The Ketogenic Diet & 5 Reasons You’re Not In Ketosis

by Kate on September 24, 2018

The Ketogenic Diet & 5 Reasons You're Not In Ketosis - FoodBabbles.com

There are so many different styles of healthy eating out there. It’s enough to make your head spin. I’ve always felt that the best diet is the one that you can stick to. Something healthy that provides the nutrients your body needs to prosper while not making your feel deprived. Something sustainable for the long term.

For the most part, I’ve tended to feel and perform my best when eating Paleo or Whole 30. At times I would cycle off and temporarily incorporate some whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa into my high protein diet filled with lots of fruits and veggies. Then I discovered The Ketogenic Diet.

I had seen the Instagram goodness of people piling their plates with greasy, cheesy bunless burgers topped with bacon and wondered, “How the heck can that be healthy?” The long and the short of it is that the Keto Diet doesn’t really look like that in real life. Or at least it shouldn’t most of the time.

Sure, I’m going to occasionally indulge in some uncured, sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon-y goodness but overall the Ketogenic Diet focuses on keeping your carbohydrates very low (usually under 20 grams per day), a moderate protein intake and consuming a large amount of satiating, healthy fats that come from sources like coconut oil, olives, nuts, seeds, full fat dairy and avocados. Not bacon.

Many people turn to the Keto Diet in the hopes of losing some weight. While weight loss is a side effect of this dietary change in the beginning, if you make Keto a lifestyle you can expect so many more profound benefits. Though research about the Keto Diet is still in its infancy, there is some evidence to support that people will experience advantages like increased energy levels, more restful sleep and better mental focus. There even seems to be a link between the Ketogenic Diet and mental health with avid followers reporting a reduction in anxiety and depression.

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Due to the reduction of carbohydrates, the Keto Diet has been shown to help regulate blood sugar in diabetics and it helps reduce or even eliminate cravings for sugary sweets and refined carbohydrates. There is also some evidence to support that eating a ketogenic diet lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL) and lower blood pressure.

I have been consuming a Keto diet now for about 4 months with the occasional allowance for craft beer and ridiculously amazing pancakes! From my short time so far eating Keto, I’ve experiences some initial weight loss, better sleep, more energy and mental clarity for sure.

In the past, even when eating a healthy diet, I would experience some stomach problems such as bloating, pain or upset fairly regularly. I could never pinpoint the culprit. Since adopting a Keto lifestyle, my stomach is happy as can be.

Most importantly, I feel satisfied, not hungry and I have less desire to fall off the wagon. I have better self control during social situations and I’m able to easily eat Keto when out to dinner or at a party. It’s a pretty easy dietary style to maintain.

So one might think, okay … I’m gonna reduce my carbohydrate intake, increase my fats and boom! I’m gonna be in ketosis in no time. Easy peasy. Truth be told, it’s not always that easy. Getting into ketosis and turning your body into a fat-fueled machine can take 3-4 days or even as long as a week. When you think about that, it makes you really consider if you want to drink that meal or eat that cheat meal for sure!

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But even if you’re doing everything right, you may still find your not in ketosis. Today I have a guest post for your from Sarah Peterson on 5 common Keto mistakes you could be making. Sarah is the Content Director at Perfect Keto, with a mission to help as many people as possible achieve optimal health and well-being!

Thanks Sarah!

Not in Ketosis? You Could be Making One of These 5 Mistakes

We’ve all heard of the benefits of the ketogenic diet … from losing those pounds on your waist to improving your mental focus. Unfortunately, those who have tried the diet know that getting into ketosis isn’t just about reducing carbs and increasing your protein and healthy fats intake. In fact, you may be doing everything right, but you are starting to doubt yourself because you’ve seen very little progress.

Before you throw in the towel, I suggest you keep reading this article on the mistakes you could be making that’s preventing you from entering and maintaining ketosis.

Not managing stress

Are you constantly stressed out? Is your boss a pain in the butt? Following a strict diet is important, but people often overlook how stress makes it difficult to stay in ketosis. 

When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol that causes more glucose to be released into the blood – not what we want. When glucose levels rise, ketones will drop. Your body will no longer use ketones as a source of energy, but glucose.

Keeping a positive attitude is easier said than done, but there are many ways to manage your stress. It will not only make maintaining ketosis a smoother process, but it will make you feel good as well!

Having the wrong mentality

Following a ketogenic diet isn’t about being trendy. It’s a lifestyle decision to improve your health in the long term. You can lose a lot of weight, even up to 10lbs. within the first week. But that’s water weight! Eventually, the amount of weight you shed decreases over time and you need to be patient.

It doesn’t matter how much weight Nancy or Debra lost in their first month. What’s important is you keep your goals in sight, do your research and follow through.

Comparing yourself to others is bound to disappoint you. Some people are slightly luckier that their bodies adapt to the keto diet quickly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Be persistent, and you will reap the rewards.

Not eating the right food

Jumping on a keto diet isn’t just about kicking out carbohydrates and stocking up the pantry with your typical “keto-approved” foods. Make some effort in reading the food labels. It sucks, but you’ll get the hang of it.

“Sugar-free” foods usually have sugar alcohols listed in the back where no one reads them. But these are bad for ketosis because sugar alcohols will be absorbed by the body and will be metabolized as sugars.

Not to mention, a lot of people don’t do enough research on what they can and cannot eat. There’s more to it than just coconut oil and avocado! Luckily for you, here’s a comprehensive keto food list.

Not testing blood ketone levels!

You can test your ketone levels through blood, urine, and breath. It’s a good idea to invest money in urine ketone testing strips as it’s the easiest and quickest way to measure your ketone levels.

You can undergo blood tests for ketone just like diabetes patients check their glucose levels. Keep in mind to use strips meant for ketones, though, not glucose. This is the most accurate method, as ketones in urine don’t really reflect the ketones in blood (especially if you’re dehydrated). Do note, this is the more expensive of the two conventional methods.

It’s important to know that to lose weight, the optimal ketone reading should be 1.5-3mmol/L. 

Going all-in (too quickly!)

Before you throw away all that pasta in the pantry, keep in mind that it takes time for your body to adapt to a ketogenic diet. The keto flu is real, and this can knock people off, or turn them away from pursuing the keto lifestyle.

Some of the symptoms of the keto flu are nausea, vomiting, constipation, headaches, muscle soreness, and sugar cravings. You can reduce the symptoms by slowly transitioning your macro intake into the keto diet macro requirements over a span of a few days instead of doing it cold turkey. Remember, if you come from the western world, chances are you’ve been following a carb-heavy diet since you were born – that’s why you have to give your body time to change.

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