Superhusband was in a snacking mood today. I saw him munch on some pickles, and then much on some jerky. Then he said “I’m hungry”. I said “eat some fat!”. He looked at me, puzzled, I imagine he thought I meant he should go stick a spoon in the butter dish or something. I suggested he cook up some meat or cut up some cheese to eat. If you’re an experienced low carber, you probably see why I said that. If you are new, though, you may be saying “well, so far he’s doing well on carbs, why does it matter what he’s eating?” Let’s talk about some common mistakes that low carbers make, both new and pro.
- Not eating enough fat. You should aim for around 70-80% of calories from fat. If you are American, this is going to feel WEIRD at first. Fat is your fuel. Fat allows your metabolism to stay in high gear, and doesn’t force your body to do something called “gluconeogenesis”, which is convert the protein that you eat into glucose for fuel. Your goal is to not need the glucose, and just have use the ketones that are produced when your body burns your fat stores. The whole “you are what you eat” thing is a load of horse poo.
- Eating frankenfoods. Don’t eat shakes, meal bars, muffin mixes, whatever. Eat real food. The few times I’ve resorted to my emergency stash of meal bars, my weight loss suffers.
- Thinking this is a high protein diet. Nope. That’s why I prefer the “LCHF” description, to remind people that it’s called “low carb, high fat”, and therefore medium protein. You need enough protein to run your body and not have muscle loss, but no more. It may feel like it’s high protein if you’re eating a meat source at most meals, but a lot of meats have most of their calories from fat, not protein.
- Lazy carb counting. If you are looking at a month or more of no weight loss and no loss in measurements, I’m betting this is what’s going on. Carbs are in a lot of things, even seasoning mixes.
- Giving yourself cheat days. I’ve talked about my thoughts on this trend before.
- Eating the same thing day after day. You may be saying “But Ellie, I’m meeting my carb goals, i’m meeting my fat goals, who cares!” But you need variety so you don’t end up getting boredom, and to make sure you are getting a variety of nutrients. If you are stuck in a culinary rut, try some of the recipes I post.
- Not eating when hungry. This is not starvation. You should be able to eat when hungry, and continue eating until satisfied. This does not mean shoving food into your face until you are stuffed to the brim and hate yourself, but until you don’t much care to eat anymore. If you’ve kept your carb count low, you should know the difference.
- Not planning ahead. Put extra cheese in your lunch bag, nuts in your car or purse, whatever. Every gas station has hard boiled eggs and cheese. No excuses. There are no excuses on why you can’t eat correctly for every meal at any location.
What other low carb mistakes have you seen or have you made?