Top 5 Keto MistakesMay 11, 2022
What are the top five most common mistakes people make when they're new to keto? Let's chat about it.
So the first most common mistake that I see when people are new to keto is they're not keeping up with their sodium and electrolyte intake and their hydration. So simply replenishing, sodium is going to go so far in terms of how you're going to feel as you transition into ketosis. When we're, you know, reducing our carbohydrate intake and going into state of ketosis, our body dumps a lot of water and with that water, it takes sodium with it. So if you're not replenishing that water and sodium, you're probably going to feel like crap. And this is only known as the Keto flu, you've probably heard of it, where you're feeling, you know, nauseous, or just low energy, headache, lethargy, throughout the day, those are a lot of things that actually can be taken care of, if you just replenish your electrolytes, and drink enough water throughout the day.
So making sure you're getting enough water, I like to say about half your body weight in ounces per day is the bare minimum that you should be consuming. And then making sure that you're adding salt to your food, you can take an electrolyte supplement, there's tons of different ones out there, where you can just you know, sip on an electrolyte supplement that have the most common electrolytes that we get deficient in which are sodium, potassium, magnesium. So this is again, one of the the first most common mistake I see. And the one that's so easy to kind of fix and get you feeling better. It's just making sure that you're staying hydrated and replenishing your electrolytes.
The second most common mistake I see is not paying attention to calorie intake, whether that's too high of a calorie intake or too low of a calorie intake. So calories matter, especially if you are you know, approaching a ketogenic diet for the goal of weight loss or fat loss. Being in a state of ketosis does not equal fat loss in itself, right ketones, just because you're producing ketones, it doesn't mean that you're automatically losing weight or losing body fat, right. So we still need to pay attention to calories. And so if your goal and you know a lot of people's goal going into a ketogenic diet, is to reap the benefits of appetite suppression, reap the benefits of extra energy throughout the day, you know, feeling satisfied by the foods you're eating not on that blood sugar rollercoaster, which are all benefits that we see to help with, you know, body fat loss and weight loss. But if you are not paying attention, your calories if you're eating, you know, tons of fat, if you are, you know, eating too many calories in general, that is going to hinder your results, if that's your goal, right?
On the opposite side of things. If you're eating too low calories, like if you start a ketogenic diet and your calories are too low, you're just not going to feel great overall, because you're not going to have enough energy coming in. So that is something to pay attention to, to to kind of ease the transition into ketosis. Make sure if if your goal is weight loss or fat loss, that you're not going, you know, too deep into a deficit from the start, because your body is going to need that transition period from going from being used to carbs to lower carb intake. And if you drop your calories super, super low, while making that transition, it's just going to make things a little bit harder. So with all that being said, this is going to come back to your goals. But you know, paying attention to calorie intake is going to be important, no matter what end you're on.
The third most common mistake I see is actually consuming too much fat. So we definitely want to make sure that we're getting enough healthy fats, right. But consuming too much is a mistake that I see, especially for someone whose goal is you know, fat loss or, or weight loss, right. So fat is going to be essential to help with that transition. But a lot of people are, you know, putting sticks of butter in their coffee and tablespoons of MCT oil, when we really don't need to do that, right.
So getting into a state of ketosis is primarily going to come from reducing your carbohydrate intake, not necessarily increasing your fat intake. So there's a saying carbs are a limit. Protein is a goal and fat is a lever. So you want to make sure that if your goal is to get into ketosis, that you're limiting your carb intake to get you know, your carbs low enough to start to produce ketones, you want to make sure you have adequate protein. So protein is a goal that you're going to shoot for, you know, on a daily basis. And then fat is going to be that lever that you kind of increase up or down depending on your primary goals. Right. And so this is, like I said, this is a mistake that I see is a lot of people are, are adding too much fat in their day. And it's you know, maybe not benefiting them in the sense of what their actual goals are. The fourth most common mistake I see is to low protein, so you do not need to lower your protein to get into a state of ketosis.
Again, primarily getting into ketosis is going to come from lowering your carbs. You want to make sure that you're keeping your protein adequate and you're getting it from high quality sources. Protein is super important for so many different processes in our body, specifically, you know, keeping us full throughout the day, making sure that we're maintaining our muscle mass and our lean body mass. And so you don't want to be reducing your protein to you know, to dramatically right. So thinking about keeping protein moderate to high I found for most people is going to be very, very beneficial. There is some research out there. And there's some misconceptions within the research where, you know, most of this research has been done in disease states where they're following a very strict keto diet. So they need to have they're fat very, very high, and that in turn will cause protein to come down. But that is if we're looking to potentially treat a disease state like epilepsy, for example, where we want our ketones to be super, super high. And that is the main goal.
But for the average person, and for most people, if you're just implementing ketogenic diet, for you know, health, for maybe fat loss, for mental clarity, just all of those things, if those are, you know, in the realm of your goals, then you should be not thinking about reducing your protein, you should be keeping your protein moderate to high, I have a few different ways to go about determining what your protein intake should be. So one of the easiest ways is looking at your, your grams per pound of body weight. So you know, thinking about if you are like, if you are more on the leaner side, you have, you know, a lot of muscle mass, not, not a lot of body fat, thinking about keeping your protein around one gram per pound of body weight is a really good place to B, if you have, you know, a lot of weight to lose. Or if you have a lot of body fat, you can look at in the sense of your height. So if you have a lot of weight to lose, you can think about consuming your daily protein intake in your height. So all I mean by that is take your height in centimeters.
So however, you know, tall you are in centimeters, that is the amount of protein you would be shooting for in grams per day. So if you're 160 centimeters, 160 grams of protein per day would be your goal, right. And that's just a gauge, right? That's a place to start that is higher that is on the higher end for what most people recommend, especially in a ketogenic realm. But I tend to see from my experience over the years that height, keeping protein higher is going to be very beneficial for the majority of people. So that's the fourth most common mistake is lowering protein too much.
The fifth most common mistake that I see is for anything about food quality. So if you're going on a ketogenic diet, and just you know, looking at counting carbs, and not really paying attention to the types of foods you're eating, you can kind of go down a rabbit hole, that might not be the best idea, right? So you can get into a state of ketosis by maybe eating lower carb foods that are not super high quality. So some people refer to as like the McDonald's burger diet, where you're just having McDonald's burgers and cheese without the bun. And yeah, maybe you can get into safe ketosis that way, but eventually, it's going to catch up to you.
So thinking about your food quality is going to benefit you so much more in the long term, right, thinking about making sure that your diet is filled with nutrients, because that's in itself is just gonna make you feel good throughout the day. Right. So having enough whole foods in your diet, I always say like, if you look at your overall day is 80% of your day made up of food that either had a face at some point, or it grew from the Earth at some point, right? So if you can say that 80% of your day has been made up of those types of foods, you're probably doing pretty well. And when I say had a face at some point, I mean, you know, thinking animals, right? animals, fish, meat, dairy, things that have come are either an animal or have come from an animal. And then things that have grown from the Earth would be, you know, your vegetables, your fruits, things like that.
So if 80% of your day is made up of those things, you're probably doing pretty good. And then like if the other 20% are made up of maybe more. So those processed foods, maybe you're adding in like some protein powders, or maybe like a Keto treat here and there, that's totally fine. But you don't want that to be the majority of your day. Because eventually it's going to catch up to you, you're not going to be getting the nutrients that you need. And you're probably going to be doing yourself a disservice over the long term. So those will be the top five mistakes that I've seen people make when they're new to keto.
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