3 Big Mistakes Keto Dieters Make & How to Fix Them

If you’re following the ketogenic diet but aren’t seeing results, or aren’t feeling quite like yourself, you might be wondering what’s going on. We're here to help.

Photo: SkinnyMs.

The ketogenic diet is known for focusing on cutting carbs and sugar. These 15 High-Protein Low-Carb Dinner Recipes are great for any keto dieter to try out and enjoy, but you should really understand the diet before committing to it.

The diet is all about keeping your body in ketosis. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. Stored fat is burned when the body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy. This causes a build-up of acids known as ketones in the body. While people encourage ketosis on the ketogenic diet by following a low-carb diet, they might not know it’s more intricate than just cutting out pasta and bread, or even fruits high in carbs and sugar. And thus, you might find your lack of results on the diet are due to your lack of knowledge, like cutting out certain foods that could actually be encouraging ketosis.

But before we can get into the 3 big mistakes keto dieters make & how to fix them, we have to better understand why someone should follow a ketogenic diet at all.

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The benefits of a ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet that focuses on receiving about 75 percent of your calories from fats. Meanwhile, 20 percent of calories are gained from proteins, and just 5 percent from carbs.

Research has found that the ketogenic diet can lead to short-term weight loss, while others follow the diet regularly for various other reasons. While studies show that it can boost your metabolism, research has also found that it can improve, and even eliminate diseases. Research has also found that following a ketogenic diet can significantly help with weight loss by reducing the BMI of patients.

The diet benefits the brain, too.  The brain requires a lot of energy to keep pushing sodium out of cells and pulling potassium into them. The ketogenic diet benefits the brain by increasing the body’s circulation of ketones. This results in better and stronger fuel to be pumped to the brain, which makes for improved focus and energy. It also serves for prevention and treatment for neurological disorders.

So now that you have a better understanding of why a ketogenic diet is noteworthy, it’s time to understand the 3 big mistakes keto dieters make & how to fix them. Whether you’re new to it, considering it, or haven’t had any luck on it for a while — knowing the mistakes is what will help you to achieve success.

And thankfully, the simple mistakes are easily fixable.

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1. You’re not eating enough salt

Salt gets a bad rap. It’s been harped over and over again to cut back on salt to substantially reduce your risk of heart disease. The sodium in salt is what keeps coming up in research as being the problem. In fact, one teaspoon of sodium chloride, called table salt, has 2,300 milligrams of sodium.

But the human body requires sodium to survive. It’s how nerve impulses transmit, it’s how muscle fibers relax and contract. It’s how proper fluid balance is achieved. Experts are even warning of how Lowest Sodium Intake May Pose Risks.

If you are a glucose burner, your body requires a substantial amount of water to use and store glycogen. But burning ketones doesn’t require a whole lot of water, so the excess is eliminated (resulting in quick weight loss). This elimination through the kidneys releases sodium, as well as potassium and magnesium. You can experience heart palpitations, constipation, headaches, fatigue, and lightheadedness when such electrolytes are lost. If you’re experiencing this, or want to make sure you avoid this, up your sodium intake to limit your electrolyte loss! Himalayan pink salt is a great option to pair with keto recipes.

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2. You’re eating too much dairy, or the wrong kinds

Dairy is incredibly delicious, and can be super beneficial for the body. And while it may be low in carb content, eating large amounts of cheese can slow down weight loss since it’s high in calories and very easy to overindulge in. Keto-friendly dairy choices include: butter, brie cheese, muenster cheese, cheddar cheese, gouda cheese, mozzarella cheese, bleu cheese, cream cheese, and Swiss cheese. Avoid “low-fat” items. Most of these are packed with sugar and starch.

If your body can’t tolerate lots of dairy, it may be resulting in the inability to lose weight. In fact, your intolerance might be causing inflammation in the body, which skyrockets cortisol levels, not only hindering your weight loss goals, but your overall health too.

If you’re finding it hard to become fat adapted, are constantly dealing with itchy skin, diarrhea, or eczema, are stuck at a weight plateau, or are dealing with inflamed sinuses, you might want to consider taking a month off of dairy to see how your body responds. You can limit dairy while still enjoying real butter, for instance, since it contains only trace amounts of milk protein and sugar.

When you need a dose of dairy, try something that’s healthy and satisfies your needs and hunger, like these nutritious Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Cups!

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3. You’re eating too much protein

Yes, high-fat, high-protein, low-carb is the combo, but only when done right! Like dairy, there is too much protein, and the wrong kinds at that. Bacon and a rib-eye might sound amazing, but they’re not supposed to be a part of your daily essentials. This is the case whether you’re following the ketogenic diet or not.

Proteins should make up about 25 percent of the calories you consume per day. This is about 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of the amount of lean body mass you have. If you go way over, you risk your body turning that unneeded protein into glucose.

Be sure you’re choosing the right protein. Carnivores and non-meat eaters alike will enjoy these 20 Protein-Packed Vegetarian Recipes and these 15 High-Protein Vegan Recipes. Love the meat? Try this Turkey Meatball Stuffed Portobello Mushroom.

Following a ketogenic diet is simple once you understand that there is too much of a good thing. As with everything in life, moderation is key. This is one of the best outlooks to have for success, both for your health and various aspects of your life.

You can also follow a ketogenic diet all you want, but if you’re overeating, be it on snacks or giant meals, you’re setting yourself back. It’s all about eating smart!

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