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These top 10 low carb diet mistakes lead to not losing weight even though carbohydrate intake has been restricted. Be sure to avoid these low carb mistakes!
It is a popular notion that cutting carbs is the simplest and fastest way to get slim and lose weight. However, sometimes the approach does not lead to the intended result. Here are the top low carb diet mistakes that people make, and are thus unable to lose weight successfully:
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Top 10 Low Carb Diet Mistakes that lead to Not Losing Weight
1. Not Restricting Carbohydrates Enough
Admittedly, weight loss can be achieved through low carb diet. Yet, low-carb is in itself a vague term. A useful definition of a low-carb fat loss diet is less than 50 grams of carbs a day, which will usually lead to the production of ketones. Therefore, when one’s body is producing ketones, it is no longer relying on glucose (sugar from carbs) for its fuel source, which is a state that provides significant metabolic benefits and easier fat loss.
But how to fix it? For best results, get those 50 grams of carbs from vegetables and select fruits, such as berries, or other low-carb fruit. Eliminate all grains—whole and processed. Look for hidden carbs in the foods you eat by reading food labels carefully for added sugars. It’s been found that it typically takes 10 grams of carbohydrates or more to spike insulin so it’s best to keep your meals and snacks to less than 10 grams of carbs for maximum weight loss.
You also need to realize that everyone is different and some may need to restrict carbs to 20 grams a day to induce weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you. It may help to count total carbs rather than net carbs. Generally speaking, some fiber and sugar alcohols can have an impact so you may want to count at least half of them.
2. Going Only by the Scale
Weight is a relative thing when dieting. In the beginning, the majority of the weight loss is a reduction in water. That’s why people see great readings on the scale in the beginning, but it slows down and may actually stall or even go the other way. So, judging effectiveness only on the scale has become one of the common low carb diet mistakes.
If you have started doing any strength training or exercise that may build muscle, the muscle mass by be getting larger while fat goes down. There are devices that can give you body mass composition reading such as amount of water, fat, and muscle. It’s best not to weigh every day. Weekly weigh-ins should provide enough data if you are following the plan.
The most reliable way to determine whether a low carb diet is working is to do body measurements. Some even like to judge their weight loss by using the jeans method. If your jeans feel looser even when the scale isn’t budging, it’s a good sign that you are indeed burning off the fat stores.
3. Too Much Dairy Protein
Some people make the low carb diet mistake of eating too many dairy products to replace carbs in their diet. The problem with this is that protein can raise insulin levels and result in fat storage. One way this happens is through a process called gluconogenesis. The liver is capable of converting the amino acids found in protein into sugar when glucose levels are low. This makes burning fat more difficult and can hinder weight loss.
Dairy protein has a combination of amino acids that can make it spike insulin similar to high carb foods. The rise in insulin levels will hinder the transition to becoming keto adapted and burning fat efficiently. If you suspect this happening, lay off the dairy products like heavy cream, cheese, and yogurt. Butter, on the other hand, is low in dairy protein so it shouldn’t cause the same type of insulin spikes.
4. Not Drinking Enough Water
It’s a misconception that drinking a lot of water will make you gain weight, quite the opposite is true. Gaining weight from drinking water may be true if you drink tons of water right before stepping on a scale. However, not drinking adequate water during the day will cause your body to retain water.
On a low carb diet, water is needed to flush out excess ketones and burn fat more effectively. It’s believed that water will help break down the fat more efficiently. Consuming adequate water on a low carb diet also helps relieve constipation and any “keto flu” symptoms you may have when you first start out on low carb.
You should strive for 8 glasses or 64 ounces of water each day. Avoid this common low carb diet mistake and remember to drink your water!
5. Not Enough Exercise
Although you can lose weight without doing any exercise, it’s generally not recommended. The reason is that a low carb diet encourages release of fat stores in the body, but if there is no activity to burn off this energy source, it will just go back into storage.
Don’t make the low carb diet mistake of believing that fat is just going to melt away while you sit around. The only way for this to happen is if you also limit your calorie intake so you burn more than you take in.
It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. Simply cleaning up the yard or tidying up the house will help. So get moving!
6. Relying on Processed Foods and Not Whole Foods
I’ve seen a lot of people decide to go on a low carb diet and stock up on unhealthy processed foods like Atkins bars and shakes. Have you read the ingredients listed on these convenience foods? It’s a lot of chemicals that your body will need to process. You may end up losing weight with these products, but you may need a good detox after.
Stick with a diet rich in grass-fed beef, hormone free organic poultry, organic vegetables, eggs, and healthy fats. Low carb vegetables include celery, broccoli, zucchini, and cauliflower in your daily meals.
Although some people may be eating a low-carb diet and eliminating plant foods, this is generally not the best choice for a range of reasons. For one, vegetables and other whole foods are packed with numerous nutrients which are required for reducing inflammation in the body and preventing disease.
7. Eating too much fruit
The sugar in fruit can cause weight loss stalls or even lead to weight gain if eaten in excess. Low carb fruits such as berries are highly nutritious so they should be incorporated into any diet. But, like all good things, particularly sweet things, they must be done in moderation.
Be aware of the sugar carbs in fruit and stick to an amount that won’t exceed 10 grams of carbs in one sitting. Overeating fruits is one of the low carb diet mistakes many make.
8. Eating too many calories
With all the wonderful low carb high fat foods allowed, many just starting out on a low carb diet make the mistake of eating more calories than needed. Eating adequate amounts of fats should satiate your hunger such that you won’t have the desire to overeat. However, this may not always be the case as some people turn to food for reasons beyond hunger.
Keep in mind that overeating on any diet is bound to lead to weight gain. If you are not losing weight on a low carb diet, you may want to track how many calories you are taking in on an average day to see if it’s excessive.
9. Not Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels
You may want to invest in a glucose meter even if you aren’t a diabetic. You can find these meters at your local pharmacy.
Some foods labeled as low carb may trigger blood sugar to rise unknowingly. If blood glucose gets too high, insulin is released. Insulin levels and fat storage are directly related so be sure that what you’re eating isn’t causing a surge in insulin.
A glucose meter is also a tool that can be used to monitor glucose levels. It’s also something that my help you prevent diabetes and heart disease as discussed in this article.
10. Eating a Lot of Low Carb Sweets
Although low carb sweeteners like Splenda, Swerve, and Truvia are calorie free, they may negatively affect your appetite. It’s been shown that sweet foods can trigger the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin. When these hormones get off balance, your appetite may get triggered causing you to eat more food than you need.
Takeaway: Top Low Carb Diet Mistakes
A low carb diet purportedly leads to weight loss. However, when people make these common mistakes, they often find that they are not losing weight even though they have restricted the intake of carbohydrates. Therefore, the key is to avoid making these errors in order to yield maximum success. If you are still having trouble after resolving these low carb diet mistakes, check in with your doctor, it could be a medical condition such as thyroid illness preventing the desired weight loss.
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