Top 5 Mistakes People Make on a Ketogenic Diet

These top 5 mistakes that people make on a Ketogenic diet do not come from some comprehensive study performed in a laboratory, but from my own experience helping people correct issues or put on muscle while on a ketogenic diet. They are also mistakes I have made recently.

After my 2 1/2 month ketogenic diet experiment where I stayed in Ketosis without any cheats (had to prove that it wasn’t unsafe or unhealthy to do it) I experienced a lack of headaches, my energy was through the roof and I was putting on muscle more effortlessly than ever before by only working out two days a week for around 30 minutes.

After the blood test that showed every number across the board improved I began eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) once again to see what would happen. Here’s a few things I discovered I did wrong during the diet.

  1. Probiotics –  I took zero probiotics during my ketogenic diet experiment. Our food has been so processed, washed and infected with pesticides that the normal bacteria we would come in contact with has greatly diminished and with it our ability to digest a lot of foods. My sensitivity to guar gum causes me immense pain now if I eat a single milkshake from Chik-Fil-A. One of the outcomes I want it to be healthier but I also want to be more resilient and able to tolerate every food I use to be able to eat. A healthy and well balanced digestive tract should give me more lee way to handle foods then to continue limiting what my body can handle. Probiotics is one of the ways to accomplish this since we do not get anywhere near the 150+ strains of bacteria that a healthy human body tends to have.
  2. Grass Fed Beef –  Half the meat I ate during the 67 days was from processed grain fed beef. This type of meat is convenient and easily accessible but it is vitamin and mineral depleted and let’s not even talk about the imbalance of Omega 6′s! Grass fed beef is so much healthier for the long run.
  3. Low Carb substitutes – Most of us in the low carb community got results from cutting out carbs because we had so abused our bodies with large quantities of High Fructose Corn Syrup and the general large amount of carbs we consumed most of our lives. I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it again. If I could live off of Mountain Dew and Donuts I would give it my best try! To feed our sugar habit we tend to always look for substitutes like beef jerky and some type of low carb bar. These can be great if used sparingly or for the occasional treat but for other some of us it becomes the equivalent of taking a hit of meth! It greatly intensifies sugar craving and in some cases can even give way to increase sugar craving and possibly raise insulin levels.
  4. Diet Sodas – My achille’s heel while on the ketogenic diet was Pepsi Max. It had a sweet taste and the more I drank of them the slower I lost body fat. Those of us who have trained our body to expect sugar when something sweet hits our tongue will possibly have an insulin response from these types of artificial sweeteners.
  5. Not eating real food – If there is one place to start doing things right it is here. EAT REAL FOOD! If you want something sweet, go ahead and have an orange or a peach or an apple. Not apple juice, not apple pie or an orange diet soda. It’s extremely interesting how eating a real orange ends up just being 1 orange or 1 peach. If you eat food in it’s natural state and not out of a cardboard box you will find that you feel better and still be able to lose weight. If you do HIIT or Crossfit style workouts then you need to also make sure that you replenish your muscle glycogen and the best time to do it is immediately after a workout and it should be in the form of a starch like sweet potatoe, yam or potato. This is the biggest mistake I made. I felt great while on a ketogenic diet but it became very obvious to me that the quality of the food I was eating was lacking in high vitamin and mineral content. Do not make this mistake because it is the most important part of a healthy low carb lifestyle. People can lose weight on a low carb diet or a low fat diet but they don’t tend to last long on either when they have depleted the vitamins and minerals from their system. Nothing functions right without all the compounds needed for a healthy body and lord knows the soil is depleted enough as it is!

 

If anyone has similiar or different thing they did wrong on  a low carb or ketogenic diet please let us know. It may help someone avoid them in the future.

62 thoughts on “Top 5 Mistakes People Make on a Ketogenic Diet

  1. Pingback: Proven Health News » Blog Archive » Top 5 Mistakes People Make on a Ketogenic Diet | The Fitness Low Down

    • I have found a full vitamin and mineral supplement from Thorne research. Thorne Research had inteded this product to be used for different reasons. I have found this product to be especially helpful while on a ketogenic diet. I take 1 or 2 scoops mixed in my water bottle or sometimes almond or soy milk and it gives me the things that I am missing in my keto diet and therefore keeps the body balanced.

