You could be doing it all wrong all these months Image: Thinkstock
Everybody out there with flab around the waist knows how bad carbs are. But for Indians, avoiding carb is easier said than done. When our main meals consist of bread and rice, with proteins being a side dish, it’s difficult to ignore the lure of carbs. But if you are on a Keto diet, and have successfully survived the Keto flu after three-four days, you are on the right track. It’s just a matter of a week, and you will start seeing results on the weighing scale. As you downsize a few kilos in about 10 days, your motivation levels to ignore carbs and sustain a high fat-based diet will skyrocket. But there are a few mistakes that many fitness enthusiasts make while this diet. And as a result, their weight loss journey reaches a plateau, resulting in frustration.
To make sure you aren’t one of them, here are a few tips and tricks that you can keep in mind while following the Keto diet. Gurugram-based nutritionist Sonali Sukhija, who runs Swasthya, a start-up that provides nutritional solutions, tells T2 Online what to avoid while you're on a Keto diet.
Are you calculating the carbs?
You might be following the high-fat, low-carb diet for a month or so, but staying off carbs should be a lifestyle choice. “Are you sure you are measuring the carbs? If not, then you need to. It’s not just a handful of this and that, you need to actually measure each and every food item that you eat throughout the day,” says Sukhija.
“Keep a kitchen scale and measure the cabbage, lettuce and cucumber that you eat every day. Make sure your carb intake doesn’t exceed 15gm to 20gm each day. And these carbs will come from the leafy vegetables and cucumber,” suggests Sukhija. If you are including chicken curry and fish curry in your diet, onion and garlic will also count as carbs. So you need to be really cautious about them.
Too much protein?
Protein is an essential macro. It helps build and repair muscles and organs. We cannot manufacture all the amino acids in our body. When on Keto diet, you have the freedom to eat plenty of meat and fish. But that doesn’t mean protein is limitless. Of your regular diet, 30-35 per cent would be protein, and not an ounce more than that.
“If you eat too much protein, it may stop the process of ketosis. For every 100gm of protein you eat, 50gm of glucose is generated. Now if you ingest too much protein in your body, the excess protein will get converted into glucose and sabotage your keto. The ideal way to deal with it is using the kitchen scale before putting the mutton steak on the pan,” says Sukhija.
Are you eating the right fat?
Your Keto diet will consist of 65-70 per cent fat. This means you should be overjoyed at the thought of eating oil, butter and ghee. “While you can eat too much oil, stay away from vegetable oil and seeds oil. What you should eat more are saturated fats and monounsaturated fats,” says Sukhija. Foods that are rich in saturated fat include animal fat products such as cream, cheese, butter, other whole milk dairy products and fatty meats.
You can also gorge on fish oil and olive oil.
Don't be afraid to eat eggs
Sukhija is tired of hearing a common question — is eating eggs during Keto a good idea? Because many people worry that eggs contain too much cholesterol, which may result in cardio-vascular ailments. But a study suggests that you need not worry about eggs and heart diseases. Cholesterol helps your body build new cells, insulate nerves and produce hormones. Normally, the liver makes all the cholesterol the body needs. But then eggs also make cholesterol. And you really don’t need to worry while you are on Keto.
Eat upto four eggs daily and work out at home for half an hour.
You are eating the wrong veggies
Your carb intake will come from vegetables. But that doesn’t mean you can eat any vegetable you want.
“Your diet should comprise vegetables that are low in carb like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, kale, spinach, cucumber. If you are following a stricter Keto plan, stay away from tomatoes and onions. Use them only when cooking curry,” says Sukhija.
Your diet is lacking salt
Do you believe that salt retains water and you can’t lose weight if you don’t bid farewell to salt? That’s not correct. While on Keto, you are not eating a lot of things. This means your body may be subjected to electrolyte or salt imbalance. Salt is bad when your body is inflamed. When you are on Keto, your body isn’t inflamed and it needs salt.
"Make sure you eat at least two tea spoonfuls of salt every day with your diet,” suggests Dominic D'Augustine, professor at the University of Chicago in one of his papers on Keto. Don’t just gulp down salt, add it to your food. Keto folks, also do not miss out on Magnesium and Vitamin D.
You are rushing to lose weight
You have a wedding to attend and you want to look gorgeous in your lehenga. Fair enough! But remember, Keto isn’t a diet, but a lifestyle change. "When you check your weight after a week, you should rejoice the fact that you have lost a few kilos. But don’t just go back to your old habit. Learn to say no to food that is not Keto-friendly, and stick to the diet for a month, at least,” says Sukhija.
Don’t eat because it's time to
Being on Keto diet is the best time to try intermittent fasting, which enables you to forget food for 12-16 hours a day. Even if you don’t do intermittent fasting, you don’t need to eat food as per your clock. You have been trained to eat on time because addiction to carb will give you the kick during a certain hour.
Eat only when you feel hungry during Keto, not because the clock says so. And remember to have your last meal of the day before 8pm.