The Keto diet has been taking the world by storm for some time now. Many have tried it, some with more success than others. The main reason that people try ketogenic diets and fail, or are put off trying them at all, is because there are several keto diet myths out there about what it actually entails.
If you’re new to Keto, Totalshape has produced a useful infographic with everything you need to know to get started.
Check out the top keto diet myths you need to ignore…
Keto is a permanent solution for weight loss
Many followers of ketogenic diets experience fast weight loss, especially in their first few months. The results of one medical study show that obese patients following a keto diet lost three times more weight than the group following a low-fat diet.
However, some studies also conclude that weight gain can occur when people suddenly stop the keto diet and go back to eating a regular amount of carbs. Taking a yo-yo approach and going on and off the keto diet will severely diminish your ability to lose weight and keep it off.
To make sure your ketogenic diet is giving you optimal weight loss results, commit to the plan, and PHASE IT. And if you are coming off Keto, do it gradually and keep your calorie control tight. Our bodies are smart and adapt to what we do. Therefore, it’s wise to cycle in and out.
You’ll go into ketoacidosis
Keto involves reducing your carb intake to under 50g of carbohydrates daily and increasing your fat intake while keeping your protein intake moderate. By reducing carb intake, your body starts to convert fat into chemicals called ketones to fuel your body instead.
This fat burning process is the main reason for weight loss on a ketogenic diet. In this metabolic state called “ketosis,” you are training your body to dip into fat reserves for energy instead of constantly replenishing sugar levels.
Ketoacidosis is a highly dangerous condition that occurs when your body burns through fat at far too high a rate. People who suffer from Type 1 diabetes are particularly at risk.
Ketosis and ketoacidosis are two entirely different conditions, but because they share some of the same characteristics, a common misconception is that the keto diet can cause ketoacidosis. Unless you have diabetes, the keto diet is entirely safe, and nutritional ketosis merely causes temporary symptoms as your body transitions to burning fats instead of sugar.
You can eat all the fat you want
Moving your body into ketosis and encouraging it to burn fat as a source of fuel essentially means switching your standard carb intake for fat intake.
Many people think this means they can eat whatever fat-based foods they like in whatever quantities they like. But this is false for two reasons:
- i) Not all fats are created equal
While it might be tempting to live off steak, bacon, and other tasty fats, it’s vital to source healthy fats as much as possible on keto. This butter-and-bacon keto diet myth needs dispelling!
Try to avoid trans fats like hydrogenated oil; deep fried food is out. Instead, choose foods where fat occurs naturally.
- Natural full-fat yogurt
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- ii) Keto diets should still be calorie controlled
The role of calorie intake in weight loss is widely debated, but one thing is for sure – more calories than your body needs over time equals weight gain. So although your main source of calories is now through fats instead of carbs, you should still stick to your recommended daily calorie intake.
There is only one keto diet
The general guideline is to take in less than 50g of carbohydrates per day to achieve ketosis. However, several different adaptations of the keto diet have been developed to suit different needs.
The Targeted Keto Diet (TKD)
This plan is best suited for those who are into working out and want to be able to keep up their existing exercise regime as much as possible. So, on this variation, your carb intake is centered around when you plan to work out.
The Standard Keto Diet (SKD)
Standard keto involves the typical carb and fat intake levels associated with a ketogenic diet. That means your daily food intake should be 75% fat, 20% protein, and just 5% carbs.
The Cyclical Keto Diet (CKD)
On the Cyclical version, you can reintroduce carbohydrates at regular intervals for a short period of time. Typically people might do five keto days followed by 2 carb days.
The High Protein Keto Diet
This is another good adaptation for those who are keen to hold on to more muscle mass or prefer a slightly higher protein intake. This plan involves 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs in your daily food intake.
You can’t eat any fruits or vegetables
Most fruits and vegetables have carbs. Some have a lot more carbs than others. But a common misconception is that this means you shouldn’t eat fruit or vegetables at all. In fact, limiting vegetable and fruit intake too much can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, so a balanced ketogenic diet is essential.
However, it’s important to count the carbs in those fruits and vegetables as part of your daily carb intake or you run the risk of moving your body out of ketosis with too many carbs.
Here are some examples of fruits and vegetables you can eat (but that still have carbohydrate content):
You eat lots of protein on Keto
High protein diets are out there, but keto is not one of them. On a ketogenic diet, it’s imperative to keep your fat intake high, but protein intake remains moderate. Followers should try to keep their protein intake between 1.2 – 1.7g of protein per day.
It makes you feel awful
The transition to keto does come with some side effects. This keto diet myth is that these symptoms are just part and parcel, but actually, they are temporary symptoms that can easily be alleviated and will pass within a few days.
Here are some common (temporary) side effects of keto and how to alleviate them:
Often caused by dehydration, this is quickly remedied by drinking plenty of water sprinkled with salt to stay hydrated.
A drop in energy levels
If you’re feeling low on energy, increase your fat intake and make sure you’re eating enough food in general.
Leg cramps are often a side effect of dehydration and magnesium deficiency. Drink water sprinkled with salt and take a magnesium supplement.
This can happen as ketones are produced by your body. If it becomes a long term issue, increase your daily carb intake slightly.
Reduced physical performance
As your body adjusts and your energy levels rise, you’ll be able to hit the gym again like before.
Ignore these common keto diet myths and give it a try. You might be surprised when you see the results! Phase it Up takes the right approach to keto: phasing it, just like all other diets and ways of eating. Changing things up keeps the body guessing!