  2. Thats why I did a cyclical keto. During the week you do a regular keto with absolutely no carbs. One day per week you go for a high protein and high carb day to replenish glycogen stores and get all the required vitamins. Make sure to keep the fat and sugar down on these days! Worked like a charm and put on muscle faster than I thought was possible!

    • I recommend a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet for people who are healthy, under 20% body fat for men and no signs of metabolic syndrome. The average healthy person can do this with a good heavy lifting program drop tremendous amounts of body fat and put on a good amount of muscle. I would consider it the best option for the long term once someone has become fully keto adapted from going 6-8 weeks in full blown ketosis.

  3. Nice post. I just recently started a ketogenic diet and have been doing ok keeping up with the right type of foods but will help me out for long term results. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for this information, I found this diet made me feel nauseous and unhealthy. I probably needed more water and vegetablesAnd as always – need to eat less. It always helps.

    • What were you eating that made you feel nauseous? Once you correct insulin issues you should eat until you are satisfied. Your body when working properly should get you to a healthy equilibrium which is around 16% for guys and around 22% for women.

  5. The main reason I started my husband on a ketogenic diet was because we read numerous articles that said this diet literally starves cancer cells. He collapsed two weeks ago and was told he has multiple malignant brain rumors and also lung rumors. Stage 4 but we believe in miracles and God dropped this diet in my lap via a very good friend. So he is getting moderate protein, high fat and low carb plus no sugar. We are struggling financially so we are doing our best to buy healthy organic but not always possible. Any suggestions so I do not mess up his insulin levels. I am trying to help him.

    • Hi Therese,
      Good for you for putting your husband on a ketogenic diet for cancer treatment. There are many published articles including several from actual doctors who have had cancer themselves who have done this and done very well on it. As far as buying organic food goes, the nutritional value of organic fruit and veggies does not differ from one to the other. In other words, organic produce does not have a higher nutritional value than non organic. There are a few veggies/fruits that absorb pesticides more readily than others, those being : spinach (or any leafy green vegetable), apples, kiwi`s, tomatoes. Basically, anything with a thin skin. If you look up “dirty dozen“ on the internet, you will find the most pesticide ridden foods here.
      Keep your husband in ketosis as long as possible. Also allowing what some call `slow“carbs into his diet once a week or so will do wonders for his insulin levels as well. These would be yams, or sweet potatoes, or quinoia. These foods take longer to break down and help normalize blood sugar levels. They also contain some fiber which is always a good thing. Make sure he is taking a probiotic also, most of our immune system is located in our digestive tract, so if we keep that healthy, it keeps us generally heathier also.
      If you are concerned with keeping his insulin levels in check, make sure you do not add any artifical sweetners into his diet, such as Aspartame, sucralose, equal etc. These actually may increase insulin levels in people who are used to a sugary diet. They have also been shown to increase type 2 diabetes. When we ingest artifical sweetners our brains think we have taken in sugar due to the sweetness of whatever it is we have eaten or drank. Thus signaling our pancreas to secret insulin, however there is no sugar present, so we will have all this insulin floating around our body with nothing to do, basically.
      Eating ever 2-3 hours is also a good way to regulate insulin levels as well.
      Hope this helps. good luck
      Tracey

