What happens if I don’t meet my fat goals?
When you don’t meet your fat goals, it’s not a big deal at all. As long as you are restricting carbs and eating enough protein, missing your fat goals will typically only lead to more fat loss.
However, problems can arise when your fat consumption is consistently too low. For example, if you aren’t even close to meeting your fat needs regularly, you’ll be putting yourself in such a large calorie deficit that your body will have to adapt by decreasing its energy expenditure and increasing your hunger and cravings. This can cause you to lose less weight while simultaneously making it more difficult for you to stay on the keto diet.
For these reasons, it is best to keep your calorie deficit below 30%. This will allow you to lose weight in a way that won’t slow your metabolism, decrease your calorie burning capacity, and impair your weight loss results in the long term. To find out exactly how many grams of fat and calories you should be eating to keep this from happening, plug your info into our keto calculator.
If you are struggling to eat enough fat to maintain a 30% calorie deficit, then try adding butter, olive oil, avocado oil, MCT oil, heavy cream, high fat nuts (like macadamias), and high-fat cheeses (e.g., mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, parmesan, and brie) to your meals. My favorite strategy is to add a couple of extra tablespoons of oil to my sauces, dressings, soups, and curries when I know I need to fit some extra fats in.
Thinking of starting a ketogenic diet? This high-fat, low-carb diet is all the rage, and Instagram is brimming with success stories about “going keto.”
So, what is “keto”exactly?
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that seems to grow more popular by the day.
Studies have shown that it aids in weight loss, while suppressing your appetite and lowering your cholesterol.
Even celebrities have jumped on the keto bandwagon. From Kelly Ripa to Kourtney Kardashian, Hollywood stars gush about its body-transforming effects. Halle Berry is also a keto enthusiast, and she says the secret is training your body to burn fat by not feeding it any sugar.
Many people do see success in just a short period of time (like in the “28-Day Keto Challenge“), but without a road map it can be difficult navigating the challenges that the keto diet presents.
Though this diet plan seems new, it’s been around for nearly 100 years. It started as a natural way to treat epilepsy but fell out of favor soon after its discovery. According to Alix Turoff, R.D., new anti-seizure drugs were an easier and more effective way to treat the condition.
This diet also has similarities to the Atkins craze that peaked in popularity in the early 2000s. To follow the Atkins Diet, you could eat all the fat and protein you wanted as long as you severely limited your carbohydrates. There was no calorie restriction, and the diet became a mockery of health, with people eating entire sticks of butter and pounds of bacon.
The ketogenic diet is distinct from the Atkins Diet in that it does entail counting calories, and it advocates for eating real food, not processed food. Still, the rules are strict, and it’s easy to “fall out of ketosis” if you’re not following the principles to the letter.
If you’ve been looking for a way to burn fat, get ripped, or regulate your hormones, you’ve probably heard that the keto diet can help. We’ll discuss the top six mistakes people make when they’re starting the ketogenic diet and give you tips to overcome them.
Avoid these common keto mistakes to make your transition as smooth as possible.
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You’re not eating enough fat.
The intention of the keto diet is to force the body to run on fat, as opposed to glycogen (sourced from carbs). When the body reaches this stage, it’s called ketosis. As a result, you need to be eating a significant amount of fat.
If you’re not used to eating a lot of fat, you may find it difficult to hit your required amount. The first 30 days are critical and this step-by-step 28-day keto plan was designed for you to lose weight.
Chances are, you could actually be underestimating how much fat you’re consuming as well. The exact macronutrient ratio will differ from person to person.
However, general guidelines stipulate 60-75 percent of your food should be from fat, 15-30 percent from protein, and five to ten percent from carbohydrates. To work out your personalized split, try using an online calculator.
It’s a good idea to plan your meals and moderate your fat intake until you can estimate the number of fats in your meals by eyeballing portions.
As you adjust your diet, it’s a good idea to measure your ketones to ensure you’re entering ketosis. Ketosis is a delicate balance, and you can throw yourself out of it unknowingly. If you “fall out of ketosis,” you could sabotage your entire diet without even knowing it.
Dr. Nick Sudano says that people come to his office daily complaining that “keto doesn’t work” for them. The first question he asks them is whether they measure their ketones, and the answer is almost always no.
To know if you’re in ketosis, you must measure your ketones. If you’re not, then you’re just guessing. There are three ways to measure your ketones:
- Urine tests measure acetoacetate. This test will tell how you many ketones are being passed into your urine, so it’s useful as you’re starting keto. However, after a couple of weeks, you stop excreting acetoacetate, so you’ll need another method to ensure you’re still in ketosis.
- Breath tests measure acetone. This is often referred to as the “sweetness” that’s on your breath. While this test is quick and doesn’t require you pee on a strip, it’s hard to get consistent results.
- Blood tests are the most accurate way to test if you’re in ketosis. You can do these tests at home by pricking your finger and using the appropriate device.
You’re eating too much saturated fat.
One of the common keto diet mistakes that people make is eating too much saturated and trans fats. Yes, the keto diet is a high-fat diet, but there is still a difference between the types of fats that you should eat.
Healthy fats are the ones that should make the up the most of your fat intake.
The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your saturated fat intake. Too much saturated fat can increase your “bad” cholesterol, and, therefore, your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
While it is impossible to completely eliminate saturated fat from your diet, don’t let it make up the majority of your diet.
On the other hand, healthy fats, which are monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats, are the ones that raise your “good” cholesterol. So, stock up on your nuts, avocado, and fatty fish intake. Your body will thank you for it.
We’ve been trained to be afraid of fat, but that doesn’t need to be the case, especially on the keto diet. Again, the key is consuming the right types of fats.
According to doctors and nutritionists, including Kelly Kennedy, RD, some of the best fat sources you should be consuming on this diet include:
- Wild-caught salmon
- Olive oil
- MCT oil
- Coconut butter
- Grass-fed beef tallow oil
The fats that you should avoid at all costs are:
- Vegetable and canola Oils – They are high in omega-6 fats, and they oxidize and become rancid. These oils also contain trans fats, which raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase your risk of coronary artery disease. Foods containing trans fats include many processed foods.
- Dairy – This food group is thought to cause inflammation, acne, allergies, skin conditions like eczema, congestion, asthma, sinusitis, IBS, constipation, and weight gain. Mark Hyman, M.D., warns that dairy is only a suitable item to consume if you’re a calf.
Not surprisingly, there’s disagreement in the medical and nutritional community about the ratio of fat to protein you should be consuming. Most of what you’ll read online advocates for more fat than protein, but some of the more reputable sources say the opposite is true.
Some sources recommend that 60% to 80% of your calories come from fat, and others say those percentages should be allocated to protein instead. We turned to Harvard Health for a definitive answer, and what we gathered is that consuming healthy, whole foods is the way to go.
If you are going to consume the majority of your calories from fats and proteins, make sure they are unprocessed and “clean.” By clean, we mean eating meats that are grass-fed and pasture-raised, avoiding dairy, and staying away from processed junk foods.
It’s also probable that individuals respond differently to these ratios, and you might need to experiment to see what works for you. How do you discover this? By testing your ketones (see the next mistake below).