There are literally hundreds of thousands of articles available that will tell you the correct way to follow the ketogenic diet. The very basics are eating less than 50 grams of carbs and 60 percent or more fat and the rest in protein. However, my aim for this article is to help you identify the signs that you are doing keto wrong!
Lack of energy
If you’re on a ketogenic diet and have no energy, you are most certainly, without a doubt doing something wrong. This assumes there’s nothing else happening in your life causing you to lose sleep. You should be in ketosis and one of the hallmarks of ketosis is having a noticeable increase in energy levels.
One cause of energy issues on a keto diet is that you are not hydrating enough. Another common cause is inadequate amounts of sodium, potassium, and magnesium. The most common one here is low sodium. While in the early phases of the diet the body dumps a lot of water leftover from breaking down glycogen in the muscles and liver and with it goes a lot of salt.
Take a pinch of salt, no kidding, directly into your mouth and eat it. You will probably notice a difference shortly. Then from there on out make sure you’re getting enough sodium in the diet.
Yeah, we all hate it when this happens. Not much can be more uncomfortable than being bloated and not being able to do anything about it. Well, this is a sign of doing dirty keto. Dirty keto is following a ketogenic diet that cares little for nutritional content. Many times dirty keto is also low fiber keto.
Fixing this problem can be easy. First eat more green veggies like broccoli, spinach, and others. It’s also always a good idea to always be sipping water while on keto, you just dump so much water it can be easy to get dehydrated. Low water intake can also aggravate constipation. If that doesn’t work then try some over-the-counter aids like Miralax. Some people find that a low dose (half or a quarter of suggested on the bottle) every day works! As always, ask your doctor!
Not losing weight
The scale isn’t everything but in the first two weeks on a keto diet, you should be losing weight if doing it right. Between the fat, you’re burning and the water weight you’re losing the scale should be going down.
Things to consider when not losing weight on the ketogenic diet are if you are weighing and measuring food. A considerably higher carb intake can happen unintentionally if you’re not measuring. As mentioned above constipation can be an issue and in more uncomfortable cases it can show up on the scale as well.
Lastly, don’t weigh yourself daily if you can’t take the fact that there tend to be big weight swings from day to day on the keto diet.
Not in ketosis
So you tinkled on the strip and no ketones? Obviously, something is wrong, being in ketosis is a key to the diet. Well, sometimes it’s obvious why you’re not in ketosis, maybe you slipped up and ate too many carbs? Other times it’s not so obvious.
Sleep and stress can affect cortisol levels and cortisol levels tend to also have an effect on how easy it is to stay and get into ketosis. So, if you slept poorly there’s a chance you might temporarily come out of ketosis. Some people with long-term sleep issues may find getting and staying in ketosis difficult.
Protein intake is great! On a keto diet, you will be eating quite a bit of protein but too much protein can also drop some people out of ketosis. This one is different from person to person. For instance, I can eat more than 1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass and stay in ketosis where I’ve seen other struggle going above 0.8 grams per pound of lean mass. It’s just another thing to consider if you can’t seem to stay in ketosis.
After a week or two on keto some people experience muscle cramps. This is a sign that you are not eating enough foods with magnesium. Try adding some pumpkin seeds, almonds, and spinach to your diet. In a pinch, you can also simply take a magnesium supplement.