Having Trouble with Keto? Part 1: Carb, Fat, & Protein Problems

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This article is part 4 in our Keto Diet Series. If you missed part 3, check it out here.

The keto diet may sound easy. Simply cut carbs and up your fat intake and the pounds will start to melt off! But plenty of people who start the keto diet abandon it just a few weeks in. Whether you’re not losing fat fast enough or feeling sluggish, the transition from a higher carb diet to keto can be rough. Luckily there are a couple of tweaks that almost every keto beginner could stand to make.

In this article, you will learn:

Troubleshooting the Keto Diet

Before we get into some of the ways you might be doing the keto diet wrong, keep in mind that it takes most people anywhere from two to four weeks to get into optimal ketosis. And some people can have an even harder time becoming fat adapted. So to start, make sure you’ve given the keto diet enough time to start working its magic.

If you’ve been eating keto for a while and still aren’t experiencing the benefits, try these troubleshooting tips before you give up: 

Reason #1: Too Many Carbs

If you eat too many carbs, your body will never deplete its glycogen (sugar) stores. If you don’t drain your glycogen stores, your body won’t break down fat into ketones for energy.

This one is especially tough when you’re first starting out. It’s only natural that you’ll gravitate toward higher-carb foods as you’re transitioning into ketosis. And carbs can be deceiving!  

Common high-carb culprits include nuts, seeds, some dairy products, keto “desserts”, and keto processed and packaged foods. Just because it’s labeled as “keto” doesn’t mean you can eat a lot of it.

Be sure to track your macros for the first few weeks so you can get a better idea of what 50 grams or fewer carbs actually looks like. 

Reason #2: Not Enough Fat

One of the main reasons you’re not experiencing the benefits of a keto diet is you’re not getting enough fat – even if it feels like you’re eating a ton of it.

Many people report not being able to stomach so much fat all of a sudden or that “it just feels wrong” to eat so much fat in one sitting. But getting your calories from fat is the key to staying full and getting the energy you need to thrive through the transition into full keto.

Including high-quality MCT oil into your diet is the easiest way to up your fat intake painlessly. It’s tasteless and odorless so you can add it to almost every meal or beverage, including your morning coffee. MCT Creamer is a great option to add flavor and a creamy texture to hot and cold drinks and smoothies.

Other high-fat foods and snacks to add to your day include:

  • Avocado
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Macadamia nuts and macadamia nut oil
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Heavy cream
  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Coconut cream
Add at least one high-fat food to any low-carb vegetable or meat dish you make to painlessly up your fat intake.

Reason #3: Too Much Protein

This makes sense. Protein is very satisfying and fills you up quickly. Since it can feel strange to eat so much fat all of a sudden, many people end up overcompensating with large amounts of protein instead.

Unfortunately, this will keep your body from becoming fat-adaption because your liver can turn certain amino acids from protein into glucose. And if there’s glucose in your system, your body will always use that preferentially over fat.

If you think you might be eating too much protein, follow the macronutrient ratio of 5-10% carbs, 15-25% protein, and 65-80% fat. Track your food for a few weeks to get a feel for these new ratios and see how you feel.

Find out the last 3 troubleshooting pointers in Part 2 of Troubleshooting the Keto Diet.

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