Following a strict low-carb diet is not always easy. Below are the top 15 mistakes people make when low carb dieting.
Sometimes the road can get bumpy, and the experiences you will go through may not always be pleasant. Still, when you know better the things not to do, it will be easier to face your challenges.
Top 15 Mistakes When Low-Carb Dieting
- Not doing your homework
There are LOTS of different low carb diets. Each one follows its own rules as far as how many carbs are allowed on the diet. Whether you decide to follow Atkins, South Beach , Dukan or any of the other low carb diets on the market. You need to do your research! Before you start ANY diet you should learn some basic information about how to make it work for you. Get to know the types of foods you should eat, the number of carbs allowed, and get an idea of basic meal plans. You should also consult your doctor before you start. Especially if you have any health problems.
- Comparing Yourself With Others
Some people will be able to eat more carbs a day then others. For example my friend who is in her 3os can eat 50 net carbs a day and she is still averaging 10 lbs weight loss a month with no exercise. While me in my 40s can eat only about 30-40 net carbs and I will lose 5-10 lbs a month. If you belong to some of the low carb facebook groups, you are probably going, how come this person is losing so much while I’ve stalled out?
They are eating the right amount of cabs, fats, proteins for their body. You need to find the right combination for your body. Don’t focus or get disheartened by others success. Celebrate their success with them and remember your time is coming! Just keep in telling yourself, if they can do it, so can I!
- Eating a diet with inadequate proteins
If you are trying to lose weight, it is important you eat enough proteins. It is possible to break through a lasting plateau by eating the recommended protein amount. When there are enough proteins in your body, the body produces the hormone glucagon. Glucagon stimulates an increase in blood sugar levels, which opposes the effect of insulin.
- Giving up too soon
A low carb diet follows many approaches. Also, when starting out, you can miss some steps as you try to figure out the best approach to follow. During this stage, many people tend to over-react after realizing their approach is not working. However, a simple tweak can help you get through the obstacles you are facing. When in doubt, go back to basics. Low carb dieting works. If you are not losing weight you may be eating to many carbs. Stop counting NET carbs and count the actual amount of carbs you are eating.
- Not eating enough healthy fats
Being afraid to eat fat is another big mistake people make. Carbohydrates such as sugars and grains are the source of calories for the majority of people. When you cut down these foods, you have to compensate with something else to avoid starving. Eating healthy fats like saturated, monounsaturated, and Omega-3s will actually HELP you be more successful with your low carb diet.
- Not eating vegetables and fiber
A healthy low-carb diet would be incomplete without non-starchy vegetables. You should never avoid eating vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, and bell peppers. Also, consider eating fruits like berries and avocado.
Non-starchy vegetables have fewer carbohydrates and high micronutrient content. Also, these foods will not affect your weight loss process.
- Not dealing with your stress
During a high stress situation, the level of the hormone cortisol raises. The cortisol hormone can cause you to overeat. The cortisol hormone will spike the levels of insulin in the body, which lowers your blood sugar level. This, in turn, heightens your craving for fatty and sugary foods.
- Not getting enough sleep
Perhaps the other reason you are not losing weight is because you are not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep suppresses the release of the growth hormone, impairs the metabolism of glucose, and decreases the level of leptin.
Also, the level of ghrelin tends to be high in sleep deprived people. This hormone is a stimulant for appetite.
- Overeating of nuts
Don’t get me wrong. Nuts should be part of your diet. However, eating too much of them can be a disaster. Nuts are high in calorie and you can easily over-eat them. When you eat too many nuts, you can experience a weight stall or even add a few pounds. For example, a serving of macadamia nuts (100 grams) contains over 700 kilocalories and more than 70 grams of fats.
- Consuming dairy products in excess
Full-fat dairy products are recommended when low-carb dieting. Nonetheless, dairy contains high-calorie content. Also, you can easily overeat these products. Compared to meat, dairy has a component that can increase the level of insulin in the bloodstream. If dairy spikes your insulin levels, trying cutting down on things like yogurt and cheese.
- Lack of proper exercise
One of the reasons low carb dieting is so popular is that you don’t have to exercise to see weight loss. With severely overweight patients, doctors will often put them on low carb diets to get enough weight off to either get an operation, or to a point where they can start doing a little walking. While exercise is not necessary. It is recommended! Many fitness experts recommend working out with weights over doing cardio to their low carb clients.
- Consuming products with the label “low-carbs.”
Its tempting to go out and buy all the “low carb” versions of candy and snacks you feel you are missing out on. But not all of these “low carb” foods are really low carb or even good for you. Its all processed food with lots of addictive. Also you may think the candy has 5 net carbs. But read the label carefully. You may see this bar has 5 net carbs, but 1 bar is actually 3 or 4 servings! Meaning if you eat the full bar in 1 sitting. You just ate 20 grams of carbs.
There are a lot of good products on the market. But just eat them sparingly. These snacks can seriously derail your progress.
- Drinking alcohol
Be careful of drinking alcohol while in your induction phases. They are not carb free. Some drinks are betther than others. Such as red wine is very low in carbs and a lot of low carb dieters (including my sister!) now drink vodka straight! They may squeeze a little lemon into it and thats it! Also keep in mind that alcohol causes dehydration and makes you feel hungry.
Snacking is permitted on a low carb diet, but many people find it unnecessary since eating protein tends to leave you feeling full longer then a high in carbohydrate diet. But if you feel the need to snack. Be sensible about it. You can easily overeat.
- Don’t over indulge on “bulletproof” coffee
“Bulletproof” coffee is the same as butter coffee. For some people, butter coffee helps to kill the appetite. So they drink it more than water! This can be a serious mistake. Like in all things, moderation is the key.
The same goes for some of the low carb recipes. Remember many of them can be induction phase acceptable, but many are not. Or you can only have 1 serving and not eat until you are full.
Keep in mind the guidelines of the WOE you are following.