Since ketones are a preferred fuel for the heart and the diaphragm, and because a state of ketosis may provide extreme focus and cognitive performance during difficult mental activities, a ketogenic diet can be extremely useful for endurance athletes such as triathletes, distance swimmers, cyclists, marathoners, ultra-runners, etc..
Problem is, there are not a ton of tools out there about how highly active people can really get into a state of ketosis.
In this guide, author, triathlete, and ketogenic expert extraordinaire Patricia Daly explains how to do things the ideal way. Patricia just finished writing an amazing publication called “Practical Keto Meal Plans For Endurance Athletes: Tips, Tricks And How To’s For Optimizing Performance Using A High Fat, Low Carb Meal Plan”, and she has a wealth of information on this topic.Â So in this article, you’re going to get the top 10 mistakes low-carb athletes make.
Table of Contents
Mistake #1: Being Scared of Fat
The ketogenic diet is quite different from other typical diets. The objective of your lifestyle is to teach the body to utilize ketone bodies rather than glucose as the primary source of energy. That is why the quantity is about 75 to 85+ percent of daily caloric consumption.
Quite simply, if you operate out quite a bit you probably eat about 2,900 calories a day, of which about 2,300 will come from fat should you follow a ketogenic diet. Fat contains 9 calories per gram, and you will eat 256g of fat daily, based on how much you train of course. To simplify this further: all your intake will be approximately 18 tablespoons, one tablespoon of olive oil, for example, weighs approximately 14g.
Mistake #2: Eating Too Much Protein
Another mistake novices make is to substitute most of the carbs they used to consume with protein instead of fat. This happen all of the time. The problem is that excess protein intake can result in gluconeogenesis, which is the conversion of amino acids to glucose. This is not what we need on a ketogenic diet, to the contrary, promote the creation of ketone bodies from fatty acids to keep glucose levels low.
A lot of men and women are amazed when they start weighing their food according to the proper meal plans and realize how small protein they actually must consume on a ketogenic dietplan. But fat is protein sparing, meaning that a high fat consumption is decreased with by your need for protein.
Mistake #3: Carbs Creeping In
Carbohydrates can quickly add up if you’re eager to get your veggies, herbs and spices in. They can in fact be found in products that you’d never think contained carbs.
Good examples are any processed foods, shop bought salad dressings, milk replacements (many almond and coconut milks have added sugar), tomato sauce, a few meats, such as duck confit, starchy vegetables and even herbal tea, to name only a few. Eating out can be challenging because most restaurants prefer to use dressings, sauces and dips that have added alternative or honey sources of sugar. It tastes nice but is not keto-friendly. Having strong, reliable information is key to carb restriction, especially in the first stages when metabolic alterations occur.
Mistake #4: Giving Up Too Early
The faster you enter nutritional ketosis, the more side effects you could suffer from initially. The metabolic changes may be striking because every single cell in the body wants to do the change from glucose. Insulin is influenced: Amounts return because of reduced consumption. Insulin allows the kidneys to hold on to sodium. If insulin is at a lower level, the body starts getting rid of excess sodium and also water.
This is why it’s so important to guarantee you add sufficient sodium to your diet and keep well hydrated, especially in the first few days of beginning to reduce carbohydrates. This will make certain that you don’t suffer from some of the symptoms of the dreaded “keto flu”: shivers, foggy mind, headaches or nausea are some of the possible symptoms. It is probably more appropriate to call them “carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms” because of the effects on hormonal and electrolyte balance.
Things that help to get over these initial obstacles are strong bone broth with good quality salt, a great deal of rest, no extreme exercise and plenty of mineral-rich water, e.g. San Pellegrino. However, the best advice I could give is to take things slowly and not to give up when you are feeling a bit off in the initial phases, provided you’ve done all of the suggested blood tests to exclude any underlying health issues before starting a ketogenic diet.
Mistake #5: Scared of the New; Eating the Same
Many people feel overwhelmed from the first phases of executing a low carb and ketogenic diet. And because they have very little experience with certain new foods, they still keep eating the same “safe” low-carb stuff. For instance bacon and eggs for breakfast and nuts for snacks.
