It is well known that the ketogenic lifestyle promises to bring about weight loss, more energy, less hunger and great health. However, if you are not experiencing these despite your best efforts, it’s time to look at some of the possible reasons.
CONSUMING TOO LITTLE CALORIES
Most people track their macros with an App and that helps them with meal planning. The trouble with such Apps is that the set of calculations are generic and may not be suited to you as an individual. In the attempt to lose weight, many may be over strict and ambitious in their macros and over restrict their calories thinking this will lead to quick weight loss.
If you are not providing your body with the essentials to carry out normal functions throughout the day, you will naturally feel drained and unwell. Be modest in your macros and caloric calculations and strive for a moderate but sustained weight loss.
Eat enough in a day to feel energetic. Isn’t that the point to start with?
From a caloric point of view, weight loss is achieved through a caloric deficit, not caloric restriction.
CONSUMING TOO LITTLE FATS
Thanks to unjustified poorly-evidenced fear-mongering by large commercial interests over the past decades, we have grown fearful of fats. If you have come so far as to have decided on the ketogenic diet, you may realise that fats are your friend and that fats do not make you fat - carbohydrates do.
Having said that, be mindful that not all fats are good. Here’s another shocker for some. Go for saturated, animal fats and drop the seed oils. That means eat beef tallow, pork lard, load up on butter and ghee. Avoid at all costs seeds oils (eg. rapeseed, sunflower etc.) as they are inherently rancid and can cause oxidative damages to multiple organs, especially the liver, leading to insulin resistance.
Fats are your main source of energy in a ketogenic diet. If you do not consume enough fats, where will you get your energy from? Fats do not impact your blood sugar at all and will help you to feel satiated.
Ways to include enough fats in your diet:
Choose fatty cuts of meat (eg. ribeyes, pork belly, chicken with skin on, oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel)
Eat eggs freely - the yolks are rich in fats
Cook with tallow, lard or ghee
LACK OF SALT
Sodium is one of the most important electrolytes. In a low carb diet, your body does not hold on to water and sodium as much. As you lose the fluids, you lose your electrolytes. If you are not replenishing these electrolytes you can suffer from the imbalance. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness and mental fog. A simple way to resolve this is by salting your food normally, using unrefined salt.
UNDERLYING HEALTH ISSUES
These are a few of many reasons why you may not be feeling as good as you should on a ketogenic diet. There are numerous other reasons why that can be happening. Underlying health issues which you may not be aware are often the culprits. If you are faced with such a situation, it's best to consult your family doctor who is familiar with the ketogenic diet, and/or work with a coach or nutritionist in order to uncover and resolve these issues.
Written by Lin Chong, Ketogenic Lifestyle Coach
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