Everyone is doing keto, or at least they say there are. Bread, fruit, grains and starchy veges are all banned as followers aim to keep their carb intake as low as possible in order to kick start the glorious state of fat burning we all aspire too. While keto may seem to hold all the answers to weight loss, the reality is that not everyone gets the results they are hoping for when they call time on their carb intake.
So if you have been trying to eat keto but the scales are not moving, here is where you may be going wrong.
1. You are eating too much protein
A keto diet is not just low carb, rather for it to be successful, 60-70% of calories need to come from fat. This is not easy to achieve. It relies on a high intake of nuts, oils, seeds and avocado with plenty of low calorie salads and vegetables and some protein. Where many keto fans go wrong is that they simply replace their carbs with extra protein. The issue with this is that when more than 20-25% of calories come from protein gluconeogenesis will be triggered where excessive amino acids will be converted to glucose and used as energy hence halting ketosis. For keto fans this means that when extra eggs, dried meats, smoked salmon and meats are consumed, protein often tips over 20-25% of total energy and the keto effect is negated.
2. Carbs are not as low as you think
The amount of carbohydrate required for each person to achieve ketosis differs widely between individuals and is dependent on age, gender, activity levels and glucose sensitivity. For some of us it could be as low as 20-30g of carbs, while others may achieve ketosis while consuming as much as 60-80g of carbs. When the requirement is for carbs to be as low as 20-30g, the reality is that this is very difficult to achieve. It means literally no fruit and very few vegetables. It is also almost impossible to eat out as restaurant and fast foods meals contains so many extra sauces and calories. And if your breath does not smell funny you are most likely not in ketosis.
3. You are eating too many calories
It is often assumed that eating keto means that you can eat as much high fat food as you like, but the reality is that an excessive calorie and fat intake will still be stored even if you are in ketosis. This means that handfuls of nuts and seeds, along with extra cream, oil, cheese and avocado are easily overconsumed. For keto to be effective you need to keep your calorie intake reasonable and less than 1500-1600 calorie for women or 1800-2000 calories for men.
4. You are eating too often
As a keto diet is much higher in fat, meals will take much longer to digest and as such food needs to be consumed far less frequently. This means that constantly grabbing snacks, or eating high fat meals and snacks multiple times each day will almost definitely be sending your overall calorie intake through the roof. If you have managed to achieve a macronutrient balance of 60-70% fat you should be satisfied with just 2 larger meals and 1 smaller snack each day to simultaneously achieve calorie control.
5. You are eating out or ordering food
It is very, very challenging to follow keto when you are eating out. Sure you can order a piece of meat or fish and vegetables or sashimi but that will be about it. Restaurant and fast food includes notoriously large portions and tons of extra sauces, dressings and sides meaning that if you want to stick to your strict keto regime you are going to have to be exceptionally strong minded, especially when your friends are downing cider, bread, pizza and dessert all around you. That or don’t eat out.