Keto diet is one of the most popular diet plans today, and its followers are increasing significantly daily. This high fat, low carb diet has proven to melt fat, thus aiding in weight loss and healthy living hence why most people are jumping on it. But did you know it is one thing to be on a keto diet and a different thing for your body to be in ketosis?
Ketosis is the metabolic state where your body burns fat as its source of energy rather than glucose (carbs) which it is more accustomed to. This lack of dependence on glucose then eliminates the cravings, energy crashes, and hunger pangs that we usually experience. The results are stabilized blood sugar levels, increased energy and shedding of excess body weight fast.
Following a keto diet plan for weeks does not necessarily mean your body is in ketosis. Here are 9 reasons why you may not get in ketosis.
1) NOT CONSUMING ENOUGH FATS
For your body to get to ketosis, you must provide the body with enough fats to rely on for energy. And that is where the challenge is. Most of us are afraid of fats because that is how we have been trained to eat. Therefore, even though we consume fats, we do not consume enough as is necessary for a keto diet. And this leaves us hungry constantly and without much energy.
Consuming enough fats should result in minimized carb cravings because fats are satiating. This will then ensure your body stays in ketosis, relying on fats for energy. Two servings of fat with every meal is probably unnatural for how you are used to eating, but for the keto diet, it is necessary. It is, however, important to note that what you need are healthy fats, not saturated or trans fats.
2) CONSUMING TOO MANY CALORIES
One of the biggest misconceptions about the keto diet is that because it is a high-fat diet plan, you can eat as much as you want as long as it is high in fat. No, you can not. Consuming more calories than your body can burn will only lead to the excess calories being stored as body fat. Overindulging is a recipe for weight gain. Therefore, consume only that which your body needs and in the correct macronutrient ratios, i.e. 75% form healthy fats, 20% from proteins and 5% from carbohydrates.
3) OVER INDULGING ON KETO SWEETS & SNACKS
The increasing popularity of the keto diet has brought about the introduction of keto-approved sweets and snacks to the market. And while these sweets and snacks such as keto brownies and keto cookies have a low net carb amount, they are still not the healthiest option. They contain calories and when consumed in excess can throw your body off ketosis. Also being sweets and snacks they can increase your cravings for carbs and make it more challenging to commit to your keto diet.
Keto sweets and snack are okay to indulge in once in a while, but they should not be a staple in your diet. Give healthier snacks options such as nuts and seeds a try, but also don’t overindulge.
4) FAILING TO MONITOR YOUR VEGETABLE INTAKE
Most keto diet participants tend to either not eat enough vegetables or consume vegetables in excess.
Vegetables are sources of carbs, and more often, we tend to forget this. We fail to monitor our vegetable intake and end up over-consuming carbs without knowing. And this is how our body easily falls off ketosis. On the flip side, some of us opt to just remove vegetables from the equation. A common side effect of the keto diet is constipation which is brought about by the lack of fiber in the body due to limited vegetable intake. Ideally, you should be consuming 20 grams of carbs for strict keto but can go up to 80 grams depending on your diet plan.
Vegetables are very important for healthy living. Opt for non-starchy variables such as broccoli, asparagus and leafy greens to get the necessary nutrients while minding the portions at the same time.
5) EATING TOO MUCH PROTEIN
Too much protein can easily get your body off ketosis thanks to a process known as gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is when your body converts the excess protection into sugar and stores it. This, therefore, means when your body needs energy, instead of burning fat which is the purpose of the keto diet; it will reach for the glucose first. You may consume zero sugar diligently, but the excess protein in your body will nullify your efforts.
Because protein is contained in almost everything we eat, it is very easy to meet and exceed your protein intake in the keto diet. Only 20 percent of your calories should be obtained from protein. Thus it is important to ensure you obtain proteins with all the essential amino acids for healthy living as you follow the keto diet. This means you should primarily consume foods that are complete protein sources such as meat, fish and eggs but in moderate amounts.
To maintain your body weight, you can work with consuming 0.4 grams of protein per each pound of your body weight. If you regularly work out and are looking to build muscle, go for 0.8 grams of protein per each pound of your body weight. To lose weight, 1 gram of protein per each pound of your bodyweight should work for you.
6) NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
Because you are consuming fewer carbs your body is losing a lot more fluids. When on a keto diet you may realize you visit the bathroom more frequently than you used to. And this is exactly why you need to drink water in plenty to replenish the fluids and electrolytes you lose.
Enough presence of water in your body will allow it to effectively burn fat, circulate nutrients, and flush out any toxins present in your system. Dehydration slows down your metabolism causing your body to store up as much fat as possible instead of burning it. This is not what we want.
If your urine is a very dark shade of yellow, you need to up your water intake. Aim for a pale yellow color in your urine. A gallon of water every day is recommended for healthy living.
7) LEPTIN RESISTANCE
Leptin is the hormone responsible for communicating to your brain that the body’s energy needs have been met and it is time to stop eating. It is the hormone that tells your brain that you are full. Leptin resistance, therefore, hinders this communication from occurring effectively leading to either overfeeding or underfeeding. Leptin resistance can be triggered by calorie restriction, stress, and irregular sleep patterns.
Because the keto diet is calorie-restrictive, it is important to focus on managing stress and sleep to prevent Leptin resistance. Getting enough sleep and developing healthy sleep habits go hand in hand with managing stress. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night. During sleep, the body burns fat, and this helps us develop a more active metabolism.
8) TOO MANY CHEAT MEALS
The keto diet is very restrictive, and it takes most people more than a month to get it right and properly adjust. Therefore, if you reward yourself with a cheat meal every single time you feel you have achieved a milestone; this may work against you and prevent your body from actually getting to a stage of ketosis. And if you had already achieved ketosis, a cheat day is all it takes to throw your body off balance.
However, it is impossible to completely ignore your cravings so you must be smart when it comes to cheat days or cheat meals. Opt for the very low-carb options of your craving when you choose to indulge but also try to limit how often you cheat on your diet.
9) NOBODY ELSE KNOWS YOU ARE ON KETO
Even though it is referred to as a keto diet, it is honestly more of a lifestyle than a diet. So what you are attempting to do by getting on keto is to change your lifestyle and this by itself is extremely hard. This is why a support system is extremely important.
Your loved ones do not have to get on keto too, but they need to be aware of what this new lifestyle entails for you and what their role is. This way they don’t put temptations in your path when you all meet up. They can also act as accountability partners who help you stay on the course of your diet. And when they see your body transforming for the better they can point it out, encourage you and celebrate you for your achievements.
It also goes without saying that if you have a medical condition or are on a prescription, it is important to get clearance from your doctor before giving keto a try.
Your success on a keto diet is highly dependent on the proper understanding of macros and proper calculation of your necessary calories intake. Eliminating the above mistakes will effectively get your body in ketosis and have you enjoy the tremendous health benefits of the keto diet.