagon and insulin in response to glucose concentration in the blood can affect your body from entering into ketosis.
Through gluconeogenesis, it is possible for the body to turn other substrates into glucose to produce fuel even if your diet doesn’t include any carbohydrates. The five percent in the keto diet is needed basically to support the proper functioning of some body parts, like the kidney medulla and red blood cells.
Many of the diets that consist of readily accessible carbohydrates often cause a significant reduction in demand for extra glucose, because of slow gluconeogenesis. And when the body uses glucose entirely for fuel, it means that the excessive proteins and carbs can be stored as fat.
Also with a ketogenic diet, the supply of body energy comes from fats. If you eat more than the required amount of protein, more of it will be stored as fat or glycogen to support muscle recovery and body composition.
Keep in mind switching from glucose to using fat as a source of fuel in the body usually takes a lot of time.
Consuming the recommended 20 percent on a keto diet will allow you to easily enter ketosis and replenish your glycogen stores, especially during the early stages of your diet. It is because during this time the body tends to burn any excess glucose from gluconeogenesis, rather than running on fat for fuel. Getting into ketosis can prove to be a really difficult and time-consuming task.
4. Not drinking enough water
Many fitness fans, often than not, become much focused on the food and calories they consume per day and ignore the most basic and crucial ingredient for success, water. You need to drink plenty of water for the proper functioning of your body, including boosting metabolism to burn fat.
Water does not only help circulate the dissolved minerals and nutrients, but it also flushes out toxins and maintains the body temperature. And health authorities recommend drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water.
With a keto diet, the body typically expels excess sodium and water at a higher rate as the insulin levels decrease. If you don’t replace the lost water effectively, especially when starting out the diet, you risk hindering your metabolism is one of the biggest low carb mistakes and sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
5. Sleep deprivation
You should try to sleep at least 7 hours every night. A lack of adequate sleep can have a negative impact on your body weight. First off, sleep deviation has been shown to put your body under stress, compromising your metabolism rate and is not only one of the major low carb mistakes. Also, it affects the levels of leptin and ghrelin hormones, which are responsible for controlling the feelings of hunger and satiety. So, you’re more likely to sneak in less healthy foods to supply your body with energy.
6. You’re consuming hidden carbohydrates
Hidden carbs can easily affect the percentage of carbs you consume per day, and this can be your weight loss enemy. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to low carb foods, but you need to be very careful. Be sure to take a few seconds to review the nutrition information displayed on those products.
The best course of action, however, is to avoid packaged food products if possible, as a greater number offers more than enough carbs to compromise your ketogenic efforts. For example, you’ll want to avoid sauces, condiments, as well as salad dressings.
7. Not maintaining a healthy level of electrolytes
As by the very nature of a keto diet, more electrolytes are going to be lost in your fluids due to less insulin in the body. The often affected electrolytes are sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
When you’re dehydrated and there’s a delicate balance between these electrolytes, you will start to experience the Keto Flu symptoms, especially in the first stages of the diet. Some of the symptoms include headache, nausea, brain fog, and fatigue. Well, these are good signs that your body is trying to make a positive switch.
The good news is that you can minimize the keto flu effects if you stay well hydrated. You may also consider taking mineral supplements to replenish your electrolytes if you engage in endurance exercises or any form of rigorous physical training. A great supplement will also boost your energy level, as well as promote ketone production to burn fat. In general, you’ll need to consume about 300mg of magnesium, 1000mg of potassium, and 5000mg of sodium per day.
8. Overdoing it with low carb friendly sweets
Incorporating low carb friendly sweets like cookies and brownies into your diet isn’t bad, but it would be a bad thing to do if you consume them on a daily basis. The keto sweets should rather be considered a treat for a special occasion.
While they offer a low carb amount, consuming many of them means more calories are entering your body, which can undermine your success. In addition, the sweetened foods may also subject you to increased cravings for carbs which would be another low carb mistake.
9. High consumption of dairy foods
Dairy is technically any product made from milk and its main components are fat, lactose, casein, and whey. Although dairy foods can be low in carbs, they are still loaded with protein which can cause problems for some people trying to lose weight. Just like carbs, having too much protein as we discussed above, will also trigger the release of more insulin, which may bring about the increased fat storage.
Taking the low carb friendly dairy foods in moderation is the best way to go about it, regardless of your tolerance level. Your good intentions to get enough fat could also lead you to feed your body with amino acids that spike insulin fairly effectively.
If you can’t do without yogurt, cheese and cream, then be sure not to consume more than 1-2 ounces per meal.
10. Eating too many snacks
You have plenty of options when it comes to snacking for fat loss. Options such as avocado and nuts are typically filling and can be an excellent option when you’re having excessive hunger between meals. However, snacking should be done moderately. Otherwise, you’ll supply the body with excess calories, which makes it difficult to burn the unwanted stored fat for fuel.
Low Carb Mistakes – A take-home message
A low carb diet is an effective weight loss tool when done the right way. Nevertheless, if you’re having trouble losing weight despite doing everything correctly, you may have an undiagnosed health problem that causes weight loss to stall. Its, therefore, best to see your medical provider to rule out any medical issue through a series of tests.
Otherwise, low carb mistakes are part of the learning process. So, stay positive and correct them to achieve your weight loss goals.