  6. Hi Therese,
    Good for you for putting your husband on a ketogenic diet for cancer treatment. There are many published articles including several from actual doctors who have had cancer themselves who have done this and done very well on it. As far as buying organic food goes, the nutritional value of organic fruit and veggies does not differ from one to the other. In other words, organic produce does not have a higher nutritional value than non organic. There are a few veggies/fruits that absorb pesticides more readily than others, those being : spinach (or any leafy green vegetable), apples, kiwi`s, tomatoes. Basically, anything with a thin skin. If you look up “dirty dozen“ on the internet, you will find the most pesticide ridden foods here.
    Keep your husband in ketosis as long as possible. Also allowing what some call `slow“carbs into his diet once a week or so will do wonders for his insulin levels as well. These would be yams, or sweet potatoes, or quinoia. These foods take longer to break down and help normalize blood sugar levels. They also contain some fiber which is always a good thing. Make sure he is taking a probiotic also, most of our immune system is located in our digestive tract, so if we keep that healthy, it keeps us generally heathier also.
    If you are concerned with keeping his insulin levels in check, make sure you do not add any artifical sweetners into his diet, such as Aspartame, sucralose, equal etc. These actually may increase insulin levels in people who are used to a sugary diet. They have also been shown to increase type 2 diabetes. When we ingest artifical sweetners our brains think we have taken in sugar due to the sweetness of whatever it is we have eaten or drank. Thus signaling our pancreas to secret insulin, however there is no sugar present, so we will have all this insulin floating around our body with nothing to do, basically.
    Eating ever 2-3 hours is also a good way to regulate insulin levels as well.
    Hope this helps. good luck
    Tracey

  7. Starchy carbs such as sweet potatoes or yams will increase insulin levels and kick you out of ketosis. They do not normalise blood sugar – if you are on a ketogenic diet, your blood sugar should be stable anyway. There are many great lists online of vegetables, nuts and protein sources which are suitable for a ketogenic diet- have a look at some of them for ideas. Starchy vegetables are not appropriate. If you are following a cyclical ketogenic diet, then starchy veg may be more appropriate but you still need to be aware that vegetables such as sweet potato contain high levels of fructose which is stored in the liver as glycogen and then used to make fat. Most athletes following a ketogenic diet would not use starchy veg as this means that the fructose will not refill their muscle glycogen stores ( which is the point of CKD), and could keep them out of ketosis for a longer time- ketosis only begins once liver glycogen is depleted.
    To sum- there are several reasons NOT to eat starchy veg if doing ketogenic diets.
    1. They spike insulin and therefore immediately halt ketosis.
    2. They refill liver glycogen which stops ketosis until depleted again.
    3. Excess fructose which is not converted to liver glycogen is stored as body fat.
    4. If doing standard ketogenic diet- avoid all starchy veg and fruit completely
    5. If doing cyclical ketogenic diet, be very aware that using starchy veg or fruit to ‘refeed’ will mean that only the glucose within the food is user for your muscles- the rest is stored and will end up with you taking far longer to return to ketosis than using purely glucose based sources such as white rice.
    NB if you are on a truly ketogenic diet using natural whole food sources, your insulin levels should be stable as you are not consuming any foods which spike it!

  8. I have been an adherent to the South Beach Diet, but over time found myself cheating more and more. Even the smallest amounts of carb or those fake foods that taste sweet – my downfall being sugar free fudgesicles – tends to make me crave more of the same. Even though I am NOT the person who would live on Mountain Dew and donuts, I apparently have confused my body enough that it began conserving into fat, despite carefully journaling my calories and keeping them VERY appropriate for my body weight even with my occasional “cheats” on the South Beach thing. I decided that I had to shock my body back into losing weight, so I began a ketogenic diet. I’ve been at it a week, and have lost about 3 pounds, which is excellent, considering my petite size. The hardest part for me is trying to keep my carbs to 50 or below. Today, for example, I had a full fat mozzarella (2 carbs despite full fat), a full bottle of kombucha drink (4 sugars but somehow 14 carbs), some fermented cabbage thing I bought – no sugar – flavored with garlic – that looked interesting, probably 12 to 15 carbs worth, and presto, I’m already over my limit. Oh and I’ve had two hard boiled eggs today, and there’s a carb a piece in those. To keep my carbs below 50, I need to eat way too much meat. Even the green stuff has carbs. If anyone can give me examples of how they manage to get adequate nutrient variety in their foods without over-eating meat, I’d really like to know.

  9. Pingback: Ketogenic Diet Plan - Tops Mistakes People Make on a Keto Diet

  10. Love the keto diet. You can eat food you enjoy while also losing weight. One of the diets I am really able to stick to easily. There isn’t much to it. Just don’t eat over 30 carbs and keep your cals under maintenance and you will shred the weight fast.

    • Is your Lacto-vegetarian decision based on your moral beliefs or the belief that it is the healthiest option?

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