Your mum, 9 of your friends and Cheryle from accounts have all been following a ketogenic diet. It’s more than a thing, it’s a way of life. You all agree there’s nothing that even compares to how good it makes you feel, look and act. Except, you can’t do it this month. This might be thanks to life circumstances beyond your control (ahem, a week with nanna and her cooking), circumstances in your control (a holiday to Hawaii) or you might just psychologically need to give this way of eating a little coffee break. Luckily, you know it’s coming. You can plan. You can strategize. Damage control can be applied. What you may not know is that carbs shouldn’t have an on-off switch if you want to feel your best. To make sure you’re not unravelling months of hard work, it’s wise to be aware of these mistakes.
Mistake 1: Going all in on carbs
Demolishing a family sized pasta bowl, won’t do you any favors. You’ll feel sluggish and even create a shock your body. Rather increase your carb serves by 20-40% each day to gradually work yourself up to a level of carbs that feels healthy. Let your body adapt to them, learn to digest them and you’ll feel more energized for it.
Mistake 2: Throwing calculations out the window
This doesn’t mean you need to keep your phone’s calculator active. Instead, you should keep mental notes of what you’re eating and in what quantities, for the first two weeks at least. Subconsciously tracking nutrients isn’t a habit you want to fall out of because it helps maintain accountability and momentum. It will be much harder to start up again once you stop.
Mistake 3: Establishing bad habits
When you’re eating keto, you form serious habits that last but when these grind to a sudden halt you’re at risk of doing the same thing, just in reverse. Habits are the cornerstone of your health so regularly eating a slab of chocolate before bed isn’t something you want to set in stone. Know that daily habits form in the following order: cue, craving, reaction, reward. If you find this is happening around a bad habit, then simply act randomly with foods while trying to maintain a baseline level of health.
Mistake 4: Brainwashing yourself against keto
Keto deserts are still super tasty so if you’re going to choose a treat then make sure you do a half and half split with keto and non-keto indulgences. This will help you maintain the attitude that keto is not restrictive and devoid of pleasure if you do a little culinary prep work yourself. You can even eat keto main meals that you enjoy so that you appreciate keto is just as tasty as other ways of eating.
Mistake 5: Forgetting what you’re eating
If you’ve reached your target weight and want to maintain that level, then it’s wise to keep a food diary each day. It may take you all of 2 minutes but is something you’ll be able to look back on to map your progress or lack thereof. You can do this easily enough by taking a photo of everything you eat. No need to put on Instagram. Just keep a log of your foods and you’ll have a road map of how you got to where you are. If you add weight, you know why and what the main culprits are. Without this evidence, it’s far too easy to make snacks disappear without even remembering you’ve eaten them. Ease off the keto plan using these five tips and you’ll find it much easier to maintain a healthy weight and to jump back onto the keto diet if you ever need to.