Of course this means that you’re eating low carbohydrate but its often a first priority to always improve their wellness. And this is only possible using a healthy diet. Eating the same things over and over again is dull, it may set you up for having deficiencies and growing food intolerances. This happens quite frequently especially if you’re somewhat worried, your gut function is not optimal or if you’re using medications.
Food intolerances may have an effect not only on your stomach health by causing nausea, bloating, diarrhea, constipation or other symptoms, but also in your immune system. The best advice is to continue experimenting with new foods, even if they seem completely strange to you, such as (for example) chicken liver, that is way easier to find and prepare than you’d think. There is a wonderful recipe for each and every food.
Mistake #6: Eating Processed Foods
This is particularly common for people who have read about the Atkins diet and noticed the products that are sold online and in stores. Yes, they keep you inside the limits that you select and may make life easier but they are also full of artificial flavors, polydextrose, odor, sucralose and other artificial sweeteners that can mess with your psychological and physical health.
A rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t have the ability to bake or cook a meal depending on the components list (because you don’t recognize half of them or wouldn’t know where to buy them), then you should stay away from it. Hopefully, with a growing amount of research to verify the advantages of low carb and ketogenic diets there will be plenty of incentives for companies to create snacks based on real foods.
Mistake #7: Deficiency Of Planning (And Obsessing)
Both absence of preparation and obsessing too much could be stumbling stone. If you don’t plan you’re much more likely to “fail” and give up in your lifestyle modifications. You see, the challenge is that if you realize you haven’t got all you might not find them.
Some of the goods that are staples on a low carb or ketogenic diet like olive oil, olives, fatty fish or ghee can only be bought in health stores or on the internet. More and more supermarkets start to inventory them but this depends where you live. Planning makes it more easy to cook in bulk and save cash and time.
Evidently, it’s a different story for somebody who follows a ketogenic diet for medical reasons, for instance in the case of epilepsy, no mistakes could be made without a consequence and where the diet has to be nicely calculated. But occasionally people become stressed out about dietary modifications that they wake in the middle of the night and can not go back to sleep. They fear what their next meal could look like ketones could be further increased by them or what to eat on a vacation In cases like this, it’s time to choose a (big) step back, relax, try some recipes without weighing and counting and possibly give it another go after a couple of weeks with a great deal of preparation and support. Stressing about meals can cancel the positive effects of good nutrition out.
Mistake #8: Ignoring the Body’s Warning Signs
Trainers who obsess over dietary modifications can get caught up in measuring blood sugar and ketones, weighing their meals all the time, producing exact meal programs and they are able to get really scared of eating out where items are out of their hands. In experience, they are also likely candidates to ignore the warning signs of their body.
Please remember that you just know your body best and that no meal or instruction program can conquer your innate wisdom and intuition. Take warning signs since you have it in your head to adhere to a specific regime, and do not override them. Low carb and ketogenic diets are not for everybody and if you are feeling worse than before, even after getting over the first symptoms talked about before, then it is probably time to stop and reconsider.
Mistake #9: Social Pressure
Even years into following a ketogenic diet, many people get opinions from close friends and family regarding this specific nutritional plan and it can sometimes be difficult for individuals to follow their keto diet close when social pressure pushes them to eat a variety of foods outside of their meal plan.
Ketogenic diets are still very poorly known even by the medical profession. People don’t understand where a few treats are allowed in moderate quantities, that you can not follow the famous 80/20 rule. You are either in ketosis or you’re not.
Mistake #10: Bad Timing
And lastly, lets discuss when to start lowering your carbs or attempting to go into ketosis. Please don’t do it a week before your competition of the season or during a period when you’re super busy at the office.
The best period of the year to make key adjustments to lifestyle and diet is when you are “off season”. Another fantastic time is before a few preparatory competitions to build towards the most important race. That’s when you see how your body responds to intensity and if the diet doesn’t suit you, you have loads of time to make changes.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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